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Why Do I Have To Hide This?


Lilith
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I was ranting on a different forum yesterday about Christianity in general (my experience with it, to be exact) and towards the end of this rant, I said something about only my husband and my mom knowing about my deconversion, "Like it's a dirty little secret or something."

 

ZING!! :Doh:

 

Why must it be a dirty little secret?? Why the FUCK must it be a secret at all???

 

 

We've not said anything to the children, on the request of my husband. I am a practicing pagan (divination) and my husband does not know.....DLS (dirty little secret).

 

My father, his wife, dh's parents (both sets) and nearly anyone that means ANYTHING to me, do not know. (DLS!!)

 

For someone who went through the pain of deconversion...the pain of facing the TRUTH head on and not being afraid to face it...why the hell am I so afraid that the family will find out my DLS?

 

 

 

And, what do I do about it?

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why the hell am I so afraid that the family will find out my DLS?

 

 

 

And, what do I do about it?

 

 

The way I see it there are two major and likely valid reasons you are apprehensive about coming out about your new perspective. One is that you will hurt these people who are important to you and the other is that they will treat you in a different way that you don't want. Now without knowing more about your situation and the personalities of the people involved it is hard to say what the outcome of the truth getting out would be. Perhaps keeping quiet really is the best option. One thing is for sure: once the cat's out of the bag, its out. My immediate family knows where I'm at and they have shown nothing but the utmost care and love for me during this process. However outside of that only two other people have any clue where I'm really at. I don't know when that will change. I know that at some point I will be candid about who I am and what I do or don't believe. However at this point it would just be a major hassle to have to explain my position constantly to those who would likely not even want to understand. Its funny, this is the first time in my life when I've actually had a secret that was of fairly significant importance. I think I'm going to practice keeping it for a while longer. That said I do try to be careful about always staying truthful when talking to people. After all as my own final moral authority I have to uphold a higher standard than those who follow the dictates of an imaginary cranky guy in the sky.

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Thanks guys.

 

Futurekid: It seems the main difference I see between you and me is that you have told family, but not friends or aquaintences. Whereas I have told just about everyone but family. I think I've got this a little skewed, don't you?

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I think I've got this a little skewed, don't you?

 

I don't know. Which one of my reasons do you think it is, or is it something else?

 

 

What I mean is, I'm hiding something of profound importance to the people closest to me, while I think nothing of telling my two bosses and the stranger on the street of my true religious views. Seems a litte bass-ackwards to me.

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Also, since we live in a primarily Christian based society, there is the outside possibility that it could hurt you economically if you're dealing with the wrong people. So there is that too.

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I too have not told many of those closest to me about my deconversion. But I think that is about to change.....

 

The diffuculty, I think, is that our whole country (you're in the US, no?) believes the jesus story to be true, whether one is a fundy or a liberal christian. IMO, for the majority it is incomprehensible that the babble stories aren't "for the most part" gawd's word.

 

So when we come out and say we think it's nothing but mythology, most people are like "WTF????"

 

I think a deeper reason for mass belief in xianity, or other religions that teach an afterlife, is that most do not want to consider that when we die, that's it. No heaven, no hell, we're just worm food. I don't know why, but this wasn't a problem for me in my deconversion.

 

So anyway, I am no longer wearing "kid gloves" as Mr. Grinch said. I won't proselytise, but neither will I be timid when the subject comes up.

 

Good luck, and btw I like your new username!

 

Dan

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What I mean is, I'm hiding something of profound importance to the people closest to me, while I think nothing of telling my two bosses and the stranger on the street of my true religious views. Seems a litte bass-ackwards to me.

 

Lillith... when I was a young teen both of my parents left the Catholic church. Both of their families are devout Catholic and their decision was very difficult.

 

We lived in a different community from the extended families. Everyone in town knew we were no longer going to church. My father told his family right away, my mother waited longer.

