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#76869 - 05/10/03 04:22 PM God.. *trigger*
Sick Puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
I try to stay out of the religion section of the board because all this God stuff kind of upsets me, for reasons I'm never really able to explain... but I've read some posts here lately and I wanted to try and say something. I'm not looking for God or anything like that. I'm just I guess trying to work out why I feel this way towards religion.

As a child I did not go to church or anything but and parents never really talked about God at all, except in passing, but I don't think they were athiests... they just weren't very religious. When they did talk about God it seemed to be under the assumption that he did exist but that he didn't occupy much of their mind. I grew up with a similar attitude... I just sort of assumed he existed but I didn't much bother myself with religion. I didn't know much about Christianity or any other religion and I didn't really realize there was some specific path that God-believing people were expected to follow. I didn't have a clear enough understanding of it to blame him for allowing my abuse-- and I still remembered my mother telling me "God loves all the little boys and girls but you" so I guess I just figured that's why bad things happened to me.

I'm not sure I could say that I ever really had "faith" but I think whatever I had, I lost when I went to prison. They were pretty big on religion there. There's those guys that go to prison with bibles and try to reform people and a lot of people get reformed because, really, prison is another world, and sometimes faith makes more sense in there, but once you get back into the outside you wonder what the hell you were thinking. I was vulnerable and easily impressioned. I believed them when they said that taking Jesus into my life would change things and make me feel better and bless me and that my life would start to look up. I thought that maybe the reason my life had been so bad was because unconsciously I had been rejecting him. I remember being sort of eager and excited and I honestly and sincerely believed for a while... but bad things kept happening. I thought "maybe it takes a while." I waited. And I waited...

I was not so naiive as to expect some angel to lift me out of prison and put me into a nice sunny place but I guess I had thought it would make some difference. Nothing changed. I lay awake at night afraid to sleep on my side in case someone tried to attack me. I still remembered that first time I was raped there in the showers and I wondered where had Jesus been then. Where was he for the rest of my time there? I had brought him into my heart but it's like he'd missed the memo. I thought perhaps he had no power to stop what was happening but he did not change anything within myself to make me withstand it better. I did not suddenly have a revelation that let me rise above it.

I remember later going to a Christian message board. I was looking for answers. I told them my story of prison as best as I could and hoped that someone would answer my question.

I got a reply saying, "You think YOU'VE had pain in your life? Check this out!" and a link to an article about the specific physical details of Jesus' crucifixion. I deleted the thread and sunk back into myself. It seemed like no one understood.

I don't really feel any pulling need to be a part of a religion but it seems wherever I go I am bombarded with it and no one understands why my reaction is so intense. I guess I associate it with my abuse in prison. People ask me to pray for friends or to trust in God or any number of religously related things and then they get mad when I say I can't do that. I feel so helpless when someone is in trouble. Everyone else is praying for him but I made my last prayer the night I gave up God in prison. It hit me how stupid I was being. I was begging and pleading for some man in the sky to come down and fix my problems and after that I didn't pray anymore. I'll never pray again. I don't think it's fair for people to get offended when I say "I don't pray." They say "do it just this once." I feel helpless and misunderstood.

I guess I should shut up now since I don't really know what I am talking about anymore. It just hits me like a ton of bricks when people keep talking about God. I am glad for people who have faith because I think that it is a good thing to have but I feel like maybe what my mom said was right. All these people seem to love and trust in God and in return get some kind of peace of mind or benefit. Nothing ever changed for me. I didn't expect the abuse to go away or the invisible hand of God to come down and change my life but I thought I would gain some sort of new mental state that would help me deal with it. It never happened. I think my mom must have been right that if God does exist he forsake me a long long time ago. I feel like a lost kid.

_________________________
And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see


Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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#76870 - 05/10/03 05:03 PM Re: God.. *trigger*
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Josh,

I'm really sorry that this path has opened before you. I can't tell you to pray, or to believe, etc. I know that I have walked away from several wrecked cars, and still walk today. I know that I lived through looking down the business end of a pistol in my face. I lived through what I realize in hindsight must have been overdoses. Deep inside I believe that there's some reason I lived through those things.

It's someone's reason. I'll learn more about it as I go along. When I pray, I often ask for things, like, "Please, make this all go away." It (effect of SA) hasn't gone away, but I do believe that there's a reason for that. I just don't know the reason yet.

I'm babbling. As I said, I can't (and wouldn't) tell you to believe or to pray. Your relationship with God is between the two of you. I just thought I'd share a little bit about my belief. Not really sure why I'm doing that, but what the hey, bandwidth is cheap these days. \:\) Another thing I believe is that I have seen God work through the folks on this board, including you, to help me getting through a tough time. But that's me calling 'em like I see 'em. YMMV.

