Fat Girl,

As dumpster fires go.

By Dani Ward December 31, 2016 0 Comments

I’ve been sitting here for a good 10 minutes, just staring at the screen. Occasionally typing a sentence or two, then deleting. The words I want to say aren’t words I feel I can say yet, and so I choose to be silent. Much like I have most of this year, if you’ve noticed. On…

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Cognitive distortion and taking up space.

By Dani Ward November 3, 2016 2 Comments

My brain is spinning with thoughts and conversations over the past weeks, the culmination of almost a year’s worth of introspection and mourning. “I looked through the journal section of your blog and noticed you haven’t really written lately,” a friend noted. No. I haven’t. I’ve been afraid, frankly. With some good reason and probably…

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The journey in and out.

By Dani Ward May 15, 2015 5 Comments

There had always been a disconnect between what I was taught and what I observed and experienced, between blind faith in invisible things and repeatably testable evidence. But as a child, as a teen, even into early adulthood, I wasn’t given the words to recognize the disconnect, or even the tools to inspect or deconstruct my beliefs to see if there was any merit to them outside of wanting them to be true.

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No more faith: the whys and why nots of my deconversion.

By Dani Ward December 31, 2014 22 Comments

It’s really rather rare for people to ask me why I deconverted from Christianity. Like, really rare. It’s far more common for them to assume they already know, whether they’re talking to me while they’re expressing this assumption or not. However, in a single week, I’ve had two separate unaffiliated people ask me a variation of the same question about the role fundamentalism had in my deconversion. Of course, I’ve been trying to figure this out for myself on a less-specific scale for the better part of two years, though much of it has been in my own head. Perhaps it’s time for me to work out of my thoughts here with you.

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I belong to me: learning agency & consent outside Christianity.

By Dani Ward November 15, 2014 28 Comments

By and large, Christianity as a system in the Western world teaches people to run rip-shod over the boundaries of those within and without their camps under the guise of love.25 The consent of its members and non-members alike isn’t required, as clearly demonstrated by the past almost 28 years of my existence. And that’s a massive problem, enabling (and at times commanding) the manipulation, mistreatment, and abuse of countless people.

In fact, I’d say one of the defining characteristics of Christianity today is that it has a consent problem.

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Robin Williams is dead, and I’m not okay.

By Dani Ward August 12, 2014 10 Comments

Content note: frank discussion of suicide, abuse, disordered eating.

It is August 11, 2014, and a voice, a face, of my childhood, is gone. I am shocked, and read on to find what has taken such a man from the world.

And there it is: suicide.

I am 6. I am 9. I am 12, 13, 18, 25, 27. I contain all of me, the sadness and shame and fear of an admittedly small lifetime, and all of me is grieving the loss of one who couldn’t fight the sadness anymore.

It was never a phase. It was never selfishness. It was never a ploy for attention. I was never a failure. I must tell myself these things, over and over and over, and I must tell you, too.

Because Robin Williams is dead, and I am not okay.

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Lessons learned at the Fortress of Faith: An Introduction.

By Dani Ward August 6, 2014 4 Comments

I thought that the hardest thing about being at BJU was going to be just learning how to follow an amazingly ridiculous set of rules — and frankly, I thought I had that covered. I grew up in a conservative Christian school where BJU groups visited for recruitment purposes. I was usually one of the good kids, so I thought BJU was going to be a college-version of my high school. No big deal.

Boy, was I wrong.

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Thinking about fatness and self-injury and mental health.

By Dani Ward June 2, 2014 6 Comments

Content note: talk of self-injury, body image, and sexual assault after the jump.

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