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Had A Fight With Mom...


ConureDelSol
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So I just left the room because I know she's going to beat a dead horse until it's a fine powder, but my mom basically just blew up on me. Earlier this week, I got an email saying that I have to go with a ministry and go out to "soulwin" (street preach). I told my dad I wasn't going to go. He said okay and we agreed that he can tell the Pastor that I am struggling with my faith right now if he asks why I'm not there.

 

So tonight my mom asked how my day at work was. I said fine. She then made some sort of comment about "soulwinning." I gave her an odd look before I realized what I was doing and immediately she honed in on it. Later, after a phone call, she asked why I looked at her the way I did. I told her that it was just interesting that she made it sound like soulwinning was my job. What I really meant in this case was "I have never ever soulwon during work. I fix computers." Either way, that made her ask if I was going to the soulwinning thing this weekend and I said no and explained my reasoning.

 

Well, that's when she blew up. She started yelling at me, saying "How dare you keep working at the church" and "You're making a mockery of the church" and "Having a non-Christian work at a church is ridiculous" etc. This shouting session went on for a good five minutes without allowing me to get a word in edgewise. Dad (who says that I just need to learn more about Christianity and then I'll be okay) kept saying that he'll make me read books. Mom was demanding instead that I quit.

 

So long-story short, I'm on the verge of crying and screaming in my pillow, dad wants me to read "The Case for Christ" and "Mere Christianity" (which I already know about and know that there are NO references in the books from non-christian sources and can hardly be called "investigative"), Mom wants me to quit altogether because I'm such an abomination and now they want me to come downstairs and watch Green Lantern. Even though they promised not to yell at me, I don't think I'll be able to hold it together.

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Hi ya

 

Maybe it is time to start looking for another job - but not for the reasons that your mother suggests. You might want to look for another job so that you don't surround yourself with Christian crap. Although America is in recession at the moment, I imagine that fixing computers probably still has some openings.

 

The behaviour of your mother is abusive and bullying. Your fathers approach sounds reasonable and like it is based in genuine love for you. Maybe once you have a job that is not with the church you want to think about moving out?

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UGH!!!

 

I know this feeling all too well. It sounds like your dad was accepting of your struggles... at first. Did your mom influence him into trying to talk you into reading those things perhaps?

 

I feel for you. I really do. Remember, that regardless of what mom thinks, it's not her right to tell you what to do with your work life, and it's not anyone's right to pressure you into faith that you don't feel connected with. They are lost in their lie.

 

I'm so sorry that you're struggling. Stay strong. Whatever you come to believe you need to do it on your own, not because you're obligated to, or because anyone pressured you.

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How old are you? Are you a dependent?

 

Even if you are a dependent child, you may hold a differing opinion, but show respect for theirs. Don't turn it into a make or break deal - at least not yet. As an adult, you are entitled to equal respect and have an equal right to an opinion.

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Wow, I also remember being yelled at for thinking, back when I lived with my parents. *Not* a good time!! Yes, it's hard! [internet Hug]

 

My dad once gave me a book to read--"The Post-Christian Mind". I was hoping for something intellectual (like how great it is to be past all that modernity rubbish) but no, it was just more Christian stuff that was saying basically women shouldn't have careers or jobs (that's all I recall). I found it laughable, so I actually read the stupid thing and made comments in the margins (including the equivalent of "LOL" and "WTF" but it words). I made scores of notes about wanting actual trustworthy references for some of the outlandish claims made by the author. It was a good exercise in critical thinking and critique. My dad never tried that again. smile.png

 

Can you make a deal with your parents? Say you'll (re)read a book they prescribe on one condition: if they will read a book you prescribe (I'm sure your friends here on Ex-C can help you find a good one wicked.gif ). Fair is fair!

 

Other than that, be honest--tears are good, because it shows you're human and hurting as you struggle with losing your faith. They'd rather you do that than be cold, calloused and angry about it! (IMHO)

 

Hang in there!

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Yeah...if you are a dependent child living in your parent's house, just grit your teeth and CALL THAT BI*T*CH MOM'S BLUFF!!!

 

What a GIFT!!! QUIT!

 

Say , "Promise??? You mean I can QUIT? I'm so relieved!"

 

She'd have a litter of kittens right on the divan. Give that old bitch her fondest wish.

