The Truth About Deconversion and Grief

412px-Beslan-monument-tree_of_griefI love my life now but deconverting wasn’t always an easy process. Because so many new visitors have discovered On the Other Hand by searching for terms like deconversion grief and depression and deconversion I thought I’d tell my story for them.

It started when I stopped attending church at seventeen. While I was relieved to no longer assume all of the social and emotional responsibilities that came with being a preacher’s kid I missed the automatic sense of community I’d found in the churches I knew as a child.

Soon after The Ooze  became my new home. One of the advantages of switching to an online church was that there was always someone around. Rather than waiting until Sunday or Wednesday night to ask tough questions I could start a thread and talk about it right away.

After several years, though, I realized that I was no longer Christian enough even for The Ooze. Sticking around when I no longer identified with even the most liberal idea of god seemed disingenuous but shedding that label (and even more so the emotional connections I’d made) wasn’t easy.

Posting this entry isn’t going to be easy because of the assumption some people make that everyone who deconverts is either full of rage or horribly depressed. I don’t want my words to be twisted, to be thrown into other people’s faces as an example of how horrible life is without belief. It isn’t.

I’m actually quite happy in my everyday existence…but that doesn’t mean the transition was without a few bumps in the road. There were days when I wondered if it would be better to fake even the faintest whisper of a reconversion so I could justify finding a new community. In the end I just couldn’t do it.

Instead I created a new circle of likeminded friends. If you click on the Recommended Reading list on the right hand side of this blog you’ll meet some of them. Not all of them are non-theists but every single person on that list is open to and invigorated by new ideas.

One day I hope I can gather all of them in the same room. We would have a wonderful time together.


What have been your experiences? Do you ever feel like you should self-censor in order to avoid reaffirming stereotypes about your group?


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