12/10/2009                                                                                       View Comments

Beginning of Freedom

by Mriana

I want to share something with all of you, because I finally made what feels like a small step towards freedom, especially when I hung up the phone after talking to my mother.

The night before she informed me that my younger son would be better off if he became a Christian and blabbed on and on about it as though it would cure his problems. I asked her, “What if he chose Buddhism?” She responded, “NO! There is no Christ. Blah, blah, blah.” And so it went with me making yet another excuse as to having to get off the phone in an effort to run from her. I proceeded to go on a rant, which led to a good shift kick in the butt by someone else. Figuratively of course, not literally.

I took a deep breath, as suggested, and said to myself, “It is time to grow up” and then proceeded to call my mother before I lost my nerve.

I picked up where we had left off the night before.

Even though it was her birthday I still took a step towards coming out to her as a humanist and told her after her comments yesterday about my younger son, I did not want her imposing her beliefs on either one of my sons. She asked why and I told her I never raised them as Evangelicals and I never allowed anyone to take them to an Evangelical Church when they were little. The first time my older son attended one was at my grandmother's funeral and he did not like it anymore than I did.

She asked why again. I told her I do not like Evangelical teachings, never have, and as a child, I wanted to run out of church, but I was afraid she and the other adults would get mad at me. I further explained that I got baptized because I did not want to make her, Uncle Richard, or anyone else mad. I also told her that I only went to church so I would not make her or anyone else mad. Finally, I told her why I took my sons to an Episcopal Church and how I would rant about the crucifixion being barbaric and communion being cannibalism to priests, etc etc, right up to her saying, "But I want you and my grandsons to go to heaven." I stopped short of saying I do not believe in heaven, though I pondered saying it for a brief moment. Instead I said, "Mother, you are welcome to your beliefs, I just don't want you imposing them on my sons like you have me, even if they are grown."

Then we started talking about my step-cousin who committed suicide. She does not believe they were part of what drove him to suicide. She was in denial and said her preacher knew more about his being brain dead than I do. My older son responded after I told him what she said, “I would have laughed about that one.” He has read my college textbooks and knows almost as I do about the human brain.

That part of the conversation did not get too much further, except she accused my step-cousin of being on drugs because he was taking narcotics. I told her doctors do prescribe narcotics when a person is in extreme pain- like the pain after four back surgeries.

Our conversation did not get much past that, but I did slip in that the virgin birth is a myth. I think she had shut down by that time and did not hear it. However, she did thank me for telling her all of that though, but I could hear her breathing hard, as though she were having one of her asthma attacks.

She did not ask if I believed in heaven. She did not ask what I believe at all. She did ask if that was why I quit going to the Episcopal Church. So I told her that was one of many reasons and then proceeded to tell her that I taught my sons to think for themselves and when they quit going to church around fourteen, I had no reason to go. I also explained that it was because how that particular church treated my younger son too. However, the biggest reason of all is that I have studied religion and its origins, especially that of Christianity.

She interrupted with, "Well good!" I almost laughed, but did not tell her that last was the end of any belief I did have. I also added that I even got the esoteric in the process of studying religion. She asked, “What's the esoteric.” Sigh. I just said, "What the common people don't get." She still did not ask me what I do believe though.

I am letting her chew on what I did say. If she thinks about any of it or even stresses over it, like it sounded she was about to, she will probably be calling me and asking questions. Who knows, but I think she might be in some shock right now or maybe it is because I refused to argue with her. I do not know, but I do not think this conversation is finished. It has probably only just begun, because I only told her the tip of the iceberg and I think she will realize it once she digests some of what I said, because there were several clues in there, but she has not asked anymore questions yet.

She now has all the reasons as to why I do not attend church, save one- the big one and that is the exact words “I'm a Humanist.”

I brought the topic up this time or rather started it from where we ended- with my younger son and all the night before. She was asking questions, I refused to argue, and she ended the phone call this time. Without any further questions... yet.

My older son came home from hanging out with his friends and I told him what happened between his grandmother and me. He laughed and said, “Grandma is in need of clue in the form of a baseball bat," after I told him what all was said and her reaction. I replied to his statement with, "Well, I could use what's her name's clue-by-four, but I think if we give your grandmother time, she might hear what I was saying." She was obviously a bit off-balanced by it and was the one who ended the phone call, instead of me, this time. I don't think it has quite sunk in yet, at least not beyond asking "Why?" like a child.

I am not sure exactly what happened, but I believe I told her I do not share her beliefs. Not in exact words, but she will probably get the message once she has had time to process it all. I am leaving the ball with her and whatever happens next happens. I have no clue how she is going to react once it hits her what I was telling her, but I feel like a weight has begun to lift and am starting to taste true freedom.



11 comments:

webmdave said...

Mriana, I'm glad you came out, to your mother. I told my dad and mom the same, 17 years ago, and I only see them once a year or so now. I've not had a religious discussion with anyone in my family for a LONG time. No, I doubt if they will ever "see reason". as long as they leave me alone in certain respects, I will be OK with it. Yes, it's hard to live a lie, so I think you did the right thing.

webmdave said...

It does feel good, except one thing is missing and that is saying, "I'm a humanist. I don't believe in heaven or hell... etc etc" However, it does feel like the first tastes of true freedom.

She did call me back about two days later and did not mention a single word about our conversation. It was almost like it never happened. Oh well. At least I said it finally, but I'm not quite done yet.

