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User Topic: Agnostic/Atheist Support Group
Razor
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Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, April 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think its normal to dissect events that have caused us pain. It comes from evolution. *eating those berries make me sick. Id better not eat them again.* That sort of thing. Dissection such as this is a evolutionary advantage.

Being with a WS that constantly cheats pretty much equates to continually eating berries that always make you sick.

So for me dissection mostly is about HOW did this happen? What led up to it and were there things I could have done to prevent it? And. How likely is it to happen again? The second being a risk assessment of our WS and weighing whether not someone new would be a safer bet.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
outside4me
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Member # 42430
Default  Posted: 11:53 PM, April 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The second being a risk assessment of our WS and weighing whether not someone new would be a safer bet.
I like this. Risk assessment!

Posts: 218 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Colorado
SisterMilkshake
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Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 9:30 AM, April 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How does it remain free will if there's some grand plan it was a part of.
Exactly SG. This is one of the main reasons, even as a child who started critically thinking, I started having doubts. Especially when it came to the stories of the Last Supper and all. (How apropos for this time of year.) I mean, I figured out as a kid, for it to all work, there had to be a Judas. Someone had to be Judas. I felt sorry for him and all my classmates hated him. In my eyes, he was set up.

I hope this didn't cross a boundary here.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9952 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
norabird
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Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, April 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hm. re: what SisterMilkshake said...

So if there were a plan, the cheating/betrayal/mindfuck of infidelity (thinking especially of the possibly disordered partners who suddenly show their true face) is something that has to happen to set the betrayed partner onto the right path.

I don't believe in anyone/thing setting events in motion as if life were a chess game for some higher power (the very existence of life is too random, the amount of suffering is too high, there are far too many people anyway for that level of OCD control, not to mention all the birds fishes etc.) ... and yet I still hold onto the idea that okay, I'm supposed to learn something, and turn it into a greater story with some guiding logic, wherein this is supposed to show me xyz and lead me to abc.

So even when we think we are rational the way we make sense of things is not always sensible and that is mostly okay. But it does also mean I'm still avoiding facing the ultimate randomness of everything and that, no, really this only happened because I met the wrong person at a time when I was not able to resist him, and he happened to be incapable of being trustworthy. That has put my life in a mostly good place now, after finding out, but I was going to get to this good place no matter what if I hadn't met him, and might have been in a better one; while others on SI and in real life end up in a worse place than they would have been, and not for any reason, just out of the bad choices made for no greater purpose but someone's selfishness.

Yet that reasoning doesn't always have a framework for our healing to grab onto. We do need to make the best of the bad situation, so we have to change it into a digestible narrative that motivates us to do our best. The 'shit just happens and we make the best of it' model isn't quite as motivating when it comes to healing, even if it's what we objectively believe.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4203 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 10:37 AM, April 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm just dropping in to wish everyone in this group a happy Easter. It is a holiday that we celebrate in our household in a traditional and non-religious sense, and it is a lot of fun. I still haven't figured out if I'm going to set up an Easter egg hunt for my kid or not. He may or may not have outgrown it by now. I have some really, really good memories of him with the Easter Bunny.

This will also be the first year celebrating Easter at my folks' house, as they invited us over. I am having quite a bit of anxiety over this, as my folks are very steadfast in their beliefs, which they have tried to push upon me my entire life, and subsequently my boy. It really is difficult and awkward not sharing the same religious beliefs with my folks, particularly when they want us to celebrate religious holidays with them. I would imagine it is hard on them, too, considering my non compliance with their beliefs.

Anyway... we'll be bringing the FIL along as entertainment value, and he is a handful, himself. Wish us luck! I think I'll need about a week to recoup from this.

