Rachel Johnson

Atheist Blogger- the godlessvagina / Podcaster the pink atheist


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An Honorable Atheist.

I hear it all the time.  We are angry, we are mean, we are impossible to date, and live with. Atheist’s are just impossible.  We want facts for everything, we always say, “Where is the evidence” and we don’t listen to people who tell us how they feel about their beliefs. We atheists, are simply mean, and angry. We don’t want to let people just believe what they want in peace.

Except we do. Now, let me explain a few things to those of you who just want to fight with atheists, and shout us into silence, and strip us of the right to fight for what WE believe in. You are wrong, and I will prove it. For starters, I am an honorable atheist. I listen, even when I don’t want to listen, to people talk about religion.

I would not care, nor would many other atheists, what you do in your private lives and churches, if you weren’t busy trying to force it down the throats of everyone. Including your fellow Christians. When I say everyone, I mean just that, everyone. Those without beliefs, those with different beliefs, and those that want to quietly believe. You want your god, your specific god, on our money. You want to declare this a christian nation, you want to be able to put up signs about your god everywhere, you want federal money for your churches, and schools which are nothing but glorified churches. You want to say prayers in every public event, and you want to force us to let you. You want to claim the moral high ground when you do, claiming freedom of religion, but you forget freedom from religion.

Freedom of religion also means that not just you, but every one of the hundreds of beliefs has an equal right to exercise their specific brand of religion. It means that a specific group of religious people does not have the freedom while simultaneously denying the rights of others to practice, or refuse to practice religion.

When religious people are around atheists, they try and bate us into a debate they later claim to not have incited at all. They just want us to know where they stand, while not having to hear where we do, and this includes in relationships. No matter what point you are in a relationship, and which one it is, family, partner, or just friend with benefits, you know they day will come when you will be challenged to a battle of the wits, or at least it will come up and then you will not only be blamed for it coming up, but then told you are mean and angry, and that they can’t discuss it with you. All because you don’t believe what they do. And in the name of unfairness. People will try to bait you in no matter where you are, but the moment you try and explain things, it is the old switch, switch it to you being an emotionally unstable ball of anger, that has some facet of mental issues. All because you felt that you had the right to be heard.

Some atheists are the most moral and honorable people I know. They don’t start debates, but they can end one with you losing your religion. They don’t steal, or kill, or indoctrinate people, and they help everyone they can. They only engage people who try and abuse their patience, and moral character. They only want to be free from religion and live in a world where everyone can get along. Atheists are really not the monsters that they have been made out to be.

We are loving people, but not floor mats. You can be our friends, and hug us, and talk and laugh with us, but don’t dare step on us. We don’t go around burning down churches, and burning crosses on lawns, and enslaving people, and abusing people’s rights to their bodies. We don’t start wars over our disbelief. What we do is get together and do some charity, and laugh, and drink, and live pretty normal lives. Even when it comes to love, we are pretty similar to the rest of the world in that aspect. We don’t go out looking to abuse our fellow man.

Atheists are angry, but with justified reasoning. We get angry at the horrendous injustices done everywhere on this planet in the name of one religion or the other. We get angry at things we should get angry at, and what we keep wondering, is where is your moral outrage?

If you want to specifically know why we are angry, read Greta Christina’s book 99 reasons atheists are angry.

There must be a bit of anger in this world where it is due, and it must be displayed. When women don’t have the right to decide what their own reproductive choices are. Children are beaten with belts and other weapons, and wars are fought in the name of one deity or another, we have the right to own our moral outrage. If you are not outraged, with us, then I would ask where your morality lies?

What would make atheists happy, and leave religious people alone, is, if they would keep their religion in the places where it belongs. The churches, and homes, and synagogues, and temples, and Mosques where people should practice what they believe. Not in the streets, and on money, in politics, and on every sign, in every town, in courts, and schools, and stores, and well….just everywhere.

You claim the moral high ground with your religion, and its doctrines, but I am telling you now, atheists are more moral and honorable of people. We don’t try and force what we don’t believe down people’s throats, we try and prevent others from doing that. We don’t build churches and temples and then ostracize people for not going, and make laws based on our disbelief in deities. Many of us are also humanists and live with the notion of being good to our fellow humans. So, when you try and claim that atheists are mean, and evil, and hell bound, and that we are worse than rapists, it is because you are guilty of all the things you try and put onto us, and you know it. We are the more moral people, and that is just the truth.

