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Can't Even Talk To My Sister Anymore


Christine
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My sister has not delt with the fact that my husband and I are not christians anymore. She came over to our house yesterday for the 4th, there is always this awkwardness with each other now. Well it came to a head yesterday since she can't seem to talk to us she decieded it was time for her to leave after only an hour. I confronted her on why she was leaving, does she hate us now? She said she used to look up to us, so what now we are bad people? I thought we just needed to get it all out so maybe we could move on and stand to be around each other. Well she couldn't stand the heat of the conversation and ran out of the house calling us liars. Does it ever get better?

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Gosh Christine, that's horrible, Happy Forth eh? Does it get better? I can't say, for many people yes it does, for others, well, you learn to move on.

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Sisters are a special case, aren't they? Mine are extremely uncomfortable with the fact that I'm an atheist. On the rare occassion that I see either of them, they are on edge. Part of the reason is that I've simply stopped pussy footing around their beliefs. I gave them fair warning last year that if either of them raised the issue of religion with me, that I would no longer hold back my views and that those views are likely to be very offensive to them. I made it plain that it is their choice whether or not to dicuss religion as I would not bring it up anymore. They each dabbled their toe in those waters one time after my warning...and they were so upset by my responses that they've apparently chosen not to raise the issue any more. There is no doubt that our relationship is damaged because I'm not a Christian anymore. They are still civil to me, they still claim to love me but there is no comfort in my presence.

 

I don't know if it will get better. I'm 43, my sisters are 54 and 53...we're all a bit set in our ways.

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Isn't it awful when those who should support you the most, become the people you can't turn to at all.

 

My fourth was spent partly at my uncle's house. Super-mega Catholics. The last thing I want to discuss there is religion...especially with one of my cousins, she is VERY opinionated.

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Sorry Christine that sucks,

I have been fortunate as I have a pretty small family and only my mother believes in god and learned a long time ago not to discuss this issue with me, so from a family point of view on god and religion I have been, excuse the term, *Blessed* not to have much in the way of conflict, so you have my sympathies and I hope it works out eventally for you and your sister :) ....maybe you could take up sign language that way you won't have to talk to her ;)

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....Well she couldn't stand the heat of the conversation and ran out of the house calling us liars. Does it ever get better?

 

Oh my freaking god! :twitch: That is just surreal. Where the hell did "liar" come from? "Heathen" may have been a more astute observation by her.

 

And howdy, Christine!

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A thread about sisters. Does it ever get better?

 

The best I have been able to do is move on.

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My sister has not delt with the fact that my husband and I are not christians anymore. She came over to our house yesterday for the 4th, there is always this awkwardness with each other now. Well it came to a head yesterday since she can't seem to talk to us she decieded it was time for her to leave after only an hour. I confronted her on why she was leaving, does she hate us now? She said she used to look up to us, so what now we are bad people? I thought we just needed to get it all out so maybe we could move on and stand to be around each other. Well she couldn't stand the heat of the conversation and ran out of the house calling us liars. Does it ever get better?

 

 

SIL in denial.

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My sister has not delt with the fact that my husband and I are not christians anymore. She came over to our house yesterday for the 4th, there is always this awkwardness with each other now. Well it came to a head yesterday since she can't seem to talk to us she decieded it was time for her to leave after only an hour. I confronted her on why she was leaving, does she hate us now? She said she used to look up to us, so what now we are bad people? I thought we just needed to get it all out so maybe we could move on and stand to be around each other. Well she couldn't stand the heat of the conversation and ran out of the house calling us liars. Does it ever get better?

 

 

As a former Church of Christ fundie, I can assure you that she is only obeying the bible which tells us to 'diss' anyone who does not follow Jesus.

 

2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

 

So a good Christian will limit exposure to us sinners by preaching to us and leaving it at that.

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Christine, I'm sorry to hear that. I haven't spoke to my sister in 7 years. She was my best friend growing up and I know how it must feel for you. We didn't stop speaking over religion, but it is still hard to lose a sister. I do hope that she comes to terms with your beliefs and allows you back into her life.

 

I have lost friends over religion and it doesn't seem to get better. Though when I find someone who has opposing beliefs and shrug their shoulders with "You can believe whatever you wish." I know that I've found a true friend and not a superficial one. Doesn't work for sisters though, does it?

