SRS My mom constantly undermines my stance on religion, and it's very frustrating.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by ZonariAn, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. ZonariAn

    ZonariAn New Member

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    I've got one issue that is still ongoing. It's not severe enough for me to really freak out, but over time, it's getting REALLY old. I've told my parents a few years ago, that I am a firm atheist. My mom and dad are very spiritual, but not christian. They are into paganism, I guess you could say. They believe in not only their gods and godesses, but others from other religions as well. Whenever I have an issue in my life, and I feel I could turn to my mom and ask for advice, this happens. Instead of giving me useful real-life advice, she tells me to "ask the gods" for help, spitting out a different god's name depending on the situation. I tell her every time, "mom...I don't believe in that." And her response is always "well it still wouldn't hurt to ask them."

    It's intensely frustrating to have my mom undermine my own very strong personal belief. I don't know if she feels that I am not "sure" of an existence of a higher power, even though I've made it perfectly clear that I don't believe there is one. When she approaches me with this it's not with bad intentions, and it's never forceful. The fact of the matter is that I'm an adult with my own ability to believe what I want. I never get mad and scream at her for approaching me like this. I want to find a way to explain to her that I don't appreciate her pushing aside my belief like it's petty nonsense, without hurting her feelings.

    About 4 years ago, when my parents "discovered" their religion, my mom tried so hard to get me and my sister to participate in rituals and other events. She tried to make a family coven. I told her straightforward that I don't want to participate, because it goes against how I feel. She immediately proceeded to cry and guilt trip me saying things such as "fine I guess you don't want to be a part of this family". That enraged me and I said to her "Will you look at yourself? You're no better than some crazed christian trying to force their family to go to church!!!" Ever since that day she shut up about trying to get me to participate in her rituals.
     
  2. notladstyle

    notladstyle New Member

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    Do you feel threatened by her convictions?

    If you do, you are probably trying to undermine her beliefs rather than the other way around.

    If you aren't threatened by her religious belief and simply want her to offer you real advice, you should tell her that. You could also say "OK" when she tells you to ask god. Then, when he doesn't answer, come back and ask her to give you advice again.
     
  3. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    Did you every consider that by saying you don't believe in what they believe that YOU are undermining THEIR beliefs, too?
     
  4. bowrofl

    bowrofl New Member

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    If someone is offended by the fact that not everyone believes the same thing that they do (eg: doesn't follow the faith they do), I think that is really their problem. Her mom would be completely irrational to expect her children to follow her beliefs, especially once they have reached the age where they are independent and rational.

    People need to open to other people's beliefs. You don't have to like them but you have to accept that other people believe different things. ZonariAn, IMO, isn't really doing anything bad by not following the mother's beliefs...

    See, the mother could not initially accept the fact that ZonariAn doesn't follow her in her beliefs. Pretty childish attitude to me, considering the mother has only been "spiritual" for a few years herself.

    As for the thread starter's problem.. I can't think of solution. It is impossible to make people like that see reason... find someone else to ask for advice? :dunno: Someone that actually is interested in helping you rather than pushing a belief system onto you, or offering trivial solutions like "asking the Gods for help"

    Apologies if any of this sounded harsh or had unfair judgments... I'm working with the information given :hs:
     
  5. summer1547

    summer1547 New Member

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    If it wasn't your mother it would be someone else. I'm an atheist also and my friends and even random strangers seem to always be telling me about their beliefs in God and telling me to give it a try. If you want acceptance than you you should accept others beliefs as well. I listen to what other people have to say and thank them for sharing but let them know that I have my own path to follow. If you know your mom's advice is going to be based on her own spiritual beliefs that you don't believe in than why do you constantly go and ask her for advice? You already know what you are going to get. So you are in essence causing your own frustrations and possibly putting a bigger rift between you and her by creating more emphasis on your differences.
     
  6. Spaceering

    Spaceering I bite.

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    HUGE .
     
  7. Spaceering

    Spaceering I bite.

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    what i thought 7960 was saying is what came to my mind.



    so threadstarter says that he asks mom for help, mom says ask my gods. Which implies that the mom is imposing her belief on him. Well he goes right back to the mom and says no, sorry mom this is my belief. Why is it now unfair to say that he is also imposing beliefs on his mom?


    do what a bunch of people said. You need to either find a bunch of atheists to ask advice from, or respect other people and their beliefs. You can choose to respect what your parents believe regardless of if they respect your beliefs. why does it have to be mutual respect?
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Your response "I don't believe in your gods" isn't very helpful to your cause, because it implies that you recognize their existence, but you refuse to interact with them. It would be better to say "the gods don't exist, so I'd be wasting my time."
     
