Bipolar Support Forums To Share and Support One Another

Coming out atheist

Have you been a victim? Or have you contributed to your own stigma?

by Jemane » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:04 pm

So I'm from a deeply religious background. I grew up in a controlling cult before moving to a Pentecostal church where I was a leader and preacher.
When my brother in law died of cancer it made me question everything and I soon realised I didn't believe in god anymore.
I didn't tell my husband for a year as I thought he'd freak but he eventually read all the books I had read and came to the same decision I had.
This put us in a tricky position as almost everyone we knew was religious.
We were quiet about it for a year or two but I've decided to 'come out' atheist and just be who I am as it's too stressful to hide it.
We got a very unsettling unnamed parcel in the mail with a threatening card about this.
There are some real weird people around.
I have pressed on and recently told a close girlfriend who I thought would never want to see me again but she took it really well.
Here's to being honest about ourselves.
Next I'll have to come out bipolar... not sure I'm ready for that one yet.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Jemane
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:25 am

by Tigger » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:06 pm

I have friends in different parts of the US that tell me stories like this. That it's a big deal to be an atheist in their communities and it would be social suicide to tell anyone.

I'm so sorry you've had a negative experience with it. That must be really hard. I'm glad your girlfriend was accepting.
_______

Mom to 12 year old boy with bipolar
User avatar
Tigger
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: New England

by skizzedkid » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:16 am

I live in a highly atheist society. So much so, that being religous is seen as being a bit weird. I am grateful for this. But I have met religous persons who‘s belief lifts them to much more love. Ergo: freedom of religion is essential.
skizzedkid
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed May 25, 2016 9:24 am

by AvantGarde » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:43 am

Good for you Jemane! I know how hard it was for you to keep it in.

I also live in a mostly atheist society, or even nobody really cares if you believe or not, so for me it's very weird to think you can receive threatening letters in the mail for being an atheist. So, I think it's very brave of you.

Whenever you're ready to come out as bp, there's no rush :)
Genetically evolved chicken at your service &
Shawn's part-time mind disrupter


Image
User avatar
AvantGarde
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4835
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:01 am

by Jemane » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:24 am

Thanks AG,
It's one of the hardest things I've done in my life to be honest.
At least my husband and I are on the same page these days. What a relief that is.
I'm sure the stress of it all contributed to my overdose and hospitalisation last year.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Jemane
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:25 am

by AvantGarde » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:04 am

Yes, probably did... I'm so sorry.

I can't phantom the idea of people being so closed minded. Here the major religion is catholicism, people are generally open of having healthy debates with atheists, or keep their religiousness private and go to church on sundays and all that, but they are not agressive.

There are some churches here, mainly brazilian, where people are really agressive towards atheists or people from other religions, but they've been less and less so over the years, atheism is on the rise. I remember in 2011 the census said there was aproximately 1 million atheists in the country.

Most people believe in God, but keep it to themselves.
Genetically evolved chicken at your service &
Shawn's part-time mind disrupter


Image
User avatar
AvantGarde
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4835
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:01 am

by Pancake » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:18 am

As an atheist from early on, it's interesting how we can have such different experiences in the same city. I hardly know anyone who is religious.

Politics still seems to be rife with religion here, disproportionately to gen population. Wonder what the 2016 census numbers look like...
Totally sane mermaid-siren of Vegemiteland
User avatar
Pancake
Moderator
 
Posts: 2689
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:45 pm
Location: Terror Australis

by Jemane » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:24 pm

Yes pan,
The census will be interesting indeed.
I surrounded myself with religious people my whole life so it's hard now I'm in my mid thirties to make new friends.
In the cult we were only allowed to be friends with other people inside the cult.
Don't get me wrong, I totally respect people who have religious beliefs, as long as they don't cause harm to anyone else.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Jemane
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:25 am

by Mocha » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:15 pm

I'm sorry you had that experience, Jemane....

