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Going against the grain...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Frebis, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. xrayvision

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    I can personally see how this goes both ways. When it comes to dating, my mother gives out the absolute worst advice. Instead of hearing me out on an issue, she ends up playing devils advocate and and then somehow makes the problem my fault. In general, she misunderstands everything I say and gives out her advice according to her interpretation. By the end of a conversation, I don't even know who I am anymore and she wants to call her therapist, FOR ME!

    Conversely, she gives great advice on how I should deal with people in day-to-day life. I tend to be somewhat intolerant of stupidity(read: completely intolerant) and she always has a great way to calm me down and show me a healthier perspective on an issue.

    Focus: My parents desperately want me to date a Jewish girl. Being from south Florida, a decent Jewish girl is about a common as literacy down there. Does. Not. Exist. I don't have time for JAPS and entitlement complexes. I'm not saying there aren't ANY. But I have yet to meet one. My mom will say something like, "You can marry whoever you want...BUT IT WOULD BE NICE, if she was Jewish." This really means, "You can marry whoever you want, but I will never truly accept her in our family, unless shes Jewish."
     
  2. Pinkcup

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    Are you honest with your parents about everything except this? What I mean is, do they know about the amounts of premarital sex you're having? All of the orfices you have premarital sex in? Or do they just know that you do have sex but don't know any more detail than that?

    Spirituality, like sexuality, is a personal and PRIVATE matter. You aren't obligated to discuss either with anyone....unless you're sharing fluids or ideas about the Rapture. A fuzzy answer is perfectly acceptable here. Tell them that the ski trip is important to you, and you have every intention of attending Easter services with them next year. But this year you're doing something different.
     
  3. Beefy Phil

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    Alright. Let's assume you avoid the issue this time. They get over you missing Easter, things are fine for a while.

    Hypothetically speaking, let's say 10 years down the line, you fall in love with a Jewish girl. Or an atheist. Or an agnostic. Or someone who, one way or another, doesn't see eye-to-eye with your parents on the issue of religion. You want to marry this girl, have children, start a life, etc. Not only does it become patently obvious that you are not falling in line with their church, but that you are willing to create and raise a child with someone who they believe is going to Hell. According to the way you've described their mentality, you're inevitably going to have to choose between her or them, or risk disownment. Are you willing to tailor every major life decision you make to suit their needs from now until they die? There is a difference between sacrifice for the sake of family, and obedience for the sake of approval.

    That's just one hypothetical situation in which their values are determining the direction of your life. This goes beyond religion, too. I'm sure there are several cases where one can easily substitute 'religion' with 'race', 'class', 'ethnicity', 'social background', etc. In every case, you'll have to decide whose happiness takes precedence. Theirs or yours.
     
  4. xrayvision

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    If you refer to my above post, someone with self-respect and dignity would never make that decision. Life is just too short to be eternally nagged. I'd like to think Frebis would never exercise such an egregious lack of judgement.
     
  5. Beefy Phil

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    It's safe to assume you don't own a "Shiksas Are For Practice" shirt?
     
  6. Sam N

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    Print this Emily Dickinson poem out and leave copies of it around their house like toytoy's ex's death notes. Then sit back and watch their minds be blown.

    Some keep the Sabbath going to Church --
    I keep it, staying at Home --
    With a Bobolink for a Chorister --
    And an Orchard, for a Dome --

    Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice --
    I just wear my Wings --
    And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
    Our little Sexton -- sings.

    God preaches, a noted Clergyman --
    And the sermon is never long,
    So instead of getting to Heaven, at last --
    I'm going, all along.


    But of course, they will probably think you are gay, and thus damned anyways. So there's that...


    Or go with this, though they will probably think you're an idiot:

     
    #26 Sam N, Mar 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  7. Frebis

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    I see where you are coming from, but you have a major flaw in your scenarion, I love pork too much to ever mary a Jew.

    In all seriousness, I suppose telling them this won't be the end of the world. They might be pissed for a while, but in the end they will invite me back, and we just won't talk about the subject any more. Or that is how I hope it will play out. They have to forgive me right? It's not like I'm bringing home a black girl.

    Thanks for the advice. I want to hear from people that have actually been disowned by their parents. What did you do and what was it like?
     
