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Just Broke The News


Variable
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Hello fellow exians. I've been a closet exian for about 6 months. I just broke the news to my mother today who went absolutely psycho for like 24 hours. It was like, borderline religious harrassement. She kept saying things like "I'm not going to let the devil take your soul!" and "Whatever it takes your coming back to Jesus!". I tried to explain to my mother why I had left the religion. Not because I wanted to go out and sin, but because I had read up on science and textual criticism. If I never believed Christians were absolutely brainwashed, I believe it now. I've rarely seen such a denial of reality. Everything from "The devil is working through scholars and planting evidence of bible forgeries!" to her own serious misunderstandings about evolution,"If humans came from monkeys, then why don't they have aids!?". I had to listen to these disgusting rants for 6 hours. And I know that I'm going to have to listen to many, many more. I'm almost considering moving out of the city, but I'm a single parent and my son is very close to his grandmother. *Sigh*. Any advice anyone? I still have yet to break the news to the rest of my family. This is just the first one.

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Maybe keep it to yourself for now. I've never really had a formal discussion about it with my family. They know, but we have a quiet understanding not to talk about it. But then I'm sure the dynamics of my family are different than yours.

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You're gonna have to, your mother is going to do it if you don't. Better they hear it from you rather than the convoluted stream your Mother will give.

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Better they hear it from you rather than the convoluted stream your Mother will give.

 

Yeah, good point. The cat is out of the proverbial bag.

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Be polite and dignified about it. Break the news yourself to the rest of the family, and explain it ONCE. Don't let them draw you into religious discussions, and don't get caught in the trap of having to justify yourself over and over and over or there will be no end to the harrassment as they try to find a weak point.

 

Do encourage legitimate questions though. If they are genuinely curious, reply.

 

The most important thing is stay firm. Don't let them tell you that you WILL go back to church or else. Don't let them make nasty or backhanded remarks, and don't put up with any bullshit, even in the name of family. And especially watch out for them working on your son. Let them know when they step on your toes and don't back down. You don't have to be nasty. If something is uncalled for, just tell them, "That's uncalled for" or "This isn't open to discussion."

 

Congrats on your deconversion and coming out!

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I don't know what I'd do in your shoes.

 

One thing's for sure, whether you formally sit down and tell your family or not, is entirely up to you. Either way you decide, you'll have done the right thing.

 

Your Mom sounds pretty emotional about this right now, but I would guess that, as all parents of adult children eventually do when faced with the realization that their babies are all grown up now with autonomous minds of their own, she'll get over your life choice of leaving Christianity. Just give it time.

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Ask her why she loves a god of hate. That would send people to eternal hell for finite 'crimes'. That always seems to satisfy me. Im exchristian in the closet. My mum isnt like a fundy or anything so i havent found the need to tell her. Im pretty sure my dad doesnt buy it either he jst respects my mothers beliefs. So im guessing uve asked her about her logic about the loving god etc. its kinda crazy had a bit of an arguement about god with my mum....tryna bring up points without coming off as im rejecting her god...But eventually after her unanswred question she jst said...SO u want to blame god?...thats where i backed down.....why?...because at that point logic is out of the door. Only stupid shit. Im guessing u still love ur mum or have some kind of relationship. Its hard to give advice but i say stick 2 ur guns. Do whats best for you peace.

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Thanks everyone. I guess my situation is a bit different. The problem is that my entire family is composed of fire-breathing pentecostals. Out of every Christian religious group, pentecostals are the most fanatic because everything is about [signs and wonders.] So these people don't operate from an arena of logic they operate based on extreme religious experiences. Therefore, I don't find myself fighting the bible, but their religious experience. It's completely different. Someone from a catholic or Baptists background is easy to disprove on their own grounds. But try debating with people that claim to see visions, perform and witness exorcisms, hear from angels, ect., ect.. If I was a single person I could simply disappear until they decide to calm down. But in order to do that I'd have to cut my son from my entire family. I was considering staying a closet for a little longer, but they've carefully been watching my church attendance (or lack thereof) and have been suspicious for quite some time. It's like a freakin cult. No wonder, as they say, the pews are filled with closet atheists. My mother will more than likely keep quiet if I just ask her. She's completely in a state of shock right now. Like many exians here I was a Christian firecracker for the last 8 years. Involved in everything from drama to Sunday school. I'm not interested in engaging in lengthy debates. I just want some breathing room and a chance to develop a new world view.