[This message edited by LosferWords at 10:38 AM, April 18th (Friday)]


Posts: 8020 | Registered: Dec 2010
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 1:45 PM, April 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Easter is known (in my head) as one of the shame-spiral holidays. Went to Catholic school as an Episcopalian, and even though they spent every day (EVERY. DAY.) reminding me that I was an outsider (see: sit in the back of the church, stay in classroom alone while class goes to special services, gets told by teachers to lose fights with prominent parishioners children because that was where I belonged in the food chain) ... where was I?

Oh yeah - I still got to participate in the commercial aspect of the holiday as long as I solemly promised that I believed with all my heart that Jesus rose from the dead. So I did, and I tried with all my heart to actually believe it so I wasn't a hypocrite. I was in second grade, and I remember sitting there feeling so awful for not actually understanding or believing what they were telling me, but I was going to be allowed to participate in the fun if I went along with it.

My parents weren't religious in the slightest, but they still participated in the commercial aspect of holidays. It was always bittersweet. My parents did the Easter bunny thing in a BIG way for a while, but when I was about 10 I was WAYYYYY to old for that nonsense anymore and it stopped. No warning. One Easter my little sister and I woke up and there was nothing, and our mom said, "Oh grow up, there's no Easter bunny." and that was that.


I try and let my DD experience a part of this weekend, but I don't find myself taking an active role. Crazz's grandparents make baskets for DD and my nephew, and last year my neighbor put on an egg hunt JUST for DD. It made DD so happy and I loved my neighbor for doing it, but I can't seem to go through the motions myself. I still feel wracked with the feelings of hypocrisy that began when I was a little girl, like I shouldn't be allowing us to have fun when I can't sign off on the whole event. Despite my fancy words that I may seem to use to paint pictures more than to be literal, I'm a painfully, desperately honest person.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:48 PM, April 18th (Friday)]


"If the path you walk leads back to yourself, you'll never get anywhere." - Master Oogway

Posts: 18371 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
SisterMilkshake
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Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, April 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Despite my fancy words that I may seem to use to paint pictures more than to be literal, I'm a painfully, desperately honest person.
I believe you and understand this. I just say fuck it and do it, though. It doesn't have to have any religious hypocrisy involved. There is nothing wrong with running with the total commercialism of the "holiday". Despite what Charlie Brown says.

I am so sorry for the shoddy treatment and mindfuckery that you received as a small child at a Catholic school. Great educations, but a lot of mindfuckery for me, anyway. I will say, though, my children attended Catholic school for a few years and they weren't ever left out and always were included. I feel they were trying to convert the little pagans. I know it is easier said than done, Jrazz, because I am still trying to overcome a lot of beliefs that were deeply instilled in me. Every Sunday, I get a twinge. Usually I always come to this thread first on Sunday.

No warning. One Easter my little sister and I woke up and there was nothing, and our mom said, "Oh grow up, there's no Easter bunny." and that was that.
I am so sorry for this, too, Jrazz. Kind of down right cruel. I am all about the fun for my kids. Last Easter my then DS17 y.o. son had to beg me to give up on it, he didn't want to color eggs, he certainly didn't want to hunt for them. Sad for me, 'cause I do love that corny stuff. I have almost 3 grandsons now, so I get to do it for them still.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9952 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Jrazz
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Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 2:48 PM, April 18th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks SM - and I didn't mean to turn this into a pity party. It was very cathartic to write out, as I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was at the root of the internal battle when I would stare down the Cadbury Creme eggs in the grocery store. Certainly not calories - I don't let THOSE tell me what to do!


"If the path you walk leads back to yourself, you'll never get anywhere." - Master Oogway

Posts: 18371 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
catlover50
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Default  Posted: 5:28 AM, April 19th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I love traditions and any reason to make things special. We still do baskets and hide eggs (now they have cash in them) and our kids are young adults! (we send a care package for DS and his girlfriend). I have never worried about the hypocrisy, since in my mind it is all just stories.

When I was 16 and my brother was newly in college I searched for my basket for an hour, then woke my mother up to ask where it was. She was a bit mortified to tell me there wasn't one this year.

