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Trapped In A Car With Witnessing Granny


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     Any advice from those further into deconversion about dealing with witnessing family members? I have only been "out" for about a year. I stopped going to church about 3 years ago, but mouthed belief and kept everyone off of my back. Most of my family and church friends have nothing to do with me. My dear 70 year old grandma on the other hand has been supportive and loving. I say HAS been. She took me out of town for the weekend. I did not suspect a thing. We had a lovely time- then, out of nowhere, I am stuck in a car being witnessed to for over two hours. I forgot how intense that could be. 

 

     My struggle is how to face this gracefully. We are really the only family each other has which makes it all the more difficult to deal with. She thinks I am just "backslidden" but heaps on the guilt of "standing in the way" of my husbands salvation and (as most older, fundie's do) places all of my families spiritual well being on the my shoulders. She is terrified that when I have children (we are trying) I will be sending them to hell. For the first time in almost three years, I feel all of that guilt I felt when I started to have doubts. I also have that urge to just fake it and make those around me happy. I have lost everyone other than her in my family already and there is a part of me that wants to make her happy out of fear of losing her. At the same time, I want to be upset over the fact that I was manipulated with a free trip into listening to a witnessing marathon. Her main argument also boiled down to, "So you were abused growing up by your pastor's wife/ women's minister mother? God's fair though, there are children abused all of the time- worse than you!" So God is real because life is shit for everyone? That let me know just how self centered her view of God is. It's ok if I am abused as long as Johnny across the street is too...thanks God for keeping it fair! That was the only thing she could say when I asked why an all powerful being who "loved" me never stepped in with my mother. 

 

     Nothing up to this point has shaken me up this badly. I suppose I was just starting to feel secure in my non-belief.  There is a lot of family drama too that did start me on the path of doubt and my grandmother does not understand the difference between anger at God and full out Atheism.  Times like these I wonder if it is all worth it. Being an atheist is slowly isolating me from my entire world. My husband is also an atheist. Otherwise, I don't think I would have honestly made it through the past year. 

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"I do not want to talk about this" has become my motto.

 

"You would not like the answer" is what I tell them when they ask me questions.

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For most people there is no painless way to leave the religion. It's sort of like the Mafia.

 

Being almost 70 myself I can tell you that Granny isn't some delicate flower in need of protection from reality. Set boundaries as you would with anyone else who wishes to manipulate you. If not buying into the delusion is a deal breaker for some Christians, so be it. People will love you or not based on who you present yourself to be; both you and they deserve the truth. Never forget that you have an equal right to an opinion.

 

Usually Christians will adapt eventually, but often not until they've exhausted all their tools of manipulation. Good luck.

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What she said about your abuse was terrible!  It's probably best to insist on changing the subject to something less divisive.  I have a hard time talking to most of my extended family because of the same issue.  They are all evangelical Christians who think that I'm leading my family to hell.  There's not much that I agree with them about anymore, and I'm not inclined to spend as much time with them as I used to.  Your mileage may vary.  Sometimes I also wish that I had never told any of them about my change in beliefs.  My wife wishes that I hadn't.  Much can be said for being open and honest though.  Don't allow them to make you feel guilty or less worthy of respect.

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"Grandma, I accept you for who you are irrespective of the faults and flaws in your character.  I am asking you to extend the same courtesy to me."

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     Any advice from those further into deconversion about dealing with witnessing family members? I have only been "out" for about a year. I stopped going to church about 3 years ago, but mouthed belief and kept everyone off of my back. Most of my family and church friends have nothing to do with me. My dear 70 year old grandma on the other hand has been supportive and loving. I say HAS been. She took me out of town for the weekend. I did not suspect a thing. We had a lovely time- then, out of nowhere, I am stuck in a car being witnessed to for over two hours. I forgot how intense that could be. 

 

     My struggle is how to face this gracefully. We are really the only family each other has which makes it all the more difficult to deal with. She thinks I am just "backslidden" but heaps on the guilt of "standing in the way" of my husbands salvation and (as most older, fundie's do) places all of my families spiritual well being on the my shoulders. She is terrified that when I have children (we are trying) I will be sending them to hell. For the first time in almost three years, I feel all of that guilt I felt when I started to have doubts. I also have that urge to just fake it and make those around me happy. I have lost everyone other than her in my family already and there is a part of me that wants to make her happy out of fear of losing her. At the same time, I want to be upset over the fact that I was manipulated with a free trip into listening to a witnessing marathon. Her main argument also boiled down to, "So you were abused growing up by your pastor's wife/ women's minister mother? God's fair though, there are children abused all of the time- worse than you!" So God is real because life is shit for everyone? That let me know just how self centered her view of God is. It's ok if I am abused as long as Johnny across the street is too...thanks God for keeping it fair! That was the only thing she could say when I asked why an all powerful being who "loved" me never stepped in with my mother. 