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Yeh...I hope u find some comfort or relaxation. Btw could u 'speak in toungues' lol.

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Variable, do you live with your mother, or just near her?

 

And yes, they will try to reach you through your son. How old is he?

 

I was lucky in that my family is not so "on fire"...and most of them, I haven't seen for around 30 years. (supposed to have a reunion next week...)But, they are all Lutherans and that group rarely gets fired up, lol.

 

Its hard to live a lie...but sometimes, its harder to live with the fallout too. And Pentecostals..yes, they will want to exorcise you, pray for you, lay on hands..and its quite easy to get caught up in the emotionalism of the moment.

 

Good luck to you...in whatever you decide.

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I remember when I was on my search that lead to my non belief, I shared some e-mails with a devout young lady I met on a message board. I told her for some reason my mind would never really allow myself to completely believe a God exists. She came back with. "IT'S SATAN, IT'S SATAN, HE HAS HIS GRIP FIRMLY ON YOUR SOUL." I thought to myslef "Uh Huh Rightttttt." Answers like these made it easy to realize the mind of a brain washed Christian can be a scary irrational thing, yet it's people like these and your mother Variable that made my deconversion a fairly simple process. I thank my parents for allowing me to make my own choices when it came to religion. I told my dad I was a full blown atheist the other day, and he came back and told me before his open heart surgery a hospital chaplin offered to pray with him before the operation. He told me he passed. My dad will not say the word, but I think he too is an atheist.

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Lizard: Thank you for the reply. No, my mother doesn't live with me. She lives near me, but she calls me nearly every day. My father is also a Christian and my son goes there every weekend while I'm at work. My son is eight years old and (unfortunately) has been thoroughly indoctrinated already. I've been slowly trying to change his worldview through "little things". When he talks about Christianity, I point out that it is only a belief and don't allow him to speak ill of non-christians. But I have yet to lay the motherload. My father, mother, sister, cousin, and numerous friends are Christians. I'm mostly concerned about my son's well being.

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My fiancee and I are atheist and expecting a son very soon! We were very sure we didn't want him to be indoctrinated by our (almost completely) religious family. I have some charasmatic folk in my family, too, along with fundamentalist Baptists (which are almost just as bad because they cling so tightly to their brainwashed doctrine). We decided to write all of our closest family members a letter (3 pages) about how we are going to raise our son. It was mostly about our non-religion and the values we uphold as atheists. Some people think that one you've gone out of xianity you will act crazy and have no morals and values- this is simply untrue for most people. So we tried to let them know what we think is important. We told them how we intended to raise our son as far as discipline, nutrition, and religion. We told them that our son would be able to question religion openly and would know about it, but we aren't going to talk about it at too much length involuntarily until he is of an age where he can grasp abstract ideas (around 10-12, according to developmental psychology). We asked them to refrain from telling him Jesus loves him and all that stuff, not take him to church, and not to buy him religious gifts. We have already purchased some books about tales and stories from other relgions so that we can read those to him, along with some OT Bible stories, so he understands how they are all stories that different people have to explain the world around them. Of course the family didn't take it very well. My parents already knew, so they are okay, but my fiancee's parents said it was like being told your son has cancer and you have the cure but you can't give it to him. Yeah. Stupid. However, even though they disagree and think what we are doing isn't good, they've told us they will respect our choices on the matter. I don't know if explaining this to your mother would work or if she would just do it anyway. However, I would strongly caution you that they could possibly turn your son against you (probably unintentionally) or use him to get to you. Therefore, you're son's protection and the protection of your relationship with him is of utmost importance. If you have to move to keep him from being inundated with all this nonsense, do it. I know it would be hard to move away from them and see them less, but if it is for the good of you and your son it would be worth it, in my opinion. I think a child needs a secure environment in which to grow. If your grandparents are breathing one thing down his throat and you come back and try to say something different, he will become very confused. He is not yet at an age where he can grasp the abstract concepts they preach about in those churches much less god himself.