I do think that we can choose to learn and grow throughout life, which is how I hope to make the best of bad situations. It helps me to see the positive, but doesn't make it "worth it" in many situations, or ever "meant to be". It is just my nature to look on the bright side whenever possible.

There have actually been very large positives after the discovery of my H's LTA, but I would very much have preferred learning those lessons in another way!

Happy Easter, however you choose to celebrate!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1817 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
hobbeskat
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Default  Posted: 8:05 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yo. Atheist here. And unfortunately my WH's A set off a massive death-related panic attack spiral that's been going on for a year. Due to the whole, "we die, that's it"ness of life, I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened". Has anyone else got this?

Posts: 309 | Registered: Mar 2013
Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 8:09 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened".
I...ummm...I don't quite get what you mean. Could you possibly explain what you're feeling a little bit more?


I have a competition in me.

Posts: 2262 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Razor
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Default  Posted: 9:42 AM, April 22nd (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yo. Atheist here. And unfortunately my WH's A set off a massive death-related panic attack spiral that's been going on for a year. Due to the whole, "we die, that's it"ness of life, I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened". Has anyone else got this?

Sure. Being betrayed is and will always be part of the story of our life. And a story is the sum of its parts. And yeh this is a pretty dark part of that.

I am more of a agnostic myself. So while I feel the belief in some dude that lives on top of the clouds and makes everything happen is laughable. At the same time I admit that there is no way to know what happens to us after we die. It could be that who we are dissolves into the universe. That we cease to exist. Or. It could be that who we are exists as a kind of energy and while our body returns to the earth our spirit or soul or whatever. that moves on to something else. But what that is no one knows.

Being betrayed and feeling pain. Or being wayward and causing pain. Is a thing that is and will always be a part of our life story. Probably a big part. Maybe thats a lesson we take with us to whatever waits beyond death of our body. Or maybe at death it will all be washed away like Tears in the Rain (to quote Rutger Hauer).

If you are in the Tears in the Rain camp. Then being betrayed is just a shitty thing that happened to you. And if none of that matters in the end. Then perhaps a way to deal with it is to engage in some hedonism yourself. I mean. If none of what you do or what happens to you matters. Then why not do your best to have the best time you can while your here?

Being betrayed does not define who we are. But how we respond to being betrayed does.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
norabird
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Default  Posted: 3:26 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened".

I do understand this, but it's not really helpful or useful. Lots of things happen in life that are shitty. L.o.t.s. It's part of life--not only the positive stuff. And handling it strengthens us and increases our compassion and understanding if you let it. It can become an opportunity for growth.

As an atheist I get that it can feel a bit weird to go looking for meaning. But that's the deal of atheism, right, that you create your own? That you endow life with the value it has for you? As a raging against the dying of the light kind of thing? It is to me, at least.

I mean, were you expecting no bad things to happen? Probably not--you know life is a mix. It's just that you are still struggling to accept this particular one bad thing. That's normal but I think it's separate from the faith/meaning question. It sounds more like part of the denial stage; you just want this to go away, to never have happened. Also understandable, as, well, it sucks. But once you accept that it has, then it won't bother you that this has been part of your short time on earth. It will just be.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4203 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Razor
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Default  Posted: 4:20 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sh!t happens.

This MUST be true because I saw it on a bumper sticker.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 8:53 AM, May 2nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As an atheist I get that it can feel a bit weird to go looking for meaning. But that's the deal of atheism, right, that you create your own? That you endow life with the value it has for you? As a raging against the dying of the light kind of thing? It is to me, at least.
I think there's something to be said for this, both as boon and bane. As non-believers, we (or at least *I*) struggle to find meaning in events. I don't mean 'meaning' as in the reason(s) they happened, but moreso along the lines of:

"Ok, this happened in my life. What, if anything, am I going to take away from it? How will I view it within the context of the narrative of the rest of my life?"

