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4:39 p.m. - 2005-08-03
De-converting a Southern Baptist

My de-conversion was painful: long, drawn-out, and full of self-inflicted guilt and torture. I think it started as a child. My parents had me tested at age 5 for hyperactivity, thinking I had some sort of mental disorder. I couldn't sit still, and constantly badgered my mother with question after question. After two weeks of testing and talking with a professional in the field of child development, they told my mother I had an I.Q. of 153 and to just give me lots of crap to keep me occupied. So she did. And still, I questioned and quested for knowledge. I was that trite little 'sponge', soaking up everything around me. By the age of nine, I was reading an average of 6 books a week, and none of them could be found in the children's section of the library. I used books as a distraction, not a learning tool. I longed to be that good girl who could sit still and be quiet and leave Mommy alone for 5 minutes while she washes the dishes. I found that the only time I felt that glow of approval from my parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles was when I was doing something church-y. Ya know, like learning this week's bible verse, or volunteering to help the younger kids at Sunday school. I grew to associate that wonderful glowing feeling of being wrapped in your parents' love with all things Christian and of the Church. I still recall the day I came home and told my grandmother I had been 'saved'. She cried and held me and wrapped me in her love. Yet through all those years of being the good little Christian girl, I never felt like a Christian. Honestly, I did it because I wanted to be a good girl, and good girls love Jesus. Plus, I'm not arguing with Christmas dude! No way!
Those lack of feelings never went away. I wanted to have faith. I thought it would develop as I grew older. I wanted to be able to pray away my sins, my worries. What an amazing concept, to be able to dump all of your life's garbage onto another being and let it be 'washed away'. But I could never really mean those prayers, only pretend.
Then I got older, and quit going to church. I still denied being an atheist. I was just a 'bad' girl. I took drugs and had (gasp, shock!) premarital sex!! I listened to Motley Crue and went to heavy metal concerts. But then I grew up and realized that I am still a moral person. I want to be a nice person and I don't necessarily have to equate that with religion. I studied other religions (I kinda like Buddhism, I have a jade Buddha that I rub every day)

i'll finish this later!



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