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I Made My Mom Cry


evergreen
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I need to learn to keep my mouth shut until I decide to tell my folks that I'm not Christian anymore...

 

I was talking to mom on the phone and we got to talking about how some people have speculated that a guy my brother knows is gay (I know, who cares, but we're from a small town...).

So that led to me saying that I don't believe homosexuality is a sin.

Mom: "But it says so in the Bible!!!!11!!1!one!!"

Me: "Yeah, well, I don't believe that."

Mom: "You broke my heart..."

Me: - fumbling for some excuse about how I "said it wrong" and other such bullshit to try to make her stop crying...

 

Uggggggghhhhhhhh.... I feel like shit now.

I'm really not ready to tell her or dad about my ex-Christian-ness... So I really need to stop expressing opinions that are contrary to scripture around them...

Biblical inerrantists are extremely frustrating... Why, oh why, couldn't my family have been members of a more liberal church?!

 

Sorry, just needed to get it out. I feel horrible because I know how they react to stuff like that, and I knew I shouldn't have said it....

And I'm frustrated because I can't freely express my thoughts with mom and dad without upsetting them and making them sad and fearing for my soul....

I wish I could tell them... But this if this is how they react when I disagree that something is a sin, even though I still pretend to believe in Christ and his sacrifice, how will they react if I tell them I don't believe ANY of their religion!?

 

*sigh* :(

 

Glad I can vent here...

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I get where your mom is at and consider her a victim of her beliefs. But this is akin to a person crying because you told them that black people are actually fully human.

 

I'm really not ready to tell her or dad about my ex-Christian-ness...

 

Perhaps, but sounds like you should. The drip method is likely to cause more pain here (from what I'm reading anyway). Peel off that bandaid in one quick stroke.

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So that led to me saying that I don't believe homosexuality is a sin.
You were wrong. Of course homosexuality is a sin. That's what the Bible says. What it isn't, is wrong. My question, and I hope I don't sound too harsh in asking, is how the hell can anyone be that hurt that anyone doesn't believe what they believe, in exactly the same way?
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Unfortunately, belief or lack thereof, seems to be a major issue between family members. As an atheist ex-christian, who has gone through hell of a failed marriage, I still get it from my family. I am 43 years old and my lack of belief in the magical sky beings still causes my mother to interject that the failures in my life are due to my lack of belief. I have come to the conclusion to say thank you for your point of view and move on. From my perspective, it is they (believers in the family) that are deluded.

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My Mom cries because of me (my younger sister used to tell me this), she doesn't like my disbelief and she told me that she feels like a failure because I am no longer a Christian. There's nothing I can say to comfort her, but pretending to be something you are not doesn't really work out in less it's your job.

 

I will not bring it up with my relatives, but if they ask I will tell them that I'm no longer a Christian.

 

 

*side note* I got the homosexuality speech as a teenager,

'you're not a lesbian are you, you know it's a sin and against God's words'

I actually was a little homophobic during my freshman year of high school, it's not something I'm proud of, luckily it didn't last too long.

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I just can't tell them yet. I'm still young and somewhat finacially dependent on them, and I don't want to tell them until I am as self-reliant as possible. And I know it's like telling her black people are fully human... She just can't see it. When I said "what if it could be genetic" she responded with, basically, "it would still be wrong and maybe it's something that god needs to deliver people from." *sigh* I actually used to believe that, once, just before my deconversion, when I was still trying to force myself to believe in that religion.

 

Well, Dhampir, if I understand you correctly, she was so hurt, because I think she believes that you will go to hell unless you believe everything in the Bible. It's no good for me to tell her about things in the Bible she doesn't believe in (ex: slavery) because she's been indoctrinated to pull the old "that was then, that was their culture, blah blah blah" thing. So me saying I don't believe something the Bible says probably sounds, to her, like I'm saying I don't believe the Bible, period. Ugh.

 

LMR, I know, it's awful. But she doesn't want me to hate gays or treat them unkindly, she just thinks I have to believe they're sinning. She even said "God loves the people but hates what they do." (Holy fuck, people actually do say that shit.)