For me, after some time, I need to be able to look back at a period of my life and decide how it fits into *my* story. I need to decide what meaning I;m going to assign it in my life, y'know?

Not being religious, I don't struggle with the thoughts of "Why did this happen to me?!?" as much, because shit doesn't require a reason to occur; it just occurs.

That being said, assigning it my own narrative context hasn't been any easier, at least not at 16 months out.


I have a competition in me.

Posts: 2262 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Razor
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Default  Posted: 9:24 AM, May 2nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As a agnostic rather than a atheist I tend to mentally poke at things and try to figure them out. I think this is a normal part of the human condition.

In the Buddhist faith its believed that Life is pain. because pain and suffering come from having a body. so pain and suffering is essential to the human condition.

Evolutionarily speaking we are wired to pay closer attention to negative events because avoiding these things in the future are key to survival. In the case of infidelity we ask WHY and HOW questions to gain understanding of it so we can possibly avoid it in the future. IMO right after Dday many BS are almost eager to take some responsibility for their WS cheating because if we do that then we can avoid being betrayed again by altering our behavior.

As we all know though. nothing we did caused our WS to cheat. and nothing we could have done would have prevented it. So maybe the Buddhist view is the correct one. Shit happens. We just deal with it and then try to move on as best we can afterward.

I dont recall where I read it. But somewhere in the Buddhist texts there is a bit about animals not feeling sorrow. they just accept what happens to them. It was something about a bird freezing to death while sitting on a tree branch. It does not lament at its condition or wonder why this happens to it. It just freezes and dies. This was stated as the natural way things go. and that we as people should try and have that same state of mind.

Again though. this is contrary to our evolutionary wiring.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 10:52 AM, May 2nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I dont recall where I read it. But somewhere in the Buddhist texts there is a bit about animals not feeling sorrow. they just accept what happens to them. It was something about a bird freezing to death while sitting on a tree branch. It does not lament at its condition or wonder why this happens to it. It just freezes and dies. This was stated as the natural way things go. and that we as people should try and have that same state of mind.

I dunno. I'd be wary of statements like that. People used to believe that animals didn't feel pain, either. So when they performed experiments on them they wouldn't bother with anesthetics while vivisecting them alive. I mean you'd think the screams of agony would be a clue.

I have no idea if an animal feels sorrow or not. Maybe there's a neurologist that can weigh in on that, but until I see a solid biochemical map one way or the other I'm gonna wait and see and maybe anthropomorphize a bit for my own sake.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7580 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
norabird
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Default  Posted: 11:08 AM, May 2nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Kind of a t/j, but I was reading an Oliver Sachs article recently that talked about worm brains, jellyfish brains, etc (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/apr/24/mental-life-plants-and-worms-among-others). There are lots of forms of consciousness out there. Most of them I am sure feel pain and fear.

On a certain level, pain and fear are how you know you're alive. They don't have a greater function, so we create a way for them to endow us with strength, or understanding, or compassion. And in the end I guess it's better to have the pain than to be nothing, to not exist or live.

[This message edited by norabird at 11:12 AM, May 2nd (Friday)]


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4203 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, May 2nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm not a neurologist, but part of my Antho studies included comparisons with bonobo chimps. I think that with animals, we can't help but anthropomorphize because of the nature of our perception. We can only compare to what we personally experience. I can tell you that I've seen videos of creatures experiencing what can only be described as fear, anticipation, love... whether they're chemical reactions or not it really walks and talks the same as what we go through.

Dolphins and elephants also seem to display complex emotions, and forethought.


"If the path you walk leads back to yourself, you'll never get anywhere." - Master Oogway

Posts: 18371 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, May 2nd (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Jrazz, was that the experiment where they had fuzzy, warm lovable chimp dolls with no milk and the wire mesh uncomfy chimps with milk and the babies chose to basically die with the comfy dolls than get milk from the uncomfy ones?

Wow that was a runon sentence.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7580 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
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