I am a 42 year old male from the USA.
My parents were violent religious sociopaths who both mentally, physically, sexually and emotionally abused me. One of them tried to shoot me in the head to cover up what they were doing to me, missed, and didn't have the guts to try again.
I was deeply religious as a matter of life and death. I mean, eternal damnation is pretty compelling when you've been introduced to hell directly.
Here's where it gets weird for me.
Please, keep an open mind, as I identify as an atheist, apatheist, or who knows what's out there.
I died as a child in a hospital and had an nde. I dropped dead, and experienced something bizarre, being saturated in the source of all love, like a liquid, my "soul" was in a place with no time and I had my memories.
I felt myself returning to my body, and I begged god, or whtever entity was there with me not to put me back there because of how much I was suffering as a child and did not want to go back to it.
I came to back in my body, and everything continued as before.
Fast forward a number of confused, traumatic years.
I have worked with wolves at a wolf sanctuary when I got older. Since humans failed to love me, something about the wolf appealed to me a great deal.
In fact a wolf at the sanctuary bonded to me, and it was the only reason I stopped doing drugs, and being a violent criminal. Not even 2 overdoses had that effect, because I wanted to die. (on a personal level, it was a hard time for me, this was also a number of years ago)
At the sanctuary, without going into details, I thought I "lost my soul" and felt an "attack", best I can describe was the feeling of a broken heart, but imagine feeling being ripped apart, crushed and worse. I wasn't in the pen with a wolf, and a lot of spiritual stuff happened there, which as a self condeming Christian I thought was "demonic".
For 20 years I've carried tightness and pain in my body from this "attack" until last year I received some visions in the morning (I've been off drugs for 20 plus years...) of a demon, to whom I am intimately connected with... I saw her body in one vision, felt my heart be "completed" as it beat in perfect unison with hers[spiritually], then weeks later I was able to communicate with her, where I learned she was pissed at God, me, and liked hell. (duh, but I guess I had to hear it myself..)
And felt sheer terror when she leaned into me in some strange vision. She's not 100 percent human in the visions.
Recently I have completely, as much as I am able, rejected my religion and Christian faith. If there is a god I've cursed them to their face. I've come to realize that I cannot compromise on my morals and worship the monster of the Bible, even if it means hell.
Watching videos on YouTube by fellow apostates, there is doubt if Jesus even existed (my issue is with yahweh) at all, of if the god of the old testament isn't an amalgamation of different superstitions assembled for political reasons.
I realize there is a massive dmt (a hallucinogen) dump when humans experience death, and I know I was a drug user for a long time. I can tell you my religious experiences are as real to me without manifesting in a scientifically quantifiable way. I cannot deny my mind can do powerful things.
When I went to the emergency room recently for chest pains they did an xray, for 20 years the fears have been my soul has been ripped apart and my human body is its avatar, my chest has been in near constant pain from the attack, but the xray revealed I was perfectly fine (I thought tumors or bone deformations from the damage)
I stopped believing I had tumors and etc and the chest pain has almost completely disappeared from the powers of my mind and mere belief alone.
But feeling my heart literally be "completed", arguably what most people long for, is not something I can't say didn't happen.
I feel like there is something unquantifiable, possibly unknowable forceor forces, possibly even mere fungus that has become self aware and wants to experience life through plants humans and animals and we are the highest evolution at his point.
Like this is some kind of a game. A hallucination. The ultimate first person game. We fully conscious game pieces. For torture, love, purpose, exile, karmic adjustment.
I have studied many modern religions and the closest thing I can kind of identify with is Buddhist, but I disagree with even a lot of what they say.
Could the stress of enduring my childhood caused me to develop near psychosomatic symptoms of a vivid fantasy world just to cope with this one?
The truth is if the god of Jesus exists, they are more honored with me denying them with courage than they are blind followers who are little more than immoral yes men who operate out of fear.
And, outside of, "I made humans and in order to help them grow I have to have them suffer a horrific amount to be better in the long run, and it looks like I am a literal sky monster, abusive, murderous, and rapacious." I wouldn't be satisfied until they felt every ounce of pain, fear and everything else from the dawn on creation to he end of time, and pay for their crimes against humanity and nature.
If there is a god, they told me they are afraid of me because of the sheer anger in my heart against them. And, the story of what happened to the demoness (long story) to make her go to hell makes the idea of a god that foolish and evil, worthy of rebelling against. She was hapless creation directly harmed by a foolish creator. Her story parallels ours eerily.
I apologize for the many words.
