I hope you will
have time to read my complete message.
My conversion into Christianity was not based on a rational decision, I am diagnosed with schizo affective disorder which is a mental illness combining schizophrenia type symptoms with bipolar mood disorder. The time of my conversion I was not diagnosed and unaware I had a mental illness I was psychotic and suffering delusions.
These delusions consisted of a
belief that I was communicating with
god. I did not embrace Christianity but had my own interpretation of
gods nature. My best friend at the time was a Christian and she
persuaded me to go to church where they persuaded me to read the bible.
I was clinically insane and it is in my opinion a state where people
should be protected from evangelists and religious indoctrination.
However my episode continued for almost a year before I was diagnosed.
The prolonged state of insanity has resulted in damage to my lifelong
The only people I confided in about my delusions (which I believed to be true) where my best friend and her pastor. I told my best friend about the divine messages I was receiving and she encouraged these delusions. Once I told her that god had commanded me to leave my family and become a nun she encouraged this delusion suggesting places I should go. When I questioned why god would ask me to do this she told me it had to do with faith. When I spoke to her pastor I told him my strange 'prophetic dreams and revelations. These had a strong implication that I thought I was Jesus Christ. I also told him that god had told me I have cancer and would die in three years. The reason I point this out is so you can see the obvious nature of my illness and understand why I am angry that the Christians I confided in did not act accordingly.
I requested to be baptised though stipulated that god wanted me to be baptised naked. This pastor did not refer me to medical attention but instead, knowing I was mentally ill, which I am certain he did, he accommodated my request for naked baptism.
These Christians are culpable for my dismal prognosis as they not only failed to direct me to medical attention they exacerbated my illness and indoctrinated me.
I remained a Christian after I had been treated because I had been indoctrinated while I was sick. I learned in church about god's judgment against the non-believing and their destination of hell. A couple of years went by and then I got psychotic again. (I mention my delusions in detail because I want you to see how my indoctrination interacted with my illness creating a far worse scenario then just experiencing illness)
I was hospitalised but believed I had died and gone to hell, the fear was excruciating and I never would have had such a fearful delusion if religious propaganda had not been pushed upon me.
I waited in 'hell' for three days each moment I was convinced that the eternal torture was imminent and unavoidable. This is by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me and for years I suffered nightmares of being in hell.
One day I was listening to my local Christian radio station and the spokesperson was teaching on a passage from the bible about hitting your children with rods. He instructed listeners to hit their children when they were disobedient but not to use your hand as then the child would associate the pain with the parent he said to use an implement.
At this stage, due to my mental illness, I had lost complete confidence in my ability to make rational decisions and trusted in Christian guidance over my own judgment so I began hitting my children with a wooden spoon.
Since my initial episode I had not been in a relationship and was very lonely and not coping well living alone with a mental illness. All my Christian friends told me I had to be in a relationship with a fellow Christian and remain sexually pure until married, needless to say these requirements limited my chances of having a boyfriend greatly. Like I said I was not coping I was severely depressed for four years so much that I had to hand custody of my children over to their father. I was even driven to suicide attempt. I did eventually meet someone I liked very much but he was an atheist. I decided to be disobedient to the bible and begin dating this man. I went to church one evening and the pastor prayed over me. I had not told him about my relationship but he said to me that god was telling him I am in a wrong relationship and need to change it.
At the time I concluded that this must be a divine message as I had not told him about it. I have since realised he must have heard it from a member of the congregation and then used that opportunity to force me to do what he himself thought was right. Believing this was a divine message I broke up with my boyfriend and shortly after became suicidal. I spoke to the pastor in question about this and he said I should break up with my boyfreind, but to do it slowly.
I realise there is a lot of content here and you are probably not trained to counsel the mentally ill. However I am getting support for my illness but these people can not help with the religious abuse I have been through.
Atheist Exit Counselling Support Australia