Am I Crazy?

Sometimes I feel like being a Catholic made me crazy.  Or like they somehow put a chip in my brain telling me what I'm supposed to think and I can't quite get rid of it or reprogram it.

I went to Catholic school for 13 years of my life, and I was raised in a half Catholic family that I thought was all Catholic for 18 years.  I was pretty much a psycho Catholic, one of the ones who believed that EVERYTHING the church said had to be 100% right no matter what I thought or felt, no matter what made sense and didn't.  I never questioned any of it.

Then I went to college and learned that there are other religions and faiths out there.  I didn't know any of it.  I mean, I was the college freshman who didn't even know condoms existed let alone what they were for.  If the church didn't want me to know it, I didn't.  Suddenly as I learned more the Catholic faith stopped making sense.

I realized that I just didn't agree with a lot of things.  I didn't want to condemn the world, which is what so many Catholics seem to do.  I didn't want to put 100% belief in a man just because he's the pope.  I didn't want to do everything the church said.  I didn't agree with the fact that they teach only abstinence sex ed.  (Look at how many catholic school girls get pregnant because of that...)  I was angry that I had had so much of the world hidden from me.  I didn't agree that children are born with sin.  They haven't done anything.  How could they be born with sin?  I didn't understand the whole concept of faith and acts to be saved.  I couldn't understand why I had to tell a man what I did wrong instead of just talking to God, or why we prayed to Mary and the Saints and not straight to God.  None of it made sense any more.  I mean, I still believed in God and all, but all of the rules, all of the regulations, all of the guilt...I didn't buy it.

I thought I was done with the Church, but having to go to Mass with my family when I'm home for the summer I realized something.  I don't want to be part of the church, but I see baptisms and communions and it kills me that my children (who, mind you aren't even conceived yet...) won't do those things if I don't go to church.  Why?  I don't want anything to do with the church so why do I care about those things?  Am I crazy?  Or is this a normal stage of recovering from Catholicism?
jennieileen jennieileen
22-25, F
21 Responses Jun 11, 2007

pardon me for saying so but your first mistake is in your 2nd paragraph; "....EVERYTHING the church said had to be 100% right no matter what I thought or felt, no matter what made sense and didn't". 'making sense' is the key idea. this statement reveals the problem in its entirely. its complex but let me try to explain. in order to make sense out of anything you hear, see or reason, you must first comprehend what is taking place within you, inside your own mind. and with that understanding you may be able to see how it all works and how you got contaminated in the first place.

what is thinking? we use thinking and feeling to make sense. they move together. one is not more cogent than the other although you may have been led to believe feelings are more reliable with all the fe/male talk of feelings being superior to thinking. as if emoting is more reliable than reasoning, feeling more important and more reliable than understanding or intellectually comprehending something said, seen or thought about.

what you expressed is a feeling of making sense, not what does it mean to make sense. or see or comprehend what is true or what is false. people discount intellectual comprehension when it is too much for them to think about. at that moment or many thousands of moments, looking has stopped, what is misunderstood is simply ignored, dismissed, pushed away or psychologically speaking pushed back down and go along with the crowd. the group thought. the happy feeling that someone has told me everything good is still ahead, which as we live our lives we find out could not be further than it is from the truth. yet we bought it. why? how?

the how of course is much more important than why did it happen. how did it happen?; what is the mechanism? not what is their mechanism. we know what their mechanism is. it is a business that preys on our fear, insecurity, loneliness, stupidity, credulity and our tendency to believe in things that either do not exist or may not exist. like a child perhaps.

how does the brain work. how does my brain work. what takes place when I think and feel. what are those pictures in my head like a movie reel apparently reliving what went on before.

unless I understand that I can have no real sense of what it is that is taking place, which is what I am inside, me, I, the self, the thinker feeler. and what is the machinery that is working when i think-feel-picture? how do I look at it?