 

 

I guess I really just need to stop talking about these things with them. Maybe if I don't ever bring it up. Unfortunately, I'm kind of argumentative with my parents. I guess I see them as so extremely deluded and it frustrates me to no end. It's funny. During the last election, I was researching the different platforms, and told dad I wanted to make an informed decision on who I voted for. Dad said "God gave you your mind so you could think and reason." Except for when you can think and reason away god, right dad? *sigh*

I just hope, someday, I'll have the guts to tell them...

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Emotional blackmail, that is. Really, the problem is her, not you. She's going to cry one way or another, if she ever finds out. Are you willing to lie to your mother's face until the day she dies?

 

Then again, I should practice what I preach...

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Well, BG, if lying to her would mean she could die happy, then maybe ...

I don't really want to lie to her. But maybe it's more important to just keep the peace for now.

I don't live in the same town as them, and they know I hardly ever attend church. I don't even make excuses for that now.

So there's no real urgent reason I need to tell them, other then just getting it over with and going on with life. But I'm not up for that just yet... Like I said, maybe when I don't depend on them at all.

 

I "rebelled" once, back when I was 15.

I don't remember how it came up, but mom asked me if I was still a Christian and I replied "I don't know."

Boy. Were mom and dad a MESS. They cried and cried and couldn't sleep and were depressed... It was awful. Lucky for them, about 2 weeks after that we were in church and I "rededicated my life to the lord."

Uggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

If only, if ONLY, I hadn't "gotten saved" again back then. My ex-Christianness would be old news by now and things would probably be good between us...

But I fucked that up.

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Evergreen,

 

My sympathies, I am in the same boat. This is a tough situation. I don't believe my parents, particularly my mother, could ever handle the truth about my not being a Christian. Many years ago when my brother at age 17 said he was absolutely not attending church anymore, there was a crying scene with my mother that was very hard to witness, and my father got verbally very violent.

 

I am 48 and long been financially independent, live 1,500 miles away from them, but am still unable to fully voice my religious views to them. Since they know I once attended a Unitarian Church once and none now, they probably get the idea I am not a Baptist fundamentalist (which they are) but I still don't want to broach the subject and say I have tossed Christianity completely out. I spent a lot of years pretending just to please them. However, attending a liberal Christian church (Episcopal) wasn't good enough for them, and I just could not stomach the fundy kind even for their sake except for a couple years. For the last 7 years I am totally free of the church and all Christianity, thank the powers that be (if there are any).

 

The emotional manipulation continues. I recently received a letter from my mother that was not much more than Bible verses and a few lines apologizing about how she "didn't love me enough". This is what it is, emotional blackmail and manipulation, just like Bluegiant said. Parents know which buttons to push, believe me. I wrote her back saying that I do not want to have a conversation about religion with her. It made me quite angry, but I did not let it reflect in my letter.

 

My only advice is just to put as much distance geographically between you as possible, that way at least it isn't in your face all the time. Sorry, I don't know of any way to soften this subject when trying to explain it to a fundamentalist who is totally convinced that you are hellbound and they are somehow responsible.

 

I don't know which tactic is better, the "don't ask, don't tell" approach or the more honest "let's get it over with" approach since I do not really know you, your mother or the situation, but there was no way I could just come out with telling my mother the whole truth. My father is a deacon in an Independent Baptist church and I know it is my mother's whole life. Maybe that would be the better and more honorable approach, but you will have to prepare yourself to deal with a lot of emotional stuff.

 

Hope things work out better for you.

 

Pat

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Thanks for your post, Pat.

I'm sorry you're still having to deal with that after so long being away from home...

I do get angry, but there's also guilt, because I know they love me so much and anytime they bother me with religious discussions it's because they feel they're responsible for showing me the way to god and all that. So I feel bad for them even when they're stressing me out. Fear of eternal damnation for loved ones is an awful thing.

It sounds like a good idea, that you said you didn't want to discuss religion.

