Family Issues
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24-07-2013, 09:06 PM
Family Issues
I've been an atheist for about 2 years now. My whole family is very religious and their whole lives revolve around god. It's all they ever talk about. When I first became confident in my atheism, I built up the courage to tell my mom about it. I was so tired of having to pretend to be like everyone else and sit through countless church services and bible studies. When I finally told my mom, it was like she didn't believe me. She thought it was some kind of joke. She hit me with the whole, "it's just a phase" and, "it's just the devil putting doubt in my mind." This frustrated me so much. She thinks that me being an atheist just developed overnight, when in reality, it took me years of soul-searching and hard thinking to come to the realization that there is no god. I feel so alone because no one knows I'm an atheist and I have no one to talk about it with. A year has passed and it's like my mom completely forgot that I told her. She probably just thinks that I changed my mind or that I out-grew the phase. It makes me feel insane sometimes. How can I make my mom actually listen to me instead of thinking that I don't know what I'm talking about or brushing it off without hurting her feelings or causing drama?
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24-07-2013, 11:33 PM
RE: Family Issues
Live your life, live it honestly. You can't make your mother or anyone else accept or understand or give up their beliefs to accommodate you just because you have changed.
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25-07-2013, 12:15 AM
RE: Family Issues
First of all, welcome to the forum.

You have quit Plato's cave and are now trying to return; the most frustrating part in my opinion. (take the time to read the link, it will help you understand)

Now, I can understand you anger, sadness, frustration and all, but what is the real purpose of your question? Do you wish to make your mother accept your atheism and will you accept her religiousness in the hope it will work for both of you? Or do you wish to educate her with reality and hope she'll let go of the silly superstitions?
Also: how old are you? Do you still live at home and do you have to attend those religious services?


I know it can be extremely frustrating. I know what it feels like not having anyone to talk to. This forum won't be your soul mate either, but we can help, or at least try. Hang in there!

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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26-01-2014, 11:52 AM
RE: Family Issues
Hello Caitlin ... my own view is that it is so very hard to have the courage of your own convictions rather than following the easy path of conformity and approval.... especially when you know you will never share them or even be listened to by your parents and those of opposing views actually think you are sad and wicked for your courage.

I am currently thinking only a sense of humour can resolve this situation for you ... but since I can't for the time being think of a relevant good joke, maybe you might consider an analogy whereby your Mum prefers to wear special eye glasses which make her see only in monochrome ... because her cult so decrees.

You can then understand that, from her perspective, colour isn't an opinion or an acceptable way of seeing the world. Colour just doesn't exist - and if it did, it shouldn't, since special glasses are available for a fee to the Church, to all good people who follow the true way, as laid down in the scripture and songs for hundreds of years ... or at least since the invention of spectacles.

It is a form of double-think in my opinion. Underneath it all, my guess is, as a thinking human, she *knows* that she has willingly stunted her up vision for the sake of comfort and belonging and easy answers. But she also is ultra fearful of losing her glasses ... and living a sad and wicked life, facing death and difficult dilemmas alone in full technicolor.

Underneath this fear, is her love for you so whilst she might not tell you, she will probably concede that she actually prefers this way of living but that you do not. This will be clear to you after a while ... when you do not look to her to stamp approval on your views.

It is too fearful for her to take what you say seriously because it will undermine her whole meaning structure and make life more difficult in her family and community. But underneath the fear, she she will admire you for being brave and authentic ... even though misguided ... and even though she may never admit it until her dying day. And maybe you will admire her for being *her*, despite her religious pretentions .... after all, some of the most generous and caring people are sadly deluded re religion!

I would bet that you would not want the approval of an uninteresting bad person ... or one who only pretended to approve and listen ... and at the very least she shows authenticity and persistence which you may even have inherited yourself! And I would imagine she also demonstrates this in many more productive and thoughtful ways.

This may be a clumsy analogy but does it help at all?

Moodie x
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26-01-2014, 12:04 PM
RE: Family Issues
Maybe someday the OP will return and update us but I suspect it was simply a flyby.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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