My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
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15-03-2013, 06:32 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(14-03-2013 10:02 PM)Peanut Wrote:  ...
"You are spending too much time on your "atheist website!"
...


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15-03-2013, 06:37 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
AA is full of woo believers, Christian, spiritual, New Age, and so forth. At 2 years sober, your sister is strongly in the grip of gratitude and her social web is likely largely AA people. There will be strong forces for her to conform to the higher power norm.

Stay calm with your sister, but don't expect her to change any time soon.

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15-03-2013, 06:53 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(14-03-2013 10:02 PM)Peanut Wrote:  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.

Your sister felt THREATENED.
She has based her sober life on what AA told her. Now you are trying to pull the rug out from under her.
She can't possibly accept that there may be no god, she would be scared to death of slipping back into her physical addiction.
Just let it be, religion is a crutch she needs at this time. If she felt secure in her sobriety, she would not react in the way she did.
IMO this is not the time to deal with this topic. Just sweep it into a corner and continue your nice relationship with your sister. You don't have to believe the same things to have a good relationship that benefits both of you.
In time, when she is more secure with herself, the subject may be approached again and the outcome may be a lot different.

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15-03-2013, 08:18 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(15-03-2013 06:53 AM)Dom Wrote:  Your sister felt THREATENED.
She has based her sober life on what AA told her. Now you are trying to pull the rug out from under her.~
Uh.... where's the sympathy for Peanut? The sister isn't having problems with her Jesus club or her sobriety, Peanut is having problems with her relationship and the sister basically chastised her for not believing in ghosts.

Peanut's sister feels threatened because her sobriety is built on a cracked foundation.... that isn't Peanut's fault and she certainly doesn't have to play woo woo with her sister when she is the one who is having a problem.

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15-03-2013, 08:28 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
A recovering alcoholic that is all into AA and getting clean can really buy into their concepts. Two years is still relatively new for a non-drinking alcoholic. If she really thinks AA is what is getting her through it, she probably also buys into the whole religious aspect of it too. It may be more of a phase for her...the pendulum has a tendency to swing very far to one side before it settles a bit...that could be where she is in her recovery. Try to wait it out a bit with your sister...in the long run it may be best for her sobriety as well as your relationship with her. Perhaps if you take a stance where you are glad it seems to be working for her and not just crush what she is using as a crutch right now. Lots of people use a crutch/help till they get on their feet and don't need it any more.
As for the boyfriend...the more you say the less warm and fuzzy feelings I get. But you have to make that call.

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15-03-2013, 08:29 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
No one says Peanut has to play woo woo. It's just not a subject that should be braced at this particular time with this particular person.
It can be saved for a later time, when the subject comes up again, peanut can just say she agrees to disagree and continue on with the rest of the relationship.
If the sister does not want to agree to disagree, then we will have a different situation.
No need to throw the baby out with the bath water at this time.
Recovering alcoholics are often very fragile. Given how close the relationship between them has always been, Peanut's opinions figure hugely in her sister's life. There is a very good chance that the sister values Peanut's opinion enough to make her doubt the whole recovery process she is going through.
After all, Peanut isn't out to convert her sister to atheism, and if she were, later may be a lot better.
Just saying that I think it's better to postpone this issue until the sister has a better grip on herself.

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15-03-2013, 08:51 AM
My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(15-03-2013 12:38 AM)Peanut Wrote:  
(15-03-2013 12:33 AM)Cardinal Smurf Wrote:  If you don't mind my asking, how long has your sister been sober, Peanut?

I think it's about two years now.

And is she still fairly young? Reason I ask is because of my past experience with the alcoholics in my family. When my mother was recovering she was in a delicate state.

I don't know your sister, so I won't guess at how well she is recovering. But just be aware that if you go tampering with her crutch you may run the risk of a relapse.

Just thought you might want to keep that in mind. Don't forget you love this person. I mean, your relationship with your sister is more important to you than being right, isn't it?
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15-03-2013, 10:59 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
I just felt the need to vent about her reaction because...I guess I felt like she had no concern to the "bigger picture" or the whole reason I went to her looking for support. For a minute there, she seemed to follow that I am certain my current relationship is doomed and there is no going back. BUT then I reiterated the fact that our religious differences is playing a big role in the disconnection and my sister pretty much "took his side."

Now, I'm a grown up. I can handle the truth and I can handle people having different opinions than my own. But when my sister-the one person I've looked up to my whole life-got sidetracked with trying to convince me to be "open-minded" toward eventually being spiritual, it just brought me down. She joined the ranks, in my eyes, of the Christian believers who MUST preach the word of God at all costs. It further aggravated me because she knows I've always looked up to her. I kinda got the feeling when she was giving me her "advice," that she was calculating and being somewhat manipulative. (I pictured her imagining saying all this to me, I end up "seeing the light," she then gets to have me attend church with her, AND she gets brownie points for converting a non-believer to Christianity.) It's sad, but that's how she made me feel. I didn't feel she was even listening to me. Angry Confused

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15-03-2013, 11:21 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
(15-03-2013 10:59 AM)Peanut Wrote:  I didn't feel she was even listening to me. Angry Confused

That is par for the course when someone depends on the "god delusion" as backbone of their life.
She can't allow herself to listen, she is scared that everything AA taught her isn't true afterall.
Actually, that is a good sign, if you can give her time. She must not feel very secure in her belief. If she allows herself to listen, it might crumble.

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15-03-2013, 11:24 AM
RE: My Sister Thinks I'm "Going Through a Phase!"
What Dom said.

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