Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
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15-08-2014, 09:21 PM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
(14-08-2014 12:04 AM)morondog Wrote:  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...

Thank you. I really appreciate that advice, and it's really true. She knows I am not Christian anymore and she really doesn't want to go to church anymore, but she cant afford to move out yet so she needs to do a few things to please our parents for the time being. Things have simmered down with her today which is nice, but I will offer her to come visit me in Vancouver and hopefully that would help her gain some perspective on her life.
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15-08-2014, 09:25 PM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
(14-08-2014 02:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  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.

Yes it is actually quite a sad situation with my sister because though she still believe in God and is quite spiritual, she does not wish to go to church at all and she is angry that she cant live life like mostly every one else. I decided to ease stress for her and even for my parents that I wont bother doing any bar or party type of events while I visit. Things seem to have eased up a little and I think I can tough it out until early September, but even as an adult I do need to get going on my career and life. Being at home for a month is a long time, but I've discovered it's a great chance to reconnect with a few people, including my family, before focusing on settling more out west.

You're right too... I do have every right to let them know my plans and what I need to do for my own sanity. Thankfully they seem a bit more open minded than when I left almost two years ago!
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15-08-2014, 09:29 PM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
(14-08-2014 03:46 AM)phil.a Wrote:  @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!


Hi Phil,

Thanks for understanding my crisis... things have eased up for the time being and my mom seems to have acknowledged that I don't want to live in this city. My sister seems to have settled down a little as well, but honestly when I wrote this message I felt like I needed to leave the next day! I have some other family members to see, and other friends. I think it's the right time to reconnect with a few people, but I will also cut my visit a little shorter than originally planned to help maintain my sanity.
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15-08-2014, 09:32 PM
RE: Staying with my Christian parents for a month. Help!
(14-08-2014 06:12 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  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.

Wow. This. Thank you! It all makes sense, and it makes me realise how after all this time I still haven't given myself permission to stand up for my new values and my new life's plan. I like the idea of offering a couch to my sister, too. I do want to help her and I want her to be happy, because we got along so well not very long ago and I would hate to leave back out west only to discover that our bond has been breached.

Thanks to all of you for your immense help!
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