Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where is the Love?

I just read a very inspiring blog by “The Redheaded Skeptic.” What amazed me about her blog is that I could have written it; almost word for word! She worded it so perfectly, that I am almost tempted to say- “What she said” for my whole blog entry this time, but decided I should write my own instead. Just know that I was so inspired by her words that I got off my lazy butt and decided to get back to blogging.

See, the reason I blog is not to impress other people, get tons of followers, or become famous. (haha) The reason I write my blog is to sort through my thoughts, feelings, views, and ideas. Writing my blog has been very therapeutic for me. It has also turned most of my family against me: which is what this blog entry will be about (Again, thanks for the inspiration Redheaded Skeptic!)

Since I have not heard one single word from my family this entire summer, (Except tidbits of things my ex-boyfriend has told me and a rude, uncaring email) I can assume that they are writing me off as a daughter. I am not going to lie and say I don’t care or that I am so over trying to mend things with them. I do care. A lot! That is really the problem. A good friend of mine once told me that after all this anger; not caring about what his family thought is what worked for him. I am hoping to reach that level soon, but for now, not feeling loved, accepted or conditionally cherished for who I am is the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

Although my parents like to sit there and judge me, gossip about me to my sisters, criticize me for my views and (I am quite sure of it) pray for/gossip about me in church, they have not once considered what I might need while going through this very difficult summer-The worst of my life.

Here is the short list:

• Being unemployed

• My boyfriend moving out to “work on himself.”

• The death of a close friend of our family and best friend to my boyfriend of 9 years in a terrible motorcycle accident (The one boyfriend moved in with).

• Taking boyfriend back after death of friend because he had nowhere to go.

• A break up with my boyfriend/best friend of 9 years.

• Being emotionally and verbally abused by my boyfriend of 9 years.

• Leaving my home (of 19 years) to get away from my emotionally abusive and cruel boyfriend.

• Living the entire summer at the home of a close friend and her mom with my 19 yr old and my 12 year old (I did not really even know her mom that well, but she was kind enough to take us in).

• Having my ex husband (12 year old’s dad) accuse me of not having my son in a safe place and threatening to take custody back of my son. I would NEVER have my kids in an unsafe place and he should know this!!

• Having my boyfriend/best friend of 9 years turn my family against me by telling them personal stuff about me that my parents will never forgive. He also hurt my daughter with his cold and hateful words. This is not forgivable.

• Not hearing from my family by phone (Except my brother) at all to see how I was doing.

• Having my dad write me an email telling me that I am better off with boyfriend and not once trying to understand why I left or see things from my perspective. (Implying that I am too stupid and incompetent to survive and raise my son on my own, even though I have a B.A. degree.)

• Being threatened on more than one occasion by my (ex) boyfriend that he was going to take the house away from me. (I have owned the house for 19 years- he has lived in it for 9 and helped me refinance it 3-4 years ago. I had both of my children in this house and it has been my children's home all of their lives)

• Having a family member (not quite sure who) tell my parents about this blog. I never intended for them to read it. Even though it is public, I never gave my parents the web address or any access to my blog because I knew how conditional their love was.

• Having to call the cops on ex because he refused to believe the relationship was over and dealing with so much stalking/harassment that I had to block his phone and email so I could have some peace.

• Moving back into the house with my friend and having ex say that if things were not working out, that he would leave. I needed to get my son back into school and had no where to live except our house (So far he has not moved out and we are living in one room, my son in one, and ex in the other. It is, as one friend put, awkward!) I found out later that my parents said to someone "If she is so abused by him, why did she move back?" Really? That is just so supportive coming from the people who brought me into this world. If you tried for one MINUTE to see thing from a perspective other than your stupid religion, you may understand why I had to move back. Also, have I ever- in my almost 46 years-been known to lie, exaggerate, be a drama queen or stretch the truth to make things look worse than they really are? NO? Then why would I start that now??????? Think about it!

• Being told by my ex that he hates me and wishes I was dead.

