Thursday, April 29, 2010

How I Got From There To Here, Sort Of

Susanne, I'm writing this post because of you. You asked somewhere, about how I got from being atheistic/agnostic to where I am now. This post is going to be rambling, and a little personal, but it's all connected, in my mind, so I have to put it out there.

First, I think most of you know that I was raised in a household with an abusive step-father. I try not to talk about it too much, but I also don't hide it. It was what it was, it happened, and I'm alive, so it could always have been worse.

I grew up, and I grew up angry. Angry is a pale, petty word for what I felt. I don't know how many of you would even understand the size and strength of the emotion I'm talking about here. It took up physical space inside of me. It was a part of me. I lived every second of every day, seething in anger. It was a solid rock that took up my entire chest. It was a living presence inside me, a parasite that I couldn't live without. And I can only really try to describe this in hindsight, because I never realized how angry I was, all the time, until I stopped being angry all the time. It was normal, and so I didn't notice it. I thought *everyone* lived like that, with this hatred.

Men, to me, were the cause of all the evil in the world. Men held women down, beat them, raped them, killed them, and they did it all because they were men, and they had all the power. Men needed to be got rid of. I loathed them all. They were scum, and worth less than nothing. I honestly wanted them all dead. Or enslaved. I longed for a matriarchal society to rise up and overthrow the men, who had been in power for far too long, and destroyed everything.

And religion. Hah. *All* the religions were skewed to give the *men* all the power. Every last one of them. Tools of the men. Useless. Women needed to get rid of the religions as well. I personally did away with it. I mocked religion. I insulted it. I argued against it at every chance I got. It was all a delusion. An extension of the male need to control everything. I hated it, because I saw it as just another patriarchal tool to oppress the people who *deserved* power - women.

In all of this, my mother had divorced my step-father, finally, and, eventually, we stopped hearing from him (mostly). By no means, people, think that just because you divorce/break up with a crazy s.o.b. that that is the end of it. It's not. They *never* go away. Just getting away from him did not make me any less angry. It was all still there. I was a vicious, nasty person. I hurt people (not physically, but I've got a very sharp tongue, and combined with being's not good.). I hurt myself. I raged against the world.

At some point, I decided that since I did, actually, believe in paranormal things (ghosts), being an atheist made no sense. I started trying on 'alternative' religions. I went to some very dark places. In the end, I settled on witchcraft. Not dark and dangerous, like some of the ways I traveled down, but it was all about women and their power, and the goddess. It appealed to me, and I could pay token respect to the god, and focus of the goddess.

About five years ago, my mother remarried to the man I refer to as Dad on the blog. He and his family were Mennonites (very modern and reformed). We all moved in together, and I continued to practice my witchcraft in secret, to keep the peace in the house. However, my mother insisted that I attend church with them. So I went, and I mocked. And I ripped apart the preacher's sermons, and I argued with Dad about everything that had to do with religion. In order to do that, I actually had to sit down, and read and learn about Christianity. It's difficult to properly destroy something you don't understand.

It's impossible for me to pinpoint when it happened, exactly, but somewhere along the way, while I was reading and learning, things began to seem less insane. Less silly. Less evil. And the anger...I feel like I woke up one day, and it was gone. It's a weird sensation, again, a physical one. Suddenly, I wasn't angry at *everything* any more. I don't know why. I can't point to one thing or even a handful. I can't even tell you what day it happened, because it took me a while even realize that that's what happened. I'd been angry for so long that I didn't know what it felt like to *not* be angry.

After that, things changed. Slowly, subtly, they changed. And here we are.


  1. I'm sorry you had to live through all that, but what a beautiful and inspirational story it turns out to be.

  2. Wow! Amazing story! I ended up smiling at the end. I thought, "Sounds like the Prince of Peace visited Amber." Wow! :)

    I think it's awesome that I inspired TWO posts this week! Actually three if you remember the verse thing was also my suggestion. Oh, and also the Suroor assignment I passed off to you Tom Sawyer-style! Awesomeness! OK, maybe one or two of those were last week...still! I am sooooo stinkin' popular over here. *patting myself on the back*

    :) Sorry...delusional old-lady episode over.

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I was wondering if my asking for this was too personal so it was a pleasant surprise to find it today. I am really so sorry (inadequate, I know) you were abused, and I pray God continues to heal you. You are such a lovely person although I would never admit that in a a court of law. You are fun to tease and I'm really glad we met. Who knew a Buh, buh, buh Baptist and Catholic could be friends? :D

  3. Susanne,

    You're just an inspirational person, is all. :p

    I won't lie, I almost didn't do the post, but I did want to try and explain, as much as I could, and I couldn't do it without giving at least some vague background.

    Shhh....I keep 'forgetting' you're the B-word! ;)

  4. It would have been fine if you chose not to share it with me. I never want to pressure you. But I really *am* glad to read a bit of your story. You never know how it will help others.

    Yes, one of those...Bssssss. ;)

  5. Awesome struggle!
    Keep it up!

  6. God works in wonderful and mysterious ways. Some people think God doesn't give us more than we can stand, but I think that many times throughout our lives He gives us things that are more than we can bear alone so that we turn to Him for support. I'm so glad you're in a better place, Amber. I think of you often -- glad you are well.

  7. Usman,

    I missed your comment. So sorry!

    Thank you. :)

  8. Heather,

    *hugs* Glad to see you back!

    I think you're right, sometimes. God sort of has to force our hands a bit.


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