Fortunately I live in a community/area full of hippies who don't care what you believe/who you are. Pretty much applies to anything.

Like AG mentioned, it leads to healthy debates. My tdoc is an atheist. I'm an agnostic, and we both believe in science. Occasionally we have some interesting sessions..... :)

Not A Professional of Any Kind ~ Just Your Garden Variety Nutjob

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

~Martin Luther King~
User avatar
Mocha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5024
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:37 pm
Location: The North Coast

by OnTheMend » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:55 am

I have inadvertently outed myself many times when hypomanic. A conversation will touch on religion; sometimes a gentle push to lean on it, sometimes using biblical quotes to defend something. I usually politely disengage but sometimes will let something slip that no believer would say unless they have serious doubts and get challenged. I know a lot of the smug atheist arguments and I put that knowledge on display when that happens.
OnTheMend
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:53 pm

by Redwhitblu » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:14 am

I am a Christian! I believe that God allows good and bad things to happen to us for a greater and higher purpose than us little people can know or understand at times. I accept that and so I never pray for miracles. I pray that Gods will be done and to give me the grace to trust and accept it.

With that said, i have Christian, atheist, agnostic and Muslim friends. In fact, my stepfather is Muslim. Most friends are agnostic. I know is way more cool these days to embrace agnosticism. However, I choose faith in God. Its just what I believe in. And I don't need to go to church on Sundays to have faith. I am not and do not attempt to shove my beliefs down people's throats and oust people who aren't the same as me. I think it's pretty tacky the people that do. However, I'm not going to be ashamed to say what I believe just bc someone else doesn't think the same as me. To me, those are two different things.

I'm a sucky and flawed Christian. I've wavered in my faith more than once. At a time I was into witchcraft even. But I always find myself back at square one. I need God bc I am a weak human. I try hard not to judge others and I ask others not to judge me as a Christian. Or judge any Christian for that matter. Because we might believe a certain scripture but at the end of the day none of us ARE God. We're just human.
Redwhitblu
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:22 am

by Redwhitblu » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:19 am

...I also find it sad that the Christian community is where I feel the least comfortable sharing that I have to take medication for Bipolar illness. Sorry, God made me this way. I'm not going to pray to be different than who I am. but I do thank god for my doctor!
Redwhitblu
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:22 am

by OnTheMend » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:28 am

Redwhitblu wrote: Most friends are agnostic. I know is way more cool these days to embrace agnosticism.


I used to call myself an agnostic. I got called out on it. It's kind of semantics, but what is generally understood when someone says they are agnostic is that they really don't feel strongly about either position. I think (this is opinion) it is remotely possible that one of the myriad theories about magical beings bringing everything into existence could be right, but I think the chances of that are incredibly low. I don't believe any of those theories is correct and that belief is a strong conviction.
It's kind of like how I called myself a liberal until I got called out. I'm a socialist. Because I grew up in the cold war (I always thought that was an odd term when the USSR was at war with us by proxy in Vietnam) I have a hard time using that term because it has been conflated with oppressive communist regimes. It really means what every other advanced nation does with health care and what we do in several programs to help those in need and ask those with an obscene excess to kick in more than others.
OnTheMend
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:53 pm

by OnTheMend » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:39 am

Oh yeah, about faith. I am just not wired for it. One day I pulled up to a light that was red to make a right turn. I stopped and then stated to pull up to turn (allowed here) after a single car that was coming passed by. It was actually not in the right lane but I still wait just in case they change lanes. There was very good visibility; since it was over a lane, I could see behind that car and I could see that there was no other car on either side for over a hundred yards. Right as I took my foot off the brake, a dump truck pulled up next to me in the left turn lane completely blocking my view. I didn't move until the light changed. I had no faith in something for which I had just seen abundant evidence but could no longer validate. It's possible that I was hypomanic to have noticed all that detail and assign such prominence to such a minor event :roll: , but it was an epiphany...
OnTheMend
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:53 pm


Return to Stigma