• Getting pictures sent to my email of my mom, dad, sisters, their husbands and all of their children at a house in the mountains where they all vacationed together in August. Not only was I not invited or even told about this trip, but neither was my son. That hurts. I honestly don’t think I can forgive this. Ever. I had no idea that the very people who are my flesh and blood could hurt me as terribly as they have this summer. If I voiced these hurtful thoughts to my family they would turn everything around on me and say that I had hurt them. That is the most sad of all. :(

• Finally, my 19 year old daughter moved out and into her own apartment in Orlando to attend college at UCF. This is a good thing, but she was one of my best buddies and I miss her terribly (Neither one of my parents have called her to see how she is doing, sent her a card, asked her if she needs anything etc…)

I swear that if I ever treated my children the way I have been treated by my parents I hope they disown me and move on with their lives. How Christian are my parents to totally ignore their own flesh and blood/oldest daughter? Don’t they remember that I am their baby? Can they not see past their own wall of religion and notice that I am in pain? Why must I believe in their god and see the world as they do to get their love and acceptance? Do they remember that I am, and always have been a good, kind, loving, supportive, intelligent, intuitive, caring, passionate, mom, sister, partner and friend? Do they see me as so different now that they know the truth about me that has always been inside of me long before they ever found out?

I even broke down and apologized to my parents for hurting them with my words in this blog. I offered them a truce and told them that we should forgive and accept and move on. I gave them a chance to see their grandson after he got back from camp and before he went back to school. They did not even respond to my letter. They have not contacted my son or daughter to see how they are doing. They choose to stay inside their anger, spitefulness, fear, and close-minded religion. That is their choice. I have come to the conclusion that many people cling to the church because they are so dysfunctional that they have no idea how to live without the rules and advice of their church/pastor. I find this a sad waste of a life and I am truly sorry to have lost my family the way that I have. But my emotional health as an adult is telling me that I need to stay away from my family until I can feel accepted by them.

Religion has never been good for me, the more I see from Christians, the more I know that seeking the truth and finding that god is a fairy tale has set me free. I feel freer than I ever did inside any church or growing up in a "CHRISTIAN" family. I only wish I had family to accept me as I am.

As the Redheaded Skeptic said in her blog "Fuck you:"

"Chew on that before you judge me. And after all the judgment and rudeness and emotional abandonment [my italics,underline and bold] I have received over the last several years from my parents and their little circle of friends, if you chew on it and decide that I am still a horrible daughter, then all I can say is fuck you."


Picture: My family last summer- during better times- long before they read my blog and decided to abandon me for being a bisexual atheist.

20 comments:

  1. Beautifully written as always Lori...

    Kate xx

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  2. "But my emotional life as and adult is telling me that I need to stay away from my family until I can feel accepted by them." that is a hard truth to realize - sending you strength and {{{hugs}}} and wishing I could give your family the strength of faith and character to allow for healing - but, as you well know, there is no magic wand.

    keep being true to yourself Lori!

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  3. I don't want to sound corny but a good thing is that you have complete strangers that care for you. No it doesn't fill the hole that loved ones have left but it does let you know that people do care about you. The thing that is sad is that I have strangers that care more about me than family members.

    I have no advice on how to deal with your family because the way I deal with similar issues is to disown them like they have done me. People refuse to allow me in their house simply because of my skin. In your case it is something different but the bottom line in both cases is that it's their loss.

    They might come around, they may not but hold your head high and do what you need to do regardless. I don't have to tell you this, I don't even know you completely and yet I am confident that you are strong enough to go on regardless. You've had many reasons to give up and you have chosen not to do so. Stay strong my friend.

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  4. Edmond, Deb and Kate,

    Having love and support from online friends is one of the only things that has gotten me through this very difficult time in my life. Thanks so much for writing and for stopping by to read my blog. Your support and friendship means more than you know!
    Lori

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  5. Lori, you break my heart.

    No: your family breaks my heart.

    I too have learned the hard way that when fundamentalists perceive tension between faith and family, that the 'winner' is always clear. They've been called, after all.

    If you want to read my extimonial it's here:
    http://testimonials.exchristian.net/2009/03/slain-in-reason.html

    You are officially bookmarked.

    Hang in there.

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  6. Lori, I totally feel your pain with being abandoned by the family. I have felt that way since Elementary school when my mom died and its no different now. As an adult I've taken the attitude..'Its not me..its them' my hurt and anger at them has enabled me to be self reliant and self confident. Fuck 'em Lori! Good friends make great family. Gimme a hug sis! ;)

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  7. Lori, I'm sad that your family is missing out on knowing and loving you. I'm sad they are hurting you and it's also sad that they are missing out on knowing one of the kindest, most caring and compassionate human beings I've ever met. Love, Amy

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  8. Yikes, Lori, with your summer, what next? A run in with ebola? Seriously, hugs, and I hope things start going better for you. Add me to a list of strangers who care and is here for you anytime you want to talk via your blog or email.

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  9. "L" just like"L's" blog UR are very honest and it is touching to the reader. I don't know what to say, just, good luck.

