Christianity --Youth Issues/forgiveness

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Question
I don't understand concepts like grace, mercy or foregiveness. I was raised by a very harsh mother and a harsher stepfather. There was no mercy or forgiveness in my house. I grew up feeling like God hated me and my parents hated me. I still feel like God hates me. I masturbate a lot and I'm afraid God hates me for that. Anytime I make a mistake no matter how small it is I feel a wave of self-loathing and depression. I cut when I get extremely depressed. I don't understand how God could love anyone as disgusting as I am.

Answer
I'm sorry for taking so long to answer this, Charles. I was experiencing some issues with my login.

With regards to your question, the simplest answer I can give you is that God does not hate you. I'm sure you've heard this from others before, but it's the truth. I want to be clear with you about one thing: you are NOT a disgusting human being.

I am very sorry you grew up with such harsh circumstances, but you don't deserve to be punished any further. I think it's time that you learn how to forgive yourself. It's a hard thing to do, I know from experience, but that's why I encourage you to reach out to an adult you have a good relationship with. Cutting and depression are some very hard things to deal with, and it's not your fault for having these feelings.

Please take a look at this online article. I think it may help you understand what you are going through a little more:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/teenagers-guide-to-depression.htm

Sincerely,
Juan

Christianity --Youth Issues

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Juan Castaneda

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At the moment this volunteer is no longer accepting questions.

Experience

Credentials and experience are as follows: B.S. Sociology/Psychology, and currently a PhD student in quantitative counseling psychology. My areas of interest focus on statistical procedures within the general linear model (multiple regression, ANOVA, structural equations modeling, etc.). I have begun working as a methodology/statistics consultant for social science students working on undergraduate/master's thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Education/Credentials
Credentials and experience are as follows: B.S. Sociology/Psychology, and currently a PhD student in quantitative counseling psychology. My areas of interest focus on statistical procedures within the general linear model (multiple regression, ANOVA, structural equations modeling, etc.). I have begun working as a methodology/statistics consultant for social science students working on undergraduate/master's thesis or doctoral dissertation.

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