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So Mom Knows I'm An Atheist, Not An Agnostic, Now.


Oddity
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I just had the conversation I've been dreading with my mom. She already knew I had deconverted and claimed agnosticism, but I admitted I'm really an atheist. She automatically assumes it's some hurt from the church (it isn't). I mentioned maybe going to check out the Unitarian Universalist church a couple blocks away, and she said she doesn't want me to go, and tried to convince me to come to the church she works at. I'm not particularly fond of the idea; I don't want to hang out with a bunch of people whose goal it is to re-convert me. She was almost crying during the conversation. I don't know what to do about it...I can tell she's worried, and probably thinks I'm going to hell, but I can't think of anything to say that'd comfort her. I'm sure Pastor Dad will think of something to say to her, but I can't help but speculate in my head about things he might say to me that I don't want to hear.

 

Anyway, I'm starting to wonder if I should just avoid the topic altogether around my family. Just had to get that off my chest.

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Anyway, I'm starting to wonder if I should just avoid the topic altogether around my family. Just had to get that off my chest.

 

I feel your pain. I have yet to really get into this with my mother. I turn 41 tomorrow and I'm still don't feel "grown up" enough to talk to mom about this. My wife....yes....mom...no.

 

I think my situation is, I'm dreading having to go through the experience of watching her in pain. Freddy

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With my mom I just put religion/theology off limits. If there ever comes a time when I think we can broach it without causing undo harm to our relationship, I may lift the "ban" but I don't see it happening anytime in the near future...or extended future for that matter. I know it only causes her pain, and it gets me mad, so not a good combination. For both our sakes, this seems to have been a good compromise. Yes, there's the proverbial elephant in the room, but at least our conversations have been pleasant and we're not upset with each other.

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Yeah, the more I think about it the more I think I should keep the topic off-limits, but it's awkward even being around Mom after that.

 

I'm feeling a lot of pressure (self-inflicted, mind you) to move out so I can avoid that sense of dreading leaving my room when Mom and Dad are home, in case I get cornered for another similar conversation. Need a steady job for that, but I'm sure I'll find one soon enough. I've noticed Mom is suggesting almost all religious jobs to me now - wants to keep me close to the herd, I guess.

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I wrote a respectful email...thanking my parents for all their love and hard work in raising me, and assuring them that I still held many of the moral principles that they believe in. It allowed me to express myself without seeing their faces, which enabled a more open communication since I also clam up when my parents get that 'dissapointed' look.

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I too feel the pain. I deconverted a long time ago but my parents always seemed to assume I still believed after I stopped going to church. A couple of years ago, my husband hired an employee from out of town and asked me to show her around town a little. She was supercool and we really hit it off. She grew up UU; I was curious about it, but I know better than to walk into any new church without backup :o

 

It took a long time to get past my general spookiness about being in a church, but it grew on me. It's a (relatively) large congregation with a phenomenal music program and a minister with a love of Emerson and a brain ten miles wide and deep. And I've come to love it. All these years, I've really missed having a community of like-minded travelers on a spiritual journey. And instead of Ladies' Bible Study and Missions Committee, I'm involved in a needlework circle and am volunteering with a homeless-advocacy group.

 

I'm most definitely not an athiest; I am more of a polytheist in that I see the divine everywhere, as sort of a decentralized energy source that pops up when we least expect it.

 

So, I am going to join the UU church in a few weeks. Me, a *member* of a *church.* I never thought I'd see the day.

 

So, being excited about all this, I decided it was time to break the news to my SuperFundieLicious parents. It was a disaster. We were already fighting when I brought it up (BIG mistake), and I stormed off to bed without getting things talked out. Mom apparently had all night to Google UUism, because she woke me early to resume the conversation and was clearly devastated. Based on what I've found on the apologetics sites, Witnessing to a UU is the DOA of fundie testimonial triage. Trust me, in the eyes of a True Believer, there's really no difference in degree of heathenism once they've established that you're not "saved" anymore.

 

Rambling aside -- to the OP, what I'm doing now is basically following their lead. I know they still love me and want to be close to me. We're all keeping it on the surface. I behaved like an ass when I came out and I want them to know that's not what I'm about at all. I'm working on a letter that lays everything out clearly without the risk of things getting overheated. Hopefully things will simmer down for a while.

 

But at some point we are going to have to have a conversation. I am 41 years old and I am done living a lie because Mommy and Daddy might get mad.

 

Let us know how it goes ...

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What's the logic in telling someone that they are just an atheist because they've been hurt by people in the "Church" and then recommending they go back to that same place for more abuse? Shit wait, that's right, there is no logic in that. "Waaaaaaah, Waaaaaaaah, I don't want you to burn in Hell, come back and I'll make sure they don't psychologically rape you, so bad".

"

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I too feel the pain. I deconverted a long time ago but my parents always seemed to assume I still believed after I stopped going to church. A couple of years ago, my husband hired an employee from out of town and asked me to show her around town a little. She was supercool and we really hit it off. She grew up UU; I was curious about it, but I know better than to walk into any new church without backup :o

 

UU isn't impressive to me either; they still use guided imagery just like other religions. It's just that there they are touting Liberalism instead of other things. Until there is no homily and no one preaching to me, I won't set foot in any church unless someone puts a gun to my head and tells me to do it (that would never happen tho).

