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Jace

I told my parents. It wasn’t pretty.

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After six years of deconverting, and working in ministry/being a very outspoken Christian prior to that, I told my parents today that I’m no longer a Christian. 

 

It went how I expected. My dad preached, told me what I actually believed, and told me I was going to hell and taking others with me. He also hit me with some “power of Satan” memes later on. My mom cried and blamed herself. I felt quite shitty after, but I’m glad to be finally living my truth around them. 

 

I hate this and just needed to reach out. Religion is shitty for many reasons, and this is one. 

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Sorry about your situation, but there's no need to feel shitty. Feeling badly about being yourself and asserting your right to an opinion is due to their emotional blackmail. That has only the power you give it.

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Good that you got it out of the way...now you can move forward :)

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I'm proud of you, @Jace! That is some serious courage and character you demonstrated! My dad thinks I'm going to hell, too! It sucks and it took many years to get over, but trust me it's better to leave that toxic abusive nonsense.

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Thanks for replying, guys! 

 

Today is much better. I suspect there will be attempts here and there to draw me back, but if so, they're just doing what they feel they've been called to do. Being 36 and having children of my own, I felt it necessary to be this example of living your truth so my kids could see that in action. Also, I've felt kind of foolish for being this age and hesitating to tell my parents about this shift, but shit like this has no appropriate age, I guess. It took years to deprogram and two years to even say it aloud to myself. It's weird. I'm outspoken and headstrong about everything, but this is different, likely because it was my foundation. 

 

My brother is about to come behind me and tell them the same thing. I kind of feel bad for my parents, but hey...

You can't raise "free thinkers" and expect them to adhere to your worldview. You can't have it both ways. 

 

Anyway, I always appreciate the feedback on this website. It means a lot to me. 

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Unfortunately, this is an ugly part of the process out of religion. I wish I could tell you that it will get better but it may not.

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15 hours ago, florduh said:

Feeling badly about being yourself and asserting your right to an opinion is due to their emotional blackmail. That has only the power you give it.

^^^ This, this, this!  Problem is, your parents don't realize thats what they are doing.  But you do. 

I have found the fastest way to silence my mom  is to tell her to just trust that God will show me whatever he wishes to show me, according to his divine purposes, so she just needs to rely on her own faith and trust that God has the perfect plan.  God knew this would happen to me.  If he chooses to intervene causing me to believe differently, so be it.  If he doesn't, well, either way, god is allowing things according to his perfect will.  . . . .Pretty much shuts her down every time.

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On 7/4/2019 at 9:43 PM, Jace said:

After six years of deconverting, and working in ministry/being a very outspoken Christian prior to that, I told my parents today that I’m no longer a Christian. 

 

It went how I expected. My dad preached, told me what I actually believed, and told me I was going to hell and taking others with me. He also hit me with some “power of Satan” memes later on. My mom cried and blamed herself. I felt quite shitty after, but I’m glad to be finally living my truth around them. 

 

I hate this and just needed to reach out. Religion is shitty for many reasons, and this is one. 

 

Don't accept their response. Don't accept their guilt. Dont accept the crazy. You are not responsible for your parents' emotions. If they hit you with more crazy tell them you reject their BS. 

"I love you, Mom and Dad, but I reject the guilt, shame and fear you're trying to lay on me." 

 

Discuss boundaries with them, like not talking about religion with you. Warm them of a no contact timeout if they push it. Follow through if need be. 

 

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"My dad preached, told me what I actually believed, and told me I was going to hell and taking others with me."

 

Your father has a few problems. He is insane. He is a terrorist. It might be good idea to throw these lunatics out.

 

Some things are real and some things are bullshirt. It's easy to figure out what's real because it is obviously true. If something requires belief (for example the idea it's possible to torture dead people, or your "astrology" thing) then it's bullshirt and it should be thrown out.

 

I have a blog about reality at http://darwinkilledgod.blogspot.com.

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Hey, good for you! It takes some courage the "come out of the closet". Now that you have done the deed, things will likely settle down and get better. I'm happy for you!

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Kudos to you for coming forward and getting that off you chest, @Jace.

 

I was apprehensive about coming out to my wife and, yes, it was emotional. But things smoothed out over a few weeks. Two + years into it things are back to normal....most of the time. But I sure feel much better for being honest. Now when ANYONE asked why I don't goto church I simply sate that I am an atheist.

