Hello all. New to Reddit. I recently came out with my story on Medium if you’d like to read the full (abridged) version.

My Life As A Child Bride...

I was raised in a religious household and supported in the decision to marry at 16yrs old to an adult man. In 2018 my life began, after walking away from my 17yr marriage. I openly discuss the departure from the faith that I grew up in – Christianity. Although I can separate my trauma and individual experience from Christianity as a whole, I can’t deny the psychological harm that such a narrative can cause.

I Am a free adult. Finally. But for years I lived in an unconscious fog. Riddled with internal battles for identity and validation. Child marriage is legal in many states, right here in the US. I cannot stress enough, how damaging it is to the innocent. To the young developing mind.

All child marriage situations may not be abusive in nature, but age gap should be a tremendous factor when determining this.

Furthermore, it’s not just extreme fundamental religion that destroys humanity, but the “regular” church down the street, with hipsters and coffee and donuts. It’s the subtle indoctrination to a false reality clothed in a bunch of light and love. A departure from self, science, philosophy, and most of all authentic spirituality.

I am a mother, an artist, and a sacred human being.

Proof is here


Comments: 282 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

Heddron311 karma

I recently lived in a community where teen girls in a certain Lutheran church are taught all their lives that their only purpose in life is to marry and make babies. They get pulled out of school at 15/16, and married off. Many people in the community are concerned, but don’t know what to do. what do you recommend people do when they see these things happening in their town? What do you wish people in your town had done to help you better?

Thank you for your time and I am so glad you got out of that terrible situation.

Its_a_bad_time15 karma

I wish there were Secular humanist churches these people could transition to.

mad066626 karma

Unitarians maybe? My FIL is a member of a church like that and the whole congregation is wonderful. They’re very accepting of literally anyone and do a lot of great outreach and aid for folks in immigration court, people imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, food drives, etc.

chaosgoblyn19 karma

Yep I love my Unitarian Universalist church. It's been really healing for me. All the good stuff I ever imagined about church and none of the crazy. Many opportunities for volunteer and social justice work.

Encyclopedia_Kat14 karma

Unitarian Universalism helped save my sense of spirituality and gave me an appreciation for connection and community that I didn't have before. The existence of a radically inclusive and non-dogmatic collective who are actively and genuinely trying to better themselves & make the world a better place for everyone is an incredible thing. It's sad that more people don't know about it.

ExChildBride3 karma

Thank you for sharing this. I'm intrigued. And glad to hear that you have found community.

ExChildBride2 karma

I would say that something is better than nothing. Obviously the major issue is at the core level and can hardly be addressed without upsetting the balance of religion and state. I do believe that there are power in numbers, though, and even a small act of influence could have a rippling affect in one of these girl's lives. I only remember one adult warning me. Ironically, he was my youth pastor who knew of "Judah." I'm wondering had more people reached out or inserted their concerns if it would have triggered some sort of change.

I've spent the last few years recovering from my own shit, but your message has really sparked an interest in being proactive about preventing situations like this. Can these schools allow guest speakers to come and spread positive messages?

Thankyou very much for sharing this. I want to be more helpful in this discussion and hope that I/we can come up with some solutions.

foxsound266 karma

What was the grooming process like? Did it start at childbirth, or was there a time when someone sat you down and said “you’re going to marry this man”? Thank you for being open to sharing your experience. I can only imagine the strength you have in order to educate people using your own trauma.

ExChildBride502 karma

Well. In my opinion, religious indoctrination starts from birth. I was primed by religious beliefs and parenting, not to value myself as an individual but rather "a follower" of Christ.

Grooming began with my ex under the guise of religion. He wanted to show "God's Love" towards me. The grooming was in the attention and leadership he offered. I had free will and choice - but that is what's up for discussion, I believe. Can a 16yr old have the emotional intelligence to act on free will under the grip of an abuser?

Gohack-83 karma


ExChildBride2 karma

No problem answering. You might find it easier explained/understood in my Medium story.

Let us define abuse in general terms: Abuse is the mistreatment of others, by usurping power and/or using them for your benefit.

Abuse was in the form of religious manipulation, grooming, sexual offense, dis-respect for individuality, emotional attachment.

Beneficial_Exit_3190 karma

Child marriage is by definition abusive and a human rights abuse.

I applaud your courage and wish you all the best. My question is how you managed to see through the fog of fundamentalist religious indoctrination. Was it a book, tv show, radio broadcast, other relationship...?

With much respect.