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My sister has not delt with the fact that my husband and I are not christians anymore. She came over to our house yesterday for the 4th, there is always this awkwardness with each other now. Well it came to a head yesterday since she can't seem to talk to us she decieded it was time for her to leave after only an hour. I confronted her on why she was leaving, does she hate us now? She said she used to look up to us, so what now we are bad people? I thought we just needed to get it all out so maybe we could move on and stand to be around each other. Well she couldn't stand the heat of the conversation and ran out of the house calling us liars. Does it ever get better?

Sadly, the best answer I think anyone can give is a hopeful "maybe."

 

It seems she put you on some sort of pedestal, through no fault of your own, and now she's blaming you for not being the person she made you out to be. The best you can do is just keep being yourself and hopefully she will be able to see that it wasn't your "god" that made you who you were but just "you" that did. I think a lot of people fear that they will cease being themselves without "god," which I think we've all discovered to be untrue, but I know I feared the thought from the other side of the looking glass.

 

It's really best, from what I've found, to draw boundaries that YOU are comfortable with and really not worry about your sister at this point. If she comes around you can rethink your position later on but sometimes those limits will actually help you a lot more in the long run even though they can hurt a bit initially.

 

mwc

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I haven't been able to be honest with my sister. We haven't ever really had a good relationship and long before I deconverted she had major concerns about the denominations I joined whilst I was still a Christian (she is an ultra ultra fundamentalist)

 

I do remember what it felt like to hold fundamentalist beliefs - to think that those I cared about might call God's wrath on them in this life and end up in hell in the next if they didn't adopt certain beliefs is such a scary place to be. If she's always looked up to you then it could be even scarier still for her.

 

With my literalist friends and family three different things have happened (1) some relationships have survived in part because we agree not to mention religion (hard to really feel close in this way) - (2) some have ended abruptly or just faded away - (3) some relationships have gradually re blossomed as those in question have started to deconvert also ... it does sometimes happen :)

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Christine, that is horrible!

See, this is why the Bible makes me furious, it's such bullshit and people follow it?! FUCK the Bible then!

 

I hope you and your sister can make up to each other eventually. For your sake and ours, it should happen. If not, it's her problem...

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Guest MattL

I feel for you Christine. Been there, done that! My father in-law, a pentecostal minister, became angry with me because I would not pray to his god during thanksgiving. The fact of being at my table, in my house didn't seem to concern him. Prayer is not a big deal when he's in a hurry or very hungry. "Thank the Lord for supper, Amen!" You know, one of those quickie prayers. After six years of being a lonely atheist I realized they won't change and that's why I'm here. I think we've come to the right place!

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Christine -

I guess all that I can say is that really sucks. Will your sister eventually come around? Maybe yes and maybe no. You have done what you could do and now it's out of your hands. In the meantime you have a supportive husband and a life to live to the fullest. It won't give you your sister back but focusing on maximizing your own potential and having a fulfilling marriage can help ease the pain - and when all else fails we're here for you at the forums.

-Best Wishes-

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My missionary parents are back from Africa for 2 months and staying in my apartment. This morning my mom asked if she could pray for me. She knows that I am a Platonist rather than Christian, but when she prays out loud, she will insist on praying to the Three Headed Monster.

 

At first, I reminded her that she would refuse me if I offered to pray to Apollo with her. She agreed that she would say something like: "That's blasphemous! God is a jealous God!"

 

But in the end I agreed to let her pray for me. It just bugs me that there is no reciprocity or respect for other religious views. She is an old lady and I don't like to upset her. But she loves to throw her religion around. Thank God she is leaving soon!

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Thanks everyone. Ultimately I think I am a threat to her delusion. It is kind of sad really, I feel like she hates this life so much she has put her entire hope in that even though this life sucks, she gets to go to heaven when she dies. :shrug:

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That must be tough dealing with all that with a sister. I haven't actually talked to my sister about my deconversion, but I think my Mom has told her some of it. My mom still seems to think that I just need time to heal from the bad experiences at the last Baptist church where I was a member. My dad is a baptist pastor and they show no signs of actually understanding why I've left many of my beliefs. My sister lives halfway across the country and was working at a big christian day school where her kids are enrolled and is involved in her church, but I don't talk to her very much. We were very close growing up only a year apart in age, but after she got married at 16, we drifted apart. I really don't want to have any confrontations about religion. What I'm concerned about is moving further south into the Bible belt later this year where my husband is already working and living with his parents. They're southern Baptists and admittedly more liberal than my husband or I have been in the past, but I dread having any big discussions about religion with them or my husband's sister and her husband. I just hope they are accepting and not too judgemental.

