Agonies and Ecstasies, My Journey Toward Freedom from Extreme Religion
One man's journey through the agonies of traumatizing extreme religion toward freedom to live fully, and proudly, as HUMAN, rather than live as a 'dehumanized' "gift from God" as preached by his 'Saintly Southern Baptist mother'. More
Raised as 'a gift from God' by a Southern Baptist 'Saintly mother', and practicing as a minister for several years, the author experiences what he labels; a "personal existential apocalypse" - original Greek meaning, "lifting of the veil!" Becoming a proud scientific atheist, he leaves his extreme religious trauma behind, and for the next twenty-four years successfully manages his inherited anxiety disorder to become a successful and happy and productive human service professional. At age 53, his 'saintly mother' announces to him that she has sacrificed his physical life to her God because he is blocking his children from believing in her God - clearly saying that he is a 'failure' and 'must die' for his 'non belief' in her God. The author is deeply traumatized and over next several years experiences several major clinical episodes of three co-morbid anxiety disorders, including Panic Disorder and PTSD. His trauma results in life long degenerative metabolic disorders. The author presents in clinical, scientific, philosophical, therapeutic, and autobiographical format the agonies and ecstasies of his 'personal journey toward freedom' from extreme religion. A deeply personal story unapologetically delving into some deep philosophy, science, and human behavior, the author humbly refers to and shares several of the 'human giants' on 'whose shoulders he continues to stand' along his journey toward freedom from extremism. This is a story of one human journey via 'therapeutically reframing' the agonies of extreme religious trauma into the ecstasies of living toe-to-toe with 'real world uncertainties' ... fully, and proudly, HUMAN! - not a gift from some god.
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