Sometimes I cry

Sent in by Debbie L

Sometimes I cry.

Sometimes I'm sad to be so far away from what I used to be.

It's like missing home.

I wouldn't ever want to live with my parents again, but hey, there was some really good stuff there, too.

Now they look at me funny when I say I don't go to church. They look at me with sad eyes and remind me that they are praying for me. I'm sure they are, and sometimes it's hard for me to know my choices are breaking their hearts. But, I haven't chosen a life of crime. I've never hurt anyone willingly in my whole life. You'd think I was choosing to become part of the Taliban or something. They send me emails on the dangers of "THE CHURCH OF OPRAH" and how I should warn everyone that she is leading millions astray with her views.

...sigh...

I love Oprah. I know it's cliche, but I love how she speaks her mind, no matter how dorky it sounds, and that she isn't afraid to look convention in the eye and roll her eyes at it. Do I buy everything she says? NO. But, I like what she stands for... for finding your OWN way.

I don't know how to respond to these emails my mother sends me. I don't want to hurt her, but I don't want to let her keep believing I am still brainwashed either.

I've really enjoyed reading the posts on here today. It's the first time I've reached out to find others who aren't 'following' anymore.

25 comments:

Evelyn said...

Welcome, Debbie!

I like Oprah but don't watch her show as it's on when I'm at work and I don't have TIVO. Anyhow, I know the xtians are all up in arms as she has partnered with Eckhart Tolle and is doing a webcast with him about his new book, "A New Earth". To be sure, she doesn't follow the conventional xtian beliefs at all. (Speaking for myself, I read excerpts online from his new book and it did nothing for me)

To make a long ramble short, think for *yourself*, no matter what Oprah or anyone else says. Yes, you might miss how your life used to be as it was familiar to you but welcome to the *real* world, the real reality, and enjoy your freedom! And welcome to one of the best web sites around for ex-christians.

Anonymous said...

Debbie -- you won't be alone. Freethinkers are discovering each other more and more every day, thanks largely to the internet.

I used to have a teacher who said, "Health is not contagious, only disease is contagious." I'm not really sure that's true. I think healthy ways of thinking are contagious -- this is a good thing.

Welcome to the world of sober reality!

ExFundie said...

Yeah I feel ya Debbie! I feel like a pretty lonely dude now. I don't really have any friends now just acquaintances that don't yet know of my atheism. They'd probably alienate me too when they found out. I wish I could meet other non-believers in my area, but there just don't seem to be any at all, much less any my age with a wife and kids. This site is great, but it isn't enough to fill my personal voids. I just keep plugging along though. I enjoy my family more than ever so I just stay grateful for them. And yes, still being on the other side of Christianity makes me realize I'd never go back anyway!

Anonymous said...

Debby,

I think delaying telling the truth to your parents is like delaying non-elective surgery: you hurt now or you (they) hurt later.

Perhaps you brought the long-suffering mentality from Christianity, that "I sacrifice myself" for the good of others way of thinking.

In reality, when we suffer, others suffer, too, because we think we are hiding our pain but, too often, everyone can see it.

I haven't told most of my relatives, but we are not close. You seem to be very close to your parents, so it may be time for you to set some sort of boundaries. You need to somehow start being happy, because your misery serves no-one.

A good, non-religious therapist may be able to help you deal with the situation. An assertiveness book or class may be good too.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Debbie,

I used to have the same problem with my mom sending me preachy Christian emails.

At first, I used to just ignore them, but they became more frequent and more virulent.

Then I started sending her preachy, yet polite, atheist emails in return. She subsequently got her church friends involved by ganging up on me and sending me tons of evangelical emails.

After that, I started replying with emails using a tone of unforgiving ridicule - making fun of the cross, etc. - putting Christianity in an ugly light.

Needless to say, I didn't get any converts. Most of the fundy Web evangelists told me that Jesus loved me, they were praying for me, and that I was going to hell.

Nevertheless, these fundies did stop writing to me - I get one every once in a while, and I respond with more atheist stuff.

Eventually, out of exasperation, my mom and I struck an agreement: You don't preach to me and I won't preach to you. And it's been that way ever since.

Epilogue:
These fundies have a great sense of self-righteousness concerning their religion. They believe that there is true power in quoting the Bible and that the Holy Spirit will work through them.

However, when you fight them with their own medicine (evangelical atheism), they are shocked to find that the Holy Spirit didn't do His job. I have found that this will only work if you put them on the defensive.

As for atheist stuff, you can get quite a bit from this site, or you can go to Skeptics Corner (http://www.inu.net/skeptic/). For ridicule of Christianity, go to http://christianityisbullshit.com/
or you can simply write your own.

Good luck and keep us informed.

Astreja said...

