Saturday, March 27, 2021

Belief in the supernatural makes me feel uncertain and scared

Belief in the supernatural, in someone else, makes me feel uncertain and scared. I have often felt bad about it because I can be hostile to other people’s religious beliefs sometimes, and I wonder why it bothers me so much when it doesn’t really affect me.

It just occurred to me that the two major sources of trauma in my life both came from people with supernatural beliefs I don’t have.

My parents have mentioned that one of my cousins who abused me used to regularly insist that there were ghosts in his room. We figure he probably had borderline PD, and this was a reflection of the stress-induced psychotic features associated with that condition. The times when he was seeing ghosts were also times when his behavior tended to be worse. Given that his behavior issues included sexually molesting me and getting physically violent towards my parents (once even strangling my mother), I probably learned a pretty strong association between “person seeing things that aren’t there” and danger.

And then, my school. The teachers who abused me all had very strong Catholic beliefs, and used them to justify the abuse. I was a bad child, doomed to Hell unless they could brutalize me into changing pretty much everything about my personality. Instead, they simply trained me to view anyone who tries to convince me to believe in their religion, especially Christians, as automatically a dangerous and harmful person. It was during my time in that school that I became atheist, with an antitheist bent (I hope God doesn’t exist, because if He does, He’s probably evil and wants me to suffer).

So it shouldn’t be surprising, I guess, that even hearing someone talk about praying or doing spells or any other practice that implies supernatural beliefs sends chills down my spine and makes me want nothing to do with them. Even people saying what Zodiac sign they are like it actually means anything frightens me.

The only exception is my parents, who are devout Christians and also people that I trust absolutely, but they don’t flaunt their religion in front of me. They don’t try to tell me what God thinks, and they don’t talk about their prayers to me, or pray for me. They respect that Christianity is a source of trauma for me.

Ironically, nowadays it’s often the pagans who tend to trigger me. Even though many of them have trauma related to Christianity, too, they don’t seem to consider that their own religion could trigger anyone. And yet some of the things they believe mirror what my abuser used to hallucinate.