Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
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13-08-2014, 10:13 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2014 10:35 PM by Flowergurl.)
Exclamation Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
I am visiting my Christian parents' house for a month, but I don't know how I'll be able to last even three weeks. It's my fourth day, but between my parents hoping that I'll stay "home" rather than go back out west to work and my sister spewing out curses and angry statements because she lives with them and can't stand it, my own mental health is on the line.

I don't want to be selfish because my sister is stuck in a trap of going to church 2-3 times per week, which invades her social life because on the days that most people would do something, she's got to be in church at that time or early the next morning. I want to suggest she move out to Vancouver with me, but I need some time on my own again to regroup after her negativity has already got me down again. I am bipolar and having her so angry and caustic all the time is chipping my built up sanity away. Though I assume once she's out from under our parents' roof, she will be calmer and she can live her life more freely.

My parents do not know I am atheist/unbelieving, but they do know I don't go to church and I know that it will come up that I should start reading the Bible/going to church again.

I just want to know, how would you go about being honest that staying a whole month just wont work out after all? Also, what would you do to stay sane when conversations about church/Christianity/God come up? How can I be a good sister to my sister, while not risking my own tendency to fall into depression?

Should I suck it up and keep my word?!

I wish I hadn't tried to be so nice and promise them that I would stay "home" for a month. I should have known myself a little better than that!! Confused
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13-08-2014, 10:22 PM
RE: Going crazy staying with my Christian parents for a month!
I'm not very clear on your situation but I'll just toss this out there.Being related to someone doesn't mean you have to like them. Would you do the same if you were talking about someone who wasn't related to you?
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13-08-2014, 10:29 PM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
(13-08-2014 10:22 PM)pablo Wrote:  I'm not very clear on your situation but I'll just toss this out there.Being related to someone doesn't mean you have to like them. Would you do the same if you were talking about someone who wasn't related to you?

I am not quite sure what to do, to be honest, other than be honest with them that my original plan to stay for a whole month might not work out.
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13-08-2014, 10:30 PM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
(13-08-2014 10:13 PM)Flowergurl Wrote:  Also, what would you do to stay sane when conversations about church/Christianity/God come up?

You mean like conversations you're involved in, or conversations where you're not involved but you have to listen?

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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13-08-2014, 10:33 PM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
That seems like a good plan. Kill any doubt before it grows, why build a bullshit story that you'll either have to backup or, fess up to later?
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13-08-2014, 10:34 PM (This post was last modified: 13-08-2014 10:39 PM by Flowergurl.)
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
(13-08-2014 10:30 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  
(13-08-2014 10:13 PM)Flowergurl Wrote:  Also, what would you do to stay sane when conversations about church/Christianity/God come up?

You mean like conversations you're involved in, or conversations where you're not involved but you have to listen?

Conversations that I am involved in. My Dad is a little more aggressive with his Christianity than my Mom is... and what's worse is they want me to go to church again AND stay here in this home. So uncomfortable. Plus, I don't want to leave my sister in a way that will upset her. I think she can already tell that I am not feeling her anger all the time, and I don't know how to help her, since we're like best friends but I've been away for a few months and I've realised how suppressed she really is living at "home".
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14-08-2014, 12:04 AM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
2-3 times a week seems a bit excessively churchy...

Have you told sister that you're not a Christian? I mean, just telling her this stuff you're telling us (that you see how repressed she is etc) might give her an outlet to talk, if she resents the parental influence. You might not want to tell her I guess, but you could still chat to her about how it'd be nice to move out and she should maybe come out to Vancouver sometime, just not right now 'cos you need some alone time.

Also ja, just deal straight up with your parents IMO. Save on bullshit...

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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14-08-2014, 02:34 AM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
Your sister's negativity is most probably a result of having to live with your parents and if she was living in Vancouver would probably have a real sense of freedom from not having to go to church 2 or 3 times a week (which is excessive!).

Do you get any sense that your sister might be OK with you being an atheist? Does she strike you as someone who truly believes or who is just going through the motions because she has to while she is dependent upon her parents. Maybe she is an atheist herself? Your month at home could be time well spent freeing your sister but I appreciate how it will have an emotional impact on you as well. It's always difficult returning back to your parents after having gained some independence. If you could talk freely with your sister about this then it would help. It would also give you more information to go on.

Forgetting about your sister for a moment and concentrating on your relationship with your parents, you should feel absolutely free to tell them that you no longer want to stay there for a month. They need to learn that you are now independent and that they have no control over you. If you don't teach them then they will never learn.

So the crux of the problem is your sister's situation, and this means that you need to find out who she really is as a person, not the facade that she is living behind to satisfy your parents.
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14-08-2014, 03:46 AM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2014 03:49 AM by phil.a.)
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
@Flowergurl - I think perhaps you should consider getting out of that house, as you describe it, the situation sounds a very unhealthy one.

As an analogy, consider my own relationship with crocodiles. Actually I think crocodiles are beautiful animals and they are fully entitled to be just as they are, but I am far far happier when there's a reasonable amount of space between them and me. That's said from a position of full respect and love towards the crocodiles!

In my opinion, because of our relative differences, I can only have what I'd call a "healthy" relationship with crocodiles by keeping them at an appropriate distance!. In my experience, family can be a bit like crocodiles at times...

I understand you've made promises and that puts you in an awkward situation, I think responding to the actual Truth of the situation is more important than a blind "keeping of promises" though, simply because like on an airplane you need to reach for your own oxygen mask first if you are to be beneficial in the lives of other people. My wishes for you are that if you decide you have to do it, you can find enough compassion for yourself to allow yourself to break the promise without too much self-judgement.

Good luck!

Phil
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14-08-2014, 06:12 AM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
There comes a point in life where you have to stand your own ground. You have to decide what you will put up with and what you won't. You draw a line where your boundaries are, the things you are responsible for and the things you aren't , and the things you have no control over.

When the day comes when you have to protect those boundaries against family members- I'll be honest- it usually sucks. BUT the end result is worth it. It gives you freedom, and independence, honesty and integrity to yourself.

Be true to who you are.

Tell your parents that you will not be going to church with them, because you simply don't want to and you won't be bullied or guilt tripped into it.

You will stay as long as you feel like (and are welcome) but your original month plan probably won't happen.

I think if you are going to go thru the fire of a family battle, you might as well throw all the cards on the table and reveal your atheism too. Why save it for another time? Like pulling off a band aid. Let 'er rip.

As for your sister, is she over 18, does she work, school? Tell her where you stand, I would offer her a spot on your couch in Vancouver to VISIT, if she wants to get away for awhile to escape. I wouldn't do the " moving" plan yet. Let her visit, and she will get the itch to move on her own in her own timeframe.

Parents eventually have to accept that you are an adult and make your own choices. Their approval is not required. And their hurt feelings are theirs to deal with- NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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