Welcome to our little corner of the Internet, Debbie!

Dealing with friends and relatives who are still in the Matrix is one of the more vexing problems we have to deal with.

My partner frequently gets Godspam from her sisters, despite repeated requests to not send such things. Most of the time it just ends up in the trash, but a few months ago she received a particularly nasty one. (Think along the lines of "We're the majority here and you atheists had better STFU if you know what's good for ya.") At that point, gloves came off, facts were checked and debunked, and a fierce rebuttal went flying back to the originator of the spam. Haven't received a similar polemic since!

In the final analysis, it all depends if there's a worthwhile relationship to be had underneath all that preaching. It sounds like the answer in your case is 'yes', so tread gently. Quietly trash evangelizing e-mails without replying, and simply refuse to get into discussions/arguments about religion.

Anonymous said...

One of the things you have to keep in mind is that your parents may not really be all that "concerned" about your soul's eternal reward as they are their own status in the church.

After all, what kind of parents can't raise their kids to believe in god? Oh the shame of it!

So don't let the concern fool you, the cult has its hooks in your parents and they are likely just trying to save their own reputations. And you can rest assured that for every weepy glance your mom gives you, she gets five at the church.

Break their hearts and break the cycle!

resonate11 said...

"I wish I could meet other non-believers in my area, but there just don't seem to be any at all, much less any my age with a wife and kids."

Exfundie, what would you need to start your own naturalist or atheist support group? I don't know where you live, but you might be surprised at how many naturalist believers and religious skeptics there are. We are everywhere. Some of us are even in the churches!

Telmi said...

Welcome, Debbie, and stay tuned.

My advice is: Don't let any superstition cloud your judgment.

Use reason or logic and the rule of evidence as your guideposts.

rgds

MahJong13 said...

Regarding: "I love Oprah. I know it's cliche, but I love how she speaks her mind, no matter how dorky it sounds, and that she isn't afraid to look convention in the eye and roll her eyes at it. Do I buy everything she says? NO. But, I like what she stands for... for finding your OWN way."

...

The fun thing is that when you get far enough away from the source of pain (not your loved ones, but the source of the pain being... guilt? SATAN? Tradition... Whatever your sources of pain are, they will not continue to plague you. That's been my experience, anyway.

The way I see it is, we miss some of the comraderie. True. But for me, my world has opened up. I am finally over my 'social anxiety'. I don't long for the warmth of the cacoon any more. I love the freedom of my own new life. And the sadness in people's eyes don't affect me that much. I think because I see it as THEIR sadness, not mine. I don't feel the need to 'own' their sadness. I can see it and have empathy. (not apathy!) But I remain happy, or content or whatever I am personally experiencing at the time.

It's a good practice for me, anyway. My mind is what I have to think things through. That is the purpose of this site, I think.

I appreciate your openness and directness. Once in a while a breath of fresh air is what we need! Welcome to this fabulous site.

P.S. I really think I get what you are saying re: Oprah. I believe she is one of the people who inspires me to continually be myself. You may not always like me, and I like myself, nevertheless.
MahJong, MJ

MahJong13 said...

I also really like, appreciate, identify with all the responses so far. honesty begets honesty... That's a good thing!

Jim RL said...

Welcome Debbie,

I'm sorry your deconversion is going so rough. A lot of people just can't grasp the idea of living without their faith. My parents don't even know about my unbelief and it's been about 9 months since I lost my faith. Just last night my mom told me to keep someone in my prayers. I'm still waiting for that other shoe to drop. If you just don't want the emails you can setup a filter to delete emails from your mom with certain key words. Then you won't have to see them, and if you tell your mom about it she will probably stop sending them.

I like Oprah as well. She's a pretty amazing person. My only qualm is how she credulously pushed that The Secret garbage, but it's not a big deal.

Huey said...

Hello Debbie! Welcome!! You're gonna love it here so stick around! There are more view points around here than you can count in a week. Feel free to comment as we do want to hear from you.

jimearl said...

Welcome, Debbie.

I have been a non-believer for a long time now but I went thru some of the same things you are going thru now. My mother is still alive and still living in her fantasy world. We argued for a while but the subject never comes up now.

Continue to enrich you life with what you want. Dare to think for yourself. One day you will be surprised that you once believed at all. It just takes a little time.

Yolanda said...

Hi Debbie!
You may long for the familiarity of your christian experience because that's where your sense of community came from. But whatever you do, do not go back to christianity. It's far better to be alone and free than to be with people you know who are trying to define you.
Glad you're here!

Yolanda said...

Hi Debbie!
You may long for the familiarity of your christian experience because that's where your sense of community came from. But whatever you do, do not go back to christianity. It's far better to be alone and free than to be with people you know who are trying to define you.
Glad you're here!

godsfavoritecolor said...

