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Weesue

Religious Trauma Syndrome

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This Depression/Anxiety and panic disorder is what I have been suffering as a result of Extremist Christian Indoctrination. For over 30 years of my life...

Marlene Winell has nailed it for me... "Religious Trauma Syndrome".

I'm going through a bad spell just now, but I have left the group 16 years ago and it is still affecting my life... I now have become an Atheist... Want nothing more to do with Religion. I am still angry, that it almost ruined my life...

I am slowly and steadily getting back to as normal a life as I can, so I would appreciate that no "Prayers" are said for me, and appreciate and respect my decision on this... Thank you... Interested to hear if there are more people out there who walked away from their beliefs and had problems... A problem shared is a problem halved... I live in Scotland in the UK, btw... 

 

Regards 

Susan

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Well done for rebuilding your life and making your choices your way.. I imagine that must have been a huge step to take. I can see why fundamental religion can leave someone with all those things. Cognitive social etc.I wouldnnt put myself in this category at all as religion was merely a weak backdrop to some of the things that happened to me, It was however used as a tool of manipulation and power by a couple of people who harmed me. Most of all I see the potential psychological harm that can come with doctrines. The guilt. The double binds. I do understand some of the feelings that come from people praying for us. Its offensive to me too. You might want to visit the atheists thread in the religion forum. 

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Thank you Fizzle...

It was a very huge life-changing scary step for me. I was always told if I walked away I would end up in the deepest part of hell, and at that time I still believed it all, so I walked away thinking I was damning myself to hell for eternity... I did have a breakdown and ended up in hospital for 2 months... I am not offended by anyone wanting to pray for me, I just can't see any truth in it any more. It has taken a long time for me to see that though, but after reading up on things and seeing "evidence" for evolution now... I have become an atheist...

At the time that I got brainwashed I was only 17, and naive/vulnerable etc They burned all my books and I had to live by the bible only... 

Glad to be free.... :) 

I will have a look at the Atheist thread thank you... 

 

regards

Susan

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Weesue,

I appreciate your post. I can understand how you feel. I've been out of religion for about 5 years now. Yes, it is good to be free, but what sucks is the brainwashed head you have to deal with after you leave. It makes life very difficult because for me it was like I had to learn how to be in society. Kind of like being dropped into a completely different country and having to learn a new language and culture. Just this past year, I tried to understand my relationship with the church in the past and it just ended up making me angry. Angry that I couldn't understand why I didn't know how to listen and trust myself, and how I feel guilty about everything from fear and on and on. Got so bad I didn't know how to deal with my feelings. No matter what I did there was no way I could take back control of those 20 years of my life of pain and confusion. I finally just told myself to let it go. There is nothing I can do to control the past. It is now a part of my story, but it is merely a chapter in my life, and I try to just focus on the here and now... because that is what I have control of. I've have to work hard on gaining my emotional freedom back and I still struggle. I think just acceptance is key. It is sort of like you have to learn how to forgive that religion and those people for yourself so you can move on.

I'm still not sure what I really believe in spirituality wise, but I hold strong onto nature and the powers and pulls of the universe. Wish you the best on your journey! You are welcome to message me anytime.

I am in the United States. I am half Scottish and my grandparents carried over Scottish tradition pretty heavily. :)

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Hi Floatingheart... (luv the name, sounds Native American)
Thank you. And good to hear that you got out. But yet like myself, still suffer the consequences of being 'brainwashed'! I know how you feel my friend, it is good to be free! I totally get you, that having to learn all over again, learn how to trust in your own intuition and it doesn't make you bad, if a thought suddenly comes into your head... It is ridiculous that they had the 'power of thought control' over us too! I found that I was kinda arguing with myself a lot, thinking that what, I said, thought or did was wrong, when in fact it wasn't, because there was no god up there! (or way way back of my head, was there)? It really F**ks up your head eh!

