Emotional blackmail

Pillowpants
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Emotional blackmail

 I've been an atheist since I was about 13.  I just turned 17 a few months ago.  My parents are fundamentalists who have more or less forced me to go to church 2-3 times/week for the past 3-4 years.  I complied to avoid conflict and punishment.

For the past few weeks I have refused to go.  I expected to have basically everything electronic taken away for weeks or even months; which is what kept me going for so long, even though I'm disgusted by the disgusting preachments I had to hear.

Instead I have not been punished at all, and my mother is attempting to blackmail me emotionally.  She has cirrhosis of the liver from being fat all her life, she has never drank.  She tells me I'm "breaking her heart" and she "can't take the stress."  She can't believe how I have left the faith she brainwashed me into and her father to her in favor of "some idiot on the internet," that idiot being Hitchens.  

I immediately called bullshit but honestly I just don't know how to deal with this.  She isn't being intentionally dishonest.  The stress comes from her childish need to have everyone subscribe to her cultish beliefs.  I have tried to be respectful and considerate, but have sometimes resorted to insult in defending myself.

She thinks it's just a few hours/week and doesn't understand why I won't just submit.  But of course it's more than that, I feel disgusted at the vile tenants of her religion.  When I see young kids being brainwashed I feel sick to my stomach.  It's about completing my intellectual independence from the Stone Age that I started years ago.  Any advice or discussion would be appreciated.


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 Just keep in mind, she's a

 Just keep in mind, she's a victim of religion.

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I can sympathize

I can sympathize with your situation. I am in my mid-30's and my family completely abandoned me when I was in my early twenties and abandoned the staunch Catholic household that I grew up in.

I was fanatically religious at one time, and it was one of the hardest things I ever went through when I could no longer believe it.

I can't imagine the emotional stress that this would have placed on me as a teenager to go through what you are going through with your parents.

I had enough emotional turmoil as a teen, trying to cope with coming of age and trying to make sense of it all within the confines of that poisonous faith that had me in it's grip.

I can say that some of my elderly family members have tried the same type of tactic with me that your mother is using with you.

One of them recently sent me an angry response for a birthday card I sent them for their 90th birthday with a reply of : "I can't imagine what sort of human being that you are to allow me to die knowing what you have become : a disgrace to god and your family."

I feel your pain and can't imagine what stress this may cause for you. But, you do have places like this to come to, when you need to vent and blow off steam.

There are many members on here like you and I. That come from heavily theist backgrounds and have to cope with being an Atheist around a fundamentalist family.

Difficult as it may be, I would just say to try and avoid turmoil as much as possible, know that your not going to always be stuck there forever, and if your mother is truly on her last leg, I would just try to do the best I could with the situation.

Good luck and best wishes for you.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
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Good luck.

                      You might ask her why god gave her cirrhosis but not to any atheist you know.   Your better off as an atheist.                    You might ask her how going to church for one second or 20 hours  a week is going to make you believe something you DO NOT believe.  And emphasize the word HOW!                    You should point out that mothers have been pulling the guilt trip on their children for centuries,  with little to no success  and you'll buy the guilt has soon has god cures the cirrhosis.  Atheists don't suffer cirrhosis;  If she claims they do, tell her to prove it.                     When she claims you are breaking her heart, tell her what you just told us. "The stress comes from her childish NEED to have everyone subscribe to her cultish beliefs".  I couldn't put it better myself.   I also like your line about watching children being brainwashed  AND!!!  "feeling Sick to your stomach about IT". Say it loud and emphasize the key words.                     Good luck and keep us posted.                                             editSmiling  could I get a mod to clean up this mess?   

 

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Emotional blackmailing is

Emotional blackmailing is pedo***lia.


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Do the Hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around

 Do the  Hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around . .

 See:: Image

  I'm sorry what we talking about ?

Actually he was the son of Dagon. Although there could be confusion, "the most plausible view is that Baal was 'literally' regarded as the Son of Dagon, but that he was also understood as the son of El in the same sense that all the Ugaritic gods were ..had its' origin in El"  ¬Day (**Damn these internet sources would have to ruin a joke,.**)


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Once you are 18 there isn't

Once you are 18 there isn't anything legally she can force you to do. I will say though, you better have some plan for the future, in a place to live and job. But if the economy is that bad right now you might have to bite the bullet for now.