ExChildBride327 karma

Thank you for that question. And for stating the abuse of human rights in the context of child marriage.

The book Under The Banner Of heaven by Jon Krakauer really triggered my contemplation. He writes about a double homicide that was committed "in the Lord's name" by a couple of devout Mormons. It wasn't the crimes that triggered me but the authors in depth look at Mormonism. I had not known any of it. Learning about Joseph Smith and his outrageous tale of the angel coming to him and then his ability to construct a whole religion from it. I couldn't believe that it still exists today and that so many people have taken the bait. I began to see how easy it is to fall into psychosis and be attracted to that sort of mythical belief system with a heaven, hell, a hero, redemption, etc.

A big turning point for me was going to my first couple of music festivals. The kind where you camp in the forest for a few days and everybody you meet is your friend. One was Pyro Music and Arts Festival in Ohio with Trevor Hall and Nahko Bear, who seemed to posses a spirituality that was... other. And the other festival was FloydFest in VA. To me, the love and community was undeniably felt. But I was only used to that type of human interaction in the bunds of church. To experience authentic people and art apart from my religion was mind blowing and a huge wake-up. "You mean, you don't need Jesus in order to express love?"

I don't know if I can speak for all those who have deconstructed, but I don't believe you can go from zero to ten. It's a chipping away little by little. Especially when you've spent the bulk of your life enslaved to the belief. I remember reading a Richard Rohr book early on and feeling the chipping, but i'd have to go back and read the book again to see why...

Thanks 🖤

BDMblue43 karma

You may realize that the smith thing is the same for all religions. We know for a fact that that vast majority’s of religions are untrue. People believe because they want to. If they cared about the believes being true they would use google for an hour and find out it’s not.

It’s so easy today to look this stuff up. The only conclusion is people want a fantasy to spare them if the truth of death and that things really do end, and no one’s looking out for you but other people.

PessimiStick62 karma

We know for a fact that that vast majority’s of religions are untrue.

All. None are even remotely believable.

TopRamenBinLaden12 karma

Well there are modern "religions", like The Satanic Temple, whose beliefs are rooted in science and reality. Also, religions like Buddhism, that don't claim to have the answer to the reason for existence.

I do agree that the majority of traditional religions are rooted in fairy tales, and most cause more harm than good in the modern age.

PessimiStick1 karma

TST is not a religion, it just plays one on TV for specific effect. I say that as a member of it.

TopRamenBinLaden4 karma

I get what you are saying, also paid 35 dollars to be a member. I mean it's really just semantics, and subjective. It just depends on your personal idea of what religion is.

To me, TST is a religion in the sense it provides a sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values, like any other religion does, but without the supernatural mumbo jumbo.

I have participated locally in many TST events. There are weekly congregations. Our local chapter practices certain rituals. All rituals are done more as a celebration of lost culture and knowledge, and mostly used as an excuse to party, of course.

I totally understand referring to it as a community, or philosophy as well, the TST is whatever you make it to you, personally. I will continue to refer to it as a religion, personally, as I do not think religion requires the belief of deities, myths, or the supernatural to be legitimate.

ExChildBride2 karma

it's really just semantics, and subjective. It just depends on your personal idea of what religion is.


"A sense of identity, culture, community, and shared values" is what people want. I don't like that we label it religion.

ExChildBride2 karma


falooda11 karma

This was turned into a film!

ExChildBride3 karma

I think I noticed that recently! But I can't bear to watch movies for entertainment that are about horrible crimes/topics. I'm such an empath and sensitive creature that I may have a hard time recovering. I may try though!

edit: I found this out (my sensitivity) when I saw a CNN special years ago about the cult in Jonestown who drank the poison and gave it to their children. They showed footage of the dead bodies and had audio of this guy preaching. I felt sick and could hardly continue with my day. So haunting.

GoddyssIncognito-1 karma

Nahko changed my life too. Seeing him live was transcendent. Thank you for sharing your story. I am in a unique position to understand your trauma. Sending love. 💕

ExChildBride2 karma

Thank you as well! Nahko and Trevor Hall were my first encounter with music that felt spiritual to me without being Christian.

lyssargh130 karma

I want you to know that your story has been read by at least a few of us. It is meaningful. I am sorry you experienced what you did.

When my mother was 14, a 23-year-old man started to date her. He married her two years later. She was a mother by seventeen. She does not see herself as taken advantage of, it was the '60s. She thinks that's normal. Maybe it was. But he doesn't love her and she has come to realize that recently as he has gotten older and ignores her completely.

