i have counted the hours between belief, where peace reigns quietly. and then dark spaces hover breathless, belief slams back into my mind. i am ghost haunted every day. even though i know i do not believe, even though i long to be free, it haunts me.
i have heard it said so easily ‘you just quit’, or ‘you didn’t give g-d a chance’, or ‘you never really believed’, as if that explains what i have done. as if i can be labeled, set aside as one more false believer, a liar. neatly packaging me away as bitter, or lazy, or angry.
it makes what i have done to be petty.
i prayed the prayers, and believed the words. i held every thing i was told as truth, and i listened to the preaching. i believed with all my heart, even when it cut me soul-deep. even when its words gave shape to my nightmares, even when the words left marks on my skin.
i believed in the darkness, i believed in my own evil heart. i believed in a g-d that would love me anyway, and in a g-d that would somehow, someday save me from my own wretchedness.
until the words cut me too long, too deeply. until i looked a little harder and found… nothing. when i looked past the words, past the bible, past the strings of the world that g-d was supposed to have created, there was nothing.
past my faith, there was only emptiness.
i had to stop believing. i took all my questions and my doubts, i took them all up to the g-d i had been taught to trust. and i trusted past the point of soul ache, past the point of bruises and broken bone hopes. i trusted pain over gentleness.
i took all the questions and found nothing.
the truth is that once i saw the nothing, i could not keep believing. because i cannot lie to myself. in belief, i was doing harm to my self, my soul.
maybe the g-d i grew up on is a false g-d, but it ate my soul. it careened from heaven, left me in hell for being evil. it celebrated the darkness that fed upon my body. it demanded everything from me, it gave nothing but more shame, more fear, more pain.
i have waited, thinking that if i were wrong, g-d would show up in one form or another. no other g-d has shown up for me to see, no other g-d has shown up to give anything.
i believed, and now i cannot.