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Mix Of Emotions...


Petunia
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Hi. :D

 

New here. I've been a lurker for a bit and chatted a few times already in the chat room. I have thought of putting up my testimony but ended up writing and deleting it 3x. I will eventually get it up there!

 

First of all, I love this place. Great discussions. Great support.

 

I have been feeling a lot of mixed emotions lately. Happiness at realizing Christianity is not for me. Sadness at the idea of losing friends/family when I tell them about my decision. Anger at Christians - I seem very bitter now. I judge everything and have a very critical view point on it. I think it is kind of good. But at the same time, I don't like feeling so upset all the time. I hope that will lessen with time. Also anger/sadness at how awkward I felt today in church - it hit me so hard. I felt like an outsider and it was a strange feeling. I was very removed. I have not sung the songs, spoken the prayers or liturgy etc for a bit already. Why do I still go? Because I love the community. Ie. the people. I love being a part of something. Also, I have friends there. Scared of how people will react. Scared to tell family/friends, how they will react, the backlash, the questions.

 

My husband (who began the questioning which prompted me to begin asking questions as well) put it out on Facebook as a hypothetical question. Now his mom knows as he also e-mailed her about it all and she responded - very nicely too. She said she respected his decision, wanted to think about the questions he asked and that she still loved him - despite feeling a bit sad about his choice. I, on the other hand, know that my parents will not react as well. Actually I know they will react terribly. I am anticipating crying, being prayed for, lots of questions, etc. I don't know how to handle it. I want to be free already. I told myself I wanted my parents to know before others do. I am not going to put it on Faceboook. I see my parents maybe once every two months or so as they do not live near us.

 

How do I tell them? E-mail? Phone? No matter what it will be hard. I cannot live a lie though. I have read through the forum on what others have done. I know there is really no easy way and in the end it is my decision. I just feel helpless.

 

Anyways. Thanks so much for listening. It feels so good to get this off my chest.

 

:) Petunia.

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You don't have to tell anyone anything. No need to wear it on your sleeves anymore. You're free now. If you're uncomfortable discussing your beliefs or lack of belief with someone, don't discuss it with them. It's as simple as that.

 

:thanks:

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  • Super Moderator

Hello, little flower! Welcome.

 

If you are afraid how friends will react to your difference of opinion, can they really be friends? Friends and loved ones who are worth your time do not put such rigid conditions on the relationship.

 

Find some real friends, not just "Brothers and Sisters in Christ" and move on to the real world. You are used to the phony social support system of a church, but true friendship, unconditional love, and happiness await outside the doors of the cult.

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  • Moderator

Welcome my new friend! you are so in the right place to be here! I love people like you! Take your time. Your heart will tell you what to do! Good luck my friend!

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You have hit on one of the most difficult things so many of us ExChristians face. The pressure from loved ones can seem so overwhelming. You seem to have read a lot of the experiences which people have shared here, so you know no one can predict how your parents and friends will react. But it sounds like you and your husband deconverted together and so you have each other. That's a lot and a very important support that both of you have in each other. Begin with the support that both you and your husband offer each other and move on from there. Both of you should make it clear that you are in total agreement with each other and that anyone who challenges any one of you challenges both of you together. That will help you so much.

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Thanks everyone for your kind welcome and advice.

 

The problem is I cannot not tell my parents. Just a few minutes ago my mom wrote me mentioning the end times (because of the event in Japan) and how Christians should be ready and prepared. It comes up a lot - the faith, church, etc. They know we go to church and Bible study as well. So every week we are asked how it went, what we learned, etc. I have dropped hints of watching/reading on various Gospels (ie. Judas, Mary) and the response I got was not to get into that, to keep my faith and believe in God and the Bible strong.

 

I am between a rock and a hard place.

 

:HappyCry:

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Welcome, Petunia. I related with what you said about feeling angry all the time. When I first deconverted, I got angry too (after the deconversion, not before) because I felt like I had been lied to my whole life. As time went on, the anger lessened and lessened to the point of going away. Now I'm able to look at things more calmly and realize I wasn't lied to--my loved ones truly believe Christianity and taught it to me because they love me and thought it would bring me the best life.

 

I also identified with what you said about not being able to tell your parents. I deconverted four years ago and still have not told my parents (although I did stop going to church--my parents don't live near me and I didn't feel a sense of community at church). I don't lie about it; I just don't discuss it. "Mmmm hmmmm" works wonders in response to end-times frenzy. :grin:

 

Some people feel they have to tell; others are more comfortable refusing to discuss it. I'm in the latter camp for now. I simply don't want to be prayed over, have oil poured on my doorframes without my consent, be gossiped about at their church under the guise of Christian concern, or deal with all the crying and begging.