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Hi,

 

Sorry to hear you are having trouble. I like Blue elephant's idea. Living with one's folks sucks. Living with fundamentalist folks is even worse. Maybe go through the motions to give yourself more time. A little bit of pretending can go a long way. Then when you are old enough and able you can get away. Maybe read the C.S. Lewis nonsense and then ask them questions about it. Make them think you are really chewing it over. And I don't mean ask thought provoking questions. I mean ask the kind of questions a good fundamentalist would ask. Like: "Which of Paul's epistles covers that topic?" or "Which Bible verse inspired C.S. Lewis to say that?". Later on you can be yourself when your folks don't have so much power over you.

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Basically mom said that she respected me for looking into things for myself. I think she felt bad once she realized how upset I was. Mom isn't actually abusive or anything. She just holds things in and then explodes at small things. I do the same thing actually.

Mom is usually the more tolerant of my parents actually.

 

I'm 21 actually. I'm waiting on an opening for a full-time job for health insurance. I have a sizeable list of meds I can't pay for. Apartments aren't very cheap in my area. Most start at $600/month. Any cheaper and it's likely in a location people get robbed at gunpoint on a regular basis.

 

Dad actually teaches apologetics, so he usually enjoys hearing that I'll read one of his books. He went to Moody Bible Institute actually.

 

Hopefully I passed my EMT exam a few days ago. Maybe I can go work for an ambulance service and get my health care career in gear. Otherwise I have my computer expertise and a pharmacy tech license to fall back on. Although they pay for my tuition...

 

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Basically mom said that she respected me for looking into things for myself. I think she felt bad once she realized how upset I was. Mom isn't actually abusive or anything. She just holds things in and then explodes at small things. I do the same thing actually.

Mom is usually the more tolerant of my parents actually.

 

I used to think like this about my mother as well. She would also go nuts over small stuff. When I moved out, I started to realise that she is actually a manipulative and abuse bitch. I know you are used to this, but once you realise how destructive her behaviour is, you don't want to go back.

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Bronxo, I think you're being assumptive here. Your family situation may not be the same as ConureDelSol's, and maybe she's right about what's going on on her end.

 

Oh, don't get me wrong, I assume she is. I just want to offer a possibility that might not have occured to her before. I hate to see someone stay in an abusive relationship.

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Last I checked, this country enforces religious freedom, AND the right to pursue happiness. If your mother cannot accept you for who you are, you need to have a serious talk with both parents and make it clear that even though you all cannot see eye to eye on belief, you are still family and you need their help to get on your feet. If they try to work church into this deal, I would respectfully ask them to give you a ride to the nearest shelter/friends house/ whereever, and I think YOU should have a private one on one talk with your pastor about the situation. He should understand and counsel your parents to support you without twisting your arm to do what they wish. Most pastors I have met do actually take the side of a nonbelieving child. The rationale is to not twist your arm, but let you make your own mistakes while still having the love of the church that way you will come back and be an amazing witness story!

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I deconverted about 10 years ago. It can be really difficult when dealing with fundamentalist parents. They worry about you. They have this belief system that has some pretty not great consequences for belief in it. One of those consequences is that they'll be pretty upset if someone they love goes astray because even if deep down they probably don't "really" think you're going to hell, they think they do. And either way they might be afraid of it. Or other ramifications. It's really difficult living with them, but once you get out of the house and into your own place setting boundaries might be easier.

 

I thought i was never going to get to a place where I could be around my family, especially my grandparents. But I set strong and clear boundaries. At first I was willing to discuss my views with them but it always ended in a shouting match about how I was going to hell, how I "really" deep down believed in jesus... i was just "rebellling", and just on and on. Just every stereotype. So I started training them Pavlovian style (which sounds really shitty when I say it like that, but the result is that now I'm really close to them and have a great relationship with them and actually enjoy spending time with them. So it's well worth the effort.) What I did was simply say that religion was not a topic that was open for discussion with me and we could talk about anything else. When i was on the phone with them and they brought it up, I said I had to go and disconnected the call. If I was at their house and things started getting heated, I simply got up and left. It's important to do this each time before things really blow up, otherwise it's just constant fighting. It has to be clear you don't intend to engage. Each time after a blow up I'd wait a few days, then I'd try interacting with them again. I didn't bring up the fight or anything like that I just tried to interact with them normally. Eventually they all caught on and now we don't talk about religion. I can't guarantee this will work in everyone's situation but it's what worked for me. The period of deconversion can be incredibly stressful on a bunch of different levels, but there is light at the end. Just because things are tense with your parents right now, it doesn't mean you'll never have a smooth relationship with them again.

 

It's possible being 21 might have a little to do with it as well. A lot of times it's hard for parents to transition to the point of seeing their adult children as ADULT children. In their mind you may still be a teen. In time that should smooth over.

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