I also got angry with myself, angry that I got sucked into it all, angry that I was not stronger, etc... Yes I also had a lifetime of fear, that every moment of the day could be my last and I wasn't even saved! It was horrendous! I admire you for being able to let it go, and you are right the past is the past, which you will never forget. I would say I am still healing from it all, and I find it hard to forgive! But, I partly blame myself too! I like you still struggle, but have moved on too.  

Here in Scotland and the UK for that matter have not found anywhere that can help me deal with "Religious Mental Abuse", that is what I see it as! So I started my own blog, which has helped me and I put my story on it, and I am amazed at the positive feedback I have had... it's Brilliant. 
I wish you too all the best in your journey Floatingheart... :)  
Brilliant, you are half Scottish too.... Luv it.

I have read up so much about evolution and fossils etc, and to me, that is my proof of a life without God, and I only marvel at the world even more... it is truly Awesome! 
I don't know if you would want to read 'My Story' on my blog! I will leave a link anyway... You might like the rest of my blog too... :) Good Luck my friend... :) And yes feel free to message me anytime... 

Regards

Weesue

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I have no use whatsoever for organized religion, as I see it as a very insidious, cruel way to manipulate people.  Turning one's back on it (as I did) can produce guilt, trauma and fear.  Glad I'm over that part of it. 

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I can unfortunately relate, grew up being told the devil was gonna come right up through the ground and drag me to hell. Never taught anything other than to fear god and that I was bad. I got kicked out at the age of 13 for refusing to go to church. Abused sexually, physically, mentally and verbally since early childhood. Every relative and family member turned their back on me. Some of the worst, most judgemental people I know are catholics. Ugh I'm getting mad just thinking about it. It's a sickness.

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Yes, it totally messes up your head. That alone can make me angry and frustrated. Having to talk myself out of my thoughts and remind myself over and over that I am in control. I would have fears about not praying. I thought if I didn't pray then I would be punished or killed. So every time I got in the car, I would have to say a prayer so I didn't get in an accident. I did that for few years even after leaving. I was instilled with fear... not love. When I left, I saw god as a man who was red in the face and had foam coming from his mouth! Haha. I thought why would anybody want to live in fear all the time? Leaving saved my life. I left everything, my family, friends, home and started a new life. I get angry too because I just want to live my life now and do everything I ever wanted, but all this crap is in the way that I have to take care of and deal with somehow. It isn't fair because even though you leave a religion is still is traumatizing you everyday after. That my friend is abuse.

It sounds silly to forgive something that has ruined your whole existence, but I think in the big picture forgiveness is a way to practice self care and self love. Forgiveness is really for us... not them. I found this article that maybe will put it in a more clear perspective on what forgiveness is and how to do it.

I'm proud of you @Weesue that you have a blog to voice your opinions and feelings. Writing really is helpful. I am looking forward to reading it. :) I am sorry that there are not very many options in your country to get help. I know a lot of places are like that and it isn't right. Fortunately, we live in the day and age of the internet. There are a lot of resources online where you can get help.

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@womanofthelight So good to hear you are over that fearful part of it... More power to you. And you are absolutely right... I now know it was just one big con, a way to control the masses! 

@Shadowmantle OMG, what you went through... It is a mental sickness, because you wonder , well I wondered, how intelligent don't get this, and I do now! because I am of average intelligence and I find that hard to understand... although I was fooled as a teenager into believing and into adulthood, but now it has all become clear... I did have to have a breakdown though before I got well again! :/  

@SunnyOutlook I have just commented on your DF blog, I am doing much better now thank you but i still have issues even after 16 years of walking away from it all... 

