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Reconnected With An Old Friend


FiddlingAround
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So I reconnected with a very, very good old friend recently. Because we were so close, I wanted to be honest with her and told her I deconverted. Now we're chatting on Facebook and she's witnessing hard.

 

I don't mind so much. I know it's because she cares, and hopefully she can get it out of her system and we can just be friends. (Okay, realistically I know this will still pop up occasionally) Mostly I'm just mentioning it because it makes me so grateful for this site! I'm handling this so much better than I would've been able to before I started hanging out here. What she's bringing to the table are pretty standard fundy arguments that I've seen a few dozen times now. I know just how to answer.

 

Thank you all!! :woohoo:

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I'm glad you're finding it easier to cope.

 

I'm encountering the same thing with my wife. It's like the responses of fundies to deconversion are a by-product of the belief system itself and not just some response that they've been taught or memorized.

 

It's still annoying, but I can think of what they are saying to me as a phase or step in a process much like grieving.

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Kind of funny, isn't it?

 

We went through the whole spectrum, from Jesus is a proven historical figure; to 'how can you believe our bodies just threw themselves together'; to 'explain this miraculous occurence'; to good old Kahlam; to 'why should you care about anyone but yourself if there's no afterlife'; to 'I don't know where I'd be without God.'

 

That last transitioned into talking about her life, and we had a nice chat before she went to bed.

 

All in all, not bad for my first experience of being witnessed to post-deconversion.

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Most of my facebook contacts are from my Christian days, 10 to 25 or so years back, but only one of them, the woman who 'converted' me, knows I've deconverted. She accepted it without any preaching and said 'let's stay in touch' but since then I've not heard a word from her. I don't really have any plans to tell anyone else.

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Oops...made a goof in my second post last night. It was Pascal's wager she used, not Kalam. Brain must've been tired. Didn't realize it until I was driving to work this morning.

 

BDP, I'm sorry to hear you may have lost a friend. I'm hoping things will turn out differently in this case. It kind of stuns me how fundy she's become; she wasn't always that way. Of course, could be your friend's just been busy; you might still hear from her someday.

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FiddlingAround,

If I may offer a comment, I noticed you used the word "witnessing". That strikes me as leftover baggage from Christianity. I think that word was chosen by Christians as a substitute word for "preaching" to make preaching more acceptable to the laity and hide what they are actually doing.

 

Christians : We're not "preaching" or "trying to convert people", we're "witnessing"!

Me : Riiiight....

 

Since leaving, I've noticed that Christianity f'd up some of my speech, which I am trying to purge when I catch myself using Christian terminology.

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I think the most important thing here is that you are self confident and handling it well while taking it with a grain of salt and realizing that she is more important than anything else.

 

Congratulations to you, this is very good news to hear this is happening for you in this manner.

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Not to be a downer, but do consider the fact that the friendship may never again be what it was. You may share fond memories and life experiences, but depending on what you do still have in common, there just may not be enough to sustain a close friendship.

 

When I was in college 20 years ago, I made a large circle of friends through sports and Intervarsity. It was the only time in my life I ever felt "popular;" like I could walk into the cafeteria any hour of the day and immediately have a cocoon of "cool kids" to sit with. My most beloved friend hung in Christian circles, but she had a "bad girl" side. She had sex with her boyfriend and smoked pot and listened to The Smiths. She loved the Lord, but she loved to party too. She was pro-life.

 

Sometimes I'd get convicted and try to rebuke her on abortion or adultery, but she was smart. She could debate with the best of them. Usually I was the one left with questions. And then we graduated (me by the grace of dog, she Phi Beta Kappa), and she went to grad school for Child Psychology so she could change the world.

 

Two months later, she met a dashing Army man. Three months after that, she dropped out of school, married him, and moved to Wasilla, Alaska. She joined a church and got pregnant. At the same time, my deconversion process was gaining momentum and I was finding out how many interesting life experiences I'd been missing.

 

Our contact dwindled almost to nonexistence; a holiday card at best. Then, last year I found that she now lives a couple of hours from me. Somehow I can't bring myself to arrange a reunion, and she hasn't pushed the idea either. Most of what I know about her now is secondhand, gleaned from her photo albums and professional affiliations. What I see baffles the living hell out of me. She has gone full court fundie and I can't imagine that we have anything left to talk about that would be worth the awkwardness of trying.

 

I do wonder about her years in Wasilla. There's no question she knows you-know-who personally, and I'll bet she has some stories. It just is sad to see her wind up like this, but she seems happy and we have our memories.

 

Sorry to ramble. I do hope it works out in a way that brings you peace, whatever happens.

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20 years ago...The Smiths...I didn't need to see those two things in such close proximity. Damn, I'm old...

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Non-Redneck: I see your point, but I've just never seen it that way. To me, witnessing or preaching come down to the same thing: unwanted pressure to believe something unbelievable and unpleasant. Plus, it's kind of fun to use the word because I experienced so many years of guilt trips and pressure to 'witness,' and now I'm on the receiving end - oh, the irony. Hmmm...occurs to me I don't think I've ever heard the "w" word on this site. The difference in connotation you refer to is probably why. I may join the crowd on this one, just for the sake of clearer communications.

 

Quid: Thanks! We were extremely close once, and though we've drifted out of touch and a lot has changed, I hope we can be close again - not to the same degree, but good friends all the same. It's also good practice for the day when I'm finally honest with people closer to home.

 

Free Lily: Don't worry about being a downer. That's a possibility I'm aware of. I got to thinking today that after this she may consider me more of a project than a person, and that would probably end up making us more acquaintances than friends. I want to give it my best It was a very sad thought. It's funny: Early on in the conversation she told me I'd changed. (It was not meant as a compliment, but we got past that) Fact is, she's changed to. When I knew her, even though she was a music minister's wife, my religion or lack there of probably wouldn't've made that much of a difference. Now... Well, she's become a lot more fundy. I can't entirely blame her in some ways. She's been through quite a bit the last few years and I think it's pushed her in that direction. I think it'll take a bit for us to feel each other out, get to know each other again, and establish whatever kind of relationship we'll now have. Still hoping it's a good one!

 

And now I'm rambling, so I'll stop here.

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