Debbie,
Go to Meetup.com and look for atheist/agnostic/humanist meetups in your area. In that way you can share experiences in person with people that have had similar experiences.

ExFundie,
I see that you are from the Houston area. There is a large Humanist group in Houston. They have 73 members. You can find it in Meetup.com.

resonate11 said...

"The Houston Church of Freethought is an extension of the concept originally developed in Dallas by the North Texas Church of Freethought. The Church of Freethought was conceived as an alternative to the conventional faith-based religious organizations. The benefits of traditional church membership are offered to those who are uncomfortable with supernatural beliefs: community and fellowship with those of like mind, a vehicle for personal growth and fulfillment, affirmation of a naturalistic view of the world as a positive life choice for individuals and families, and a sense of belonging within the larger community."

ExFundie said...

In response to resonate11,
I haven't tried yet, but I have thought about it. Have you done it? My only worry is reaching out too loudly. I live in Humble, Texas in a very conservative community where I also teach 5th grade public school. I've searched and searched the internet for a similar group here in my community but can't find one. As for starting one, my atheism isn't really common knowledge, and I truly fear a backlash if someone feels threatened by me. I thought about a somewhat confidential sort of reaching out though. Then, maybe once I knew I wasn't alone I'd feel safer being more vocal.

ExFundie said...

I just saw god'sfavoritecolor's comment. Yes, I've looked them up, but they are over an hour away from me, but hey might be my best last resort... thank And yes, I know I know... I need to grow a pair huh?

resonate11 said...

Exfundie,

No, you don't need to "grow a pair." Caution is both wise and kind. It wouldn't serve anyone's interests to spark a conflict in your professional or social life.

However, I believe your students are probably hungry for honesty and truth. The pablum they are typically served is barely palatable. In response they turn off school learning.

Many fifth graders are still learners. They can handle truth. But because their parents and teachers and school board members can't handle reality, you do need to be cautious.

No, I have not yet established my own support group. I think using a meet-up service can be relatively anonymous.

I looked at the Houston Church of Freethought members location map and it appears that they have several members not too far from you. The map url is
http://www.hcof.org/Content-Public/Member-Map/Level-8/Page.asp

They have a meeting this Sunday, April 13. What is more common down in your area than heading out for church on a Sunday morning?

General Information:
Email:
Car pool:

Services:
Second Sunday of each month
10:00am Coffee / Fellowship
10:30am Service (1 hour)

Street Address:
Holiday Inn
3131 West Loop South
Houston, Texas 77027

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 721185
Houston, Texas 77272-1185

ExFundie said...

Resonate11,
You are right about 5th graders. The kids really are at an age of questioning. My favorite science units to teach are of course on adaptation. I'll never forget the time one student raised her hand and asked, "well isn't this just like evolution?" To which I of course replied yes. To which another girl raised her hand to state that "evolution was bad." I explained that wether they choose to accept evolution or not it is still important to understand the concept. I explained that most of them were probably taught evolution and physical adaptation in a way that was designed to make it look stupid. It was a great opportunity for me to broach the subject of common ancestry. I also had some serious raised eyebrows as we studied vestigial features. I could see their wheels turning as they probably thought... "there is more to this topic than the obviously false information my parents/pastors have been feeding me!" We even did a project this year named the "Adaptations Museum." Really a tribute to darwin and the topics stemming from his theory of evolution that have become the foundation for all we know about life, but I couldn't call it that for sure. Anyway, I do love my job! and thanks for the info on the groups, I really will look into it.

jazz said...

what does this world have to offer us, what real joy what real freedom? i have a real realationship with jesus, hes my best friend, sounds odd, and not reality. i once thought this way i thought i knew what reality was, the truth is i was brainwashed from this world. the message the world give you, your hopless, theres no help, just have fun, the void will never be filled so try to fill it with meaningless bull: sex, relationships, drugs, things, anything that is a temporary fill. it all just fades and dies and leaves you emptier than before. u search aimlessly searching for someone somthing to make u feel the joy we all long for. u let the wind carry u and it feels good to be free and careless, but i found that the little bit of satisfaction i recieved from being alone going my own way was nothing to the actual loneliness i felt at the end of the day. why do we feel we cant do everything on our own? why do we fail? because were not perfect because we are not designed to be alone. its ok to be weak somtimes, man what pressure this world gives us on independence. forget the rules, the laws, what people dont understand is god dont care about that like u think he does. he just longs to be close to us. u might not beleive me but any intellectual person should try to be with him and see what happens ya kno. not just say hes real but be with him trust. i decided to try it before making any decision about how i feel about him, who am i to say chocolate is disgusting if i have never tasted it. perhaps u have run into some judgemental, asshole "christians" and they claim that are the spokespeople for the man upstairs. people misrepresent him all the time. which makes other people hate god when in accuality they hate the people that they have seen. there are not many christians out there. there are more who claim to be. have you ever felt joy so deep that covers every affliction, wound, and sadness that will ever come along? have u ever felt the words spoke to your soul, i love u, in a clear voice. can u imagine crying tears of joy for an hour when your best friend has just overdosed on heroine and died? let me tell u though i can explain in words, pain is pain it is always there but it doesnt knock me down, this is why i love him. im not judging you at all, in fact i understand and it infuriates me though i dont know u people. because i know someone has hurt u badly, kicked u around, and left u to die, and made u feel helpless. ive been there believe me. i was raped and beat by my father for years as a child then sent away by my parents like i was nothing. so naturally, i like to say, i became a drug attic and alcoholic, a fighter, and a crazy lover when i wanted. anyway i just, i dont know, like i said i cant explain, but i felt lead to sya this all to someone and that person knows who the are. sorry if i offended any of u.