  9. ZonariAn

    ZonariAn New Member

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    Just to clarify, I'm not a HE, I'm a she. And also to clarify it seems like some of you are missing the point and are reading this as being a situation where one belief is being forced upon another in a struggle of us trying to tell each other we are wrong. This is not the case. Read a little more carefully.

    Its not that I'm pleading for her acceptance, I really don't care if someone disagrees with my belief. I will listen to anyones rebuttal and have a logical debate on why I feel the way I do. That is not what I'm having a problem with. What is actually bothering me is the fact my mom pretends that my belief doesn't exist, and is of no help to me when I ask for real advice. I would like to point out that I am really close to my mother, and we don't have issues, except for this one. And in this instance, this issue hosts no aggression towards each other. There is no "rift" between us, whatsoever.

    Nothing you said sounded harsh whatsoever. I'd like to emphasize that no one is trying to force any beliefs on one another. I do not have the audacity to sit down with my parents and tell them why I think their beliefs are wrong. I would NEVER do such a thing. People are allowed to believe what they want to believe, and it is not my place to judge or criticize. My mother usually does offer great advice, but then likes to throw in that little spiritual bit at the end, which I feel unnecessary.


    No. I don't think that by me telling my mom that I don't believe in a higher power is me trying to undermine her beliefs. But when she goes over my head ANYWAYS and tells me "whether or not you believe in them, they are there, and they will help you" is pretty offensive to me. I never have and never will approach my parents and say "Whether or not you believe in them, they don't exist, and you're just barking in the dark."

    Maybe then I would be undermining them, but as for now, no, I am not. I hope that sheds a little clarity to your question.


    I'm not imposing anything on my mother, by wishing her to be respectful of my feelings and to stop giving me awful guidance into a direction that I will never follow. I am completely respectful to her in the sense where I would never say "you know what mom, your problems cannot be solved by the gods, so quit even bothering."

    There is nothing wrong with me expressing my free will and belief. Not once did I ever tell her, "do you honestly believe this crap?" or anything of that matter.

    I shouldn't need to find a group of Atheists to ask for life advice from. That is ridiculous. My problems that I request advice for have NOTHING to do with religion, so why should the person I'm asking for advice have the same stance as I do? When I'm asking for advice on a particular subject, that does NOT involve religion, wouldn't you think it'd be inappropriate for the person I'm asking advice from to spin it off to be a problem that can only be solved by an external power, instead of giving me a real tool, that I can apply to real life?

    She is my mother. She is the one person in my life that could fully understand and give me the advice I require, sometimes. She and I are an awful alot alike...and always have been. The only difference is that I'm more of a realist, and I have to have something proven to me to believe in it.

    That is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. I never used those words, maybe you should go to the top and read again. I said "mom I don't believe in that" More specifically I said on other occasions, "mom I don't believe in any sort of god", and "mom I don't believe in a higher power." Don't you come in here and try to psycho-analyze me to tell me that I am just confused and that I don't believe in my own heart what I feel to be true.

    Just don't. I know what I believe, and that is final. Period. So we aren't going down that road. Thank you.

    EDIT: Deus, I re-read what I had posted above and realize how hostile and rude that it came out. I do apologize for this...I could have used better wording. I just get frustrated when people challenge my belief like I'm incapable of knowing what I truly feel. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  10. ZonariAn

    ZonariAn New Member

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    I missed this one.

    No, I don't. And when it happens I usually try to change the subject, but somehow, she keeps bringing it up. She couldn't possibly be THAT oblivious to the fact that the conversation is making me uncomfortable, and I try to change the subject on purpose, but sometimes I wonder. I'm not going to just say "OK". I am not the one to just step aside like that. That would be disrespectful to myself and my own belief. All I want is for her to understand and to just STOP DOING IT!
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Good, so you know what you think and you know what you believe. However, you come across as NOT being sure about what you think or what you believe, because you lack any assertiveness whatsoever -- at least until you get pissed off. You've even repeatedly made statements to the effect that you would never be assertive about your beliefs with someone because you find that offensive. That would probably be why she keeps trying to get you to pray to her gods on a trial basis, and it's probably also why I walked all over you before. The problem is that by not enforcing your personal boundaries to start with, they end up getting violated, whether intentionally or unintentionally (i.e. people simply don't notice the boundaries exist at all), and then you get pissed off and defensive about it. Or at least that's the textbook case -- apply it to your own life as appropriate.