If you still insist on skipping church what you might do is do chores around the house and run errands for her in place. She might get the hint in that context that allthough it may seem to be the end of the world for her, she might over time simply say "he's not a bad guy, its just not his thing".

If she blows a gasket, just say "Mom I love you it is just simply not my thing". And then walk away and let her deal with herself. "I'll talk to you when you calm down".

 

 

 

 

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There's little chance you'll

There's little chance you'll ever see eye to eye on this. Either you'd have to accept the religion or they denounce it. There's no way to know what that would take.

All I can really suggest is making sure you finish school and get a job so you can move out and dictate what level of contact you have, letting them know that the less they respect your beliefs the less inclined you'll be to communicate with them. Guilt trips can be reversed in such a way, and I think your parents would rather participate in seeing you during holidays and such than pushing you so far away they don't hear from you for months or years at a time.

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Vastet wrote:There's little

Vastet wrote:
There's little chance you'll ever see eye to eye on this. Either you'd have to accept the religion or they denounce it. There's no way to know what that would take. All I can really suggest is making sure you finish school and get a job so you can move out and dictate what level of contact you have, letting them know that the less they respect your beliefs the less inclined you'll be to communicate with them. Guilt trips can be reversed in such a way, and I think your parents would rather participate in seeing you during holidays and such than pushing you so far away they don't hear from you for months or years at a time.

I agree with everything you said accept the word "respect". I'd use the word "value" instead of "respect". My mom is Catholic and my co workers have some degree of belief. I do not respect their claims, but when you are dealing with relationships what I value is comfort level and everyone has different comfort levels. I don't have to respect their claims, but I do have to value the relationship and as such I consider context, situation and the individual to determine how I interact with that individual. Some people  I can be more open and blunt with and others it simply is better not to bring it up at all.

I often tell them that they would think I am a monster if they read what I say about religion on line. I warn them often if they chose to bring it up, don't be unfair about it. Normally when I say that they simply change the subject.

But I don't hate my mom or co workers, I love them, even though I hate the fact that they buy into any form of superstition. I would have to live on an island and have no contact with the outside world if I wanted to be 100 percent free from claims I find absurd.

I would suggest to anyone dealing with what Pellow is dealing with, you can love the person you dissagree with, but you don't have to love everything they claim on any subject.

I hate the fact that I cannot have a relationship with my own brother. I don't often cut people out of my life. But when I do, it is not because they say things I dont agree with. It is always because of some sort of needless drama they try to suck me into. My brother was too domineering even when not talking about religion.

I had a co worker I did the same to and not even for religious reasons. He bullied me and used me and I simply did not need that in my life. But there are certainly pleanty of religious people I like and love and get along with.

To Pellow, no one here can give you a magic pill to solve this problem, only you can decide for yourself what is good for you and what your level of tolleration is. But put your sanity first. That is not to say cut someone off. Just even if you decide to tollerate something, always know that their baggage does not have to become yours.

 

 

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You don't owe her shit. If

You don't owe her shit. If your atheistic existence is causing her stress then I guess she shoulda thought of that possiblity before having kids. If she gets overly obnoxious with her guilt trippy bullshit, I suggest asking her how she can be so selfish as to create a child to satisfy her desire to have a family knowing the possibility that it could be an unbeliever and suffer in hell forever.


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Been there. Not a happy

Been there. Not a happy place.

Getting through this is quite the balancing act. You can't really blame your mom for trying this, but at the same time, you can't just let her do this to you.

I don't know if she's willing to listen to you and have a discussion about this, but you might try to explain that it's not just "some idiot on the internet", but your own reasoning that led you to become critical of fundamentalism, and that being forced to attend services of a faith you passionately disagree with, is causing you considerable stress and heartbreak as well.  


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Manageri wrote:You don't owe

Manageri wrote:

You don't owe her shit. If your atheistic existence is causing her stress then I guess she shoulda thought of that possiblity before having kids. If she gets overly obnoxious with her guilt trippy bullshit, I suggest asking her how she can be so selfish as to create a child to satisfy her desire to have a family knowing the possibility that it could be an unbeliever and suffer in hell forever.

