Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?

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AschenP

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Hi everyone,

I'm a total newbie here & this is my first post.  Hi  :wave:.

I've been going to Al Anon for a little while now, but instead of talking about my father with alcoholism, I just end up spilling my guts about my mother with what I imagine to be extremely severe NPD (or perhaps she's a sociopath).  My mother was the real problem.  Going to Al Anon has showed me that growing up in the household that I did, I learned to completely rely on myself.  I suppose that to some extent this is an adaptive thing.  I am not scared at all of things that are in my control and I've learned to put all of my faith in myself.  But the problem is that I have very little faith in others and the world to keep me safe.  I also have no faith in a "higher power" whatsoever.  I've really tried to make a good faith effort to try to connect with a higher power and be spiritual, but I am still a stone cold atheist.  Reading the symptoms of Complex-PTSD and seeing that losing faith and meaning is listed was quite an experience.  Although I really do not feel as if life is meaningless (actually quite the contrary), I do not have faith of any kind, other than in myself.  I am, however, in awe of the natural world.  Is that enough?  Does that count as a higher power?  Struggling here to connect. 

:stars:

Thanks in advance.

- AschenP

« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 06:59:27 PM by AschenP »

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LightOrb

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 09:23:35 PM »
Why are you trying to connect to a higher power? What are you trying to find? Is it some emptiness?

Just to give you some background, I was raised Catholic, so I will never know what it is not to believe in anything. A very long time ago I stopped trying to find a place within any organized spiritual group. I believe in the voices I have in my head, the voices I got from my C-PTSD. I know they want the best for me and they rescued me from my ex a few months ago. However, I am a scientist, and I marvel at the beauty and elegance of the world, and how "magical" it is in its working and development, how perfectly special everything is (for small changes in some basic 'laws' would make this world impossible) while not needing any supernatural intervention.

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biggerfish

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 10:03:29 PM »
Hi AschenP! You're in good company. I go to church, and am even in the choir. But I have no faith except in my rational thought. Happily, in my church, they don't care. We're about common prayer and social justice at my church.

I've felt it was because I learned at a young age that I had to take care of myself. It makes no sense to put my faith elsewhere. Ultimately, as much as I might pray, I have to DOOOO something in order to get things I want for myself, no?

But I've come around to being okay with it. When I was in Al-Anon Adult Children,  I vacillated between thinking of my HP as other people in the rooms, and thinking of my HP as my own rational mind. After all, one of my issues had been that I had been told as child that I was stupid. (I was in Al-Anon Adult Children because my dad was an alcoholic, but it was my mother that really did a number on me. Sound familiar? LOL)

One time, about a decade ago, I got into doing some early morning journaling. I used it as a means to try to ask "God" questions, and then write the answers myself. Finally I asked the big question, which was "what am I supposed to believe in?" It was the only time I ever felt a "God" really talking to me, and this is what "God" said: "BIggerfish, all I ever wanted for YOU was to believe in yourself."

So that's what I'm doing. And I'm doing the church thing, too. I love the fellowship.


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AschenP

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 11:06:49 PM »
Hi LightOrb  :wave:,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful response & for putting forth the thought-provoking questions.  Whether or not the questions were intended as rhetorical, I'll answer them here.   
:upsidedown:

I suppose the honest truths as to why I'm trying to connect with a higher power is because: 1) it is what I am "supposed" to do in the Al Anon community, and 2) I truly think that perhaps there is a benefit in it. 

Regarding this first point about it being what I'm "supposed" to do, I can assure you, that is not my default setting.  I myself am a scientist, independent, and have always proceeded to say/do whatever I thought was best despite the opinions of others (but not in rebellion of their opinions).  I suppose I've identified that I am overly-independent as a problem in my life and I'm trying to connect with others who have had similar problems.  I've found that only one friend of mine (out of about ten people that I'm in regular contact with that I've known over 20 years) has any understanding of what it was like for me to have a sociopathic mother because she actually witnessed the abuse and was abused for a short period of time by a boyfriend herself.  Everyone else in my life only has a theoretical understand.  As such, I feel starved for connection with people who understand.  Although I really have found that I can connect with some people in Al Anon, my stone cold atheist-ness feels like a barrier.  It also feels like I'm closing myself off to something that can be helpful.  As such, I guess I found myself here looking for direction towards being able to connect with something outside of myself.

