Missing Church
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17-02-2013, 08:40 PM
Missing Church
Hi all,

Had a somewhat interesting and mildly traumatic weekend. I just wanted to share and maybe get some advice.

I hadn't been to church in 4 weeks. For the record, I love sleeping in on Sunday mornings. I stopped feeling anything during Mass a very long time ago, and for the longest time only went because I didn't want to lie to my mom when she asked if I'd gone. In undergrad it was also incredibly easy to go- a 5 minute walk to 7pm Mass on Sunday nights. When I moved to my new city, I was no longer walking distance from church. It's a drive, regardless of when.

So, I stopped going. I initially went for a long time here, I found a church I liked well enough, but I eventually still just stopped going.

I initially battled a little guilt, but I told myself I'd go the next week. Then I didn't go the week but promised myself the *next* week would be the week. This went on until this morning, when I got a phone call that my parents/siblings/grandpa were heading over for a visit as soon as they got done with church.

Well, their phone call woke me up. I had no intention of church this morning, but when mom asked I told her I was getting ready to go. So, get up and go I did. I remembered really quickly why I stopped going. The music is great. The people are great. Hell, even the priest is great. I'm completely on board with social justice. I just can't pray. I feel weird crossing myself. Receiving communion carries with it only the relief it always did- "Good, did my duty for the week, got it over with."

The real question is this: why do I feel torn between loving my Sunday morning freedom and feeling guilty for lying about it? Part of me feels like I'm betraying something by not going, but the other part of me knows that if my family wouldn't be so incredibly torn up by me leaving the church, I'd have stopped going a long long time ago.
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17-02-2013, 08:54 PM
Missing Church
Sorry for double post! I'd delete this one if a could. I'm on an iPad and I didn't know it sent- I thought it just crashed and then I re-typed a less whiney question that's essentially the same thing, only shorter.

Sorry- also don't know how to delete posts from the tapatalk app.

I'm bad at technology.

Sad
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17-02-2013, 09:01 PM
RE: Missing Church
Independence carries a cost.

You are in the middle of the process of finding 'yourself' and shedding your old skin.

Doing what is right for you seems like a betrayal of your old self and of those who love your old self. You have doubts that they will love the self you want to become.

You can continue to fake it and betray your potential self.
You can come clean and risk betraying that image of the old self.

Choose.

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17-02-2013, 09:10 PM (This post was last modified: 17-02-2013 09:16 PM by kim.)
RE: Missing Church
(17-02-2013 08:40 PM)FlightedChemist Wrote:  The real question is this: why do I feel torn between loving my Sunday morning freedom and feeling guilty for lying about it?
Because...
(17-02-2013 08:40 PM)FlightedChemist Wrote:  Part of me feels like I'm betraying something by not going,
While...
(17-02-2013 08:40 PM)FlightedChemist Wrote:  ... the other part of me knows that if my family wouldn't be so incredibly torn up by me leaving the church, I'd have stopped going a long long time ago.

You've answered your own question.
However, you're struggling with the infamous double-guilt whammy of catholicism.

Do you feel comfortable telling your family the truth, that you are just going through the motions at church?
Do you feel comfortable telling your family that you just don't want to go to church?
Do you feel comfortable telling your family that you are living a lie?

It's not entirely about church... you are still in the closet about your unbelief... possibly even to yourself.

We have quite a few catholics here ... I'm sure they'll chime in. Wink

Oops... I mean ex-catholics... see, even I don't see your non-belief... do you? Wink

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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17-02-2013, 09:28 PM
RE: Missing Church
Background from your other thread. Thumbsup
FlightedChemist Wrote:Hi all,

I stopped going to church. Except I didn't really, because I went this morning. But only because I was asked directly about attending by my mother and I don't like to lie.

How long does it take before I stop feeling guilty for either a.) sleeping in on Sundays or b.) lying to my mom about sleeping in on Sundays?

I'm very nearly 24 and completely financially independent. I have a job and an apartments a state away from the 'rents. The only control my family has is emotional, and I know it. The problem is that the control is pretty strong.