No it isn't about "oweing" anyone anything. The difference between my biological brother whom I have cut ties with, and my adoptive mother, who can be pushsy and demanding, who I have not dissowned, is cost benefit.

The difference between the "dept" theism sells and the compassionite feeling that one cant help but feel when someone helps them out, is that the "dept" of theism is based on an act they expect something from. "dept" isnt a bad feeling. We all look at someone who has been kind to us and want to pay them back in some way. Theism turns that into emotional blackmail. But the sence of feeling you owe someone isn't bad by itself.

I cant pay Brian Sapeint back for the efforts he put into this board into providing me with a venue and a voice. But I do feel I owe him. The difference is that he knows that the effort of providing all atheists a voice is the reward, and any monitary payback is voluntary.

Theism is a punishment reward system based on emotional blackmail. But the feeling of "oweing" someone is natural. If someone gave you CPR and saved you from a heart attack, you would feel like saying "how can I pay you back", but the ethical and reasonalble person who gives you cpr would say " just have a good life".

Many people unfortunately do nice things as a form of manipulation. Fucking and having kids to me, when you didn't have to, makes it absurd when you give them something and then ask for anything back. If they give back, it is because of the mutual feeling of cooperation not based on bribes or demands.

If one cannot walk away out of fear, then the contract entered is mute and nothing based on anything less than blackmail. To do good is it's own rewward, even if it goes unnoticed.

I feel I owe my mother everything. But she knows that I cant pay her back to anywhere near the giving she has. And whatever flaws she has, and we all do, do not outweigh our mutual relationship. She has been great to me.

 

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Emotional blackmail

This is a tough one as you are still underage and cannot really go out on your own yet.   Maybe you could compromise and just go to church on Sundays with her.    Stop thinking about what YOU want for a while.   This will not kill you or strain your morals.    She's very sick and you could lose her at any time.  Once you have a job and are on your own you can do what you want.

Her religion may be the only comfort she has right now.  You don't know what her secret sorrows are; she may be upset that "God" has "done"
 this to her and doesn't understand why a good Christian like her has to suffer.     And yes, your refusal to accept her beliefs IS a source of stress to her.  She has tried to raise you her way, but in the end, we can only be who we are.

 

Give a little and smooth out your relationship with her.   She loves you very much and thinks she is doing the right thing for your "soul" even though it distresses you. 

You're very young and she knows she has little time left.   Go with her flow just a little.  Your "intellectual independence" will not suffer.  At your age it always seems like all or nothing.  You have to learn to be like a willow, that bends with the prevaling wind, not an oak tree that can snap from being too rigid.

 

 


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Sapient wrote: Just keep in

Sapient wrote:

 Just keep in mind, she's a victim of religion.

Yea and sometimes that is hard to deal with as we all know.

 

But to Pellowpants. While no one can really advise you as to how to deal with it, once you get out on your own I do not think it will be impossible to keep doing what you have done, not so much in going to church or anything like that. But if you have been keeping your nose clean all this time, just simply keep keeping your nose clean, and be helpfull outside the issue of religion with your family when you can and maybe simply agree not to talk about it when you are together. Long term it may show them that you are still a decent person. I think the way you talk you already are doing that so they do know, but are simply stuck on this one issue. Time may in the future simply get them to the point where they accept it without accepting it and simply agree not to talk about it.

 

I can say it did personally take me a long time to not let other people's baggage become mine, you cant even do that with those you love. At best you can let it go in one ear and out the other and then bitch to someone else when you get out of that moment. Other than that don't bring it up and if they bring it up because you refuse to go to church, maybe say something like "Mom, I love you and you did do tons right rasing me, but I am my own person now, so let me be me and lets just agree not to disscuss it, but I still love you".

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Manageri wrote:You don't owe

Manageri wrote:

You don't owe her shit. If your atheistic existence is causing her stress then I guess she shoulda thought of that possiblity before having kids. If she gets overly obnoxious with her guilt trippy bullshit, I suggest asking her how she can be so selfish as to create a child to satisfy her desire to have a family knowing the possibility that it could be an unbeliever and suffer in hell forever.

 

Not so fast. Children do and don't owe their parents. I feel like I do because my mom, even today still helps me out. But it is true that people should not do things out of selfish narcissism so they can project their wishes on you as a child. You do things because you want to do them, but there is nothing wrong with gratitude when it is freely given and not expected.

