What can/should you do when you realize that you have absolutely nothing in common with any member of your family? Should you tell them? Does it really even matter?
I came to this realization last night on the drive home from my sister’s house. It’s a 75 mile drive, my wife slept most of the way, so I had some time to think about it the topics of discussion while we were there. I can’t even relate to anything they’re talking about.
Any/every thing I have interest in doesn’t mean a fucking thing to any one of them, even our daughter and son-in-law or our son and his family.
They all own homes and are doing quite well financially, while we’ve struggled month to month just to get by since I had to retire 7 years ago, as well as having to sell our home.
I feel like a second class citizen in my own family. I’m basically not allowed to talk about any of the subjects I have any interest in(history, Halloween, music, books, cars, tattoos, the occult). It’s all off the table around my family members now, especially my wife and our kids, they don’t want to hear it, period.
I’m not really sure where to go from here, my wife and I talked about it earlier today, and of course the subject of religion came up. Exactly what I didn’t want or need to hear. The answer is always god and his future kingdom here on earth. I can’t believe my wife and both kids and their families actually believe in this shit.
When I told my wife that there is ZERO evidence of any gods being real, her response was
“that’s what you’ve been told” to think. No, I’ve never believed in any of this shit for my entire life. “The truth is right in front of you, just accept it”.
Not a fucking snowballs chance in hell. I’m too old to change, and never will. This realization has really opened my eyes to my situation. I am who I am, and nothing is going to change that.
What can/should you do when you realize that you have absolutely nothing in common with any member of your family? Should you tell them? Does it really even matter?
In my experience…
Evidence leads people to form a belief.
Religious dogma prescribes a belief, i.e., it tells people what to think.
I’d say there’s a good chance you’re being projected upon but psychology ain’t my field.
And so, Accept that your wife is who she is and nothing is going to cnage that. Your children on the other … NOPE Sorry, never mind. They all have their own houses? Say bye -bye, they are who they are. So, be who you are and love them all to the degree that you can. They are family. If that is not enough… well… fuck em. Of course I made that decision when I was 16. It’s a bit different. I have had a long ass time to learn to enjoy my own company and be who I am.
On a side note: You are always who you are, whether you are bending over backwards or standing tall against the wind. It is always you. The real issue is this… “How do you feel about being you.”
At the end of the day can you pat yourself on the back and say you are proud of making the choices you made. And if not, do you have the strength to try and amend it the following day? (I only mention this because when we begin stretching our wings, occasionally we go a bit further than we intended.)
They know. They limit you. UNTIL you do what they want - BE who they want you to be, you are a 2nd class citizen in the family. ( JWs operate the same way)
So what??? You’ve done it for years BUT perhaps a full realization of it just occurred to you.
You’ve taken steps outside your family for conversation/support and you’ve remained true to yourself all these years…
The topic title says My eyes are open now so it lends me to think you’ve somehow dropped a “coping thought/self-lie” and are feeling full awareness (this process can suck, BUT it is one of the best processes to go through).
I always knew who I am and who my family are, but the ride home gave me time to think about it. I’m a lifetime atheist/satanist who always looks like a psychotic mental case with a family of devout christians around me.
It was like someone flipped a switch, and I can see the whole picture now. My wife made me feel like a child with her insistance that gods new kingdom on earth will be a reality, and my inability to believe is because of what I’ve been taught. WHAT?
Is there some secret atheist school or college that I don’t know about? Taught by who?
Bone cancer in children, rape, incest? Why does this happen? It’s because we’re flawed, we’re not perfect like god is, so we bring this shit upon ourselves?
Can god help me with my chronic pain? No, but you’ll be pain free in god’s paradise on earth after the rapture. I’ll be pain free when I’m dead, unless I end up in hell of course.
How the fuck can any reasonably intelligent adult actually believe any of this shit? I’ll say it here, but I’ll never say it out loud, I’m surrounded by idiots.