 

To quote Tony the Tiger (sorta),

 

Feels grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

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So it’s been a few days and so far, so good. They haven’t been on me about it; things have pretty much been normal. I know they’ve been talking to my brother trying to get a handle on it, but I don’t know yet what’s been said in those conversations. 

 

Hopefully there’s not an intervention on the horizon. 🤣

 

@BobCu, you alright bro? 

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On 7/5/2019 at 5:59 PM, Jace said:

I've felt kind of foolish for being this age and hesitating to tell my parents about this shift

 

It's tough! I'm in my 50s and can't really be honest about it. My older son is about your age, though, and he went through it all. Our younger son (a minister) hasn't completely cut him off, but sometimes standoffish. My wife occasionally gets really upset and worried, but she tells me rather than him, so he isn't having to deal with it much. When everyone first found out they really "worked on him" but it's gotten better.

 

For me, I just mostly keep pretending. I deal by avoiding having the conversation. My wife knows, of course, and occasionally we end up in an argument. Older son knows, but unfortunately we can't confide in each other too often because when we had some big talks when he was first figuring out the truth, my wife really got mad about us "going behind her back." (I put that in quotes because that's what she called it. Makes me mad that the believers feel like they have the right to restrict conversation, that somehow those of us who don't believe the mythology are doing something naughty when we talk about the mythology.) Anyway, I didn't intend for my minister son to know I was a non-believer simply because I didn't want to have to deal with whatever consequences there might have been. My fear was that I would be cut off from him and his children, and it just wasn't worth it.

 

I ended up being outed, but jumping back in the closet, so now minister son and I have a don't ask don't tell policy. What's weird is that he'll actually ask my opinion on "spiritual things" when he's seeing things our denomination teaches that he thinks now may be incorrect, yet he told my wife that he's wanted to ask me whether I really believe and he's afraid to. It's a weird situation.

 

Anyway, all of that was to say that if my older son's situation is typical, you'll catch quite a bit of flack at first, then it should die down. It may flare up occasionally from different quarters, but your parents will eventually leave you alone (even though they might discuss what they see as your "situation" between themselves). After some time people will quit putting pressure on you, so coming out was the right thing to do.

 

As far as feeling foolish about hesitating to tell them, we're social beings. We really don't like upsetting people, so we feel guilty when we do. I feel foolish, as well -- this ought to be simple! I don't believe in minds without bodies, spirits, angels, demons, or gods and such. The people who believe in those things ought to feel foolish. (And I do feel foolish for having believed in them until I was 52!) But relationships are extremely complicated, even though we're just dealing with thoughts and words, nothing tangible. We wouldn't be human without those intangibles.

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1 hour ago, Lerk said:

Older son knows, but unfortunately we can't confide in each other too often because when we had some big talks when he was first figuring out the truth, my wife really got mad about us "going behind her back." (I put that in quotes because that's what she called it. Makes me mad that the believers feel like they have the right to restrict conversation, that somehow those of us who don't believe the mythology are doing something naughty when we talk about the mythology.)

 

It's a two-way street. Tell her that if you're not allowed to have conversations without her present, then she's not allowed to have conversations without you present. I bet she wouldn't like that.

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On 7/9/2019 at 12:29 PM, Citsonga said:

 

It's a two-way street. Tell her that if you're not allowed to have conversations without her present, then she's not allowed to have conversations without you present. I bet she wouldn't like that.

 

Yes, I have pointed that out. Made her mad, but she seemed to understand at the time -- but she still feels the way she feels.

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Now, what I tend to feel is that  if people do not want to have a relationship with you, but with an image of you, that is mostly their problem. Pretending, usually means you are not actually having a relationship anyway. I do not like upsetting people, but leading them on seems worse.  Of course, each one decides how and why change the dynamics of a relationship, in practice. This is a good reminder also, reading this just made me realise that deception, while sometimes useful and necessary, should be used as a last resort. I am, for example, more than willing to lie constantly to someone I perceive as dangerous to protect myself or others. But real intimicy cannot really be built on lies. 