 

That's all I can think of. I hope some of it helps. I think it's great you told your mom. It is REALLY hard. I know it was for my fiancee and somewhat for me (I had been talking about it all along, though, so it wasn't a huge shock for my folks). I hope things go well for you and that you can make a decision that is best for you and your son.

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Wow, this is a lot like what happened to me when I told my mom I was gay. Only my mom was nowhere near as psychotic(no offense). However, the rest of my family took up the slack in that area.

 

Personally, I would never tell my mom about my loss of faith in The Bible and Jesus. I allow my mom to still believe that I am a Christian, without necessarily saying so. I still believe in God, but it's not her god. And you know how it is with Christians...It's their God or you're fucked.

 

Since the cat is out of the bag in your case just hold true to what you have stated. All Christians are lunatics, to a certain degree...Not just your mom but mine too, as well as my relatives.

She'll get over it, eventually. And she WILL change her beliefs because of you. Right now, even my mom has slacked off on her fundamentalism because of me. For so long gay men and lesbians have been looked upon as the clandestine, deviant, "Other." So when I came out I put a whole new face on the issue. Here is her straight A making; morally upstanding, never got a traffic ticket, aspiring teacher/fantasy writer, who has never done anything REMOTELY evil in his life...and happens to be gay. Now my mom believes that only people who are totally evil(like Hitler)are going to hell...lol. It is improvement.

 

Right now, non belief in Jesus is the new Taboo. And your mom will alter her beliefs because of you as well.

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... Most of all, do not lose your cool, and when she yells, lower your voice as she raises hers and after a short while, she will even notice that she sounds like a lunatic. ...

 

This is excellent advice. Back in the early 1980s, I was a clinic escort for a Planned Parenthood facility in Washington, D.C. An escort's responsibility is to help patients make their way into the clinic through the throngs of anti-choice zealots protesting outside the building on Saturdays. (I could tell you plenty of stories about the many times I witnessed some of these same crazies returning on Monday or Tuesday to keep their own appointments for abortions, only to see them show up yet again on the next Saturday, back screaming and waving signs along with the rest of the "abortion is murder" crowd - but that's a post for another discussion, one about hateful hypocrits.)

 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand: In clinic escort training I was taught that if the anti-choicers surround you and start yelling, the best way to get them to quiet down is to respond in a very quiet calm voice - so low that they actually have to shut up to hear you. Seems somewhat weird, but it actually works!

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Hi Variable,

 

It sounds to me, as you probably figured out already, that you are going to have to take it one day at a time. There are so many variables in your situation that no magic formula is going to work for every person involved.

 

I would probably come up with a plan for each person--according to my personality and theirs. Your mom being the way she is, I would just walk out on her everytime she starts bitching. I would get call display and I would not take her calls as often. I would hang up if she starts bitching. She needs to realize that you are not a doormat willing to take all the abuse everytime she pleases to dish it out. Because, make no mistake, it is abuse.

 

I would also slowly start helping the kid de-attach from her. Maybe some times you could make alternate arrangements for your son--day care, baby sitter or something.

 

Anyway, it seems like you are going to have your hands full for a while. Good luck with everything. Take courage. It will get better.

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Thanks for all the great advice guys. It is looking like having a relationship with my mother isn't going to be possible right now. She called again this morning and started hounding me and when I told her what she was doing was "religious harrassement" she called me a child of the devil. I also told my father. He was much calmer but also went "the devil's been working on you" route. I'm sad that I'm loosing my family, but I feel so much better not having to pretend anymore. No doubt many of the Christians I tell will try "love bombing" me. "Love bombing" me all the way back to the whipping post that is. We all know Christian's are syrupy sweet when trying to convert someone, but (just like a cult) become emotionally and verbally abusive once your in. And the longer you hang around, the worse it gets.

