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How do I tell my parents that christianity is going to kill me?


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Hi. 

 

This is going to be a long post but I'll try to be as concise as possible. I need help.

 

I'm having my 23rd birthday in a week. So that's over 22 years of being a Christian, that was the religion I was born in. My parents are great people, they truly are. But I've reached a crossroads in my life where I realize that this faith is going to claim my life.

 

See, I'd like to think I was a "real" Christian. It was beyond just going through the motions, I had experiential evidence that God existed. I felt stuff. Maybe it was just a placebo of my imagination but I'd still comfortably say I'm agnostic. My faith got me through a pretty hectic childhood in terms of bullying. That did a number on my self esteem and installed a very negative mindset about myself and my capabilities. However, when I became a young adult I started seeing stuff about the bible that I couldnt ignore. I became aware of stuff happening in the world, of the pain and suffering that occurred against innocent people. I tried to still hold on but unfortunately, I ended up coming across what some of you may be familiar with as complementarian communities in my search for answers. 

 

I've been called all sorts of things for questioning this doctrine. I was immediately a modern rebellious feminist Jezebel because I couldnt accept scripture despite my uncertainty being peaked from closer exegesis of the original languages. This is where things got ugly. For the longest time, my faith was all I had. I had believed that it didnt matter what I was going through because ultimately God was still in control. That was supposed to be my COMFORTING THOUGHT. But here I had men tell me straight up that I was loved less and made less by my creator. My only purpose was to be a submissive wife and mother. I did not bear the image of my creator, but I was made only for the pleasure of men and not God. I was a gateway to evil, morally weak, spiritually inferior, physically inept. God is male, Christ is male, the Holy Spirit is male. The heavenly hosts are male. Christianity is a self-contained expression of worship and I only existed as an anomaly, an ad-hoc solution to the real hero's loneliness. God didnt really want my worship or my fellowship, if he accepted it then it was conciliatory. All because of my anatomy which I had no control over and even worse, was GIVEN to me by God, supposedly. This went on for years.

 

And then there were the other horrors of the bible I couldnt ignore. The history of Christianity's bloodshed. And the coldness, the utter lack of empathy of its voices, men who only cared about being right and about keeping the monopoly on their power. Anyone who has a problem with it will burn in hell anyway. And I began to wonder, if this was not God's will or words then why did he let it go on for all the centuries it took for atrocities to be committed in his name? Why does he still allow people to step on others using his name? Still allow all this pain and suffering even within his own church, let alone the chaos outside of it. I believed what they were saying. I felt the same way I did as a child, only ten times worse because now I had no crutch. Now God himself, through his acolytes, was telling me that I was worthless. It might seem stupid, and I know it's nowhere near the horror story many others have endured because of religion. But the last few years sitting under these teachings on top of my existing depression drove me to fantasising about taking my life. I won't do it, not because I think it'll get much better but because I can't do that to my family. That's the only reason. 

 

I dont really know what else to say. Regardless of whether or not God is real (I'm well aware of the evidence against it and the evidence shredding the bible), I dont think I could serve him anyway. I can't describe the pain and loneliness I feel brought on by the religion of love and freedom. And I know I'm not alone-that's the worst part. I know of many young women, some are girls even younger than I am, who were driven to suicide ideation because of what they were being told by men (and even some women) of God and their value to him. Again, the terrible things done to women described in the bible that he just allowed and sometimes with seemingly no consequence. It cuts you down the quick. It makes you feel inferior in your very essence, like your existance is a divine mistake and a blight. And now the isolation I'm scared of facing from my parents make it worse.

 

They said as an adult it's my choice but I can tell they'll be mad at me. And I fear the loss of my close relationship with them. I've already lost my faith. I can't lose my family too. How do I tell them that what was once my beacon of hope, is going to smother me to death if I dont let it go?

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Hi Jadr. Welcome to Ex-C. First of all, congratulations on thinking your way out before you were 23. That makes me jealous. :)

 

Yes, it's hard to lose what you've always known, but many of us have had to leave our birth family behind. It's natural for living things to remove themselves from toxic environments. My mind still knows what they think about me, but being physically removed from it is extremely helpful.

 

My experience has been that discussions with family aren't helpful. Pointless is a word that comes to mind.

 

What about the possibility of removing yourself from the situation. The planning of these things doesn't happen overnight, although the carrying through with your plan might.

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Welcome!

I echo Eugene39, distance and new community and friends are what you need. My own family hasn't outright disowned me, but they only communicate with me if they need something (for the most part). At funerals, it is all hugs and catching up, but then back to silence. Some live in the same city, but there is no connection anymore. I was also friends with a few Russian families and helped them with their English. But once I left the faith, some there saw me as a hellbound traitor and very dangerous to others in the faith. They knew darn well I was a believer, so I never heard the "wasn't ever a real Christian". But to minimize their discomfort and my own, I bowed out of being around them also.