 

 

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Living With PTSD, The Invisible War

It was five years ago when I was diagnosed with PTSD. Something I don’t go around mentioning in polite company, and hide every day of my life. I have often put on a smile, when inside I was trembling with sheer terror in my head. People who look at PTSD victims often just make a sad noise, feel a bit sorry, and then make it seem like this is not as dangerous, and hard as it is. Lucky for me, mine has been diagnosed and I go to counseling. But I really am the lucky one.

Before I was diagnosed life was always the same kind of chaos. I was having panic attacks at work, I would invert when corrected, or when I felt threatened. I would get explosively angry, and then sad, I would hide away from people. It was the worst of any world. I didn’t know what was going on, and now I do. You would think that knowing was the best thing ever, but it makes it worse to know that there is no instant cure, and there are thousand of hoops to jump through.

As I have worked to pick up the pieces, I come across more and more signs, that I never knew belonged to PTSD. Now I know what they are and where they belong, and it is scary. The blackouts, when I am enraged, the hyper sensitivity, the anger, the way I react, the nightmares that make no sense, but have the power to destroy a whole day. All of it belongs to survival.

 

I am strong because I have survived some of the worst situations a person can imagine. Laying in a puddle of my own blood, and being beaten so bad the whole right side of my body was purple. I did that, I lived through that, and I paid the price for survival with a condition of perpetual readiness by my brain. My fight or flight is always ready to react, and in times of stress, I have a heightened awareness of my surroundings, and the people around me. I will, and can, and have reacted to those situations with the proper response. I am ready to fight for survival, and I am ready to flee.

Many people who don’t know PTSD aren’t aware of the dangers. A person who is living with PTSD can snap at any time, all it takes is triggering a past response, or a reminder of a situation where the fight or flight reaction was needed. It is a state of constant mental self defense, and everyone is a potential threat. Coping with that is hard, but it can be done, and I have been doing it for most of my life.

It takes years in therapy to learn to not only find the triggers, and diffuse them, but to work through being ready for disaster all the time. I used to fantasize about bad things happening to me, a mental preparedness. I used to practice what to do in the worst situation. Now, I imagine good things, and love, and it is hard.

PTSD is not a joke, or something to take lightly, the people suffering from it, have no control over suffering from it. I don’t talk about it a lot, because I don’t want to be seen as that girl. But I am that girl. In every relationship, and every place where I go, there it is. I am really great at problem solving, because my mind is always searching for a solution because of my flight response. It has made me smarter, but it has taken its toll.

 

Having PTSD is mentally and emotionally exhausting, it is one day at a time. It is ups and downs. It is reactions and triggers, and it is dealing with them all. But in time it can get better. Some times it takes meds, sometimes it takes years, and struggles, and lots of love and care, but it can be done. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with PTSD or exhibits the symptoms of it, please help them to get help. It can destroy lives, and relationships. It has the power to take the power from the victim because they are always in the response mode.

 

I would say the worst part of PTSD is finding all of the parts of it that have been hidden in lost places, and of course the moments when you black out and don’t know exactly what you are doing. PTSD is hard, and I find that some days I want to close the door and just be away from people so that I can have some calm and quiet. So that I can relax. My mind is always going anyway, and I want to be able to just let it relax, and still some of the constant flutter of information floating around.

If you have PTSD, I am sorry for you, and I empathize, that it is a hard condition to live with and through, so please seek help, realize if you have the symptoms and see a therapist. Don’t try and handle PTSD on your own, or manage it without help. There is no shame in having PTSD, because it isn’t something that you can do to yourself. It is something that happens when the mind has been through extreme survival situations.

PTSD is hard, but not impossible. It has effected many more people than we know, and they might rely on you to speak up for them, or help them understand what they are going through, while being a friend does not make you qualified to diagnose PTSD, you can guide them in the right direction to get help, and to better their lives. We are just humans who have survived terrible things, and though we live with PTSD, we try and not let it run our lives.