Advice, please?
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08-11-2010, 04:04 AM
Advice, please?
Well...

In just a few weeks, my time hiding away in a foreign country will be up, and I'll return back home to the States to live with my fundie family. I love my family dearly, and I miss them, but I'm terrified of returning. It will be the first time I've seen them since I've come out (they've avoided Skype so no video calls or anything like that). I know they completely disagree with who I am and what I believe in (and, for that matter, what I don't believe in). To top it all off, I'll be coming back just four days before Christmas, I believe, and it'll be an... interesting reunion.

I just know that they'll constantly shove everything they can down my throat while I'm there. I just know it. They already talked about God and Jesus and all that most of the time even before I came out or before I became an atheist. Now how much is going to be directed at me? How much of those "stupid atheists" jokes will still be spoken? And I know I'll be disallowed to retort or I'm likely to get thrown out (or at least guilt-tripped to the extreme, and I'm not the type of person that can handle that).

Are there any people here that are already going through living with a super-conservative fundie family while being an atheist? How do you cope? Is it as bad as I'm imagining? Are there tricks to not letting willing, boastful, arrogant ignorance frustrate you? If you ignore it does it eventually stop? Will opposing it help things or only drive the fires higher up the wall?

Any advice is appreciated!

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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08-11-2010, 04:50 AM
RE: Advice, please?
I would just keep to myself and just ignore all of the criticisms and jokes.

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"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
-Stephen Colbert
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08-11-2010, 07:51 AM
RE: Advice, please?
Levi, I really wish I could tell you what to do to make this easier, but honestly, I don't think there's a whole lot you CAN do (outside the obvious; don't antagonize, try to steer clear of religion discussions when you can, etc.), especially in the beginning. It's going to be hard. Really hard. Bracing yourself for that, instead of trying to ease it, is going to be your best defense. I really feel for you. Just keep reminding yourself, it will get better with time. Just don't make the mistake of fooling yourself into believing that by using such-and-such a strategy, you can make this easy.
I know it's not the advice you were looking for, but I just had to be genuine, especially with you, since you are always so genuine yourself. Good luck, and hold your head high.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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08-11-2010, 08:15 AM
 
RE: Advice, please?
I think if you're strong in who you know yourself to be, no one can persuade you otherwise.
Family loves you. When they're Theists, they believe their souls depend on what they hold in faith. As an off shoot of that they believe they're also responsible for their child's welfare in that regard. It doesn't mean they're right, as far as your personal life and opinion living it, is concerned. It does mean they think they are, because they live their lives in the hope it's all true.

That being said, consider that while you can leave country and avoid them, you're just running from family that has a shelf life. One day, your parent(s) will die, as all parents do, and you'll have no one else to run from, save those in your family that are left. Avoiding your family, because you can't face their personal life, while living your own, is cowardly. You don't have to accept what they're saying, but you do have to respect they're your one and only family. (or not)
Christmas means something to them, it doesn't have to mean anything to you. But what are you going to do about that? Not give them gifts, because you don't accept the reason for the season?
If so, then don't accept any either and that way you can walk your talk.

Otherwise, what you're doing is you're giving power to something you don't respect, because you're letting it keep you away from blood family! Because you aren't ready to face what they'll throw at you. Tell them quite simply who you are. You live it. Who cares if they accept it, when it's your life. Otherwise, you're going to put yourself in a closet and in the meantime, miss out on irretrievable moments with loved one's while you situate yourself behind a door unwilling to face them as your true self.

The world population is Theist, in majority. If you can't face a house full of family, what are you going to do about living your honest and sincere one and only life, in a world full of strangers?
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08-11-2010, 10:05 AM
RE: Advice, please?
I can't really offer any advice better than what Stark Raving already has. I'm sorry that this is going to be so tough on you, but you can always come back here to whine to us.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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08-11-2010, 10:24 AM
 
RE: Advice, please?
Oh boy, this sounds like hell. Truly.

I don't have much advice I guess (other than not engaging, perhaps, since I don't think much good could come from it.)

How soon can you find a place of your own? Wink

We'll all be thinking about you, and you can rant to us anytime you need to.
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08-11-2010, 12:04 PM
RE: Advice, please?
Thank you guys for your replies! I guess I was looking for some master plan that would make them not want to bring up the topic at all around me, but that's really unrealistic. Tongue I'll definitely try to just ignore it. My brother and dad, at least, have made it clear that they would still be fundies even if all the evidence in the world pointed against them, so getting in an argument or discussion probably really wouldn't help things at all. It's going to be hard keeping my mouth shut, though... Tongue

You're very right, GassyKitten (typing the name kind of blew the seriousness of the topic a little... Tongue). But I hope I haven't made it seem like I'm trying to avoid my family. I love them and I miss them like crazy, and even when I disagreed with them before I came out, I still regularly spoke with them on Skype and in person. The thing that changed is every since I came out in August, I've noticed they seem to be avoiding me a lot more. I admit that I'm being pretty cowardly--I'm terrified of what this new knowledge they have of me will lead to--but I don't plan on (and never planned on) letting that get in the way of my relationship with them. I guess I should have phrased my requests for advice better as something along the lines of "How can I avoid the topic?" As long as they're not trying to tell me I'm stupid because I don't believe the world was magically spoken into existence, we get along great, and I want to make sure that "great" relationship is around more than the "not so great" part. Tongue

On a kind of tangent, I'm actually better at dealing with strangers than I am with my family and close friends. Tongue I'm actually a pretty detached person when it comes to real life, and I'm able to take lots of things with a chuckle as long as it doesn't come from someone I esteem, I guess. Tongue

As for moving out, I'll be heading back to my dorm sometime early January if all works out as planned. My brother has been going to the same college, but recently he's been talking about moving to L.A. for Ray Comfort's "Master's Seminary" and some other college. I don't know how soon he's planning on doing that, but depending on if/when he moves, I'll either see my family pretty well every weekend or otherwise just on breaks. It's not technically "moving out" I guess, but... kind of, maybe. Tongue

I know I'll definitely come back to rant! xD You all can look forward to it! lol

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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08-11-2010, 01:30 PM
 
RE: Advice, please?
A lot of good responses have been given, and as for my own two cents this comes from someone still literally in the closet! lol. I would say just know to pick your battles, I still get heat just from just listing to the thinking atheist, just being constantly warned "Its not biblical, ect ect" As for what i do, i shrug most of it off as someone who is being close minded enough to not do what I am doing which is searching for knowledge outside my comfort zone. As for getting back to the topic thou, like i said just pick your battles wisely and ask yourself if you find yourself coming to a fight, "is this really necessary?" I guess other then what has already been stated that would be my 2 cents ^_^ and know you got a community here that welcomes your rants and raves XD
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08-11-2010, 04:00 PM
RE: Advice, please?
Crossing over from another thread, this is another reason I love my mom: I don't have these problems. My parents aren't thrilled with my almost complete abdication of my culture but beyond that they take great joy and comfort in the fact that I grew up to be the responsible person, husband and father they spent all those years trying to raise me to be. I think anything beyond that, from their perspective, is gravy.

Best of luck to you, Levi. I'd like to tell you it's all going to be great and you're worrying for no reason, but I think the truth is you're going to have a very uncomfortable break. My advice is probably best to suck it up as best you can when you're in your parents home.

As a side note, it's almost unfathomable to me that people in the 21st century are still holding onto a Bronze Age document that is so easily refuted as the infallible word of God.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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