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:(

 

Oh Variable. Your story is making me so unhappy. I lucked out having an immediate family that loved me first and foremost.

 

Not that your parents don't love you.....I doubt they even realize that their language cuts as deep as it does. I can only imagine......and what I can imagine tears me apart.

 

The very thought of the two people I love and respect more than anyone else on the planet, looking at me and calling me a devil, or for them to discount my own thought process as "the devil's work"..... the very imagining is exceptionally painful.

 

And the idea that people would dismiss, devalue, and crap on family in favor of dogma.....it's sick. I mean really sick. Licking gangrene sick. And it happens all the damn time.

 

I'd have a good sit down with your mom. I'd want to know what belief system could possibly be more worthwhile and fulfilling than the bond of a mother and daughter. I'd want to know why she would prefer to tear the family apart than accept your right to make your own decision about faith. Because that is exactly what she is doing. By not respecting your individual right to choose, she will push you, and by extension, her grandson away.

 

Religion cannot replace family. I'd ask her if she really wants to learn that the hard way.

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Thanks for all the great advice guys. It is looking like having a relationship with my mother isn't going to be possible right now. She called again this morning and started hounding me and when I told her what she was doing was "religious harrassement" she called me a child of the devil. I also told my father. He was much calmer but also went "the devil's been working on you" route. I'm sad that I'm loosing my family, but I feel so much better not having to pretend anymore. No doubt many of the Christians I tell will try "love bombing" me. "Love bombing" me all the way back to the whipping post that is. We all know Christian's are syrupy sweet when trying to convert someone, but (just like a cult) become emotionally and verbally abusive once your in. And the longer you hang around, the worse it gets.

 

 

I totally agree. Believe me, it will get better. Christians are nuts, plain and simple. But we all have these nuts in our lives and we love them.

Trust me, they'll get over it. Just stick to your guns.

 

I used to get highly upset when my brothers, and mom, would tell me that, "Satan has me in his grasp" and that "I'm a child of Satan now..."

 

Now I just laugh in their faces. Because it is funny in a sick, sad, and demented kind of way.

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Thanks everyone. I guess my situation is a bit different. The problem is that my entire family is composed of fire-breathing pentecostals. Out of every Christian religious group, pentecostals are the most fanatic because everything is about [signs and wonders.] So these people don't operate from an arena of logic they operate based on extreme religious experiences. Therefore, I don't find myself fighting the bible, but their religious experience. It's completely different. Someone from a catholic or Baptists background is easy to disprove on their own grounds. But try debating with people that claim to see visions, perform and witness exorcisms, hear from angels, ect., ect..

 

...

 

I was considering staying a closet for a little longer, but they've carefully been watching my church attendance (or lack thereof) and have been suspicious for quite some time. It's like a freakin cult. No wonder, as they say, the pews are filled with closet atheists.

 

It sounds like you're coming from a similar back ground as I was. Except I was one of those closet atheists for years... and was so good at it that I was in several leadership positions. The more involved you are and the more committed the less they suspect you. In fact, when I thought suspicions were on the rise that was when I would go on a missions trip or the next big retreat. It was all a game and I played it very well. I was young and honestly feared for my physical safety if I was uncovered.

 

My fears weren't completely unjustified as when I finally did come out I landed in a cult-deprogramming camp. Well, a summer camp (I was 21) but they assigned me several people to be with me almost constantly and break me down and lead me back. Horrible times... I'm glad you're not in a similar situation.

 

But I do know what you're talking about. Reason doesn't play a role here. At least not in explaining yourself to them.

 

If I was a single person I could simply disappear until they decide to calm down. But in order to do that I'd have to cut my son from my entire family.

 

...

 

My mother will more than likely keep quiet if I just ask her. She's completely in a state of shock right now. Like many exians here I was a Christian firecracker for the last 8 years. Involved in everything from drama to Sunday school. I'm not interested in engaging in lengthy debates. I just want some breathing room and a chance to develop a new world view.