@Floatingheart I found it hard when I decided to walk away from it all, even though I still believed... and even on "My Story" I have not told the whole story, I worried that 'they' the Born Again believers would find it and be happy to see that I was still suffering, or what they called 'Under Conviction', because I am not under conviction, but I do suffer from phobias that I developed from my fear of dying and going to hell, so I don't really understand that part myself, but I have been told, that 30 years indoctrination is quite a feat to get over, 'if ever', but I am certainly doing a lot more happier things in my life that I was not allowed to do before, and that is read all sorts of books. I love Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens stuff, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris... And the thing is... I make my own mind up about everything now... :) Yes Floatingheart, it is most definitely 'ABUSE'... I get what you mean about forgiveness being like self care and all... but I am still so angry, and maybe one day soon I will forgive them... I will look up your link, thank you... Thank you @Floatingheart on my blog comment... I hope you enjoy it, I try to post on it regularly... some serious stuff and some funny stuff... I try to keep a balance, as I believe there are many folks out there trapped in their Religion, who cannot get out, especially Muslims who are threatened with death... That must be horrible... The internet has been... wait for it... "A god send" for me.... lol pardon the pun... but it helped me get away from all that ever so cruel indoctrination.... Good luck to all on this forum and may you find strength and support for all your needs, physical and mental... :) 

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@Weesue. So proud of you for deciding to help yourself and that your happiness and wellbeing is more important. Thank you as well for sharing your story, it's hard and it takes strength to admit these things. I'm of the opinion these faiths are used to control people with fear and it's so unhealthy. We should be taught to love and respect ourselves and others, and to nurture intelligence, not close-mindedness and not that this life doesn't matter and that suffering is a good thing. Again, glad you're taking back your life. I wish you all the best.

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Sorry the link got taken down for the forgiveness thing, but you can find it through Psychology Today. The article is called " How do you forgive when it feels impossible".

All the best to you beautiful warriors! Huuuzaah! :hearts:

 

 

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I had to deal with toId 25 and have been a atheist since I was 12. i remember being in catholic school and arguing with the teacher saying that Adam and even can,t be the first humans  because Neanderthals exist so how could they be the first people I was probably around 10, I remember telling my friends in fifth grade that I could bury a book then people could find it and they might believe it like the bible. I was interested in everything when i was a child I remember sitting in my room reading this giant book about different thing science I learned all kinds of things. Thats probably what led me to start questioning. I still had a fear of hell indoctrinated into me, When I started reading a bunch of philosophy over 2,000 pages from a therapist I went to she gave it to me because I kept telling my parents there is no evidence of god and I think the whole idea is stupid.  I read so many things I read doctor martin Luther kings letter Thomas acquaintance,Kierkegaard, David Hume,George Berkeley the communist manifesto, Adams smith the wealth of nations, Beyond good and evil, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle.

What Buddhism and Hinduism are a Muslim philosopher Richard Dawkins the selfish gene. It completely changed how I thought for the rest of my life I understood why other cultures did what they did and most things we talk about and worry about are social constructs most talking between people is just babbling no one discuss anything most people have there belief system determined at birth, Most arguments we have over politics and religion are really just about identity and try to make people to what ever group we think we are in and is almost entirely determined by who they know and where they grew up. I stop arguing and I just tell people there right now to not deal with the hassle of talking in circles when no one has any evidence of what there saying .

I just try to take in the world like a work of art instead of caring so much about philosophy as most of what is argued is bulls*** and just semantics. Everyone should be kind to every thing else including plants and animals there is no reason not to, I was so peaceful I remember walking around my campus I randomly held out my hand and a leaf from the cherry blossom fell into my hand for some reason it had so much meaning to me I was really into Buddhism and was trying to project love and kindness to everyone I meet like the dali lama. The more people I spoke to the more I learned that they just don't care about anything people would talk about how they would cheat on one another. I remember getting angry in my college class when people said we should just nuke the middle east when I was in school I read a book about a survivor from Hiroshima and what he saw after the atom bomb was dropped..I just thought about how horrible and unkind the people were that I could never be friends with people who believe in ******* innocent people. In another class a professor asked who supported torture I was the only one that didn't. I started to become disgusted with people the more I talked to them. Thats is probably why im so bitter and angry now I need to go back to be who I use to be. My opinions and thoughts always end up being different from others thats probably why I started to feel so lonely.

