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Finally!


Petunia
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So alas my parents wrote me back. I sent the e-mail last week. I was on edge and depressed and sad. I did not want them to hate me and my husband or for it to have ruined our close family relationship. They said it was not a huge shock (we are still confused about this one) that we left our faith, had many sleepless nights praying and crying for our future souls, disappointed we did not approach them about our decision, always found comfort that God was with us & in the end that they still love us.

 

It was basically a good e-mail overall. It still seems like it is about them more then us. But I responded and hopefully in time it will heal completely and we can all move on with our lives, happily - with whatever choices we make.

 

It is a good step in the right direction. I am so much happier having heard from them.

 

Thanks everyone for your endless encouragement. I know the bumpy road may not be over.

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Of course it's about them. They are the ones having problems accepting that someone could leave their faith, especially their own child. At least they didn't get all angry and spiteful.

And at least they are perceptive enough to figure you were already on your way out the door.

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:woohoo:

 

Good for you, petunia. I was hoping they wouldn't let you down.:phew:

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It's always good to get at least a reply. At least you know you still matter to your family and the sound like they really care. As far as them not being too shocked, was there something leading up to your news? They must have seen a change unfolding, but only put the clues together after the fact. Just a thought. Anyway, I'm glad for you!

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Guest Xtech

Hang in there. This is off to a good start but it will be rocky. Just be yourself, confident that you are a good person without their religion. They may have never known a good person who was not their religion. You are still loved.

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Update:

 

I got an e-mail back last night. They said they did not understand why we did not look into Christianity for answers before turning to outside sources. Then proceeded to judge us prefacing it by "I don't want to judge you..." about what we watch/listen to. My parents are ultra conservative (and seem to be getting more so each year - scary!) and do not watch anything more than PG. Saying we let Satan get a foot hold on us by doing so. Ridiculous! They said they loved us a lot and always will. But will continue to pray we return to God. They also brought up that God helped us with so much stuff (finding our new place, our car issues, health issues) when in reality we were not Christians during those times - and did just fine!

 

 

So of course I had to respond to all that. I said we did look into Christianity - by reading our Bible more, paying attention to the words people often just repeat at church, etc. But we found no answers we were satisfied with. Also my parents ripped on Jesus Camp saying it portrayed Christians in a negative light. Without them every watching it. So I told them it was negative, but only because of those who were in the documentary - it was their own fault for looking stupid. And that we were Christians when we watched it, and it was so disturbing even then!

We also said they would not have known we were not Christians had we not told them. So the judgement only came when we honestly told them who we are and what we believe now.

 

I told my mom we could maybe talk this week. If they are willing to openly listen to us.

 

So we'll see what happens!

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Update:

 

I got an e-mail back last night. They said they did not understand why we did not look into Christianity for answers before turning to outside sources.

Most of us would say we DID turn to Christianity for answers, but when that left us thirsty for more, we started looking for objective answers.

 

My parents are ultra conservative (and seem to be getting more so each year - scary!)

And likely your apostasy will drive them even further into their faith. For them, it's confirming that God (and Satan) is real.

 

So of course I had to respond to all that. I said we did look into Christianity - by reading our Bible more, paying attention to the words people often just repeat at church, etc.

Oops, I missed this when reading the first time around. Never mind my comment to the first quote above.

 

We also said they would not have known we were not Christians had we not told them. So the judgement only came when we honestly told them who we are and what we believe now.

My number one argument to my family for the non-existence of God, as they know it. Why did I go through the deconversion process all alone, even after praying for help? Why is it that not a single person even told me they were thinking of me just because, or that God had put it in their heart to pray for me? It was only AFTER I went through the painfully deserted feeling of deconversion that I told people and that's also when I started receiving phone calls, emails and such. They were all about a year or two too late by then.

 

I told my mom we could maybe talk this week. If they are willing to openly listen to us.

Don't hold your breath. The only reason, I've found, that people want to talk is to make you change your mind....not to listen.

 

No matter what happens, good luck and I hope it all works out well!

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dB-Paradox - Thanks for replying to everything I wrote. I appreciate it a lot. Well, nobody could have prayed for us as we did not tell anyone we were doubting, questioning. But I agree, most people are suddenly concerned about you once they find out you have left the faith. Regarding a phone conversation, I am not out to knock their faith, and I hope they will respect our decision to leave ours. It is a personal one. If anything I am willing to talk to them about why we left, etc. But in the end I know that they will never see it the way we do. I really hope that my parents do not dive more into their faith, but I can see your point and honestly now see it happening. Oh dear.

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Be forewarned, they aren't going to listen. My mother responded better than anticipated when I told her of my deconversion, but as I found out, she had zero interest in hearing and listening to my side of things. I found it best to not discuss religion/theology at all - I made the topic off limits for several months. This allowed her time to get over the initial reaction and to realize that I really hadn't changed as a person. Once things were relaxed again, I began to allow the discussions once more, although I made it clear I was not going to debate her since that would only hurt us both. I would politely answer specific questions, and at this point I'll discuss religion with her again, since I spent enough time in it, I can still formulate responses from that perspective (without having to defend my position now).

 

At first it felt like there was this huge elephant in the room that we had mutually agreed to ignore, but over time it has shrunk to something we barely notice anymore. I'm sure she still prays and is convinced god will bring me back, but she doesn't push me about it, and that's all I ask. Like I told her, that's between me and god at this point - I know what she thinks and believes nearly as well as she does, so it's not between us anymore.

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Petunia,

 

this seems to be a general pattern when people tell thier parents they have de-converted. They don't understand because they cannot see past the religion which has given them comfort over the years. It seems the things to focus on are not the why's and how could you's but that you still love your parents.

 

Focus on that and the rest, while not forgotten will become less important.

 

EDIT: addendum is just remember it may take some time. Give it 6 months minimum.

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Thanks HRDWarrior & stryper.

If I do talk to them about it, I will make it clear too it is not a debate, but a discussion. If they have questions, I will answer. And I agree, loving each other is the important part. I just want them to get past looking down at us.

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