I was raised in Christian Science, but I was not enthusiastic about it when I enrolled at Principia College. Prin made me look at Christian Science differently—not good, not bad, just different—and after I left Prin, I got more into Christian Science before waffling my way back out again. I knew the beginning of the end was near either my freshman or sophomore year. It took me almost another six to eight years to officially work up the guts to move beyond, “well, I’m just not an active Christian Scientist; I live too far from a church to attend services, and there are medications I take which are helpful to me, so Christian Science is just not really working for me.” So, I was in it deep for 22 years, backed out slowly for four, and I have been truly out for three.
My dad died last year, and mom is in the deep end of the crazy. She maintains a rabid devotion to a church that did nothing for her except sap her time and energy while pretending my dad and his health crises didn’t exist. Ultimately, the reason for my departure from Christian Science was a combination of watching my parents flounder after my dad’s health crisis with a pseudo-medical approach to not really getting better, and the discovery, with age, that there are lovely humans out there who know that doctors are also god’s critters. My former in-laws are Baptists, and I couldn’t feel smug about being a Christian Scientist around them because they were so much better people than every Christian Scientist I ever knew: non-judgmental and super supportive. And I’ve met atheists who were just as lovely.
Christian Science really screwed up my connection to ME, and I am still picking up the pieces. With every retelling of my experiences growing up in Christian Science comes a bit more perspective. Sometimes it’s fear, or shame; sometimes anxiety, other times, disbelief. These days, I like evolution and physical reality more than ‘god’s perfect idea’ of reality.