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Bravo, that's a big step! I came out as agnostic (was unwilling to use atheist due to all the negative stereotypes attached) over a year ago and it complicated family relationships. Things have calmed down somewhat since then but I'm having to deal with toxic behavior within the family partially due to religion, which totally encourages the us vs them mentally and isolating people emotionally. I just sent my family a letter expressing how the behavior has made me feel. The important thing is that you try to retain open and honest communication. Sometimes there's only so much of relationships you can salvage when religion influences behavior. 

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1 hour ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Sometimes there's only so much of relationships you can salvage when religion influences behavior. 

 

It's sad but true!

 

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38 minutes ago, MOHO said:

 

It's sad but true!

 

It is interesting, for me at least, as I have started studying brainwashing via steve hassan and others, how much religious stories and stories in general construct identity, personal and collective. In that scenario people have fixed roles. You moved from the saved/ brethren role to the deluded by the devil / apostate role. Stories define roles and actions, results and expectations. Basically we live, most of the time , in our own fairytales, in our own fictions without realising. These fictions provide safety, order, and comfort. It is truly frightening to challenge them. You are, at least not in the same way, a son, a father, a wife/husband. Like in a classic bad guy good guy movie. And you became the bad guy., in a way. 

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 12:43 AM, Jace said:

After six years of deconverting, and working in ministry/being a very outspoken Christian prior to that, I told my parents today that I’m no longer a Christian. 

 

It went how I expected. My dad preached, told me what I actually believed, and told me I was going to hell and taking others with me. He also hit me with some “power of Satan” memes later on. My mom cried and blamed herself. I felt quite shitty after, but I’m glad to be finally living my truth around them. 

 

I hate this and just needed to reach out. Religion is shitty for many reasons, and this is one. 

I will have to do the same thing as you in a few years. I have to pretend to be a Christian for a few more years in order to fully leave the house. I believe my parents will probably react similarly. My father is a Chaplain (military preacher) so he will probably preach to me about how I'm wrong and going to hell when I reveal the truth to him. My mother cries whenever I make a decision that isn't in HER plan even though she tries to pass it off as "God's plan."

If you don't mind me asking, how did you go about telling them? What did you say? 

I'm really worried and anxious about the day I know I'll have to tell them. I can't get on with my life until I have. I just don't know if I should just do a phone call because standing in person and listening to them rant would be exhausting. I wouldn't even know how to break the news.

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4 hours ago, Dreamer said:

I will have to do the same thing as you in a few years. I have to pretend to be a Christian for a few more years in order to fully leave the house. I believe my parents will probably react similarly. My father is a Chaplain (military preacher) so he will probably preach to me about how I'm wrong and going to hell when I reveal the truth to him. My mother cries whenever I make a decision that isn't in HER plan even though she tries to pass it off as "God's plan."

If you don't mind me asking, how did you go about telling them? What did you say? 

I'm really worried and anxious about the day I know I'll have to tell them. I can't get on with my life until I have. I just don't know if I should just do a phone call because standing in person and listening to them rant would be exhausting. I wouldn't even know how to break the news.

I am Dreamer’s sibling, and feel the exact same way. I have the same questions too.

 

Side note: I am quite new to this site and can’t figure out how to react to posts. Can anyone help me figure it out?

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2 hours ago, Blue said:

Side note: I am quite new to this site and can’t figure out how to react to posts. Can anyone help me figure it out?

 

I'm not sure, but I think you need to have a certain number of posts (5? 25? not sure) before you get the ability to add reactions.

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On 7/8/2019 at 7:11 PM, Jace said:

 

Hopefully there’s not an intervention on the horizon. 🤣

 

 

If one is attempted, simply refuse to participate.  HANG IN THERE!!

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Blue: welcome.

This topic has probably been covered many times but, for me, it's new and I am getting help and support from you folks. Thanks.

BTW (have I said this before?!) I suspect that things are very different and probably much more difficult on that side of the pond. Here in UK we have lots of nutters but maybe not as many as you - UK is less 'christian' than USA I think, most people who are not believers don't really see an issue, I suspect, they just don't think about it. Live and let live, maybe?

 

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7 hours ago, Blue said:

I am Dreamer’s sibling, and feel the exact same way. I have the same questions too.

 

Side note: I am quite new to this site and can’t figure out how to react to posts. Can anyone help me figure it out?

Hey, Blue...welcome to ex c :) hang in there, you're on the right track. 

And yes, I think it's 25 posts you need to be able to react. :) 

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