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Finally Came Out To My Mom...


sparklingphoenix
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I can't believe I just did that... I'm really freaking out. It came out completely on accident and I did not plan on telling her at all. She handled it really well and was very calm about it. She found "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins in my car around a year ago so she has been suspecting me of deconversion for a while, but she didn't know exactly what I think. I was too scared to give her a lot of details on what I really think, but I did let her know I don't think there is a god. I will probably have another talk with her later because it's late at night where I am. She said she loves me unconditionally, and she just hopes I will keep my heart open to be able to encounter god. I told her I hope I can be accepted no matter what, and that I am just trying to find my own truth and be true to myself. Ahhh what have I done?? I hope I didn't just do something really stupid, but it's done. I do feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of my chest, but I'm also scared that my mom will start jumping to conclusions. I don't want her to blame my SO or anyone else, so I tried to make it clear that I deconverted on my own accord. I guess I did the best I could. I do appreciate everyone's advice and encouragement throughout my struggle with whether to come out or not. Fingers crossed that this doesn't end in catastrophe! 

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Firstly, well done you! Thats a big step (one I've yet to make) and by the sounds of it it went pretty well! Yay!

 

As for your mum getting the wrong idea/ blaming your SO and so on, a good way to counter that might just be to ensure you keep the dialogue going. Answer her questions, be willing to share your thoughts, gather some information or resources so you have them at hand if you need them, etc.

 

Either way I hope things continue to go smoothly!

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Great to hear everything went well! It feels good to get it off your chest even though you know the other person may act horribly. In future discussions with your mom, know your stuff and don't back down.

 

There is many in my life that I haven't even told. I've only told half a handful and I doubt very many more will ever know. I told my best friend and he dropped me like a bad habit. I will never get over that and it is the reason why i am real careful about who I tell. Be thankful your mom handled it the way she did.

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Maybe she will be willing to read some material that you recommend to further the conversation?

It will be ok! Good luck! :)

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That is freedom and that is love. Congrats on this first big step to the best years of your life. People who "drop you like a hot potato " when you think differently than they do were never worth having in your life in the first place. These people would also be the first to abandon you when you are divorced, gay or make a hundred other decisions they don't like.

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It sounds good so far, actually!  I can relate to how you feel relieved that at least it's not a secret anymore.  I am sure that both of you can make it clear that you love each other and are there for each other.  All best!

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Thanks so much for the encouragement everyone! I think I don't give my mom enough credit for being able to accept others. She has handled me being a different, weird kid all my life... At this point I probably won't tell any extended family, but since I see my mom a lot it's a relief to not have to pretend or be silent. I have no idea if my mom would take the time to read any material. If she really wants to she will, but otherwise she will probably be content to think I'm wrong and pray for me to change my mind. She said she had a period of time where she questioned her faith but came back through it with a stronger relationship with god. At least she could tell me that; I thought she had never wavered in her faith. Nonetheless I think I'll get some information together just in case she asks some questions. 

 

Justin I'm so sorry about your best friend. I've been cautious of who I tell as well.  I have a very close friend of 13 years who I just can't seem to tell about my deconversion. I've told some other friends because they aren't as into religion as I was, but this friend went to the same church as me for a long time and most of our religious experiences were together. Idk if it's worth the risk, but I suppose if a friendship can't survive something like that, then it's not a great friendship anyways. That doesn't make anyone feel better about it though. :/ 

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It's so good you have a mom who is more reasonable!  Count yourself lucky!

 

I found all my Christian friends, although disappointed remained totally accepting of me.  I suppose they took the attitude that it wasn't their place to second guess God's plan?!   After all, Paul, the progenitor of the protestant church and some would say the real progenitor of the Christianity we know today hated Christians and had a career persecuting them before being struck by a vision from God.

 

I wasn't so lucky with my fundie mom however, and my deconversion has put a permanent dent in our relationship.  But I felt it was important to make a stand.  I'm not the good little Christian boy she brought up, and I'm proud of the fact.  If she can't deal with it, then its HER problem, not mine!