 

Every time her mother came to visit, our family would get up on Sunday morning and go to church as if it were a normal part of our life. This went on for a long time... maybe a year, or more.

 

Finally my mother was able to tell her mother. It took time, Mom had to work through things.... a good chunk of it was worry about how her mother would react.

 

Even grown children are impacted by how their family is going to perceive them. It's not right, or wrong, it's just the way it is. You love your family - it's not bass-ackwards at all. It's normal. :)

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I am a practicing pagan (divination) ..................

 

For someone who went through the pain of deconversion...the pain of facing the TRUTH head on and not being afraid to face it...

I'm sorry, Lilith, but you lost me big-time using these two sentences within the same post. :mellow:

 

 

Unless you have an extremely good explanation as to what your definition of "divination" is, I'm not exactly certain that you can lay claim to "facing the TRUTH head on".

 

 

knowwhatimean? :Hmm:

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And, what do I do about it?

I think the fear is understandable. People we meet occasionally we can hide from, endure things from but when our closest family and friends know, it is an irreversible step that has unseen consequences that can be quite unpleasant. I went the whole way from early on and now, 2 months down the line, everyone knows (except my priest, who I've decided not to talk to.) I would not have been able to keep it a secret, it was either tell or continue to go to church, teach in Sunday School, play at services regularly and talk continually about god with family and friends.

So I told and it's not easy, I will say that. My relationships with parents and husband and others are changed, that I cannot deny. And it took a great deal of efort to persuade hubbie that sons HAD to know, which fortunately has been the least problematic thing of all.

But as to what you should do, all you can do is think of the likely consequences of each course of action, look for ways of gettng round any problems that arise and decide if it's worth the hassle. Its no dirty little secret really, your beliefs are your personal things and no one else has a right to know them unless you think it's necessary and it'll help you in living your life.

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I too have not told many of those closest to me about my deconversion. But I think that is about to change.....

 

The diffuculty, I think, is that our whole country (you're in the US, no?) believes the jesus story to be true, whether one is a fundy or a liberal christian. IMO, for the majority it is incomprehensible that the babble stories aren't "for the most part" gawd's word.

 

So when we come out and say we think it's nothing but mythology, most people are like "WTF????"

 

I think a deeper reason for mass belief in xianity, or other religions that teach an afterlife, is that most do not want to consider that when we die, that's it. No heaven, no hell, we're just worm food. I don't know why, but this wasn't a problem for me in my deconversion.

 

So anyway, I am no longer wearing "kid gloves" as Mr. Grinch said. I won't proselytise, but neither will I be timid when the subject comes up.

 

Good luck, and btw I like your new username!

 

Dan

Yes, I'm in the US...and thank you for the username compliment. ;) (oh..and the rest of your reply was comforting too....) :)

 

 

What I mean is, I'm hiding something of profound importance to the people closest to me, while I think nothing of telling my two bosses and the stranger on the street of my true religious views. Seems a litte bass-ackwards to me.

 

Lillith... when I was a young teen both of my parents left the Catholic church. Both of their families are devout Catholic and their decision was very difficult.

 

We lived in a different community from the extended families. Everyone in town knew we were no longer going to church. My father told his family right away, my mother waited longer.

 

Every time her mother came to visit, our family would get up on Sunday morning and go to church as if it were a normal part of our life. This went on for a long time... maybe a year, or more.

 

Finally my mother was able to tell her mother. It took time, Mom had to work through things.... a good chunk of it was worry about how her mother would react.

 

Even grown children are impacted by how their family is going to perceive them. It's not right, or wrong, it's just the way it is. You love your family - it's not bass-ackwards at all. It's normal. :)

I sincerely appreciate this. You're right. Thanks. :thanks:

 

 

I am a practicing pagan (divination) ..................

 

For someone who went through the pain of deconversion...the pain of facing the TRUTH head on and not being afraid to face it...

I'm sorry, Lilith, but you lost me big-time using these two sentences within the same post. :mellow:

 

 

Unless you have an extremely good explanation as to what your definition of "divination" is, I'm not exactly certain that you can lay claim to "facing the TRUTH head on".

