I say weak Christianity because the truth of the matter was that I was never Christian.  I was raised in a Christian household and expected to believe what my parents believed but aside from being forced to go to church and a weak belief in God/a higher power, I couldn’t call myself a Christian.  I didn’t really pray much other than the Lord’s prayer.  I didn’t rely on God for anything.  I didn’t really accept Jesus as savior.  I just went to church and called myself “Christian” because that was what was expected of me.  Until I was about 19 or 20 my mother still forced me to go to church because to her I’m still “a child” and since I live under her roof I must believe what she believes.

 

But I digress.  I’m supposed to be explaining what drove me to accepting the title of agnostic.  This ties into my story of therianthropy as well so bear with me as I will not completely explain what it means to be a therian in this post.  For anyone interested enough, it will be explained in a further post.

 

And so my little story starts at age 11.  I’m just a little girl who has a bit of nervousness around dogs (derived from a full blown fear that I was slowly starting to get over) and like any other little kid, I didn’t like school or homework.  It was summer time and my mother had set aside some workbooks for me and my brother to work on so I sat in my room (which is now my brother’s room) and worked on them.  Math.  It’s the bane of my existence.  I hate math.  I was never any good at it yet I sat there and attempted to work on this when I could be watching TV, or drawing, or on the internet.  Anything but doing math.  I felt my frustration with the questions rising and rising until…I growled.

 

Lips pulled back and teeth bared.  I caught myself growling loudly.  I was fully aware of what I was doing, but it was an urge that at the moment was too strong to fight.  I was upset at this simple math homework (simple now…maybe not when I was in 5th going on 6th grade) and the way I was expressing my frustration was in a way that I had never done before.  And I started tearing at the pages.  Scratching at them and hoping to tear them up with my short nails that couldn’t tear anything.  Again I was fully aware of my actions, I just could express my emotions at the moment in any other way.  It was just something I was doing automatically.  As if it were instinct.

 

For a full minute or two I sat there clawing at the pages of this book and growling until eventually I just calmed down.  Took a deep breath and attempted to make sense of what had just happened but I couldn’t.  To me, humans should not behave like that.  Humans don’t “growl”.  At least not in the way that I was.  To my knowledge humans don’t bare their teeth and growl at people as a way to express frustration.  And for some time afterwards I had more experiences like these.  I needed to know why it was I was feeling like this.  I wanted to know what was going on with me.

 

So internet to the rescue.  I searched google for the only thing I could think of: Werewolf.  That’s right.  I typed werewolf into google’s search engine and attempted to find out if there were anything about “real” (not in the physically shapeshifting sense) werewolves.  At the time I had felt like a wolf.  Had urges to howl and bark.  Again, at 11 (or maybe at this time 12) years old I didn’t understand that wolves weren’t the only animals that howled and since I had the desire to howl, I thought I must be a wolf.

 

Eventually I came across the term “clinical lycanthropy”.  A mental disorder describing people who feel with their entire being that they are being physically transformed into a wolf (or sometimes another animal).  At first I thought this was me.  I thought I had this mental disorder.  Except for one thing.  I never believed I turned into a wolf . I just acted like one and felt like one.  I knew whole-heartedly that I wasn’t a real wolf.  And I was smart enough to know that humans can’t really turn into animals.  That was just the stuff of movies and TV.  Just fantasy.  So that realization left me back at square one again.

 

At this point I bet you’re wondering what this has anything to do with a journey from Christianity to Agnosticism but don’t worry, I’m getting there.

 

Through some twist of fate, I stumbled upon the website of an artist known as Goldenwolf.  As an artist, I just stared in awe at her beautiful renditions of anthropomorphic animals.  In other words, I got sidetracked.  I spend some time searching Goldenwolf’s art galleries before reading her artist bio where she mentions that she’s a therianthrope (or rather mentioned.  She has since backed away from the therian community).  She describes her feelings of being a wolf and it seems I’ve finally found what it was I was looking for.  Therianthrope.  Maybe that’s what I was.

 

There were links to therian communities listed on her website and so I lurked around some of the message boards, reading posts by other members describing their experiences of being a therian.  From the spiritual to the psycological theories.  To discussing their “shifts” (something else that I shall describe in further  posts).  Everything that I was reading was ringing true for me yet…at the same time it wasn’t.  I knew that this was what I was.  But because I compared my experiences with other who seemed much more connected to their animal side than I was, I couldn’t completely believe that I was a therian either.  I still felt completely lost.

 

Now around age 14 and getting towards the true purpose of this blog.  It was one of the rare times at church where my mother dragged my brother and me down to pray.  So I did have some thing to pray about.  What was wrong with me?  What am I?  And if you experience the feeling of being a completely different species while having a human body, you’d want to know what was wrong with you too.  So I waited and waited and waited.  Not waiting as in a week or two.  More like a few months.  Still nothing.  So the next time I prayed again.  And again with time I still felt like I received no answer.  It was at this point that I decided not to pray again.  I figured that prayer didn’t work.  I wasn’t really getting help.  I still felt weird and wrong.  A human shouldn’t feel like a dog.  It feels like it should be impossible.  But I felt like I had to figure this thing out on my own, so I did.

 

Little did I know that this would also open me up to recognize and accept something big about myself: God scares me.  I know he’s supposed to be loving and patient but going to church I picked up little things that just made it seem like he wasn’t.  The pastor wanted to teach about how loving God is, but you can’t then say at the same time that God will smite people and other such things.  Things just stopped adding up.  And the straw that broke the camel’s back was hearing my pastor and the congregation laughing at those who weren’t Christian.  Laughing at them because they were “wrong” and could go to hell.  To say it infuriated me wouldn’t quite describe it.  It was at that moment that I decided that I couldn’t associate with them anymore.  These people who claim to be so loving are ridiculing others for their beliefs.  How “Christian” of them!  It was truly at this moment that I figured I couldn’t do it anymore.  I didn’t want to pretend to believe something that I didn’t believe.  I most certainly don’t want to associate with people who are so hypocritical.  I never became atheist, but I most certainly wasn’t Christian anymore.  Or rather ever if you want to be technical about it.  I was never Christian.  I just called myself so.  However I knew I wasn’t going to even call myself Christian anymore.

 

So that’s my journey to Agnosticism in a nutshell.  Sorry most of this is about therianthropy but it was a big part of the story.  Staying agnostic and trying to figure myself out spiritually is a whole other can of worms reserved for another day.  For now, off to bed I am.  Lack of sleep is starting to set in.

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