this means of course knowing yourself. self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. from this knowing which is not an accumulation of even more data which means more conditioning in another, one of many different directions. so instead of following the content I follow the machinery, the process, as I watch a thought with feeling emerge in me, proceed along its entire duration and come to an end. not getting caught up in the content just yet I observe how the whole thing works in me, and consequently in everyone else as well.

once I have that down fairly well I begin to observe the content, I listen to what is being said inside. I observe how it moves me as the feelings attached to each thought steer the ship and I begin to see my attitude, my prejudges, which are my opinions about most everything. behind that the fears of not knowing, of not having the right answers, and I begin to see the compulsion to repeat what I think and feel that I know.

and that is the solution to all our problems. self-awareness, or awareness itself is the solution to all of our problems. the problem is we tend to make that into another idea which must be followed and so we become a prisoner of that idea.

awareness may lead to scrubbing clean the inside of the engine so to speak but the pipes are still filled with residue so the important thing is continuous attention. continuous awareness, not an accumulative awareness which is simply another bad path where as there is no path to truth, no path to comprehending what is false. there is only self-knowing through continuous attention, which is easy and simple, when you realize that lack of attention means the accumulation is in control again and will direct your life.

and when you see the tremendous pressure you are putting on yourself on your mind to conform in order to fit in, to be right and all the rest of if and you see that it is occurring within you, inside you and no one outside your skin is doing a thing to make you do, think, say or feel, you begin to take responsibility for yourself as there is no one to blame; it is how your mind works and unless you understand your own mind, which means through direct observation to understand yourself and how the machinery inside of you works, you cannot ever be free of merely moving the furniture around in your ongoing prison.

you must face it which means facing yourself depending on no one, standing on your own two feet and paying attention.which means facing the fear, living with the fear inside you, understanding the fear and letting the understanding and comprehending of your fears free your mind from all fear.

it takes a bit of diligence, attentiveness, and not wasting your energy and valuable time on distractions. that's all. and enjoying the life long joy of learning. it all begins with learning the art of listening to yourself and others, just listening, seeing what is, seeing what is true and seeing what is false. when you know your own mind you know when your mind is playing a trick on you, and although amused you are learning about yourself all the time. good luck!

Hi Jennie. I did not read all the responses. I see that you are perplexed. I can understand that. If you want to talk off line, please reach out to me. I just want share that God is like a loving father who is there to help us along when we need him and to be there for good times too. Jesus suffered and died for us so that we can live for ever with him. This is at the heart of the Church, his Body. Life has it's difficulties. And the mysteries (sacraments) out side of his Body is meaningless. But we have to be willing to accept the truth and sometimes that can be difficult. I see that you need some healing. I hope you find it in the love and solace of His Body. Please reach out to me to talk off line.

i'm totally with u jenny...& hang in with fully recovering yr own psyche. i've been in Recovery from catholicism for decades...& had much help from 12step codependency program, & a jungian counsellor...[who's a practising catholic]. my greatest objection is their presumption that my mind was their psyche too...without my consent...!!! this trespass is like a psychic rape. i encourage u to keep on accessing your own mind...& trust that it'll all be ok when u are fully back home within yrself. u've been systematically programmed for many be gentle with yr recovery. & trust that yr own clarity will be yr greatest gift for sheltering yr own children's free-minds during their own emergent soul-lives.

This is much healthier than trying to accept it all over again as absolute fact. Don't worry, you're not crazy.

Be Free, Live and Let Live. Be the person you want to be. If you feel inclined, is there anything wrong with taking your children to Christmas mass once a year?

