|My deconversion is somewhat hazy. I'm not sure how it all began, but I'll relate what I know.
I had always been a momma's boy, and my Methodist, church-going grandma took care of me for long periods of time as a babysitter. She was the kind of grandma that always praises you, does everything for you, and feeds you Little Debbies. By the time third grade rolled around, I was a plump braggart who was usually meek (are there many of those?). My mom and grandma educated me in regard to Christianity (the Methodist variety), and my dad "resolved" my video game addiction by making me read the Bible for one hour for every extra hour of game time I wanted. Now, I was a Christian, but reading the Bible for an hour each day was absolute boring torture. [Tangent time. I got a Game Boy and played it in my room when I was supposed to be reading -- so I got about three hours of game playing on those days, when I hadn't honestly earned even the second. Bad, bad me.]
Anway, because of my weight and gullibility (I attribute that to my grandma and relative lack of social interaction.), I had many social troubles in elementary school. I never had more than one very good friend at a time, I think, and the proto-athletes/idiots would make fun of my heft. I was yearning for a girlfriend, since many of the guys were paired up with the nice girls and since I wanted good company; also, I had my first sex ed. in fifth grade, so there was another kind of yearning. Then, sometime around then (maybe? I forgot.) my second-to-last remaining great-grandmother died.
At night I would cry my eyes out, begging and praying to God because I didn't think I was living the right life, because I was unsuccessful, because I had small doubts, and because I thought that that would all cause Him to send me to hell. The death of my great-grandmother just intensified this, as I thought she'd be in heaven, looking down upon me in disapproval. Despite having no good reason for such self-loathing, which I realize only in retrospect, I was making my life a living piece of shit.
The next thing I know, I'm in high school. Got a job working for the school district's tech. department. Stopping by the school to pick up a worker (even though they did it for an asshole anyway, but he had senior release), inconvenienced the tech. guys enough (as well as the fact that sometimes, due to work load, I couldn't do my job some days) that I walked up to the building many days -- and just did homework -- and this turned into a trend as the year progressed.
They had a computer in their department that no one was usually on. I'd use it for the internet, since I didn't have a new enough computer at home at the time. I'm not sure what provoked me to search for atheism stuff. Maybe I already was an atheist, or maybe I was simply having doubts. However, I found reason in the writings, as well as the anger toward religion that often comes with being a recent outcast (though I was still in the closet). The reason part has led me to read much more about atheism, but the search for reason has led to even better places, such as SOLO HQ. The anger bit, well... I'd rather it hadn't been there, as it makes it look like I was just in a teenage "phase" (which my dad thought it was) instead of being reasonably persuaded into a new mentality.
Now I'm a freshman in college, worrying about my future (major, etc.), about finding a girl (and one who wouldn't object to my atheism), and about the state of the United States under Bushwhacker and his Religious Right cohorts.
That's my story. Sorry for the length.
(Edited by Mark Chesterman
on 10/31, 2:00pm)