 

 

knowwhatimean? :Hmm:

Heh.

 

Ok...by "Truth" I meant that "Christianity is a myth" and not being afraid to face that possibility head on.

 

As far as divination goes, I guess I just have that religious gene they've recently discovered. Paganism makes sense to me, works for me, and gives me focus. Fortunately, there is no hell in my belief system, so I don't have to try to convert you. :wicked:

 

And, what do I do about it?

I think the fear is understandable. People we meet occasionally we can hide from, endure things from but when our closest family and friends know, it is an irreversible step that has unseen consequences that can be quite unpleasant. I went the whole way from early on and now, 2 months down the line, everyone knows (except my priest, who I've decided not to talk to.) I would not have been able to keep it a secret, it was either tell or continue to go to church, teach in Sunday School, play at services regularly and talk continually about god with family and friends.

So I told and it's not easy, I will say that. My relationships with parents and husband and others are changed, that I cannot deny. And it took a great deal of efort to persuade hubbie that sons HAD to know, which fortunately has been the least problematic thing of all.

But as to what you should do, all you can do is think of the likely consequences of each course of action, look for ways of gettng round any problems that arise and decide if it's worth the hassle. Its no dirty little secret really, your beliefs are your personal things and no one else has a right to know them unless you think it's necessary and it'll help you in living your life.

Here's the thing too....Dh's parents are coming for a visit in May. They have already mentioned, and fully expect to "go to our church" with us on Sunday. Dh even told them, "We don't really have a church," even though he's found one he likes and has attended (once...another story...remind me to tell it again if y'all are interested).

 

I don't really want a big confrontation/revelation/uncomfortableness thing going when they are here. But Dh won't tell them over the phone, and I don't really talk to them enough to say, "Oh. By the by, I no longer believe that Jesus is the son of God and I think Christianity is pure mythology." I anticipate "bad" things happening. And it's frustrating. I mean, yea..we could all go off to church like a happy little family, but I won't do that. I won't go with my husband; I'm certainly not going to go to put on a front for his parents. But it's not even that so much that has me ... upset? It's the fact that my Dh is treating it...and I am too...as if it's a dirty secret. It's a nasty, bad thing that I've deconverted, and no one must know.

 

I guess I'm asking, how do I put a positive spin on this for those who see this as nothing but a bad thing for me, my dh and my kids? His parents are going to FLIP.

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If you haven't told those closest to you, you should probably be carefull about telling others, since they will not remember it's your DLS in the event you get together socially for whatever reason (like a company christmas party or something). Telling perfect strangers is probably ok, like us here.

 

It's up to you to judge whether or not you can tell your spouse or other family members. There are no established rules. But... most people would find it impossible to keep a significant secret from their spouse. That's why affairs usually end up revealed. If you don't think your spouse can accept it, you're in quite a pickle.

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Lilith,

 

Do you have to come out and tell them exactly what you believe?

 

I am a closet decoverted as well, and quite honestly, I don't think I have to tell anyone where I stand spiritually. First of all, I don't even know that myself, since I change my mind everyday (not going back to christianity though).

 

Second, it is no one's business. I figure they'll find out eventually that I don't really go to church anymore. They may or may not find out what I think about Jesus, but I don't really feel like telling them--it is my life and I am going to live it my way for once.

 

I have become very good at nodding during conversations. Or to say "uhu," "ohh!" "really?" After all, I do want to respect what they believe.

 

My point is that there is no need to drop the bomb all at once. Slowly may be better. Dropping a hint here and there through the years will be easier on their emotions, I think.

 

I've become such a good liar that, when they're in town, I find excuses not to go to church with them. I have an errand to run, or just invite a bunch of people for lunch, and use the cooking and cleaning as an excuse.

 

My two cents,

 

Lorena

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I am a practicing pagan (divination) ..................