Yes, aren’t we all? It’s the nature of rejecting the God of our culture. However, some of us have been lucky enough not to marry into the thick of things. To be honest, before the recent inflation, I was looking for a home in KY near the Ohio River, Paducah or over on the other side just south of Cincinnati. (Something close enough to an Amtrack station that I could be in Cincinnati in a couple of hours. I had nearly purchased 2. And then the bottom fell out of the Korean won. I now get $.72 to the won. It was $.95. I’m losing nearly 30% on my exchange with fees. I’m going to be in Korea for a while. At least until this runaway inflation thing is over. Oh… Point is.
Some of the buildings I have looked at were old churches. I would like to start a Secular community center in the heart of Jesusdom. Get on Go Fund Us and ask for Old Atheist books, and start a library. Get Tin Man to live in the cellar next to an electrical outlet and start a podcast. Anyway, I am readying myself to dive into the heart of the Bible Belt and either shake things up a bit or get shaken up a bit.
For now, It’s a waiting game.
That’s the $64 question, isn’t it? The problem, however, is that there is not one set answer to it. Granted, the primary reason is fear, of course. Beyond that, however, the reasons can become far more complex. Worst part, though, is a person does not have to be an idiot to believe. For instance, one of my uncles was a Methodist preacher, but he was also one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known. And although I never knew for certain what drew him into the ministry, I’m fairly confident in saying it was NOT because of fear.
Speaking of the fear factor, as I have said before, I spent a majority of my life struggling with religion. The bible and its teachings never made sense to me. And as I got older and better educated and more experienced, it made even LESS sense. It was a constant mental battle between what I was taught in church, and what the rational part of my brain was telling me about reality. It was almost like torture at times, so I would avoid anything “religion related” as much as possible.
So, one may ask, “Why didn’t you just stop believing altogether?” Simple: FEAR. No matter how much it did not make sense, no matter how much I questioned the whole thing, the fear of going to hell got implanted in my psyche at a very young age. And I was taught that one of the biggest sins to put you on the fast-track to hell was to question and doubt God. Therefore, any questions I had got locked away to avoid pissing off God. Only within the last five years have I finally put the fear to rest. Over forty years of my life spent in psychological turmoil.
Remember, I questioned religion from the start. Regardless, no matter what anybody non-religious told me, and no matter how much I agreed with them, I STILL wasn’t able to “escape” until about 5 years ago. So let’s apply this to your family real quick. From what you have provided, it sounds to me as though they have NEVER questioned their God and Bible. They accept it in the same way as we accept breathing air. There is absolutely NO DOUBT for them. They live it, love it, believe it. No questions asked. As such, what do you think the odds are that any of them will ever see your view? MUCH LESS understand what you try to tell them. Bottom line is, their religion is their “security blankie”. Ever try taking a security blankie away from a three year old child?
(Edited for shits and giggles.)
Get out of my head, I’m in my 30s dealing with exactly what your dealing with. I’m looking at moving in 10 years for financial freedom. I keep thinking I should stay close to my family. Then thinking why the fuck do I want to, I refuse their ideas, lifestyle, and any inheritance they want to offer me. Why do I keep thinking I should stay close by? I don’t even want to see them for holidays. They are truly terrible people who I detest on so many levels. Narcissistic nihilistic immoral reprobates of the highest order. I have no idea what to do or how to feel about them. Changes day to day.
Now that you’ve mentioned possibly buying an old church and making it your home, we had something similar here in our little town. A few blocks away on the Main Street through town, there had been an empty church for sale for a few years. It even shared a parking lot with Jack in The Box. I used to imagine buying the place and turning it into the west coast location for TST( The Satanic Temple).
We’d clean it up, get rid of the stained glass windows, and replace them with something more appropriate, and also make it a book store and Wiccan supply center. I’m sure the city of Anacortes would welcome them with open arms, right?
Anyway, someone finally bought the place, and promptly tore it down and are putting up a small office building.
My dream has been smashed, but I’m used to it by now.
Thanks for sharing your perspective.
