Oh wonderful! :) I am sure we do have a lot in common. I was raised in fundamentalist atmosphere despite my church actually being very theologically sound. I went to AWANA, memorized verses out of context, “made room for Jesus,” had to do the awkward side-hugs rather than real ones, heard the term “backslider” a lot, etc. I briefly left the faith in my early teens due to a variety of variables coming together, it was a very dark time for me mentally.
These days I don’t really fit anywhere. Christians don’t like that I talk about the things wrong in the church, quasi-Christians don’t like that I hold to certain doctrines, my agnostic/atheist friends actually like me most of the time but don’t understand why I chose to stay in the faith. I’m kind of in the middle of everything in a sense and don’t fit in anywhere. I’ve found I would rather be guided by conviction rather than want anyone in particular (Christians included) want from me.
Did/do you experience a lot of backlash in Oklahoma for not being Christian? I have a friend who wrote an article once about that very thing and it was eye-opening. I’ll have to see if I can find it!