In the wake of tragedy
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06-12-2015, 11:56 AM
In the wake of tragedy
In the last couple days (indeed, minutes), I have seen the residual viral effects of religion firsthand. I was not raised in a strict religious home, religion was basically a music venue for me and the rest of my family to play traditional as well as contemporary instrumental music. For my wife, however, religion was central to her upbringing, and even though her religious viral infection has largely been dormant and eradicated for the past several years, sometimes it can flare up, the way it is designed to. Religion starts by ingraining that you are bad and evil, and then sells itself as the only remedy. In effect, it creates a problem and then claims to be the solution, but only keeps you coming back for more
Two days ago, my wife and I found out that she was pregnant (and it was a surprise). Yesterday, she miscarried. If it can be described as an emotional rollercoaster, it feels like we've fallen off the ride. This morning, she told me that she has been showering frequently because she feels dirty, and the guilt that she is feeling is incredibly palpable. She told me that she felt herself falling back into her religious thinking, wanting to grovel to an unseen other because obviously she did something wrong.
I explained to her that she is not dirty, that she is a biological entity, and the way natural selection works is to be incredibly efficient. If all factors are not perfect to justify reproduction, the body will not waste resources producing offspring, even if fertilization has already occurred. This is the same with all life forms from humans to other mammals to reptiles, all the way down the unicellular life. Even during asexual cellular reproduction, many regulatory hurdles must be cleared in order to "convince" the cell that conditions are right for reproduction. This is a natural process, and it is incredibly common. In fact, the vast majority of human pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion.
Now, when this explanation is contrasted with the supernatural religious interpretation, what happens? A natural response of cellular and chemical regulation vs. the idea that your baby was killed by your loving god for no discernable reason and it was part of his plan to inflict this physical and emotional burden on you all along? Oh yeah, plus it's all your fault. Oh yeah, plus you're dirty for having bodily functions and processes. Ignoring that all of religion's testable claims have been found to be patently false, I find the former to be much more comforting than anything religion has to offer.
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06-12-2015, 12:00 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
You have my sympathy sir.

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06-12-2015, 12:00 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
Welcome to TTA and more importantly you have my deepest condolences.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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06-12-2015, 12:24 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
I am sorry for the loss.

I haven't experienced what you and your wife are going through but I would say that she is grieving and that process will take a few twists and turns along the way. It's only been a short time. She needs to process things in her head and is talking it out. I doubt she is going to hear 'reason' right now. Take a breath and let her go through what she needs to go through.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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06-12-2015, 12:37 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
(06-12-2015 12:24 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I am sorry for the loss.

I haven't experienced what you and your wife are going through but I would say that she is grieving and that process will take a few twists and turns along the way. It's only been a short time. She needs to process things in her head and is talking it out. I doubt she is going to hear 'reason' right now. Take a breath and let her go through what she needs to go through.

Very true, and that was my plan. Part of my process is talking it out, and as no one in my circles even knew she was pregnant, I really can't bring it up with them, so I get to burden all you kind people with my problems. Thank you very much for listening and responding
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06-12-2015, 12:43 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
(06-12-2015 12:37 PM)godlessbrewer Wrote:  
(06-12-2015 12:24 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I am sorry for the loss.

I haven't experienced what you and your wife are going through but I would say that she is grieving and that process will take a few twists and turns along the way. It's only been a short time. She needs to process things in her head and is talking it out. I doubt she is going to hear 'reason' right now. Take a breath and let her go through what she needs to go through.

Very true, and that was my plan. Part of my process is talking it out, and as no one in my circles even knew she was pregnant, I really can't bring it up with them, so I get to burden all you kind people with my problems. Thank you very much for listening and responding

Certainly not a burden - it's part of what we do here - offer a shoulder and an ear.

Hugs to you both.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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06-12-2015, 12:53 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
I'm sorry for your loss. I hope your wife feels better soon, physically and emotionally. I hope the desire to go back to religion will recede as she finishes the grieving process.

As someone who's had a couple of miscarriages, even though I recognized and agreed with the rational POV that the miscarriage almost certainly meant the fetus wasn't viable, there was still a part of me that felt responsible, somehow, for the loss. Along with that came a desire/compulsion to punish myself. Eventually I was able to process the feelings, but it took a while. I had a religious upbringing but had been an atheist for a long time by that point, and I didn't have any desire to go back to god, but I kept going over and over everything I'd eaten, every moment of stress, etc., trying to figure out what I could have done differently.
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06-12-2015, 12:58 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
Hug So sorry, my heart goes out to you and your wife.

I think many people try to make sense of why things happen. What could they have done differently to make them not happen? I think it's very easy when you've been brainwashed by religion ( like many of us were, myself included) to want to latch onto magical thinking--i.e. a magic sky genie who grants wishes to those who are very good and worship him. I think for some it's also part of the grieving process. Guilt is quite common and natural emotion to have when you lose someone, even when you have no reason to feel guilt.

The church works on guilt. We are taught we are all sinners. Sinners feel guilt. Sinners need church, God, and Jesus to feel better again. That is what we are taught, so it can be natural that if you grew up with that way of thinking to fall back into it quite easily when you are trying to make sense of things.

I think it might help your wife to talk to a therapist to help her process everything in a healthy way without church involvement, which will only make her feel worse and make her feel guilty for things she has no reason to be feeling guilty about.
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06-12-2015, 01:00 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
(06-12-2015 12:53 PM)julep Wrote:  I'm sorry for your loss. I hope your wife feels better soon, physically and emotionally. I hope the desire to go back to religion will recede as she finishes the grieving process.

As someone who's had a couple of miscarriages, even though I recognized and agreed with the rational POV that the miscarriage almost certainly meant the fetus wasn't viable, there was still a part of me that felt responsible, somehow, for the loss. Along with that came a desire/compulsion to punish myself. Eventually I was able to process the feelings, but it took a while. I had a religious upbringing but had been an atheist for a long time by that point, and I didn't have any desire to go back to god, but I kept going over and over everything I'd eaten, every moment of stress, etc., trying to figure out what I could have done differently.

That sounds familiar. As I said, this was a complete surprise to us, and we had been imbibed alcohol socially, likely on several occasions since the conception. In light of that, I think we both felt responsible for what happened, and my wife said as much to me. I reminded her that there was no way for us to know what was happening, because she had been on birth control and everything seemed normal until just a few days ago. I told her that she was in no way to blame, but I think we both felt guilt in that regard. It'll just take time to get over, I expect.
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06-12-2015, 01:34 PM
RE: In the wake of tragedy
(06-12-2015 12:58 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Hug So sorry, my heart goes out to you and your wife.

I think many people try to make sense of why things happen. What could they have done differently to make them not happen? I think it's very easy when you've been brainwashed by religion ( like many of us were, myself included) to want to latch onto magical thinking--i.e. a magic sky genie who grants wishes to those who are very good and worship him. I think for some it's also part of the grieving process. Guilt is quite common and natural emotion to have when you lose someone, even when you have no reason to feel guilt.

The church works on guilt. We are taught we are all sinners. Sinners feel guilt. Sinners need church, God, and Jesus to feel better again. That is what we are taught, so it can be natural that if you grew up with that way of thinking to fall back into it quite easily when you are trying to make sense of things.

I think it might help your wife to talk to a therapist to help her process everything in a healthy way without church involvement, which will only make her feel worse and make her feel guilty for things she has no reason to be feeling guilty about.

I don't think therapy would be a bad idea for either of us.
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