Take what you like, and leave the rest. I can always make more. \:D

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#76871 - 05/10/03 07:38 PM Re: God.. *trigger*
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
I know that I have walked away from several wrecked cars, and still walk today.
Joe, so have I. Just walked away from another one the other day, a bit worse for wear but still surviving. Fifth total I've been in. Not to mention the drugs & violence I've walked away from

After 3 totals in less than 2 years about 25 years
ago I started moving from the agnostic I'd become after an atheistic upbringing, to a believer.

Quote:
When I pray, I often ask for things, like, "Please, make this all go away."
In a convention last January we had to answer a question about if we could go back & change one thing what would it be. I answered nothing if it meant not being where I'm at now, painful as it is sometimes, with my wife & daughters and the life I have such as it is. If I could have it w/o the abuse, yeah in a heartbeat...

Quote:
As I said, I can't (and wouldn't) tell you to believe or to pray.
You're right bro. None of us can do that nor would I want to. In my view God gave each of us the right & free will & choice to believe as we want or not. As for trying to tell people to pray
to talk & listen to God, who am I to do that? I have enuf trouble with that myself sometimes.

I didn't grow up going to church, never went till 13 when mother put me in a religious children's home, never by choice till I became Christian at age 22. I never had much use for people trying to tell me or anybody else how they should believe. I still don't.

Quote:
Another thing I believe is that I have seen God work through the folks on this board, including you, to help me getting through a tough time.
Joe I believe you're right. God knows pain & He speaks thru people in pain. Not much preaching here, but God in my belief does speak & work here.

He's spoken to me thru people who might not expect

At least that's the way I see, uh hear it...

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#76872 - 05/10/03 07:53 PM Re: God.. *trigger*
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
SP - You make good sense as you explain your walk in and out of faith and belief in God. First let me say everyone who claims to know God doesn't. Some know Him through their own limited and convoluted experiences which do not parallel our own. Although others can 'introduce' you to God and what He does REALIZE we each seek and find Him in our life somewhat differently. Secondly, many believers view God as this "Man sitting in the sky" with unending wish lists as if "magic exudes from Him to those who ask". I know that you weren't one of these but to say, when Jesus said,"Come follow me!", the literal translation is "come follow alongside me". It is a journey, arm-in-arm. He takes you through what lies ahead but usually doesn't detour away the hardships.(That is also to say, He has the power..yet we have choices...others have choices; his creation are not puppets). He gives us the strength, He shows us The Way the journey can be made and supplies the strength to journey and not give up.

My experience is God doesn't give up on anyone. Now it may FEEL He has given up...but I learned early on not to trust my feelings alone! (They got me into so much trouble). It may feel He abandons us BUT I have learned to sometimes just trust even though I don't see or feel it. [This was very hard for me to learn and apply!] This is faith - literally trusting in, relying on, having faith in, believing in - when you can't see it. Like Indianna Jones (the movie) taking that step across the chasm toward the Holy Grail.

Thirdly, it doesn't happen in our time but God's. Sometimes we become discouraged too soon. Like waiting for a train..giving up..leaving and the train arrives 2 minutes after we left.

It sounds like I'm trying to convince you but really just sharing some of life's experiences I learned. Your stay in prison was horrible beyond belief and one I fear I would just give up on. But I just wanted to share my experience if it helps!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#76873 - 05/12/03 07:39 AM Re: God.. *trigger*
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ
Pup...

First I want to say that follow through is everything. I too was taken to the doorstep of Christianity and left there to bumble around for myself. I experienced a lot of what you have as far as the "If there is a God, where is he now" thing. It wasn't until I found a church where I made some true friends that it made the difference. I know how that probably sounds to you, as a few years ago, I would have had trouble understanding it too. Let me try to explain further. Christainity is really about relationships...your relationship with your self, with Christ, and with others. By seeking out and maintaining friendships with other Christians, we have been able to (on a really small scale) experience Christ's love for us amongst each other. I know it sounds like some hokey cult, but I really mean true friends, friends to laugh with, friends to cry with, friends that will give you godly advice, friends who will be with you all night long through a crisis.

