Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
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06-06-2013, 02:52 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
Hi everyone,
Thank you all SO much for your replies. They all pretty much confirm what I thought before. I don’t think she’ll be ready to receive this news. The thing is it’s been 4 years since the divorce and the death of my grandfather. She was on medications on and off, she had a couple of different doctors, but every time she complains no matter what, there’s always an excuse. I live in a different country and can’t really control what she is up to, and frankly I don’t think I should or can, considering my mom’s temperConfused
Thanks once again, I’ll be working on the boundaries between usBig Grin
Hi everyone,

Thank you all SO much for your replys
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06-06-2013, 03:23 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
(06-06-2013 02:52 PM)Happy Wrote:  Hi everyone,
Thank you all SO much for your replies. They all pretty much confirm what I thought before. I don’t think she’ll be ready to receive this news. The thing is it’s been 4 years since the divorce and the death of my grandfather. She was on medications on and off, she had a couple of different doctors, but every time she complains no matter what, there’s always an excuse. I live in a different country and can’t really control what she is up to, and frankly I don’t think I should or can, considering my mom’s temperConfused
Thanks once again, I’ll be working on the boundaries between usBig Grin
Hi everyone,

Thank you all SO much for your replys

You sound like a loving daughter. I hope your mother feels better soon.

"That's not the proof I want."
"You'll have such proof as exists. You are the only one responsible for your own wants."
- Isaac Asimov, I, Robot
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06-06-2013, 03:51 PM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2013 03:59 PM by Happy.)
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
(06-06-2013 10:14 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(05-06-2013 10:44 PM)Happy Wrote:  Hi there,
I was wondering if someone could give me an advice. I have a great life, an amazing husband, great carrier, friends, and family. I’m absolutely content and happy being an atheist. However, there’s a problem.
My mom is going through depression after she divorced my dad and unfortunately her dad died at about the same time. She was very close to him. So now she attends Bible study group and any conversation you have with her – everything comes back to God and how Jesus Christ told us to love each other and… you know the story.
I really don’t know if I should tell her about my views, because I think it will hurt her way too much and I can see that she really needs her beliefs because it makes it easier for her to cope with the depression. I’m happy to just carry on and not tell her, I actually always thought that would be the case with us. However she’s getting more aggressive with her beliefs, I think she starts suspect I’m an atheist. She pushes them onto me, she keeps telling me to pray for her and all that stuff and I keep quiet and nod, but it affects our relationships. She thinks that anyone who doesn’t believe in god is somehow evil and immoral.
A part of me wants to tell my mom and have a reasonable discussion about it, after all I’m a grown up person; I’ve put a lot of thoughts and research into it. I didn’t just woke up one day and decided not to believe in god anymore, just to make my mom’s life difficultBlush Funny enough I was brought up in a very liberal and educated environment, and was thought to question things and authority, never to be a blind follower.
On the other hand I don’t want to destroy her faith, because she is really depressed and constantly tell me that god saved her and I should praise him every day for still having a mother. Now that I wrote it, it makes mom sound like a crazy person, but I really think the degree of her delusion is so severe that there’s nothing I can do, but I feel really dishonest towards her and towards myself.
What do I do? Shall I carry on as it is to save my mom’s feelings and the rest of the sanity she’s got left or do I try to explain to her in the most loving way to stop harassing me with her bible?
Thank you very much for your helpSmile

Let's say your mom had a tooth ache and she decided to take heroine for it instead of seeing a dentist. You know she has an infection that could kill her and you know that the heroine she's taking will only mask the problem, while the tooth decay rages on in her head, getting more and more dangerous as the days go by, thereby bringing her closer and closer to dying from an infection that could be cured with a round of antibiotic and a half hour in a dentist's chair.

Do you just smile and nod when she ingests heroine? Or do you counsel her to see a dentist?

Depression is a serious problem that can have serious affects on a person's health. Including shortening of lifespan by way of either suicide or other biological issues.

Your mom needs to see a therapist, not a priest. Of course, you can't help her at this point by telling her you're an atheist but you can encourage her to seek therapy. And if she's willing to take therapy and eventually becomes more rational, then would be a good time to share that you're an atheist.

