Cassandra's Story

(Via Cassandra)

I would like to share a bit about myself.

I was raised to believe. We attended church, but it was sporadic.

My father was a Vietnam veteran with dependency problems. He was a drug addict and alcoholic. As children, we were exposed to, and even allowed to use drugs and alcohol by our father and later our step-father.

My parents divorced when I was 6. My father eventually ended up in prison for attempted murder and my mother remarried, another alcoholic, this one highly abusive, mentally and ,at times, physically.

My father became "born-again" in prison. And when he was released he had arranged for me and my siblings to be "saved". We went through with it. I was nervous about it even then. I wasn't sure "why" exactly, I just knew that the people at his church scared me with their loud, erratic behavior. They spoke in tongues, fell on the floor, flung their arms up in the air, and dang near did everything short of drooling all over themselves. That was unlike any church I had ever been to. I didn't know what had come over these people to make them act like this and then after the service they were "normal" to talk to. I didn't want any part of that. But I went through with the "saving" because I feared telling the adults that I didn't want to do it. I felt that if my heart wasn't into it, that it wouldn't mean anything anyway. It was just words I was saying. I did still believe in God, just not the way these people did.

I was taught as a child to take the bible literally. My father would tell me that if you were not afraid to ask god for things out loud in front of people that he would grant your prayers. The only thing I ever recalled asking for was my grandmother not to die of cancer (which she later did anyway).

I started having doubts then, around the age of thirteen. I would entertain the "what-if's" in my mind more and more frequently until I had decided that it was a definite possibility that the Christian God did not exist.

I struggled in my teens. I had an abusive step-father and a mother that let him get away with it. I wasn't understood. I couldn't see any way out of my problems. God surely didn't help me any. I ran away, started using drugs and drinking regularly. I ran with a crowd of kids that was into satanism and gore. I thought that I was angry at god. Then I started to realize that satanism was just as pointless as christianity. I wasn't angry at god, I was angry at the people that portrayed him this way. I was angry that I wasn't told that I had a choice. None of what I WAS told made any sense. And I was hurt that I had been betrayed, that I loved something that was a figment of my imagination and that I was lead to it by humans that loved me.

When I started college and attended various science classes was when it all settled in. I finally decided that I did NOT believe in a god. I soon found out what word defined that. Atheist. It took a little while longer to be comfortable with saying it.

But now I am a proud atheist. I have since strived to lead a normal, healthy life. I have been drug free for over 15 years, and even so I never had any addictions to any of them. I have a college education, a good full time job with benefits where I have worked for almost 8 years. I am married to the man of my dreams, we have a beautiful son together. We have a house, life insurance, medical insurance, etc. We are not rich but we are comfortable and independent. I have some personality issues due to my past that I acknowledge and have put great amounts of effort into to change for the better. We are healthy, happy, productive members of society, and if I were never to tell anyone of our "lack of religion" they would never guess it on their own, for we are not the "barbaric heathens" that so many creationists portray us as.

Thank you for allowing me to tell you the short version of my story. And thank you for taking an interest in it. I hope you get many responses to your request. We need to let others know out there that they are not alone in their thoughts.

6 comments:

Dorid said...

wow, I'd just posted my story earlier today on my page (http://theradula.blogspot.com) and then saw PZ Myers feature your post on his just a few minutes ago...

Don't Drink the Purple Punch! said...

Hussy, I am more of a Deist leaning than a full blown Christian. However, I do respect the courage it takes to come out and discuss things like this. I am glad to see that things have worked out well for you. Maybe your blog will help others decide that it's ok to feel the way you do, or at least offer an alternative to the "heathen" aspect that is often painted. Thanks again for your courage. Good blog.

Ron Andrews said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I listened to your story and you have a very good point: Christians (among other religious people) can sometimes, or a lot of the times, have a terrible way of treating people who do not beleve in a God. They can judge, pick-on, or look down upon people who do not have the same beliefs as he or she may have.

But I want to make a suggestion, in fact, a statement: There is only one standard and that is Jesus Christ. If you look for true, pure, love from other people, most of the time you will find disappointment. Why is this? Simple, we are all human. We all make mistakes, sin (whatever your definition of sin may be), and make bad choices. That's what makes us human. But Jesus. Jesus! Read in the bible how he didn't go to the rich and famous people of Israel. He went to the prostitutes, tax collectors, people who did immoral, sick things. Why? Because Jesus loves all.
You said in your article that you started taking science classes in high school. That is very commendable! I love science. Did you know that if gravity was 1 followed by ten zeros different up or down, life would cease to exsist. Or that our universe is expanding (which proves that big bang theory)! Why is this important? Suppose i went into another room from you and made a clap sound...Then returned...And you asked me, 'What was the clap sound.' and I replied, "Nothing." Would you believe me? I highly doubt it. There is no difference between my small clapp and God's big bang of everything. I suggest you read The Case For Faith, by Lee Strobel. Lee was an educated atheist. If you are true to your words, by studying and weighing down the facts, I challenge you to read this book. It will either back your statements up, or perhaps, change your mind. I say all this to you because you matter. Just like everyone else on this whole blog. Thank-you for your words and comments.

Anonymous said...

I am inspired by your story. You took a very courageous step in the face of such appaling hardships which is not in every one's lot to bear. I fully empathize with you and hope that you will always live happily now with your family. There are few people like you who can take such intellectually and emotionally demanding decisions. Wish you all the best!

David Littlefield said...

Cassandra: I suspect any logical person in your position would have ended-up where you are. But, may I suggest that that does not need to be the end of the story for you?

Forgive the self-serving, but please visit my blog posting at: For Cassandra

You are not ant the end of the journey, you are just beginning!