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#78078 - 12/06/05 04:03 PM disconnected from God
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I have had a few startling episodes here onsite that I will call spiritual for lack of a better word. One is that in recent months I have come to know several guys here a lot better and we have shared a lot about outselves with each other. Almost all of these guys, who really are brothers now to me, turn out to have a strong spiritual and religious dimension to their lives. The other is that the other day I received an email from one of my friends here stating that he sees a rich spiritual dimension to my posts.

What is startling about both of these things is that I don't regard myself as a spiritual person at all. I have this deep feeling that I am, as the title here says it, "disconnected" from God.

It's not that I have problems with religion - I don't. I rather think of myself as a sincerely religious person, and I am interested in how religion deals with the problems of the world. And every time the topic of religion comes up with one of my friends here, one part of me thinks, "That's really cool he has that conviction and feels that way." But what I really mean, but don't want to say, is this: "I wish I had that."

But I don't. I feel like I am in this strange position of "feeling" all kinds of spiritual emotions, but unable to relate any further. I sometimes feel a need to pray, but don't do it because I have nothing to say and don't think I will be heard. I feel small and ashamed if I am in a church, like "What? YOU? Here?"

It has just occurred to me recently, again from emails back and forth with a good friend here, that this may have something to do with what happened when I was a boy. My abuser was a leader in my Scout troop, but he was also an elder in our church. I saw him at church services and events, and I remember him serving communion and sitting on the committee that talked to kids before their confirmation - I could never figure out how this could happen. Was I the only one who saw the monster in the room? Or was he right and everything we were doing was okay? I didn't want to think about it because he said if I told then he would get the Session to vote and send me to hell when I died. I would get so scared and tremble from trying to get myself to think about something else.

But I don't get any feedback from Little Larry about this, even though these days LL usually does NOT hesitate to let me know how he feels.

So it's big old me I guess, sitting here typing, and in fact wondering what does it matter. Actually, that's not true. I do feel it matters, but that's as far as it goes.

Like I said, disconnected.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#78079 - 12/06/05 07:24 PM Re: disconnected from God
AuthenticMe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 287
Larry,

It makes alot of sense that you would feel disconnected from God, given the position of your abuser. It's amazing the connections our minds make an DON'T make when it comes to the abuse.

I, too, see alot of spirituality in your posts, in that you express a belief in something greater than that which can be measured by the senses. There is a TRUTH to your words that transcends the human condition.

You don't have to believe in God to be spiritual. Atheists are some of the most spiritual people in the world: many believe and live by the idea that all things are connected, and honor that connection.

The beauty is that, despite what we think, we ARE connected. Connected to each other, to the planet, to nature, to all living beings.

Spirituality isn't about convictions, it's about knowing that we don't know.

_________________________
I am a Man.

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#78080 - 12/07/05 02:31 AM Re: disconnected from God
Born to Resist Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
Larry,

To me spirituality is being connected to your own spirit. To nurture your spirit and draw strength from it. In nurturing my spirit, I have connected with that ... with those ... that my spirit has guided me to. While it can manifest itself in practicing a particular religion it by no means must follow a particular religion ... so one does not necessarily need to believe in a particular greater being(s)

In a sense we have let ourselves be guided to this board ... we reach out and connect ... give/draw strength ... give/draw nurturance ... I know my spirit is better for having been here ... and yes Larry, your spirit as others on this board has given me many gifts

Courage-Wisdom-Spirituality


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#78081 - 12/07/05 02:44 AM Re: disconnected from God
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Larry,

I agree with AM, it's no wonder you feel dissconnected from God. It's those "old tapes" you've talked about so often. The ones your abuser recorded into your mind. Because of his position he represented "religion" to Little Larry.

Not only that but he also trained you to believe that your Father had no use for you, in fact did not love you. Guess what? An important element of where children get their concept of what God is all about is their relationship with their parents, especially the father.

So in essence your perp not only stole your innocense, he also greatly damaged your ability to relate to a God who loves his children no matter what.

You are not alone in that either. Your post here could have been written by me, and not all that long ago. I grew up with the idea that I was a "bad boy". Got it from my parents. I couldn't do anything, it seemed to me, but that I got in trouble for it. This resulted in a strained relationship with the parents. There went my concept of how God relates to me right out the window.

