Why can't I get past this?
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24-03-2015, 08:33 PM
RE: Why can't I get past this?
Family issues aren't ever simple. Agree to disagree...

Hug


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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25-03-2015, 07:51 PM
RE: Why can't I get past this?
We get parented, sometimes longer than we wish and that is why we leave home. I think you are still feeling you are being parented when around your mother. Keep in mind you are her child, she means well and wants what's best for you. When she's gone you'll be kicking your butt three ways from hell for not being more understanding.
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25-03-2015, 08:04 PM
RE: Why can't I get past this?
(22-03-2015 11:16 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  I've been on here as an official member for nearly two years and I've never begun a thread in the Personal Issues forum so be gentle with me, I'm a virgin. It's fairly long so I apologize for that.

Those who know me on here know I'm generally a very patient poster. I may make jokes on threads that call for it, but when we are engaged in debate or serious topics, I tend to keep a level head. There was a period when I got away from the forum and from writing in my atheist blog; I like to refer to this time as my acceptance period, but that period is over and I'm back to being active.

While I never have been religious, my deconversion really didn't come until about two years ago. That process began when my family (mother, SIL) started going off the deep end with their recommitment to Catholicism. Their overzealous attitude and claims of daily miracles started to become too much for me to swallow. So I ratcheted up my investigative journalism training and dived deep into the questions of religion.

As most of you know, I came out clean on the other side (just like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank) as a full-blown atheist. In the past two years, I've had some debates with them, mostly via email with my SIL (those have been well-documented on here and on my blog), and we got to a point where we calmed down and didn't talk about it anymore.

But every once in a while my mother will bring up something peripheral about religion or morality and we end up debating. And this is the crux of my post here: Why can't I just let it go?

And I tend to lose my patience when we discuss this stuff. I'm so patient on here with virtual strangers, yet when I'm with my mother, who is 74 and not exactly the healthiest person, religion always works its way into our conversation and I always end up losing my patience with her until she taps out. Whenever she hears something completely rational from me and it makes her think for just a split second against her dogma, she runs (metaphorically of course).

I think I'm impatient because I'm let down by their ignorance. In most parental-child relationships, you grow up idolizing your parents, thinking they are basically superheroes. But as you get older, you start to realize your parents are only human. And with my parents, they are starting to succumb to irrational behavior, and I'm not just talking about religion. As an atheist, I am very aware that this is the only life I have and the only life I'll have with them.

So why can't I just let this go? Why don't I just bite my tongue and listen to the bullshit? Why can't I ignore the "Praise Jesus" exults and the "GOD bless you" wishes (petty I know)? Even when we're having a non-religious normal conversation and I mention something that seems remarkable, my mom will say, "Swear to god!" She is so engrained in her ways that I just can't help myself when I get the chance to give her some info to which I know she isn't privy.

My mother and I have always butted heads about mundane bullshit and it has never affected our relationship. It's almost how we communicate. If it's not an argument then it's not important enough to discuss. But when it's religion, all the wheels fall off of the vehicle.

Finally, I think my urge to always want to discuss this with my family is because I grew up in a household where my parents wanted to know what was going on in my life, what I learned in school or at work, etc. Secularism is very important to me and I hate seeing so many people succumb to these lies and practices. So when I'm at my parents' home, I want to tell them everything that I've studied/learned because I know they have no idea these things exist.

But shouldn't I be able to to just let it go? It's been more than two years since I "came out" and yet the resentment and need to be right is not fading at all.

Thanks for reading.

I’m in the same boat as you. To some extent I think it may be because of the time and effort that it has taken to unbrainwash and then the lingering resentment for said brainwashing.

So many hours and days wasted learning the myths and groveling to the nonexistent. It rankles still all these years later and we have our parents to blame for this. Very hard to sweep under the rug and act like it never happened.

At least this is how it feels to me.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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25-03-2015, 09:10 PM
RE: Why can't I get past this?
Yeah, Full and I have chatted before, our stories are similar. I just gotta get over it, and get over it soon.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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26-03-2015, 08:45 AM
RE: Why can't I get past this?
Why are you and Full Circle living in the past? There's no future there. You are allowing it to be a ball and chain on your lives. You are condemning your parents for decisions they made.
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26-03-2015, 10:14 AM
RE: Why can't I get past this?
I think condemning is too strong, and I don't tell them they let me down or didn't raise me right. On the contrary, I let them know I would have no other parents, etc.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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28-03-2015, 02:26 PM
RE: Why can't I get past this?
(26-03-2015 10:14 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  I think condemning is too strong, and I don't tell them they let me down or didn't raise me right. On the contrary, I let them know I would have no other parents, etc.

Let it go. Apples and oranges should not be expected to cross-pollinate successfully.

Your folks are who they are and will continue that way till death. Mine did. Did I experience differences with them on a parallel with yours? Yep. Did I respect them less for it? In certain ways, yes. Besides, who was I to make them out to be wrong or otherwise deficit in their beliefs? You're no different.

The fact that you are holding them accountable to your godlessness is pretty damned selfish, by the way. I realized that about myself and when that happened I backed off and felt pretty bad that I had judged them as I had.

The atheist is not a superior human being simply for denouncing a god and all that's related to one. It's just a stance on a subject and certainly doesn't qualify you or any other atheist to hold theists to your standards.

So, I respectfully suggest you get over yourself, get on with your godless ways and respect your parents for pursuing their beliefs.
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