My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
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14-03-2013, 10:02 PM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2013 10:08 PM by Peanut.)
My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
I just got off the phone with my beloved sister. We talked for about an hour and a half about life and all that. She is six years older than me but we are so effing close, that we talk about ANYTHING. NO HOLDS. NO HIDING. EVERYTHING.

It is for this reason, that I haven't talked to her much about what I've been going through for the last few weeks. I knew she would try and be all "big sister needs to protect baby sister" on me. Although we are super close, we've grown apart in recent years due to the fact that she has found God again. We used to talk about life and what we believe and don't believe all the time. We were so in sync. And then she got herself into trouble and finally admitted to herself that she was an alcoholic. She goes to AA meetings regularly and reads all the "daily prayer" things all the time.

I'm proud of my sister for cleaning herself up. I REALLY AM. But I still don't care for religion and don't see it in my future. I decided to call her today and hear her take on my current relationship. I told her all about the two things that I see are standing in the way of "making it work" with said boyfriend.
  • He doesn't know if he wants any children and we won't even know for another few years until he feels comfortable in his job...
  • He believes I'm going to Hell.
In talking to her, the last forty minutes of our conversation revolved around her repeatedly saying she's "not trying to convert me, but..." But she was TOTALLY trying to "open my eyes" and see "the bigger picture."
OMG. I didn't realize that she felt this way. The very second I mentioned the topic of my not believing in a hell, God, Heaven or anything religious-and the fact that I'm ABSOLUTELY comfortable in my stance-she began to go all "preachy" on me. A few points that stuck out:
  • "You aren't keeping an 'open mind.'"
  • "You haven't looked at religion from a point of view other than your close-minded opinion of religion." (WHAT?!)
  • "Yeah, you started to think you were atheist while you were a Sophomore, but you didn't know better." (WHAT?!!!?)
  • "You need to tell him you are willing to look into being 'spiritual.' Being spiritual doesn't mean you believe in God."
  • "You are spending too much time on your "atheist website!" You are only hearing points of view from them. Why not spend time on a religious website, too? THEY WON'T TRY TO FILL YOUR MIND WITH IDEAS THAT HAVE NO BASIS..." (What the @#$!?)
Oh! That last one was a doozy! I laughed. I seriously pulled the phone from my ear and stared at it for a good twenty seconds. And when I went back to listen again, she was still spewing nonsense.

She kinda mentioned that I was being "brain-washed..." Dodgy

I can't believe she feels this way. I am completely dumbfounded. I asked her how exactly am I not being "open-minded." She stated that I never 'gave religion a chance' and I shouldn't be so 'against' it. I said I can't believe she is trying to say she isn't "trying to convert" me. I told her outright that she was being kind of ridiculous and hypocritical. Her go-to for life's answers is to turn to religion. No other thing is as powerful as believing in something bigger than herself.

You should have heard her reaction when I said that while I respect her view and appreciate her "advice," but I'd be lying to him if I said I'd be "open-minded" to being "spiritual" because I'm what some might call anti-theist. (I've figured out that's the right word to describe me in recent months. I can't stand the thought of going to church, seeing 'prayer chain' posts on public forums and the very thought of somebody trying to "convert" me makes me cringe and feel almost threatened.)I have absolutely NO DESIRE to spend anymore time in "figuring out if religion is for me," because I've spent the last TEN YEARS of my life doing it. I'm very content in my decision. There was a brief pause on her end of the line and then she forged on accusing me of being "brain washed and close-minded." I told her that she apparently doesn't know me as well as I thought. It seems the thought of her little sister NOT wanting to believe in ANYTHING freaked her out.

This is awesome. Now my sister-although she will steadfastly deny doing it-is going to make me one of her projects. I'm not going to hear the end of it.

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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14-03-2013, 10:39 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
I don't know if I'd be so surprised. Everyone thinks that other people who don't share their opinions must be close-minded and unwilling to look at the evidence. Everyone. Seriously, do you think that she came to her religious views through an open-minded and sober look at the evidence? And if not, then why do you expect her to believe that you did?

