hillis

I Came Out Atheist, Broke My Mom's Heart, But We're OK

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Welcome to Ex-C!

 

I'm glad it went better for you than most. It was study of the Bible, Moody was the final nail so to speak, and leaving Christianity was not an emotional decision for me either. Emotional decisions are what trap you into Christianity but reason can get you out.

 

Most Christians seem to get it backwards, love trumps religion, not the other way around. You are lucky.

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Great story! I'm happy for you.

I'm in pretty much the same situation. My family understands that I'm no longer a Christian, but for some utterly inexplicable reason, they still choose to pal around with me from time to time.

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Your story illustrates one of my favorite quotes:

 

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”


 Isaac Asimov

 

 

 

Welcome to Ex-C!  Hope to read more from you.  I'm happy that a real-life parent/child relationship won out over an imaginary "friend". 

I will never not "like" this quote.

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Wow, thanks everyone! You're all so encouraging. I appreciate that. Love the Asimov quote ?

 

I feel the last phase of my development following deconversion is coming out (in a somewhat subtle way) on Facebook. I have such a strong desire to just be who I am and not care what others think, but also to just know that others know where I'm at...that's important to me for some reason. I plan to tell my story for the podcast eventually and when I do, then I'll post it on Facebook and those in my life who are curious can really hear my story, but not have the awkward face to face conversation. It's kind of the final place where many people don't know.

 

Anyone else have the compulsion to tell everyone in their life like I do?

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Wow, thanks everyone! You're all so encouraging. I appreciate that. Love the Asimov quote ?

 

I feel the last phase of my development following deconversion is coming out (in a somewhat subtle way) on Facebook. I have such a strong desire to just be who I am and not care what others think, but also to just know that others know where I'm at...that's important to me for some reason. I plan to tell my story for the podcast eventually and when I do, then I'll post it on Facebook and those in my life who are curious can really hear my story, but not have the awkward face to face conversation. It's kind of the final place where many people don't know.

 

Anyone else have the compulsion to tell everyone in their life like I do?

 

yes.

Yes I do.

 

Did that back in 2014 and, let's just say, it did not go as well for me as it did for you. In fact the tension in the house (just me and Mrs. MOHO at this point) was so thick that it stained the walls and we had to paint them each year! So stressful was the situation that I had to start going to church again in an attempt to relieve it.

 

At this point I wish I had not gone back and I think my wife and step-son have a pretty good idea of where I am. But still I want to shout at the top of my lungs that I don't believe, why I don't believe, and that I can assist them in their journey out of religion, if they so desire.

 

The fams, however, are very devout and are very very strong survivalists. They view anyone with any point of view the slightest bit different than theirs as mortal enemies to be dealt with swiftly and surely.

 

But, as @Florduh has pointed out numerous times on this site, living a lie is tougher, in the long run, than honesty.

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Wow, thanks everyone! You're all so encouraging. I appreciate that. Love the Asimov quote ?

 

I feel the last phase of my development following deconversion is coming out (in a somewhat subtle way) on Facebook. I have such a strong desire to just be who I am and not care what others think, but also to just know that others know where I'm at...that's important to me for some reason. I plan to tell my story for the podcast eventually and when I do, then I'll post it on Facebook and those in my life who are curious can really hear my story, but not have the awkward face to face conversation. It's kind of the final place where many people don't know.

 

Anyone else have the compulsion to tell everyone in their life like I do?

 

Absolutely I do and I'm only a little baby de-convert compared to you. I bawled the entire way through your story. I would never want to take away from your experience by muddling it with mine, it just felt like you were speaking for the deepest parts of my soul. Thank you for your voice, it's giving others (like me) more strength.

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Welcome to Ex-c hillis. And thank you so much for sharing that (very hard) heartwarming  testimony. Wow. That was so hard for you to do.

 

I am so happy that you and your mom still have a good relationship. She sounds like a very special and gracious lady. And you sound like a true empathetic man. I am so glad you are here with us. It is so wonderful when you can be exactly who you really are with your friends and family. I'm so happy for you because as you said, unfortunately, it doesn't work out that way with everyone.  Looking forward to reading more from you! 

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Welcome to Ex-C, hillis.

Thank you for sharing.

Your post will surely encourage others to "come out".

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Wow, thanks everyone! You're all so encouraging. I appreciate that. Love the Asimov quote ?

 

I feel the last phase of my development following deconversion is coming out (in a somewhat subtle way) on Facebook. I have such a strong desire to just be who I am and not care what others think, but also to just know that others know where I'm at...that's important to me for some reason. I plan to tell my story for the podcast eventually and when I do, then I'll post it on Facebook and those in my life who are curious can really hear my story, but not have the awkward face to face conversation. It's kind of the final place where many people don't know.

 

Anyone else have the compulsion to tell everyone in their life like I do?

 

I  meant to mention this in my earlier reply....isn't it interesting how much MORE willing and excited you are to tell people about "the good news" this time around? I hid my Christianity, I want to shout my athiestish-agnosticness from the mountaintops.

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ag_NO_stic Your non-stop animation is distracting and disgusting.

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ag_NO_stic Your non-stop animation is distracting and disgusting.