 

For someone who went through the pain of deconversion...the pain of facing the TRUTH head on and not being afraid to face it...

I'm sorry, Lilith, but you lost me big-time using these two sentences within the same post. :mellow:

 

 

Unless you have an extremely good explanation as to what your definition of "divination" is, I'm not exactly certain that you can lay claim to "facing the TRUTH head on".

 

 

knowwhatimean? :Hmm:

Heh.

 

Ok...by "Truth" I meant that "Christianity is a myth" and not being afraid to face that possibility head on.

 

As far as divination goes, I guess I just have that religious gene they've recently discovered. Paganism makes sense to me, works for me, and gives me focus. Fortunately, there is no hell in my belief system, so I don't have to try to convert you. :wicked:

Don't try to convert me, just cast a spell on me or something. I want to see if it works. :HaHa:
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I guess I'm asking, how do I put a positive spin on this for those who see this as nothing but a bad thing for me, my dh and my kids? His parents are going to FLIP.

There are other choices..

such as:

saying your having doubts about your faith and have not been going to church as a result;

having a severe migraine when church time arrives and hope no one there lets on you are not going on a regular basis;

tell them and refuse to discuss it anymore as "that will just make things worse;"

tell them and burst into tears (people get uncomfortable with this one.)

 

Try sitting down with a bit of paper and writing a list of ways to manage it- I'm sure if you do, remembering to write down anything that comes into your head, you can come up with much better ones...

 

The problem is, I guess, for people who believe your choice is going to mean hell for you, there is no positive spin.

My worst telling was probably with my mother, who played (continues to play) the Pascal card on me and also hints about how it'll be my fault when son2 goes to hell as he'll listen to me and my example and how am I going to feel then?

There was no way to "soften" telling there, or to put a positive spin on for them. The best you can probably do if you decide to tell, is work out how much you are going to tell, how you're going to do it and to have back up plans for what to do if things go pear shaped...

And my hubbie too initially wanted it to be a "DLS" but in the end, he acknowledged others would have to be told, because of me withdrawing from so many church activities. He's less like that now, when I told his mother last week, he actually stood up for me as she ranted and raved on at me...

:eek:

...actually, not telling is a much simpler option at times!

But by doing that, you may just end up re-inforcing the DLS thing in your own mind.

So all I will add is if you don't tell, just don't let your hubbie make you believe that what you hold to is any less than anyone else. You would be not telling for the sake of peace, not because there is anything wrong in what you think or who you are...

Cat

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If you haven't told those closest to you, you should probably be carefull about telling others, since they will not remember it's your DLS in the event you get together socially for whatever reason (like a company christmas party or something). Telling perfect strangers is probably ok, like us here.

 

It's up to you to judge whether or not you can tell your spouse or other family members. There are no established rules. But... most people would find it impossible to keep a significant secret from their spouse. That's why affairs usually end up revealed. If you don't think your spouse can accept it, you're in quite a pickle.

Oh sorry...I should have made that clearer. My spouse knows I've deconverted, but not that I'm a practicing pagan. We are still working through the deepest issues, but I think we are through the worst of it all.

 

 

 

Lilith,

 

Do you have to come out and tell them exactly what you believe?

 

I am a closet decoverted as well, and quite honestly, I don't think I have to tell anyone where I stand spiritually. First of all, I don't even know that myself, since I change my mind everyday (not going back to christianity though).

 

Second, it is no one's business. I figure they'll find out eventually that I don't really go to church anymore. They may or may not find out what I think about Jesus, but I don't really feel like telling them--it is my life and I am going to live it my way for once.

 

I have become very good at nodding during conversations. Or to say "uhu," "ohh!" "really?" After all, I do want to respect what they believe.

 

My point is that there is no need to drop the bomb all at once. Slowly may be better. Dropping a hint here and there through the years will be easier on their emotions, I think.

 

I've become such a good liar that, when they're in town, I find excuses not to go to church with them. I have an errand to run, or just invite a bunch of people for lunch, and use the cooking and cleaning as an excuse.