Between the two responses here so far, I think I can say that the higher power I can genuinely connect with is: natures is amazing and that other people have a wealth of experience.  On top of that, I might have to start concentrating on things in the world that naturally unfold in a positive direction without my effort. For me, I think that might have to be enough!

Thank you so much for your time & thoughtfulness!


Why are you trying to connect to a higher power? What are you trying to find? Is it some emptiness?

Just to give you some background, I was raised Catholic, so I will never know what it is not to believe in anything. A very long time ago I stopped trying to find a place within any organized spiritual group. I believe in the voices I have in my head, the voices I got from my C-PTSD. I know they want the best for me and they rescued me from my ex a few months ago. However, I am a scientist, and I marvel at the beauty and elegance of the world, and how "magical" it is in its working and development, how perfectly special everything is (for small changes in some basic 'laws' would make this world impossible) while not needing any supernatural intervention.

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Hazy111

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 11:17:55 PM »
Hi AschenP,

Im with LightOrb. I was raised Catholic but never really believed in any of it. When i started to have "issues" as ateenager i used to pray regulary for help. But im sorry for those with "faith" who believe otherwise but i worked out no one was listening. uBPD mom was a church goer till the end, gave her a sense of structure and order i think for  her chaotic personality. Never questioned any of it.

Do you have to believe in a "higher power?" I think thats part of the belief system for Al Anon. I would struggle with it. I think they believe alcoholism is a disease also? Which im also not in agreement with.

To have had a sociopathic mother would have been deeply traumatizing. Have you tried therapy of sorts, especially those who have an understanding of C-PTSD. There are some really good books out there as well . "Understanding the Borderline Mother" by Christine Lawson is my fave. Your mother may have been the Witch/Queen type. Physically and emotionally very abusive.

Stone cold atheists are us, wheres our section btw? Good luck in your ongoing recovery, nature and the planet are awe inspiring, agreed.  :bighug:

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AschenP

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 11:22:26 PM »
Hi BiggerFish  :wave:,

Thank you so much for the really thoughtful response  :).  Haha, there are certainly familiar elements there!

As silly as it sounds, I supposed I hadn't considered that someone with no faith can go to church!  What an interesting idea.  I think the common prayer as social justice pieces sound really nice.  The common prayer piece has been missing from my life for a very long time. 

It's comforting to know that you can think of other people in the rooms as an HP.  And it's heart-warming to hear about another survivor out there believing in themselves.  Thank you so much for sharing that.  I think it is not only important to have that self-assurance, but to not be afraid to model it. 

As for me, it's time to soften up a bit.  I've read about the term "learned helplessness."  I think I have the opposite.  I have a learned ferociousness about my independence.  It doesn't match how I feel as a person internally.  Internally I'm as warm, gentle, and people-loving as they come.  It's served me well, but I don't need it any more.  I have to move on.  I'm thinking an HP could maybe help. 


Hi AschenP! You're in good company. I go to church, and am even in the choir. But I have no faith except in my rational thought. Happily, in my church, they don't care. We're about common prayer and social justice at my church.

I've felt it was because I learned at a young age that I had to take care of myself. It makes no sense to put my faith elsewhere. Ultimately, as much as I might pray, I have to DOOOO something in order to get things I want for myself, no?

But I've come around to being okay with it. When I was in Al-Anon Adult Children,  I vacillated between thinking of my HP as other people in the rooms, and thinking of my HP as my own rational mind. After all, one of my issues had been that I had been told as child that I was stupid. (I was in Al-Anon Adult Children because my dad was an alcoholic, but it was my mother that really did a number on me. Sound familiar? LOL)

One time, about a decade ago, I got into doing some early morning journaling. I used it as a means to try to ask "God" questions, and then write the answers myself. Finally I asked the big question, which was "what am I supposed to believe in?" It was the only time I ever felt a "God" really talking to me, and this is what "God" said: "BIggerfish, all I ever wanted for YOU was to believe in yourself."

