I have never written about this publicly before, but 20 years of hindsight makes it easier.
I am 40 years old and left the church when I left my parents home at 17. Looking back I feel angry that I was never asked if that is what I actually believed. I felt so much pressure to just believe and do what was expected of me that in the end I ended up resenting and absolutely despising everything related to the church.
My parents are nice, they are loving until you speak about religion, At this point they become passive aggressive bullies. They don't see it at all, and the sad thing is that they probably never will as their beliefs seem to justify their self righteousness They have all the answers and everyone else is just drowning. God is on their side only.
In my twenties I went through a period where I thought I could build a life that I could be happy to live or I could bow my head and be a good dutch Christian lady to save ties with my family. I chose me, looking back I don't know how i had that strength but I am so glad I did. This time of my life was filled with loneliness, bitter anger, disappointment and confusion. I still have relationships with my family but they are not as good as they could be.
If people want this religion...well fine but I disagree with it all. What I most strongly disagree with is this aggressive undertone in the CRC church to convert everyone and if that doesn't work then just bully them. I also hate this "let's save ourselves because God has saved us first"
Grrrrr, my blood boils just writing this.