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Wow I admire your courage to stand up for yourself like that! It seems totally justified considering her disrespect for your personal beliefs. I have no idea how far my mom and I will delve into this topic. I guess I'll find out later today when she gets home. I'm glad you found an approach that works well for you, and I do hope that you and your mom can have more civil conversations that don't end in pain for either of you. I am really thankful that my mom has been reasonable so far!  

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You've done well, and had a good result.  Hopefully, the effects long term will be positive also.

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UPDATE: For anyone interested...

 

I talked with my mom again and she started trying to debate with me immediately. -.- Not what I want to do. She asked me some reasons why I don't believe and I told her I have some problems with the bible and began to list some. She had some kind of typical response for every sentence I uttered and I tried my best to stand my ground. I need to brush up on how to crush her arguments. Anyone know a thread that has arguments I could read through and practice?  I told her I don't want to debate with her, but if she really wants to know why I quit religion I'd be glad to tell her. She then responded that she wants to hear what I have to say but she should be allowed to say what she has to say in rebuttal. Is that not a debate???? Grrr. She asked me to talk to her about this and explain myself when  I come home again later, so I said I'd get some material to let her read. She then said she'd get me some material to read. I don't want to read any of that. -_____- I told her I already know what she thinks because I used to think the same way and then rejected it, so it's kind of pointless to have me read stuff. Sigh... Any advice on how I should handle this? I'm thankful that she is being nice about it, but she clearly said she's not happy (which I expected). She said she wants me to be open to god. I DONT BELIEVE IN A GOD, so how can I be open to one????............

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UPDATE: For anyone interested...

 

I talked with my mom again and she started trying to debate with me immediately. -.- Not what I want to do. She asked me some reasons why I don't believe and I told her I have some problems with the bible and began to list some. She had some kind of typical response for every sentence I uttered and I tried my best to stand my ground. I need to brush up on how to crush her arguments. Anyone know a thread that has arguments I could read through and practice?  I told her I don't want to debate with her, but if she really wants to know why I quit religion I'd be glad to tell her. She then responded that she wants to hear what I have to say but she should be allowed to say what she has to say in rebuttal. Is that not a debate???? Grrr. She asked me to talk to her about this and explain myself when  I come home again later, so I said I'd get some material to let her read. She then said she'd get me some material to read. I don't want to read any of that. -_____- I told her I already know what she thinks because I used to think the same way and then rejected it, so it's kind of pointless to have me read stuff. Sigh... Any advice on how I should handle this? I'm thankful that she is being nice about it, but she clearly said she's not happy (which I expected). She said she wants me to be open to god. I DONT BELIEVE IN A GOD, so how can I be open to one????............

 

 

I would recommend that you stick to your guns and keep saying you won't debate her.

 

As for thread most of the threads in the Lion's Den will give you good ideas.  Just read through them.

 

The main thing I have noticed about Christian apologetics is they change the subject.

 

Mention a lack of empirical evidence?  Christians change the subject to how much God is pleased by faith.

 

Mention that faith is simply making a blind assumption?  Christians change the subject to how Abraham had great faith.

 

Mention that Abraham was acting crazy and almost murdered his son?  Christians change the subject to how God moves in mysterious ways.

 

Point out how much the Old Testament makes sense if God was made up to support the king?  Christian change the subject.

 

 

 

In all of these cased and at all times the Christians will not acknowledge the valid point the skeptic makes.  Facts are buried under a pile of new ideas until they are forgotten.  Christian apologists can even get caught in a loop.  Mention A and they will counter with B.  Prove B false and they will counter with C.  Does A prove C false?  Go ahead and mention how A does prove C false and they will counter with B.  It can be endless with them.

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UPDATE: For anyone interested...

