This is why I chose not to believe in God.

I know a lot of people will be put off by this title but please allow me to explain:
I used to believe in God. When I was little, around 3-5 years old. However, there was a time in my life where I truly needed Him, and I was abandoned.

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic mother, and a step father who sure as hell didn’t encourage her to stop. I lived with my father (my hero, my best friend, and my idol) on the weekends only; thanks to a court judge who couldn’t see that my mother wasn’t the best place for me to be. It’s hard for me to remember much about my childhood. I believe I have repressed most of it to save my own sanity… however, even the bits I do remember are traumatizing and effect me still to this day.

I can remember being in fourth grade and needing glasses… so my dad took me to get them. This was one of those rare occasions I got to see him during the week because I needed to get glasses and my mother wouldn’t take me so two times that month I got to escape with my Dad after school. Once for the day of the exam and once the day I went to pick up my new spectacles. So that evening my Dad dropped me off at home… I walked in the front door and there’s my mother sitting at the table, eating dinner. I said “Hi, momma!” No harm in that right? Wrong. She replies, “Shut up, nerd.” This is the earliest memory I can remember of my childhood.

I remember countless times I came home after school (I walked home by myself at the age of 7 because my school and house were only one street apart, in a safe neighborhood… or at least that’s what I told myself) and no one would be home. I would be home alone from 2:00pm when I got home until 8:00 or 9:00pm. I would have to find my own dinner. Usually it was cereal and toast or occasionally I’d heat up soup in the microwave. Any who, I didn’t mind it. I’d come home, put on Spongebob or Fairly Odd Parents and do whatever homework I had for the day, and hang out with Gizmo, my dog brother. It wasn’t being home alone that was the bad part of my childhood. The bad things came when my mom got home.

Every time she got home she would be drunk as a skunk, and on her usual alcoholic rampage. My room was upstairs… if I was lucky I could get away with pretending to be asleep. And she wouldn’t bother coming up because she was too drunk to manage the staircase. So she’d yell at her husband for an hour or two, eat something, and go to bed. Those were the days I was thankful for. Those were the days I stayed up late after everyone had gone to bed and prayed to God. I would thank Him for allowing me one day of safety, one day where I didn’t have to wonder if my mommy loved me.

Then there were the days I wasn’t lucky. I’d be up in my room and she would come home and I knew I was in trouble if I heard her thudding up the stairs. She would come in my room and tell me to wake up. She always had this rosey color in her cheeks, her eyes had a thick gloss over them, and her lips would purse like she ate something sour. She’d start by screaming at me. “Did you do any cleaning!? Of course not! You could have ran the dishwasher for me and put the dishes away, you lazy, useless Bastard.” Then of course I’d try to defend myself but even though I was only 7 or 8 and couldn’t find the right words to say that didn’t matter to her. She would hit me. And I’m not talking about a spanking, I mean a beating. Those kinds you see on LifeTime movies, yeah… that was my life. I remember one time she grabbed me by the throat and pushed me up against the wall and lifted me until my feet were off the ground. I was dangling there by my neck; trying to stretch out my tippy toes so I could touch the ground so my neck would stop hurting long enough where I could steal a breath. Another time I remember she was cooking something, and (she wasn’t even drunk this time) she asked me to chop carrots for her or something. She never asked me to help so I was excited because this was new to me. I guess I didn’t chop the carrots the right way because she started up about how I’m so pathetic and I can’t do anything right and she wishes she aborted me and how I’m a useless piece of shit. She was rolling dough. She raised the rolling pin above her head… she was going to beat me with it. Fortunately for me she miscalculated her upswing and broke the light fixture off the ceiling, giving me enough time to lock myself in the bathroom while she cleaned it up. Then she left and went to the bar so I turned off the stove and oven and had left over pizza instead.

These were the days I begged to God, sobbing until snot ran uncontrollably from my nose, on my hands and knees in my room with my rosary. “Please God tell my why my mommy doesn’t love me. I’m just a kid I don’t know how to be like her. She’s right I suck at everything, God. Please help her to love me again. I just want mommy to love me. I don’t want much God can you please help me?”

He never helped me.

This is why I don’t believe in God. I wasn’t being selfish. I wasn’t asking for toys, or money, or fame. I just wanted my mother to stop beating me. I wanted to stop lying to my friends and teachers at school when they asked where those bruises came from. I just wanted her love. He was God. He should have been able to do that one small thing for me. I was a believer. I was innocence in the form of a child. I was in need.

So I came to this conclusion: Either God isn’t real, or He is an unkind, uncaring God who lets innocent children be beaten by horrible drunken monsters.

I remember my first thoughts of suicide came when I was only ten years old. I used to practice tying my sheet to my radiator and hanging it out the window. I used to cut myself. I even remember looking up how many sleeping pills it would take to overdose. This was all piling up in my mind at ten. I remember the day I decided to stop praying to God because he wasn’t going to help me. I skipped out on school because my mother and step father but left before I had to leave. I stayed in bed in complete silence for about four hours, staring at the ceiling. Then I prayed one last time.

“No one can hear this, no one ever hears this. That’s why I am gonna stop praying. God. You are fake. You are like Santa and the Tooth Fairy. Made up. A belief. And I don’t believe in you anymore. Thanks for nothing.”

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