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How Richard Dawkins changed my life

Created on Jul 12 2013
Dear Mr Dawkins
I'm a 18 years old. I come from a very religious family in Canada. When I was a child my mother was very abusive with me. I often thought that if there is a god , up there, why didn't he stop it? why didn't he heal my mother? I would often read books to escape my mother and fell in love with science, dreaming that one day I would become a scientist. At Sunday school I was probably the most hated child there because I loved asking questions that were impossible to answer. I was often scared by the idea of a all knowing god who was always watching me and judging me, like santa claus, who I also feared. My fears worsened after I my paster told me that god listened only to those whose pray with jesus in there hearts. It crossed my mind that maybe I wasn't a true believer, so I stopped asking questions on the topic of god and tried desperately to not doubt anything that my paster told me, I was only 8 years old.
When I was 9 years old, I moved to Italy with my mother and her new boyfriend. I hoped for a new start, but the abuse from my mother got worse and I fell into a depression which was followed by self harm, anorexia and I also contemplated suicide at one point. All this happened from age 10 to age 15. I still have scars. In this period my mother was sent back to Canada to get medical help, she was away for a year but she only did 3 months of therapy.
I was 14 at the time and very religious, so in hopes of understanding more about god I read the bible. I was disgusted by it and did some more research on other religions trying to find the one true religion. I concluded that there was no true religion, but there could still be a god, at this point my mother came back to Italy, she was worse than before. I told everyone that she wasn't better but being only a kid no one listen to me. It was a hard year: I lost my comfort in my religion and my mother was back. my grades suffered and I almost fell into another depression.
After a year my mother went away for good and I happened upon your book ''The selfish gene''. That book changed my life. I started to have passion for science again. After reading ''The god delusion'' I gave up on the idea of a god all together. I have now read all of your books and now I want to become a biologist. I want to better human knowledge about the world. I live with my mothers ex-boyfriend in Italy and I plan on going back to Canada at the end of high school to go to university. Now I'm no longer afraid of a man in the sky and I feel so much freer now. your books have given me hope for the future.
thank you so much
Kaleena