Sometimes my Theist family makes me want to SCREAM!
I can feel that there is a divide forming in my relationships with them... but especially with my mother and brother. I guess my mother's "zealot" habits aren't REALLY her fault... she's an impressionable and passive woman who was brought up in the "Deep South Bible Belt." Still... an excuse for irrationality and harrassment of "Heretics" doesn't make the pain any less for me.

Recently, I was extremely shocked! I couldn't sleep last night due to a slight bout of indigestion, so I went downstairs to get some anti-acid medicine. My dad was watching "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and I stayed down a while to watch a bit of it with him... [I take a lot of interest in Law and Order]. Everything seemed to go well, at first.

The criminal on the Show was an insane Conservative Christian who killed his whole family to "save his daughter's innocence [her virginity]" - don't ask about the logic in this... there isn't supposed to be any. I was aware that the man's "conservativeness" had VERY little to do with his violent acts and also that MOST conservatives are NOT violent in the least... but I messed up while watching the show. I made a comment that set my Dad off on a tirade which eventually came to harrassment of my atheism.

I said [about half-way through the show... when I figured this out] "The killer's an ultra-conservative, isn't he?" - I thought it was an innocent question/ comment... a statement of fact.... I guess not.

Suddenly my dad gets angry and starts yelling at me ["God" knows why none of the other ppl in the house didn't wake up!] I don't remember much of what he said... but I do remember him mentioning how "my comments that I wrote on my American Atheist Magazine had been REALLY offensive to him."

At this point I had gone from "Where the Hell did that come from?" to sudden understanding that I was going to be harrassed again. Then I realized that he must have read my American Atheist Magazine... which to keep from offending others, I usually take meticulous measures to make sure it's out of sight [in a bag, my back-pack, on my bookshelf, or in my PERSONAL magazine rack in my closet.

I protested to my dad that he shouldn't have been able to read it without removing it from my bag by the loveseat [that's where it was last]. He said that it WASN'T there that he found it... he found it in the pile with the other magazines.

I'm thinking: WHAAATT?!!!
I'm still EXTREMELY doubtful that I put it there... it would make NO sense for me to leave something provocative to some theists lying around like that...

I figure it's possible that SOMEONE removed it from my bag at some point... IDK....

So... I went to bed frightened, angry, and sad.... I had trouble sleeping.

I HAD made some harsh annotated comments on the article in the magazine talking about how the Pope had made a public statement in the heart of "AIDS country" in Africa that "Condoms don't help protect against AIDS and might actually make the problem worse." - When he knew that wasn't true... he was just trying to promote "No Birth Control." My comments were scathing... but I was extremely angry that the Pope valued so-called "Purity" over MILLIONS OF HUMAN LIVES!!!
Also... I would NEVER have written those comments had it ever CROSSED MY MIND that a theist would read the article!

-I had intended to keep it from my family's eyes... I failed. -

I was also dumbfounded that Dad found my annotations, like the one where I said that I thought Pope Benedict should actually called "Pope I'm-a-Dick" were more offensive than the Pope's actions!

I tried to explain to my Dad that I WASN'T trying to offend him and I WASN'T attacking him...
but he said something like, "Whenever you attack a Xtian, you attack me..."
I thought.... "Yeah.... and what the Pope did was VERY XTIAN wasn't it?"

The next morning I found out more... it was actually my MOTHER who had originally looked at the article and shown it to my Dad when she was enraged by it...

She claimed I "left it on the floor" - but this sounds rediculous to me... sure it's possible... but why would I leave something soo provocative to Xtians ON THE FLOOR IN THE LIVING ROOM?!!!
It's like leaving PLAY BOY on the floor!!!

I was doubtful of this.... although I also doubted that she'd been the one who'd removed it from my bag [I will NEVER know who did this].

I found out that she was the first one when I tried to complain to her about the way my dad had treated me last night and she cut me off and fussed at me for "leaving such horrible comments" in my magazine.

I tried to explain why I had left those comments about the pope in a moment of anger... but she cut me off again and said, "I don't CARE why you left them... you CAN'T say stuff like that!!"
- She also tried to blame me for "Starting the problem by bringing up my Atheism." - Actually I DIDN'T bring up my atheism, my dad did....

I then asked her if she read the article... and her response was VERY telling!

She said, "No... I think that magazine is misguided and propaganda and it's dangerous for you."
I was thinking, "Jeez how can you judge a magazine if you HAVEN'T READ IT?!!!

I asked her WHY she had told my dad [Whom I knew had a short fuse and a tendency to erupt in gigantic ways when that fuse went off. " - She knew it too... she's been married to him for 24 years!

She responded... "I was trying to protect you."

"Protect me from what Mom?"
"From Yourself."

So, she tries to "Protect me from myself" by going to my "hot head" of a father and telling him something that is BOUND to make him erupt on me about my atheism?!

Is it just me or am I living in a world of Up-side down logic?

Any comments?