I struggled with that for a long time, and I MEAN struggled. It finally dawned on me that God loved me. Period. End of discussion. It did not depend on my "being a good boy". He loved me.

Things got a lot easier after that.

I do not want to sound condecending here. It is sooo not my intention. I've got enough problem of my own hanging around here somewhere to write a book about, lest anyone think I've got it all figured out.

Lots of Love,

John

PS - One last thing. Go easy on yourself, my friend. Be honest with you about stuff. Everything else will fall into place when it is supposed to.

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#78082 - 12/08/05 03:41 AM Re: disconnected from God
Derdlecar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1314
Loc: Ogden Utah, USA
Larry,

You say that you feel disconnected form god. Pardon me for saying so, but that is very good news. Let me explain.

The elder of the church, the one who represented god and served communion was the perp who did so much damage to you that you will never fully recover in this lifetime.

You have already figured out that he was lying when he said that your dad didn’t love you. Now consider this. The perp’s whole life was a lie! The god he represented is a lie and does not exist.

I believe it is the third of the Ten Commandments that says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” In my opinion, this means much more than just not saying things like “god damn it.” The perp claimed to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. His life was a lie; he misrepresented Christ, therefore he took the name of the Lord in vain.

Little Larry believed this lie about god just like he believed the lie about his father. How can Big Larry feel connected to such a god who is no god at all, but a lie?

Larry, let me tell you about the God I know. Jesus said that it would be better for a millstone to be tied around someone’s neck and for them to be thrown in the sea than for them to hurt a child. Jesus also said, “Let the little children come to me because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.”

The God I know is bigger than the lie. His heart is full of compassion and love. He sent his Son, Jesus, to this hell hole of a world to live and be abused so that He could rescue Little Larry and all the rest of us. And if you think about it, This God is nothing like the god you learned about from the perp. He is real, He loves you Larry, and longs to hold you in His arms.

Love you

Darrel

_________________________
If a man would get his life on track, he must first go back to the place where it was derailed.

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#78083 - 12/08/05 04:58 AM Re: disconnected from God
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi Larry,

I read this post last night and have been thinking on it off and on today. I can't pretend to tell you why you feel disconnected from God, only you can really answer that. To me, our connection with God, higher power, spirituality, whatever you want to call it, is something so internal to who we are that it really defies easy understanding.

Several things you wrote struck me and I'd like to comment on each one an relate from my own personal experience:

Quote:
But what I really mean, but don't want to say, is this: "I wish I had that."
There's nothing wrong with saying that. It's actually at the very crux of my own experience, and I'm sure it's the same for many others. When I was a little boy, we went to church (Church of Christ denomination) until I was about 6 and then we just stopped going. Period. I don't know why, but we did. So I really had no religious background growing up, all I remembered from those early years of Sunday School was that God made everything happen. He made it rain, He made trees, etc. So I recall thinking that He must have made me a bad boy so that my father would hit me. Warped, I know, but that's the way a 6-year-old mind works. And given all the later crap that came along, I had every reason to think God was out to get me. Hell, I had reason to doubt His very existence.

Fast forward to age 23. I was divorced from my first wife at age 21, so was out on my own. I lived in a small duplex across the street from the large Baptist church in town. One Sunday morning I decided to go over there. So I did. Even filled out a visitor's card. And then something odd happened. On Tuesday night, two young men from the church's Singles department came to my house. They were part of the regular visitation crew that went out every Tuesday night. But what really struck me was that they were interested in ME. I felt comfortable talking to them. And to use your phrase, I saw something in them and thought to myself "I wish I had that." So I started going to church more and more and eventually joined after realizing that this was what was missing in my own life. I needed that relationship, to feel like I had been saved. And I really did (and still do) feel saved.

