View Full Version : They found out


mad83
12-05-12, 11:48 AM
My parents found out I was a Buddhist. This is pretty much the conversation:

Mom: So why are you getting rid of your nativity scene?

Me: *having trouble telling them* Because we want to have a Buddhist Christmas.

Mom:What do you want to do that?

Me: Because...

Mikey: We're Buddhists.

Dad: So... No Christianity?

Me: No.

Dad: Well... that hurts... but we love you. (probably a lot lower on the scale now though)

Me: I didn't want to talk about it.

Mom: WELL YOU PUT IT ALL OVER FACEBOOK! THAT'S A PUBLIC PLACE!

Me: I mean, I didn't want to bring it up.

The entire night was us talking religion (God does this, God does that) and it ended with dad showing us pictures of his Youth Group and telling us all about it. I could tell he was uncomfortable, but that was exactly how I did NOT want the evening to go. There was a Ravens game on and we lost to the Steelers, which should have been a game I was screaming about and drinking my *** off to, but I didn't care. I just wanted out of that restaurant.

The more people I talk to about it, the more they tell me my parents are horrible people that should never had children. They are abusive, hateful people who have caused me so much pain and grief and have not been parents since I was a girl... yet why do they want to spend time with me and why do I feel guilty cutting them out of my life?

mad83
12-05-12, 11:51 AM
At least maybe if both me and a friend fell out of a boat and he could only save one of us, he'd choose me this time.

ginniebean
12-05-12, 01:39 PM
Parents can be right idiots and they can and do mess us up in so many ways. I'm sorry you're feeling so bad. Sometimes people don't know how to love us the way we need to be loved. :(

mirandatoritess
12-05-12, 02:40 PM
They may not be ready to accept that you have a differing ideology than what they follow/grew up with/raised you with. Hence, they may criticize you and bring down your religion. They should learn to be more accepting/tolerant of your religion of choice. Your religon is not their descision to make.

mad83
12-05-12, 03:25 PM
Of course they are going to. They abused me with their faith and left me to die. How in the HELL can I believe what they believe?

I have nothing against the faith, absolutely nothing. It's just them. Just like alcohol. In moderation, it's nice. But if your parents were alcoholics and used it against you, you aren't partial to it.

meadd823
12-05-12, 04:17 PM
Tip toeing around the topic of religion which is a banned topic in all sections of the forum save meditation and spirituality and private debates I believe the best thing to do relationship wise is to draw good boundaries.

Decide upon how much you will or will not put up with in specific terms.

If they are heavily involved in their church it may be unreasonable to expect them not to discuss their religious activity at all but it is reasonable to ask that they respect your decision and refrain from proselytizing ,specifically "evangelizing"

Regardless of which specific spiritual path one adheres to including those whom chose to pursue none at all all spiritual paths are understood to be an individual choice. The right and responsibility to choose ones spiritual path or lack thereof is a concept taught even to the most fundamental Abramanic religions.


If their deity {or deities} allows every human freedom to chose whether or not to participate in a particular spiritual belief who are they to act counter of their own deity {or deities } - Worked so well for me I have literally heard people's mouth snap shut.

didn't have this problem with my parent, she is a devout atheist who supports any spiritual path we choose as long as it does not include attempts at converting her. Two of my three off spring and one of my siblings did initially have a problem with my change in spiritual ideology and practices

My in-laws worried about how this would effect my husband . Only one of his sisters tried direct confrontation but even his extremely religious cousin manages to be capable of being around me with out confrontation although I know inside he may want to try

While I am open about my beliefs especially on facebook via pages I like, event I share and discussions I have with others who share my belief . Out of respect for my families various spiritual beliefs I try to avoid posting things on my “wall” that directly pokes fun at any specific religion In person I do not go out of my way be to conformational but I don't hide in the "broom closet" either.



If this is new information give it time to “digest”. For me it took almost a year before I was allowed to see one of my grand children. One of Gary's sister hates me but she always has my spiritual path is just the newest reason. Over time every one adapted to the idea or found themselves phased out of my life.

You would be surprised how the most adamant believers can learn to live with the spiritual change and the new social boundaries that may be necessary to facilitate amicable interactions .