So that's what I'm doing. And I'm doing the church thing, too. I love the fellowship.

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Hazy111

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 11:30:09 PM »
Ohh AschenP,

I sometimes go to my local Quaker meeting, as you dont have to believe in God.  Theres plenty there from brought up in other Christian faiths and other religions. Theres also a complete lack of rites and formality which i like.

 :bighug:

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AschenP

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 11:35:02 PM »
Hi Hazy111  :wave:,

Thanks for the response!  Love both the hug emoji & the idea of an a Stone Cold Atheist section!
 :yeahthat:

A "Witch/Queen" type sounds about right lol.  I haven't heard of that book.  I'll have to pick it up!  Thanks! 

For about a decade I thought my mom definitely had uBPD in isolation... until it finally dawned on me (I felt like such an idiot) that a lot - but not all - of her actions weren't always the result of having emotional meltdowns as such... they were intentionally plotted to physically harm, humiliate, and sabotage.  I have read Disarming the Narcissist... but I found the types of behaviors discussed in there were extremely mild compared to what my mother displayed... which made me think more "sociopath." 

I've tried all sorts of therapy (CBT, havening, etc.), but nothing specifically for C-PTSD, which I read about for the first time on this website.  I haven't been formally diagnosed but man... does all that sound familiar lol.

Thank you so much for the helpful suggestions!

 :)

Hi AschenP,

Im with LightOrb. I was raised Catholic but never really believed in any of it. When i started to have "issues" as ateenager i used to pray regulary for help. But im sorry for those with "faith" who believe otherwise but i worked out no one was listening. uBPD mom was a church goer till the end, gave her a sense of structure and order i think for  her chaotic personality. Never questioned any of it.

Do you have to believe in a "higher power?" I think thats part of the belief system for Al Anon. I would struggle with it. I think they believe alcoholism is a disease also? Which im also not in agreement with.

To have had a sociopathic mother would have been deeply traumatizing. Have you tried therapy of sorts, especially those who have an understanding of C-PTSD. There are some really good books out there as well . "Understanding the Borderline Mother" by Christine Lawson is my fave. Your mother may have been the Witch/Queen type. Physically and emotionally very abusive.

Stone cold atheists are us, wheres our section btw? Good luck in your ongoing recovery, nature and the planet are awe inspiring, agreed.  :bighug:
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 11:43:51 PM by AschenP »

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AschenP

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 11:36:45 PM »
Haha.

What a great suggestion.  Thanks!


Ohh AschenP,

I sometimes go to my local Quaker meeting, as you dont have to believe in God.  Theres plenty there from brought up in other Christian faiths and other religions. Theres also a complete lack of rites and formality which i like.

 :bighug:

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Hazy111

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 11:56:00 PM »
AschenP,

This might help. Apologies if at all triggering as i know you suffer from C-PTSD . i think many of us do including PDs for that matter. The book is  terrific but shattering at same time for me. Someone got it. Its reviewed on this site under Resources i think.

http://behavioralhealth.typepad.com/markhams_behavioral_healt/2007/07/the-bordeline-w.html     :sharkbait: Borderline emoji !!

 :hug:

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AschenP

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 04:58:49 AM »
Thanks so much for the responses.  This was a great read and perfectly  spot on.   Everything rang true.  Thank you so much for recommending!  After decades of on & off exposure therapy, I am no longer easily triggered, but I really appreciate the concern.  I wasn't diagnosed with C-PTSD, specifically, because after reading Wikipedia... it sounds like it wasn't a distinct category back then.  But the circumstances under which I developed my symptoms are exactly those described.  Thank you so much. 

This website, forum, & the people participating in it have been so incredibly helpful.

AschenP,

This might help. Apologies if at all triggering as i know you suffer from C-PTSD . i think many of us do including PDs for that matter. The book is  terrific but shattering at same time for me. Someone got it. Its reviewed on this site under Resources i think.
    :sharkbait: Borderline emoji !!

 :hug:

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biggerfish

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 05:07:40 AM »
Something i want to add, too. Being a scientist myself, i see the world in terms of randomness and statistics. it makes me laugh when people think they got their prayer answered by God, while other times they think "god must not want me to have that but has something better in mind." And yet those are the people who are most calm and positive. I think maybe i envy them.