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Thanks, Evergreen. Of course you are right, there is an element of guilt also. In many, many ways my parents have supported and loved me through the years, even when I got divorced, which I totally admire them for, knowing how their religion is so hard on divorcees. I am sure they always thought they were doing the right thing. The only real problem is this religion issue and the going to hell thing, which is an awful thing, as you say. Probably I won't hear anything more about religion from my mother for a a year or more, but then her Pastor will throw out some kind of guilt trip on her in a sermon about "unsaved family members" and then I will get another dose.

 

Pat

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I do get angry, but there's also guilt, because I know they love me so much and anytime they bother me with religious discussions it's because they feel they're responsible for showing me the way to god and all that. So I feel bad for them even when they're stressing me out. Fear of eternal damnation for loved ones is an awful thing.

 

Fear based living is the predominant cause of all problems in relationships and life. It's kind of a no-brainer for anyone who has studied psychology, sociology, or even basic communication to see how living through fear makes us weaker people.

 

Hopefully you will find the means to live as strongly as possible and not let their fear take you down in the process.

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I just can't tell them yet. I'm still young and somewhat finacially dependent on them,

 

Well, first and foremost you have to look out for yourself. Only you know your situation intimately and only you have to live with the consequences of your decisions. There are no rules here, so it sounds as if you just need to keep things to yourself for a while. I was simply coming at this from the angle that it might be easier for all involved to get things over with and put behind. But you have to have a place to sleep and eat, so ignore my earlier advice.

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Well, BG, if lying to her would mean she could die happy, then maybe ...

 

 

I used to think this too. But then I realized that is EXACTLY what the church is there for, to lie to you and make you feel safe so you can die happy. The real world is not like that, and although it pained me to see my mother cry, as soon as she started to tell me that she was worried about my "salvation" I knew I made the right choice. I cannot serve the church in any way, even if it is to keep my parents happy and deluded, I would still be serving the church. By living the best life I can, I prove the church wrong in my folks eyes, I'm an unbeliever AND I live a calm, moral, trouble free life.

 

I "came out" as an Atheist soon after 9/11. I just couldn't handle it anymore. My parents were starting to use "terrorist" and "Muslim" interchangably, as if they were the same thing. My dad was sending me "patriotic" emails that basicly said that America is a xtian nation, so if you're not a xtian, get the fuck out. He also sent me that one that "quotes" the Koran's "prediciton" that a great eagle will be awakened in the West and attack the evil king or something. It even listed the Sura and verse. I asked them both many times to please think about what it is they are about to say/send, to my dad especially, because obviously the Koran email is a fake. They did not listen, and so I had to tell them I didn't believe. I was rough for about a week or 2, and that years xmas and easter was a little tense filled, but now I continue to fill my plate up and eat while they pray and nobody says a thing.

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I just can't tell them yet. I'm still young and somewhat finacially dependent on them,

 

Well, first and foremost you have to look out for yourself. Only you know your situation intimately and only you have to live with the consequences of your decisions. ....

....But you have to have a place to sleep and eat, so ignore my earlier advice.

 

Hi Evergreen,

 

Vigile is right on IMO. Until you can pay your own way, survival is more important than winning an argument. Not that any of your arguments will work on them anyway. Your parents are brainwashed by a death cult (like most of us were). Simply entertaining the notion that homosex is normal is to question the Almighty God and his precious Wordbreath. As long as they are in the circular rationale of the cult, no logical analysis by them is possible.

 

And believe me, situations come up every day in adult life where we must choose our battles. Learning when to engage others, and when to just let it go, is a maturing process. And it might help your parents to see you as more rational than they are being. Being an apostate, I'm sure you realize that they cannot be rationalized with regarding their faith: like you, they will have to come to this on their own.

 

Allowing others to continue on in their ignorance by their own choosing is painful, but a lesson that you will take with you.

 

[When I lived w/ my parents, I had to really be careful, because I deconverted while a college student and living in thier household. We just avoided the subject to get along.]

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Vigile is right on IMO. Until you can pay your own way, survival is more important than winning an argument. Not that any of your arguments will work on them anyway. Your parents are brainwashed by a death cult (like most of us were). Simply entertaining the notion that homosex is normal is to question the Almighty God and his precious Wordbreath. As long as they are in the circular rationale of the cult, no logical analysis by them is possible.

