I Can’t Sleep. I know…Let’s Write About Religious Trauma!

Horaaaaay Everybody!!

by Andrea Watson | December 21, 2020 | Well Before the Butt-crack of Dawn

Yesterday my sister and I were talking about my last blog post, Please Pass the Yule. We talk about our blog posts a lot. And we often read each other’s stuff over the phone because we want feedback immediately. She kinda did a little flip-out maneuver when she read the part that said I was “a little jaded” that the Christians stole and bastardized Yule from the pagans and turned it into Christmas. She ranted for a minute about religious trauma and what it has done to her and I thought (and said) yes, but I’m a little more “movey-onny” than you. But was that true? WAS IT? I want to know.

I feel like it’s important for me to find out and maybe this little catharsis I’m about to have will help me understand better. So here are a few facts about me, as they relate to one tiny part of my religious experience:

Gay pride march, signs read "Love is a human right"
  1. I knew I liked girls by the time I got to third grade, but my family’s religion taught me that I was going to hell for that, so I kept it deep down inside where no-one ever goes.
  2. This brought me to great suffering in my teens knowing what I desired and what I “could have” were two opposing things. I seriously got bent out of shape over it because I thought I “knew” the truth and I was never going to be able to be with a woman.
  3. As a stupid, defeated 18 year old, I married a man and by year 5 had borne 3 children (which I do NOT regret). However, it didn’t last and I was the one who lost out on the kids because I believed (thanks, Mormonism!) that I had no business fighting back against a man.
  4. I immediately fell into the deepest, darkest depressive downward spiral of my life. I cut everyday, tried to kill myself regularly, and moved steadily further away from the dream of ever seeing my kids again.
  5. A few years later I was so incapacitated that all I could do each day was smoke a lot of weed and spend 4-5 hours meditating in the morning and evening. This helped some.
  6. By this time I did have a girlfriend, but it was such an unhealthy, twisted relationship that it also lasted for only 5 years. A continued to smoke weed and meditate this whole time, but I also was going to school. This is the point where the dam broke.
  7. When it broke, I was faced with all of my internal fear and guilt all at once. No joke, the only reason I got through it was because I watched “Stargate SG-1” and PBS shows like “Evolution” incessantly. These programs forced me to think about my belief structure and what it was doing to me and I went through a metamorphosis and I was finally able to let go of my Mormon beliefs and move on. Long story short, anyway.
  8. I kept healing and getting a little stronger every day and totally embraced the witch who had always been there hiding inside of me, now with some revelation about what it was all about and what my place really was. I had heard “the call” and answered it with a smile on my face. I finally knew that normal little girls don’t draw spirals in the dirt and play with trees and rocks and small outside creatures for leisure. I was that little girl, and she was most definitely a witch without guidance.
  9. Now I look back and I think I have forgiven and forgotten, but have I really?

After reading back over this and pondering on it for a while I have to say No, I have not forgiven and no, I have not forgotten, only stuffed it back down to the inside where no-one ever goes. So I have come full circle maybe? It kinda feels like that. I do not quite feel the righteous rage my sister does, but I definitely feel something bubbling up and that something is pissed.

book laying open on a black blanket in the grass with a flower in it next to a bowl, bag, and headphones

I want to be free of the Mormon religion. Really free. Not just hidden from their record keepers or marked “inactive” or “do not contact” in their books. I want to wash it all away, all of it. But carefully so I don’t hurt myself because in this, and maybe only in this I am blameless.

Angry girl with short hair giving the finger to the camera

I have been hurt. I have suffered. I have been given a sick, false hope that doesn’t align with reality. I want to be done. Can I ever really be? Until next time,

Andrea xo


Published by andrea137

Content writer by day, masked and caped Super Lifestyle and wellness blogger by night, painter, author of short story erotica. Craves attention, loves to engage, all around creative

4 thoughts on “I Can’t Sleep. I know…Let’s Write About Religious Trauma!

  1. Ahhh yes, the righteous anger. Moving on and stuffing down can feel like the same thing when feelings are labeled as invalid. Hence my decision to write the series on religious trauma and helping others unpack. I am still angry, and I will be until something about the religion changes, but I am that way about all forms of injustice. Let’s just try to heal together. I love you sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea, you’re absolutely right to be angry. The problem with leaving a fundamentalist group–regardless of religion–is that while they give you a sense of community, they only maintain that sense with their unchanging beliefs… which don’t appreciate being questioned. In Judaism, no one likes to be reminded that that the palm branches and fruit you hold and shake during Sukkot look like a penis. “Gee, is this some pagan fertility rite we co-opted?” “No, no…” 😀

    There is a point after you leave your old faith that you will learn to forgive it. It takes years and you have more reason than most to feel betrayed. You’ll be able to say “Merry Christmas” without snark. But all things take time. I wish you the happiest of Winter Solstices. But I’m already done with my holiday, so do what you want. 😉


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