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Can't communicate, can't get away


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Hey there, this is vague but I don't think the details matter:

 

I'm in a situation where a few family members and friends are causing me a lot of stress, and I don't trust that talking to them will be fruitful. They have taken a different view on a situation, and I am confident and happy in my position, but it challenges their religious beliefs. They think I am . And I can't get away. I can feel it's having a profound psychological effect on me... and I'm not sure what to do.

 

Haha, I realised from what I wrote that it sounds like this is a post about coming out, but it's not. It's more about what is an appropriate way to treat people and how God plays a part in one's life. Free will etc.

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It is vague, but I can somewhat relate, lol!

 

I too am in a position that conflicts my family's religious beliefs and have had some hard times with them. My mother is badmouthing me and my brother is controlling. Fortunately I don't live with them,so I decided just to cut all communication about anything but "How are you?". Whenever the subject they are mad about comes up, I just warn them that I'm going to hang up if we continue talking abut it as we are not going to agree etc. This got me to a point where my mother hasn't bad-mouthed me for a month now, yay!

 

It is hard when you realise that you and your family are miles apart on basic beliefs and/or life views. I'm having a really hard time accepting that my brother is like that (I knew my mother was like that since forever, so no problem). It took me a few years to even realise he is so different then me and actually doesn't accept me for who I am. It's been a few months since I tried not talking to him (we used to talk about everything). I've had some slip ups, only to confirm that I shouldn't be talking to him about anything other then the how are yous.

 

I don't know if this "advice" can apply to you, but I'm just saying I know how you feel. It's pretty lonely too. Hope it helped!

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What is your position and why does it challenge/bother them? Avoid people who try to get you into political or religious debates. Do you live with them? Are they or you in a cult? Simply sidestep the conversation and let them have their opinions and don't take the bait or bother offering food for debates/arguments.

They have taken a different view on a situation, and I am confident and happy in my position, but it challenges their religious beliefs.
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My position is that they have no right or need to "save" anyone, and they are just interfering. I know that everyone interferes in others life, but when you mix it with a strict rigid code of conduct and an unquestionable pastor and deity, it's so heavy. Somedays I can't even get out of bed. And I turned away from their beliefs (I've always been one foot in-one foot out) after a few friends left. And nobody has shut me out (yet) but that's probably because I try to walk this line in order to avoid trouble. But they're just poking at me with it: You'd be happier in your job if you were more like .

 

It's not my intention to be discourteous by being vague. It's more a question of feeling private , since I feel like my whole life is ripe for opinion by others, whilst at the same time still asking for help from anonymous people.

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They say you can't pick your family, but I tend to disagree with that. Family is who you define it to be, not necessarily DNA.

 

If the DNA is toxic, then you must excise them from your life for your own mental and emotional happiness.

 

They're grown and they must face the consequences of their willful decisions.

 

FWIW, half my family is like yours and I've chosen to not give them any appreciable space in my life. I'm far happier and they are what they are and can live with that on their own. My soul's path is none of their business and I choose not to drink the cult kool-aid.

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Who are "they"? these coworkers in the frustrating job?

I'm a thirty nine year old British male. I've been working in an office at a creative, but ultimately frustrating job. I didn't feel like I was living up to my potential.
Why is it that you can't avoid these people or change the topic? Do you live in a commune/cult environment?
I turned away from their beliefs after a few friends left. But they're just poking at me with it: You'd be happier in your job if you were more like.
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No not the people in my work. Family and friends who are either miles away or online. I minimise contact. I am not physically trapped. I am not in a cult or commune. But even the slightest interaction with them can lead to me just completely falling apart for days or weeks even, obsessing. I guess when I said I am happy and confident in my beliefs, that doesn't match how I actually act with them. It's harder to get away from people in 2018 than you might think. But if I attempt to properly break contact I think they will become more aggressive and I can't cope with that at the moment. Catch 22. Sorry for the vagueness, but perhaps you don't quite relate to how stressful and worrying it can feel to expose oneself.

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Expose oneself as what? Do they comment on your social media or do you mean when you text/call friends or family? Can you keep beliefs and religion/politics out of the conversation?