Thousands of priests and brothers have raped and abused thousands of innocent children over hudreds of years. That's pretty bad stuff.
However, the abuse you describe, has been inflicted onto hundreds of millions of innocent children. It continues today and is culturally accepted.
Archaic sinister rituals are practiced which have many harmful effects on the development of normal human emotional inteligence.
Your article here is of a normal human heart reaching out to reality and being brave enough to finally listen to that little voice within. This little voice is there calling to us as we experiance the normal beautiful and natural emotions and feelings, yet we must pretend we are better then human.
I must say that I believe you are still resisting the truth. There is no need for you to consider a God, especially the barbaric monster described in the old testement. It is best that you consider your true self and listen to your heart. For this is where the power of your humanity is waiting for your approval.
The church experiance you endured is the abuse i refer to above. It is still happenning as always and it is a crime on humanity.
Those who are affected most by the brainwashing find themselves sufferring from a personality that requires pretention to exist. Reality is so full of demonised natural instincts, they can not be normal without enduring enormous guilt.
Young mothers and fathers stand grasping handsfull of beads, looking to the sky mumbling nonesence to a fake god, as their children struggle to understand the un natural display of hokus pokus forced upon them.This church has no more chance of survival trhen does the Taliban of Affghanistan. In fact the Taliban will last longer as the population will be starved of education and the facts of the natural world.
The internet and the shrinking of the world and the solution of many unknown and mysteries of nature make the little voice within more understandible and credible every year that goes by.
The catholic church will be nothing more then a page in the history book, in the chapters that deal with the dark ages. You can linger there if you wish my catholic friends and you may as well do so if you are living a life of self denial, it may well be better to do it this way then to be a Narcissistic alcoholic. But you might consider leaving your children open to their own judgment rather then brainwashing them.

You are truly crazy and if you think its bad that you were born with sin, this whole article just made it 10000 times worse. your an arrogant sinner who needs the lord in your life to save you. because what ever has gotten into your head that its okay to give up your body so young is absolutely crazy, life on earth and after earth will not be the best for you unless you change your ways and proclaim better faith

Who said anything about wanting to give up my body so young? Just because I didn't want reality hidden from me doesn't mean I wanted to give up my body. It's people like you who judge people without actually understanding or knowing anything about the person that make me certain I've made the right decision to leave the Catholic church and find a better faith somewhere else.

Congratulations... This awareness is an honest pursuit of the real God. For now leave the Catholics and grow with God especially if kids
But no one out a computer chip in your head. The church has a duty to protect the. Flock. From evil. So they keep it simple.
It seems like your being called to a higher sense of awareness. Umm I got some advise.... Jesus Christ is the king of gods. The gods are like elemental/angels...pick up the bible and read it from beginning to end for however long it takes... Then you'll understand who god is. Then research church history and find out how Catholics came to be.

The Catholic Church protects its people from thinking too much... Yes it's a bad thing sometimes..the church isn't perfect. But God holds the pope responsible for all that happens.

Haha nowadays we can fly around the world in a day...

Your so young in Christ... When it comes to knowledge if your gift is that... Research the bible. And check it with history teach your kids but remembers this **** is very serious... It's very political and intimate.
Gods relationship with the individual Nd the group not the same...
I pray God will bless you but I hear the kids dads not around....go back to church they can't answer your questions but people like me can.
Be proud your catholic. Never abandon the faith

Yeah you have to lead your children don't be selfish like this generation put your family first sorry about the missing dad... It's not fair
Questioning is good "test the spirits"

Christian concepts are a little strange original sin... A baby is not born evil... Lol no. But sin is the knowledge of good and evil... All the aliens and angels whatever where amazed to see sheep eat grass the devil ruined our holiness(which means sepsrate)

Salvation is a process but I think it's best understood as having your identity be not your job sexuality or how cool you are your identity is in the person of Christ... It's he who defines you, not your actions... But this "relationships" make you do good deads

Don't blame the church from hiding reality from you their mission is to lead you to Christ... If you want to learn about the truth...the "gods" are all submitted to Christ... Most willingly...hmm I recommend the religion spirituality test on
Don't worship or serve the other Gods
Because its unnatural the elemental powers are of this world and are cool but we don't serve or worship them.

