How to deal with disappointed family?
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02-12-2012, 02:36 AM
How to deal with disappointed family?
I recently sent a "coming out" e-mail to a family member. They were aware that I had been questioning my faith, but didn't know to what extent. I've been keeping my atheism a secret from most of my family for well over a year. I knew it was going to have to come out at some point. After a year of unlearning everything I thought was true about the bible, evolution, the big bang, etc... I felt confident enough to take on the ensuing discussions. One thing in their response e-mail that I was not prepared for, however, was how sad they were for me.


This, of course, makes me feel terrible. I don't want them to be sad for me, especially since I am so happy now. The world makes so much more sense now and I am so grateful to be free from religion. I don't think I will ever be able to get anyone who is religious to understand how I feel and why.
Maybe, due to the nature of religion, they will always feel sad for me. Have any of you found a way to discuss this with your friends or families? What worked or didn't work for you?

For now I am just living life and enjoying every minute of it. I'm hoping they will get hint that I am happy and they should be happy for me, too.







*I wasn't sure if this should go the recovering from religion section or not. Mods, feel free to move it.
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02-12-2012, 04:32 AM
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
(02-12-2012 02:36 AM)Noelani Wrote:  I recently sent a "coming out" e-mail to a family member. They were aware that I had been questioning my faith, but didn't know to what extent. I've been keeping my atheism a secret from most of my family for well over a year. I knew it was going to have to come out at some point. After a year of unlearning everything I thought was true about the bible, evolution, the big bang, etc... I felt confident enough to take on the ensuing discussions. One thing in their response e-mail that I was not prepared for, however, was how sad they were for me.


This, of course, makes me feel terrible. I don't want them to be sad for me, especially since I am so happy now. The world makes so much more sense now and I am so grateful to be free from religion. I don't think I will ever be able to get anyone who is religious to understand how I feel and why.
Maybe, due to the nature of religion, they will always feel sad for me. Have any of you found a way to discuss this with your friends or families? What worked or didn't work for you?

For now I am just living life and enjoying every minute of it. I'm hoping they will get hint that I am happy and they should be happy for me, too.







*I wasn't sure if this should go the recovering from religion section or not. Mods, feel free to move it.
My 2c worth....all truly happy people are true to themselves. You have a right to be true to yourself and to be happy. Their opinion is not your problem. If they are true to themselves, they'll be happy.
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02-12-2012, 05:04 AM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2012 11:46 AM by Janus.)
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
(02-12-2012 02:36 AM)Noelani Wrote:  I recently sent a "coming out" e-mail to a family member. They were aware that I had been questioning my faith, but didn't know to what extent. I've been keeping my atheism a secret from most of my family for well over a year. I knew it was going to have to come out at some point. After a year of unlearning everything I thought was true about the bible, evolution, the big bang, etc... I felt confident enough to take on the ensuing discussions. One thing in their response e-mail that I was not prepared for, however, was how sad they were for me.


Yep, they try/tried to make you doubt yourself. It's their psychological guerilla warfare against Satan, who possesses you now, as they will swear.

Quote:This, of course, makes me feel terrible.

That's their point: to make you feel guilt-ridden. Standard Xtian Operating Procedure.

Quote:I don't want them to be sad for me, especially since I am so happy now. The world makes so much more sense now and I am so grateful to be free from religion. I don't think I will ever be able to get anyone who is religious to understand how I feel and why.

Don't even bother. They have willfully chosen to not understand. So save yourself the trouble and enjoy your freedom and spare time.

Quote:For now I am just living life and enjoying every minute of it. I'm hoping they will get hint that I am happy and they should be happy for me, too.


That would require common sense on their part... so that's a mission impossible.
I.o.w.: forget it.
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02-12-2012, 05:18 AM
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
You could try sending either or both of these:









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02-12-2012, 06:08 AM
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
(02-12-2012 05:18 AM)DLJ Wrote:  You could try sending either or both of these:








Thanks DLJ...this goes you know where
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02-12-2012, 06:28 AM
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
(02-12-2012 06:08 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(02-12-2012 05:18 AM)DLJ Wrote:  You could try sending either or both of these:








Thanks DLJ...this goes you know where


Do I? I think I don't.

(btw sorry for being absent re. your book. Gonna get to it over the christmas break)

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02-12-2012, 06:30 AM
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
Noelani, I kind of know where you're coming from. I don't think there is a clear-cut solution to dealing with a disappointed family. In my case most people don't much care (nor does everyone know, I never announced it, because I'm not the type). There is only person that might be truly saddened by me being an atheist and that's my dad. I'm not even sure if he would be, but I'm not taking this chance, so I just haven't told him and don't intend to. Not because I can't handle it, but because I'm not sure if he can and I'm not causing him needless pain.

But for some people it's more important to let others know exactly where they stand (esp. if they come from a very religious family) and in this case I say enjoy your life and maybe when they see you do it, they won't be that sad for you (probably won't work, but ultimately, it's their problem, not yours.)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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02-12-2012, 06:59 AM
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
Kudos, Noelani, for coming out...

As long as you're not willfully causing harm/distress (and I think you're not), try to remember that they are responsible for their feelings and reactions to your news.

Likewise, you're responsible for yours....you can choose to feel guilty...which doesn't feel like much of a choice for us kindhearted folks...or you can bask in your freedom.

Try simply telling them that you're sad for their sadness, but that you're happy, and tell them the things that bring joy and meaning to your life. Tell them since you're happy, they have the freedom to be happy.

Good luck!

Drinking Beverage Grab a cuppa' joe; sit-n-read my blog for a spell: www.vaweber.wordpress.com
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02-12-2012, 03:36 PM
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
Thank you all for the reminder that I am not responsible for changing people's feelings (a healthy perspective to have). It is what it is and I'm sure in time things will get better. Oddly enough I feel sad for them, too. Probably not to the extent that they feel sad for me, because I don't picture us being conscience during an eternity of separation, etc. but sad nonetheless.

DLJ: Thanks for the videos. I just watched science saved my soul earlier this week.

Vera: Like you there are people that I will probably never tell, unless they point blank ask me. I don't like to lie. At this point there are only a few people in my family that know. I felt comfortable telling this person because I trusted in their ability to handle it like an adult. And to give them credit the rest of their response was very loving and they respected that I was looking closely at what I believed. But they work within the church so I knew it was only a matter of time before it found a way to come out.

Perception: I think you are spot on. Live life, be happy and hope that they catch on and join in =)
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02-12-2012, 04:05 PM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2012 04:12 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: How to deal with disappointed family?
I told my family that I was an atheist and they ignored it and they went on a crusade to save my soul. So I came up with a solution.

What works for me is to simply say that I'm not ready to believe yet. I'm still waiting for him to reveal him self to me.

It was enough to keep them from bothering me constantly.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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