Fat Girl,

Just hear me out.

January 23, 2020

Remember the days where I wrote on here somewhat regularly? I mean, they were the early-​​to-​​mid 2010’s, and blogging has certainly gone by the wayside as of the past…like…what is it, 3 – 4 years now? I didn’t stop writing because the trend began dying down, though. I stopped writing because of TRAUMA *throws glitter bomb* While I do still post on…

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Haikus With Dani: JerkBrain Edition.

June 21, 2016

There’s a lot going on in my life. I’ve deactivated my Twitter for a little bit. Vulnerability is terrifying, but it’s easier to be vulnerable to an amorphous mass of people than talk to anyone in particular about what’s been happening, even the things that are only happening inside my own head. Therefore, you’re getting more of my depressing fragments of dialogue, this time brought to you by my very own JerkBrain.

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Haikus With Dani: Existential Edition

May 16, 2016

I’ve been rather existential lately. I mean, I usually am anyway. But back to the “it’s hard to explain in anything except shards of thought” kind of existential. So. The contents of these haikus will likely turn into blog posts at some point. But for now, I serve them to you as the fragments they are.

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Great expectations: basic human decency.

October 5, 2015

In short: the lowest common denominator in all relationships ought to be basic human decency.

When Christians tell me that it’s not fair for me to expect them not to trample on my boundaries or treat me with disrespect for my autonomy as a human being, all I can hear is, “You can’t expect basic human decency from me or my people.” More than that, I hear, “You don’t even qualify as human enough for us to consider treating you differently.”

Christians? This is a problem.

How will the world know you as loving if you refuse to act lovingly? How can you say you possess the love of Jesus Christ when this is how you treat unbelievers? You claim that you’re no better than us, yet treat us like you’re the Designated Adult and we’re the naughty children you must put back in our places. You insist that for me and other unbelievers (or even liberal believers!) to write and live and share our authentic selves is a direct attack on you, and so you try to control us through silencing tactics and what you must think are counter-​attacks. You can’t see the difference between someone being honest about who they are and someone exerting control over a person? How can you not see the disrespect of that? How can you not see the condescension? How can you pretend to be sharing Christ’s love when you refuse to see the image of God in anyone but those who look and think and act like you?

Despite being an atheist, I do think the Bible has a few nuggets of wisdom here and there. And one of those nuggets is this: “Let us not love in word…but in deed and in truth.” In other words, don’t tell me that you love me while showing me that you don’t.

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Of masculinity & abusive breeding grounds.

June 8, 2015

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Observations about relationships in Christianity.

May 8, 2015

What kind of foundation forms a lasting friendship, then? I mean, friendships are a pretty personal thing. There’s lots of aspects that are difficult to pin down, usually including compatible personalities, shared experiences, outlooks on life, mutually enjoyable activities, etc. I think those things are a given, no matter whether you’re a conservative Christian or not. But in my experience, the ingredients that point to longevity seem to be a pretty equal mixture of mutual admiration, respect, and trust. The Christian friends I have now who have been friends of mine for years weren’t my friends just because of our once-​shared faith. We became friends through discovering and indulging in shared interests, sure, but we did it while demonstrating respect for each other’s individuality and personhood. Our personalities do click, but we also work hard to be empathetic, trustworthy, respectful people. We care about each other, what demonstrably makes each other’s lives more meaningful and fulfilling, no ulterior motives.

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For the well-​meaning Christian: humility in listening.

March 18, 2015

You’ll approach me with why you think I really stopped being a Christian, as if it’s a huge secret that, if you can just crack the code, you could make sure no one would leave the team ever again. And usually, much like this person said, you assume I just didn’t pick the right flavor of Christianity. Or I just didn’t really know Jesus. Or as a recent reader suggested, I just left the bad Christians behind but not Jesus.

You’re taking ownership of my story, mangling it beyond recognition, then insisting I accept your version rather than my own. You’re saying you’re a better judge of my experiences and life than I am. And when you suppose these things about my life and my beliefs, you are being incredibly disrespectful and unloving. Like Cassidy said. it’s like you grew up in a home where smacking someone upside the head was considered loving, and you’re now indignant that you can’t smack me, too.

I get it. I do. I did the same thing. I believed rather strongly that anyone who left the faith was never a Christian to begin with but had been deceived into thinking they were. And I wasn’t shy about this belief, nor did I falter in said belief.

Until it happened to me.

