Having to pray
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18-01-2015, 02:56 PM
Having to pray
So, I have probably been an atheist for while before I realized it. I have always asked questions but I would go with the bible based response until I could research on my own. It wasn't until high school I started to try and find faith that went with what I knew as fact. I never really talked faith with my mother but I know what and how she believes and I never mentioned much because it never seemed like a big deal. but my father is a narcissistic christian who is some how a controlling and overbearing absentee father. know that I am willing to admit to myself I'm not a christian I know I have to tell them at some point. I am my forth year into college. If I never spoke to him again it would make my life easier, but losing my mom over god would break me.
Today my dad called to make me feel like a shitty ungrateful person again. I try to limit it to one call a week but that's used against me. When I don't call everyday so he can tell me how to live my life it can he can get really vicious. usually after I talk to him I call my mom to be reminded I do have one loving parent. but today he ended our shitty talk by asking me to pray. And for a minute I didn't even register the words. when I did I could think of any thing to say. When I was a christian prayer always made me feel uncomfortable and bad but now the idea of praying just felt like a horrible thing to do but knew I had to. So i muttered some useless words and my berated me for not praying and told me some day I won't be able and I'll wish I prayed then.
The problem is I couldn't tell my mother what bothered me about talking to my mom today. I could get her encouragement and love this time. If I explained that I'm not christian and being forced to pray made me feel dirty to her, I could lose her. I don't know what to do. I know dad will make me pray again because if he sees weakness he will exploit it. I know mother will have a problem with my lost faith but I don't know how bad it will be. I don't know how to go on from here.
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18-01-2015, 03:04 PM
RE: Having to pray
Welcome to the forum.

I understand the need to off-load after an emotional attack.

Feel free to off-load here instead of directing it at your mother. That's kinda what we're here for.

Thumbsup

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18-01-2015, 03:08 PM
RE: Having to pray
First of all, I'm sad to hear that you are in such a bind. That sucks.

You don't seem to mention much about your mom's belief. I assume she's very devout, yes?

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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18-01-2015, 03:10 PM
RE: Having to pray
Hi,
Sorry you are going through this.

Is there a reason you have to continue calls with your father if this is the way he is going to treat you? Are you able to say that you don't want to talk to him unless he can talk to you in a civil fashion?

I know it's particularly hard when you are dependent on someone else but that doesn't mean you have to treated in an abusive fashion.

Rant here...we will at least listen.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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18-01-2015, 03:10 PM
RE: Having to pray
(18-01-2015 02:56 PM)Beteljuice01 Wrote:  So, I have probably been an atheist for while before I realized it. I have always asked questions but I would go with the bible based response until I could research on my own. It wasn't until high school I started to try and find faith that went with what I knew as fact. I never really talked faith with my mother but I know what and how she believes and I never mentioned much because it never seemed like a big deal. but my father is a narcissistic christian who is some how a controlling and overbearing absentee father. know that I am willing to admit to myself I'm not a christian I know I have to tell them at some point. I am my forth year into college. If I never spoke to him again it would make my life easier, but losing my mom over god would break me.
Today my dad called to make me feel like a shitty ungrateful person again. I try to limit it to one call a week but that's used against me. When I don't call everyday so he can tell me how to live my life it can he can get really vicious. usually after I talk to him I call my mom to be reminded I do have one loving parent. but today he ended our shitty talk by asking me to pray. And for a minute I didn't even register the words. when I did I could think of any thing to say. When I was a christian prayer always made me feel uncomfortable and bad but now the idea of praying just felt like a horrible thing to do but knew I had to. So i muttered some useless words and my berated me for not praying and told me some day I won't be able and I'll wish I prayed then.
The problem is I couldn't tell my mother what bothered me about talking to my mom today. I could get her encouragement and love this time. If I explained that I'm not christian and being forced to pray made me feel dirty to her, I could lose her. I don't know what to do. I know dad will make me pray again because if he sees weakness he will exploit it. I know mother will have a problem with my lost faith but I don't know how bad it will be. I don't know how to go on from here.

Hug

I wouldn't tell them if telling them does more harm than good for you and them.

You can vent here -- discussing what bothers you about them. Actually, the reason I joined many years ago now, was because of the ranting corner.