My question to you is how would you take care of or comfort her? She will stay with him until he dies. She loves him very much. But she is very hurt to realize he does not love her. I don't know what to do.

ExChildBride131 karma

Gosh that hits hard. I'm so sorry that this is a reality for you. And I understand the aspect of "It's normal" when comes to times past. It sounds like your mother's identity is so tightly wound to her relationship with this man. I can perceive a relationship where power dynamics aren't involved - but not in a 14yr old. There' so much unraveling of the self that takes place in order to question our perceptions of life and love and purpose. I would tell her that his lack of love has nothing to do with her but rather a lack in himself, that was previously fulfilled by her in a an unhealthy way. I am not speaking to you as a therapist or professional, though. Your mother's love for her partner may be a meaningful part of her existence and I can't quarrel with that no matter how strongly I feel in opposition to it.

Zoonationalist98 karma

Hi Alisha,

I just read your story—wow. I have a friend who has a really similar story to yours. In her case, her and her husband were around the same age, but married young, and his actions sound exactly like your ex-husbands, down to the divorce, the phone tracking, the manipulation of friends (and her OWN family members), etc.

I’m really happy you found the strength to make so many tough decisions. It says a lot about you—and it’s important you decided to share your experience, for others who may find themselves in the same situation.

My question: how is your relationship with your sons now?

Wishing you all the best, from Canada!

ExChildBride10 karma

Canada! A soft spot for me, of course : )

Thankyou for sharing this. I'm so sad that this happened to your friend. I hope she got out? My story is for people like her. I truly hope that it can inspire.

Thanks for asking about my boys. I have them every other week and we have a really great relationship. They are incredibly kind loving people! We easily laugh and are affectionate towards each other often. The younger two are engulfed in sports and school and teen life. My oldest son and I have bonded the most since he was kicked out of his dad's house soon after we split. He's gotten in a lot of trouble and struggled with mental health issues but I've just tried to show up for him, knowing that his whole world was ripped out from under him in such a crucial time. He's finding his way and we've developed a sweet connection. (He's an amazing skater!). I've been able to discuss more with him then the younger two, although I still have not gone in depth. He knows I wrote the article and intends on reading it but I fully warned him and advised that he may want to wait until he feels mentally prepared to which he said "Mom. You're just making me want to read it more lol."

That being said about the younger two, there was issue recently concerning the kids that my ex and I disagreed on, only I didn't find out until 6 months after he made the decision behind my back to handle the issue in his way which goes against our mediation agreement. It was a significant matter. The sad thing is that the kids hid it from me too and it was obvious in my conversation with them that their belief in their dad was much more powerful. He has cast himself as the "all knowing" and I'm afraid my new found obsession with trees and the moon has not depicted me as much of an authority. I was shocked that they hadn't told me and so disappointed that my ex would allow that lack of communication. It opened my eyes to my parenting style and how I could do better.

The bottom line, though, is that there's a lot of love between the boys and I and we get along great.

Individual_Jelly376255 karma

What Christian sect?

LummoxJR55 karma

Sect is the right word. Christianity is a big umbrella and a lot of cults or near-cults shelter under it. There are also some huge denominations that never stopped being creepy and messed up.

Edit: typo

ExChildBride52 karma

Honestly, though. Mine wasn't creepy, per se. But that didn't stop it from breeding misogyny, codependence, fear, detachment, false identity, and so on. The churches I went to were pretty "regular." The Christians I hung out with blended in with society pretty easily - drank beer, made perverted jokes, had tattoos, etc. They/we practiced basic morals and cultural norms. But the whole basis of our life was that "God created me, and I royally fucked up so bad that he then wanted to kill us, so then he sent a magical "son" to save us, and now we don't have to burn in eternal hell, and we should persuade as many people as we can to "follow Jesus, so they can be saved too. And JC is gonna come back soon." Imagine living in that reality.

ExChildBride54 karma

Thank you.

Growing up, I knew our sect to be “non-denominational.” The churches we grew up in and the beliefs my parents held were relatively conservative, but not nearly as much as, say, Baptists or Calvinists..? My mother homeschooled us in younger years until we couldn’t afford it. We memorized verses and went to Awana. We were taught modesty and humility. Our church had drums and guitars, not organs and hymns. We were shielded form secular music and worldly influences. The rapture was/is a major belief held by my father. Eventually, we graduated to churches that felt more “relaxed. Worship music that caused some members to raise a hand in expression and with pastors who would crack the occasional joke, and people who wore casual clothes instead of formal wear.

