I Hereby Resolve…Sort of…

On another blog site that I visit from time to time, www.exchristian.net, I read a post from Gabe. He was a seminary student (third year I think),he could no longer believe in Christianity and de-converted.  He was very upfront with his seminary professors and pastors with his rejection of Christianity.  He posted some of his email communications with them and it was a fascinating read.  I was inspired by how candid he was.  He did wait until he was out of the state before he emailed them, but still, he was honest with them.  It gave me new resolve to be more up front, which has always been my desire.  He reminded me of how honesty is the best policy, but the posting also reminded me of how awful it is to be upfront about de-converting.  It reminded me of how there is nothing you can say that will allow for relationships to continue as they were or even at all and it reminded me of how angry it makes Christians when you don’t buy in anymore.  So the dilemma continues if it really is a dilemma at all.  I guess it’s just a matter of deciding whether you want to end relationships or not, because they will end, of course, but  not until  you’ve been kicked in the teeth by believers attempting to bring you back to god and to the fold, but I digress… 

For the most part, I don’t really miss the friends I had from church.  The only reason we even hung out at all was because of our religious beliefs and now that those are gone, there isn’t really anything there.  They don’t know that though.  All they know is I don’t return their calls and I avoid them as much as possible.  I know this hurts them, but I also know the truth would hurt them more.  Am I compassionate or a chicken?  I’m not sure, maybe a little of both.

I have one friend that continues to call me and tell me she’s thinking about me and asks if we can get together.  Every time I hear a message from her I think I should just call her back and say D, this is how it is and then just tell her the truth, we are friends after all, but every time I think it through, I know what would happen. The news would devastate her.  I can’t tell her now.  I don’t know if I ever can.  How could I do that?  I know I can’t get together with her.  All she will want to talk about is why I don’t go to church anymore and eventually she would ask me where I am at spiritually…those of you who have been there know the drill.  If I tell her I don’t believe anymore, she would look at me as an apostate in the clutches of hell.  Who wants to hang around with a friend who thinks that?  We’ve been friends for over 20 years, but our friendship is over.  It just is.  It doesn’t hurt so much anymore.  It just makes me pissed—pissed at religion and what it does.

 Part of me wants to send out an email and just let everyone know, get it all out, let them do their shtick and move on.  As I have said before, it’s a fantasy of mine, but once I do that, there is no going back and I have a pretty good idea of what the fall out will be. I saw it in the emails Gabe posted and I have also experienced it in a small way.   For example: this was the first Christmas I spent without my sister and her family.  Why? Because she knows I’m not a believer anymore…she made other excuses, but she’s not being honest.  We used to talk a few times a week, get together when we could and always, ALWAYS spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together…I haven’t heard from her since before Thanksgiving and that call was just to pretty much rake me over the coals until I hung up in tears and all this coincided with me having to tell her of my non-belief…a coincidence?  I don’t think so.  It’s obvious why she’s avoiding me and she’s my sister!  Family is supposed to love you no matter what.  It gives me pause to think how others who don’t really love me and aren’t family will react towards me…yikes!

In spite of all that, being who I am, I’m seriously considering making a New Year’s resolution to just come out with the truth…I’ll keep you posted. 

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rebecca shannon
    Dec 29, 2007 @ 04:46:27

    And those of us who understand will be here for you. 🙂

    Reply

  2. notabarbie
    Dec 29, 2007 @ 06:05:30

    I knew that, but it’s always nice to be reminded…thank you and happy new year!

    Reply

  3. roopster
    Jan 02, 2008 @ 05:00:28

    notabarbie,

    Good luck and Happy New Years!

    Paul

    Reply

  4. notabarbie
    Jan 04, 2008 @ 01:36:59

    Paul-my first resolution for the year is to live my life more honestly–I’m sure you know what that entails. I’m holding on to my hat, but I’m also excited at the relief it will eventually bring. Happy New Year to you too. Thanks for being there.

    Reply

  5. happywash
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 04:13:29

    It’s a funny thing, “blood.” That kind of thing got me thinking about my family (which is Barbie’s family, too). It reminded me of something Andrew Vachss, my favorite author, said. It’s not about blood, it’s about behavior. You can say, “I’m your sister, and I love you,” but if all you do is turn your back on your sister and refuse to talk to her because she doesn’t believe in the flying spaghetti monster, what does that say about her “blood relation” love? Can you really say there is love there? I can’t really speak to what my oldest sister truly feels, but I can judge her behavior, and it is appalling. It’s one thing to avoid touchy topics and try to have fun with your siblings (every family does that, right?), it’s another to have someone pour their heart out and be treated with disdain and a cold shoulder. That crosses the line, and that is not “love.”

    Reply

  6. notabarbie
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 22:44:11

    Thanks for having my back bro. It means a lot to me and actually makes things a bit easier to deal with. Even if our other siblings are freaks, we still have each other. Who would have thought? We’re freaks too, but in a good way…yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Reply

  7. Slapdash
    Mar 17, 2008 @ 03:06:36

    hi notabarbie,

    I am curious about your 20-year friend who you are sure will freak out if you tell her of your deconversion. I’m not recommending you “come out” to her, but I will say that I “came out” to my 20-year friend who I was sure would react in the exact same way as you fear… and she didn’t. I forgot that one nice benefit of “once saved, always saved” theology is that if you really were saved at one point in time, then it’s a done deal… and adherents to that theology then don’t have to worry about your eternal damnation. In other words, my friend didn’t freak out as much as I thought, because she said she was still certain that God was with me and I was still saved. I dunno, it wasn’t an easy conversation but she reacted much better than I thought thanks to that little theological tidbit. I can, and do, still count her among my friends.

    Reply

  8. notabarbie
    Mar 17, 2008 @ 06:58:04

    Slapdash – I actually did come out to her recently. I just haven’t had time to blog about it yet and our dialog is on going. You are right, her reaction was not as horrible as I thought it would be, but I did it in the form of a letter and so she had time to digest it all before she responded, which I believe is a good thing. She says she would like to try and remain friends. I just think it would be too awkward for both of us, but we will see. At this point she believes that she is saved and if what I am telling her is really what I believe, than I am not. That makes it tough to hang out, you know? It is getting easier and easier to come out to people. I feel much stronger and secure these days and making new, non Christian friends has helped a lot.
    Thanks for reading and for sharing your experience. I means a lot.

    Reply

  9. Slapdash
    Mar 18, 2008 @ 00:00:27

    Hi notabarbie… “That makes it tough to hang out, you know?” Yes, I know. And I have mourned that loss of closeness in several friendships. I’ve lost the ability to bare my soul with them, because they will judge, argue, try to convince, or otherwise not understand. And while I can bare my soul to my secular friends, on another level THEY don’t understand the struggle of coming out of a fundamentalist background, and the tension, confusion, angst, and upset involved. So man, it is a really lonely place to be. That’s part of why I wish I could find de-converts in my area so I could have more than just online conversations with people who really *get* it.

    Reply

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