As far as the sexuality thing goes nothing out of marriage... We are called to a holy and sepsrate life... We don't want you to lose your identity in your man again or even your kids... No sexual acts... The church teaches to put God as the driving force of love and to put the family before the self. I know it's hard and no you won't go to hell but keep in mind don't throw pearls to swine... Put your kids first....good luck with that one captain

You see how dangerous assuming is like I just did to you!! Don't do it to God...

Your not crAzy i have been diagnosed nuts so don't listen to me!!

Too bad you can't talk to a priest? Or a nun? Check out the Eastern Orthodox Church too! Your part of the family and we are all ******* nuts!!!

The church is good, but it depends on how you view them... Their purpose is to protect his sheep from's all good. Keep your kids in church when you have them but don't look to the priests as God they are just sending a message and most are lame dont you think... Reflect on this, why are you attracted to the church? Out aside the family thing... What makes you like it? No one would like it today unless called. As for guilt... You blame yourself for sin? Not good. You have to be responsible for it though me too.
Their good people but most are ******* retarded people just lost and have no concept of god or find a good priest. Ask questions priests are like psychologists, if they make you say an our father concentrate....
"Our" father.... Not yours not mine ours... We are praying on behalf of the whole church
Who are in heaven-he ain't here like that he's in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread- give us what we need to get through the day
Forgive us of our sins- cause we all **** up...
And lead us not into a place where we might follow a life besides Christ being first
And deliver us from the evil- because he's after our *** and we need an authorirative attitude when we look at the psychological thought processes that form complexes like...I don't know depression... If you watch your mind... You'll see you think of something that makes you feel bad and immediately another thought validated it or pints to another area hat depressed-kind of...used to call them demons...
But in your head most time low level spirits...
You'll be fine but be prepared to encounter people who assume like me and fight for the truth...
Wikipedia...the truth is out there

God bless you and your future family and get your *** back to church

And pray for me because when I talk about God a spirt comes into my heart making me think about killing myself...
Scary huh? That's me not you...
We are all members of the body with a specific purpose and we need council
The church will always be there for you... There are posers but God definitely has some real people in his house...
Or **** it and leave the church but read the ****** bible.
I shouldn't be saying ****... But it's a life style try and find one thats better I guess.
The church has your back... Christ does too. We all love you and encourage you to seek after truth as long as you stay faithful to Christ.
Jesus Christ this ain't easy "bring her home god...let her know she's already home... Go learn wikipedia
Questions? is good or a catholic interpretation get all of them then pray the Holy Spirit interprets...what it means...
Read the apocrypha read church history... Sorry but it's so awsome for me. You have to find a guy that will lead you or your never going to know God unless you read and act... Sucks i know they should make a movie.

Jesus Christ sacrifice is a very deep concept...hahahahh it took 325 years to come up with trinity.
Sorry I study the church and I'm proud but I don't know anything that much compared to the info...

Whats your passion?

