My nosey facebook aunt just outed me to my grandmother. Apparently my grandmother is now freaking out. I've only told certain people, and I'm only friends with certain family members on FB. Did she ever stop and think that this was something I was planning on talking to her about myself, and that I wasn't ready? Honestly, at a loss here about what to do now.

Views: 10

Comment by a7 on January 31, 2010 at 8:01pm
stand up and be counted, I am not saying it will be easy but if we want to make a difference we must stand up.

keep it loud and proud
Comment by Andrea on January 31, 2010 at 8:04pm
that's what i was doing on facebook, how my aunt saw i am an atheist, and then took it into her own hands to tell people in a very un-delicate way.
Comment by James on January 31, 2010 at 8:13pm
I'm sorry to hear that someone spilled the news before you were ready. Your best bet now is to talk to your grandmother and try to explain things as best you can. She may not accept it or be happy about it. But at the very least you can help her understand it, and that you still love her. Reinforce that you're still the same person you've always been and that this doesn't change things. How she will take your discussion will depend on how open minded she is, but I would suggest trying to mitigate the 'damage' as best you can whilst remaining truthful to yourself and her. Best of luck!
Comment by girlatheist on January 31, 2010 at 8:15pm
I would sit down and have a conversation with Grandma right away. I had to do this with my husband's grandmother. She was so worried about our eternal souls. I sat down and told her not to worry, that husband and I were not concerned or worried about our souls. We had different beliefs and that was that (she's a Mormon). The Mormons believe that families get their own planet and all live together after death and that was her concern. We weren't part of the LDS family and was a great concern to her. She was crying when I left, but honestly, there wasn't anything I could do about it.

I do agree that it's sometimes hard to "come out". I hate when people "out" me when I'm not ready. I empathize with you!
Comment by Rocky Oliver (LotusGeek) on January 31, 2010 at 8:42pm
Andrea - first, I'm sorry this happened. It does make things terribly difficult when people find out secrets about us, especially from someone other than ourselves. So, here's my take on this.

First, I want to make an observation, and it may be somewhat un-delicate. You had come "out" on Facebook, which you know is a very public place. As you said yourself, you were using it to casually come out - just putting it on there so that whomever saw it would know this about you. Well, you had to have thought - at least subconsciously - that members of your family would find out. It is Facebook, after all - so maybe you were hoping this would happen, deep down inside. Maybe not, but I just had to put it out there.

But it doesn't matter - it's done now. I would have to say that your aunt is being pretty bitchy, by doing this - she obviously knows that this is something that would upset your grandmother, and she deliberately did this to hurt you, and possibly her as well. It's a bit like a kid tattling on someone else - they do it for the attention themselves, and to make them look good by making you look bad.

So, I would definitely do as others have suggested, and sit down with grandma and have a calm, rational conversation. Let her know that you're still the same person you were before she knew - loving, kind, thoughtful, moral, etc. - and you haven't changed one bit from the person she knew before she found out. You can even give her hope - that IF you're supposed to believe and IF god has a plan for all of us, then this must be a part of that plan. That may help.

As for this aunt... well, I have to admit that I would be ROYALLY pissed off at her. I would also sit her down and have a stern conversation with her letting her know that you feel her actions were petty, childish, etc. I would ask her what she hoped to prove or gain by hurting your grandmother, and you, this way. I just think you can't let actions like that go by without holding her accountable.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

--Rock
Comment by Andrea on January 31, 2010 at 8:50pm
just got off the phone with my grandmother. could have gone better, but maybe subsequent conversations will help. she suggested therapy with her pastor. i politely declined. i'm still crying, and i'm pretty sure she is too. as for my aunt, she will be crying when i'm through with her.

as for facebook, i understand it's a public domain. however, the things my aunt told my grandmother i said were completely false. so, i'm guessing it was malicious. all i have on my account that alludes to my views is an "N/A" after my religious views. all my atheist talk is done by way of private message or on atheist friend's pages.
Comment by Rocky Oliver (LotusGeek) on January 31, 2010 at 8:55pm
Then yes, you're right - she's being malicious as hell. That has to be dealt with.

Good luck.

--rock
Comment by Shine on January 31, 2010 at 10:20pm
That is really terrible. I would be crushed if a family member told my grandmother, as I fear she would not understand and be frightened. Luckily, your grandmother is talking to you and a few good conversations will probably set her mind at ease. I do not want to speculate as to the specifics of your relationship with her, but I imagine that she is most likely just really scared and worried for you.

How Christlike of your aunt!
Comment by Gaytor on January 31, 2010 at 10:44pm
As for the Aunt and your comments after the conversation... I'm a divide and conquer kind of guy. In that scenario, I'd find something in each of my family members that would appeal to their sensibilities as to why she was wrong to have done that to you. Might be relating a story that you know about them that Grams doesn't know and how that would make them feel. Not even getting into arguing for non-belief. Just on the universal point that she's out of line in airing your laundry. I'd say nothing to the aunt and every family gathering I'd avoid her and make it uncomfortable so that everyone else approaches her to come apologize and I don't have to dirty my hands or say anything unfortunate. Then when it ends you appear to be the gracious one and the lesson is taught. It's a process, but it's effective and sends a message.
Comment by Andrea on February 1, 2010 at 7:59pm
i was most upset because it sounded like my aunt was telling my grandmother (and, as i found out today, my FATHER) things out of context, or just plain paraphrasing badly. so i let her know that, and i asked her to tell me exactly what she said to make my grandma freak out like she did. instead of calling me, she had my uncle call me and rip me a new asshole-while i was at work. he didn't let me get a word in edgewise, then said, "i can't listen to you anymore. i guess we'll see you in hell, then," and hung up on me. i called my aunt and told her i would have appreciated it if she would have called me herself...but then we went on to smooth things over. she apologized for saying it, and i apologized for getting nasty. and now my uncle thinks i need to call and apologize to him. wtf?

now my entire family is giving me the "i have doubts too...and i don't understand the bible either..." i DO understand the bible, and THAT'S why i've stopped believing.

now, apparently, i have to call my father too.

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