 Oh and it makes me crazy to hear in a disaster, "god sure was looking out for her" (while the other twenty people died.) And the whole thing about getting your prayers answered "if you Just have more faith." It turns into a competition.

And yet...I go to church...lol

Can we laugh at ourselves?

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LightOrb

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 05:11:46 AM »
As such, I feel starved for connection with people who understand.

AschenP, I understand this SO much. I've been trying to find my people, people who understand, since March. Since everything started for me with my ex's cheating, I went to forums about infidelity. But there has always been this feeling that they don't understand why I got here. Many times when talking to them, it was obvious they didn't understand the effect my uBPD mom had and has over me and all my relationships. Many times they told me I needed to change, as if that was easy peasy, just a matter of wishing it and going to therapy (from Peter Walker's book, C-PTSD will always be with me, I can't cure it, only manage it). So many times I was told I was wearing masks, not being myself. I've cried to my T about being alone while I know I am not exactly alone, if anything were to happen to me I have friends who will rescue and have rescued me.

Very recently I was reading about symptoms/effects of C-PTSD and it said that we feel isolated because we feel different. Let me quote, although I don't remember the website where I got this.

Quote
Terminal Aloneness: survivors often feel so little connection and trust with people, they remain in a terrible state of aloneness, even when surrounded by people. Another issue that increases this aloneness is feeling different to other people

I copied this into my journal because it helps me to think perhaps it's not that people are different from me, it's my illness that makes me feel like that. At least there is hope that my feelings/sensations could be mistaken.

Although I really have found that I can connect with some people in Al Anon, my stone cold atheist-ness feels like a barrier.  It also feels like I'm closing myself off to something that can be helpful.  As such, I guess I found myself here looking for direction towards being able to connect with something outside of myself.

There was a time, a lifetime ago, when I was a teenager, when I tried to connect with church. I needed so much somebody who could love me. Because at the end, that is the source of my C-PTSD: my FOO doesn't like me, perhaps they don't love me (I don't really know if you can do one without the other), so I am desperate for somebody who can love me as I am, while all the time I am anxiously sure that who is with me will abandon me, as my ex did. I went to groups meetings, retreats, I joined organizations, etc. Even at the time, it did not feel right. I did not fit. I wasn't looking for the spiritual connection, I was looking to connect with the people there and I was aware all the time of the difference. No matter how much I tried, I could not produce faith. It is a gift, we are told in Catholic faith. And no matter how many tears I cried, God didn't give me his gift.

Perhaps because all of that happened at the same time my uBPD mom was trying to keep me in a cage because being a woman I could get pregnant, all in a country where the Catholic church has such a strong influence that we only got the ability to divorce 10 years ago, with incredibly stupid waiting times (3 years!), I got extremely resentful of a God who would think I am inferior. That's when I left the Catholic church and I haven't returned. Probably I never will. After my dad's cheating on my mom, my mom turned to church and she is kind of obsessive about it.

I wonder, and please let me apologize if I am missing the mark, if this is not guided by our feeling that we are not right. You are trying to pretzel yourself to fit with the people now in your life. Right now I want to tell you that if there is a barrier between you and the Al-Anon people, the barrier is on them, because I am sure you are doing anything on your power to connect and relate to them. I've been there!

:bighug:

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Summer Sun

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 03:07:10 PM »
Light orb, thank you for this interesting post.  I too recently discovered that one of the symptoms of CPTSD is a loss of faith and meaning.  And this depicts my experience the last few years as my CPTSD has ramped up due to FOO issues, losses and isolation of NC. 

My definition of faith seems ever shifting too.  I always believed in God, as our creator, but not the biblical version.  My experience of Christians, whether Catholic or Protestant, did not align with the Christ message of love, acceptance, compassion etc.  They were abusive, neglectful, hypocritical (only my experience, this experienced has now changed). 