You put it in a very nice way. Trust me I thought about it. That’s one of the reasons I feel dishonest toward her and myself. But my mom did see a therapist, not even one! She was on the meds. But she refuses to go any further with it and looks for the solution in homeopathic “remedies” and other occult, pardon me, crap.
But here’s my philosophy: I hate when people shovel their “truth” down my throat and I don’t want to be like them, that’s why I never insist on my understanding on the world. Treat people how you want to be treated.
I understand where you are coming from. I truly agree with you. However, I have to restrain myself. I’m from Russia, where atheism was the main philosophy for the last 70 years or so. Because of the way the atheism was used, because of complete intolerance towards other believes so many great people, buildings, work of art and the whole culture of one of the truly remarkable and beautiful countries in the world was completely destroyed and flattened to the ground. What people are trying to build now are only pathetic glimpses of the former beauty.
There are always to sides to a coin. Even though I believe that religion is a drug, you can’t put your brain into someone else’s head. People have to decide for themselves and be not told how to think and what to feel. My country is a very good example.
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06-06-2013, 03:55 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
(06-06-2013 10:14 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(05-06-2013 10:44 PM)Happy Wrote:  Hi there,
I was wondering if someone could give me an advice. I have a great life, an amazing husband, great carrier, friends, and family. I’m absolutely content and happy being an atheist. However, there’s a problem.
My mom is going through depression after she divorced my dad and unfortunately her dad died at about the same time. She was very close to him. So now she attends Bible study group and any conversation you have with her – everything comes back to God and how Jesus Christ told us to love each other and… you know the story.
I really don’t know if I should tell her about my views, because I think it will hurt her way too much and I can see that she really needs her beliefs because it makes it easier for her to cope with the depression. I’m happy to just carry on and not tell her, I actually always thought that would be the case with us. However she’s getting more aggressive with her beliefs, I think she starts suspect I’m an atheist. She pushes them onto me, she keeps telling me to pray for her and all that stuff and I keep quiet and nod, but it affects our relationships. She thinks that anyone who doesn’t believe in god is somehow evil and immoral.
A part of me wants to tell my mom and have a reasonable discussion about it, after all I’m a grown up person; I’ve put a lot of thoughts and research into it. I didn’t just woke up one day and decided not to believe in god anymore, just to make my mom’s life difficultBlush Funny enough I was brought up in a very liberal and educated environment, and was thought to question things and authority, never to be a blind follower.
On the other hand I don’t want to destroy her faith, because she is really depressed and constantly tell me that god saved her and I should praise him every day for still having a mother. Now that I wrote it, it makes mom sound like a crazy person, but I really think the degree of her delusion is so severe that there’s nothing I can do, but I feel really dishonest towards her and towards myself.
What do I do? Shall I carry on as it is to save my mom’s feelings and the rest of the sanity she’s got left or do I try to explain to her in the most loving way to stop harassing me with her bible?
Thank you very much for your helpSmile

Let's say your mom had a tooth ache and she decided to take heroine for it instead of seeing a dentist. You know she has an infection that could kill her and you know that the heroine she's taking will only mask the problem, while the tooth decay rages on in her head, getting more and more dangerous as the days go by, thereby bringing her closer and closer to dying from an infection that could be cured with a round of antibiotic and a half hour in a dentist's chair.

Do you just smile and nod when she ingests heroine? Or do you counsel her to see a dentist?

Depression is a serious problem that can have serious affects on a person's health. Including shortening of lifespan by way of either suicide or other biological issues.

Your mom needs to see a therapist, not a priest. Of course, you can't help her at this point by telling her you're an atheist but you can encourage her to seek therapy. And if she's willing to take therapy and eventually becomes more rational, then would be a good time to share that you're an atheist.

You put it in a very nice way. Trust me I thought about it. That’s one of the reasons I feel dishonest toward her and myself. But my mom did see a therapist, not even one! She was on the meds. But she refuses to go any further with it and looks for the solution in homeopathic “remedies” and other occult, pardon me, crap.
But here’s my philosophy: I hate when people shovel their “truth” down my throat and I don’t want to be like them, that’s why I never insist on my understanding on the world. Treat people how you want to be treated.
I understand where you are coming from. I truly agree with you. However, I have to restrain myself. I’m from Russia, where atheism was the main philosophy for the last 70 years or so. Because of the way the atheism was used, because of complete intolerance towards other believes so many great people, buildings, work of art and the whole culture of one of the truly remarkable and beautiful countries in the world was completely destroyed and flattened to the ground. What people are trying to build now are only pathetic glimpses of the former beauty.
There are always to sides to a coin. Even though I believe that religion is a drug, you can’t put your brain into someone else’s head. People have to decide for themselves and be not told how to think and what to feel. My country is a very good example.
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06-06-2013, 04:03 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
Sorry, somehow manages to post the same thing twiceSad
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06-06-2013, 05:02 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
(05-06-2013 10:44 PM)Happy Wrote:  I really don’t know if I should tell her about my views, because I think it will hurt her way too much ...