 

I did find a new community in music (singing), though that has taken quite a hit with COVID. We only communicate now through Facebook and live-streams of music.

 

Getting away from the toxic ones is key to your own survival, even in a secular situation. Family ties can be wonderful, but if they insist on "teaching you a lesson" or labeling you, then you need better surroundings that heal and help you. 

 

I truly hope you can find joy and help even while your situation changes. It is wonderful that you saw through the cult and even rejected their petulant labeling and attempts at shame and control. There is rather a lot of that going on these days.

 

You can do this! You have strength and have already shown it. 

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Yes, welcome @Jadr.

 

A few thoughts and suggestions:

 

1)  Be patient.  Be calm.  Be honest.

 

2)  You have been exposed to religious indoctrination and related peer pressure for your entire life.  That indoctrination was imposed by trusted adults, who in turn were indoctrinated with the same belief/dogma/claims/rituals when they were children by adults they trusted.  Indeed, this goes back for many many generations.  Shedding such indoctrination and peer pressure is hard work and takes time.  Focus on your own physical, emotional, psychological and mental health.  Remember, those that challenge, shun or otherwise attempt to control you are simply peddling what they were taught to do, by way of peer pressure.  Their issues are not your issues.

 

3)  Study codependency.  I suspect you are somewhat trapped in it.

 

4)  Study enabling.  Learn to enable good behavior, not bad behavior.

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The Christianity won't kill you.  It only feels like that.  And the exaggerating self talk is only serving to make you feel worse.  And make you look helpless in the eyes of others.  I don't think that is what you want.  You are not helpless, or dumb.  So don't fall into the trap of acting that way.

 

You are a helpless woman ONLY IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE.  And your church must not have read about the early church having women deacons and leaders. And how Jesus treated women with respect.  But if you look far enough in the bible, and ignore some parts of it, you can justify almost anything you want to justify.  That is one reason I decided it is not the word of God.  And later decided the God found there is a myth.

 

Tell your parents you want a relationship with them, but have to be true to your own convictions.  That's basically how I handled it with my parents and they eventually accepted me for what I am.  They didn't like it, and Dad said there was no hope for my soul, and mom threw a crying fit, but they didn't kick me out of the family.  I was already living on my own.

 

Have you had any college, or other training?  Or have a job?  Can you get out on your own, if you haven't already.   It would help us help you If we knew more about your life situation.  

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Did you post here under the name of Jean1wilson a couple of days ago?  Check the GOT QUESTIONS section, TELL ME IT GETS BETTER.  If you are not the same person, it is quite a coincidence.  Perhaps there is some mutual support there?

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On 2/11/2021 at 2:30 PM, Jadr said:

But here I had men tell me straight up that I was loved less and made less by my creator. My only purpose was to be a submissive wife and mother. I did not bear the image of my creator, but I was made only for the pleasure of men and not God. I was a gateway to evil, morally weak, spiritually inferior, physically inept. God is male, Christ is male, the Holy Spirit is male. The heavenly hosts are male.

 

Greetings! Welcome to exC

 

Wow I guess being a man I never really thought about it that much when I was in The church. But you are so right. When you get down to the bare bones of how the Bible stories value women its horrible. the first thing I saw after deconverting along these lines was the old testament doctrine that if you found a maiden in a field and forced yourself upon her your penalty was to give the father 50 shekels of silver as payment for the maidens virtue and you would be a husband to her and couldn't divorce her. Deut 22:28,29 I dont know any women who would want to marry their rapist. That is messed up on SO many levels. There are several unfair punishments for women in that chapter. We could probably spend days pointing out the biblical unfairness to women. 

 

I feel your pain on telling your parents. I'm afraid very soon I will have to do the same. You could just not. Nothing says ya got to. But if your still living with them I'm sure that would be hard. They would expect you to continue going to church. But I would imagine that if your living with them, even if you do tell them, they will want you going to church with them. Its easier when your not living with them or attending the same church. 

 

It would take some planning but you could tell them your going to another church and just not go. 

 

I dunno, your very young so it might be better to go ahead and tell them. It would be hard hiding it for the next 50 years or so..... 

 

Good luck

 

DB

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There is a strange coincidence here.  Jadr and Jean1wilson (Got Questions) are the same age and have very similar stories, and neither have replied to our replies.  See my post above.

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On 2/13/2021 at 7:48 PM, Eugene39 said:

Hi Jadr. Welcome to Ex-C. First of all, congratulations on thinking your way out before you were 23. That makes me jealous. :)

 

Yes, it's hard to lose what you've always known, but many of us have had to leave our birth family behind. It's natural for living things to remove themselves from toxic environments. My mind still knows what they think about me, but being physically removed from it is extremely helpful.

 

My experience has been that discussions with family aren't helpful. Pointless is a word that comes to mind.