When I met my ex, he was exposed to an even more unconventional sect of Christianity. One more charismatic, pentecostal. We believed in “miracles” even though we never saw any, and expressions of the “Holy Spirit” or “manifestations.” This included a whole number of things. Long prayer sessions and spontaneous worship. Smoke machines and worship dancers at church, people laying on the floor in prayer (or whatever). Beliefs were centered more around God’s “love and grace” instead of the more fundamental teachings, yet we still took the Bible as literally “God’s Word” and the whole Christian narrative was deeply imbedded.

I think 'Evangelical' would be the correct term

ISlicedI48 karma

You seem to focus on being a child bride, but dont you think at 18 you’d just as well have found yourself in the same situation given the religious/social pressure? Should the focus be on you being married at 16, or is the bigger problem the pressure to marry for the faith?

PPOKEZ16 karma

Just imagine this had happened at 18 and then add two more years of fucked up inappropriateness. There can be two sliding scales of awful things happening at once and this thread is clearly talking about both.

ExChildBride45 karma

Hello. Thank you for bringing this up. Casting myself as a "child bride" was a deeply validating expression for me. Even to say to myself "I was a child. And I was a bride" was hard to accept. Having experienced it, I am passionate about age being a HUGE factor when we're talking about those under 25. It's as if those years are double if not triple in value when it comes to development, as opposed to, say, when you're in your 30's. 20yrs old and under (and I'm sure they're more qualified pupils to discuss this) is such a crucial time - each individual year has major cognitive potential.

But the truth is very much what has been mentioned, that faith/indoctrination was/is a huge aspect.

I do hope that the discussion is more centered around religion/culture than age. I chose the title to bring awareness and knew that it would spark interest.

superjeegs42 karma

Thankyou so much for doing this AMA! I’ve read all about you and cant believe I get to interact with you 🙂 I admire you greatly. How would you describe the early years of your marriage in 3 words?

ExChildBride66 karma

Hello! That's a really good question, which sent me into a bit of oblivion. There's some difference in how I would describe the marriage as opposed to the individual (me or ex). I also would describe it differently now, obviously, then if I put myself back in my newlywed shoes.

I would have to say:

Patriarchal, Naïve, Exciting

Exciting because there was definitely that ignorant and innocent young love obsession. In those years I was overwhelmed with "love" / attachment. Since we, sort of, departed from society, it was completely new territory for me in many ways, and so I was very reliant on his love and care. I felt protected.

Thanks for reading 🖤

planetheck22 karma

Do you think that making child marriage illegal would help situations like yours very much?

ExChildBride10 karma

That's a great question and I can only speculate. In my case, if it were not legal, I would have remained in my parents house and likely finished high school. Who knows what could have happened in those two years to have major rippling effects in my life. Maybe none, maybe something life-changing. I can't stress enough how much a difference 2 years can make when you're talking about adolescence. It's as if each year is triple in value. I can't believe the transformation that I see in my own sons, year to year.

My story is as much about religious indoctrination as well and so it is hard to say, how things may have played out in that context. Would I have remained groomed and ignorant? Maybe so. Would "Judah" have lost interest in me? Also possible. With all of those maybe's then, I do believe that making it illegal would be a win. Even if it saved only a few souls. 18 is still so incredibly young, but there's a fine line between freedom and government and morality, isn't there..? Predators will still prey regardless of law, but at least there could be a standard that attempts to protect the innocent.

ISlicedI5 karma

I asked a similar question, would they have been less harmed if they had married at 18 instead? The issue to me seems mostly the social pressure/indoctrination to marry someone

ForaFori19 karma


ExChildBride8 karma

I feel this so hard. I'm so sorry. The immense desire to provide a home for our children is no joke. When I left the marriage I had shit credit and shit work history since I was a SAHM. The only reason I found a place to rent was because the landlord wasn't thorough in his screening process in order to get his property rented quickly. Recently, we had to move and struggled to find somewhere that wanted to rent to a family with 3 kids. I attempted to explore the possibility of buying and realized quickly that it is but a dream. We live downtown in a unit with no yard, front or back. I'm grateful, though, knowing that it is a privilege to work (a lot) and have a roof over my head. But still...

AdventurousAd80868 karma

How about 21… 18 seems so much the same as 16 to me… kinda think 21 should be the new adult age for everything, they changed it for cigarettes… did she say how old her husband was when they first got married?