To me, that seems like reason enough not to.

My Baptist mother keeps praying for my godless soul but we rarely discuss religion anymore. Last time she brought it up I told her that Karl Barth, one of the most prominent and prolific theologians ever, put forth the proposition that Jesus was the embodiment of both God's election of all of humanity and God's rejection of human sin. It doesn't matter what I or anybody else believes, we're all going to heaven. To think otherwise trivializes the Christ.

Now I don't actually believe in the postmortem preservation of identity or any sort of afterlife, and any "heaven" is made here and now by us, but she hasn't brought it up again.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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06-06-2013, 05:46 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
Happy Wrote:I’m from Russia, where atheism was the main philosophy for the last 70 years or so. Because of the way the atheism was used, because of complete intolerance towards other believes so many great people, buildings, work of art and the whole culture of one of the truly remarkable and beautiful countries in the world was completely destroyed and flattened to the ground. What people are trying to build now are only pathetic glimpses of the former beauty.
There are always to sides to a coin. Even though I believe that religion is a drug, you can’t put your brain into someone else’s head. People have to decide for themselves and be not told how to think and what to feel. My country is a very good example.

I hope you stick around here, Happy. You have an interesting perspective. You should fill out your bio. I'd love to learn more.

"That's not the proof I want."
"You'll have such proof as exists. You are the only one responsible for your own wants."
- Isaac Asimov, I, Robot
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06-06-2013, 07:46 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
(06-06-2013 05:46 PM)cbb2274 Wrote:  I hope you stick around here, Happy. You have an interesting perspective. You should fill out your bio. I'd love to learn more.

Oh, thank you Blush
I will stick around here, looks like my kind of placeSmile And i will fill in my bio when I have a bit more timeSmile
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06-06-2013, 07:51 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
(06-06-2013 03:55 PM)Happy Wrote:  You put it in a very nice way. Trust me I thought about it. That’s one of the reasons I feel dishonest toward her and myself. But my mom did see a therapist, not even one! She was on the meds. But she refuses to go any further with it and looks for the solution in homeopathic “remedies” and other occult, pardon me, crap.
But here’s my philosophy: I hate when people shovel their “truth” down my throat and I don’t want to be like them, that’s why I never insist on my understanding on the world. Treat people how you want to be treated.
I understand where you are coming from. I truly agree with you. However, I have to restrain myself. I’m from Russia, where atheism was the main philosophy for the last 70 years or so. Because of the way the atheism was used, because of complete intolerance towards other believes so many great people, buildings, work of art and the whole culture of one of the truly remarkable and beautiful countries in the world was completely destroyed and flattened to the ground. What people are trying to build now are only pathetic glimpses of the former beauty.
There are always to sides to a coin. Even though I believe that religion is a drug, you can’t put your brain into someone else’s head. People have to decide for themselves and be not told how to think and what to feel. My country is a very good example.

And now we hear... the rest of the story.

To clarify, therapists don't prescribe drugs, psychiatrists do. At least that's the case here in the US and I would think it's similar elsewhere. Either way, and not that it makes a lot of difference but, I didn't mention psychiatry. IMO, psychotropics and psychoactives are heroine for a toothache. So I'm not the least bit surprised that she got no relief from them. Few people do.

And then... you mention that you're in another country and that your mother has a temper. Knowing that, I'd hazard a guess that you're probably expected to be the one in the relationship who manages your mother's emotions and if that's true, it's unfair to you. You shouldn't be expected to maintain a one sided relationship and to boot, cant' be honest.

I can tell you what I would do if I were in your shoes. I wouldn't tell my mother about my atheism.... because I wouldn't be talking with her.

Adult relationships are voluntary. Wink

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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06-06-2013, 08:44 PM
RE: Do I tell my depressed mom I'm an atheist?
When you were growing up did your mother not listen to your babblings on various topics? Of course she did. Now it's your turn to listen.
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