Hi there Jennieileen.Yes, it is quite normal for you to be grieving a loss of community and also to be struggling with the indoctrination. I married into a very, very Catholic family and I am non-Christian, and even I struggle with their convictions. It is a brainwashing, as I never had feelings of guilt before, and like you, I don't believe in sin etc. Yet, I would like to be part of the group, to belong. It is only natural. No one likes to feel shunned. Yet it is that shunning of me because I refuse to label myself Catholic that makes me angry. I am a good person. That is the only label that should count, and the fact that they don't know this means they have not one ounce of religious or spiritual authority. I hope you find the peace you seek. I have found it outside of Christianity in paganism/transcendentalism for 24 years. I know that most will not respect my choice because it is misunderstood, and as such I am misunderstood. However I am sort of OK with that, as these are my privately held beliefs and they provide me much comfort and joy. However, as religious extremism has taken hold and expanded in this country, I feel deeply that it should not be allowed to proliferate, unchallenged like a cancer. I would like to be able to believe what I believe and be proud. I am proud of the values paganism represents. I believe the world could use a religion that is an alternative to the Judeo-Christian point of view. I feel that if more people saw the sacred in all the living world we would feel it a spiritual mission to protect it from corporate greed and pollution. In fact, a lot of the metaphors in Christianity were lifted from the Pagan religions in order to get converts. One only has to look at nature to see the cycles of death (in winter) and rebirth (in the spring), symbolizing everlasting life. If it was more important to see each other as being part of the human species, we wouldn't separate ourselves into religious sects that require devotion to our sect, rather than each other. If we all could see that the stories of religious texts are myths designed to guide us, then we could have respect for each others myths. None of them would have to be the only one that is right. They would all have merit; all be "right' in some way. My spouse feels the same way and has left the church too. You aren't alone. The things I have had to be exposed to as part of the family and by the family are detestable. Another alternative to Christianity altogether are the Unitarian Universalists. They accept people of all creeds, faith's, orientations etc. Their rituals are qutie different from the mainstream. The meetings are creative, interactive, sharing; there's no just going through the motions. Though there is singing, which is quite nice. They also have a community garden and other activities. Again, there are others out here who also don't share in blind faith, other thinkers. You should be proud. I think that true peace can only be found by those who don't blindly follow. It isn't easy to be a freethinker, but it's rewards of freedom, truth and deep spiritual understanding are worth it. Whatever path you choose, I wish you support and peace in your choices.

Hi your paganism! Umm east?yellow air? West well I don\'t need to go over it! Is it uh mother maiden crone or horned dude from back awhile....
Yeah bigid seems cool and that lady and her husband really focused on focusing on the Celtic ones tell
Me pagan! What do you think about the dieties mentioned in the bible!! Arggghhh attack don\'t call it marriage call it warr arrghjj fnord!
Yes I know a thing about the elemental ****... Like the water energy whatever..
You know that they are angels and Christ is the head of them right?

They don\'t like it when you run after them... If you know you know you got a kind of earn their respect... Only one girl inknow like that.. But most of the angels love Christ and are in charge of certain ****... Yeah yeah **** the church your so open minded... No really your cool but.
If you really want to get their attention bring up Christ like principles when you talk to them... Oh please don\'t worship them they don\'t like it like that its like an overbearing girlfriend.... Inknow them
I grew up with them...did you...don\'t worship them... The devil is in heaven portioning God why humans can\'t be part of the family and that\'s a number one point...but Christ is our attorney...let me think of a good god for oh nice.... Use wiccapedia

kelleyk, I think that the statement that Archbishop Sheen said would apply to people who are not familiar with the faith, but many of us are looking at it from the inside out. In other words, someone who was raised Methodist might dislike Catholicism for the wrong reasons, but someone (like myself) who lived within it and lived it to the letter -- and drove myself to illness as a result -- can't be accused of just having been fed some lies by one misguided priest or teacher. These are institutional problems that are perpetuated by every person in authority. It's not one wrong thing that we have heard -- it is a lifetime of teaching. You might find yourself on the other side of the argument one day, and when/if you do, my statements will probably make more sense.

jennie, I know exactly what you mean! My two children were baptized in the Catholic church and I only left about a year ago. I still have sort of a hard time thinking about the parts of my future that I have closed the door on -- my little girl won't dress up in white for her first communion, and I won't be an old Catholic grandmother with 25 grandchildren. The sense of continuity is somewhat gone. Part of what has helped me has been starting to recognize that I actually have two consciences -- a Catholic conscience and a Christian conscience. Right now, my Catholic conscience freaks out every once in a while, because I haven't been to mass in over a year (Hell! Hell!) but my Christian conscience leads me gently in the right way, over and over again, one step at a time. Which one of those voices sounds more like the Jesus that we meet in the Bible? :) I hope that you find the peace that you need in your journey. It's hard sometimes.