 

I talked with my mom again and she started trying to debate with me immediately. -.- Not what I want to do. She asked me some reasons why I don't believe and I told her I have some problems with the bible and began to list some. She had some kind of typical response for every sentence I uttered and I tried my best to stand my ground. I need to brush up on how to crush her arguments. Anyone know a thread that has arguments I could read through and practice?  I told her I don't want to debate with her, but if she really wants to know why I quit religion I'd be glad to tell her. She then responded that she wants to hear what I have to say but she should be allowed to say what she has to say in rebuttal. Is that not a debate???? Grrr. She asked me to talk to her about this and explain myself when  I come home again later, so I said I'd get some material to let her read. She then said she'd get me some material to read. I don't want to read any of that. -_____- I told her I already know what she thinks because I used to think the same way and then rejected it, so it's kind of pointless to have me read stuff. Sigh... Any advice on how I should handle this? I'm thankful that she is being nice about it, but she clearly said she's not happy (which I expected). She said she wants me to be open to god. I DONT BELIEVE IN A GOD, so how can I be open to one????............

 

Offer her an exchange - you'll be open to god if she will be open to the idea that god is a human construct which lives only in the imagination of believers.  After all, fair is fair.

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Alternatively, refuse to debate She's only trying to pressurize you.  It's your privilege to refuse to be pressurized.

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I would recommend that you stick to your guns and keep saying you won't debate her.

 

As for thread most of the threads in the Lion's Den will give you good ideas.  Just read through them.

 

The main thing I have noticed about Christian apologetics is they change the subject.

 

Mention a lack of empirical evidence?  Christians change the subject to how much God is pleased by faith.

 

Mention that faith is simply making a blind assumption?  Christians change the subject to how Abraham had great faith.

 

Mention that Abraham was acting crazy and almost murdered his son?  Christians change the subject to how God moves in mysterious ways.

 

Point out how much the Old Testament makes sense if God was made up to support the king?  Christian change the subject.

 

 

 

In all of these cased and at all times the Christians will not acknowledge the valid point the skeptic makes.  Facts are buried under a pile of new ideas until they are forgotten.  Christian apologists can even get caught in a loop.  Mention A and they will counter with B.  Prove B false and they will counter with C.  Does A prove C false?  Go ahead and mention how A does prove C false and they will counter with B.  It can be endless with them.

 

 

Thanks for your input. I really do not want to debate because I feel like it's completely futile as you mentioned. I feel like it's unfair of her to demand me to hear her out when I know she's not really listening to what I'm saying. She said she wants to know why I left religion, but really she just wants to counter me and pull me back in. I'll take a look through the Lions Den just incase I need back up, but I'm not going to have a debate. -.-

 

 

 

Offer her an exchange - you'll be open to god if she will be open to the idea that god is a human construct which lives only in the imagination of believers.  After all, fair is fair.

 

 

 

Thank you for pointing this out! I was feeling that something was really off when I talked to her and she said her demands. She told me that there is nothing that would ever make her change her mind about god, but she still wanted me to be open minded while she's refusing to be. It's really hypocritical and it's been bothering me. 

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 She said she wants to know why I left religion, but really she just wants to counter me and pull me back in.  

 

 

No matter how many times I explain to my mother why I am no longer Christian she says it is really because "I think God abandoned me".

 

        Wendyshrug.gif      My best guess is that this is what she tells herself when she is praying.

 

I make an effort to not talk about it and we have less conflict when the subject doesn't come up.  I wish you the best of luck with your mother.

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 She said she wants to know why I left religion, but really she just wants to counter me and pull me back in.  

 

 

No matter how many times I explain to my mother why I am no longer Christian she says it is really because "I think God abandoned me".

 

        Wendyshrug.gif      My best guess is that this is what she tells herself when she is praying.

 

I make an effort to not talk about it and we have less conflict when the subject doesn't come up.  I wish you the best of luck with your mother.

 

 

Yeah, I think your approach to not talking about it is probably the best way to handle it. I'm just glad I don't have to carry a secret around anymore. I have no idea how my mom is rationalizing it, and it's probably better if I don't find out. Thanks! 