 

Give it some time... you're out of the frying pan and in the fire right now. All you can do is ride this out and try to keep your sanity. And it will be a long time before things feel better. It's been five years for me (three fully out -- as I went back in the closet after that camp for another two years) and I still deal with occasional rants and statments spouted without thought behind them. I currently can't see my niece because "I am a bad influence and they don't trust me to support their fairy tales in front of the baby -- yes she's still an infant but you know how I could transfer one of my spirits to her and all that."

 

And I'm not going to repeat the rest of the stuff they say. But I feel for you, I do.

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...How the hell did a 21 year old person land in a camp of any kind? Did you go there willingly? If not... How the hell did a 21 year old land in a camp?

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...How the hell did a 21 year old person land in a camp of any kind? Did you go there willingly? If not... How the hell did a 21 year old land in a camp?

 

It is a very long story... one I have told before but usually through email. I am not sure if I put it on the boards. In the short version, I was almost 1200 miles from any support when I told my mother, I was (at that time) staying in a house full of fundies, I had no money to my name, and it was after several days of being worn down just dealing with them. When it actually happened I was in zombie mode... not really even thinking. And next thing I knew I was several hundred miles further away from any support, and surrounded on all sides by forest. In fact, the closest town I could have found would have been over the Canadian border -- all my friends and support were in Florida, to give you an idea. I had no access to a phone and literally the clothes on my back. No wallet, nothing... I had left it all back at the house I was staying at... thinking we were just going to the lake (which is what I was told when we started out).

 

Now, in honesty, I had (and have) some serious backwoods skills. If I had been emotionally and physically up to it I could have raided the camper my uncle had there and found enough stuff to make it over the border and to a town. I did think about it a couple times but even if I made it... and I had no idea if it was possible to make it from where I was... I didn't know what I would do then. I would still be broke and still be thousands of miles away from help. And even if I got change to make a phone call, I didn't have the numbers for anyone. And so on... it was just too much for me.

 

And my family had obviously taken it much harder than I thought and that was wearing on me as well. I was pretty seriously disappointed in all of them... hurt badly.

 

I know it's easy to look back and say, "Why didn't I do this? Or that? Or how didn't I notice what was going on?" But all I can say is that I didn't. I don't know why I didn't notice and sometimes I wish I had tried, seriously tried, to leave. But I didn't. It's like, I knew there was a town 30-35 miles down the road into the place... and I could have tried to walk or hitch... or something.

 

I don't have a good answer for how this happened. Not even for myself...

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Damn, that's actually what I figured. That's fucked up seriously. Sorry.

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Hello fellow exians. I've been a closet exian for about 6 months. I just broke the news to my mother today who went absolutely psycho for like 24 hours. It was like, borderline religious harrassement. She kept saying things like "I'm not going to let the devil take your soul!" and "Whatever it takes your coming back to Jesus!". I tried to explain to my mother why I had left the religion. Not because I wanted to go out and sin, but because I had read up on science and textual criticism. If I never believed Christians were absolutely brainwashed, I believe it now. I've rarely seen such a denial of reality. Everything from "The devil is working through scholars and planting evidence of bible forgeries!" to her own serious misunderstandings about evolution,"If humans came from monkeys, then why don't they have aids!?". I had to listen to these disgusting rants for 6 hours. And I know that I'm going to have to listen to many, many more. I'm almost considering moving out of the city, but I'm a single parent and my son is very close to his grandmother. *Sigh*. Any advice anyone? I still have yet to break the news to the rest of my family. This is just the first one.

 

*Sighs deeply* I now have an even better idea of the shit that's awaiting me when I tell my family. :(

 

I really wish I knew what to advise you. I come from a psycho family as well. Father and mother are both highly manipulative people. Father abused me throughout childhood. They treat *all* non-Catholics as if they are subhuman. At least they don't go on anti-evolution rants, though.

 

Catholicism can be just as bad as Pentacostalism in some ways. My former religion has all kinds of nutzoid "apparitions" and stuff. Total cult-like material.

 

If you ever wanna talk, I'm hear to listen. And if I think of any advice, I'll pass it along.

 

Rosa

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