Hi sorry but you sound lame... This is why dude.. How can you have a Christian and catholic mentality there\'s no division... I hope your offended but I\'m pissed more at the fact that you got no teacher
This ain\'t some far out personal journey... Pick up the ******* bible and read it and then read history of you don\'t have the care then stop asking questions that\'s being a little punk you know... This is serious... Read the ******* book
Sorry for swearing but it\'s not an individual thing I will tell you all read the ******* book before you make any claims no one cares about your personal journey like Christ hell never leave you and I don\'t even saying anything more because your stuck between Christian and catholic God what does that mean?
He says read the book and ask questions catholic..... Wait no just read the ****** book and u won\'t be stuck...
But no I have a feeling you really don\'t give a **** when it comes to the real thing so **** it go try drugs...
Lol no I do respect the fact that your family is \"first communion\" we don\'t care about your daughters dress we want you to know the real deal

Read "Tom Robbins." He spent many years working for the Catholic church. His mission was to explore other religions and debunk them. After traveling the world (on the churches dime) Tom came back with a message to the Catholics; "you got it all wrong!" As he put it, after that he called in well and quit the church for good. Now he is an auther and a teacher of life.

Tom Robbins don\'t know ****/.. No I don\'t know him ok so he traveled the whole ******* world big deal **** head it\'s 2013 we can fly around the globe in a ****** day and we have the Internet... We have it all wrong!! No but we are missing a piece.. The Catholic Church knows damn well too... Which is good but read Tim Robbins he went around the world investigating....hahahfuck that **** it\'s 2013... Ill never care about Tim Robbins again he\'ll alway be a ******* idiot in my book because of the way you described his authority on the truth... Lol grow up dumb ***... Sorry I\'m an *******... But come on
Man!! Here look at spirituality religion on what her ant is we are missing a part what he didn\'t say is Christ is the one who tells those elemental a whatever what to do. Too harsh? **** you and your opinion! It\'s lame you ain\'t got good advise... So take advice from an ******* or shut your mouth or say something wise... And answer is love sometimes a swift kick in the ***?

Google how to be a Christian and be obedient. Read the Bible and be obedient. Believe in Jesus and be obedient. Obedient not to what man says, but what the Word of God says. Find a nondenominational church and visit. Don't ask another person for their opinion, you'll just keep asking till you find some kook that agrees with you. Seek, seek, seek, and you will find. Read the Bible, start with the book of John.

That\'s a perfect statement good job... Wait. Let me read that ****** **** again... Oh **** please pray for me...

I hope you really going to pray I\'m testing you

I'm a psychotherapist, and I've been treating survivors of cults for years now. What's drawn me away from Catholicism (apart from recent events!) is noticing how many features of cult mind control apply even to mainstream religious traditions. The fear and sadness you feel about your children not having these rites is so much like what my clients feel when they let go of cult beliefs. I feel it, myself; and I've come to realize that if I can't bear with the anxiety of letting go, how can I help them do it?

I'm a psychotherapist, and I've been treating survivors of cults for years now. What's drawn me away from Catholicism (apart from recent events!) is noticing how many features of cult mind control apply even to mainstream religious traditions. The fear and sadness you feel about your children not having these rites is so much like what my clients feel when they let go of cult beliefs. I feel it, myself; and I've come to realize that if I can't bear with the anxiety of letting go, how can I help them do it?

I have tried to "wash" my brain after 30 years of indoctrination. Trying to forgive myself for swallowing Catholicism to the point of near fanaticism is really difficult. It took a huge toll on my life. I made decisions that I never should have because I could not think for myself. The worse part is that my children suffered so much from what I would now call my religious sickness.<br />
<br />
Recently, after attending my father's funeral in a Catholic church, I realized that there is some beauty in the liturgy. Even comfort. For the first time I was able to forgive the priests, bishops and other leaders for their fervency. I will never go back to that religion, NEVER ! But now at least, I can see that many of its leaders are victims too. They may mean well, but some of the words used to describe Christ's state of mind as He hung on the cross, "forgive them Father for they know not what they do," seem to fit. <br />
<br />
I am sorry if my words offend any fervent catholics out there who may be reading this. They are probably well meaning people and if the religion works for them, I understand. But I will always hope that they will realize that the poor of the world don't need to be told that to practice birth control is wrong. To think of the suffering of children brought into some of those situations really breaks my heart . That can not in any way serve God, the Church or the world. Many people are just victims of the teachings of the Catholic Church and I can only hope that they will someday see this.