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For the well-​meaning Christian: credit to whom credit is due.

March 11, 2015

I think we really do a disservice to ourselves and the people around us when we attribute the good or bad things actually done by people to the supernatural, or even to some sort of intrinsic goodness like hard work. I don’t begrudge people the comfort they take in believing a divine creator has orchestrated their life to their benefit, or even wanting to believe that bad things have happened due to an invisible malevolent force. I just can’t help but notice how this tendency to credit the supernatural with what man or chance has wrought often serves to create a disconnect between us and our communities.

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For the well-​meaning Christian: on showing basic empathy and respect.

March 2, 2015

I really hope you can hear me out about what I am saying and what I’m not saying here, because I absolutely don’t expect any of you to stop talking about your faith in general. It’s such a huge part of your lives, and it’d be really unfair of me to expect you to keep such an important part of your life to yourself and never speak of it. That’s cruel and disrespectful, and would mean that I don’t really care about you in the first place. To borrow the spirit of the words of a friend, “It’s part of your life — and I like your life.”

This is where it could do you some good to learn a little empathy, learn to put yourself in my shoes for a little bit, so maybe you can learn what treating me with respect actually looks like.

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No more faith: the whys and why nots of my deconversion.

December 31, 2014

It’s really rather rare for people to ask me why I deconverted from Christianity. Like, really rare. It’s far more common for them to assume they already know, whether they’re talking to me while they’re expressing this assumption or not. However, in a single week, I’ve had two separate unaffiliated people ask me a variation of the same question about the role fundamentalism had in my deconversion. Of course, I’ve been trying to figure this out for myself on a less-​specific scale for the better part of two years, though much of it has been in my own head. Perhaps it’s time for me to work out of my thoughts here with you.

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Online as in person: basic etiquette, boundaries, & choosing your own team.

November 26, 2014

With the advent of social media, I’ve found that such interactions are no longer relegated to holidays and reunions, but are now part of our everyday digital lives. What surprises me more often than not, though, is the attitude with which people approach social media. In recent days alone, I’ve heard that blocking someone on social media is narrow-​minded, private walls are public forums where all opinions ought to have equal air time, and online interactions aren’t <em>real</em><em> life</em> so everyone needs to just calm down. Perhaps I’m a bit a biased, considering the sheer number of friends I’ve made through online-​only interactions, but in my experience and from my observations, <strong>online life <em>is</em> real life.</strong> It’s an unavoidable part of life in the 21st century, and it amazes me that some seem to think online interactions suddenly stop having meaning because they’re happening on a screen rather than face to face. It’s as if being physically removed from a person gives one license to ignore boundaries and assume a far closer relationship to people than actually exists. This sort of thing is incredibly familiar to me, having spent 25+ years in <a href=“http://www.patheos.com/blogs/excommunications/2014/11/i‑belong-to-me/” target=“_blank” rel=“noopener noreferrer”>a culture that totally ignores boundaries and consent</a> in person (let alone online). This further solidifies in my mind that the same basic etiquette you ought to show to someone in person is how you should treat people online.

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I belong to me: learning agency & consent outside Christianity.

November 15, 2014

<p>By and large, Christianity as a system in the Western world teaches people to run rip-​shod over the boundaries of those within and without their camps under the guise of love.<sup><a href=“http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2014/10/15/your-love-is-toxic/” target=“_blank” rel=“noopener noreferrer”>25</a></sup> The consent of its members and non-​members alike isn&rsquo;t required, as clearly demonstrated by the past almost 28 years of my existence. And that&rsquo;s a <i>massive</i> problem, enabling (and at times <i>commanding</i>) the manipulation, mistreatment, and abuse of countless people.</p> <p><b>In fact, I&rsquo;d say one of the defining characteristics of Christianity today is that it has a consent problem.</b></p>

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Sad pandas, boundaries, and relationships.

September 10, 2014

I’m a really big believer in boundaries and respecting the choices, experiences, and desires of individuals. I think people get to decide how others are allowed to interact with them, and that the onus is on others to really hear what that person is saying (yes, even when that person is silent. Silence is an answer, after all, and that answer is “I don’t want to talk to you.” Respect it!). I’m just afraid that my post didn’t reflect these beliefs as clearly as I’d like it to have.