ExChildBride3 karma

He was 22 and I was 16. I said this on another comment but, as far as law, I think there's a fine line between freedom, government, and morality. I strongly believe that anyone under 21 is too young to commit to a life-long relationship. Even before 25! But as far legality, raising the age to 18 would be a huge win, because of the crucial teen years from 16 to 18. It is though, much the same, but so much can happen in two years to an individual's development.

seensham1 karma

And grooming. If they waited until she was 18, he would have been marrying an Alisha that had been groomed for 3 years, not 1.

ExChildBride5 karma

Very possible. Or, he may have lost interest since he couldn't "have me" so quickly. Who knows..? There's a chance I would have experienced something to open my eyes a bit. If anything, I would have remained in my parent's home and at least finished high school. One can not predict the ripple affects those 2 years could have had. In all honesty, though, if I had to guess, I would have remained ignorant : (

WintersTablet21 karma

Who is your favorite Star Trek captain, and why?

Edit: This is a legitimate question, that I'm legitimately curious about.

ExChildBride5 karma

If only I had been a - what do they call it - "Treky?" Never watched the show growing up. I did see the Star Trek movie in 2009 and very much liked Spock's character 🖖

niffins21 karma

Thank you for finding the courage to share your story on medium. I'm also a survivor of religious trauma, not like yours but it definitely hits the same notes.

Are there any therapy tools you learned throughout your healing process that you can share? Grounding techniques for example? Or ways to deal with the onslaught of religious imagery around holidays?

ExChildBride4 karma

Mmm, hi. and thank you for sharing.

Definitely journaling. Definitely "sitting with emotions" instead of suppressing them. Grounding (being outside barefoot). Meditating in nature. Walking, for sure. I take 3 mile walks in the evenings which benefits body and mind. Psychedelics helped me realize buried trauma. I also "unfollowed" a lot of Christian friends so that I wouldn't see religious bullshit on my news feed.

DrCheekClappa21 karma

Do you think there is anything your parents could have done or said to keep 16 year old you away from your ex?

Thank you for sharing your story. I have a young daughter and the thought of someone attempt to control her in the way you described is heartbreaking.

ExChildBride2 karma

Hi and thanks for the question. It's one that haunts me because I was so convinced back then and I really don't know if I could have been swayed. But my parents absolutely could have set boundaries though. If I were them, I would have had a lengthy conversation with my ex and put the responsibility on him to stay away "or else."

LoveMyLibrary220 karma

I read your Medium story and was deeply moved. You seem to have the ability to see the nuances in people and relationships...that strikes me as evidence of a very wise person. I'm confident this will guide your sons well as you continue mothering them.

What have you found to be the most effective method for responding to your ex when he doesn't coparent well, including when he tells your sons things that aren't true about you?

ExChildBride5 karma

Thank you for those words. Very much.

Communicating through email is best for me and learning to let things go if they aren't in direct harm to me or the kids. Sometimes it's just important for me to say what i need to say even knowing that it will be met with major opposition and I much prefer to do this via email. I can't control his behavior or his depiction of me to the kids. I can only model my authentic self to the kids and hope, that one day, they realize that I am not who their father said that I was. It's the long game I suppose.

TerrytheMerry18 karma

Have you discussed what happened with any of your sons yet? If so what are their thoughts now?

Also after reading through your story I have to say I could never imagine being as forgiving as you have been. A lot of the people you forgave in your story had a large part in allowing Judah’s abuse to take place and I could never imagine staying friends with or forgiving them. That’s your right and journey though, hope your life continues to get better.

ExChildBride7 karma

Thank you for saying that. I do feel like there's more room to be given for some of my anger to be expressed. Forgiveness was/is such an instinct. Not sure that's a negative or positive!

I have not discussed any of this with my sons who are 13 and 16 now. My oldest son, however, who is 19 has been given a bit more details. It's really really hard to navigate. The boys not only are going through crucial adolescent years, but had their lives turned upside down with divorce. Then COVID hit. The younger two are engulfed in sports and school and friends and teen life and seem to be doing quite well. But my oldest has had a really rough couple of years and some unique mental health struggles. He was kicked out of his dad's house not long after we split. Him and I have bonded a great deal and I've shared some things but not all and not in detail. He has a lot of love for both of his parents and there's no way I can expect him to comprehend the gravity of a relationship between a 15yr old and 21yr old while he himself is only 19. For me is wasn't until late 20's that I started to feel icky about it. He knows that I wrote the article and intends on reading it. I warned him that it was heavy and advised him to be prepared mentally if he chooses to read it. I would be devastated if my younger sons read it.

Sorry for the delay in answering!