I would posit that for some it is a combination of these two things, manifested subconsciously through the fear of the unknown. Admitting one doesn’t know is an insecure position and there is a concurrent apprehension (fear) of admitting such. Even when confronted with facts to the contrary, having an answer is preferred over admitting a lack of understanding for some. We are pattern-seeking creatures and find a sort of “cognitive dissonance “ in the admission of a lack of understanding or in not having a readily available explanation. There is a sort of “untethered” psychological experience.
Of course, as you mentioned, the fear of hell planted in a child’s brain has lifelong implications for many.
I’m not sure how you can be confident that fear played no role in your Uncle’s beliefs. I certainly can’t say, not having known him. His fears would of course be different from yours or mine and not necessarily immediately obvious. I have a brother-in-law who was a baptist preacher for many years before he retired. Really bright guy and I still like him a lot. He doesn’t appear to have gravitated to his beliefs via fear, but he was indoctrinated into Christianity at an early age, so who knows?
We are complicated monkeys for sure…
Edit for hidden reasons
You can even see that dynamic active in young children in schools. If a teacher asks a child a question, they would rather make a very dumb reply than the honest one … “I do not know”.
The education system fails the child because the teacher should respond “OK, let me explain it to you”, and explain to the class that it is better to be honest and admit lack of knowledge rather than humiliating and chastising the child.
True, I have no way of knowing for certain. Just call it a “gut feeling”. Aside from fear of hell, there is also the fear of not wanting to be an outcast. When everybody you know (friends and family alike) believes and gathers at church and religious events to socialize and support each other, the thought of being rejected by those friends and family can be incredibly frightening to most folks.
There’s another factor of which most people of religion are not even consciously aware. Simply put, they do not have to take responsibility for their own behavior/actions. Do something good, and it is God using you as his “righteous vessel” to spread his good word. Your faithful peers look up to you. Do something bad, and it was god testing you and you fell short only because The Devil distracted you. Just pray for forgiveness and be better prepared next time. Get that type of warped psychological view pounded into your skull from childhood until adulthood and beyond, and it is an addictive “drug” that is hard to give up. ESPECIALLY if you are not even aware you are “addicted” to it. And these little things are barely even scratching the surface of the psychological effects of religion. (Christianity in particular.)
Fuck over your neighbor; pray and god will forgive you. Walk into a school and blow away a bunch of six-year-olds. Just accept Jesus into your heart and the kingdom and the glory will be yours. Rape, murder, maim, destroy, Jesus forgives all. But call the Holy Ghost a fucking piece of shit even once, and eternal damnation is yours forever and there is no getting out of it. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
Actually there is another unforgivable sin but I don’t recall what it is at the moment. Ummmm… Oh yeah! The unbelievers will not go to heaven.
Before I start MrMacbre. You’re life story and the religious issues with your family has deterred me from ever wanting to get with another Theist. Especially a Christian. They’re really bad about forcing their religion on to others. My ex wife and her family is fucking horrible with the xtian religious bullshit.
No wonder why you describe yourself to be grumpy and unhappy with how things are. At what point is this no longer a marriage? This doesn’t sound like a productive marriage at all.
You’re obviously not happily married. Your family is constantly trying to re-indoctrinate you. They shame you. They put you in a box and poke at you with a stick. Your wife sounds fucking terrible. She basically took your kids, indoctrinated them, and the Christian beliefs have built this huge wall between you and them. The church, with all of their sermons, have turned your family against you (here’s the real kicker) BUT it’s your fault & and they’re going to keep re-using that excuse over and over to shift blame on to you. Because you’re not a Christian. Because xtians never want to take the blame for anything. They’re always in the right. Because their bible says so.
I don’t see this ever getting better. You’re the enemy to them because you’re not part of the herd and is probably sticking it out because she doesn’t want to offend her deity. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. But if she was with you WITH YOU, then she wouldn’t let her superstitions cloud her judgment. The shaming needs to stop. You don’t deserve it.