Views: 6

Tags: American Atheist, Atheist, Atheist discrimination, Harrassment, Magazine, My family, Theists

Comment by Michel-san on January 4, 2010 at 1:33pm
Ouch!!! Persecuted in your home. You won't be living there forever at least. Just think, in the 16th century they would have been angry if you criticised the pope's belief that the Sun was orbiting the Earth - to protect you from yourself.

Hmm... back then I suppose I'd agree with them, they used to burn people back then! But now you're safe, we have human rights. It took god - the source of all morality - until 1948 to realise he'd forgotten to give them to us, or maybe he was distracted by more important issues and couldn't find room for them in a holy book.
Comment by Dave G on January 4, 2010 at 1:44pm
I'm guessing that placing a lock on your door, so that they won't have to be offended by your 'heathen ways' (or be able to snoop about in your room) would just cause more problems.
Comment by Gaytor on January 4, 2010 at 2:45pm
Religious leaders are not subject to attack? I see. How about Islamic Clerics? Have any of them ever said or done anything to be critical of? If you enter the public square you open yourself up to scrutiny. Is your father ever critical of a celebrity? Why would have have the right to do that? Does he understand that when you speak about that celebrity that he offends everyone whom is a fan? Can you get a list of whom is not subject to attack in the house? These may be inflammatory questions you shouldn't ask.

This is an emotionally abusive situation that you are describing. From your brother to your mother to your father. Making any progress in these relationships is going to have to center on the reality of this being abuse. As a kid I was in the middle, a boy, and my Dad likes to tell jokes. Often they are pointed jokes making fun of people. There was a period around 12 or so (my age) that the ribs were never ending from all sides. Eventually I responded, "if you call me stupid all of the time, why wouldn't I start to believe it?" My mom stepped in to protect me as she should because the point hit her hard. Then we went to a normal level of abuse and that was that. I hope that you find a way to show them a mirror so that someone steps in to end it. I don't know how you've gotten to this point with them, but maybe they likely have some points to be made. If you want the abuse to end, a big sit down is needed.
Comment by Skycomet the Fallen Angel on January 4, 2010 at 3:06pm
Thanks Gaytor... I know that it is abuse... a lot of the "stuff" that goes on in my house [and what I mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg] fits the TEXTBOOK definition of Psychological or Emotional Abuse... however, I am the only one that can see this, apparently. My sister is STARTING to get with the program and realize that something is VERY wrong with our family relationships... but she's only 15, which makes her quite young to understand more discrete types of abuse like emotional... [Sexual and Physical abuse... being able to leave "physical" evidence... are more widely accepted as abuse.]
My mother is in COMPLETE denial... she lives in a fantasy world where our family is as "tight-knit," "loving," and "normal" as she wants it to be. She doesn't believe there's any more of a problem then any "normal" family would have.
I refer to my mother as "The 1950s House Wife" in my journal sometimes because she "acts the part" of what "Women's" magazines of the 1950s said a woman should be....
- Obedient, Submissive, Passive, Does all or most of the housework, main childrearer, etc. -
... it's rather sad that she has such a backwards position in life... I feel sorry for her because I KNOW that she didn't TRUELY choose her role... it was "programed" into her at somepoint... and I can see the wear and tear that her efforts to be the "perfect" wife and mother are taking on her.

Still... I don't think anything is going to get better anytime soon.... no one but me recognizes that the levels of emotional abuse, manipulation, and the resulting resentment in my house are so high that they're driving the family apart. I can't save my mother from her "fantasy land" or my dad from himself... they have to save themselves....

In the mean time... I'm NOT going to let them control my life much longer... being 21 and on the same sized leash as a 14 year old is not very comfortable. And I am developing a secret plan to get out should they refuse to let me go off to LIVE at school next year.
Comment by Gaytor on January 4, 2010 at 3:19pm
I was biting my tongue on "Run Away!" because I'm a bit of an emotionally disconnected person. I wouldn't want to tell people to be like me. I'd offer space in our house, but I don't think that my wife would appreciate "Honey, we're adopting a 21 year old girl!" I hope that if you can't quell the mess, that your escape plan works. I love it when a plan comes together.
Comment by Skycomet the Fallen Angel on January 4, 2010 at 3:32pm
Thanks... I'm going off to college... and if I need a place to go ["heaven forbid" lol] then I have a couple of friends who live in apartments not associated with their colleges out of this state that I could turn to... I could help them pay the rent....
But... I will give my family a chance to hold some form of contact with me... they just have to let me go off to school and live on my own next year. [I have to set a deadline... or I'll never get away from this situation.]
Comment by Michel-san on January 4, 2010 at 5:21pm
It's good that you have somewhere else to go! It may be the only solution to your problem as unfortunately faith is often stronger than family.
Comment by John Nguyen on January 5, 2010 at 7:20pm
New Year's Resolutions. At this point, my best recommendation is that you avoid confrontation so long as you are financially dependent on your parents. No one wants to be disowned over something like this. Best to wait until you're safely on your own before you really start to assert yourself.

Don't let them roll you over, though. Remember, they care about you, misguided as they may be. Try to always remain calm in the face of their hysteria. Getting emotional right back can only hurt.

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