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Permanent Estrangement From Family


Amelia
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Hi Guys,

 

Is anybody else here living with permanent estrangement from their fundie families?

 

I have no relationship with my side of the family at all (my husband's family are liberal though, so we are still in relationship with them) - my father is a fundie pastor, mother just does whatever she is told, and so does my brother (only sibling).

 

Reason for me cutting off the relationship with them was abuse all through childhood and up until I left home to get married. I posted my story in the testimonials section (Confessions of a Pastor's Kid), so some of you may be familiar with it.

 

I just couldn't continue having anything to do with them, because I got nothing but invalidation from them. I actually have depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, and they only told me it was because a) I wasn't working for an employee - instead I'm a successful, self-employed professional making a shitload more than any of them, B) I wasn't in church, c) I wasn't in the 'right kind of church' i.e. not fundie, d) I wasn't 'right' with God or e) I 'liked' it.

 

As for the abuse, they reject that claim altogether and say that because my father didn't beat my mother, I had it 'easy'. Their fathers were drunks who beat their mothers, and because my father chose only to belt and hit me and not my mother, I had it 'easy'.

 

Went to great lengths to get them off my back. Changed our phone numbers, got new mobiles/cellphones, etc. The only thing is, I can't change my business number. Anyway, a year passes without communication (aside from the 'To' and 'From' birthday card - obligatory to say the least on their part), and then on the weekend my business phone rings and it's them. Needless to say I ignored the call. No way in hell they'll ever speak to me again. I'm suspecting there is news in the family, but even so, I'm just not interested. If it's bad news and they want sympathy from me, how pathetic. They can't just beat their kid until she's an adult, and then expect me to just turn on the affection to them when they feel like it.

 

If they contact me again, I'll get my lawyer onto them. All my life, they made out I was a possession of theirs and nothing more. They think that just because they gave birth to me, that they own me and have a right to unlimited contact. Well, they have no right. They don't have the right to ANY contact with me after violating me the way they did.

 

The relationship is over, and they have to accept it.

 

Anybody else going through this?

 

Cheers,

Amelia :)

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Hey There,

 

Now that would be great wouldn't it? But impossible!

 

My father, to give you an idea, was completely sick when he found his religion. He had mental illness for seven years and was agrophobic, you name it. Major anxiety problems, etc. Very unstable. He denies the existence of mental illness and says it's all made up. It's made up or it's of satan and demon possession.

 

Anyhow, he goes off his meds and finds 'god'. He buried his mental illness with christianity. I still think he's a sick man to be honest.

 

Amelia

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I know a girl who thinks she sees demons and such.

 

Her mom won't give her any mental treament because she actually thinks that she is seeing them for real.

 

Its sad because the girl is in home school and has very little social outlets besides church. She will probably end up living at home till she is 40 because she won't be able to hold a job.

 

fundies seem to have a problem admiting that people can be mentaly ill

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Hey Guys,

 

Yes, fundies don't believe in mental illness or depression or any of that.

 

With my OCD and depression (both are quite mild now, since I have had therapy), my parents said I just had it because I chose to have it and I liked it.

 

It's all bullshit.

 

When you're parents are fundies, the reality is, you don't have parents. You just have crazy ass judges.

 

Cheers,

Amelia :)

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Anybody else going through this?

 

Cheers,

Amelia :)

 

 

Hi Amelia!

I have been gone from here for a while and just came back and saw this.

 

My mom is my only living family. My father passed away when I was 21. I have no brothers or sisters and my grandparents are dead. As far as extended family, neither my mom nor my dad were close to their family so I didn't not grow up with the typical cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.

 

Soooo...anyways....my mom isn't what I would call "fundie' but she calls herself a christian and goes to church. She is a very snobbish woman who looks down upon others for many different reasons. Having lived with that growing up, I went the opposite way and have always been accepting of others and full of compassion.

 

Anyhoo, my life was going well for the most part as far as being successful, responsible, etc. I ran into a few snags about a year ago and some things fell apart for me and it was a very rough time emotionally.

 

My mom, instead of being a "mom"...chose to look down at me and chose to cut off all communications with me. She went as far as to tell me that as far as she is concerned, me and my child (only 11 years old and her ONLY grandchild she will ever have) are DEAD to her. She meant it too....as she has not called since and also since then, my and my child's birthdays (which are on the same day) have passed by and not a word from her either. :Hmm:

 

The reason I am "excommunicated" was for the trouble that I went through (she chose to look down on me where any other parent would have been supportive, I'm sure) and also because I had given up christianity and was vocal about it. I didn't go on and on...I just explained my research and feelings on the matter and I guess that was grounds enough.... :shrug:

 

Needless to say, my mom is full of judgement, however, if I chose to reveal some of her "faults" it would devastate her social life not to mention humilate her to the core. She has some issues all right that go beyond the norm.....:poke:

(I have always tried to help her too and not condemn)

 

Due to the kind of person I am, I would never stoop as low as to ruin her life. But how dare she criticize me to the point of excommunication??? :vent: And my child is innocent and an extremely loving, well behaved little girl that just wants to please!