I also think their is nothing wrong with compassion. It is one thing to battle it out with people who are lucid and know what they are getting into. But in a weak emotional state or physicall illness, it is a bit harsh to attack someone, especially family.

I found out my biological dad has prostate cancer. I hated him most of my life for abandoning the family and forcing our mother to give me up for adoption. But when my sister called me and told me, even though it wasn't an emotional thing at all, I figured if he might die, I could at least let him say his peice. He called me and I listened and he apologized for being a bad dad. And I realized all that hate was worthless because I did not feel enraged at all. Just felt sorry for him. I do not love him merely because he was not part of my life. But mortality is something no human can avoid facing.

Pellowpants can only deal with this in his own way, but there are points where compassion is in order.

 

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Meanjean wrote:This is a

Meanjean wrote:

This is a tough one as you are still underage and cannot really go out on your own yet.   Maybe you could compromise and just go to church on Sundays with her.    Stop thinking about what YOU want for a while.   This will not kill you or strain your morals.    She's very sick and you could lose her at any time.  Once you have a job and are on your own you can do what you want.

Sorry, no. I'm sure that Pillowpants stated that it WAS causing him stress. How would 'pretending' to go to church in any way minimise the stress on his mother? The next week it would be 'Why aren't you praying? Why aren't you coming 2 or 3 times a week? How could god punish me so?' 

Meanjean wrote:

Her religion may be the only comfort she has right now.  You don't know what her secret sorrows are; she may be upset that "God" has "done"
 this to her and doesn't understand why a good Christian like her has to suffer.     And yes, your refusal to accept her beliefs IS a source of stress to her.  She has tried to raise you her way, but in the end, we can only be who we are.

Yes, we can only be who we are. Why are you asking him to go against what he thinks and feels - who he IS - when it causes him stress? 

Meanjean wrote:

Give a little and smooth out your relationship with her.   She loves you very much and thinks she is doing the right thing for your "soul" even though it distresses you. 

You're very young and she knows she has little time left.   Go with her flow just a little.  Your "intellectual independence" will not suffer.  At your age it always seems like all or nothing.  You have to learn to be like a willow, that bends with the prevaling wind, not an oak tree that can snap from being too rigid.

Sorry, no. If she loved you so much, she'd listen to you when you told her that her insistence to attend church and believe in a magical super-being was causing you stress. Be strong in your own convictions, and consistent in your actions. Going to church to appease your mother will only confuse the situation more, and cause more stress between you. Good luck. 


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It's tough. Many of us have

It's tough. Many of us have been in similar situations and I found my way out when my older friend was able to drive. He would pick me up and we would drive around, eating dinner (late mass) and shopping at the mall. We never went to mass because we both rejected the bullshit.

Our parents never knew and when I was old enough to drive myself I just told my mom that I went, when I didn't even leave the house. It was easier than arguing with her about why I didn't want to go.

After I moved out my mom made a few comments about how she new I wasn't going. I told her that I was no longer catholic. She claimed, "you were born a catholic, baptized a catholic, raised a catholic and will die a catholic". My response? "I was born in to a catholic family, with out my consent I was baptized a catholic, forced to attend mass in my youth and I will not die a catholic because I reject your god, your jesus and your dogma".

She hung up the phone. She wouldn't speak to me for two weeks.

In typical "mom" fashion she ignored it all as if it didn't happen. To this day she doesn't acknowledge the conversation ever took place and when I tell her that I am a buddhist she tells me it is a passing fad.

We all find our balance. Just don't let your ego get in the way. Don't worry about your mom. She will survive the same way she has been surviving long before you came along. Even if the stress kills her, it's her path, not yours.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

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HumanVuvuzela wrote:Meanjean

HumanVuvuzela wrote:

Meanjean wrote:

This is a tough one as you are still underage and cannot really go out on your own yet.   Maybe you could compromise and just go to church on Sundays with her.    Stop thinking about what YOU want for a while.   This will not kill you or strain your morals.    She's very sick and you could lose her at any time.  Once you have a job and are on your own you can do what you want.

Sorry, no. I'm sure that Pillowpants stated that it WAS causing him stress. How would 'pretending' to go to church in any way minimise the stress on his mother? The next week it would be 'Why aren't you praying? Why aren't you coming 2 or 3 times a week? How could god punish me so?' 

