Despite all the things that were going on in my household as a child, I maintained a healthy respect and belief in God. My catholic school background guided me through a logical sequence of examples to follow, so that I could live a virtuous life and “go to heaven when I died.”
My teen years ushered in a new understanding of virtue, and caused me to begin to question religion (as a belief system). Although I still had a strong belief that God existed, many things that I had been taught about religion (and the people who believed as I did) did not make sense to me. I began to realize that many “religious” people did not personify what I understood as right and holy. My mother, who had been a staunch follower, stopped espousing the very practices and ideals she seemed to believe just a couple of years earlier. My prayers never seemed to be answered, the violence level in my house grew, and my parents deteriorated right before my eyes. I decided to rely on what I could see, understand, and feel. I still believed that God existed at that time, but I didn’t depend on him for anything.