No one is obligated to remain friends with me. Having been in similar circumstances, but on the other side of the situation, I really understand how uncomfortable and even painful it can be to remain in contact with someone who has abandoned a core component of your relationship. I have no wish to cause others pain, and I honestly have no real animosity towards those who have decided that I’m a toxic influence in their life and they’ll be happier and healthier without my presence. I think they they’re the best expert on what will make their lives happy and healthy (even if I disagreed), and I try to save my animosity for those who are openly disrespectful and/​or bigoted. But, I mean, I 100% support the decision of people who don’t want me in their lives. Truly.

In fact, it’d be pretty shitty of me to insist that they must remain my friend, to continually insert myself into their lives, to constantly try to manipulate them into a relationship they want no part of. That’s not an okay thing for me to do, and I do my best to be respectful of their wishes.

But it still hurts.

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Perceptions, boundaries, and relationships.

August 26, 2014

Am I worthless to you now that I’m not a Christian? Am I somehow less-​than-​human, without feeling, without morality, without any good thing? Does my lack of belief mean that I am the darkness with whom you can have no fellowship? Am I completely lacking light just because we disagree?

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Sherlock Holmes, Vulcans, and how logic isn’t everything.

August 22, 2014

I mention it because one of the defenses of his insensitivity (to put it mildly) was that his argument was logically sound. And that’s a point that gets brought up an awful lot in discussions of social justice and in general when someone is called out for doing something harmful. It’s especially a point brought up from men against women, usually as a way of gas-​lighting us and saying, “You’re too emotional to get this, let me logic at you in a manly fashion.” It’s sexist, it’s dismissive, and it focuses on one aspect of a situation to the exclusion of all else.

As I said on Twitter in my original thoughts about Dawkins’ asshattery:

This is the kind of argument I see quite a lot from those who tend to hold a lot of privilege & experiential ignorance of the topic at hand. Honestly…it makes me think of that scene in the RDJ/​Jude Law Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is holding something in his hand, the end of which is mere inches from Watson’s face. Watson: “Get that thing out of my face.” Holmes replies, “It’s not in your face, it’s in my hand.” That’s what these logical men are like. That’s their argument. TECHNICALLY, they’re right. But the practical application & observation of the situation shows that one can be correct but still wrong. In this situation, the argument can (& has been, repeatedly) made that Dawkins wasn’t minimizing when he was making the comparison. TECHNICALLY, he wasn’t. But functionally, he was. Just like the thing TECHNICALLY was in Holmes’ hand but FUNCTIONALLY was in Watson’s face.

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To make it abundantly clear: why this atheist is invested in Christianity.

August 20, 2014

Part of me says, “You’re not a Christian anymore, so just ignore it. It’s not like it affects you anymore anyway.” But that’s not really true. There are lots of things about Christianity that deeply affected me for over 20 years, and when Christianity also tends to play a role in U.S. politics, it sure as hell affects me.

And the thing is, when I stopped believing in God, I didn’t stop caring about people.

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Lessons learned at the Fortress of Faith: An Introduction.

August 6, 2014

I thought that the hardest thing about being at BJU was going to be just learning how to follow an amazingly ridiculous set of rules — and frankly, I thought I had that covered. I grew up in a conservative Christian school where BJU groups visited for recruitment purposes. I was usually one of the good kids, so I thought BJU was going to be a college-​version of my high school. No big deal.

Boy, was I wrong.

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Because I can’t not: writing in community.

September 3, 2013

Since publishing the admission of my deconversion from Christianity, I’ve been questioning myself an awful lot (to put it quite delicately).

Maybe I shouldn’t have written it. Maybe I should have kept playing along so I didn’t hurt anyone. Maybe I should have kept it all to myself for the rest of my life. Maybe the timing was bad. Maybe I should have consulted with anyone who would have been upset about it before publishing. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

I keep coming back to the same answers. I had to write it. Lying to everyone for the rest of my life would have been more damaging to us all than telling the truth has been. There was never going to be a “right time” for it. Consulting with those who would be hurt by it would have only served to delay then intensify the pain, because their displeasure wouldn’t have kept me from publishing.

That leads me to two questions that apply both to that post in particular but also to my entire blog:

  1. Why did I write it, and why do I write in general?
  2. Why did I write it publicly, and why do I write in public?
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Introspection on depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and life.

November 9, 2012

What’s so wrong with attention? Does my wasting body not tell you about my wasting soul? Do the scars on my arms and legs not tell you about the scars on my soul? For the girl with the words, the girl who was going to write books some day, I never ever had the words for the pain. And I still don’t, even though I’ve long left the starving and cutting.

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