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Offer her an exchange - you'll be open to god if she will be open to the idea that god is a human construct which lives only in the imagination of believers.  After all, fair is fair.

 

 

 

Thank you for pointing this out! I was feeling that something was really off when I talked to her and she said her demands. She told me that there is nothing that would ever make her change her mind about god, but she still wanted me to be open minded while she's refusing to be. It's really hypocritical and it's been bothering me. 

 

 

Well then, her stubbornness and addiction to her religion are her problems, not yours.  There's no need to be codependent with her emotional and psychological issues concerning her religious beliefs.  Indeed, it is more healthy to avoid interaction in that situation.  In addition, by refusing to engage her on this subject (unless the discourse ground rules are fair and balanced), you won't be enabling her to evangelize or further attempt to infect you with the Christian virus.  I know that sounds a bit rough, but dealing with peer pressure from family or friends often requires standing your ground.

 

 

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Well then, her stubbornness and addiction to her religion are her problems, not yours.  There's no need to be codependent with her emotional and psychological issues concerning her religious beliefs.  Indeed, it is more healthy to avoid interaction in that situation.  In addition, by refusing to engage her on this subject (unless the discourse ground rules are fair and balanced), you won't be enabling her to evangelize or further attempt to infect you with the Christian virus.  I know that sounds a bit rough, but dealing with peer pressure from family or friends often requires standing your ground.

 

 

I agree. I tend to have hopes and dreams that she and I could talk honestly and I could be myself, but I think that's never really going to happen. I wish she was actually interested in my thoughts and getting to know me as a person, but after thinking about this and reading responses on here, I think she's probably not really interested. It makes me sad. If she can't agree to be open minded while expecting me to be, then I will probably end the discussion forever. There's always that glimmer of hope that people you love will love and accept you for who you are, but the reality is that people just want to change you back to what they are comfortable with :(  I've had to be more harsh with my family before, so I think it's not too bad. I don't really even want to be open minded about xtianity, bc I hate it and I don't know what could make me believe in it again. If god fell out of the sky and I could see his physical form I might believe...

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Well then, her stubbornness and addiction to her religion are her problems, not yours.  There's no need to be codependent with her emotional and psychological issues concerning her religious beliefs.  Indeed, it is more healthy to avoid interaction in that situation.  In addition, by refusing to engage her on this subject (unless the discourse ground rules are fair and balanced), you won't be enabling her to evangelize or further attempt to infect you with the Christian virus.  I know that sounds a bit rough, but dealing with peer pressure from family or friends often requires standing your ground.

 

 

I agree. I tend to have hopes and dreams that she and I could talk honestly and I could be myself, but I think that's never really going to happen. I wish she was actually interested in my thoughts and getting to know me as a person, but after thinking about this and reading responses on here, I think she's probably not really interested. It makes me sad. If she can't agree to be open minded while expecting me to be, then I will probably end the discussion forever. There's always that glimmer of hope that people you love will love and accept you for who you are, but the reality is that people just want to change you back to what they are comfortable with sad.png  I've had to be more harsh with my family before, so I think it's not too bad. I don't really even want to be open minded about xtianity, bc I hate it and I don't know what could make me believe in it again. If god fell out of the sky and I could see his physical form I might believe...

 

 

Sadness and a sense of loss often occur is situations like this.  All you can do is to take the moral, ethical and intellectual high ground.  Love and honor your parent, but you're likely going to have to set boundaries with her concerning religion.  For example, you might say:

 

"Mother, I realize you have strong religious faith, but, as you now know, I do not share that religious faith.  Indeed, I reject it.  My reasons for doing so are primarily based on rational and critical thinking.  I will always love you and respect your beliefs.  I hope you will love me and I expect you to respect my beliefs."  (You can add for extra credit: "And here's a fresh hardbound copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, as well as a hardbound copy of God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.  Enjoy.")