One last thing, or two. I have a girlfriend who has a young son, and this young man has impressed me so much I can't begin to tell you. I actually have hope for humanity after meeting him. When I ask her how he is this way, she says he was born "like that". It's proven holocaust survivors children have higher cortisol levels than the children of "normal" parents, what force, exactly, is pushing this genetic change? It could be as simple as a matter of will, I guess? That children are programmed to survive and adjust and repair the dynamics of their parents? What motivates that "do better" energy?
I know evolution is a thing, but what drives it? Or, we don't know yet?
The last thing may be comedically anecdotal. I have a work truck that began stalling and leaving me stranded fairly regularly. I replaced every electrical sensor and component on and in the engine, wire harness, and even computer, some parts even 3 times trying to figure out the issue.
I could not.
I parked it for over a year before randomly watching a YouTube video on changing the timing chain in the same engine, and a "gut feeling" I had was "that's the problem." it was. It hasn't stalled since. What motivated my gut feeling to tell me something I never would have believed "the timing chain was worn" (the motor has 350k on it, runs great but that's a lot of miles)? I actually was so much at my wits end I tried to sell the truck, it probably didn't sell because I put it's issues honestly in the ad. I still have it.
Why does it feel like, when I let go of fear, good things seem to happen, as if motivated by some cosmic force that knows of my trivial (grand scheme) problems? Why does it seem like remaining in religious fear has literally kept me from everything I've ever wanted?
I feel like, whatever my interpretation of "God" is, told me in a prayer vision, "do it yourself!" and that was one of the last things I ever prayed about.
This entire thing is me telling myself I'm just bat shit fucking crazy, a tortured individual who created an inescapable fantasy world of gods and demons, (and yeah I'm the main character, the most important one, the end to irrationality, perhaps even *spooky ghost noises* the anti christ! (dun dun dunnnnnnn! He's even gayer than we imagined! [I'm actually bi, so is my current so])
While half of me doesn't want the connection to whatever past lives I've had to end, demon girl or not, because the real issue is I haven't been loving myself, ever! And I have people who love me more than I love me. I was literally told that last week.
Is it funny that atheism, and my so-far conclusion of the spirit realm, "it's an unknowable jumbled mess, live your best life" have the same end feeling? Am I wrong? Because, if whatever god described in multiple abrahamic Holy books came down to me directly, pointed his finger at me and told me I needed to be super religious again at the threat of unimaginably horrific eternal torture I'd give them the finger anyways? Or, does that just make me certifiable because I believe hell exists? Am I fighting a sick cruel god that somehow loves me? And the people who think they're going to heaven in this world absolutely terrify me if I had to live with them forever? Like, that's not heaven if you're there, Karen.
Oh, and the only time (I've told my counselor this, multiple doctors) the only time I have ever literally HEARD A VOICE that WASN'T There was after the spiritual attack, and it said, "DO NOT BE AFRAID." yeah like thanks that's like telling someone with a broken bone "DO NOT FEEL PAIN." but it was a comfort, as seemingly stupid as it seemed, and how little it helped, seemingly.
My girlfriend is a Christian, but she is the cool type, accepting and supportive of her children, turned off by organized religion. I came out to her as rational atheist, at the end of the day no god could exist as evil and cruel as the Bible describes and good exist as well, so therefore no God exists (all religions cannot be right, and if even one was that would mean we have far bigger problems than we already do...) I don't want to harm her faith, she's apologized for praying and I told her please don't be, and I felt genuinely bad about it. Because honestly I think religion has a place right now, even if it's the cause of a lot of problems, some people are so evil they need the threat of damnation to not make this world an even worse place. I'm probably one of them, most likely. Or, at least, was. And... I never found tighter community than in the church. I kind of... Miss it. Can that be found in the godless as well? Outside of combat, of course, which can unite even enemies.
Except, in "turning my back on God" as my father put it when I told him he was a sperm donor and abuser who tried to murder me, I now have to fully face the horror of my sins rather than hastily casting them on a "savior", it forces me to not act better, but to do and be better.... There's no scapegoat, if I am honest with myself. Just me, and empathy for my fellow humans. I see religion erases a lot of individuality. I find when you have empathy for people, and understand we're all confused and a little worried, your own tress levels drop. I've stopped watching any news, blocked regular new sources I used to use daily, and instead focus on what makes me happy. No more "take up your cross and deny yourself!" yea no, I'm not, I actually want to be happy. And if there was a god, wouldn't that be what they wanted anyway? I mean if they're older than 9?