Quote:
I believed them when they said that taking Jesus into my life would change things and make me feel better and bless me and that my life would start to look up. I thought that maybe the reason my life had been so bad was because unconsciously I had been rejecting him. I remember being sort of eager and excited and I honestly and sincerely believed for a while... but bad things kept happening. I thought "maybe it takes a while." I waited. And I waited...
Keep waiting, but just don't sit there doing nothing. Its biblically very clear that we need to seek him. God's not going to be all like, "Oh, your waiting for Christ to change your life, here you go" and then whack you with some lightning bolt or something. He's going to say, "Oh, you want your life to change, what are you doing? Okay, that it in line with my plan so here's my blessing." See the difference? Although God can and does do the lightning bolt thing from time to time its not his usual MO. You have to work at it. Just think, if you didn't heaven would be full of lazy people just expecting God to do everything for them.

Quote:
don't really feel any pulling need to be a part of a religion but it seems wherever I go I am bombarded with it and no one understands why my reaction is so intense. I guess I associate it with my abuse in prison. People ask me to pray for friends or to trust in God or any number of religously related things and then they get mad when I say I can't do that. I feel so helpless when someone is in trouble. Everyone else is praying for him but I made my last prayer the night I gave up God in prison. It hit me how stupid I was being. I was begging and pleading for some man in the sky to come down and fix my problems and after that I didn't pray anymore. I'll never pray again. I don't think it's fair for people to get offended when I say "I don't pray." They say "do it just this once." I feel helpless and misunderstood.
If you would consider one prayer, please consider this...TELL GOD HOW ANGRY YOU ARE WITH HIM! Tell him you are disappointed, ask him where he was while you were being hurt, ask him why he didn't help you, just open up and let him have it.

Sandy


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#76874 - 05/12/03 10:48 AM Re: God.. *trigger*
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
First I want to say that follow through is everything. I too was taken to the doorstep of Christianity and left there to bumble around for myself. I experienced a lot of what you have as far as the "If there is a God, where is he now" thing.
When I was put in the Christian children's home out of an unchurched anti-Christ upbringing, I was immediately required to go to church at least 3-4 times a week. The pressure was intense to become/be a "good Christian" which seemed to mean getting baptized & behaving.

Finally in my senior year of high school, my last year at the home, I did it. I had gotten into a lot of trouble & pretty much lost all my friends, I was fearful of the future, and my brother had just died.

So I got baptized & I really tried to be a good boy. At first sincerely, but I got discouraged & that didn't last long. So I managed to play the game until I graduated & got out on my own...

God still didn't seem to be there. I had been left
at the doorstep but orphaned again. Left to bumble
around on my own. And boy did I bumble... \:o

Quote:
If you would consider one prayer, please consider this...TELL GOD HOW ANGRY YOU ARE WITH HIM! Tell him you are disappointed, ask him where he was while you were being hurt, ask him why he didn't help you, just open up and let him have it.
Good idea Sandy. Becuz for me this was a huge part
of the problem. I was starting to believe in God, but this left me with the dilemma of why my life had been so messed up and where had God been thru all the abuse (I didn't remember the SA then, but I did remember the physical, verbal & emotional abuses, and the neglect & abandonment).

The doorstep of Christianity I was brot to at the home was not about relationship but status. We wouldn't have dreamed of daring to be angry with God, lest He were to get angry back at us!

Still, the seeds had been planted, and I did become a Christian 4-5 years later. But even then the concept of anger with God eluded me. I was supposed to consider all that stuff as in the past
& didn't matter anymore. But it did. And the more I remembered the more it mattered. I began to get angry with God, but then feel really guilty about it, and scared like He was gonna hit me with a lightning bolt or something.

When I started recalling the CSA about 2 years ago
I became really angry with God. But I began to understand & practice anger with God as a good & healthy thing, a part of our relationship as it is a part of any healthy intimate relationship. I found that God not only did not strike me dead or make my life miserable when I vented on Him, but that this was pleasing to Him, that I was being real with Him--like He didn't know already!
:rolleyes:

And like God isn't big enuf to handle it, as tho my ranting & raving at Him were somehow going to change Him, make Him less God!

Actually the more real I get with God the more real He seems to me!

Not that I don't still struggle with this, and with the concept of God my Father as being mostly
absent but when there abusive, like my earthly biological father.

That's why as soon as I finish my forgiveness exercise with my bio father (see thread "I Forgive My Father for Everything?...in Male Survivors), I'm going to repeat it with my heavenly Father.

Even if He doesn't need forgiveness.

I think He can handle it.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#76875 - 06/11/03 09:47 AM Re: God.. *trigger*
Freedom Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 164
Loc: US
Josh,

I credit my survival until now to the faith that developed as a child. If it is to be credited to any human being, it is my grandmother. But I think mostly I find in in silence and solitude. FOr me slience is the best form of prayer.