TinyAppleInATree16 karma

What was the moment or time that made you realize things weren’t right?

ExChildBride4 karma

It was more gradual as I got closer to my thirties. Around 2016 I went on a girl's weekend and when I got back he was waiting for me with so much anticipation ready to envelope me with his love... and it was too much. I had gotten a taste of freedom, and getting back home was like returning to my cage. It was obvious to me that our feelings for each other were drastically different.

Nymaria868 karma

My high school boyfriends parents tried to insist to MY PARENTS that we get married once we were found out doing what most teenagers do 🤷🏼‍♀️ now my same parents who used to rail against “the church” for their crap disowned me when I told them I would not allow my daughters to be baptized into ANY church until they were 16 and could decide for themselves (this particular church insists you get baptized at 8), and it is pushed SO hard at these children every week in church that it’s almost amazing any of them ever say no…

And who would when you’re told you’ll get a special day all for you, and everyone you love will be there to watch this special thing for you, and you’ll get presents…. All you have to do is let us teach you a few things over a few months and then you make a promise to god and all these people here watching that love you that you’ll always obey the church… 😟

Who wouldn’t want their 8 year old daughter to be part of that, right? 😒 I love Utah, as a place it’s beautiful, but it bares some ugly scars even today makes you question whether raising two little girls here is a good idea.

ExChildBride2 karma

Gosh, bravo for resisting the insane baptismal mandate. I was baptized around age 8 by choice, as if I had ANY idea what it really meant. You described it perfectly. Accept I guess I missed out on the presents 😂

So disgusting. From what I've read about the Mormon religion and it being so prevalent there in Utah, I personally wouldn't feel safe having daughters there.

seensham6 karma

Judah and I both grew up. We changed. Our belief system evolved and over time, our religious beliefs became much more relaxed.

Can you elaborate on this part? What beliefs changed? How did they manifest in your behaviours/lifestyles in a tangible way?

Was there ever a moment where either of you realised how more "lenient" you guys had become?

ExChildBride3 karma

They evolved in stages.

After Community, we grew to be more accepting of women in ministry and places of leadership in the church. We no longer felt that living simply and poor necessarily equaled spirituality. We were still always striving for higher depths of connection with God and this looked like lots and lots of time spent in church. We had Thursday night meetings called WIP (worship intersession and prophecy) that sometimes lasted 4 hours long. Then we had leaders meetings on Saturdays for at least 2 hours. And then church was sometimes 3 or 4 hours. We often went to weekend church conferences too. We were very dedicated. Our actual beliefs didn't change too drastically but we did see Community in a different light and sort of reconciled those radical ideals as immature.

We eventually became less committed to being involved in church. And our personal lives weren't spent listening to teachings or reading the Bible as much. Our focus was more on "God's grace" than needing to "obey his word."

I remember it being a stretch when we realized that some of our Christian'ish friends smoked weed. And then we tried some edibles a year or so before 2018 (to try and cure me) and I'd say that was a big step. We sort of transitioned to more focus on the kids and home life than church life. We had always planned on homeschooling the kids, but after like 2 years of that, I wasn't a fan, and so we tried Christian School (which was too expensive) and then finally landed on public school. That was a big step too.

Probably by 2016 or so... we went to church only on Sundays and continued being leaders in the church but... in a minimal way. And felt okay about it.

Kovaelin5 karma

How did you write that article in only 63 minutes? Share with me your writing secrets!

ExChildBride25 karma

Aw hi! To be honest, my initial manuscript was 70k words, but full of mumbo jumbo. I guess I took the most meaningful parts and wrote exactly what I pleased. I had hoped it would blend in on the Medium platform and had to laugh when I saw that it was 63 minutes as opposed to the usual 2-6 minutes. I thought "No one's going to read this." My best advice is to write exactly what your intuition tells you to and then find a space to accept it, rather than finding a platform and trying to "qualify" or meet certain standards. It seems like these days, people crave something real - no matter how long or short. Thank you!!!

madeofcarbon2 karma

The time it lists is how long the site estimates it will take readers to read the piece, not how long it took to write the piece.

ExChildBride2 karma

Oh haha thanks for clarifying that, I didn't realize until now that he/she misunderstood. I wonder if saying that in my Medium article is misleading! Do you think so?

Zerowantuthri2 karma

Do parents of girls in cases like this really not see them as their children but rather as a burden and/or chattel?

ExChildBride2 karma

I'm sure there are many cases like that. I truly don't believe my parents felt that I was a burden to them, though.