 

Sparkyone

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I just got an email from my sister calling a "truce" so she says. She said as long as we don't mention our non-religion, she won't mention her religion. She wants to see her nephews and is afraid I will turn them against her (which I would never do). Of course she had to get one last word in to say "I don't care if you call me weak or a crackpot or a wishful thinker. Believe what you want it's your life, it's your choice." As if to say "don't blame me when you come crawling on your hands and knees begging to get into heaven"(which is what she told me in a previous email, Oh there's the love of jesus!)

It kind of pisses me off because she wants to have the last word. I haven't sent my responce yet. I still have to think about what to say to her. :Hmm:

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Here's my idea of a possible response, for what it's worth: "Hey, sis, I'm glad we can agree to disagree on this because I really want you in my life and my kids' lives. Thanks!" And I wouldn't even bring up the part that irritated you. I've found in my own life that the less I respond to negative comments the better I feel about it and the less people come back at me in that sort of manner. I sometimes find myself getting into a discussion with my mom about some topic, like husband being head of the home, or women shouldn't be pastors, and so on, but I try to cut it short as soon as I realize it's turning into an argument. She isn't likely to change her mind and it hard for me to understand how she can believe that way (even though I used to myself) so it's a waste of the scant precious time we actually spend together in person. She lives about a thousand miles away, so we mainly visit over the phone. However, I'm lucky both of my grandmothers live in this area so my parents get out here a few times a year for a visit.

Sorry for rambling, but I just wanted to share my point of view on that.

 

Sparkyone

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Sparkyone, that sounds like a nice enough reply. Hard telling what the sister will do or how she will react. I have taken that kind of approach to my own sisters and I get a pack of sermons in response. It seems Christine's sister is much younger than my sisters, so maybe she is not as set in her ways.

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By way of hope, I want to mention that I had a very productive conversation with my sister. In case you're interested, I talk about it on my thread here.

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It kind of pisses me off because she wants to have the last word. I haven't sent my responce yet. I still have to think about what to say to her. :Hmm:

It might be productive to hold off on sending any response at this point. She did storm out, calling you a liar... Did she apologize for that?

 

Ultimately, I think that "don't mention yours and I won't mention mine" isn't much of a reassurance until she can bring herself to actually respect you and your views. The angry meltdown could happen again, in an instant -- Religion is so pervasive that it can crop up in the most innocent of conversations.

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So my sister and I had a little back and forth spat via email, what the hell here it is.

 

 

On Jul 12, 2007, at 6:28 PM, Cynthia wrote:

 

Hi.

 

I'm waving the white flag of truce. If you agree not to mention your non-religion, I won't mention my religion. I want there to be civility between us. I also would like to be able to see Max and Ash every once in a while, hopefully, and that you wouldn't turn them against me.

 

You can call me weak or a crackpot or wishful thinker, etc. I really don't care. You can believe whatever you want. Its your life, your choice.

 

Max asked if I would babysit them sometime soon when I was there on the 4th. I'd be more than happy to, but until the end of the month I'm a little busy with tests and papers. They're also more than welcome to come visit me at my house.

 

I have Max's Shakespeare books. I'll probably get a Bionicle or some toy tomorrow. I'd like to bring them over on Saturday, perhaps before the party. I won't stay, cause I have alot of schoolwork to work on.

 

Tell Max and Ash I'm sorry that I left so abruptly without saying goodbye.

 

Thanks.

Cindy

 

On Jul 13, 2007, at 11:22 AM, Chris wrote:

 

 

I want there to be civility between us too. But you have said some harsh things to us. I feel like I know how homosexuals feel when they come out of the closet. Some people are kind and loving, others lash out and look at you differently. I can't believe you would think I would turn the kids against you. What kind of person do you think I am? You have always been free to see the kids whenever you want, which has always been few and far between anyway. I think you owe both of us an apology. You have reacted worse than anyone who knows about us leaving christianity, and that hurts. I hope we can move on. I wish we could talk openly about anything. I am not some evil person trying to take your faith away . It's not always about you. You don't even care enough about us to hear our thoughts on what brought us to this conclusion.

 

Thanks for getting Max the gifts. Drop them off if you like, I know Max would appreciate that. You can see the boys whenever you want, but somehow we have to get past this feeling of awkwardness with each other. Hopefully time can heal our relationship.

