I've struggled with where to begin. Do I introduce myself? Do I tell you where I was born and follow it with a synopsis of my childhood? Do I tell you about my parents and the manner in which I was raised? Do I outline my current state of affairs, marital status, children, career details, etc.? There is so much information and I've become a bit overwhelmed with how to go about my introduction. All of the preceding questions will be answered in due time. I don't think any of them are overly pertinent at the moment, and that leads me to where I think I should begin. Here goes...
This blog is about me. It's for me. It's for my healing. I so desperately need to heal. I'm 37 years old. I've officially been an atheist for 6 years. I spent the better part of 8 years on a journey which eventually lead to my deconversion. I was raised in a pentecostal home. Pentecostals are the sort of folks who believe in speaking in tongues, lurching on the floor, faith healing, literal hell, demon possession, and a host of other nutty things. The 8 year peregrination to my deconversion was lengthy and arduous, filled with ups and downs, sleepless nights, and a lot of time spent wondering if I was going to burn forever for questioning the Almighty.
At 31 years old, the birth of my son would be the catalyst that would seal the deal, officially branding me an atheist. At some point in my blogging future, I'll tell that story. Up to this point in life, things had been rocky for me with my parents and immediate family (excluding my wife who was a non-believer). Once I came out as an official atheist, things rapidly worsened. Over the course of the next several years, an already rocky relationship with my mother and father ceased altogether. Family members refused to speak to me. Friends and co-workers suddenly refused to talk to me. I became that guy.
Now, at 37 years old, I'm dealing with the aftermath of deconversion. No one told me what that would be like. Reading the bible, putting the pieces together, and figuring out how ridiculous Christianity's claims are...well that's easy. Coming to terms with the aftermath of it all...that's the difficult part.
After years of a very rocky and strained relationship, the loss of my parents dealt a blow that has finally taken it's toll. They refuse to acknowledge an atheist son. This has eaten away at me...slowly...day by day. The sense of loss accompanied by a deep sense of sadness was overwhelming. Initially I was able to compartmentalize all of it. But as time went by it became more difficult to contain the onslaught of emotions. At some point the sadness and emotional pain turned to anger and hate and rage to the point that I became consumed by these emotions. For some number of years now I have lived a life fueled by anger and hate. There is a problem though. My anger and hate are of such magnitude that I fear it will soon, if not already, begin to spill over to my son, my wife, and the very few close friends and family members I have left. I have seen the writing on the wall. I'm not willing to continue this perpetuating self-destruct, and my family doesn't deserve to have to deal with the fallout.
So this blog is for me. It's a part of my healing process. It's my way of reaching out to others, those that have gone before me and those who understand what I am going through. I have also decided (arbitrarily) that I can not be the only person facing this sort of crisis. I am convinced there are others who find themselves in a similar situation, and perhaps this blog will offer them hope, a place to talk, and reassurance that they are not alone.
The Atheist Nurse
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