 

Quoted for truth :)

 

Sadly, just do what you have to in order to keep the peace and get along. Be wary of brinigng up anything religious or any hot topics that touch on Xianity at all. Until you can be on your own, there's no need to give your mother any excuses to fly off the handle.

 

However, as soon as you're out, perhaps doing as Vigile wisely advised and just ripping the bandaid off is best. Bit by bit revelations of your true stance will only make things worse for you. Better to get it all out in the open while you can. My wife and I will have to do that, soon :mellow:

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I don't think you need to feel guilty at all. Much like family members with drug addiction, fundie relatives are sometimes better off knowing that it's not OK and the people that care about them can't sit by and let them continue their dangerous dependence on mythology. Sure, it's painful for her...that doesn't mean it's bad for her.

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Guest breathefree
I need to learn to keep my mouth shut until I decide to tell my folks that I'm not Christian anymore...

 

I was talking to mom on the phone and we got to talking about how some people have speculated that a guy my brother knows is gay (I know, who cares, but we're from a small town...).

So that led to me saying that I don't believe homosexuality is a sin.

Mom: "But it says so in the Bible!!!!11!!1!one!!"

Me: "Yeah, well, I don't believe that."

Mom: "You broke my heart..."

Me: - fumbling for some excuse about how I "said it wrong" and other such bullshit to try to make her stop crying...

 

Uggggggghhhhhhhh.... I feel like shit now.

I'm really not ready to tell her or dad about my ex-Christian-ness... So I really need to stop expressing opinions that are contrary to scripture around them...

Biblical inerrantists are extremely frustrating... Why, oh why, couldn't my family have been members of a more liberal church?!

 

Sorry, just needed to get it out. I feel horrible because I know how they react to stuff like that, and I knew I shouldn't have said it....

And I'm frustrated because I can't freely express my thoughts with mom and dad without upsetting them and making them sad and fearing for my soul....

I wish I could tell them... But this if this is how they react when I disagree that something is a sin, even though I still pretend to believe in Christ and his sacrifice, how will they react if I tell them I don't believe ANY of their religion!?

 

*sigh* :(

 

Glad I can vent here...

 

Wow. I had almost exactly the same conversation w/ my mom today. No tears (whew), but she thinks I'm too librul and is constantly recommending Xian books and asking whether our family made it to church this week. We live in the same town, which makes it tough to dodge her sincere little missiles. I long to (as another poster suggested) pull the bandaid off in one quick move, but I think my entire family would be really devastated and certain rather fragile relationships would be lost to both me and my spouse and kids (who are still believers, albeit rather liberal ones).

 

I never dreamed it would be so difficult to just state my mind.

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Evergreen, I decomverted in about 1987 and went through a tough time with my mum who got very emotional. I would hear her praying in the next room with her friends for my eternal soul. It is not pleasant seeing someone you love upset, and the natural reaction is to back track to try to make them feel better.

My advice is DON'T. That will only confuse them. Gently, with as much love as you can assertively state what it is you think and feel......and stick to your guns. They may cry, they may plead, be upset,and even get angry. You just continue to assert what you feel, gently. Try not to get into heated theological or bible discussions, initially. You are simply stating how you feel, and the conclusions you have come to. The upset feelings (at least in my mums case) does not last forever, the emotional energy will eventually run out of steam, but you may need to go through several encounters like this. Eventually, they may come to an uneasy acceptance.

 

My mum eventually stopped writing me letters and sending books or tracts. We now agree to disagree, and our relationship is on a much more equal footing.

 

Its strange how fundamentalists talk soooo much about god giving us free will....and then resent it when we use it. As for hell fire I used to say to her, "Why on earth would I want to spend an eternity with someone who casts my friends and unsaved family members in hell???"

 

Incidentally, my next big encounter was coming out as gay with her! Strangely, that was no where near as dramatic emotionally for her as saying I wasnt evangelical any more. Mind you it took me 14 more years for that one!

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