 

What about the possibility of removing yourself from the situation. The planning of these things doesn't happen overnight, although the carrying through with your plan might.

 

On 2/13/2021 at 9:31 PM, Fuego said:

Welcome!

I echo Eugene39, distance and new community and friends are what you need. My own family hasn't outright disowned me, but they only communicate with me if they need something (for the most part). At funerals, it is all hugs and catching up, but then back to silence. Some live in the same city, but there is no connection anymore. I was also friends with a few Russian families and helped them with their English. But once I left the faith, some there saw me as a hellbound traitor and very dangerous to others in the faith. They knew darn well I was a believer, so I never heard the "wasn't ever a real Christian". But to minimize their discomfort and my own, I bowed out of being around them also.

 

I did find a new community in music (singing), though that has taken quite a hit with COVID. We only communicate now through Facebook and live-streams of music.

 

Getting away from the toxic ones is key to your own survival, even in a secular situation. Family ties can be wonderful, but if they insist on "teaching you a lesson" or labeling you, then you need better surroundings that heal and help you. 

 

I truly hope you can find joy and help even while your situation changes. It is wonderful that you saw through the cult and even rejected their petulant labeling and attempts at shame and control. There is rather a lot of that going on these days.

 

You can do this! You have strength and have already shown it. 

I'm very late in my response but thank you very much for your kind words of encouragement. I cant begin to explain how comforting they are to hear when you feel so isolated. 

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On 2/14/2021 at 12:16 AM, sdelsolray said:

Yes, welcome @Jadr.

 

A few thoughts and suggestions:

 

1)  Be patient.  Be calm.  Be honest.

 

2)  You have been exposed to religious indoctrination and related peer pressure for your entire life.  That indoctrination was imposed by trusted adults, who in turn were indoctrinated with the same belief/dogma/claims/rituals when they were children by adults they trusted.  Indeed, this goes back for many many generations.  Shedding such indoctrination and peer pressure is hard work and takes time.  Focus on your own physical, emotional, psychological and mental health.  Remember, those that challenge, shun or otherwise attempt to control you are simply peddling what they were taught to do, by way of peer pressure.  Their issues are not your issues.

 

3)  Study codependency.  I suspect you are somewhat trapped in it.

 

4)  Study enabling.  Learn to enable good behavior, not bad behavior.

Thanks for the advice. I'll be keeping all these tips in mind.

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On 2/14/2021 at 5:34 AM, Weezer said:

Have you had any college, or other training?  Or have a job?  Can you get out on your own, if you haven't already.   It would help us help you If we knew more about your life situation. 

I'm currently finishing my honours while working on the side. I stay with my folks so it's not the easiest situation ever. Given enough time I could probably move out on my own soon enough. 

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On 2/19/2021 at 3:30 AM, Weezer said:

There is a strange coincidence here.  Jadr and Jean1wilson (Got Questions) are the same age and have very similar stories, and neither have replied to our replies.  See my post above.

I took a look at Jean1Wilson's post out of curiosity and there are many similarities between us  (even down to an interest in women) which makes me want to contact her to talk about our experiences. But no, just to confirm, I'm a different person lol. This is the first and only account I've ever made on here.

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16 hours ago, Jadr said:

I took a look at Jean1Wilson's post out of curiosity and there are many similarities between us  (even down to an interest in women) which makes me want to contact her to talk about our experiences. But no, just to confirm, I'm a different person lol. This is the first and only account I've ever made on here.

 

It is good to hear you are okay.  keep us posted, and let us know if you want more information or encouragement. 

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On 2/20/2021 at 4:34 AM, Jadr said:

Thanks for the advice. I'll be keeping all these tips in mind.

 

Suggestions ## 3 and 4 that I made actually require some work, perhaps a few hours online studying codependency and enabling.

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Welcome to X-Xian, @Jadr! All these stories, interpretations, and accusations are all examples of narratives to get people to feel worthless. Institutions proliferate these so that the believers will be desperate for validation and thus continue to be subservient. It also has the effect that the automatic rejection that comes with any kind of un-subservient behavior (like asking inconvenient questions) feel devastating. Not every Christian is conscious that this is its purpose - but they will proliferate self-worth-poisoning stories out of social ritual habit. Remember your life is valuable and you are worth more than money or power can buy - just for being an individual, living, breathing, human being. It can be a fumble developing your own value system after you relied on the ones offered by Christian institutions (which are broken) but it is a rewarding journey. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/20/2021 at 4:36 AM, Jadr said:

I stay with my folks so it's not the easiest situation ever. Given enough time I could probably move out on my own soon enough.

your beliefs are none of their business. no need to argue with them, which is what will happen. You’re still the same you. Sending hugs! Sharing your disbelief is for people who will be supportive. Stay safe, and trust yourself and your new treasure.

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