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A Raw Example of How Religion Poisons Families

living-with-bipolar-2I enjoy reading Reddit articles and posts on occasion. Today, I came across one of the most intense personal stories I’ve read in a long time. I don’t know the age of the young man who write it, but he titled his post “Mom, you want to know why I don’t want kids? Because you picked your religion over me, and silently watched him [your husband/my father] abuse me.

The source link can be found at the bottom. [Warning, the following may have language that offends some].

Just another stupid religious parent rant.

I read a post asking about childhood memories, and I couldn’t stop myself. I had to comment. I knew it would bring old memories back to the surface, and fill me with rage, but I just couldn’t stop myself.

How could you stay silent, mom? You were there when your husband, my father, was diagnosed bipolar. You met his side of the family – saw ADHD, anxiety, bipolar … mental illness was everywhere.

The obvious truth was right there. I was textbook ADHD. My 1st grader teacher quit, because of me. My 2nd grade teacher, and school nurse, told you I had ADHD. They pleaded with you to medicate me.

A group of old men. Businessmen and lawyers, with no medical experience. That’s who you listened to. That’s who convinced you that mental disorders weren’t real. Just because they called themselves Mormon prophets? How fucking weak-minded are you!?

That’s why you didn’t say a fucking word, and just watched that bastard take his anger out on me, over and over. Did you even give a fuck, when you listened to it happening?

I grew up, fucked up. You even nervously disregarded the suicidal notes I wrote in my journal, at 8 years old.

I was talented, yet still a loser. I was alone, living in your basement, while my 20’s were passing me by.

Sometimes I would get hysterical, and confide in you. My angry, helpless cry for help from my suicidal depression, and swinging moods. How I kept finding new doctors, but they couldn’t figure it out. They couldn’t give me the right meds.

And the whole time, you knew the answer. You knew the fucking answer! All you had to say was bipolar. But you didn’t say anything, because your shit religion told you it wasn’t real.

But you couldn’t deny it forever. You had to believe when you found out about your sweet, kind son. How I went feral, and the cops had to fight and tase me, strap me down, and send me to the psych hospital.

You finally accept it, now? You’re sorry that I’m 30, and my life is still a pile of shit? Well, fuck you! I hate you. I hate you for being so god damn weak, and listening to some old piece of shit lawyers for medical advice! And I hate you because I still love you, because you still cared for me, even though you wouldn’t help me.

And now my little niece. She has it worse than me. You mention how much she reminds you of me. You smile and laugh at first, but then that worried look flashes across your face. You know your daughter, my sister, her mother, is even more of a Mormon fanatical than you are. You know your granddaughter is in trouble. Are you going to stay quiet, and watch her life implode? How can you keep being so stupid?

I’m not continuing the family cycle of illness and abuse. I won’t be a part of it.

I’m okay, now. I am not alone. I am not homeless. I am not penniless. I need to breathe, and Calm down. Hopefully I can sleep, now.

Rant over.

(Source link)

This was heart breaking to read. In the comments section, the original poster felt bad later on for posting his raw emotions but he said he was doing okay now. But still. How many of us grew up, or perhaps even raised children, under the false belief that mental illness was actually a spiritual problem? A sin problem? I struggled with that belief in my early adult years. The church preached it but it never settled well with me. I wish now I could raise my own kids over again without the delusion of religion.

Reading this young man’s post above reminded me of what the late Christopher Hitchen’s often said: “Religion Poisons Everything”.


  1. Dennis

    I was diagnosed with ADD in 2002. I was in my early 50’s at the time. My life history told the story. Of course, the problem had always existed. In fact, my doctor speculated that I was originally hyperactive but my parents were so embarrased by my off-the-wall behavior that they humiliated me in public and in front of family and friends. They said my brain was injured (fried) by a hard measles related fever. In private they beat me. Ultimately, I taught myself to internalize the hyperactivity so that it appeared to be subdued outwardly. The internalized energy drove a war inside of me. Combined with the emotional issues brought on by Religious Trauma Syndrome, (my dad was a fundamentalist Baptist pastor), I developed severe anxiety and later, depression. Of course, my family was mortified by the way I occasionally acted out. My dad, who had absolutely no training or experience in mental health, wrote a booklet about the sin-based nature of “melancholia” and how it was a sin to have anxiety. I turned to alcohol in order to numb the incredible pain I felt inside. This served to further highlight my sinfullness to a family that was, in fact, more dysfunctional than I was. I hated them all for their religious-based ignorance. Nevertheless, to this day, my dad is venerated by his peers as being a great man of God, while I was branded by those same people for being rebellious sinner. I still bear the scars of the hatred that was heaped upon me. But I don’t care anymore. My life has come to a place of peace by my rejection of the evil thinking that worked to destroy me, and the healing therapy that was given in kindness by people who are trained to help put us back together after our lives have been destroyed by self-righteous morons who are clueless at a dangerous level.

  2. Logan

    Wow. Thank you Dennis for sharing a part of your story. It’s both heart breaking and frustrating to hear how fundamentalism has hurt so many of us. I’m so glad you have found peace! Do I remember correctly that you were writing (or have written) a book?

  3. Dennis

    Thanks, Logan. Yes, as part of my therapy I wrote a book. It is not a “tell all” but is an attempt to uncover biblical falsehood and put it on display. In addition to the standard debunking of the creation account, flood and Exodus, I cover “belief” and “dangerous doctrines” as well as the life of Jesus.
    It was an eye-opener to look at Jesus from a more Jewish perspective. I saw how he couldn’t be the Messiah or a savior. To my satisfaction at least, I feel like I successfully proved that Jesus was not who he said he was. I must admit, there was a sense of relief that came with that. I am just about finished with the second edition, which is a little more comprehensive. But like I said, I primarily wrote it for my self and I did indeed benefit by doing so. (Holy Deception? An Examination of the Claim to Biblical Inerrancy. On Amazon).

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