    Heart,

    Kriss

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  10. A perfect example of how religion is poison. When families choose fairytale stories over their flesh and blood. Even if I did believe in the warped stories of the bible and my children didn't, you would think that I would want to spend this earth time with them. Religion is so inclusive, it ruins just about everything. So much terror has been justified by it. This is truly their loss, I can't imagine your sadness, but you are an amazing person, and nothing they say or do will change that!
    @n8wide

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  11. Thanks Nate, Kriss, Amy, Deb, Kate, Edmond, Gentle Skeptic and Sarge. It is so comforting to know I have friends who care about me. This has been an extremely sad and hurtful time for me to go through and friends like all of you have gotten me through it! Hugs!!

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  12. Hi Lori,

    Google "Healing from family rifts" - there is a book by Mark Sichel by that name, and so many other great resources out there specifically for folks like us who have had family reject us.

    I wish you warmth, healing, happiness and peace.

    Greg

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  13. One of the hardest things for people to do is understand that you can't necessarily change your parents. If you're in a damaging relationship with them, sometimes its best to cut the cord. :(

    As always, as anonymous interested, I'm here to talk any time!

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  14. Lori - i'd love your input on my post today - as a fellow adult with a lot of hurt from childhood experiences related to religion if you've got a few minutes.

    i'm really struggling to understand the this or that division that seems to exist between Christian's and non-Christian's - i'm a bit lost this morning about it - hence the rambling post - but my heart hurts at all the pain and judgment happening when all i want to find is respect and love for fellow humans :(

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  15. The Love is here in my heart where it always has been. Tragedy and trauma have unpredictable paths when one has suffered so much loss. I will ALWAYS Love You and will always believe that we are better as one than as 2 soulmates on perpedicular paths. You are my one true Love. Nothing will change that.

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  16. Well, Lori, I realize I"m extremely late coming to this post.

    But, from my perspective as a Christian, I don't know what in heaven's name your family can be thinking.

    How does abandoning their daughter reflect the love of Jesus Christ? I'm sure I don't know.

    Prayers that they will have a major change of heart, and that relationships will be healed.

    ((Lori))

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  17. hey.. i was reading thru your blog... I am a true christian.. and this is my first encounter with an atheist.. all i wud like to say is... christianity is not about priests and the bible alone.. its about putting your values to practice without being selfish.. its about unconditional love.. that is why jesus died on the cross...

    what I really mean to say is that you are really not an atheist.. u carry luv in your heart for your partner, children, your friends.. u appreciate life the way you are.. you belive in good values and I am sure thats what you want to instill in your children... God is not a person who controls life.. God actually means the culmination of all these values.. so u are really a believer...

    ... u dint walk away from christianity because you dont believe in it.. its only cos you misunderstood what it is... its only cos you felt abandoned.. what you really had to do was set aside your materialistic ideas of this religion and give way to the real deal.. you shud have confided in faith...

    ... going to church.. saying rosary... etc is not the real deal.. its much more than that..

    .. this is coming from a person who has gone through many horrible moments.. almost lost faith and regained it again.. only cos 1 day..the real perspective of Christ and the religion sank in..!

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  18. @anonymous i am still rolling on the floor over your ridiculous assertions but especially at the "true christian". funny how you can't see that you're really a closeted atheist. the values you speak of are values many atheist's hold near and dear without the blind faith in an imaginary being. you xtians are all alike, misguided but good for a laugh whenever you profess your twisted philosophy. have a great godless day, i know i will!

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  19. Dear Anonymous,

    If you had read my entire blog, you would know that I AM and atheist and I DO NOT believe in your god.

    Unconditional love= parents who love you whether you are a lesbian or not. Your "god" torturing his son and making him die for "sins" that have not happened is more psychotic than loving.

    What I meant to say is what I DID say. I love my family, I am a caring, concerned, kind, loving, compassionate, moral and I live my life by treating others with kindness and respect. (when they deserve it) I don't need an imaginary dictator who, according the old testament, is a vicious murderer who wipes out entire cities, men, women and children.

    I choose NOT to get my "values" from your god. Read the whole bible sometime with an open mind and you may start to see what I mean.

    I appreciate you reading my blog, but please don't tell me what I am, what I am not!

    Lori

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  20. I think it takes major nads to tell someone who they are. I was told by Pentecostals that I am an xtian, but I told them to leave me alone... I'm Buddhist. But I certainly don't go knocking on peeps doors trying to recruit. Anyway, xtians, go play on your own playground I you're not going to play nice with EVERYBODY!

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