Have a read of this paper.
Google the term. "ten things catholics dont know"

Then if you think that you made a bad decision to leave the church I will be most surprised. This paper is written by the church. This is the pot calling the pot black. This is not some outrageous anti catholic rant by some lunatic. This is a psychotic statement of expectations by a dillusional organization management. You would be forgiven if you thought it was satire.

Jennieeileen, <br />
I am here with you. While I feel the problem is not with the raw materials upon which it was based, but rather the problem is with the men, to me a kind of old boys network, who claim to have the only correct interpretation. <br />
<br />
My aunt is a nun and my mother devout. In the 1980's I was kicked out of the confirmation ceremony that was to have been the next day for stating/asking "Does Christ really want an army and for me to join? I think he was a pacifist." <br />
<br />
I never attend church, and am outraged by the church's actions and policies, particularly their seeming disregard for the welfare of their poorest members. If you would like some levity, e sure and watch the song contained (near the beginning) in the Movie "The Meaning of Life." I believe it is called "Every ***** is Sacred." it is a very smart and entertaining critique of church policies as regards birth control in poor regions of the aunt was enraged when I played it in the same room she was in...)<br />
<br />
I have two children, and despite my intellectual rejection of the doctrine that children are born with sin, I still worry that if the one who was not baptized dies, she may go to hell. <br />
<br />
Yes, what you are feeling is normal...don't know if it will ever go away...hence we will always be "recovering."

Although difficult, I think it’s for the best that you're learnt to think for yourself and had the courage to question many of the ideas which you've been indoctrinated with. <br />
<br />
I urge you to read the "Vicars of Christ" by Peter De Rosa. It will give you a frightening insight into just how flawed the origins of the Catholic Faith are.<br />
<br />
That doesn't mean everything about Catholicism is bad. However, I certainly don't believe it has any special moral authority compared with most of the other great world religions.<br />
<br />
For reference, I had a wonderful relationship with a Catholic woman which was needlessly ruined by her irrational and extreme religious (Catholic) views. This was a tragedy for both of us and I’m sure not what God intended since Jesus Christ preached a ministry of tolerance, love and reconciliation.<br />
<br />
Good luck on your spiritual journey.

way <br />
to see how political bad it gets<br />

I am 46 and am in the same place you are right now. Fortunately, my parent are dead and I don't have the added guilt from them. I am currently looking at the United Christ of Christ and the Episcopal Church. Your unborn children can find God in another church (s)he is everywhere. The Episcopal Church service is a lot like Roman Catholic (communion every week and such), the UCC is more liberal and less liturgically based. I would hope your family would support you as long as you are worshipping in a Christian church. Good Luck!

Bishop Sheen once said something like, Nobody really hates the Catholic Church, only what they think it teaches. I believe that's true and I'm so sorry that you've been filled with so many notions of fear, guilt, rules, etc. When you understand the Catholic faith and all the joy and opportunity, it really is very beautiful and anyone who shoved it down your throat with a different attitude was wrong. I beg you to take one risk. Read something by someone who has converted or even reverted to Catholicism. Someone who is enthusiastic and excited to be in the Church. I'd recommend anything by Scott Hahn or Christopher West, ooh, or Tim Staples. I haven't written anything, but I'd be happy to talk with you more if you'd like to pm me. God Bless.

One of the things about leaving the church is you also leave a community. You grew up with the people in the church being part of your life in several ways, tied together by the church. Communion and Baptism were affirmations of the community, and also milestones in your life, it makes sense that you grieve that leaving the church would mean taking that from your children.