I used to market myself as a blogger that gave hope to the broken. I wrote many pieces that are now cringe-worthy when I re-read them. My basis for my writing was my faith. I believed I was doing something good but now I see that I had harmful messages.
The foundation of Christianity is that you are born a sinner and inherently in need of a savior. This is pounded into your head 24/7 through sermons, altar calls, Sunday school, devotionals, small groups, ect. Usually, parents start teaching this very early on because they are ‘training their child in the way that they should go.’ On top of that, there’s a god-awful anxiety that your family and friends are going to burn for eternity if they don’t drink the kool-aid.
I was taught that I deserved hell from a very young age. I prayed constantly that god would spare me for being a bad person. But I was a kid. I hadn’t done anything that warranted the guilt. Maybe I fought with my sister, maybe I said a bad word or two, but nothing that a normal child wouldn’t have done.
The religious guilt, naturally brought on terrible self-esteem. I didn’t see myself whole because of Christ but broken and in need of Christ. No matter what I did, or how much I prayed to feel a sense of peace, I never truly got it because my community was always reinforcing this. I am not saying that it was the cause, but this mentality played a huge role in my mental health journey. Sinner deserving nothing but hell. It was almost as if I started the transition there myself because of the self-anguish I put my mind through daily.
I wanted to please god more than anything in the world. I shared what the Lord was doing in my life with anyone willing to listen. I made a brand off of my faith and wanted to eventually find that perfect bible believing husband. As my faith got stronger, it became more of a relationship but it was the kind of relationship where I always had to tip-toe around.
Through therapy and getting out of this community, I’ve learned techniques to get into a better headspace. But I still struggle to live without self-shame. This has especially impacted how I love myself and my sexuality. I am hopeful that as I continue to find myself, I will keep growing.
I don’t know if I am a good person. Hell, I don’t know if anyone is. However…
I am not broken
I am not impure