So.....

 

It's hard to understand, but she probably did me a favor. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering how she can live with herself and I have shed many tears wondering the why of it all. In the long run though, my advice to others has always been to place people in your life that will support, encourage and stand behind you and to get rid of the negative, miserable ones that always want to cause you chaos, grief and bring you down.

 

I've got to follow my own advice in that if she has to be that way, then me and my child are better off.

 

As far as the word "family" goes, though, to me.....because of my life experiences with it, it doesn't mean much past the people that live in my OWN home.

I have FRIENDS that are more FAMILY to me.

 

I can understand how you feel. Our circumstances are a little different....but in the long run, it has the same devastation and results on our emotional being.

 

How long has it been since you cut off contact? If you already said, please disregard that question.

 

Nice to meet ya!:)

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It would be so funny if they were calling to say "We deconverted! We're atheists now, too!"

:lmao:

 

 

:lmao: THATS funny!!

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Hey Panther!

 

Great to meet you too! :)

 

Your mother sounds so mean and cold to have cut you off like that, just because you don't believe as she does!!

 

I cut my relationship with the family about a year ago now.

 

Cheers,

Amelia

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I'm mostly estranged from my family, but they did most of the estranging. I was raised by agnostics so it wasn't a religous bent, but for some reason they just don't see or feel the need to talk to me. I guess they just took for granted I was always there.

 

I've never had close contact with any extended family, and my immediate family is too absorbed in themselves to care about me. My brother's made it clear throughout my whole life I was the annoying baby sister he never wanted and he hates me because I was born. My parents got divorced when I was ten. My father only wanted to play "dad" on his own terms, and is callous and self absorbed control freak with a violent temper. He also used the belt on me when his considerable temper got the best of him. His leaving was the best thing he could have done for us. And my mother used to be my best friend, but in the last 10 years or so has turned into a passive agressive co-dependant nutcase you have to keep at arms length. She acts like a spoiled teenager and says sweet things to my face and talks viciously about me behind my back to my friends, and tries to manipulate me whenever she can.

 

As far as I'm concened, I've got a bunch of people related to me, but no family any longer. I don't care for any of them and I wish I could cut ties with them for good (unfortunately certain circumstances don't allow it). It hurts like an infected wound not having them any longer, but it's better to get the toxins out for good. I'm also still recovering from years of mental abuse and being beaten down.

 

I'm glad you have family with your husband and his side of things. I've got my pet snake and my friends and they are more family than mine ever was.

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Hi Guys,

 

Well as you know, I don't have a relationship with any of the family on my side, however my father's parents did email me asking about what I had been through, and I sent them a very long email explaining it all. Much to my surprise, I got some validation and sympathy, which was nice. Then things went silent and they didn't hear from me, and I got another email from them asking how I was. I was feeling dreadful at the time, trying to cope with the family emancipation, and I wrote an email which was very explicit in terms of expressing how I felt. I didn't send the email to my grandparents, because they are elderly and were unwell at the time, and I seriously did not think they were up to it. I sent them a short email, which didn't reveal much at all, but here is that email, which I did NOT send. It was therapeutic writing it, and perhaps some of you guys can understand this, if you feel robbed of parents because of their fundie religion.

 

Here's the email, which I NEVER sent to them, which was written a few months ago:

 

Hi Grandma and Grandpa,

 

I’m sorry for sounding really short and brief in my last email. Truth is I am struggling with the estrangement right now – big time. It’s not that I miss them. I miss something I have never had. I’m grieving for something I never had with them.

 

It is hard to receive contact from anybody there, because it just reminds me of the estrangement. I live with it every day, but there is pain when I realise that people there are thinking about me.

 

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you guys again. After all, it had been over four months. I just figured you too had followed their line of thinking – adopted the same perception of me that they have. I know it’s awkward for you to know what you know about me, whilst still being so close to them [my parents]. A part of me, as horrible as it sounds, wishes everybody up there would just forget about me. Put all the photos of me in an envelope and send them to me. I hope my parents and brother totally wipe me from their memories.

 

The thing is I’m grieving for something I have never had. I wish I had a normal, non-judgemental family. I know with the extreme Christianity that’s not possible. I’m not a daughter to them. I’m just another person going to hell. It doesn’t matter how great I am. I could split the goddamn atom, and I’m still hellbound to them. To them, I’m still going to hell because I’m not as extreme in my beliefs as they are. I hate them for thinking that about me. I hate them for thinking that about [my husband] too. I hate them for making me hate me for such a long time. They have no right to pass such judgement on me. My life with them was a misery! I wanted to die and they knew that!