 

I'm happy to take it down if it's annoying people, but the bigger issue is you being kinda douchey in how you handled it. I mean seriously, you commented on a thread about someone's deconversion story breaking their mother's heart to publicly try to embarrass me instead of just messaging me? I almost ignored you, then decided to call you out on kind of a dick move. 

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Since I can't quite figure out how to "like" various replies to my post, just gonna say thanks again to those who welcomed me and left encouraging comments :) 
I really appreciate it. I definitely recognize that I am fortunate to not have lost any significant relationships when I "came out" atheist. My heart goes out to all of you who did lose significant relationships. 

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Since I can't quite figure out how to "like" various replies to my post.....

 

That ability will automatically happen when you post a certain number of comments (25 iirc).  Your status will change from New Member to Regular Member.  Welcome to Ex-C and keep on postin'.    :D

 

 

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Wow, I couldn't get through this dry eyed. You are so lucky to have a close relationship with your mom to this day and you write so eloquently of the experience. I have yet to tell my family, and I fear the impact this news will have on them, particularly my mom, as I've seen them go through it before. We've always been close and I wonder if that closeness will survive this kind of change. I hope that it will. I have struggled with the extent to which I should describe this process to my parents when I tell them, or if I should tell them much of anything about what I think. I realize that my words will probably simply reveal "how far I've fallen away from God" for them, and they will never truly appreciate how difficult this process has been for me, and never truly think about it from my perspective. How can they, when fundies aren't allowed to think!

You've given me some courage to put myself out there when the time comes, and to let the chips fall where they will.

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I am glad your mom accepted you and you are in a good relationship. I understand you taking guidance from the bible I do that as well as other religions. There is good advice and As a Atheist you can ignore the spiritual mumbo jumbo. Glad to have you here 

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On 6/9/2017 at 4:23 PM, BobCu said:

ag_NO_stic Your non-stop animation is distracting and disgusting.

And this is appropriate? Get over yourself.

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Guest llllll

But for me, I am still hiding....

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11 hours ago, llllll said:

But for me, I am still hiding....

 

 

That is fine.  The right path for you depends on your family, what kind of community you live in and other factors that are unique to your situation.  If you don't feel safe telling others than don't.  I live in a farming community that is super Christian so I don't advertise my lack of faith.  I don't need headaches.

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On 6/9/2017 at 4:23 PM, BobCu said:

ag_NO_stic Your non-stop animation is distracting and disgusting.

 That was random. WTF? 

 

On 6/8/2017 at 1:41 AM, hillis said:

She was completely unaware of the bomb that was about to drop.

 

Welcome, and good on you!

 

Lucky for me, I got to drop that bomb on my parents while on home leave from boarding academy back in 93'. I remember my mom crying and being in denial about it. She eventually came to her senses over the years and now she classifies herself as agnostic atheist too, following my example.

 

My dad's an agnostic theist, basically, but of the non-religious variety. He's not for church at all anymore. Just a vague sense that a god may have created the world. He never really studied the counter arguments to god belief in general. We're descended from William Miller of the Millerite movement in the 19th century which falsely predicted the end of the world three times, and then broke up and became Seventh Day Adventism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millerism

 

This is a paternal descent. Adventism lasted right down to my generation, then took a big hit in this family. So old Miller is probably rolling over in his grave as the family continuously evolves into atheists. It took a long time, but we eventually got there. At least this branch anyways...

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I’m so impressed that you were able to keep the relationship intact. I haven’t been able to do that, mainly because my family is dismissive, and I don’t know how to deal with that. They think it’s just a momentary turn away. And I get these comments that are just really painful to me like we think it would be a real blessing if you just came back to church. 

 

I think its partly my fault for trying not to hurt feelings and maybe have it both ways, but it’s been hard because it’s an evolving understanding thats getting deeper as I rethink other things in my life and how I have looked at them in the past changed dramatically.

 

Its hard to keep updating people like, yeah this was ok with me in the past but now it’s not. The transition has been really hard because I’m not going back but I haven’t figure out all the things about my destination and how the other beliefs in my life will change in life of the new information. It’s just been such a huge shift of mind and heart and it seems like there are no words to describe it to some former aquantances and family. Other than emotionally and psychologically the change has happened, and I can tell you that, that I don’t believe, but I sort of haven’t arrived yet. And then I feel stuck defending myself against people who are convinced they need to hinder, stop, or reverse the process of me becoming what I already know to be true in my heart. 

 

And I feel stuck holding up this middle ground of the relationship, not cause it’s where I want to be, but because I haven’t reached a place where I feel comfortable yet, and I’m still stuck with people in my life who aren’t supportive. So there’s a lot of awkward avoidance that is mistaken for wavering, when it’s just not.

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Thank you so much for sharing your story! Yeah, coming out to your parents is a huge decision with a lot of ramifications and it's really hard. I think I came out to my parents of my non-Xianity almost 10 years ago? It definitely created a distance between me and my dad... although to be honest that distance was already developing and there was nothing that could have stopped it. Over the years my mom seemed to oddly warm up to me, though, although her beliefs are still the same. Maybe she realized the importance of our human relationship, at some level. Anyways, it's nice to have her open up to me about little day to day things, while politely avoiding talking about religion. It's a complicated personal decision but I agree with you completely about coming from a place of honesty - otherwise there's no real relationship to begin with! 

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