She has a point when she mentioned that frequenting an atheist website would give you slanted points-of-view that confirm your atheism rather than challenge it or make you consider the evidence. Obviously I'm not saying it's wrong -- that would be hypocritical, and there's nothing wrong with discussing things with like-minded people. But to look at it objectively again, isn't her own belief getting bolstered by other believers that she spends time with? Isn't her point-of-view reinforced by avoiding challenges to it?

I would just agree to disagree. If you care about her, then you ought to just accept this as part of human nature. It's not that shocking if you self-reflect; most of us are like your sister.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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14-03-2013, 10:42 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
There's really nothing at all surprising about the things she said to you, with regard to her being a theist. Since I don't know her, I can't speak to whether that's her normal character but from the way you talked, it isn't.

Bottom line.... she's projecting, which is just about as common a thing for people to do as is breathing. She feels ambivalent about her religion and because of that, you're the one who's being brainwashed. You're the one who's being closed minded, etc. To be sure, you are the one who is reminding her of how ridiculous her beliefs are so, you are the one she's going to attack.

The good news is that she said you're going through a phase. Since we know she is projecting, that means she'll snap out of this religious delusion at some point. Wink


If you'd like to help her, turn her on to the book "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction". Matè talks in depth about AA and other faith based addiction groups and he explains in very simple terms how one can benefit from the group environment without the need for sky daddies. He also makes the case for the actual biological and psychological mechanics of addiction and that can go a long way toward helping someone overcome the faith virus which, in my opinion, is a harmful addiction in and of itself. Caveat: If they are inclined toward rational thought and if they're ambivalent about religion... which seems to be the case with your sister.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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14-03-2013, 11:02 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
You can pick your boyfriend but you can't pick your sister(s). If your boyfriend thinks you are going to hell, its time to ditch him.
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14-03-2013, 11:06 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
I was just caught off guard. She took the chance to "discuss" Christianity and fucking ran with it Ohmy

She got so excited and she seemed to think she'd make me "see her point." When she realized that wasn't going to be the case, she got even more irrational.

I have no desire to "de-convert" her, as she is my sister and I love her despite the fact that she is a little nutty. (It's one of her quirks and I've come to like her over the years...) I just want the same respect from her. I'd like to agree to disagree.

I mentioned to her that if I don't even want to deal with my own sister trying and hoping I will one day "see the light," then why would I want that quality in a potential partner? I can't choose my family, but I can certainly choose the person I want to spend the rest of my life with and what I will accept as compatible. Drinking Beverage

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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14-03-2013, 11:07 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(14-03-2013 11:02 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  You can pick your boyfriend but you can't pick your sister(s). If your boyfriend thinks you are going to hell, its time to ditch him.
I didn't see this before I posted... It seems we were thinking the same thing Thumbsup

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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14-03-2013, 11:17 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
Quote: I have no desire to "de-convert" her, as she is my sister and I love her despite the fact that she is a little nutty.
Would you say the same thing if she were mainlining heroine in an alley somewhere?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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14-03-2013, 11:20 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(14-03-2013 11:17 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
Quote: I have no desire to "de-convert" her, as she is my sister and I love her despite the fact that she is a little nutty.
Would you say the same thing if she were mainlining heroine in an alley somewhere?

This is a silly analogy.
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14-03-2013, 11:23 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(14-03-2013 11:17 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
Quote: I have no desire to "de-convert" her, as she is my sister and I love her despite the fact that she is a little nutty.
Would you say the same thing if she were mainlining heroine in an alley somewhere?
UMM... Is the heroine causing her to be religious or is the religion causing her to do heroine? Huh

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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14-03-2013, 11:30 PM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(14-03-2013 11:23 PM)Peanut Wrote:  
(14-03-2013 11:17 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Would you say the same thing if she were mainlining heroine in an alley somewhere?
UMM... Is the heroine causing her to be religious or is the religion causing her to do heroine? Huh
Neither.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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