Astreja said...

Jazz: "what does this world have to offer us, what real joy what real freedom?"

It's called 'Life'.

"i have a real realationship with jesus, hes my best friend, sounds odd, and not reality."

Correct. It sounds extremely odd and utterly divorced from reality as I know it. Why is it that your buddy only hangs out with people who want to think he's there?

"i thought i knew what reality was, the truth is..."

...still eluding you. You have an invisible friend, and you claim that you have truth? Guess again.

"it all just fades and dies and leaves you emptier than before."

Actually, it doesn't.

"u search aimlessly searching for someone somthing to make u feel the joy we all long for."

Found it. And without your god.

"why do we feel we cant do everything on our own?"

Because sometimes we need assistance from other people.

"why do we fail?"

Because we try. No trying, no failure... But no success, either. It's all part of the same package. The key is to keep trying.

"u might not beleive me but any intellectual person should try to be with him and see what happens ya kno."

Little girl... Read the Ex-timonies. We've been there, done that, and refuse to waste one more second of our lives pretending to believe in this god you love so much.

"have you ever felt joy so deep that covers every affliction, wound, and sadness that will ever come along?"

I think it's premature to think that this 'joy' is sufficient to cover future events. Let's see how it goes thirty years down the road.

"can u imagine crying tears of joy for an hour when your best friend has just overdosed on heroine and died?"

That is really, really messed up. I'll pass on that particular experience, thanks.

"let me tell u though i can explain in words, pain is pain it is always there but it doesnt knock me down."

This is correct: Pain is pain. Sarva duhkha. And it's good that you can deal effectively with it. But I don't need your god to give me the very same thing.

May your life continue to improve... But please don't post here again until you read more of the site and come to understand why we are Ex-Christians.

AtheistToothFairy said...

jazz wrote:
he just longs to be close to us
------
Jazz,

So you're saying your all-everything god has a HUMAN weakness of longing to be close to us, ey?
What other human weaknesses, does your god also have?
Would your god die if he didn't have humans to be 'close to'?
Frankly, your "god" sounds pretty darn human to me and very un-god like.


> u might not beleive me but any intellectual person should try to be with him and see what happens ya kno.

Well, of course I don't believe you. I do believe that YOU believe your delusion, but then, so also do the mentally ill believe their delusions are from reality.

I haven't done a head count, but I'm willing to say we have lots of "intellectual" folks here who tried to connect to your infamous god, only to hear silence back.
Perhaps your god feels inferior to anyone with an IQ over room temperature?
Just wondering


>who am i to say chocolate is disgusting if i have never tasted it.

So tell me then, any idea what Rat Poison taste like then?
Not everything one can "taste" would be good (or beneficial) to taste; your religion included.

>have u ever felt the words spoke to your soul, i love u, in a clear voice.

Yes I have, but never from any god being.

>because i know someone has hurt u badly, kicked u around, and left u to die, and made u feel helpless. ive been there believe me.

I think you should speak for yourself, because nothing you say here applies to me.
It is ironic however, how religion preys upon those who have had a rough time in their lives.
It pretends to offer a helping hand, but really only offers false hopes instead.

>i was raped and beat by my father for years as a child then sent away by my parents like i was nothing

Instead of assuming that god finally came to the rescue and gave you some purpose in life, perhaps you should ask yourself why your so called loving god, allowed you to suffer such horrific abuse in the first place, yes?
Of course, I'm sure you'll insist that your god was merely leading your towards him during all that abuse.
Lame excuses are never in short supply, when it comes to you xtians and your invisible sky buddy.


ATF (Who thinks jazz should anchor her life to reality, rather than things of fiction)

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