|Awakening-12 (Photo credit: justinrummel)|
I began realizing that I didn't believe in religion when I was a teen, but couldn't leave it as I was forced to go to church, w/o fail, every week. When I got old enough to drive, I still went to church and youth groups out of habit as well as being uncertain of my true beliefs. The older I got, the less I believed in religion of any kind.
The crowning blow was when I tried to have my letter transferred (I was raised baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal church) to a church nearer where I then lived and was denied because I'd married a man who had previously been married. I was told that I would have to get special dispensation from the Bishop to be able to be a member of any church. That really did it for me as attending went. I was furious that anyone would dare to tell me who I could and could NOT marry. What difference did it make if my husband had been married before or not? If his previous marriage didn't work out, so what?
As I grew older still, I lost more and more of my belief of this mythical person who was supposed to help me through life. By the time I was 30, I was an agnostic, but it took moving from an area that didn't give a hoot if you went to church or not, to a VERY fundamentalist area that certainly did. When you were introduced to someone new, their first question was "What church do you go to?" That one just stunned me. I didn't care IF they went to church, so why should they care if I did? And further more, which one I went to was even lower on my list of interests.
By the time I was 50 I had become a full blown atheist. I still don't advertise it due to the fact of living in a fundie area (N GA)but I have found plenty of people who have lost their religion so I'm quite comfortable being who I am and not having to pretend anything.
Finding this site has been wonderful! Reading so many others who've been badly damaged by religion breaks my heart, but it's great the support that folks on this site give to anyone who needs it. WONDERFUL!