New_Nothing_20221 karma

Alisha Congratulations that you win this fight but I ask you. With no offense And with a lot of respect

I stop beliving in god Cuz I felt that never was ther for an answer: I never ask to him money, ,iracles or material stuffs. Just I nedded answers I lose myself for belive in god.

Do you feel that god give you an answer in you struggles?

ExChildBride4 karma

Thank you for your question. I didn't find any relief or comfort in the idea that "God" was looking out for me in any sort of way. I felt strength in knowing that it wasn't an outside entity that I needed to save me/heal me/ guide me but my own inner power and strength that I was born with. My "Faith" provided me with nothing when it came down to this battle. It was as I realized the courage and beauty within, that I was able to rely on myself and other like-minded individuals.

Beliefs like the one in the comment below, seem to be just a way of organizing your thoughts. A "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" is a joke if you think about it. What does that even mean? I believe it's fantasy. But however you discover spirituality is up to you and what that looks like. Don't let me sway you!

The answer to your question is 100% no. Thank you for your respect and kindness and much love to you

AdventurousAd8086-5 karma

If you are waiting for a thunderous voice to directly tell you what you need to hear, no that won’t ever happen… but to me, calling to a higher power is firstly believing that something bigger than what we can even understand loves you more than any of us can even imagine(no man can show that to you because it’s called a personal relationship with god) btw having a personal relationship with god has nothing to do with religion or patriarchy or what language or part of the world you are in… having a relationship with god is similar to meditation because the only prayer that is worth anything to me are the ones that I ask god to enter me and do what he/she sees fit… sometimes I pray for healing of myself or people that I love, and I do feel that those prayers are answered… I also believe in the POWER OF BELIEF… believing something strongly enough, especially when a group of people believe the same thing has power… so be careful with what you believe, let your relationship with god stay personal, and be open to being wrong about things(everyone is sometimes)…. But this has nothing to do with OP, do we digress… sorry OP ❤️ sounds terrible to have gone through this 😢

ExChildBride4 karma

Wow there's a lot to unpack here. Can I please, just really quickly, without bad intention, laugh at your prayer for "God to enter you" ? I'm sorry. Please laugh with me.

Thyste1 karma

I wasn't able to get the music on your website to play but did find the YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MlSOuO7XEm4

Does your music help you connect with who you are and what you want to say? I find it amazing how music is able to get so quickly and pointedly at our emotional core. So many events in life can be related to with music where words themselves may fail.

Is there more music available anywhere and do you tour or perform publicly? Thanks

ExChildBride2 karma

Aw thanks for listening. That song came to me almost all at once. Most songs are written in pieces, but that one was a download.

Music absolutely connects me to me, which i speak heavily about in my Medium story. I have much more trouble putting thoughts into speaking words than conveying emotion in music.

Sadly, I don't have anything else released yet. I have a lot of material to record but no money lol! I play locally here and there, but have pulled back from that this year. I will definitely put the word out when I continue!

Victory_Over_Himself-11 karma

If seeking individual happiness and not being a cog in the machine is a goal, why do you think people put so much value in things like a mother defending her children or a firefighter rushing into a building to save people or a soldier dying to defeat some evil enemy?

Not a loaded question, i think both poles could potentially be valid. But your case is an ideal test. Do you think there is enough value placed on duty and self-sacrifice in western society?

ExChildBride21 karma

Mmmm I often express my disdain for religion (in my context, Christianity) in taking the credit for morality. My individuation is not separate from my realization and pull to understand my part in humanity. I can't speak for western society, but I do believe that there is an inner-wisdom/spirit that knows the value of love and selflessness in the way you mentioned. I believe that the more we realize who self actually is in it's purest form - the more we can benefit the world. I think humanity is going through a massive shift in consciousness where we're realizing the power of self is much greater than we ever thought possible. But I think this inevitably leads to greater service to our fellow man. I don't know how others feel about loving one another and putting that in action, but to me, it is how we survive and find deep fulfillment.

In the context of my story, I did not believe that self-sacrifice would equate to love for my children. In fact, quite the opposite. I did not believe that staying married was an act of kindness. It was my duty to live in truth.

Does this answer your question? I'm sorry if I didn't.

ChristophColombo-20 karma

Furthermore, it’s not just extreme fundamental religion that destroys humanity, but the “regular” church down the street, with hipsters and coffee and donuts. It’s the subtle indoctrination to a false reality clothed in a bunch of light and love. A departure from self, science, philosophy, and most of all authentic spirituality.