 

     Nothing up to this point has shaken me up this badly. I suppose I was just starting to feel secure in my non-belief.  There is a lot of family drama too that did start me on the path of doubt and my grandmother does not understand the difference between anger at God and full out Atheism.  Times like these I wonder if it is all worth it. Being an atheist is slowly isolating me from my entire world. My husband is also an atheist. Otherwise, I don't think I would have honestly made it through the past year. 

 

You don't want to lose Grandma because....?  

 

Dont go on any more trips with her. Dont get stuck in her vehicle ever again. :-) Or in her home...or anyway where you are at her mercy or captive audience.

 

Expand your world with new friends? New atheist friends? Join clubs? Go to meetups? Make you world anew!

 

The renewed doubts will probably fade away again because Christianity requires constant reinforcement. Irrational bullshit which makes no sense obviously requires constant reinforcement because it is not self-evident. It goes against everyday reality which IS self-evident. Whether or not you believe in Jesus you have always been in charge of yourself. Even if you thought Jesus was in charge, really you were in charge because Jesus is just a source label we attach to our own thoughts.

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Thanks everyone :) It is always good to have outside perspective on everything! After I thought about it, I should have seen it coming. I kept feeling upset and "off" all weekend and couldn't put my finger on it. Looking back, there were little comments the entire three days that should have let me know what was coming next!

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sorry you have to experience that

based on my experience debating with my fundie friend

be patient and remind them nicely how they don't want to argue with you about religion, once they cross the line, release the kraken and troll them hard

I informed you thustly YWrHSiP.png

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     Any advice from those further into deconversion about dealing with witnessing family members? I have only been "out" for about a year. I stopped going to church about 3 years ago, but mouthed belief and kept everyone off of my back. Most of my family and church friends have nothing to do with me. My dear 70 year old grandma on the other hand has been supportive and loving. I say HAS been. She took me out of town for the weekend. I did not suspect a thing. We had a lovely time- then, out of nowhere, I am stuck in a car being witnessed to for over two hours. I forgot how intense that could be. 

 

     My struggle is how to face this gracefully. We are really the only family each other has which makes it all the more difficult to deal with. She thinks I am just "backslidden" but heaps on the guilt of "standing in the way" of my husbands salvation and (as most older, fundie's do) places all of my families spiritual well being on the my shoulders. She is terrified that when I have children (we are trying) I will be sending them to hell. For the first time in almost three years, I feel all of that guilt I felt when I started to have doubts. I also have that urge to just fake it and make those around me happy. I have lost everyone other than her in my family already and there is a part of me that wants to make her happy out of fear of losing her. At the same time, I want to be upset over the fact that I was manipulated with a free trip into listening to a witnessing marathon. Her main argument also boiled down to, "So you were abused growing up by your pastor's wife/ women's minister mother? God's fair though, there are children abused all of the time- worse than you!" So God is real because life is shit for everyone? That let me know just how self centered her view of God is. It's ok if I am abused as long as Johnny across the street is too...thanks God for keeping it fair! That was the only thing she could say when I asked why an all powerful being who "loved" me never stepped in with my mother. 

 

     Nothing up to this point has shaken me up this badly. I suppose I was just starting to feel secure in my non-belief.  There is a lot of family drama too that did start me on the path of doubt and my grandmother does not understand the difference between anger at God and full out Atheism.  Times like these I wonder if it is all worth it. Being an atheist is slowly isolating me from my entire world. My husband is also an atheist. Otherwise, I don't think I would have honestly made it through the past year. 

 

if she chooses not to respect your beliefs and traps you like that to force feed it to you then how dear and loving could she really be? My granny is over 95 and still manages to respect my views and she reads her bible at least 10 times a day. She has zero arguments that are valid in the face of your beliefs anymore than you really have any right to challenge hers. What you do have is a right to religious freedom free from persecution which is exactly what it sounds like she was doing to me.

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sorry you have to experience that

based on my experience debating with my fundie friend

be patient and remind them nicely how they don't want to argue with you about religion, once they cross the line, release the kraken and troll them hard

I informed you thustly YWrHSiP.png

 

Hahaha I like that viewpoint of it! By the end, she felt like she had "won" because I did not say a whole lot....but it was really because I did not want to plant any doubts in her mind at her age. But, as you say, there is a point where releasing the kraken is the only appropriate response left!

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I really want to say fuck your grandma's stupid beliefs, but everybody before said it nicer.

 

Anastasia, you are so very, very lucky.  You are married to the love of your life who also happens to be an atheist.  You two are trying to have a baby!!!!  What beautiful, wonderful thing!  Enjoy the love of your husband, and the trying to conceive!  I hope you have good news soon about a pregnancy! 

 

Just imagine if you had a wonderful, accepting grandma and a horrible husband, or a fundy husband who wanted you to convert.  Or if you had never met him and you were stuck with just your family (I guess on some remote island where you couldn't find other people). 

 

You can't change people and you can't make mean people nice.  Your grandma sounds mean.  Avoid two hours alone with her.

 

Focus on the wonderful parts of your life -- your love with your husband, and that potential new baby!!!!

 

Lots of luck to you two!!!!  And have fun trying!

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