I've also begun (I'm a novelist) to "listen to my gut" or "spirit" as I was taught to think of it as when I was religious, and it's leading me down a pretty scary path of letting go of my core motivations. It feels like I am self destructing. Because, my existence was under assault the moment I was born. Maybe that's why the Buddhists (among others) work on letting go of even desire to let go. But, someone told me, I am not self destructing, I am "practicing freedom" even the freedom to let go of things I once thought "meant the damnation of my soul for all eternity" if a god wants to damn me forever for questioning everything it says more about them than it ever did me.
But, everything seems to be getting better... I've honestly never been happier... Or more afraid, in a weird way. It's only been a few months since I've "cast off my salvation" or whatever scary Bible thing people may label me and my journey.
And, as much as I hate a god who would create fangs in wolves and prey, cancer, etc, even if they existed my righteous anger over the suffering that exists is actually unhealthy for ME.
So, where does that leave me? Am I out of the atheist club, (hate to be so flippant) because I cannot deny my experiences, but after what I've been through I'd rather be an atheist? Perhaps even a nihilist.
Forgive me if you've gone this far. I'm trying to figure this out. I'm also willing to try meds, because I was diagnosed bipolar 2, and I'm recognizing how it's meddling with my life and not healthy.
It's just that I'm not willing to lie any more. Even if it costs me everything.
There is no atheist club. We are all born atheists and then usually become indoctrinated with so much nonsense that some can never escape it, even if they want to. We do tend to support each other a bit with a dose of rationality from time to time. Personally, I put little credibility in extracting facts from intense emotional experiences or episodes of impaired brain function via NDEs.
Well, not gonna lie, that was a whole lot of intro there, mate.
I read most of it. Not all, though most.
Welcome to our little band of heathens.
What happened to you would fuck up any human. That you have persevered as well as you have IS a testament to YOU. Donâ€™t ever think of it as not. Spend less time thinking about the gods, all their followers share, oddly enough, the same chance of dying to young, getting diseased, making it rich, or never making it even out of the poor house. Even with oneâ€™s best efforts and intentions, there are a lot of people who inadvertently get in your wayâ€¦and some on purpose.
Just keep on swinging and keep a smile as best as you can, life can be a bitch, but you already went through that, the rest should be a cakewalk with determination and optimism, which you have shown to yourself that you have in truck loads. Perhaps you just didnâ€™t realize that what you have done is remarkable. Give yourself a pat on the back every night and every morning.
I didn't suffer as much as you as a child, but I was indoctrinated by a fundamentalist family that scared me to death. Really, people shouldn't do that to a small child. It's cruel. Indoctrination can be hard to shake, and it took me years. Even when I knew it was all a bogus lie, the mental torture of it endured. I'm over it now, I think. I suppose I will never know.
Stick with what you can know, not what you can believe. It's a safer, logical, and doesn't waste your time. I can tell by your post that you put a phenomenal amount of energy into your thoughts. It sounds exhausting.
Welcome to the forum!
I am sorry about your tough childhood. There is no way I could possible relate.
But nothing you mention in your post is evidence for a god, or even a supernatural.
There are natural explanations for all your experiences. It is no surprise that people have extortionary experiences when they are in the process of dying. With a brain in crisis, being starved of oxygen, releasing all sorts of chemicals, it would be more of a surprise if people revived from that had no experiences.
Not to mention, the mind is very good at filling in missing time. It is entirely possible, that your brain invented all those experiences, to explain the time it had no other memories.
So, I am not doubting you had a profound experience. I just doubt your explanation for it. I am not even doubting the feeling that it was real, I just don't have any warrant to believe your experience was real, in the sense of it being a glimpse of an afterlife.
I have smoked the short acting entheogen, DMT (a drug that is produced naturally in the human brain, by the way). A completely non-addictive drug, that acts in seconds, and only lasts for 30 minutes. During those experiences, I was whisked away to another dimension, where multi-dimensional elves communicated the secrets of existence to me. It felt like I was away for an immense amount of time. During this time, I was certain my experience was real. But when back to a normal brain state, and to this day, I understand that my experiences were created by a purely natural, but non-normal brain state. I do not question the profoundness of my experiences with DMT. I just don't believe I was actually transported to another dimension, and communicated with multi-dimensional elves.
There are thousands of people alive today, who report they were abducted by aliens. Many very sincere. While I believe them that they are reporting some experience they had, it is much more likely they are misinterpreting some entirely natural (but non-normal) brain state, than they were actually abducted by aliens.