New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
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27-05-2014, 07:17 AM
New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
Looking for empathy and tips on dealing with my sadness this morning.

I'm a fairly recent deconverted fundamental evangelical. It was years in the making and has been earth shattering and freeing in so many ways.

The realization that there was no god listening to my thoughts and using bad events to discipline and mold me, released me from a lot of anxiety.

This weekend I went to a family reunion, and saw my parents. People know I'm an atheist now, but it was just one of the many unmentioned elephants in the room during the gathering.

The next morning I visited with my mom and she shared the struggles she is having with my sister, with her church, with my dad and as she talks I know that many of these issues are rooted in her fundamental evangelical christian beliefs.

I want her to be where I'm at with this, I want her to be free of the psychological burdens of religion. I want to scream to everyone - this world is so much better without belief in god. But it's my family and for them, I'm just going through another phase. I want them to understand that change is normal and good and hopefully i will be different in 5 years from now, but that doesn't mean there is a god.

I have a feeling that the best answer for me right now is to allow myself to be sad for my family, and to remember what a long process it was for me to move on

And that maybe what i'm feeling is that sadness about the loss of closeness as we talk around topics that have real meaning.

Not sure I'm making a lot of sense, however, I think I want to know if anyone else has felt this and did it get better with time
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27-05-2014, 07:23 AM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
I know how you feel, man.

I deconverted last October, and its still a struggle when dealing with my family.

For me, its a lot of pain involved with the schism that exists between my family and I now, but I also understand seeing how religion affects those that you care about, and wishing you could do something to help.

For example, how my dad is destroying his career that's he's worked his whole life for, and taking a massive pay cut so he can be ordained and be a minister, which affects my mom too, who is having some health problems and its forseeable that they're going to need money real soon to get her checked out and treated.

It's tough knowing how happy/free its made you to be free of religion, and want that for other people, but you KNOW you probably won't ever be able to change their minds.

I feel for you, and can only wish you good luck!
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27-05-2014, 07:26 AM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
I cannot help. I have no experience. However I can care. For what it is worth.

I hope a person in another place caring about you helps.

Good luck.
Smile

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27-05-2014, 07:48 AM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
(27-05-2014 07:17 AM)GwenB3 Wrote:  The realization that there was no god listening to my thoughts and using bad events to discipline and mold me, released me from a lot of anxiety.

Freedom is relaxing.
The best I can prescribe is just to help them while you're there. Do whatever you think is right to help them with any of their problems.

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27-05-2014, 08:36 AM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
You have already planted a seed of doubt in their heads, that's all you can do. You will never be able to convince them with reason. They have to come to their own conclusion.

Every extra year of having believed firmly makes deconversion more painful, world shattering and slow. If they will deconvert, it will be much slower and more painful than what you went through.

So, give it time. Lots of time. Planting a little seed is the best you can do, they have to nurture it themselves.

A very religious friend of mine came back to me two years after I planted a little seed of doubt with a question that was rattling her faith. I answered and moved to another topic. I know she is now thinking. Thinking is the first step.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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27-05-2014, 08:45 AM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
Yeah I'm in similar situations with family and friends. Will it get better? I dunno, every situation is different. Though, I would suggest instead of yelling at them that they're wrong (like you want to), why not show them?

You said that your mother is having issues due to her faith, why not attempt to correct them by giving her advice? Stay away from the topic of religion, just be there as her kid who cares for her. Let her decide what to do from there.

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27-05-2014, 09:52 AM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
Thanks for the encouragement.

I'm mostly struggling with how to process the emotions. The interaction with family is not as much of a challenge as how I feel afterwards.

It does help knowing the feelings aren't unique to me.
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27-05-2014, 10:06 AM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
(27-05-2014 09:52 AM)GwenB3 Wrote:  Thanks for the encouragement.

I'm mostly struggling with how to process the emotions. The interaction with family is not as much of a challenge as how I feel afterwards.

It does help knowing the feelings aren't unique to me.

You're never alone Smile

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30-05-2014, 02:17 PM
RE: New Atheist and I'm overwhelmed by sadness after seeing religious family
I am amazed at what parents will tell their offspring, even if they are adults. We grow up with a child's perspective of both our parents and it's very different from how they see each other. This places the parents burdens on the offspring who have no idea of what to do with it. My parents respected us kids and I'm sure they had conflict but we sure never knew about it. When my mother became sick with cancer it was like pulling hen's teeth to get some answers even tho I was in my 20's. They stuck by what they believed. And I loved them for it and when my hubby and I split, major abuse, my two sons knew nothing about it until he started turning them against me. So unfair.
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