 

Truth is none of you know me. I wasn’t allowed to be me. I had to act just to fit into my father’s mould. If I didn’t toe the line, he’d be terrible for days on end. And my mother and brother would say it was all my fault. I was dying inside. I was dying on the inside just being in touch with them and having to fake it all.

 

So who am I? I’m not a bad person. I’m just a girl with her own mind. I don’t just accept without question. I question. Ever tried questioning my father? If so, you know what I mean. The very reason why we have this problem is because I am strong willed and I question. It is a quality that is admired by most normal, non-judgemental families, but for me, it is why my parents have contempt for me. My brother doesn’t like me either. I achieved too much for them. They hated me for it. They’re crazy.

 

The reason why we have a problem is because of my father. He had issues (mental ones). I got blamed for them. I still get blamed for them. I questioned, I got punished. I got punished, I hated even more (momentarily). That’s why they got this perceived disrespect from me. If you belt a dog, it’s not going to be all affectionate with you. It’s not even going to want to know you. So it’s also the case with them.

 

Ask any of them who caused the problems, and they point the finger at me. They’d rather believe I’m possessed by satan, than admit to any wrong doing on their own part. I bet they’re spreading that around their church right now. I don’t know how my father can preach!!! He is dragging my name through the dirt every time somebody asks about me. It hurts, but I’ll live.

 

Ever since we got married, they never showed any interest in us. As far as they were concerned, I moved away. I chose to leave them. I think they resented that. [My husband’s] family went to the effort of keeping in touch with their son, and learning how to use the internet so they could be in touch with him. My bible college graduate of a brother would receive an email from us with photographs and he’d delete it, then taunt me by saying he deleted it without even looking at it. No interest at all. As for the parents. Oh, always busy! Too busy to speak to me. Then when they did speak to me, they’d be distracted by something my brother was saying. I didn’t mean that much to them. I hope they’re happy I’m gone, and I strongly doubt I’ll ever return to any sort of relationship with them. They made me feel like the dumbest person on earth. The last person on earth worthy of validation.

 

I suffered from depression for the best part of a year as well during 2002/03, and got zero support from them too. No support whatsoever. I just got yelled at – again – by my father. Blaming it on me being in the wrong church (i.e. not Pentecostal), not being in church, or being in church for the wrong reasons (i.e. wanting to have friends, which my father says is the WRONG reason). You can’t win with him. My obsessive compulsive disorder was blamed on me not being in church or being in church for the wrong reasons. Good thing though is HE IS WRONG! I’m in touch with professionals.

 

At least he got his way. I didn’t get too close to his wife, and I didn’t influence the good son. I thought my brother was a little like me for a brief period in high school, but then he just went extreme like him.

 

Good luck to them. I’ll grieve forever – not over them. Over something I’ve never had and never will have.

 

I will give unconditional, non-judgemental love to my kids though! They won’t go through what I’ve had to go through. I’m going to actually be a parent to them.

 

Please note none of this is directed at you. It’s all directed at my parents and brother. It’s my struggle. I feel better now for letting this out. Even though you’ve heard it before. I’m sorry it affects all of you. It just does. By ending my relationship with them, I’ve pretty much ended it with everybody. I can’t turn up for visits anymore, and Christmases and special occasions are definitely out of the question. I can’t share too much of my own life with anybody remotely connected with the family up there. I hate it, but it’s the situation that dictates it all. I was controlled living under their roof, and they still control me. They dictate where we can and cannot live. They dictate where we can and cannot holiday. We had to change all of our phone numbers. I can’t tell you our phone number, because if I did you’ll definitely tell my parents. I just know it. Then they will harass us again.

 

Love,

 

Amelia

P.S. You’d think the way I’m talking I must be so terrible or have done something really bad….like I'm doing something totally against God. It’s not true at all! You don’t need to do anything bad at all to be hellbound according to my father. We just don’t go to their kind of church and speak mumbo jumbo ‘tongues’. That’s why we’re shit to them. Now we don't go to church at all and it's GREAT! For this reason, I don’t think we can ever go back to [their state] – not to holiday, not to visit, not to live – not ever. Even today I’m expecting to get banging on the door and screaming from him. I have dreams that he’ll kill me even. He has no idea what impact he has had on me. And my brother and mother just let it all happen.

 

As far as I'm concened, I've got a bunch of people related to me, but no family any longer. I don't care for any of them and I wish I could cut ties with them for good (unfortunately certain circumstances don't allow it). It hurts like an infected wound not having them any longer, but it's better to get the toxins out for good. I'm also still recovering from years of mental abuse and being beaten down.