Most people are scared of being ostracized so I try to accept that and to them there doing the right thing when I see a christian handing out pamphlets trying to save people from hell instead of judging them .I just think he is trying to help people If I truly believed in hell I would probably do the same thing.

 

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I did, at the age of 10 I stopped believing just bc things didn't add up. now that I'm 34, ive read so much about religion ... I'm shaking my head, I'll leave it at that. 

I am agnostic 

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12 hours ago, ejc said:

I did, at the age of 10 I stopped believing just bc things didn't add up. now that I'm 34, ive read so much about religion ... I'm shaking my head, I'll leave it at that. 

I am agnostic 

yea me to

I get sick of hearing about it half my family is super religious and I just pretend like I still believe so they don't bother me. One day im going to get fed up and snap i don't care that people are religious but when they suck me into there game where they ask me what I belive or they lecture me on the power of prayer, or like my dad talk about the end of the world. To try to see if im part of there group.

My aunt who I told because I got sick of her forcing her religious bs and always debates with me when I see her, I just repeat i don't believe the bible is divinely inspired man wrote it, thats why I don't belive it. Then they try to debate me I went to catholic school when I was younger and had to take a theology class at my catholic university, alot of religous people I meet don't know anything about the bible my dad who claims he is religious doesn't even know the ten commandments and has never read it. My mother claims shes catholic yet never has gone to church doesn't like the pope or believe anything he says and has never read the bible, yet they lecture me about how i need to have a higher power in life.

 i just get so fed up I can't talk about anything that has to do with science or psychology even what i want to do with my career because my dad starts going into rants about how its all lies everything I learn or want to do in life. I can't discuss politics either with my family with out getting into a war. The other day on facebook I posted on my grandmothers wall how I support hilary Clinton under her post bashing her and all my relatives start spouting there conspiracy theories and how im wrong. They take it so seriously, it felt good to express myself im sick of shutting my mouth just because others throw a fit if i express my opinions people want to argue with me and debate me bring it on, just don't throw a temper tantrum when I bring up facts and evidence.

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On August 23, 2016 at 0:46 PM, scienceguy said:

yea me to

I get sick of hearing about it half my family is super religious and I just pretend like I still believe so they don't bother me. One day im going to get fed up and snap i don't care that people are religious but when they suck me into there game where they ask me what I belive or they lecture me on the power of prayer, or like my dad talk about the end of the world. To try to see if im part of there group.

My aunt who I told because I got sick of her forcing her religious bs and always debates with me when I see her, I just repeat i don't believe the bible is divinely inspired man wrote it, thats why I don't belive it. Then they try to debate me I went to catholic school when I was younger and had to take a theology class at my catholic university, alot of religous people I meet don't know anything about the bible my dad who claims he is religious doesn't even know the ten commandments and has never read it. My mother claims shes catholic yet never has gone to church doesn't like the pope or believe anything he says and has never read the bible, yet they lecture me about how i need to have a higher power in life.

 i just get so fed up I can't talk about anything that has to do with science or psychology even what i want to do with my career because my dad starts going into rants about how its all lies everything I learn or want to do in life. I can't discuss politics either with my family with out getting into a war. The other day on facebook I posted on my grandmothers wall how I support hilary Clinton under her post bashing her and all my relatives start spouting there conspiracy theories and how im wrong. They take it so seriously, it felt good to express myself im sick of shutting my mouth just because others throw a fit if i express my opinions people want to argue with me and debate me bring it on, just don't throw a temper tantrum when I bring up facts and evidence.

if you burst will you do it in classic thanksgiving fashion or will you choose some rando holiday like st  patty's day or cinco de mayo? lol 

i do the same, it's easier to nod like allllllrighty then.. just gonna stare at my shoes here. there's no point bc people tend to be closed minded, so why? and why don't hey read the bible? I only know 2 people who read the bible , all of it and they're both non religious. smh .

c-span is my friend. i can't converse with anyone anymore 1) they're close minded 2) they're not interested  3) their millennials and they get offended when you actually talk facts :/

when people talk crap regardless of whether I agree with them or not I now ask them to cite their source, report, statistical report, etc. none of this "I heard" crap. if u can't give me a citation that I can go back and reference and read to see if your story checks out then stop talking. it's surprising how many people can't do that.

i think some dude on Facebook commented about the 2nd amendment so I blasted him with case citations and invited him to a debate post reading all of them, he never replied.