    The reason I said you should say "your gods don't exist, so it's a waste of time to ask for their help" is because that IS an assertive thing to say, and it gets across the point that you don't believe in the gods she believes in, no room for negotiation, which is what you need to do if you want to stop being pestered about it. She might react by shutting you out, I don't know, but that's her fault if she does that.

    Sometimes you have to be forceful and assertive to get your point across, whether it's with your fist or your words. That is the way things work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  12. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    and it's offensive to her for you to say "I don't believe they exist" when in her head she knows they do.


    :ugh:

    "Will you look at yourself? You're no better than some crazed christian ....

    I'm sure she didn't take that as you being respectful.


    Why should you go to a spiritual person and expect her not to give you a spiritual answer?


    or you need to stop asking her for advice.
     
  13. notladstyle

    notladstyle New Member

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    Have you ever told her flat out it makes you uncomfortable? I know you avoid the topic and she knows how you feel about religion, but have you directly told her you want HER advice, not gods?

    It is rather irresponsible of her to simply dismiss your request for advice from her by saying "ask god." I would get the feeling that my parent didn't care about me if she used this cop out.

    Realy you should question her competence to give you advice as she obviously has no ability to consciously and confidently make her own decisions (hence her need to rely on an imaginary entity to make decisions for her even though the decisions she will "perceive" from this entity will be entirely her own anyways).
     
  14. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    wtf.........did you just say anyone who turns to god isn't competent?
     
  15. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect a family member to give you advice when you ask them for it, not a lame cop-out telling you to go throw a coin in a wishing well and wait until you figure out your own answer.

    However, it is pretty clear her mom isn't interested in helping her the way she wants to be helped, so it's probably best to give up and ask someone who is willing to help.
     
  16. 7960

    7960 New Member

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    and I think if someone is truly devoted to god(s) and believes they have all the answers, then telling someone to listen to the god(s) isn't a cop out.

    And it's also someone I wouldn't go to for advice.
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It is a cop-out for two reasons:

    1. She asked her mother for HER OWN advice, not for a suggestion on who else to ask for advice.

    2. Her mother knows (though is apparently unwilling to accept) that she doesn't believe in those gods, so telling her to ask them instead is the same as telling her to throw a coin in a wishing well.

    Obviously you have to relate to people on their terms, but that street goes both ways. There's an Indian woman in my office; we both speak English, but she also speaks Punjabi. If I asked her a question in a language she understands, it would be rude of her to insist on answering me in a language I don't understand.

    Maybe her mother could offer to "channel her gods' wisdom" or somesuch.
     
  18. Leaden Grudge

    Leaden Grudge OT Supporter

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    I think it's just something you're going to learn to live with. I'm sure it gets pretty annoying sometimes, but that's all it is, an annoyance. Nothing worth freaking out over. When you ask your mom for advice and she starts talking about voodoo stuff, tell her you want advice from her, not Ganesha, and if she doesn't help you then, roll your eyes and walk away. Find someone else willing to talk.
     
  19. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    Don't go to parents for advice that has anything to do with the human condition or the future or hypotheticals or whatever.

    If they push their Pagan shit on you then walk away. No minds are going to be changed and they will get the picture eventually in terms of what happens with you when they bring it up.
     
  20. djshotglass

    djshotglass New Member

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    I guess the lesson here is your mother isn't a very good person to ask for advice. If she's not going to give real advice ask someone else. And don't let it piss you off when she tries to force her views on you.
     
  21. Diesel66

    Diesel66 My standards for women is like rent-a-centers stan OT Supporter

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    exactly... yet the threadstarter is freaking out because his mom mentions religion to him.
     
  22. ZonariAn

    ZonariAn New Member

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    You know what I believe? I believe you didn't read the thread. Because if you had, you would have caught were I re-iterated that I was not a guy.

    You would have also noticed that I'm not "freaking out" yet annoyed and frustated at the situation.
     
  23. Ameter

    Ameter Active Member

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    agreed. It's undermining their faith if you constantly tell them they're stupid for believing it, not your telling them you don't personally believe in it
     
  24. ZonariAn

    ZonariAn New Member

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    Right, and that's exactly what I'm NOT doing.
     

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