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As it stands, I haven't been cornered or had any awkward conversations, though I've overheard snippets of conversation that I'd rather not hear (damn the thin walls in this house). Dad seems to think I'm at an exploring sort of stage (which is right), and that I'll go back to Christianity some day (Dead. Wrong.) - while Mom seems to think that the second I step into a church I'll be converted on the spot.

 

If I was the type to jump right into the first shiny new religion dangled in front of me, I'd probably be a Neopagan right now. Paganism is kinda sexy. :P

 

I have no intention to tentatively peek into the UU (or any other) church until I'm in a position where I don't have to answer to anyone for not sleeping in on Sunday morning. I'm still searching, and I'll be ready to talk about it when I've found what I'm searching for. Until then, I'm just trying not to worry the 'rents too much.

 

(EDIT: Uhff, I keep saying the same thing twice in a post. S'cuse me while I grab more caffeine to try to make my function brain properly >_>; )

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I too feel the pain. I deconverted a long time ago but my parents always seemed to assume I still believed after I stopped going to church. A couple of years ago, my husband hired an employee from out of town and asked me to show her around town a little. She was supercool and we really hit it off. She grew up UU; I was curious about it, but I know better than to walk into any new church without backup :o

 

UU isn't impressive to me either; they still use guided imagery just like other religions. It's just that there they are touting Liberalism instead of other things. Until there is no homily and no one preaching to me, I won't set foot in any church unless someone puts a gun to my head and tells me to do it (that would never happen tho).

 

I totally understand, and I'm not implying that UU is for everyone. It's just that this particular congregation appeals to my post-christian spirituality and I've met some great like-minded people there. I hope I haven't offended.

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So, being excited about all this, I decided it was time to break the news to my SuperFundieLicious parents. It was a disaster. We were already fighting when I brought it up (BIG mistake), and I stormed off to bed without getting things talked out. Mom apparently had all night to Google UUism, because she woke me early to resume the conversation and was clearly devastated. Based on what I've found on the apologetics sites, Witnessing to a UU is the DOA of fundie testimonial triage. Trust me, in the eyes of a True Believer, there's really no difference in degree of heathenism once they've established that you're not "saved" anymore.

 

My parents would rather see me be just a normal atheist than be a UU. I think that it's because as long as I'm not in any kind of other ideological structure, they can pretend that I'm at least a Republican even if I'm not a Christian, and that eventually I'll stop "being mad at the church" (bullshit) and return. If I were to start adhering to another community structure, they'd see it as me not needing the Christian church in my life (although I don't need it now). I don't really think that UU would be a good fit for me though.

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You're a braver person than I am. 8 years later I still haven't told any relatives but my sister. My mom, dad, brother, step dad, aunts, uncles, especially my grandparents, none of them know and probably never will. I suppose some of my cousins would be cool about it, but why risk it? It's amazing how long I've gone and had religion come up in conversation and gotten away with using neutral language that neither suggests or denies an existence of god.

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I just had the conversation I've been dreading with my mom. She already knew I had deconverted and claimed agnosticism, but I admitted I'm really an atheist. She automatically assumes it's some hurt from the church (it isn't). I mentioned maybe going to check out the Unitarian Universalist church a couple blocks away, and she said she doesn't want me to go, and tried to convince me to come to the church she works at. I'm not particularly fond of the idea; I don't want to hang out with a bunch of people whose goal it is to re-convert me. She was almost crying during the conversation. I don't know what to do about it...I can tell she's worried, and probably thinks I'm going to hell, but I can't think of anything to say that'd comfort her. I'm sure Pastor Dad will think of something to say to her, but I can't help but speculate in my head about things he might say to me that I don't want to hear.

 

Anyway, I'm starting to wonder if I should just avoid the topic altogether around my family. Just had to get that off my chest.

 

 

I had this issue with my family. After avoiding it for years, it somehow came up. After talking about it until she was pretty much in tears, and then, receiving a "care package" with a bunch of religious crap from my sister the next day, I knew I had to put my foot down. Make the topic off limits. I'm not sure how old you are, but the older/more independent you are, the easier will be. Nothing good will come from the conversation unless your family is honestly questioning their religion. Otherwise, they're just going to reopen a wound that will never be anything more than a point of conflict.

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I'm not sure how old you are, but the older/more independent you are, the easier will be. Nothing good will come from the conversation unless your family is honestly questioning their religion.

 

I'm 20 - and living with them until I can get a steady job and get the hell outta here.

 

Also, the way my dad talks sometimes, I think he might be a doubter, but he wants to pastor a church and seems to have his heart set on ministering to seniors, so it's easy to guess which side of that inner struggle tugs the rope harder.

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I just let my parents think what they will. if they think I'm still christian, who cares. It keeps peace in the house.

 

:)

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