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Fatherly Guilt


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When I first admitted I lost my faith I found out my wife and children had already lost theirs or were at least to the point where they were ready to let go and my loss gave them permission.

 

Here it is a year later. They talk about "Christians" and "the church" with so much disdain. They seem legitimately hurt by our prior life as Christians.

 

It makes me feel awful. Wether it was then or now, I have always tried to do what I thought was best for them. But when I hear their complaints, disdain and ridicule towards our previous life I feel sick to my stomach with guilt.

 

Have you struggled with this? Any advice?

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Hey @AcrobaticDetective,

 

That is a great subject to bring up. I have felt that some. I was actually the one to baptize my youngest son. And I mean, for both of us that was a big moment. I had been preaching all his life at that time. He was roughly 10. It was a year or two after that, that I left the church from issues I couldn't resolve about the Bible. 

 

When I first fully deconverted he and my daughter started going to church with my wife. So at that time, yeah I kinda did feel like shit about it. For one I felt alone, other than my oldest son and this group. But also like you said I had to reflect on years! indoctrinating my own children. And now I was seeing it was all a lie. I had possibly locked my kids in a life of fundamentalism. But the the only thing I could do was just keep telling the truth and not deny who I had become. Just talking about the why's and the conclusions that I had come to concerning religion. So thats what I've done. My youngest son is now deconverted. 

 

At the same time I can see from say my wife's point of view. To her its like I'm dragging my kids to hell with me. And I absolutely hate that. Because I know how it feels from that side too! Thats why I get so damn pissed off when Christians act like deconverting was a choice, or that its because I want to sin. Its absolutely NOT! I just truthfully saw the lies. It really is a book full of lies. I can't base my life on Lies. The sad thing about it is they wouldn't either if they knew.

 

How am I different? Sure I drink now and curse. But I dont steal, I work and take care of my family, I don't intend on killing anyone LOL, I try to treat everyone with respect, maybe more so. Now that I try to look at things from others points of view, rather than my own narrow religious view. I try to help people when I can.

 

 I mean I feel like I'm a pretty decent guy overall. 

 

Sorry went on a rabbit trail there. I blame it on the A.D.D. 😃  

 

But yeah I feel ya. It sucks. But just be glad they stuck with you till you saw it too. They obviously really love ya. And thats what counts. Be happy that yall are all on the same page now. Because believe me! it sucks when it doesn't work out that way. I'm in the process of divorce now. And deconverting isn't the ONLY reason. But it is probably the biggest. And us divorcing is going to be COMPLETELY a surprise to my family. They have NO idea.

 

Best wishes,

DarkBishop

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3 hours ago, AcrobaticDetective said:

When I first admitted I lost my faith I found out my wife and children had already lost theirs or were at least to the point where they were ready to let go and my loss gave them permission.

 

Here it is a year later. They talk about "Christians" and "the church" with so much disdain. They seem legitimately hurt by our prior life as Christians.

 

It makes me feel awful. Wether it was then or now, I have always tried to do what I thought was best for them. But when I hear their complaints, disdain and ridicule towards our previous life I feel sick to my stomach with guilt.

 

Have you struggled with this? Any advice?

 

I married a Christian woman and her kids and raised them from 10-18 years of age, roughly. After we got married I went from agnostic to evangelical Christian, taking the whole family to church, getting involved in church music and programs and classes. We were very involved with the church. Then I got divorced and reverted back to agnostic and stopped going to church.

 

Did I help raise these kids as believers? No doubt about it. Did I make damn sure they devoted every moment to loving Jesus. Nope. Do I feel guilty teaching them something that I no longer believe in? Not really. They turned out to be good adults, probably none of them go to church and I only read the occasional Christian meme from one of them rarely. 

 

Regardless of raising them Christian , you taught them right from wrong, etc etc. You're a good person and you are still Dad and still have plenty more to teach them , even if they are adults. :) 

 

Do you ever wonder if your children feel guilty about being psychotic teenagers? lol

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We are all going to make mistakes with our kids that we, and maybe, they, too, will regret later.  Being a parent, nay, being a human, means constantly walking the tightrope between nature and nurture.  It is a tightrope that we are trying to manage ourselves, while simultaneously guiding younger and (theoretically) less balanced individuals along its treacherous lengths. 

 

Of course things are going to get fuckity at times.  But, as long as I am doing the best I can possibly do, feeling guilty about the nurture I am able, or unable, to provide my boys is as useless as regretting the possibility that I might have passed on the gene for high blood sugar.  Part of being a good example for them is having the ability, and willingness, to admit and correct mistakes, just as I show a willingness to adhere to a stricter diet.  Kids are rubbery.

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4 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

But just be glad they stuck with you till you saw it too. They obviously really love ya. And thats what counts. Be happy that yall are all on the same page now.

 

That's an excellent point. Gives me something positive to focus on.

 

Responding from my phone so please forgive the brevity.

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5 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Of course things are going to get fuckity at times.  But, as long as I am doing the best I can possibly do, feeling guilty about the nurture I am able, or unable, to provide my boys is as useless as regretting the possibility that I might have passed on the gene for high blood sugar.  Part of being a good example for them is having the ability, and willingness, to admit and correct mistakes, just as I show a willingness to adhere to a stricter diet.  Kids are rubbery.

 

You're absolutely right. A part of my struggle is that I didn't have a very good upbringing. My Catholic faith (something I found as a new father and new adult) became the parents I never had. I used the church and Catholic writers to learn how to be a father. So even though I'm in my forties now, I feel like I'm flying blind.

 

Fuckity for sure.

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27 minutes ago, AcrobaticDetective said:

So even though I'm in my forties now, I feel like I'm flying blind.

Realizing blindness is the beginning of sight.

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12 hours ago, AcrobaticDetective said:

When I first admitted I lost my faith I found out my wife and children had already lost theirs or were at least to the point where they were ready to let go and my loss gave them permission.

 

Here it is a year later. They talk about "Christians" and "the church" with so much disdain. They seem legitimately hurt by our prior life as Christians.

 

It makes me feel awful. Wether it was then or now, I have always tried to do what I thought was best for them. But when I hear their complaints, disdain and ridicule towards our previous life I feel sick to my stomach with guilt.

 

Have you struggled with this? Any advice?

 

No, but my parents went through what you're going through. They don't seem to care too much, though. My mom's atheist and my dad's an agnostic theist. We all bitch together about how stupid the church is and joke about how stupid they were before. The thing is, they know that we know that they were just trying to do what they thought was right. That's it. When they realized it wasn't true or correct, they backed out. What else can anyone do? There's no big blame game involved in any of it. We all just moved on. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/15/2021 at 7:35 AM, AcrobaticDetective said:

 

Have you struggled with this? Any advice?

 

You did the best you knew how to do at the time.  That's all any of us can do.  Perhaps in time they can have pity for those others, instead of disdain.

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Just now, Weezer said:

You did the best you knew how to do at the time.  That's all any of us can do.  Perhaps in time they can have pity for those others, instead of disdain.  I have gone back and forth with that.

 

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