I married a religtard a long time ago and religion just added to the pile of bullshit that was our marriage. And she broke the rules of her Baptist religion. She cheated on me all of the time. I’m glad she cheated and left. She was a fucking headache. She basically became a meth addict & disappeared for 3 years before she “found” religion again. She’s been on and off that train.
Once we divorced, I went out and found a woman who loathed religion just as much as I do.
Now I have a new fucking problem. Once my ex wife found religion again, she and her mother want to force it down our kid’s throats and I don’t like it. I’m sick of it.
I’m having to put up with my ex in laws force my kids to go to church when they visit them. I’ve talked to them about it and they just make excuses and say that my daughter is too young to choose what she does or doesn’t believe and they make her go anyway when she visits. She doesn’t like it. That is horse shit, I decided I hated Christianity when I was 12! They know she’s an atheist. It’s her mom doing it. Then to put a cherry on top, they think Christianity gives people “morals”. No it doesn’t. People get morals from their parents and their social circle.
It pisses me off. It makes me wish I had never gotten involved with that fuck up of a family! I just don’t want to deal with them anymore and I wished my kids didn’t want anything to do with them. It would make it a hell of a lot easier on me if I could get them the fuck out of my life.
One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was adding more xtians into my life. Big fucking mistake and I see you’re stuck with your mistake and it’s taking a toll on you.
You are confusing two different concepts.
- You are not allowed to talk about subjects.
- They don’t want to hear it.
These are not the same thing. Regarding point one. You are a grown man and no one tells you what in the hell you are allowed to do or not allowed to do. If your wife is so fucking dense that she does not realize the sacrifice you make for her happiness (and your own) it may be time to have a serious heart to heat and remind her. (Hide all the rolling pins first!) No one has to live under tyranny. Being quiet to get along has always been your choice. She has grown to expect it BECAUSE you taught her to. Between the two of you, you have come to an unspoken agreement, that this is the way things are. You agreed and you have gone along with it for a long time. The really hard part in all of this … YOU CAN’T BLAME THEM. You have been teaching them how to keep you in check for years. (Facts are facts, my friend. These sorts of things do not occur in a vacuum, and they do not occur without your compliance. That, in no way, is an indication that you can not change them. However; when you do change them, you must be very aware that YOU are the one upsetting the apple cart, not them. You are the one changing the rules of engagement. You are the one being unreasonable and refusing to go along with the way things were done. You are the one trying to achieve a new way of doing things and a new way of living. They are struggling to stay the same. Good luck to you. because…
- *** THEY DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.***
I just read Mr. Dawn’s post and found it pretty much, spot on, and comparable to your own. My only comment regarding his post would be, ‘Don’t worry about the kids going to Church.’ It’s a bit like the parents of my generation telling the kids, “If you smoke marijuana, you will get addicted and begin using heroin.” Some people believe in Santa Clause and some people believe in a magic man in the sky. Some people grow up and stop believing fairy tales are real, some people don’t. Have the kids pray over their milk to turn it chocolate and ask them how it went? I get not liking it, but lets face facts, they will be exposed to it their entire lives. Are we teaching them to hate, or to think critically and rationally? Just my $.02.
You’re right, they don’t want to hear any of it, ever. If I try to steer a conversation of theirs in a different direction, or start one about something I’ve seen or done, I get the “smirk”. We don’t/want to hear about it.
The day after I’ve been to a show, my wife would ask if I had any stories about any of the other people there. Any fights, or falling down drunks, etc. Now, she doesn’t want to hear about anything, or even if I had a good time.
Everyone in my immediate family either hates or are afraid of any of the things that make me feel happy, movies, my music of choice, my tattoos, books, even Halloween.
Our 2 oldest granddaughters have told me that they like it when I drive up to their place during the summer and we go on a “date”. I take them out for lunch, then we go to their local Barnes & Noble to get something to read, and then to their local dairy store/ ice cream place for dessert. I do it one at a time one Wednesday of each month during the summer. I have them do “rock, paper, scissors” to see who gets to go first, it’s 2 out of 3 to win.