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Hi Littlena,

 

I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you download Citsonga's "Letter to My Christian Parents" from August, 2011 (search 'letter to my Christian parents' and find the version he updated on post 13 I think).  In a nutshell, he found himself in a similar position to you, and after being confronted by his parents, decided rather than talking about it, to write them a letter.  The letter is roughly 50 pages, and is very well thought out, takes his parents through his reasons for disbelieving based on his vast study of Christianity.  I had numerous people read this during my own 'coming out' period, and while it certainly didn't make anyone renounce their dearly held beliefs, it let them know that MY reasons for leaving the faith were based on rationality, morality, and a desire to know the truth, however painful. 

 

Best of luck to you.  There's a light at the end of this tunnel...trust us!

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Sadness and a sense of loss often occur is situations like this.  All you can do is to take the moral, ethical and intellectual high ground.  Love and honor your parent, but you're likely going to have to set boundaries with her concerning religion.  For example, you might say:

 

"Mother, I realize you have strong religious faith, but, as you now know, I do not share that religious faith.  Indeed, I reject it.  My reasons for doing so are primarily based on rational and critical thinking.  I will always love you and respect your beliefs.  I hope you will love me and I expect you to respect my beliefs."  (You can add for extra credit: "And here's a fresh hardbound copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, as well as a hardbound copy of God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens.  Enjoy.")

 

 

I haven't been good at setting boundaries in the past but luckily I've been getting better at it. I want to set some boundaries pretty early on this time so I don't end up in a mess. I think your example would work well. I've tried to ask her to respect my beliefs, but I think I probably need to talk more strongly and firmly with her. I'm terrible at confrontation! I do have a copy of The God Delusion, and I know she probably won't read it. I'd probably have better luck giving her some shorter material that she can read in front of me. -.-

 

Hi Littlena,

 

I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you download Citsonga's "Letter to My Christian Parents" from August, 2011 (search 'letter to my Christian parents' and find the version he updated on post 13 I think).  In a nutshell, he found himself in a similar position to you, and after being confronted by his parents, decided rather than talking about it, to write them a letter.  The letter is roughly 50 pages, and is very well thought out, takes his parents through his reasons for disbelieving based on his vast study of Christianity.  I had numerous people read this during my own 'coming out' period, and while it certainly didn't make anyone renounce their dearly held beliefs, it let them know that MY reasons for leaving the faith were based on rationality, morality, and a desire to know the truth, however painful. 

 

Best of luck to you.  There's a light at the end of this tunnel...trust us!

 

 

Thank you questioneverything! I will be sure to check that out. I do like to communicate through writing more than speaking, because I'm terrible at speaking when I'm nervous. Do you think that giving your family the letter helped any? Did it make them at least respect you and stop trying to change you, or did it do nothing? I really just want to be respected as an individual with a thinking brain, not some tiny leaf being blown around by everyone else. I really hate the superior tone used when she told me she hopes I'll be open to god. She even said she doesn't want me to be like my dad (the worst insult you could every give me) and be stubborn in staying on a certain path. I could have said the same thing to her for being stubborn in her path! I feel so mad thinking about it. >:[

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I just have to chime in here and say I totally agree with those who have urged you to set boundaries. Because I love my parents and wanted them to hear what I was thinking and feeling, I did sit down and talk with them ONCE. It didn't go well, but I made it clear I was not open to any further debate. There is nothing they could tell me that I haven't heard before. And I knew nothing I said would change their minds. So I just didn't agree to talk to anyone about it other than my then husband. I decided that other than the one talk with parents, (and a brief explanation to my brother) I just didn't owe anyone any explanation. I had gone around and around this shit for years and reached my own conclusions, and I didn't want to argue about it. There was no way to save much of a relationship with any of them, but I don't think any kind of debate would have helped much. I don't know. Your mileage may vary. But don't get drawn into a discussion you don't want to have. You can just say no, it's not up for discussion. Hope it all works out ok for you. 

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