As for religion, I still go to the same type of Church that I did as a child. It has been one of the sources that help be build strength. But I no longer look for one specific entity here on earth to give me the answers. I just look for the right pieces in the events, places, and people around me.

I read somewhere that in reality it is God who will find you. So I am learning how to be found easily.

Thank you for your post. I always appreciate your thoughts.

Peace,
Freedom.

_________________________
Life is moving on. AM I?

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#76876 - 06/11/03 10:55 AM Re: God.. *trigger*
James_dup1 Offline


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
Hey Pup,
Great thread! GOD! What does the word really mean? When I hear it I picture a man all powerful, all knowing. OK so why is that what I see? Thats what I was tought to picture. I think it's odd how many churches tell a person how it is. Seems to me that a real church would show someone how to find the answer's for themselves. I have never had one church, not one, show me how to "use" my bible. They just say "The answer's your looking for are in the bible." Well great there in the bible, that does me a lot of good if I have no idea how or where to look. I mean come on how hard can it be to find one answer's in the book, it's only 66 different books, and thousands upon thousands of pages long, and I have no idea how many verses there are. So how hard can it be? They say if you are having a problem "Take it to God, leave it with him and let him deal with it." OK so just what does that mean? If Im having trouble with my CSA I sould take them troubles to him and give it to him and poof Im healed? Really now, is that a realistic for the way that God built the human mind to work? Seems that every church I have ever gone to or watched on tv or had someone knock on my door about tells me they are the way to the truth. TRUTH? At this point I would like some consistency (spelling?). I mean how is that; using the same bible (the king james version) that 15 different churches can have such different beliefs they teach? OK so Im told God left the bible open to interpation to each one of us. The it is our job to read it and determan just what the words mean to us. But when you do that and start to question what is being tought to you, suddenly you need to pray for guidence. lol guidence? How do they know I didnt do that BEFORE I start looking? Why is it if I have questions about what the man on the stage is saying to me, it's my fault because I dont have enough faith. OK then what is "faith". Im told it's believeing in something you cant see. OK so I cant see an atom, science tells me they are there. So I buy it, is that faith? I dont think faith is quite that easy. Now, they say if you have "faith" then you must understand "faith without works is dead." Meaning; if you have faith in God and all he has done for you in your life you will do his work. They use a story in my church to explain it like this. You go to a freinds house for breakfast, on the table is a pitcher of o.j.. He doesnt offer you any, but you want some still the same. Finily, you say to him "May I have a glass of o.j.?" In which he reply's "Oh Im sorry, yes you may. I didn't offer you any because I was scared you didn't want any." My church tells us that "we" as member's are the friend in which is serving the breakfast, and the o.j. is the gospil of the church. So they teach us 1. you have to have faith (with no real explanation of what that is) 2. Once you have it share it. OK I'll stop now, seeing as Im rambling this time. funny how a thread like this will make someone ramble on.
One more time; GREAT THREAD MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
James

_________________________
I have more issues than Rolling Stone!


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#76877 - 06/11/03 12:08 PM Re: God.. *trigger*
Freedom Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 164
Loc: US
James,

Ramble on. You have some good questions. I try to separate God from religion. I have seen too many of the latter that do not offer real answers. I think I am immune to the words now but I still believe in positive actions.

I am still working on the Bible part. When things get spooky I use Psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepard, I shall not fear... .) It seems to help. I need to learn to do it consistently though.

Psalm 23, Our Father, the Beatitudes, and few other pieces is what I focus on these days. They are explained in a small book called "God's Psychiatry" (I do not remember who wrote it.) in such a way that is helpful and full of insight.

Peace,
Freedom.

_________________________
Life is moving on. AM I?

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#76878 - 06/11/03 01:21 PM Re: God.. *trigger*
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
OK so I cant see an atom, science tells me they are there. So I buy it, is that faith?
James,

Yes, that is faith. Science itself rests firmly on the faith that there are "laws" or "principles" which "govern" the physical universe and that these can be discovered and understood by humans. Without believing both of these, for no reason other than it is convenient, perhaps intuitive, there is no way to do science.

I don't see science opposed to religion at all. I take both on faith. I have faith in science; I believe the universe is orderly and we can discover the order. I have faith in religion; I believe that the universe has a purpose and my life and actions are part of that purpose. I practice religion the way I learned as a kid, but I don't believe that way of exploring my part in the purpose is the only way, because I don't think God is limited to what I personally know. Rumor has it that the world existed before 1960. \:\)

There's my "Philosophy of Everything." \:D If it seems to over simplify, that's cause I'm a simple guy. Some might say simpleton!

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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