Atheist unite!!

Chiqui

MyPTSD Pro
I just though about to create this thread because many of us has been manipulated with religion and spirituality, and our trauma is related with it. For instance, myself. I am a former member of an Eastern cult based on ascetism and surrender everything to god (mind, body and wealth) in order to sa ve my soul and «transcend» Coercitive techniques where used as food and sleep deprivation, social isolation, meditation, study and hypnosis, trance induction stages, as manipulation tools, between others.

I never have been a beliver, neither before the cult. After the experience, I have traces of paranoia and psychopathy.

Anyone relates? Any thoughts?

How do you leave now without gods to protect, guide and help you?
(This thread it does not have the intention of attacking any believer, just to drag the attention to the non believers)

<ModEdit2> This thread is for Atheist’s discussion only

- If you’re not an atheist; do not post on this thread.
- You WILL be threadbanned & your posts may well be deleted.
 
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GwenDR

Confident
I'm an atheist who has not had any bad personal experiences with religion. I do know there's several people on this site who have been harmed by religion or are cult survivors, that are still theists, and your topic might be really useful for them, but they might be scared away by the title.

I'm sorry you had that awful experience, though. I don't have much to say to help other than I can sympathize, and give you hugs. I've never been through that and am not sure I can truly understand it.
 

Chiqui

MyPTSD Pro
I'm an atheist who has not had any bad personal experiences with religion. I do know there's several peo...
Thanks for your words, Gwen. Yep, it is a complex mechanism how the coercitive manipulation on cults works. Still understanding it and I have more than ten years studing the subject.
I don't think people here would be scared of the titlle. This is a safe place and atheist can have a place where their feelings can be listened. Ex cult member and atheist. This is what I am, between other things, of course ;):hug:
 

Suzetig

MyPTSD Pro
This is a safe place and atheist can have a place where their feelings can be listened.
Just a reminder that this is a public Internet forum - anyone can post here under any guise and posts can be read without you knowing who is reading them. People can represent themselves in whatever way they like and you have no way of knowing whether they're being truthful. In other words, the very opposite of a safe place - which is true of any forum based site on the internet.

I think @GwenDR was trying to say many people on the forum have had your experience and could offer support or gain support from the discussion on this thread, but they don't identify as atheists and so might not even read the thread much less post on it. There are also atheists on board who have never experience abuse in a faith setting who may feel they don't belong here either.

I'm not saying to abandon the thread at all but maybe think about the purpose because it reads like you're trying to connect with a very specific group within a group which might limit people in terms of feeling they have something to contribute.
 

Fadeaway

MyPTSD Pro
@Suzetig I get what you are saying but there is a Christians unite thread. That said I have stumbled into that thread and @SheilaKathy is a real gem. Many people who profess to be Christians aren't always Christ like, but she one of the most Christ like professing Christians I have ever had the pleasure to discuss religion with.

I think this thread is needed and can and will be of benefit. Personally, I am an animist but atheism is not an opposing belief. I believe every being has a spirit, but I reject the idea of deity. I think I could find myself at home in this thread though because I have suffered trauma in the name of religion.

How do you leave now without gods to protect, guide and help you?
I could write novels based on my on battles trying to come up with an answer that worked for me. I am still hammering out the fine details. I take that back, I am still hammering out some of the larger details and it is all subject to change at any moment. I think it is human nature to want to believe something is out there to help you, especially when you didn't get that sense of having someone there to protect you and watch over you from your parents. It can be a scary and sobering thought. I tried to believe in a deity, I really did, for that very reason. I wanted it to fulfill what I didn't get from my family growing up.

So what have I done lately to help with that? That is kind of where the animism comes in. I have plants that represent certain things in my life. Such as Ivy being a covering and protective type plant. I love having ivy around because it represents safety to me. Of course it isn't something that will work for everyone but it is what I have personally found most helpful after years of wrestling with that concept.
 

Suzetig

MyPTSD Pro
I haven't said the thread isn't needed or that there's no benefit in it - I was merely expanding on @GwenDR's post. I do think people who want or need to be here will find their way here and they will largely direct the course of the thread.

My intention in posting was actually in support of having a discussion place for folk who identify as atheist so I'm a bit bewildered that you seem to think otherwise.
 

Fadeaway

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not saying to abandon the thread at all but maybe think about the purpose because it reads like you're trying to connect with a very specific group within a group which might limit people in terms of feeling they have something to contribute.
That and perhaps a bit of defensiveness on my end. It seems that my interpretation of that quote was incorrect. I probably was reading a tone into it that was there, so my apologies.
 

GwenDR

Confident
I'm really sorry. I was probably out of bounds. I didn't know there was already a specific "Christians unite" thread, but I do know there have at least been in the past cult survivor threads. I thought those sounded like two topics, one on how atheism and PTSD interact, and one on having come out of cults/having been harmed by religion. Those certainly have significant intersection, though.

I was never in a cult, but I did become atheist while in a period that was absolutely awful for me. My navy experience was a time where I was surrounded by aggressive bullies and assholes (not everyone, but enough of them), and in the closet and terrified, and having to over hear numerous homophobic/transphobic conversations. And considering I knew threw the grapevine that a lot of people suspected, some of those might have been deliberate. I was under immense stress, depressed, and suicidal. I don't know if there's any causative connection there, or just a correlation. I was pagan, but was pretty skeptical of religion in general to begin with, so it's not like I had a belief in a supreme being that was supposed to protect me from all of this.

But I did go, I think, from a more magical view of a living universe, similar to the animism @Fadeaway mentioned, to a bleaker (but no less beautiful to me) view of an empty, arbitrary, and indifferent universe. Any ability I had to embrace that went away. I still like paganism and pagan culture, and have a lot of good friends in that community.

I don't know how relateable that is for you. I was never harmed by religion, I was never in a cult that manipulated or pushed me into unhealthy beliefs or actions.
 

Tornadic Thoughts

MyPTSD Pro
Religion, specifically Christianity, is quite the sore spot in my world, based on my direct experiences of having many of my abusers be devout believers and highly respected and admired individuals within all areas of the church and community.

I was viewed by most of them as simply being a troubled sinful child who was defiant and just needed to learn to more closely follow the word of this god they spoke of so I could be the good little god fearing young lady they knew I could be.

The same god I was taught to believe would help me and save me in the times I most needed him, if I just asked. Give it all to god and he'll provide, they'd often say.

Yet the very ones telling me that on one hand were harming me with the other, and this god they spoke of never came along to save me from that...well into my adulthood, even.

Of course to a child's mind, that must mean he doesn't love me and I'm not doing something right.

Yet another area in an already troubled life that I couldn't live up to. Great.

What a mind f*ck that was with some very long lasting side effects.

I don't really identify as an atheist or any of the other assigned religious labels, although there may be one or a few that fit.

I simply try to live by the laws of nature while loving self and others to the best of my ability.

I tend to lean towards following my heart and listening to my gut. The best two guides I was taught to ignore for way too long.
 

ShikibuZ

Policy Enforcement
How do you leave now without gods to protect, guide and help you?

I wonder about this, having recently lost someone due to violent circumstances.

For me, I grew up under the thumb of Catholicism, and the whole "Honor thy father and mother" bit definitely enabled my BPD mother's abusive behavior (I could also write volumes). If I had to pick a category, I would definitely say, Atheist, although I also seem to have an animistic streak @Fadeaway that was primarily animal based (all my furred and feathered messengers) but is now expanding to plants. Rosemary in particular, for friendship and remembrance.

I tend to lean towards following my heart and listening to my gut. The best two guides I was taught to ignore for way too long.

Also, this.
 
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