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How I managed to escape!

By x-xtian ~

I was brought up an Anglican by normal parents who go to church every Sunday but don't necessarily feel the need to give up everything for God - they just have their hour on Sunday morning and that's that. I should have stayed that way!

escape map clutch purse with ribbon lettering by memakeI was a waitress at a restaurant opposite a pentecostal church. I say pentecostal, because that's what they were. If you ask them though, they will say non-denominational. At the time I was going through quite a hard time emotionally and had been treated very badly by lots of guys.

A cute guy (lets call him *Ben*) and his friend kept coming in and talking to me about coming along to the church, eventually I gave in. They told me it was a sign from God that I came.

The cute guy and I got closer and people kept telling me that a Christian man would never break my heart and would always be loyal. The fact he was preaching no sex before marriage to me and how he was 24 and had never had a girlfriend cos God hadn't told him who to marry yet appealed to me with my bad-boy history.

I ended up "getting saved" and "filled with the spirit". People would fall over when people prayed for them and I just used to pretend, the truth was I wanted so badly to feel what they were feeling.

People would speak in tongues. They told me I was able to do it too. I couldn't. Luckily I was a language student and am good with words so I was able to make up my own "tongues" that was a mixture of all the other peoples ones around me. No one knew. After a while I began to kid myself that I really was speaking in tongues, and I eventually started to believe it.

*Ben* and I started a relationship but it wasn't as I expected. I wasn't allowed to go clubbing with my uni friends without him making me feel really guilty - even if I didn't drink a drop of alcohol. He hated me wearing skirts and heels in case other men stared at me. Very noble, but if guys are gonna look at my arse they don't care if I have a skirt or anything!

*Ben* made me all kinds of promises. He was going to propose when I came back from my semester abroad, he couldn't wait to spend his whole life with me, God had TOLD HIM that he was to marry me. All the things a girl wants to hear.

So when he mercilessly dumped me with only 6 weeks to go of my semester abroad... naturally you can imagine the heartbreak! Not only this but the rest of my "brothers and sisters" from the church had all promised to be there for me during my time away from home, and I emailed several people to ask for advice/prayer/comfort during this hard time. How many people got back to me? None.

*Ben*'s grandfather founded that church. Whilst I was his girlfriend I had all the friends in the world. As soon as he got rid of me people just stopped caring!!!

I stopped going over time but then and only then did people start texting me. "Where were you Sunday?! Why didn't you come to church?!" I'd already decided that I'd made a huge mistake and that God didn't exist or if he did, didn't keep his promises. Because if he did, I'd be married by now.

When I officially left I got a plague of emails from the elders. I explained that I didn't fit in and that there was a problem with cliques in the church, and that no one was there for me during the hard times - only when they realised they were about to lose a member. I got no reply (surprise surprise!)

I remembered that I'd made up tongues and that I'd pretended to fall over like everyone else... and I wonder if they all make it up too? To fit in? To have a sense of belonging? Who knows. All I can say is get out of there asap!