I always thought we are body, mind and spirit.  And this was somewhat based on science.  We humans are energy.  Energy does not die, or just changes forms, is my understanding.  Years ago, I believe I experienced God, as an energy form.  It was like being enveloped in, and being part of, pure waves of love.  Feeling, experiencing, overwhelming, indescribable, beautiful love. 

I became a Christian over time and started going to church.  But I do not believe in organized religion, and have struggled with conflicting biblical messages, and any control, shame based messaging given my shame based upbringing.  How can God love me unconditionally through Jesus, and yet, there are conditions attached, right behaviors necessary suggesting I must earn redemption.  But I do try to practice and emulate Christ behaviors, and messages.  I do find though that my efforts at Prayer and commitment  have waned, I attribute this to the CPTSD, as well, that I am challenged to really connect, to comprehend unconditional love.  When you have not experienced this from either parent, rather abuses, neglect, abandonment, rejection etc, and have not given birth myself, what do I have to compare or a yardstick measure?  It is a word, how do I embrace a word?  So rather, God becomes the ache, the longing.

Iíve always felt closest to my HP/God in nature, but I do enjoy the worship, sometimes singing messages of love, gratitude, praise etc brings me to feel closer to connection. 

I recently read a little book that helped me, called Walk With Me.  It addressed much of the contradictions and discomforts of Christianity I was experiencing.  I do feel that God blessed each of us with a mind of our own, our intuition and internal wisdom, this is the God within us, faith in ourselves.

 Iíve changed churches too.  One that is inclusive of all Godís children (some in our area refuse to recognize same sex relationships or marriage for example, and I believe Jesus mentioned let he who is without sin cast the first stone), and itís more community focused as opposed to control and doctrine and yet  still Christ centred.  Maybe over time, I will recover enthusiasm and commitment, if not, I just trust that an ALL KNOWING, LOVING God will understand and have compassion for my humanity and handicaps and envelop me in that love I once experienced at the end.

Maybe something in this ramble is relatable lol.

Summer Sun
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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LightOrb

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 04:06:25 PM »
The question if my C-PTSD is responsible for my lose of faith is very interesting. I never thought that. My family was not practicing Catholic, but they followed the basic rites. As such, I took the classes to do the First Communion when I was barely a teenager. I've always thought I got then the first crack on my beliefs, when the seminarist told me that our pets don't go to heaven. I loved my pets probably more than normal, given that you can get from them the unconditional love my FOO wasn't giving me. I wondered why I would want to go to a paradise where my beloved companions could not enter. It was after this that my relationship with my uBPD mom deteriorated, mostly because I started to be a woman. Most things she did were based in the Catholic ideas about what it means to be a woman, and purity and all of that. The final nail in the coffin was the suicide of a friend in high school. I couldn't keep believing in anybody who would be as heartless as the Catholic God was. I couldn't believe in a divinity less compassionate than me.

Having said that, I've never lost my meaning. Although I don't know where it came from or when I got it, my meaning is to live doing my best effort, while trying to avoid hurting anybody on purpose (this was the thing I loved about my ex: I thought he was a good man). My faith in gods, specially organized religion, is gone, but I do have someone inside me, walking with me everyday.

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142757

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 07:51:36 PM »
In my belief, most people make the conclusion of God or no God based on life experience and not due to any real research. As an example, most in America conclude fortune cookies came from China because they only find them in Chinese restaurants. Seems like a logical conclusion. But they most likely were created in the USA by Chinese immigrants. Or maybe even by Japanese Americans.

Belief in God or atheism is much the same for many. They take a few visible pieces of evidence and take that as proof. It takes a lot deeper study. And there isn't one path to get the correct thought. What convinced me may not convince you.

I'm curious, do you feel people can't be trusted because you couldn't trust your parents? If so, can people trust you?

"Somedays you just can't get rid of a bomb."

Adam West (Batman)
9/19/28 - 6/10/17

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AschenP

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 09:09:38 PM »
After a short Google search about the history of fortune cookies, I'm back!

Thanks so much for posing these questions, 142757.  Point very well taken.  Your post brings me deeper into my initial ah-ha moment.  I always assumed I was atheist because I'm simply a logical person.  As such, I can see spirituality for the compilation of inconsistencies it is.  But now I'm just not so sure.  Considering my past, couldn't it be the case that my perception is jaded and skewed?  I suppose I am at the point now where I am starting to realize this.  Your post really articulates for me that I need deeper study from the humble stance of "my past did a number on me, I don't know everything, and I might just learn something useful if I open myself up to it."  Thank you.

