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New Ex-christian


Guest LivingBeyondBelief
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Guest LivingBeyondBelief

Hello everyone. This is my first post. I am new to being an ex-christian but have not told my family about it yet. I am dreading their reactions when I finally tell them. Will they look at me as some lost puppy? Will they constantly try to bring me back? Will they tell me things that go wrong in my life are because of my lack of faith in god? I know it will be disappointing for them, but will they still accept me as part of the family and for who I am? When is the 'best' time to tell them?

 

I am lucky to have a husband who is an atheist and therefore someone to talk to. I am also 33 weeks pregnant and when I think about telling my family (it has to be done eventually) I get very stressed out and anxious and my hubby believes I am suffering panic attacks because of it.

 

I went my whole childhood with my mom and siblings to a baptist church(dad didn't go and I don't really know his beliefs). I always thought my mom was a wonderful loving person and I knew my parents had fights and problems like most couples. When I was around 16 my brother and I found files on our computer containing letters of a VERY explicit nature between my mom and another man. And pictures. We talked to the other 2 siblings and decided to confront her about it. She confirmed and we made her tell dad. Come to find out he new about previous 'affairs' already and just chose to stay with her the whole time.

 

I think that really busted my view knowing that my mom, the one person I knew was my role model on everything, including how to be a christian woman, had been living a lie of hypocrisy the whole time.

 

I fell away from church for a while, just put it out of my mind, got pregnant (unmarried) twice and got back in church again maybe a couple years ago because I started feeling guilty about not taking my kids and the pressure from my family. Each time I went, I just didn't feel anything. And it's not like I didn't try. To me it was like, "ok, we're standing up to sing again.....are we done singing yet...." So I basically kept going to keep my family off my back and pretended all was well with my soul. I had always had doubts since childhood but just pushed them from my mind because it was more comfortable. I had a lot of guilt because of the doubts I was having and because I had 2 kids as a single mom and eventually married a new man, an atheist. I eventually started expressing my doubts with my husband and alot of what he said made since. So for the past few months I have been researching (as much as I can stand) and trying to figure out what *I* believe, not what my family wants me to believe. The more I read and the more my husband and I talk about it, the less I believe. I am to a point now where I basically do not believe, but still have my "what ifs". I haven't been going to church for a couple of months (I blame it on being tired because of pregnancy), but I've been letting my mom take my kids just so she will stay off my back. My whole family and husbands family keeps inviting us to their churches and my mom especially keeps saying, 'if you don't take your kids to church they will end up like their dad (not my husband)'. It is statements like that I do not want to hear. If my kids are screwed up, it is because of mine or their father's lack of parenting ability, not because of a lack of fear in God and going to hell. I don't want my kids to go through the feelings I have been going through of falling out of faith. I want them to believe in what they believe in and not what someone else tells them to believe. I want them to use their brains. I think I am just rambling now, but it is nice to have others who have been there and to know I am not alone in my closet of faithlessness.

 

I know I need to tell them what I believe and that I don't want my kids going anymore, but I am scared to death of rejection and their reactions. And being pregnant I will probably just cry when I hear what they have to say. I am not very good at standing up for myself in the first place.

 

Thanks for listening.

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Welcome to the site! :wave:

 

I am still to come out of the closet to most people I know, especially family. I've had enough fights and wars in my life and don't look forward to anymore, but I do know it'll have to happen sometime. My wife is also still in the closet, but I think her parents suspect something of the truth, yet no confrontations have come of it. Still, the wolf is going to have to come out of the bag sooner or later, especially when we do decide to have kids, as we have no intention of baptizing them or rearing them as Jesus-freaks.

 

It may come out sooner, since we are about to move into our first apartment, and when all the Pagan decorations are out and there isn't a cross in sight, it's bound to raise questions. Oh well - can't hide forever.

 

Right now, you have to do what's best for you. You have a husband who understands and a baby on the way - those are your priorities. Keeping your deconversion from everyone, if revealing the facts will bring more trouble than good, is a wise idea. You have enough to worry about right now, things of genuine value - not something as asinine as your religious preference. Put yourself and your family (that being your hubby and soon-to-be youngin') first, and everything else will fall in line in its own time.

 

Though do bear in mind that you may be confronted with the unpleasant idea of revealing the truth at some point, so perhaps discussing it further with your husband may help you formulate a manner of defending yourself when the reactions do come. Hopefully, your other kin will be fine with it, or at least won't explode, but you can't be sure of that. So, in the meantime, study anti-xian arguments and facts, and verse yourself well in the basics, if that appeals to you. If nothing else, you can offer some reasonable tidbits while you're being screamed at for your hell-worthy sin :rolleyes:

 

Good luck! :)

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Welcome to ex-C LBB!!

 

I'm sorry you have such a huge thing weighing on your mind when your pregnant. Congratulations btw! If the need ever arises that you want/need to tell them. Tell them you need to find god on your own.. you're 'seeking out the truth' and it's something very personal to you. Remind them of how they must know how they raised you and for them to have a little faith in what a good job they did. You really don't want to be pressured and if you have any questions about god they know you will go to them. This way doesn't put anyone on the defensive but also sets boundaries. Good luck LBB and I look forward to reading your posts in the future!

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Hello LivingBeyondBelief. Good to have you here. Here is a thread on the topic (Breaking the Bad News), in case you're interested. I think it's locked so you can't post to it, but you can read the more than a hundred posts that are there. Maybe there's something in there for you, maybe not. Because of bad exeperiences, I just don't talk about it anymore.

 

I was taking a course in theology at the time and told my profs so that I wouldn't have to hide. However, I had been at this school for a few years already and I knew they were very tolerant of any belief system so long as students demonstrated having a belief system or value system.

 

Humanism has helped me a lot and might be something you want to read up on. It provides a value system that is very similar the the xian value system. But you don't have to believe in invisible beings. Basic principles of secular humanism are posted here.

 

Here are a few more links:

 

What's the Humanist Movement

 

Council for Secular Humanism

 

Wikipedia's entry for Humanism

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I wish I could say differently, but your concerns about your family's reactions may be realistic. Depending on the family, reactions vary from being almost a non issue, and having an extreme backlash. They surprise some of us, sometimes, but I think more often they don't: after all, we know our families very well and can usually gauge their reactions.

 

I assume you're planning on telling them (as opposed to trying to decided whether to tell them) and I agree that it sounds like you have some very good reasons for doing so.

 

So hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Rehearse in your mind how you will handle their reactions. Sometimes an xian background is a big part of the mix for a person being meek, not standing up for themselves, etc. But you want to do what you deem best for yourself, your children, your family.

 

Take comfort in the fact that you and your husband are on the same page. It sounds like you may have a fortunate source of support there. I know my family life, all that is important to me, revolves around my wife and my two children, not my psycho fundy biological parent.

 

Take comfort in the fact that you will be raising your children so that they won't be screwed up by fear of retribution from an imaginary god.

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I just came out of the god closet myself this year. I'm older so I don't have that much family to deal with. My Dad is the worst, he cheated on my mom, even with my sunday school teacher. I'm sorry to say I can't even relate to him anymore. He's remarried for the 4th time and this wife recently saw jesus on the wall. He even talked to her with KJV language, which I pointed out to her was ridiculous, anyway stay strong and don't get so upset. I just told my 12 y/o son that I no longer believe. Thanks to me teaching him all about jebus he's still confused. Start your babies out now to be free of that guilt and fear that our parents instilled in us as well meaning as they were. If I had made this discovery when I was younger I know my life would have been better. You may have seen this but I really love it. I showed this to my 12 y/o and he thought it was very powerful. It's Dear God by XTC on youtube.

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