Tag Archive: Christian

Who am I?  I’m terrified to let people really see me for me.


In fact, I’m quite certain that a few of my friends know more about me than my parents do.  But in reality, I’m certain that I barely know who I am myself.  I can put all sorts of labels on myself to make myself feel comfortable, but in the end they all really mean nothing.  The label of “agnostic” means absolutely nothing.  The label of “therian” means absolutely nothing.  They’re very good for finding people to relate to…sometimes.  Though I consider myself agnostic, I really don’t relate to many agnostics since I lean towards Christianity and most other agnostics lean towards Atheism.  And though I consider myself a therianthrope, I’m not the best at fitting in with the online community.  And it’s difficult not knowing anyone in person that is like me in that respect.  Because then at least I’d know one person that could understand what I go through.
While I understand this idea of not being afraid to be yourself, there’s a part of me that believes that only works in theory.  Now I’m not afraid of people knowing what I’m interested in.  I’ll happily admit that I’m a furry and an otaku.  Though some people might see those things as embarrassing, the fandoms are fun for me and a good escape from the troubles of reality.  And good outlets for my interests in different facets of art.  But when it comes to me as a person, I’m no good at fully being myself.  I’m constantly holding back on, suppressing, ignoring, or denying aspects of myself because not even I want to face all of them.  And I wouldn’t like other people knowing them either.  So even if I’m not at my happiest, I’ve gotten use to putting on a smile so I don’t have to burden anyone else with my thoughts.  ‘Cause it really isn’t anyone else’s business.


But there are things that bother me on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis.  Right now it’s my therianthropy.  Generally I’m fine with it.  I’m fine with not telling people and I’m fine with hiding that.  Well…not really fine with it, but it’s just something I have to do to get by.  Although normality doesn’t exist, there are some things that can and will send people to a mental hospital and I’m sure therianthropy is one of them.  Because what I’m saying is that there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel human.  Specifically, there’s a part of me that feels like a dog.  And not only do I feel like one, but tend to express it through random behaviors and vocalizations like barking, growling, and howling and have some strange urges like chewing and digging and scent tracking.  Though it’s a big part of myself, I do have to suppress and hide it a lot.  Let’s face it, a person acting like a dog in public would grant a lot of weird looks at the least.  And I was at the very least okay with it.  Because there’s very few people in the world who could ever fully understand it.  And other therians just accept it as something that needs to be done.  And I suppose it does.  Because I’m sure I’d be ridiculed quite a bit if I didn’t.


But it’s one of the most uncomfortable things to work against my natural feelings.  Which I have to do on a daily basis.  Because I only have about…3 friends that know this about me and one that I’ve really talked to about it in person.  But even so, I’m not going to behave like a dog in front of them.  Or at least I do my best not to display any of my dog like behaviors in front of people.  It get’s harder when I’m being pestered and annoyed.  If I can think about my reaction before I act on it, then I won’t act on it.  But sometimes the reaction is much quicker than the thought.  Not to mention it’s much easier to growl at someone as a warning rather than say “Stop doing that”.  My family probably can hear me when I’m in one of my doggie moods.  I know my brother can hear me howling and barking at all times of the night.  But I have to reserve those behaviors for nighttime.  I’ve had days before when I’ve gone through an entire day in a dog like mindset and I couldn’t do anything about it.  It was frustrating and uncomfortable.  I had no choice but to keep it all locked up inside.  I wish I didn’t have to keep it all to myself really…And I wish I could explain it better.  But I can’t explain how I feel…it’s a near impossibility when I don’t really have anything to compare it to.  I wish I had some other ways to express this side of myself.  Some people say that running and exercise helps.  Or going out camping so they’re just out in nature away from other people.  Or dancing…or really anything else that they can think of.  I just haven’t found anything that helps for me.  Exercise is a chore and painful as I’ve got quite a bit of weight to lose.  I suppose I’d like to go camping one day…But for now, I need to find something else to channel this energy into.  Because I just can’t keep suppressing it all.


And for spirituality, I feel a bit like the odd woman out with most people I know.  My family’s all Christian.  My friends for the most part are all Christian as well (or at the least very spiritual) aside from one friend who’s Atheist.  And it’s not that they’re spiritual that really makes me feel like the odd woman out.  It’s the fact that they’re really comfortable with the decision they’ve made.  You know when I was little I didn’t really think about it too much.  I was Christian because I went to church and because my family was.  But then I grew up…and with growing up came more questioning of things.  And of course a non-answer to my prayer of what was “wrong with me” (AKA, my issue I mentioned above about therianthropy) sort of helped me move from being Christian to Agnostic.  I really don’t consider myself spiritual at all.  And I’ve tried to be.  I’ve looked at animal totemism and Shamanism because I thought it would be a help with my therianthropy.  At the very least I could learn how to spiritually shapeshift at will rather than doing so sporadically and at inopportune moments.  But after reading more about it, I just lost the interest that I previously had.  Not to mention reading about magic sort of turned me off to it.  I have nothing against magic.  I just don’t believe in it.