  8. tntnikki

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    My parents hated my first husband. I was 16 when we got together, and I moved in with him when my Dad made the "my home, my rules" speech. We were together for 12 years- during which time I saw my dad and stepmom about once a year for a very strained family meal, usually at xmas.

    I had, all that time, vilified my father, and thought him small minded. And then I left my first husband. My father was a rock for me at that time. He was supportive and understanding, and did it all without once running down the ex. It was an eye opener. I have since gotten re-acquainted with my dad, adult to adult, and discovered a fantastic man, and a fantastic friendship I never knew I was missing.

    I don't actually regret the years of strife- I think that without the separation, without my maturing on my own, I would not have appreciated what he have now nearly as much.
     
  9. xrayvision

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    My grandmother (RIP) bought me one for Chanukah one year and I never wore it. My sister however, has a shirt that says, "Chai Maintenance". It supposed to be tongue in cheek, but its not even close to being an exaggeration.

    That's not her, btw. Looks at those man-hands.
     

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  10. dubyu tee eff

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    While I wasn't disowned by my parents, I think I have a couple of questions for you that may help. Briefly, my story is that I was brought up Muslim. I am now an atheist. I hid it from my family for I think 3-4 years, though I can't really pinpoint a time where I officially became atheist. Important point being that there was a significant period of time where I was definitely atheist and avoided telling my family. I avoided telling them for the exact same reason you do, I was genuinely afraid they might disown me, not help with college, maybe kick me out. This was a genuine fear as I had always been told that Muslim was the way to be. Being a little punk, I told them anyway. Initially I wasn't taken seriously, but over time after several arguments, they began to understand. Overtime, however, the true nature of the situation began to reveal itself. I slowly learned that my father, though he believes in god, shared many of my suspicions about organized religion. My mother seemed to only care about my irreligiousness in as much as people found out and it affected what people thought of her in the community (she is the nicest woman on earth, but definitely not the brightest.)

    I noticed something else as time went by. I had a cousin who went in the opposite direction as I did and became much more religious than my family is. I noticed that the reaction to her behavior was a bit similar to the reaction my family members had to my "conversion."

    To make the best decision you can, you have to take into account every piece of information you can get a hold of. So my question to you is, is there someone else in your family who has come out with something similar in terms of becoming more or less religious than the typical family member? Anyone come out of the closet? This will give you information over whether the issue will actually be a religious one or a cultural one.

    Also, though before I "came out of the closet" I thought there was a significant chance I would be disowned. In retrospect, I see that I was completely wrong. My parents love me and my siblings a ridiculous amount and see all of us as extensions of themselves. In fact, many people come out to the their parents with striking news about themselves, but much fewer are actually disowned. So this may seem basic but think long and hard about it. Would they REALLY disown you?

    Oh Chater I love it when you just DOMINATE our threads.
     
  11. Dyson004

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    Funny you mention that. My father is Vietnamese. My mother is White. My mother is from the Appalachian Mountains of NC and was very much a covert racist when I was growing up. The kids fucking off in the neighborhood was always referred to as "those damn black kids". Never just kids. They were always black, even when they weren't.

    I don't come from money. My parents did what they could and had me bussed to the rich middle school where I was miserable. I was the poor smart kid. When I went to high school, I lost a majority of my friends and went into a black high school. To give you an idea of my high school, this is a video of the band from my senior year in Charlotte's Thanksgiving Parade. (I embedded the video so it starts at the beginning of the band breaking it down, the funnest part. After this particular parade, High School bands were no longer allowed to break it down on the parade route...something about it being too ghetto, if I remember correctly.)



    I started high school and I played football. The demographics of the school broke down to be roughly 70% Black 15% Latina 10% White 5% Asian. I played football, so I was able to make friends much more quickly then I did in middle school. I actually become sort of social with other folks. A majority of those folks being black, and a majority of the women I was around were black- thus began my life long affair with women with a darker complexion. My mother hated it. Which was hypocritical, with my dad being Vietnamese, and so damn dark he was nearly purple. Over the course of my high school career, she started to come to terms with the fact that I tend to date black women more then anything else. When I went to a Historically Black College/University for Undergrad, she objected a little bit. She didn't quite understand the ramifications of me going to Howard University, considered to be Black Ivy League, aka The Mecca, until she had a conversation with a black woman at the YMCA.