Quote:
I sometimes feel a need to pray, but don't do it because I have nothing to say and don't think I will be heard.
Prayer is a very intimate thing, in my opinion. I pray in different ways. Most times it's the last thing I do each day as I'm lying in bed about to go to sleep. It's usually a conversation with God in my head, but many times it's not. Sometimes I pray by just being still and feeling "connected" to God. I don't think about anything word-wise, but just try to feel God's presence in a good way. About the only way I can describe it is when I'm say lying in bed with my wife and we're holding each other, and neither one of us has to say a word. We both know what the other is thinking, and that's enough. It's the deepest form of intimacy, where you feel totally loved, safe, and secure.

Quote:
I feel small and ashamed if I am in a church, like "What? YOU? Here?"
I've struggled with that as well, and still do to a certain extent. Our church is the largest Baptist one in town, so the well-to-do folks go here. Yeah, there's snobbery, but I can look past that. I don't go to church for a country club, I go for a sense of fellowship with like-minded people. And there are many good people there; but there are bad ones as well. None of us on this earth are perfect, and Jesus himself said he didn't come to save the righteous.

Larry, I hope you can get a sense of connectedness with this, because I know in my own case it is what has kept me sane. At the time when I was 23, I was drifting, aimless, heavy into drink. It changed my life significantly, and continues to do so today. You don't have to go to church, temple, mosque, or any other type of alter to get religion. I believe every person has it already in them. They just have to tap into it and let it be. For me, Christianity did that. For others, maybe it's being Jewish or Moslem. It's Faith that makes the difference, believing in that something bigger than yourself.

_________________________
Eddie

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#78084 - 12/09/05 06:01 AM Re: disconnected from God
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I want to thank everyone who posted here. You have all helped me a lot, as I knew you would. What I did not expect was that the whole thing sent me into a serious whirlwind - but not in any kind of negative way. I just felt very confused, and unlike before, now Little Larry had a LOT to say and get off his/our mind.

I think this too is part of me bursting through the barrier of disclosing to my parents and wondering what next.

I suddenly have this idea that God may have some use for me after all. He is a God who has nothing to do with anything my abuser represented, that's for sure. Why did I not see this? Right now I don't care. It's such a great feeling.

I have this idea that sometime on down the road I will be happy and free in ways I never thought possible.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#78085 - 12/09/05 06:15 AM Re: disconnected from God
Derdlecar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1314
Loc: Ogden Utah, USA
Larry,

I am so excited for you, this is so cool. Thanks for letting us be part of it.

Love you Bro

Darrel

_________________________
If a man would get his life on track, he must first go back to the place where it was derailed.

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#78086 - 12/09/05 09:23 AM Re: disconnected from God
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
\:\) \:\) \:\) \:\)

[needed more smileys]

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#78087 - 12/13/05 05:49 PM Re: disconnected from God
The Seeker Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 141
Loc: Ohio, USA
Larry,

You have introduced some interesting points. I wanted to add my perspective. In youth, I went to church...the only one in my family. I prayed that God would make all the bad things stop, which they did after I had given up on God. I was not happy with God and doubted a God existed. The Church teaches that God is all powerful and God will protect you. Yet, bad things happen all over the world everyday. So, it is hard to reconcile those two ideas. Human suffering is a reality of life. Nobody escapes it. Bad things happen. That was hard to accept.

BUT, I survived, and I am still here. I like to think God did that part, and for some reason that I may understand before I die. I don't know how God works, looks, or thinks. My brain, or concept of reality, is simply too small to comprehend this I believe. Yet, I still feel something greater than me is out there watching, and helping. Maybe not in ways I understand, but helping all the same. I don't try to understand it as I don't think I will, and I put the faith I have in that idea. I developed that concept after watching my daughter be born. It just seemed too perfect to be random chance and science, especially understanding how complex the human body really is and how little scientist know about it. The entire ecosystem of the Earth is the same thing. How does this planet sustain life, yet others do not? At least the ones we can study and see.

I don't want to suffer, but I think I am a better person afterward. That is hard to accept too. Maybe this is simplistic, but it seems to work.

So, I try to be a good person and ease the pain and suffering of others, and in doing so - I ease my own pain. Some churchs are good for this line of thinking, although I don't attend any. I also don't pray, since I figure God knows my thoughts and my heart without my intention to reveal them.

Maybe this will help, and maybe not. But, I hope that it does.

_________________________
The answers are in me.

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