I woke up the other morning to my alarm clock playing "Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'" and I couldn't help but smile. 1. Because that was one of my favourite songs growing up and 2. I have esoteric knowledge my mother does not have and learned what it all about.

"Winter is here again, oh Lord
Haven`t been home in a year or more
I hope she holds on a little longer

Sent a letter
On a long summer day
Made of silver, not of clay
ooh, I`ve been running
Down this dusty road

(CHORUS)
Ooh, the wheel in the sky
Keeps on turning
I don`t know where I`ll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turning"

The wheel in the sky is the sun. The sun is a nice warm thing and great for getting a tan in the summer. Might give you a skin cancer or two, but in a few days it will be making it's way back to the northern hemisphere to warm us all again. Warmth. That's nice thing, but then again Joe Peshi could keep me warm on these cold winter nights too, but I'd rather have Michael Dorn. :lol:

Oh and thanks. Love you guys too. :) Lots of warmth here too.

webmdave said...

Mriana -

Way to go kid! I knew you had it in you. Now when you finally let it all out, like I finally did recently with my mother, you'll really feel empowered.

It took me about 20 years of taking little steps, like you, but I finally told her everything. It went something like this.......

"I am an atheist. I don't believe in heaven or hell. There is no god. Jesus never lived. You and the church ruined my life! I love you but I am still bitter over loosing half of my life believing a lie. I caused my children much pain and confusion because I raised them in the church. If you want a relationship with me you MUST respect who I am. NEVER use words like "I am praying for you" or "God loves you" or "Please come back, before it's too late", etc.

After a week she called me back and asked my forgiveness for making mistakes. She said she would abide by my rules and watch what she says to me from now on. She said she could never turn her back on Jesus, but she would respect my wishes and not talk about god to me.

My mom is almost 94 and won't be around much longer. I'm so glad that I let her know who I am before she died. I love her but she's crazy and she made me crazy for most of my life.

Thankfully now.......I AM FREE!!!!!! Wow, does it feel good!!

I know that someday you will find the strength to let it all out. Remember, YOU have the power because YOU have the TRUTH!

You go Girl!!!!! We love you,

XPD

webmdave said...

Mriana -

Way to go kid! I knew you had it in you. Now when you finally let it all out, like I finally did recently with my mother, you'll really feel empowered.

It took me about 20 years of taking little steps, like you, but I finally told her everything. It went something like this.......

"I am an atheist. I don't believe in heaven or hell. There is no god. Jesus never lived. You and the church ruined my life! I love you but I am still bitter over loosing half of my life believing a lie. I caused my children much pain and confusion because I raised them in the church. If you want a relationship with me you MUST respect who I am. NEVER use words like "I am praying for you" or "God loves you" or "Please come back, before it's too late", etc.

After a week she called me back and asked my forgiveness for making mistakes. She said she would abide by my rules and watch what she says to me from now on. She said she could never turn her back on Jesus, but she would respect my wishes and not talk about god to me.

My mom is almost 94 and won't be around much longer. I'm so glad that I let her know who I am before she died. I love her but she's crazy and she made me crazy for most of my life.

Thankfully now.......I AM FREE!!!!!! Wow, does it feel good!!

I know that someday you will find the strength to let it all out. Remember, YOU have the power because YOU have the TRUTH!

You go Girl!!!!! We love you,

XPD

webmdave said...

Well done Mriana.
Sounds like you broke it pretty gently, which is hard to do.

I've been pondering whether to take up the issue with my own mum. There's no secrets between us about my lack of belief, but I really don't like that she suffers, sometimes in tears, believing I'm going to hell for rejecting Jesus.
I'd like to convince her I'm not, because there's no such place, and do it so that she really believes I'm not.
Except that would mean shattering the whole foundation of the rest of her life...

webmdave said...

Good for you, Mriana! Though I am pretty sure my mother knew I didn't believe as she did, I never got up the courage to tell her.

You mother's asthma attacks reminded me of my mother having some sort of "attack" when things weren't going her way. She would start breathing fast, get dizzy, and have to lie down. Sometimes her 'headache" would continue till we had supper ready and Dad was coming through the door, then she would miraculously appear in the dining room chirruping about what a lovely day it was and serving dinner as if she had made it.

webmdave said...

I am glad you were able to tell your Mom where you stood! I know this is a milestone for you.

I hope, as the consequences unravel, that you will be able to navigate the stresses and surprises and get on with a normal, ex-Christian life.

webmdave said...

Mriana, It must feel good to have that anvil lifted from your shoulders !
I agree with Steven Bently above. It seems like once that " spark " is set off in certain peoples' brains, they are set that way for life. I, myself, know few people who have ever woken up from that seductive lie.
I know that your sons must feel pride in you, that you have slowly opened the door ( about your stand in Humanism ) to your Mother.
She's probably angry & upset about it, but she HAS to respect you for disclosing this to her.~~~~keep up the good fight, anything worth having in your life, is worth fighting for. : )

webmdave said...

Congratulations Mriana,

I know how hard this is for you, but well done for taking those little steps.

Let's hope they can become giant strides, soon.

Peace,

David

webmdave said...

I am happy for you Mriana. I can see you don't want to hurt your Mother, but you know, "you gotta do what you gotta do". Your sons must be so very proud of you exhibiting that strength. Best Wishes.

webmdave said...

Good for you, Mriana. And better yet, good for your kids! It's so important for them to know that you've got their backs. It's also extremely good for them to see your example of taking the difficult but right road in a tough social situation.