    Friend: "My daughter wants to go to Howard. She's starting to apply next week..."
    Mom: "Oh. My son goes there for school. He's gonna be a doctor!"
    Friend: "Oh! That's great. It's hard to get in...he likes black girls, huh?"
    Mom: "Yeah...So long as she treats him well, I don't care who he dates."

    I think when I told my mother that my ex-fiance was black, she finally accepted the fact that I'm probably going to marry a black woman and I'll give her mulatto grandchildren. Regardless of the decisions that you make, your folks are always going to love you. It might take some time, just be honest with them and give them the time they need, especially since they still believe that your faith is a given.
     
    #31 Dyson004, Mar 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  12. PIMPTRESS

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    Please note: I'm not bashing religion or even Jehovah's Witnesses, as they aren't ALL this fucked.


    My parents are hard core Jehovah's Witnesses. They are proud to "set an example" for their congregation by disowning me. I hated that religion from around 10 years of age, I found it to be incredibly hypocritical. At 17 I moved out so I wouldn't have to deal with the constant barrage of witness crap. I could still be "saved" at that point, my parents still would talk to me occasionally, but only about when I was coming back to their meetings, or to share a scripture that "applied to my lack of faith."

    When I had a child was when I was disowned, I refused to marry the father and therefore was living in sin. My mother came over once, right after Houston was born. She refused to hold him and instead showed me scriptures telling me how I was a whore.

    I asked her what Mary Magdelene's profession was, which was a whore. She nodded and I said "well, Jesus wasn't too good to associate with her, so maybe you're the one who needs to do some thinking." She left without a word. I haven't spoken to her in 4 years now.

    My parents don't know their beautiful grandsons, by their own choosing. My mom will see me at the store and walk by me as if she doesn't know me.

    Were my parents loving and supportive growing up? Fuck no, my mother was incredibly abusive and my stepdad is a fucking doormat. So, it's no real surprise that things have turned out as they have. I also realise its likely best this way, I wouldn't trust them around my kids anyway.
     
  13. Dcc001

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    I'm attending my grandmother's funeral this weekend. She was devout Roman Catholic. Never, ever preachy - I never heard her even mention her faith - but one of those little old ladies who lives for baking and church and attends mass daily.

    She stipulated to my aunts that when she passed she wanted High Mass and a full Catholic funeral. I'm an athiest, my mom has never identified what she is (I suspect a lapsed Catholic), and my father - although raised in the church - thinks religion is the biggest bunch of garbage ever. What I'm trying to say is that the last time my family attended High Mass was probably before I was born, and we'll be lucky if lightening doesn't strike and the holy water boil off when we cross the threshold into the church.

    The viewing the day before the funeral is set for something like 1-4pm, then 6-10. So ten hours of meeting, greeting and prayer. Then the service is the next day. It will be exhausting to say the least.

    My cousin passed away suddenly two years ago. I can remember my aunt (not my cousin's mother) saying something that I hold as a hard core belief to this day: "When I die, I don't care what the kids do. I haven't stipulated anything. If they want no service, fine. If they want an informal wake, fine. If they want High Mass, fine. They are free to do whatever they need to do to get through the grieving process, and I'm in no place to dictate what that is."

    Too bad more people couldn't feel that way, I think.
     
  14. BlubbyMunkey

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    Growing up, my family was never the most religious but still went to church every week. Pretty much the only thing I ever did to "go against the grain" was to make fun of religion. I actually believed in God myself at the time, but just picked up on the golden rule of humor quickly: The more offensive it is, the more hilarious it's potential.

    I never had a sip of alcohol til college, had sex til I was 19, and to this day, have never touched any drugs (not that I have anything against them, I just prefer alcohol during my current hunt for a real job). The only thing I ever got in major trouble was insulting people's beliefs. I found it hilarious how you could insult a person, their mother, their pets, or pretty much anything and there was always a chance that they could let it slide. Insult someone's God, however, and it instantly became time to throw down. This led to me pushing the envelope more and more as I grew up.

    A couple of years ago, shortly after I actually had renounced religion, I "came out" to my Mom's side of the family as an atheist. Actually, it was more of me getting called out then me coming out of my own accord. I wasn't exactly ready for a major defense of my views and got bombarded by the family's JV religious team. Since that night, the subject has come up a few times, but really hasn't caused any friction between me and my family. Granted, I still haven't told my Dad's side of the family (All highly religious, including a pastor), but I've always thought I wouldn't have any trouble telling them if it came up. Telling them has to be easier than keeping to myself. Plus, until they directly ask, all I have to do to keep it to myself is bow my head before Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.