 

 

Chris

 

On Jul 13, 2007, at 5:45 AM, Cynyhia wrote:

 

First, in defense of my seeing Max and Ash: For the past 2 1/2 years I've been working 2 jobs, between 60 and up to 75 hours a week at times. Plus trying to take care of a house plus going to school for the past six months. The times I've visited were times that I made time to come visit. I may be single and childless, but I do have a life!

 

If you want an apology, fine, I'm SORRY for treating you guys like lepers, etc. What if someone made a mockery of what is nearest and dearest to your heart, Max & Ash, for example, just for the sake of argument...(and yes, I know that Max and Ash are visible and what I believe is invisible, etc). That's how I felt regarding your disbelief. You are mocking what is nearest and dearest to my heart. You guys have done something that I would have never expected in a million years. And I don't know if I want to know what brought you to that conclusion...experiences with rude Christians, science, evolution, some liberal pastor like Spong...whatever. I don't even think it really matters. If that's your anti-religion, whatever closed your heart to Christianity, fine. Then worship that.

 

I also take offense to your quote "its not all about me"...I think that's ironic when I hardly do intrude upon your lives...

 

I don't know how close we can be, anymore. We hardly have anything in common anymore. I know we've been so different growing up and I think the closest we ever were was right before you met Dana. I know you're still my sister. We'll always be sisters. If you ever end up a widow, I want you to know that I'll move next door to you or whatever, just in case you need me. Maybe we're both too independent minded. You have your life, I have mine. Its like we're at the opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to our status and interests.

 

Maybe our lives are running on two different train tracks. Personally, I feel like I'm just starting out on life...or at least getting a new start on it. I can't say that 3 or 4 years from now I'll be living in Washington or Pennsylvania. I've always had an interest in New England. But, I'll just go wherever I feel directed to go after I get my degree.

 

I guess I'll be over around noon. I have a lot of studying and writing to do. So I'll just pop in to say hi to the boys and drop off Max's gift.

 

Take care.

Cindy

 

From: Chris Date: July 13, 2007 7:48:16 PM EDT

 

It is ironic to me that you can't even see in your own words why I would say you think it's all about you. YOU look at OUR disbelief as a mockery of what is nearest and dearest to YOUR heart. And YOU don't want to know how we came to this point in our lives. No, the focus isn't on YOU at all!

 

Yes we will always be sisters, I would obviously always be there for you too, as I recently showed by picking you up when you had two flat tires! Wow, I don't worship anything and I'm still a good person, go figure?

 

I guess I'll see you around noon then.

 

Chris

 

So I guess my last email to her made her think. She called me and sincerely apologized, and said it was all about her, I was right she was wrong. She said she wants me to be happy. Wow, progress has been made.

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First, in defense of my seeing Max and Ash: For the past 2 1/2 years I've been working 2 jobs, between 60 and up to 75 hours a week at times. Plus trying to take care of a house plus going to school for the past six months. The times I've visited were times that I made time to come visit. I may be single and childless, but I do have a life!
What's this got to do with any thing, I wonder? She almost sounds guilty...

 

If you want an apology, fine, I'm SORRY for treating you guys like lepers, etc. What if someone made a mockery of what is nearest and dearest to your heart, Max & Ash, for example, just for the sake of argument...(and yes, I know that Max and Ash are visible and what I believe is invisible, etc). That's how I felt regarding your disbelief. You are mocking what is nearest and dearest to my heart. You guys have done something that I would have never expected in a million years. And I don't know if I want to know what brought you to that conclusion...experiences with rude Christians, science, evolution, some liberal pastor like Spong...whatever. I don't even think it really matters. If that's your anti-religion, whatever closed your heart to Christianity, fine. Then worship that.
Wow, I heard the tone of her voice when she wrote that! Sounds like she was saying "I'm sorry you suck so bad. I'm sorry you stink and I have to stand five feet away from you to tolerate the smell," or something like that.

 

I think your last reply hit somewhat close to home to her; I don't know that she's really thinking these things through when she says she's offended by the 'all about you' thing, having just stated that it is indeed about her. Not only that, but she's offended while trashing your standpoint, and regarding you as a basic obligatory charity, by virtue of being your sister, as if that's the only thing that makes her have anything to do with you. I hope if you get the chance, you'll be able to explain yourself in greater detail, and maybe give her pause from her judgmental stance long enough to consider why you're so hurt by her actions.

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