Pretending to pray on occasion is fine, if it spares you undo drama and saves your mother angst.

How to deal with your father, I've no advice. I tend to try to shy away from toxic people.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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18-01-2015, 03:13 PM
RE: Having to pray
So... WHY do you have to put up with his shit? Refusing to be emotionally abused doesn't mean you have to tell either of them that you're an atheist.
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18-01-2015, 03:18 PM
RE: Having to pray
...or you could tell him you prayed that he would stop emotionally abusing you, and that hopefully your prayers will be answered.

This way, if he continues being a cunt, you can use it as a reason to not bother praying anymore. And, if he does stop, you don't have to pray anymore... Win win?
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18-01-2015, 03:34 PM
RE: Having to pray
(18-01-2015 03:08 PM)gofish! Wrote:  First of all, I'm sad to hear that you are in such a bind. That sucks.

You don't seem to mention much about your mom's belief. I assume she's very devout, yes?

She is but not in the same way. She believes that god is the rock in her life and believes very much in heaven. On my mom's side of the family we have always been close knit its always been believed that god is in control of the struggles. most of my older relatives are 80s and above. they need assistants or they have already died. In my family its always believed that we will see each other again in heaven. She doesn't go to church all that often because she hates the politics and lack of close community that isn't in most anymore. But she love religious programming, movies, and reading her bible. I worry about hurting her more than dealing with him. I'm just not used to not being able to talk to her. She could be willing to deal with it because she actually asked me if I was gay when I was younger and she only cared about getting grandchildren. So at some pint I will get the balls to tell her.
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18-01-2015, 03:38 PM
RE: Having to pray
(18-01-2015 03:13 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  So... WHY do you have to put up with his shit? Refusing to be emotionally abused doesn't mean you have to tell either of them that you're an atheist.

My father is currently helping my mother and I pay for college and that's why I am speaking to him again. If he doesn't get work he want he suddenly doesn't have the money to help me anymore. I have 3 semesters left and then I am telling him I wish there was a hell for him to go to.
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19-01-2015, 12:31 AM
RE: Having to pray
Thanks for your answers.

I won't tell what is right and wrong here: sounds like you have one too many people doing that. Smile But I will tell what I would do in your shoes.

Firstly, accept that there are assholes in this world and that the laws of probability mean that some will inevitably show up in your family. It ain't your fault or anybody else's. I have a psychopath for a brother, so have that to deal with in my life.

Knowing what I am dealing with helps me with the next part: only you can decide whether you would follow the same path. If he were my father and promised me a college education, I would hold him to that promise. If he were holding me hostage to his beliefs (thankfully my father never did), I would consider that an act of bad faith and an abuse of both his position as father and of the aid he is providing.

Now how you use that to justify what happens next is up to you, but give the situation you've described, I would keep my head down, get through these remaining semesters and make sure you pass. I would also avail myself of this forum, especially the rant section. Only you can say whether you can bear it that long, but we're usually far stronger than we think and you have us to turn to. Smile

My view here is that this is like a contract: he helps you and gets his chance to OFFER you his worldview. Not much you can do about that IF you accept his help. But that doesn't mean you have to let it corrupt you and it doesn't mean you are wrong for seeing out the contract, if that is what you need to do. It certainly doesn't give him any rights after college (quite the opposite).

Everyday, people find themselves in jobs where they find themselves in abusive situation (me too, in the past). My advice is always to be pragmatic: plan to move away from a situation that makes you unhappy without prejudicing your own situation.

I would then thank him for his help, keep a cool head and then give yourself some time to decide whether or not it is even relevant to tell him anything about your position. Because by then you'll be free to choose your life and it may no longer be important to you to vent at him.

If it is, then go ahead. But I would wait. Why?

Well I found once I understood what my brother is, I no longer felt it necessary to be in conflict with him. You may feel differently about your father, but maybe you won't. You describe your father in terms of psychopathy and if that is a genuine concern, then do some research into the spectrum (Anti Social Behaviour Disorder, to be precise) and you may find that information helps you more than any venting (it certainly helped me).

As for your mother, that's a separate discussion.

I'm sure my colleagues here will pull me up on any ethical concerns, but I just happen to think you're within your rights to take control of this situation on terms that do not prejudice your studies.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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