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About DanForsman

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    San Francisco East Bay
  • Interests
    hiking/walking, vegan diet, smaller houses and less stuff, sustainable world population size, economy not built on growth
  • More About Me
    I am looking for something meaningful to focus on in retirement. I value independent thought and believe that world peace is an achievable goal.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No thanks; I have had enough now.

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  1. I must be really tough getting blindsided in this way. You definitely have my symapathy. Things are probably moving fast right now with everything so tentative in this most recent post of yours. The good news is you have a job and in a situation like yours that is everything. When the dust settles I’m sure you’ll be standing on your own two feet. Best wishes and good luck in this difficult time. Do keep us posted when you have time.
  2. Late picking up on this but i’ve read everything and i’m pretty sure this confrontation will be anti climatic and not very satisfying. Parents are just people who were sexually able to procreate so it’s a position that has no qualifications. We have great expectations for our parent growing up out of a need for self preservation but your father doesn’t seem like anyone interested in learning new behaviors. In the end you have to let go of all the built up anger for your own sake but it isn’t necessary to make peace with your father if it’s a one way street. I think forgiveness needs to be earned so yes going to counseling with a good objective counselor would be great for you and absolutely grab the chance if it comes but even there I wouldn’t hold out much hope of your father being someone you’ll be ok hanging out with. And with the forgiveness being earned in my mind that means it would only be possible bit by bit over probably years. I can’t see that happening because I think your father doesn’t understand the basics of what it would take and worse he seems to be putting all of his present efforts into changing you. Also don’t think for one minute the old Christian patriarchy isn’t at play here. He sees himself as bending over backwards to please you with the tiny bits he’s throwing your way but if came down to Him actually changing due to pressure from you that would take more stooping and giving away the authority god has given him than he would likely find acceptable. I must admit that although my father was a much different person than your father we were never able to bridge the gap between us and I most certainly never forgave him. (He came down supporting the molester in a family situation involving my niece and her much older brother in law but we were at odds on other issues even before that.) Interestingly I had it as a condition of our reconciliation that we go to some relatively detached counselor as I felt I was just wasting my efforts saying words that were dismissed or misheard. He never seriously considered this option. We rarely interact after my mother died which sadly was before the molesting came out. Anyhow I think you should continue to hold your ground and if he can’t or won’t come up to some reasonably acceptable standard then probably there is nothing left but for you to let the dream of a supportive relationship go and if something totally superficial and insincere doesn’t appeal then that may be the end of it. He always has the opportunity to change and you then will have the opportunity to reevaluate but your clock is running too and you can’t keep your life on hold for your father to come around. My father died at 94 and he never understood why I wasn’t able to move on particularly when everyone knows that time heals all wounds. Patriarchy and Christianity working together can allow and encourage a father to twist any situation to fit his needs.
  3. You have considerably more courage at this point than you give yourself credit for. You’re doing great Improbability! I’m 71 years old and one thing i’ve learned is that the future we foresee is rarely if ever what actually comes to pass. Just trust your instincts and move at your own pace one step at a time. You may look back and think this is the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself and wonder why you didn’t make the change sooner or not. That’s the interesting part is that we never know but taking control and acting on your own thoughtful decisions is incredibly rewarding in its own right. Good for you.
  4. So glad you’re out hyperholiday. How can anyone work on a real life when they agree to believe what they know isn’t true and then call that the greatest truth, etc. This is the best part of your life that’s begun with your awareness of how significant your own thoughts and feelings really are.
