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 smart...it'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.