 

My two cents,

 

Lorena

Hi Lorena...

 

No, I don't have to come out and tell them anything if I don't want to. But the thing is, they are coming here to visit, and I know there are going to be questions. I see a lot of uncomfortable silences in our future (and it doesn't take divination to see this <sticks tongue out at Fwee>) :HaHa: I'm trying to mentally prepare for this. I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle it, but more than that, I'm trying to figure out why I have to be silent on the issue at all.

 

 

Don't try to convert me, just cast a spell on me or something. I want to see if it works. :HaHa:

:kiss:

 

It doesn't exactly work that way, but I'm game for a little fun. What do you have in mind?

 

...actually, not telling is a much simpler option at times!

But by doing that, you may just end up re-inforcing the DLS thing in your own mind.

So all I will add is if you don't tell, just don't let your hubbie make you believe that what you hold to is any less than anyone else. You would be not telling for the sake of peace, not because there is anything wrong in what you think or who you are...

Cat

Yea. I'm trying to find the balance here.

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Don't try to convert me, just cast a spell on me or something. I want to see if it works. :HaHa:

:kiss:

 

It doesn't exactly work that way, but I'm game for a little fun. What do you have in mind?

 

:grin:

 

Anything! Just - anything!

 

I mean, I don't even know what my options are, let alone being able to actually pick something. Heck, I could use some money if you could swing it. To make me slightly happy, I could use about 6,000 dollars. If I had about 100,000 dollars, I'd be really happy cuz then, the house and the cars would be paid for. I'm not too greedy. I just want enough. :grin:

 

If you can't swing that, let me know what you can do, and I'll let you know if I'm still interested. :HaHa:

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No, I don't have to come out and tell them anything if I don't want to. But the thing is, they are coming here to visit, and I know there are going to be questions. I see a lot of uncomfortable silences in our future (and it doesn't take divination to see this <sticks tongue out at Fwee>) :HaHa: I'm trying to mentally prepare for this. I'm trying to figure out the best way to handle it, but more than that, I'm trying to figure out why I have to be silent on the issue at all.

 

Lilith...

 

Mom and Dad have talked with us children about this period of their lives, after we reached adulthood. As a young teen I could never figure out why Mom was hiding things. I remember the day she decided she wasn't going to do it anymore, though. Our whole family (6 children) was sitting around the supper table the night before her mother was do to arrive for a weekend visit. We children were doing the usual whine about having to go to church just because Grandma was coming for a visit. Finally Mom looked at Dad and said, "I can't do this anymore, I can't keep silent any longer". I'll never forget the look on her face... she looked utterly torn inside.

 

As an adult I now realize that it was very painful for her. Mom knew her mother would think that she and all of us children and Dad were going to fry in hell. Mom just wanted to spare her own mother. But in the end... it was just what you said, "I'm trying to figure out why I have to be silent on the issue at all." that forced Mom to be honest.

 

It wasn't easy... I do remember the stress. But, for the most part the stress was kept from us children. Mom and Dad have told us children since then that Mom's mother took it quite hard - she worried about us children. At one point Mom and Dad had to flat out tell Grandma that she was welcome to visit, but only under the condition that she not talk about religion.

 

There were lots of questions and uncomfortable silences. But in the end all adults involved decided their love for each other was more important than their differences. Things did get better, it just took time, communication and work.

 

The question you have to ask... is do you have the strength to open this door in your life right now?

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The question you have to ask... is do you have the strength to open this door in your life right now?

You're right. Again. This really is the question, isn't it?

 

Yes... it is a difficult situation... isn't it? I wish I could have had something more comforting to say. :shrug:

 

In the end... Lilith.... love did prevail. Mom and Dad have often reminded us children that families are bound to have disagreements. My mother is fond of saying, "It is not possible to put two people in one room without having a disagreement about something, how do you expect families of people to go years without conflict"?