Add family induced guilt onto religious guilt (yay Catholicism!) and skipping Mass ends up making me feel pretty shitty. Except I think it's baloney, so why should I go? Except when If i came clean to mom, she'd kill me. Except I like "the church of snuggle" with my lover on Sunday mornings a whole lot better.

Any tips for getting through the weird guilt trips?

Also, I thought I'd seen an ex-Catholic thread on here somewhere and had planned on posting this there since I think cradle Catholics have been uniquely programmed- but I can't find it anywhere.

Thanks for the advice in advance.

-FlightedChemist

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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18-02-2013, 10:16 AM
RE: Missing Church
It seems you're living for your parents more than yourself. Not only do you not want to lie to them, which is understandable, but you then actively try to go about your day in a way that they would approve of. I don't mean any disrespect, but that is completely absurd. Your life is yours; not theirs. You don't have to put yourself through the discomfort of playing the part in religious services if that's not what you want to do. You are on your own now, and whatever choices you make in your life; your parents will get over it. It's not their business where you go on Sunday mornings. May they be disappointed? Sure. With some things, that is unavoidable. But disappointed or not; it's your life, and it's your right to live it the way you want.

Loyalty is admirable, but when it becomes a detriment to your personal freedom, it is unhealthy. What's more, your parents raised you and made certain expectations of you, but now, you're not in their charge anymore. Thus, in reality, there is no longer anything to be loyal to other than yourself. And in failing to embrace your personal freedom, you are, in effect, only betraying you.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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18-02-2013, 10:23 AM
RE: Missing Church
You really only have two options here:

1. Be honest with yourself and stop going to church and tell your parents how you're feeling (or dont tell them, it's really not their business what youre doing or feeling in your own life unless you really want to tell them)

or

2. Continue to go and be miserable and get up early on sundays to please your folks.

Drinking Beverage

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." Soren Kierkegaard
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18-02-2013, 01:34 PM
Missing Church
Is it normal to feel like I owe them? Like they invested too much in me to have me be anything other than what they wanted me to be?

Imagine investing in a business. The business is a unique business, with values and goals similar to your own. You invest time and money over many years, and the business thrives. Then, suddenly, the business contacts you and tells you "hey, thanks for the help over the last couple decades... I'm signing a contract with your biggest competitor and going against everything you thought I was going to be. Laters!"

In that case, wouldn't you be warranted in even taking legal action? This is exactly what I feel like I'm doing to my parents. I feel like I need to be prepared to make financial reparations for the money they wasted on me over the years because I'm so radically not the daughter they invested in. I feel like I'll never be able to repay them, and since I can't give them their money back for their time and trouble, I don't have a right to go against their wishes. I even feel rotten about having had my grandparents help out with my college education. Were they alive, they wouldn't agree with my choices either (probably... conservative as she was, Grandma made some surprising life choices in her day. I'd have loved to know her in her 20's, because I think we'd have had a hell of a good time together.) and I wish I could put money back into that trust fund so there's more left to make my sister into the good Catholic woman I was supposed to be. Unfortunately, until I finish my PhD, I'm not going to have enough money to make reparative payments to my parents. That's another 3 years of making it look like they didn't waste their efforts.

I have been assured that this is a somewhat screwed up way to view things. I have had glimpses of other familial situations in which expectations are significantly less specific. Mostly, as long as the kids are not addicted to cocaine and murdering the homeless for laughs, they're doing okay. I, unfortunately, have parents that are far more emotionally attached to "roots" and feel that, by accident of chance, I simply don't get the same luxuries other kids have to explore themselves. My worth to them is my faith, and my only goal in this life should be to spread Catholicism to my many many children. I was raised with food, clothes, and toys a plenty. I have already consumed more than what I'm worth- maybe I don't deserve to explore myself.

Looking over what I've written, I feel like some of this might be better dealt with by a shrink.
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18-02-2013, 02:07 PM
RE: Missing Church
I think you need to rationalise the guilt you are carrying, the church has offered you "service" throughout the years but you no longer feel a need for it in your life.

Im guessing that you wouldn't allow all of your ex boyfriends to continue living with you once you split up, even though they invested time, money and emotions into your relationship.... see where im going with this?

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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18-02-2013, 02:07 PM
RE: Missing Church
Double post damnit.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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