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I am glad you have found your way out of something that was all wrong for you! I feel like we had oposite takes on our ways out, so I figured I'd share.

I grew up in a christian family, Lutheran. My grandparents were the driving force behind our family values. And it was so beautifull to me. They were such good, accepting people. God was love, jesus was love. The bible stories were inspirational, the songs so uplifting... I had a God that saw me and cared, and that gave me a support and sureness that was so good. It was also the part of my life was stable and kept me up through all the things that should not be happening in a childs life. Religion was one of the few things I didn't feel was forced upon me...

But as I grew older it got harder and harder to not see the backside and the flaws in religion. Logicly it just wasn't making sense anymore, not to me. I felt I had been lied to, only shown what they had wanted me to see...all my security became false. One day I gave up trying to pretend, I knew it was lost to me. I didn't feel it...not anymore. For a long time I was heartbroken, I think greiving even. I tried sometimes to let go of all I knew, just to feel the way I did as a child again, but it wasn't happening. It just made me feel worse when I was already down. And it was holding me back from finding a solution in myself. 

Today I have let go, but the 'breakup' will always sting a little when i think of it. Things like what you had to endure is part of what opened my eyes, so I am glad for it.

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@scienceguy Good write up and glad you broke free (in your mind anyway) my goodness, you were a real deep thinker at such a young age...

It is/was so liberating for me, but at the same time, after almost 30 years of 'Fire and Brimstone' teaching I was/am still having issues with phobias I developed all through those years... :/ But so glad to be free and reading all I can, and deciding for myself to seek out "EVIDENCE" mainly in fossils etc! I am glad I left and I am an atheist, or even Anti-theist now... 

@ejc i agree that it is so annoying when people are  close minded   and not interested, maybe we should approach believers in a different way, and pretend to ask questions because you were worried and give them the most difficult questions there is, to see how they answer... lol... Maybe it would make them think twice... ha ha... 

@Maluhalu I totally get you too... I got so down over a long period of time, and I didn't know I was suffering a breakdown, I just thought God was punishing me... It was so hard back then... But here I am on the other side and glad to be free... Still in recovery tho'... 

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10 hours ago, Weesue said:

@scienceguy Good write up and glad you broke free (in your mind anyway) my goodness, you were a real deep thinker at such a young age...

It is/was so liberating for me, but at the same time, after almost 30 years of 'Fire and Brimstone' teaching I was/am still having issues with phobias I developed all through those years... :/ But so glad to be free and reading all I can, and deciding for myself to seek out "EVIDENCE" mainly in fossils etc! I am glad I left and I am an atheist, or even Anti-theist now... 

@ejc i agree that it is so annoying when people are  close minded   and not interested, maybe we should approach believers in a different way, and pretend to ask questions because you were worried and give them the most difficult questions there is, to see how they answer... lol... Maybe it would make them think twice... ha ha... 

@Maluhalu I totally get you too... I got so down over a long period of time, and I didn't know I was suffering a breakdown, I just thought God was punishing me... It was so hard back then... But here I am on the other side and glad to be free... Still in recovery tho'... 

@Weesue I know totally. some folks are just so passionate and sensitive. sometimes I think that people that are truly spiritual or religious should be the most open minded people bc of what their respective bible teaches. but it seems like people use it to justify their actions and some of those actions are not so nice. or they use it to say they're right and we are wrong. so, how do you engage the Joel Osteens of the world? is it Joel? that tv evangelist guy? he kinda creeps me out. 

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