By the end of year two I was the go to person for any thing spiritually taboo or sexually non-traditional. Because I did my best to be respectful of their beliefs while insisting those in my life do the same I have been privileged to be a small part of some wonderful changes in some of my family member's spiritual developments. Be true to your self while understanding and respecting others who do the same -

Ride the wave toward acceptance of self and others , I found it is worth the destination!

mrs. dobbs
12-06-12, 03:39 AM
I agree, ride the wave of acceptance and before long, people will be coming to you with questions. Those who seem adamantly opposed are sometimes just having their world shaken a little bit because they're questioning things and sometimes they're ready to grow.

I don't know what sect you're a member of. If it is SGI, there may be alot to explain because there's a very involved culture that comes with SGI.

Anyhow, you can also tell them that Buddhism is non-theist (it doesn't address the question of God, you can still believe in God or gods as most Buddhists do, etc.), it's philosophy of living is compatible with Christianity, that Buddha is alot like Christ and both would have advocated for no symbolic representations but instead, living in accordance with the Dharma (is that right?... I'm rusty on the topic, haha)

ana futura
12-06-12, 04:05 AM
Anyhow, you can also tell them that Buddhism is non-theist (it doesn't address the question of God, you can still believe in God or gods as most Buddhists do, etc.), it's philosophy of living is compatible with Christianity, that Buddha is alot like Christ and both would have advocated for no symbolic representations but instead, living in accordance with the Dharma (is that right?... I'm rusty on the topic, haha)

You're not rusty, that's spot on.

mad83
12-06-12, 08:07 AM
Yeah, spot on. Jesus is considered a Bodhisattva, one who does not achieve enlightenment to help others achieve it.

Problem is, my parents are more on the "only our exact religion is the right one and anyone else's is going to eternal torture and if you can't convert them, abandon them."

I think I'm just going to tell them I don't want to talk about religion. I'll listen to their stories, but other than that I'm not debating.

ana futura
12-06-12, 02:04 PM
I think I'm just going to tell them I don't want to talk about religion. I'll listen to their stories, but other than that I'm not debating.

I think this is probably the most "Buddhist" thing to do, at least at this time. I would recommend reading Thich Nhat Hanh if you haven't, you may find some of his books very helpful in navigating this.

Spacemaster
12-06-12, 04:28 PM
My family is very similar, to the point where I just "fake the faith" when I'm around them. It would never do anyone any good to know that I've lost their faith. I'd never win the argument, ever.

I just keep it to myself, and bow my head when they pray before dinner.

Is it compromising my own beliefs? Maybe, but I'd rather not be given an unlimited amount of grief, every time I visit.

mad83
12-06-12, 05:18 PM
Grace is a Christian tradition and I'm happy to participate. It's when they tell me and show me how much more important it is than me.

damnthedoodle
12-07-12, 12:22 AM
"I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

-Thomas Jefferson

I think the same should hold true for family. Some people need to learn that it's okay to agree to disagree. Good luck avoiding the fire and brimstone lectures :rolleyes:

mad83
12-07-12, 01:09 PM
Sok, I'll come back. :p

My therapist told me to just ask flat out "Why?" Why do they want to spend time with me when it's usually not quality time. I share things with them about my life and I get shot down.

I know where I stand with them. Dad told me, and you seem to agree with him. Anyone who can rate the love that they have for a daughter and then wants to spend time with her is confused.

abitmental
12-08-12, 05:27 PM
I've been relatively lucky with this, as an atheist who grew up going to church every Sunday and was heavily involved with church activities.

My mom is still involved with the same church (the church itself is not why I left, so that's fine with me). She knows I am atheist, because she has Google-stalked me and found references to it. And I know she knows. And that is about the extent of it. She doesn't try to convert me, other than occasional "AHEM" type of pokes, and I don't bring it up and neither does she, and that is PERFECT for me.

I did have an actual conversation with my dad about it, because I thought he'd be understanding and even possibly in agreement about it due to previous conversations, and it ended up not really going the way I wanted (not BADLY, just... awkward) and then he married a Southern Baptist and now for various reasons I don't talk to him anymore. Last year for Christmas, in lieu of anything I actually wanted or could use, he sent me some Christian relationship counseling DVDs and a guilt-trippy letter about rebuilding our relationship. The receipt said they cost $75. I just...