Meanjean wrote:

Her religion may be the only comfort she has right now.  You don't know what her secret sorrows are; she may be upset that "God" has "done"
 this to her and doesn't understand why a good Christian like her has to suffer.     And yes, your refusal to accept her beliefs IS a source of stress to her.  She has tried to raise you her way, but in the end, we can only be who we are.

Yes, we can only be who we are. Why are you asking him to go against what he thinks and feels - who he IS - when it causes him stress? 

Meanjean wrote:

Give a little and smooth out your relationship with her.   She loves you very much and thinks she is doing the right thing for your "soul" even though it distresses you. 

You're very young and she knows she has little time left.   Go with her flow just a little.  Your "intellectual independence" will not suffer.  At your age it always seems like all or nothing.  You have to learn to be like a willow, that bends with the prevaling wind, not an oak tree that can snap from being too rigid.

Sorry, no. If she loved you so much, she'd listen to you when you told her that her insistence to attend church and believe in a magical super-being was causing you stress. Be strong in your own convictions, and consistent in your actions. Going to church to appease your mother will only confuse the situation more, and cause more stress between you. Good luck. 

 

You are far too kind to have taken the time to go through and shred my advice to Pillow.   My remarks, however, were directed at HIM.  Not YOU.

Your advice is blackmail itself: IF SHE LOVED YOU...........1. You do not know how, when, what and why this woman loves her son.  2.  You have no clue, as do none of us, the complicated family dynamics that go far beyond a religious argument.     3.  Pillow is only 17 and just coming into his own self.   I was an athiest at one point at 16 myself, but never told my mother.   I know if I bided my time I would be free of her influence and insistance, and so I did and so I was.

Arguing with a parent who insists, as most do with their young children, that they know what's best for them, is trying and agonizing in the best of times.    He is strong in his convictions but needs to consider his mother's feelings as well.  As we each have grown older and perhaps wiser, we can see, far down that old and bitterly argumentive road, that some of the "I know what's best" advice was sometimes, not so jacked up after all.  

 

Sounds to me like you have yet to learn this, Human.

And before you get all bent out of shape, I'm not refering to their current religious problems.


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Pillowpants wrote:

 I've been an atheist since I was about 13.  I just turned 17 a few months ago.  My parents are fundamentalists who have more or less forced me to go to church 2-3 times/week for the past 3-4 years.  I complied to avoid conflict and punishment.

For the past few weeks I have refused to go.  I expected to have basically everything electronic taken away for weeks or even months; which is what kept me going for so long, even though I'm disgusted by the disgusting preachments I had to hear.

Instead I have not been punished at all, and my mother is attempting to blackmail me emotionally.  She has cirrhosis of the liver from being fat all her life, she has never drank.  She tells me I'm "breaking her heart" and she "can't take the stress."  She can't believe how I have left the faith she brainwashed me into and her father to her in favor of "some idiot on the internet," that idiot being Hitchens.  

I immediately called bullshit but honestly I just don't know how to deal with this.  She isn't being intentionally dishonest.  The stress comes from her childish need to have everyone subscribe to her cultish beliefs.  I have tried to be respectful and considerate, but have sometimes resorted to insult in defending myself.

She thinks it's just a few hours/week and doesn't understand why I won't just submit.  But of course it's more than that, I feel disgusted at the vile tenants of her religion.  When I see young kids being brainwashed I feel sick to my stomach.  It's about completing my intellectual independence from the Stone Age that I started years ago.  Any advice or discussion would be appreciated.

Age gives no immunity from emotional blackmail by a mother.

An old trick is to change the subject to being pissed at the preacher. That makes him and his presentations/preachings the subject not you. I can't advise a 17 year old on how to pull off this diversion but with any luck your mother might be half honest and jump at the offered diversion. You have probably done it many times before without realizing it. Doing it deliberately takes a bit of experience. Think politicians.

 

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I think that your mom

I think that your mom believes you reject the principles she follows, but maybe it's not entirely like that. Maybe she is just enlarging the problem. With a discussion about what she really believes it could be that the friction between the two of you could reduce.


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 You might point out that

 You might point out that since you're firm in your disbelief she is effectively asking you to lie.

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