 

Best wishes as you decide what to do.

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Hi Petunia and welcome to the forums.

 

Who to tell and when is a problem most of us face. I'm all for avoiding confrontation if at all possible, but it's hard to pretend to be something you're not (any more.)

 

Good luck and we're here if you need us.

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I love this place. Just an observation. You people are so supportive. I don't think I would've made it this far without ex-c!

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I have now written the letter to my parents. Still debating whether I should send it or not. It will change their lives, and how they view us. I am so scared.

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I have now written the letter to my parents. Still debating whether I should send it or not. It will change their lives, and how they view us. I am so scared.

 

Hi Pentunia. Take a deep breath and then slowly exhale. Clear your mind for a few minutes. Then read your letter one more time trying your best to be objective about what you say. If you are satisfied with what you have written and if you believe that sending it is the right thing to do, then address an envelope, fold the letter (but make a copy of it first), place it in the envelope, seal the envelope, place a stamp on it, then deposit in U.S. Postal Service for delivery.

 

My thoughts are with you. If you would like to, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to hear how it goes. But, remember, your parents' initial reaction may not be their long term reaction. Give them time to get used to the idea and be ready to talk with them if they would like to do that. But, once you send the letter, don't back down on your core beliefs (or lack thereof).

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Thank you Overcame Faith. I have been panicking since I wrote it - and I have not even sent it! I am wondering if I should e-mail them asking if they would still love me if I was not a Christian. Either way, it will be a huge shock to the system. I have tried to drop hints but obviously the message was not clear enough. For now I have the letter written up, and I will do some thinking as to what to do.

 

Thank you. Of course I will post how it all goes. I do not plan to back down. I am so thankful my husband and I are in the same boat. It makes it a lot easier!

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Thank you Overcame Faith. I have been panicking since I wrote it - and I have not even sent it! I am wondering if I should e-mail them asking if they would still love me if I was not a Christian.

 

When I read something like what you wrote, I can only think as the father of a daughter. If my love for my daughter depended upon her religion, I would not be worthy to call myself her father. I don't know your parents, but I dearly hope for your sake that your question is not one that you are truly worried about. Assuming your parents love you very much and further assuming that they are fairly fundamentalist Christians, it is their love for you combined with their belief in Christianity that will be the root of their problem, if they have a problem at all with your telling them of your true beliefs. They will be saddened that you may not one day join them in heaven. But they will still love you dearly.

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I guess I am worried. On one hand I know they love me, we are all very close. I am their only child. But, also I am afraid they would see me in a different light - in a bad way. I know too their whole church will find out, heck the whole town will - and probably have some prayer event for us :ugh: It is just a huge decision. But at the same time, I know it would be more awkward to say it on the phone, or in person as I see them maybe once every two months. It would ruin their/our visit together. Blah haha.

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I guess I am worried. On one hand I know they love me, we are all very close. I am their only child. But, also I am afraid they would see me in a different light - in a bad way. I know too their whole church will find out, heck the whole town will - and probably have some prayer event for us :ugh: It is just a huge decision. But at the same time, I know it would be more awkward to say it on the phone, or in person as I see them maybe once every two months. It would ruin their/our visit together. Blah haha.

 

Remember that whether, what, and when you tell them is solely your decision. There is nothing compelling you to tell them except perhaps your understandable desire to live free and open about your beliefs and not wanting to be "fake" with your parents. Have you thought about easing them into it. Maybe beginning to say things like you are having some nagging doubts about a particular issue (and just choose one). Then come back and tell them that you looked into that issue and you were surprised by what you found. Then doing this for some reasonable time, just adding a little bit more doubt as you go. Once you have primed the pump, so to speak, then perhaps send your letter and that may soften the blow somewhat. That way, perhaps, they could read your letter and then say something to themselves like this, "I knew this would happen."

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That is great advice! I will give it my best shot. Thank you! I think that will make things a bit easier. ;)

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That is great advice! I will give it my best shot. Thank you! I think that will make things a bit easier. ;)

 

I am glad it was helpful. Best of luck. Keep us informed about what happens. Don't forget to tell your parents you love them (because I get the impression you do). That will help them when they find out about your lack of belief. At least they will not think you are rebelling against them.

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So the cat is completely out of the bag in terms of my husband's parents knowing about us. They both wrote him a few times, and seemed to take it really well. It sounds like they want to talk to us (Skype) so that may be awkward but at the same time we don't necessarily need to explain everything, we have our reasons.

 

Since that went well, I guess maybe I should tell my folks soon. Ahhh so freaking scared and worried still. I know they will not take it well. *sigh*

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I sent it! See "Ahh I Sent The E-mail To My Parents" thread.

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