Baby it’s cold outside

All my life I’ve been part of Christianity in some form or another. I was raised in a passionately vibrant Christian home; I “prayed the prayer” when I was 9; I spent the rest of my life never once doubting that there was a God (Yahweh) and Jesus was his son who died for me. I was a missionary, a leader, a wannabe scholar, and desperate for more of God.

Now I’m not.
And I’m noticing just how difficult it is to be non-religious in the USA, on this forum, and in my daily life. I feel like a loner kid gripping the chain link fence outside of a playground, suddenly shut out of all the games and social groups. I stand there pleading, “I am still me! I have good ideas! Why can’t I play too?”

Where did my voice go? Being heard is so much more difficult now. I have to fight against the censors people unconsciously put up against non-believers. I now have less wisdom, insight, morality, and respectability (all of a sudden).

People have told me I was never saved in the first place. I suppose 16 years of passion for God and trying to ‘walking the walk’ makes me a real tool. I was so good at fooling myself, was I?
Invalidation is becoming something that grates on me the most.

My ego is taking a beating, and I suppose I’m taking much of this personally. I know there will need to be some time to adjust. How can I make this transition?