Post Traumatic Religion Disorder

PTRD - Post Traumatic Religious Disorder.  Confessions of a confused believer who’s not sure what to believe. Highs, lows, anxiety, depression, suppression, and all that in between. Saved, suicidal, and soaked in the blood. The aftermath of trying to be a round peg in a square world. Do you ever feel like you have been traumatized by the religion that holds your faith? Down, dismayed, and subdued by an oppressive system of religious chains. The message watered down and soaked in sin. How do we get back to the bare bones, naked, stripped-down love of the Creator? Do I believe because I have the faith, or do I believe because I don’t want to go to hell and burn in the lake of fire? I’ve been searching and seeking, fasting and studying, practicing what the pastor preaches and spewing oils from here to there.  Why is my faith never enough when faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not yet seen? 

Pressure to conform, believe under grace but within the confines of law. What do I do when I don’t know what to do or what to believe? How do I sort through the clichés and cute Bible verse to find the one true God who just want me, flaws and all?  Wanting so bad to be a part of the team, I'm traumatized, tripped up and trapped in a cycle of prayer and hoplessness. Pressed beyond my breaking point. Teary eyed, curled up in a bed of hurt, and lost in a sea of mystery. Who is God? What is faith? Is the Bible God’s word? Forgiven or fallen? Redeemed or Repentant? Judged or Judging? Good, bad, or indifferent?

How many times have you been told: you don’t have enough faith, you didn’t pray enough, you didn’t believe enough, you didn’t sew a seed, you don’t volunteer, you don’t attend church enough? How many times have you been told you have not because you ask not? You ask God and the Universe does not conspire to make your request come true. You sit in disbelief. Your blessings held up in a vault and the check list of not enough is keeping you from being the best you that you can be. So, what did I do? I did all the things religion told me to do, I believed more, increased my faith, fasted, prayed, asked others to pray for me, read the Bible religiously, attended church regularly, paid my Tithes, captured my thoughts, gave my offering, sewed some seeds, and watered them with prayer, faith and evangelism only to be told it will happen in due season. Maybe it’s not your season. Maybe it’s not God’s will for you. Maybe just maybe it’s not what I was told it would be.   

Confused yet? Because I am. Depending on the source of the guidance, the path to prosperity, enlightenment, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, or God is blocked by a traffic controller who judges and testifies, but leaves me mystified. The smoke screen is thick and I can’t see the God who set me free and offers a relationship of guidance and love. The rules of the game are numerous, but the plan from the start was the love in God’s heart. Often, I am left in a pile of emotions including anger, hurt, rejection, and disappointment because I did all I was told to do, but I didn’t get the blessing that was true. Sleepless nights trying to figure out what I did wrong, what I missed, and why is the Lord so pissed. There are no logical explanations for the short fall and no matter how many times I ask the Lord why, He never seems to hear my call. Don’t doubt and don’t question the Almighty God. Believe in Jesus, the creation, heaven and hell like the stars in the sky, the moon, the sun, and the rain. Bury your pain and let tears flow. I'm obsessed with pleasing God. Obsessed with getting it right. I found myself dedicated to the religion that left me unfulfilled and empty. Pressured, prompted, and prepped to submit. I changed the game, went straight to the source, bypassed the rhetoric and skipped over the verse. I can’t please the masses and only God can give free passes.

Why do we run from the love of God? We, not running from the love of God. We were disillusioned by the hope of peace, prosperity, and no judgment. What we found was isolation, abundant lack, and glaring judgement that pierces the soul. We were promised a hope and a dream and we entered a nightmare of lies, lessons, and losses. I'm trying to escape. If it wasn’t for the judgement and strict rules of religion, faith could flourish and grow. If it wasn’t for the lies and deceptions, the harmony of creation could lead the way

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Angie Lewis

Tue 19th Jun 2018 18:27

Graham what you are saying is so true. I can recall as a child hearing my pastor equate everything that we didn't do correctly to going to hell or being punished. All my life God was some great monster who they said loved us, but only waited in the shadows to punish us and use awful trials and tribulations to teach us lessons or help us grow.
It has taken many years of learning and praying and trying to meditate to reimage the picture I hold of God. Religion is a weight of chains that restrains. I love the freedom of spirituality and an unobstructed relationship with God

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 12th Jun 2018 17:18

Whatever one believes (whatever the religion) it is the practitioners, the priests, the vicars, the rabbis etc who subjugate their flocks into submissive adherence.

Inherently the good teachings of many of the religions hold up for people to be "good eggs" in civilised society. However, it is the threat of purgatory, hell etc that religious leaders promulgate in order to keep people under control that is the unattractive side of religion.

My religion is my family and friends. They never let me down, do not lie to me, and never promise something that they cannot fulfil and we all share unconditional love. That's good enough for me!

Contentment is the best religion. The buddhists are the nearest.

Big Sal

Tue 12th Jun 2018 00:06

I still have a tattoo of a religion that I thought was the right thing for me at a time too. Still haven't covered it up as I haven't had the time or money to do so in quite a while. We all make mistakes, but to push past the inhibitions and create a belief in ourselves and our own abilities can make us stronger in the long run than any organized religion ever could. Stay strong and keep your head up - and good poem.?

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