I can certainly understand your disillusionment with Christianity - I'm far from religious myself, after having been raised as a Catholic - but this seems like a particularly uncharitable depiction of the religion grounded in the particular sect that you grew up with. Defining your own sense of self, philosophy, and "authentic" spirituality is a personal journey. Who are any of us to state whether or not another's is valid?

As for being anti-science, that is far from a universal property of Christianity. I've known many scientists who have no issues reconciling their personal religious beliefs with the principles of science. There are certainly some Christian views that run counter to scientific knowledge, but these are generally in the minority and are not central to the religion as a whole - one can be a Christian without ascribing to those beliefs.

ExChildBride2 karma

That's fair. As much as I am uncompromised in my belief that Christianity is both false and a detriment to the human mind, I do prize myself on being ok with living with questions, and not necessarily answers because "Nobody really knows for sure", right?

I feel that because I spent so much time within the Christian ideology, my experience dictates a rather strong valid depiction. Ironically, some of my more philosophical friends would argue religion's benefit to society - but they didn't grow up indoctrinated! It's the ones who didn't experience it that speak to it's potential positives.

I lived and believed in the most freedom loving, gospel message type Christianity for the latter part of my "faith" and still found the core message to be the same "We are here to please God." It's not so much being able to have scientific knowledge along side religious beliefs. I'd be curious to hear a scientific expound on their religious beliefs.

Christianity has to mean "Believing in God." And "God" is well described in The Bible and what our culture has equated with the name. As opposed to someone having a belief that there is a god. That is not practicing religion, it's just believing in the unknown.

And I say this knowing it's outlandish presumption, but I do believe that Christianity has perverted spirituality, and caused a detachment from ourselves and from the earth. In my story, I write that in all of the years, in numerous different churches, nobody - and I mean nobody - spoke to the ornate wonders of earth and science.

I consider myself to be agnostic or even pagan, because I do sense a higher spirit energy making this all happen. I've heard that many scientists come to believe that there is something more than our human existence because of their discoveries.

Sorry if I jumped around with this response!

Old-Ad5818-29 karma

3 answers in 5 hours? And you didn’t even answer, if you‘re still religious or not!

ExChildBride53 karma

Hi there. I work full-time and have 3 kids. I just got home from my highschooler's football game. I posted this today and will spend much of my weekend responding to answers. Sorry to disappoint. The short answer is "No, I'm not religious", but I will expound. Sorry to keep you hanging

poopflake21 karma

You’re doing great! :)

ExChildBride10 karma


ExChildBride1 karma

I am drawn to spirituality and explore it in various forms. If I had to put a label on it I would say "Agnostic" or "Pagan".

When I play music, I feel as though I enter in to a so called "spirit dimension." I can sit on a mountain top and feel so overwhelmed with beauty and gratitude and connection to our planet and myself that it can feel euphoric. To me, that is "spiritual."

jayydubbya-1 karma


ExChildBride19 karma

Feel free to address some of the claims. I will try and respond to all comments in the next few days. I don't suppose you read my story..? the festivals I went to were after I left my marriage in 2018.

moneybabe42033 karma

I feel like you may have some (for lack of a better word) christian trolls here attempting to discredit you. Please waste minimal time on them. You’re a powerhouse and we’re really lucky to have an opportunity to learn from your experience.

ExChildBride12 karma

Maybe this will be a teacher for me. New territory. It's not in my "nature" to debate but maybe some discourse will broaden my perspective and catapult me to a higher self! Wishful thinking. Thank you, friend.

Diggitalis-39 karma


ExChildBride31 karma

If I could make money off of any of this I would take it in a heartbeat. It was never my intention, but like any art or expression, it's not unlikely for it to be monetized.

I completely understand your assumption that "child bride" meant something more shocking. But in reality, I was a child... and a bride. My story is more about the power dynamics that were involved along with the heavy influence of Christianity.

My post was removed for a couple hours while the moderators approved. I'll be taking time over the next few days to respond as much as I can

recumbent_mike10 karma

I'd say that's in pretty solid child bride territory, personally. It's not the worst abuse we've seen, but it's not great.

ExChildBride20 karma

Agreed. there's SO MUCH worse. Which is why, for a while I belittled my pain. My story is what it is and nothing more.

lalalalydia12 karma

What happened to you is bad enough. It should not have happened. Your pain matters. Thank you for sharing.

ExChildBride9 karma

Your pain matters

You have no idea how much those simple words mean to me. I wish to tell others the same "You matter." Thank you 🖤