  5. I graduated from Fairhope High in 1965. My family is big into the Evangelical Free Church in Silver Hill. One of the hardest things I did was tell my parents at 15 (my sophomore year) that I didn't believe anymore and didn't want to continue going to church. At 11 I had stood in front of the church and rededicated my life to christ because I felt I had selfishly wanted to be a minister when perhaps god wanted me to leave the safety and comfort of friends and family and do missionary work in foreign lands. I didn't know what my parents would do after I broke the news so I had some backup living arrangements in my mind. Luckily it didn't come to that but the rift was giant and it never repaired very well. I totally love the sensualness of the warm Gulf air. You say, " Reason and truth mean more than delusion" which is I believe the main point for me. How could I ever hope to see and try to understand life if I told myself that what most apparently was not at all true was, in fact, the greatest truth ever told? Life is at times so difficult and confusing no matter how we try that I think believing those crazy stores would just destroy me or at least make me into something much less. Like you I don't want to try to live in a make believe world; I really really want to see myself as I am and the world as it is and to the best of my ability express my own DNA as it seems I was meant to do. Welcome Antares from Mobile, Alabama! I hope you'll hang around with us for a while and share some thoughts. (Just one more memory. Being quite crazy at 17 I rowed a leaky rowboat starting at dusk with a friend from Fairhope to Dalphin Island)
  6. So sorry to here all these sad and frieghtening thought and feelings you are having shydelight. Sweden! It is the last place I would think of to be having to deal with the Christian cult but there you are. First off I like dealing with things one at a time. In your case I think that is this depression. Why not leave concerns about where the marriage is going on the back burner for now and try to resolve the major disruption in your life, depression. I agree with Fuego that your therapist needs to address anything you feel like addressing or you need to move on to someone else. You don't need to be thinking about how your therapist feels about discussing any topic. You absolutely should read Marlene Winells book Leaving to Fold as it will help you understand how very psychologically damaging the Christian cult can be and help you find ways to cope with that damage. You're a very bright person and we need you so do hang in there with us. As MOHO said much better things are comming for you once you get the depression under control. If your husband says disturbing things to you maybe try to get him to back off by pointing out that these other issues are too much for you right now and that you need to focus on recovery from your depression that after you acomplish that you can discuss those religious concerns. I would think you could have better luck finding a non believing friend or two in Sweden than in many other countries so maybe you could join some Meetup (or similar) with people who have a shared interest and then only hang with non believers. Definitely stay with us for a while and maybe comment here and there. Marlene will do Skype and other things that don't involve travel so don't hesitate to contact her if you want to discuss anything in her area of expertise. Very glad to have you here!
  7. If she tells you she is at a crossroads in her faith then that is an opening for you to ask her what she means. If you want any relationship with her you will have to discuss her faith and all that comes with that. It is a peculiar remark to make for someone who is so god driven in her day to day life. Maybe she is having some doubts? Anything is possible.
  8. Just curious Bazz99 but have you ever tried filling out one of those incredibly detailed forms and giving the online dating thing a whirl? It is a modern wonder of our times after all and they would never match you wih a fundamentalist evangelical and there are some really terrific non believers out there. Whatever you do be careful because falling in love only last a finite amount of time and all the rest of those years together it will really matter about how many things you have in common. Not saying this love interest you presently have doesn't possibly still have tons in common with you I'm just saying look carefully because the odds are probably against it. If your possible love interest does allow you to do some conditional dating you still should possibly still consider filling out those forms and see who they recommend you go out with.
  9. MOHO knows what he is talking about on this subject whereas I have learned whatever I have based on reading on this site. If you totally want to persue this relationship I would suggest addressing the elephant in the livingroom. You have two ways to go. You can answer her prayers and get saved and try living the Christian life but unless this really appeals to you we would not suggest it because we found it as pretty much a complete obstruction to living our lives honestly and well. No matter what you do it would be good for you to read at least something on how this cult operates both from someone who loves it and from someone who doesn't (maybe Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins for example). I know this is massively boring but better to enter in prepared if that is what you choose to do. The second option may or may not be open to you and that would be persuading her to enter into an unequally yoked marriage (like MOHO and a respectable number of other on this site have wound up with). I would say that the only way you could get this to fly at all would be by saying something like although Christianity didn't seem very true to you you are madly in love with her and therefore would be willing to attend church with her and see what it's all about. What's best about this second option is that you won't need to throw your sanity out the window right away. As I say this it does sound like a pretty dicy proposition as she will try for a trial church courtship before committing to a marriage. However that would probably get your foot in the door to see if there really are any prospects of a relationship and clearly be a much better idea than jumping into a marriage blindfolded.
  10. Welcome to ExC dobokdude! Sometimes having a strong motivation to not do what you saw your parents do can work to help you create a better life for yourself. It will be a big challenge because we just naturally revert to what we saw growing up so you will need to be very careful and rely on your reason not your emotions as you create you own life separate from the very disfunctional lives of your parents. You have good ability to reason and are avoiding to many traps inherent in christianity; congratulations to you for that wise choice. At 18 you have your whole life ahead of you so you have plenty of time to make some good solid plans that can take you wherever you want to go. Attending community college sounds great. Keep us posted on your situation and consider joining in with us on encouraging others.
  11. Wow (once again) LostinParis how quickly things have changed for you! Good for you with your quick recognition of a potentially dangerous situation and making the appropriate response. Sadly so many women here in the US are unable to recognize or tragically underestimate the threat that domestic violence poses. " From nonprofit Violence Policy Center (FBI reports): in 2016 there were 1,809 women killed by men and of those 962 were wives, ex-wives, or current domestic partners. On average almost 3 women in the US are killed every day by their male partner." I doubt that the situation is very much better in Australia relative to it's smaller population. I see older posted a domestic violence helpline for here in the US so I will post an additional one for there in Australia: https://au.reachout.com/articles/domestic-violence-support I am sure you will have many challenges ahead in creating a new life for yourself and your family. Please know that my hat is off to you for the courage you have demonstrated in taking this on. Give yourself all the credit in the world because as difficult as this transition will be I believe the rewards will ultimately far outweigh the costs. There is nothing so exilerating and rejuvinating as taking control of your own life. This may seem a little premature but congratulations. I hope you have the very best of luck and are able to enjoy your journey whenever that is possible. I would suggest as little face to face contact with your husband as possible. If you do meet with him i think it should only be in a very public place and try to get a friend to go with you there and back home after. The next year will probably be the most dangerous time. Anyhow you are doing so great! Keep us up when you can.