    Sorry if that was long, but good luck, Frebis. Whatever you tell them, make sure you end it with "Suck it" like Natty suggested.
     
  15. elo

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    I can sympathize... I got baptized at the age of 25 for my grandfather, having held out when most kids in the congregation got baptized at 12/13. So there was alot of suspicion, much like the virgin at 25... (the family begins worrying about his attraction to rainbows and tongue rings). I don't believe in God, or a god, but I was certainly raised that way.

    I knew how much it meant to HIM that his grandson "follow the word of god". As you mentioned, no one wants to see their loved one befall to eternal damnation. So, I did it for my grandfather. I lost nothing going through the process and it made him proud and happy, and ultimately that was my reward... seeing my grandfather rest easy.

    Sometimes playing the game is worth more than self allegiance.
     
  16. McDermott

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    Once upon a time I was depressed. Wouldn't get out of bed, was going to drop out of university, couldn't sleep, blah blah blah sob story. My mother tried every night to convince me I wasn't depressed. Like she would actually be angry with me for being sad. It was a weird spectacle. I got into therapy and was talking through a lot of the issues and a lot of them came back to my family. My therapist said I should confront them, although my dad was absent so that wasn't really possible but I talked to my mother. She denied that she was anything less than perfect. She honestly started trying to convince me that "I had it in for her". I talked to my sister and she told me "I'm way too sensitive and I'm a hypocrite". After those incidents I kept to myself. Hardly talked to my parents even though we all lived together.

    So now I'm in Australia. I couldn't be farther away from them. My mother calls me every other day and I pick up the phone about 5% of the time.
     
  17. fertuska

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    Pinkcup and lust4life gave the best answer.

    Also - imagine you change your mind about religion a couple years from now (hate on me all you want, but it happens). No need to stress them out yet. You can tell them you will "celebrate Easter" with your friends (just throw someone in a pond - This is part of celebratory traditions where I am from. I am being serious, PM me for details) if you are so worried about them disowning you. And go to church with them next Easter/Christmas, if it makes them so happy.

    I hate confessions. But my mom once asked me to go, knowing I really do not like it. But she asked me so that "I set a good example" for my younger sister. Whatever that meant, I sucked it up, because it obviously meant a lot to my mom and it made her extremely happy. I'm not sure whether I influenced my little sis or not, but a slight inconvenience (30 min lecture on how bad I am by the priest) for a happy mom = good trade-off. Actually, now that I think of it, it may just have been a clever trap set by my mom to get me to go to confession...

    As for me, I have been horribly stubborn my whole life. This included packing my bags at 18 and leaving Eastern Europe (against pretty much everyone's advice) to go study in the US. And after than, instead of coming home to lead a "cushy" life, marrying my Eastern European highschool sweetheart and having 2 or 3 kids by now, I took on loans to study medicine here, and broke up with the sweetheart. Found a local boyfriend, moved in with him, with kids being off the radar for the next...who knows how long.

    I'd have horrible long arguments with my parents about how I am leaving my country, my friends, how I am just throwing everything away. How I should have stayed with the sweetheart. How I'm never going to come back and their future grandkids won't speak my mother tongue. In my eyes, I was going to a much better place (female doc at home? Better have no ambitions, sister). No amount of my yelling or sulking seemed to make them see my point. Until about a year ago, I just asked my mom whether she wouldn't have taken such an opportunity, had she been able to (Iron Curtain, look it up). She finally said she would. IN YOUR FACE MOM!

    I am so much happier in this part of the world. So far, anyway.

    Moral of the story - sometimes it's alright to go against your parents. And if they love you, they'll understand. But get ready for it taking a couple years.
     
  18. eric

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    In our case, it was deciding not to have children. Our parents were generally accepting, but there was some pressure from her mom in the early years. It was gentle pressure, nothing overbearing, but it did end up getting annoying. Especially comments here and there from my MIL to me about “how I’d make a great father” when playing with a niece, etc. Finally, my wife talked to her mom and told her to knock it off with the baby talk. We’ve decided not to have kids and that’s that.

    But that was years ago. Its probably been 10 years since the last comment, and I consider “mom” to be a better mother to me than my own mother.