I'll answer your question about trust... and maybe give you more than you bargained for!   Strangely...I actually developed the opposite reaction to what you might expect... it's complicated I guess and it seems contradictory.  I actually started to trust anyone more than my mother.  I think that it was clear to me even then that she was something of a different breed.  For instance, when I was in high school, I quickly got into a relationship with someone almost ten years older than me and largely lived in their apartment.  I knew very distinctly that I had to get out of my house.  Reading this as an adult, I'm surprised to say that it actually turned out very well for me.   The person almost ten years older than me wasn't some seedy character, but was a nice and upstanding student that lived 2 hours away.  There was never abuse of any kind, only genuine love, support, and kindness.

That relationship aside, I think because my mother was so bad, everyone else generally seemed like an amazing person in comparison.  Luckily, I got more discerning as an adult and realized that people can do smaller things that are actually quite hurtful too.  I think the issue is that while I genuinely cared about the person I was in a relationship with back in high school, I was also using them because I really had no choice: stay in that house and be abused, or get out.  I had no reliable family of any kind (alcoholic father, NPD/BPD mother, no siblings), no resources, no money, no education.  I was powerless.  I saw an opportunity in dating someone older with relatively more resources who was kind, smart, & trustworthy... so I simply jumped at the chance.  I supposed being overly trusting was adaptive for me.

My romantic partners have always been very loving people, and I have always been very loving in return... but I always needed them.  Since I was ashamed of this, I became ferociously independent... I suppose to compensate for the fact that I absolutely need everyone in my life more than they need me.  And here I am.  A grown adult with some resources, with no family of origin, lots of friends, but only one who kind of understands what I went through.  For decades I didn't tell a single person about my family.  I just kept it a secret while desperately trying to educate myself, secure resources, and a marriage.  And now I have all of that... and I started telling people about what happened to me... and they don't believe me.  They look at me and say that I couldn't be so "happy" if what I say is true.  I tell them I went through years of painful exposure therapy.  But they don't know what that's like.  I had no idea how painful it would be to have people not believe me. 

People say that shame keep the abused silent.  I think that in my case, that it partially true.  But I don't feel overwhelming shame, although there is some.  What I feel is really alone from everyone doubting me.  The fact that other people can't even believe what I'm telling them show me that they have no frame of reference for what I went through.  It makes me feel very alone, different, and like if my marriage ever falls apart I will have no family whatsoever. I think the sense of aloneness that comes with C-PTSD, at least for me, comes from knowing that I will never have a family of origin, and as much as my friends love me and I love them, there is nothing that can replace a family.  I know from all of my therapy, that I must confront this fear, build my own family, and focus on the present.  Some days I can.  Some days I can walk on the tight rope like a champion circus performer with laser sharp focus without looking down.  And some days, I look down and realize what I'm doing is both awesome and terrifying.


In my belief, most people make the conclusion of God or no God based on life experience and not due to any real research. As an example, most in America conclude fortune cookies came from China because they only find them in Chinese restaurants. Seems like a logical conclusion. But they most likely were created in the USA by Chinese immigrants. Or maybe even by Japanese Americans.

Belief in God or atheism is much the same for many. They take a few visible pieces of evidence and take that as proof. It takes a lot deeper study. And there isn't one path to get the correct thought. What convinced me may not convince you.

I'm curious, do you feel people can't be trusted because you couldn't trust your parents? If so, can people trust you?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 09:23:38 PM by AschenP »

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tommom

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2018, 12:20:24 PM »
Thanks, Summer Sun, for your post. And AschenP for starting it; it is quite interesting.

Summer Sun, I am, and always have been, a Christian. My mother was uBPD/NPD and I suspect bipolar as well. She was extrememly abusive, especially to me. I think our faith is often made up often of  personal experience. My father and his parents were Christians as well and they were all exceptionally kind and loving people - maybe that's the answer for me.  My g-grandmother, who I actually got to know as a child, was a woman of great faith, who lived through real hardship, and her faith helped her though it. I think seeing her (and probably my father as well being he was married to my M) having that to hold onto is what led me down my own path. 