  12. This topic may be a ways down the road for you husband. He has to decide if he is willing, considering the children and all the other things you have in common and your continued commitment to him, whether or not he is willing to give the unequally yoked situation that you are proposing a try. How trustworthy and how changed you are or are not can only be discovered through the trials of time. There is a starting over aspect with some genuinely new ground to cover so quite possibly the only way to move forward will be to go slowly one small step at a time. He’ll need to do some reconstructing of his doctrinal views (but in fact this is something Christians are pretty good at once they really want something) so just stay on your path and allow him the time and space to make a well considered decision. He has a lot to lose PurpleLilac so I think you can more or less hang back and let him figure that out for himself. It will quite possibly come up that you’ve broken a promise of commitment to God that he counted on as fundamental to the marriage and I do think you are on very solid ground there by explaining that your beliefs are not something you decide but are based on what you truly believe looking at everything relevant to the subject and that a lot of information regarding Christianity was not even readily available to you at the time of your marriage. I call this safe ground because you are not saying that your conclusion is absolutely correct you are only saying you have done your very best to come to a well considered opinion and at the present time you have no real choice but to stand behind that opinion. I’m sure we’ll all, including lurkers, be interested to find out whatever your telling about you counseling sessions. We’ll be pulling you; you can count on that.
  13. Maybe you should check into exactly what Christian church your boyfriend is under the influence of. Most of the emotional cults are not open to considering any even slight divergence from whatever doctrine is included in their statement of faith. That would mean all “spiritual but not religious” types are hell bound so you would be nowhere near the A group. Having read what you’ve posted here I would think B. But the fascinating thing would be to put this question to your love interest and see what he says.
  14. Hi again PurpleLilac. You are doing great and good luck with your counseling that starts Monday. The thing about leaving the church and taking on the full weight of responsibility for your life is that you can’t expect more from yourself than you did from what was previously your god. Just like the old god you can’t guarantee results. Even though you are free to take a much more reasonable thoughtful approach to problem solving than you could under the influence of your old god you don’t ultimately control the outcomes of those problem solving efforts. It seems to me that such a good part of our lives is spent trying to solve problems or better our lives that we put ourselves in danger of putting off our happiness while waiting for the right result here and there over and over. I’ve become pretty successful in switching my goals from needing to see desired results to being satisfied with facing problems directly and putting in an appropriate and reasonable attempt to address the situation. You really are putting in a great effort here PurpleLilac. You know what you want and you’ve come up with a plan and are actively working towards a solution. There isn’t more that human beings have in their control. Be kind to yourself and patient and understanding. Mostly take pride in yourself the same way you would in your daughter if someday she found herself in a difficult situation like yours and worked as thoughtfully and wisely to resolve it as you do now. It’s ok to give yourself credit right now because you are doing exactly the right things. Another thing about relying on particular outcomes is that they can seem so terrible at a certain time and then a few years down the road look like the best thing ever. Just keep within yourself and keep playing your own game as best you can and then if maybe everything seems to start falling apart sometime or another you’ll be able to keep yourself protected so you can continue doing the best you can dealing with one thing at a time. With no god out there we have to learn to value ourselves and reward ourselves for doing the things we can do always taking into account we’re only human. You’re doing great and you’re a thoughtful parent and great roll model for your children.
  15. MOHO hit the two things that jumped out at me LostinParis. First of all you did everything right in the calm conversation with your husband that ended with him apologizing. Great job!! The second point is that when you double the number of firm disbelievers in a small family like yours you really shift the power dynamics. Great that your son is so level headed and therefore can almost certainly be counted on to back you up. Your husband is already working on this uncomfortable development in his mind i’m sure. He doesn’t want to have this blow up in his face so I suspect this 2 atheist issue is going to make him more willing to compromise in hopes of keeping it as under the table as much as possible. I’m also glad to hear that you have started to assert yourself more and more. You really have to for your own sake and then of course you can never think that your daughters aren’t watching your every move trying to figure out how to handle this situation or that. Anyhow I think you’re already doing great and are super lucky to have the son that have. “God” gave you your very own DNA and maybe it’s your responsibility to express that as fully as you possibly can.
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