Southern loneliness
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06-04-2015, 11:11 AM
RE: Southern loneliness
(06-04-2015 10:54 AM)Biolizard Wrote:  First I would like to thank all who have replied this far. I wasn't sure what to expect when composing my post. I've never participated on an atheist forum site before. However, I somewhat surprised just how much it has shone at least a glimmer of light and hope on my situation.

Just hearing that there are other atheist living in Jesus town(s) across Tennessee nearby has helped. I promise I'm not exaggerating when i say I feel as if I'm the ONLY one in town who dares to disbelieve.
I think it would be good for me to find something to join? However, almost everything around these parts gets brought back to religion in some fashion.

If you're near Nashville there is an Atheist group that meets bi-weekly I believe. Sort of an Atheist church.

The entire notion of a church in general makes me queasy, so I'm hesitant on going to something like that. But it seems like you once enjoyed the community of your religious churches, so this may be right up your alley if you're nearby. Just google The Sunday Assembly and they should have a schedule of sorts.

As far as your town goes, chances are slim that you'd find anyone in it. Even if there were, it would be extremely hard to weed them out as most probably are remaining silent like yourself.

Best of luck to you!
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06-04-2015, 11:29 AM
RE: Southern loneliness
Welcome Biolizard. I am really moved by your post and the replies you have gotten. I can empathize with the weight of the burden you are carrying. I am positive you are not the only atheist in your area, but I can certainly understand that you would feel that way since t would be so difficult to come out where you live. My parents live in a small town in southwestern Virginia and my mom (who's an atheist) has managed to find a few friends that are also atheists so there is hope (last christmas, I remember her showing them the "heathen's greetings" card I gave her and them getting a good laugh out of it).

With respect to your wife... There is nothing whatsoever wrong with your non-belief and you should not feel like your position is some second class position that should never be discussed. This is just setting your relationship up for failure in the long run. Even if your wife disagrees with you, you should be able to talk with her about how you feel. You are still the same loving husband and father and if she is the same loving wife, then she should be willing to listen.

As for not being an overly outgoing or friendly person, well, I can also relate as nerdy scientist. I don't easily make tons of friends, but the few friends I make are very close. Surely you have close friends that will still like and respect you for who you are. If they don't then they are not true friends.

Again, welcome to the TTA forum. Hopefully you can begin building a sense of community here.
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06-04-2015, 12:05 PM
RE: Southern loneliness
Feel free to come here and unload. There are plenty who understand. The problem with the realization that religion is bullshit is that there is no going back.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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06-04-2015, 12:08 PM
RE: Southern loneliness
ugh, is this what awaits me? I retire from the Navy in 1 year and my wife and I are moving to her parent's town of Dandridge Tennessee, which is 32 miles from Knoxville, TN, and 210 miles from Nashville TN...bum fuck no where....I am a city boy, AND a screaming militant atheist, and you cant go a country mile in that area without seeing a church, in fact the turn down their road to their home is at a huge church Weeping

sigh, at least her family is atheist as well.

OP, I feel for you, truly do. It is an emotional, and intellectual prison you find yourself in...it is a reason a lot of atheists slide back to the darkside, and play pretend xtian to just have the fellowship again, the inclusion...sick way to live...I don't do well with bindings on, restrictions on what I can say, and I don't know what to say except welcome, at least you find some solace here, some laughter perhaps, and maybe some intellectual fellowship. Glad to have you onboard.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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06-04-2015, 10:32 PM
RE: Southern loneliness
I live about a hour or so away from Dandridge,TN. It's a scenic and picturesque area, but yes very bat crazy religious.
However, you will be fine. I would be perfectly fine here if I had an internal support system to lean on and someone to laugh with me at the all religious crackpots in the area. But alas, for me that's unfortunately not my situation.
I fear, this may be a signal or forecast of stormy weather ahead for my marriage? My main issue I think, is that even my own family is not able to fully comprehend and understand the struggles that I'm now going through.

In the past I've always had my wife to empathize with; standing shoulder to shoulder with me, no matter what obstacle life threw at us. Before at least we could relate and be there for one another. And in this particular endeavor, I realize I won't have that support, I must go it alone, and that too is its own source of pain for me.
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08-04-2015, 01:33 AM
RE: Southern loneliness
Go Here:
Join us for Open Secular Day!
Atheist Society of Knoxville (ASK)
Thursday, April 23, 2015
6:00 PM
Copper Cellar
7316 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

I think the wife and I will go. My name's Toney. We're just north of Oak Ridge. Maybe we'll see you there?
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08-04-2015, 08:17 AM
RE: Southern loneliness
There is also another atheist society in East Tennessee:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyath...tennessee/
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08-04-2015, 09:31 AM
RE: Southern loneliness
(05-04-2015 11:00 PM)Biolizard Wrote:  Since I officially renounced all religious ties and came out to my family two years ago, in order to not portray and feel like a hypocrite, I quit attending church and all religous functions. .

I don't see why it would be hypocritical to attend church and religious functions, particularly if you're not pretending to be a believer. I think the only one who would see it that way would be you. I'm sure the church, your wife, and others in this community would welcome your attendance, rather than be opposed to it.

I used to attend church even when I didn't believe, because I liked the community and atmosphere, because it gave me moments to reflect and consider my life. There's another church in this particular network that used to have an atheists playing in the band. So I doubt the church would see your attendance, in the same way that you would.

You are in a tough situation, and you've already conceded a variety of aspects of the dynamics of relationship to your wife, and in regards to your kids. And if you are to make lemonade out of your lemons, this seems like a first step, not to mention one that would likely help ease some of the divisions between you two, as well with your kids as they grow up.
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08-04-2015, 09:57 AM
RE: Southern loneliness
Welcome to the forum! I couldn't imagine facing all of the obstacles you're facing in your situation and I commend you for trying to remain strong through it. You're obviously not alone and as others have put out there, there are bound to be a couple of meet-ups or groups that get together regularly that will provide that sense of community.

I do think it's kind of wrong on your wife's part to kind of turn a blind eye to your situation and it's pretty unfair that she gets to talk openly about her beliefs but you have to stay mute about yours and I do agree that this honestly sounds like the beginning of a crumbling foundation for your marriage. I may have never been married and probably can't offer much advice in that area, but I do know that it takes a ton of work to make work and it requires effort at both ends of the street, like any serious relationship would.

Maybe consider a marriage counselor? Hopefully one that isn't religiously affiliated and can provide a non-biased perspective.

You always have a place to vent here though! There's plenty of people I've come across here that have a lot of similar stories to yours, so it should be easier to find others to relate to! Good luck and welcome again!

We are eternal beings. Endings are not in our destiny.
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08-04-2015, 10:45 AM
RE: Southern loneliness
(08-04-2015 09:31 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You are in a tough situation, and you've already conceded a variety of aspects of the dynamics of relationship to your wife, and in regards to your kids.

In this context, wouldn't attending church be seen as another concession? What effect would that have on the balance of the relationship? The more unequal the relationship, the more difficulty in maintaining it, generally.
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