Plus I guess I still felt Christianity had something to offer me.  If it didn’t, I probably still wouldn’t be researching it and hanging around Christian websites (granted it’s a Christian furry and a Christian therianthropy page but still…).  But yet I still feel like I’m held back from really making a decision one way or another.  Because I care too much about what people think about me.  And it bothers me that people think that people are less intelligent just because they decide to believe in God.  But then again, I suppose I play into that a bit.  And as much as it pains me to say it I suppose deep down a part of me must believe that to a degree.  Even though I know it’s not true at all.  Because I’ll defend my friend (or anyone’s) right to believe as they wish and not be ridiculed for it.  Because being an Atheist doesn’t automatically mean that you are smarter.  Many atheists just parrot points just as much as many Christians do without doing the necessary research.


In all honesty, I can intellectually accept the idea of God.  And intellectually accept that God exists.  I just don’t place my faith in him or make any vast leaps to convert to Christianity.  Because 1) it still calls for me to give up a lot and 2) it’s not a leap I feel I’m ready to make.  But I honestly envy religious believers more than non-believers.  It’s much more beautiful and eloquent to believe and see that there’s more to the world, universe, and life than what’s visible to the eyes.  I suppose that Atheists have a point as well.  It’s beautiful to see the world for what we can see in front of us.  But that also seems quite limiting.  Though I suppose I’m just not comfortable with the idea that I’m here and don’t have a purpose and that what’s in front of us is it.  And how am I suppose to be okay with it?  Why wasn’t I born just a regular person instead of this weirdo who has dog-like tendencies?  Why can I draw but not really do anything else right?  Sure we can go with the age old answer of “genetics”…but I’ll never really know my full genetic make up as I’m adopted.  Perhaps my real parents are artistic and that would explain why I am too.  But for therianthropy…there are many therians that don’t have therian parents.  Actually very few have therian parents.  There’s really no explanation for it as of yet.  And if in the end I’ll just die and turn to dust, why the deuce am I wasting my time with school and earning a degree and money!?  There’s no point for it right?  I can just do what I want to do…or rather should…


I barely know who or what I am.  I spend all this time fretting over what I want to do in life or how to please other people while trying to please myself and please this entity known as the “world”.  And really they all can’t be done.  Only two can be done at a time…but just barely.  If you ask my parents, they’ll say that I’m really childish and that I refuse to grow up.  And in a way that’s true.  Growing up just…sucks.  And no one can convince me that it’s any good for you.  And I don’t want to.  If I were still little, everything would be so easy.  I wouldn’t have to worry so much about being dog like ’cause people would just think I’m playing pretend like any other little kid.  And religion…I didn’t understand it then and don’t understand it now.  Only difference is that kids aren’t suppose to understand it.  And kids are always thought of as innocent anyways.  And no jobs or money to worry about…


Now I’m just getting utterly depressing.  But yes…yet another thing that bothers me is the whole thought of getting older.  But enough of that.  Unfortunately I’ve got to deal with all these things.  Really it all boils down to I just need to stop caring what people think of me.  Which is such an impossible and difficult thing to do.  Because you have to present your way to the world in some way that is thought of as “normal”.  But I don’t fit in this mold called “normal”.  Well not all the time.  And I just don’t want to fit myself into the world at least in the way the world wants me to fit in.  With the 9-5 job, white picket fence and family with at least 2 kids.  It’s not what I want.  The ultimate goal in my life is to just be happy.  The secondary one is to find a way to really be me.  And lastly is the job/monetary goal which is to work solely for myself (possibly with friends) doing illustration and craft type work.  If I can find a way to do all three by time I die, then I suppose I would’ve achieved all my goals in life.  But how can I even begin to do it?  I just don’t know how…


I envy people who know what they want to do, know who they are, what they are, and have everything put together.  I can pretend to be completely stable all I want to…but that doesn’t make it true.  On the outside I can smile all I want.  On the inside, I’m sure I’m just falling apart.  And I’m sure I can’t put up with it much longer…there’s no way that I can…


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.