New Registrant
God loves everyone just the way you are. I have a real problem with Christians right now. I am a Christian and I have to argue so much with my friends/family that we don’t get to judge anyone. God gave us two real commandments: 1) love him above everything and 2) love our neighbors as our self.
I don’t see anything in any those two commandments about judging if someone is good or bad, different, etc. I really hope you can see past the sinful people who judge you and see the God that wants to have a real relationship with you. Just they way you are. You have nothing to be ashamed of, God see all of you and wants to know you as you. If it helps, I think you are a great person going back into that toxic place and trying to help people still.
Just my two cents, you don’t keep get invited to party with tax collectors and prostitutes if you are constantly judging them. You get invited back by treating them like friends and letting them know they are loved.
Since you can't change who you are at this moment Erik you're left to rely on God's grace. In many ways it is OUR shame that drives the behavior over which we feel shame, as well as how we interpret what was in the past. The reality is we can't change the past and what happened was not our own creation. The experiences that came our way did not come about because there was something defective about us. Yes, I was hungry for affection having come from a home with a disturbed mother who scared me and so was susceptible to what the predators living next door had to offer. That experience doubtless contributed to my eventually finding my way to video arcades where I had anonymous sex with me. For decades I interpreted ALL of that as evidence I was "sinful and unclean" as they said in the church I abandoned as soon as I could.

Sadly, the world is filled with people who contend with their own demons by assuming a righteous stance that judges EVERYONE who is in any way different... We're witnessing that happening BIG TIME in the realm of politics at the moment, but most of us have felt it simply because we carry the residue of sexual trauma... fear, rage, shame and grief. Healing begins when we stop shaming ourselves and begin considering we are worthy, first of our own compassion. God was never one of the self-righteous prigs we've encountered along the way. He has always held us in love, waiting for us to find the way back to the fullness of our being. You can trust the fact that as we feel the embrace of that loving presence, our need to harm ourselves diminishes naturally. We don't EARN God's love... we are an expression of that love. So please be gentle with yourself.

This may a bit much for you, but here is a woman who was sexually abused, rapes who became a promiscuous alcoholic who is now a nun. I stumbled on her a few days ago. Her story is inspiring and her view of God refreshing. You might wish to check her out... And she began her journey in the church BEFORE she was sober and still speaks about her own struggles. We don't offer God our perfection but rather our truth.

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I feel like I need to change WHO I am in order to have a relationship with God. Yet, I cannot change who I am.
I truly believe He wants to have a relationship with you NOW - AS YOU ARE!! If He feels changes are needed (and, truly, we ALL need positive changes in our lives in many different ways), He will work those changes in your life as He guides you upon your Healing Journey. But for now, He just wants the relationship.