Well, with those guidelines, I’ll say that I was also raised in a Christian Science family, and have (in my pre-atheist days) explained and defended those beliefs on these very boards.
I no longer practice, nor do my siblings, but my mom and extended family are still active in the church.
I have tremendously mixed feelings about it. These are people who are REALLY SMART (Truly! Brilliant critical thinkers on so many topics, and they certainly regard themselves as critical thinkers about Christian Science as well. I don’t think it’s a religion for the intellectually weak, frankly.). So, they’re people that I love, respect, admire and cherish… but I think they’re adhering to something utterly wrongheaded. It’s acknowledged in the family that my siblings and I are no longer in the church, but we’ve never really discussed it because that’s just not how my family works. For good or ill, we focus on common ground and what we love about each other and ignore anything unpleasant – a mindset that is fundamental to practicing CS, now that I think of it.
My childhood was great. Like the OP, I was never vaccinated for anything, never saw a doctor about anything, got waivers for everything. Minor illnesses were prayed about with my parents; larger ones occasionally involved a practitioner. On the whole I was really healthy. One of the advantages of this upbringing to my mind is the utter lack of fear. I wasn’t afraid of injury, or sickness or death. My parents were really cool about letting me have adventures and learn from my own mistakes, and I was pretty confident about all sorts of things because I believed myself to be surrounded and protected by God at all times.
It started getting problematic for me around puberty, when pretty much everything gets problematic for a while. I started to resent having to go to church (Sunday School until you’re 20). My doubts were hard to articulate, and I felt everything so deeply that I couldn’t talk things through without crying, so I’d tend to just clam up rather then go into tears in front of my class. My Sunday School teachers were all very kind, well-intentioned adults who genuinely wanted to discuss hard topics, but I wasn’t prepared to defend or explore my ideas with them because I was so emotional about them. I also began to notice that people in the church who did seek medical help were quietly but thoroughly judged and it bothered me.
By the time I left for college I decided that maybe I believed in God, but not this way of understanding God and the world. By the time I’d had my heart broken a few times and watched my grandfather, grandmother, uncle die of cancer and father die of advanced Type 2 Diabetes and stroke, I had washed my hands of God. My grandfather, I think, never sought medical help. My grandmother, uncle and Dad all did, but faced a number of obstacles: they sought it too late, when the disease had taken hold; they couldn’t mentally or spiritually allow themselves to believe they’d made the right choice, and would abandon medical treatment; they felt inadequate and avoided church or, if they attended, felt judged and like hypocrites. Here are four people I loved deeply, and all of them felt that they’d gone astray. And for what? Something beyond their control. It breaks my heart.
When my Dad was really struggling, I remember telling him that if we accept that God is omniscient, and we accept that God is Love (two basic tenets of CS), then we need to accept that God understood WHY Dad was struggling, why he made the decisions he did, and that God must love him fiercely no matter what. If the church was really a healthy environment, Dad never would have felt like a hypocrite for deciding the pain was too much and seeking physical help. No one should choose between spiritual and physical health. No one should feel that to pursue one negates any effort toward the other.