As for being an atheist from the point of logic or science, my dad, who was a Christian as well, was a professor of those sciences I couldn't ever "get" (Astronomy was my science in college, if you get what I mean - the really abstract ones!) and the most logical, least volatile - and really brilliant man - I've  ever known (and the kindest). I have know many Christians who were both scientists and logical and so I don't think that science or logic has anything to do with faith, at least not in my experience. I would direct you to a quote from St Paul who said simply some people see the spirtual through "earthly eyes" or the "eyes of the spirit". If that is what you mean, that I understand. But I personally don't find the spirtual illogical at all.

Summer Sun,  I understand what you are saying, though, about the "conflicting biblical messages" but I have reconciled that in reading and going through the actual lexicon of what God spoke to Abraham in Genesis 17. (Not the translation in English) The first promise to a human being was "Walk in my ways and be complete," although the "complete" means a sort of thing like structural integrity. Now, I read "Do what I say and you'll have me helping you hold it together." Now THAT has proven to be right, in my life at least.  If you "act right", as my dear grandmother would say, "life will be easier."

Interesting thread, though....
"It is not my job to fix other people; everyone is on their own journey."

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DJCleo

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2018, 02:41:12 PM »
I admit I wasnít able to take the time to read more than the first five or so posts so far, but as a person raised Catholic who went to Catholic school, but then a public university. I had to figure out for myself what I really believed and why. I spent a lot of time with various religious groups and with a load of other Christian groups in my searching.

I concluded over time that as long as I had a relationship with God then, whatís the point in this church or that one? Theyíre all for connecting to with God.

As for being stone cold atheist, I canít say any bad about that. I donít agree a lot with things that any organized religion or group does, not all the time at least, but the God thing is still important to me.

I think for me itís a habit though. I learned to pray when I was small and sometimes when I find myself doubting the existence of God, I find myself asking God about it. Soooo then I just laugh and move on. For me, it makes sense to just believe. But Iím also a feeler on the Myers Briggs spectrum as well.

Maybe you shouldnít put pressure on yourself to connect with a higher power. Maybe you should just allow yourself to be open to what others share and then research it and see what helps? I think if you put pressure on yourself to believe then itís going to feel like a task to pass or fail and I donít see that helping anyone.

Have you tried asking a higher power to find you? Imagine opening your heart and mind open to this higher power and ask it to show you who it is.

If not, then pray for the grace to believe and think about what benefits you may get from believing. You might start to like what it might mean to you then.

Something else would be to look at how we all got here. What got us all here? To me, itís a leap of faith to believe that we just got here without divine intervention. Thatís my mindset though. But something had to start the creation that started with the Big Bang.

I hope you find your answers. Iím not sure all of us are meant to believe, although I do. I think God would love you as is, but thatís my opinion.

I hope even any of this might help you. Itís a lot of random ideas....


For a friend of mine though, it helped him to look at Church history and go through a conversion program.

Everyone has their own journey. ♥️❤️ We wish you well on yours!

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AschenP

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Re: Am I Atheist Because of My Complex-PTSD & Sociopath/Narcissistic Mother?
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2018, 07:24:15 PM »
Thank you so much for the response, DJCleo!  In particular, what you wrote in the quoted text below was especially helpful for me.  As a person overly involved in ensuring my own destiny, the ideas of "not putting pressure" on myself or "letting a higher power find" me wouldn't have occurred to me.  It is these kinds of differences in thinking and behaving that I'm aware that I need.  Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction.  Taking a more passive & cooperative rather than forceful & individualistic role does not come naturally.


Maybe you shouldnít put pressure on yourself to connect with a higher power. Maybe you should just allow yourself to be open to what others share and then research it and see what helps? I think if you put pressure on yourself to believe then itís going to feel like a task to pass or fail and I donít see that helping anyone.

Have you tried asking a higher power to find you? Imagine opening your heart and mind open to this higher power and ask it to show you who it is.