 

I'm glad you have family with your husband and his side of things. I've got my pet snake and my friends and they are more family than mine ever was.

 

Hi Kurari,

 

I'm so sorry to hear about that. It's amazing how many people think they can't cut ties with family purely for that reason: that they share DNA. It's probably a different reason for you, but I know of so many people who won't for that reason and that reason alone.

 

My family always though it was their right to have access to me whenever they want, however they want, with as much verbal abuse as they want. I shattered that belief for them. I mean, they treated me like shit for 22 years. In other words, life for me was on their terms. Now it's on mine and I have cut my ties.

 

It's been a good year without their abuse and manipulation!

 

Cheers,

Amelia :)

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I haven't cut ties with my family, though it's been clear to me for decades that I'm not what they wanted in a daughter and that my folks prefer my sister, so I'm pretty reserved with them.

 

My spouse, however, has indeed cut contact with his father, who was a horribly abusive monster to him. He lived with his sperm donor when he was 7 until he was 14, and at 14 when the choice was given to him to return, he refused to go back. That was 20 years ago and I don't know if he's seen his sperm donor since then, or how often. I know he hasn't had any contact with him whatsoever for the 4 years we've been together, and for some 3 years before that. He did just recently get in contact with some of his uncles and cousins from that side of the family, but he probably won't ever speak to his sperm donor again, and it's one of the best choices he could possibly make.

 

Sadly, spouse also has a son who he's never known, and probably never will know, either; and that bit sucks. The estrangement there is for very different reasons though.

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Hi Amelia-

 

My family background was a combo of Christian and Jewish without formal training from either parent. We would "drop in" for services in various places, as a learning experience only. Not for worship. They believed vaguely in some creative force.

 

My mother especially felt uneasy with "church people". You know - ladies back in the 1940s wore high heels, hats, etc. to church. Everybody on perfect behavior -- sitting there with angelic expressions, worshiping a gawd who burns Hindu babies in hell. Everybody smiling, saying all the right things. Mother said you had to walk up the aisle like you had a broom up your ass.

 

My parents are long dead. I had no family problems with them. Nice people.

 

My main reason for repudiating religion was, I could not stomach the cruelty, racism, sexism, child abuse, etc. that religions have spawned. Or the absurdies in the Holy Bible, The Holy Koran, the Holy Book of Mormon, the Holy This the Holy That. Always remember, the attack on America (Sept. 11), was a faith-based atrocity.

 

I personally knew of Christian assholes who beat kids. I personally took my share of abuse from idiot ministers. My wife and daughters were humiliated by sexist preachers.

 

In the Army I got sick and tired of being preached to that "there were no Atheists in foxholes". Hell I told them, if there were a decent Gawd we wouldn't BE in this damned foxhole.

 

If I described all the incidents of religious crap (both historical and in my personal life), I would sit here forever. Sufice it to say, I despise religion.

 

If I had parents like yours, Amelia, I'd punish them to the ends of the earth.

 

Good luck in your career.

 

Henry W

 

 

henry_westin@hotmail.com

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Hi Guys,

 

Is anybody else here living with permanent estrangement from their fundie families?

 

Yes, fairly similar but not completely like your situation. My mother and father divorced when I was a year old; mother went fundy and married my dad's (now ex-) best friend. My mother's entire family tree has turned their backs on me (a british stiff-upper-lip thing from what I hear). But my dad is the coolest parent in the world and I keep in touch daily with him.

 

*shrug* dems da breaks

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I am actually estranged from my entire family(except my mother. We are very close), due to their fundamentalism. I actually broke the ties. They were content to have me around so long as they could preach to me about what a loathsome sinner I am and etc...But I have since told them to stay out of my life.

I have nothing to do with any of my brothers, in laws, or my ugly nieces and nephews...And I am fine with that. Yeah, it hurt at first to put space between me and them, but it was for the best.

 

Now I am making new friends and aquaintances who accept me for me...

 

DNA does not obligate you to be treated like shit.

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Hi Kurari,

 

I'm so sorry to hear about that. It's amazing how many people think they can't cut ties with family purely for that reason: that they share DNA. It's probably a different reason for you, but I know of so many people who won't for that reason and that reason alone.

 

Nah, for me it's got to do with money, debts, and medical issues. Bleah! Otherwise, I just do my best staying on the outer fringes of things and do things my way. My mother is the only one I contact at least once a week, and I have to keep her at arms length or she'll start trying to manipulate me. My father keeps calling me once every two months for all of five minutes to see how I am, but it's just light chit chat about the weather mostly. My dad seems to have mellowed out a lot in his old age and realized how badly he fucked up in life towards his family, but I really don't have a real desire to talk to him anymore.

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