 

Now ... she's pretty philisophical about it. But... I also know her wisdom came at a price.

 

You love your family, that is clear :)

 

I can tell you from watching my own parents with their families that there is real value in trusting that love. :)

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i know how you feel

its easier to tell strangers and people at work your pagan cause you are not gonna be hurt as bad if they reject you or be judgemental.

people always accidently find out im pagan lol guess i shouldnt leave books out and my altar in the livingroom.

this group has been very helpful in helping me deal with all the bullshit i face.

i started a thread about this here.

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=4546&hl=

its about how my family and friends persecuted me about witchcraft and i got lots of good advice

if you do tell them leave out words such as witch, pagan, wicca until the end of the conversation. them words are just gonna spook them. me and you know the truth but all christians know is the lies.

i usually test people to see how openminded they are like say do you beleave all religions are talking about the same god i heard that on a forum? or do you think god is male and female?

discuss it like your just talking about something you heard. that way you can feel if they might reject you or not.

if they dont mind reading stuff on other religions find a postive book to let them borrow. nothing dark aleister crowley for example would probally make them run for the hills. id recommend ravenwolfe or cunnigham books. just say your courious about it.

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Oh sorry...I should have made that clearer. My spouse knows I've deconverted, but not that I'm a practicing pagan.

 

Ok, I think I remember that you told him about the deconversion now. Hell, I am 40ish, so let's not demand too much of my memory. If he can accept nonbelief, do you think it's that much of a step toward alternative beliefs? ----please don't take that as a suggestion to tell him, it's just a question.

 

It doesn't exactly work that way, but I'm game for a little fun.

 

Is Fwee the only one invited to the party? :3some::grin:

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i know how you feel

its easier to tell strangers and people at work your pagan cause you are not gonna be hurt as bad if they reject you or be judgemental.

people always accidently find out im pagan lol guess i shouldnt leave books out and my altar in the livingroom.

this group has been very helpful in helping me deal with all the bullshit i face.

i started a thread about this here.

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=4546&hl=

its about how my family and friends persecuted me about witchcraft and i got lots of good advice

if you do tell them leave out words such as witch, pagan, wicca until the end of the conversation. them words are just gonna spook them. me and you know the truth but all christians know is the lies.

i usually test people to see how openminded they are like say do you beleave all religions are talking about the same god i heard that on a forum? or do you think god is male and female?

discuss it like your just talking about something you heard. that way you can feel if they might reject you or not.

if they dont mind reading stuff on other religions find a postive book to let them borrow. nothing dark aleister crowley for example would probally make them run for the hills. id recommend ravenwolfe or cunnigham books. just say your courious about it.

You know...another thing that occurred to me the other night: I think I am more concerned/afraid that my husband will not defend me in front of his parents than I am they will be upset. I can face anything as long as I know he's got my back. Right now, I'm not 100% convinced of that.

 

Oh sorry...I should have made that clearer. My spouse knows I've deconverted, but not that I'm a practicing pagan.

 

Ok, I think I remember that you told him about the deconversion now. Hell, I am 40ish, so let's not demand too much of my memory. If he can accept nonbelief, do you think it's that much of a step toward alternative beliefs? ----please don't take that as a suggestion to tell him, it's just a question.

 

It doesn't exactly work that way, but I'm game for a little fun.

 

Is Fwee the only one invited to the party? :3some::grin:

 

To answer your FIRST question....I think yes...this would be too big of a leap for him right now. I think he suspects I have alternative beliefs, but has stuck his fingers in his ears and refuses to pay attention.

 

To answer your second question....lol...well, uhm.....you know, I really don't know how to answer this. Like I said, I have to sneak around as it is with my meditation/divination time. I'm happy to cast a spell for anyone that desires me to do so. I promise no results, cuz I feel like I'm rusty and not really "in tune" with the spiritual side of life right now. If anyone is seriously wanting me to do something like this for them, PM me and we can talk. :)

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