Our oldest granddaughter(14) says she thinks my truck is cool, if you’ve seen the photos I’ve posted, you’d think otherwise. Her 10 year old sister likes riding in it too. I wonder what my son would think about this?
I am just going along with the ride, have been for decades, but my wife and I love each other in spite of our different philosophies.
Nothing is ever easy is it?
You want to know why they hate it and are afraid?.. Very simply put, they are afraid what you say might actually be true. And the more rational and logical your explanations are, the MORE it bothers them. They may brag to one another about “how STRONG their faith is”, but in TRUTH - deep down inside - they really do not want anything to test it. ESPECIALLY when it is logic and rational reasoning they cannot counter or deny.
I have encountered many folks like this since my own “escape”. And each and every time, they are all happy-happy-joy-joy while enthusiastically explaining how wonderful their god is and why I should worship it. However, the moment I start asking questions they can’t answer… the moment I start making points they cannot counter, they ALWAYS become nervous, anxious, and uneasy. Then they make some excuse to end the conversation. Never fails. The most common departing comment is usually something like, “Well, yes, you made some great points I had never considered. And, yes, I even agree with you about most of them. But all we can do is just trust in The Lord and his Perfect Plan.” Then they scurry away with a worried look while fidgeting nervously. The fear of hell is strong. I know this from personal experience.
In my opinion, it is always easier when I realize, I have NEVER been stuck. I have always had a choice. Now to some, that may look like running away, but fuck it, I do not have to live with bullshit. I have been very good at eliminating it from my life. I suppose it really helps being a bit of an ass and an introvert. I am a good communicator when I have a partner, but I don’t put up with lies, cheating, drunken behaviors, disrespect, .and probably a few other things. My boundaries are clear but that never means I can not be approached with a serious heartfelt discussion. I’m one of those weird people who are genuinly happy alone.
You’re not alone. I have had this issue in the past with my mother and my siblings. We don’t talk about religion PERIOD. My mother made a rule that we don’t discuss it anymore. Especially how I dominated my mother in the last debate we had. It has deterred her from ever bringing it up again. I told her men wrote the bible and then I kept demanding objective ad scientific evidence for her to prove that her deity exists. I told her how I felt. I told her that I concluded that Christianity is a lie. That none of the claims that the bible makes has any evidence to it. That evidence is important and we debated about that. She claimed the scholars talked to “god” and I said that needs to be verified on every single level and I kept demanding evidence. I was very aggressive about it. I kept asking her “What objective evidence can you demonstrate for the existence of any deity” and I also kept bringing up The First Council of Nicaea and kept stating that men wrote and rewrote the bible thousands of times. I kept reminding her that her religion was made by men. Eventually she shut up about it and refuses to go into it any further.
The thing with Christians is that they have so many stereotypes towards Atheism and disbelief. I’m sure you’re familiar with the 3 wise monkey’s that are commonly used by Xtians to refer to things to that which they think is taboo " see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil " and often xtians treat Atheism as such or refer to it as “silly talk” because they believe so blindly that this religion that was forced onto them when they were young is “real” and is “rational”. Anything else is absurd to them.
Maybe you could discuss some new terms and rules with your family since it’s a problem for you.
No religious talk. NONE. No proselytizing in your general direction. No HYPOCRISY. If you’re not allowed to discuss your Atheist views; they’re not allowed to discuss their bullshit Christian views to you or in front of you let alone pray in front of you. (They can pray IN SILENCE over their food while you go wash up in the bathroom and let you know when they’re done). No re-indoctrination talk. No begging you to go to church or asking “why”. No sanctimonious attitudes or religious “insults”. No exceptions.
Make a rule that Religion and Religious Debate stays in the closet. Every time it gets brought up. Shut them down.
But the universal problem of sin has (had?) the universal solution of Christ’s sacrifice!
If His Holiness was good enough to get nailed to the wood for the rest of us, the least that any decent Xtian can do is spread his word and faith and hopefully produce a glorious “conversion.”
Like it or not.