No not the people in my work. Family and friends who are either miles away or online. I minimise contact. I said I am happy and confident in my beliefs, that doesn't match how I actually act with them. how stressful and worrying it can feel to expose oneself.
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No not the people in my work. Family and friends who are either miles away or online. I minimise contact. I am not physically trapped. I am not in a cult or commune. But even the slightest interaction with them can lead to me just completely falling apart for days or weeks even, obsessing. I guess when I said I am happy and confident in my beliefs, that doesn't match how I actually act with them. It's harder to get away from people in 2018 than you might think. But if I attempt to properly break contact I think they will become more aggressive and I can't cope with that at the moment. Catch 22. Sorry for the vagueness, but perhaps you don't quite relate to how stressful and worrying it can feel to expose oneself.

 

Well....it really is quite easy. Delete your social media accounts. Boom done. Then go live your life in the real world and away from the keyboard and FB drama. You can keep calls and contact strictly limited to holidays and b-days. Refuse to discuss religion and literally get off the phone immediately that the topic is brought up. More importantly, understand that your parents will worry about you, so the more you can show them that you are happy, safe, employed, comfortable, etc, etc, etc, the more they will get over their fears and start to ease up on you. When you talk to your parents, just be upbeat about all the good things going on with you. If they try to turn the convo toward religion, "oh hey sorry, gotta go. Bye." *click* Keep being consistent with that.

 

Some of what you are posting, to be honest is contradictory. If you are really comfortable in what you believe, then your family's disapproval shouldn't affect you to the point of depression. Maybe take some time to unplug from everyone and make sure you are honest with yourself about how you feel about things.

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Agree. Whoknowsnow are other things going on in life that are bothering you? Do you have local and online like-minded friends you could hang out with or connect to a bit more?

If you are really comfortable in what you believe, then your family's disapproval shouldn't affect you to the point of depression.
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No its more of a situation where I'm perceived as 'lost', and so they feel justified in talking amongst themselves about how best to 'help' me. Which means whatever I say to anyone gets passed around, and also anything I post on social media etc.

 

That's how I feel anyway. Perhaps I am overreacting and I'm not the centre of anyone's attention really, but as I said I feel the stress of it is affecting my emotional state.

 

I try to keep the conversations really simple. I guess I would like to feel like someone has got my back, but I feel a bit surrounded. It's been good to talk it out though. I see now I am avoiding committing myself to just being honest with them, which is maybe why I'm avoiding going too far into detail here.

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Some of what you are posting, to be honest is contradictory. If you are really comfortable in what you believe, then your family's disapproval shouldn't affect you to the point of depression. Maybe take some time to unplug from everyone and make sure you are honest with yourself about how you feel about things.

 

Agree on everything else. But this part stood out for me because I am basically in the same situation. It's hard when your family can't accept you, I mean, it's what most people are struggling for their whole life, no? I mean, it is concerning that it's driven the OP to depression, but it might not have anything to do with how confident he is in his belief, but more to do with the way families are built and the way we strive for them to be proud of us and accept us and love us unconditionally.

 

OP, I really can relate. DancingFool is right, and that's basically what I do to. I live my life and when I talk to family, I just let them know how happy I am. Funny thing is, they can't believe it because they can't accept that anyone can be happy away from their god. It hurts that they can't understand and it's hard for me to accept that they will never be routing for me the way I want them to be, they will always look down on me, but I know that if I'm in any kind of trouble, they will be there to help and that's something right? Forgive them, for that is all they know. They can't accept you, but you need to accept them.

 

It's a lonely road and for me right now it's even lonelier as I moved to another city and even all my good friends are miles away. Try to surround yourself with your close friends; they are the family you chose; they accept you for who you are. I'm sure time will help both of us feel better. Also, seek therapy, it's helping me a lot on this subject too.

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Soooo.....who cares if it gets passed around.... I mean you want them to respect you and let you think/live/believe how you wish, shouldn't you extend the same courtesy to them?

Sounds like you are living way too much inside of your own head and making way too many presumptions which leaves you feeling very insecure. You are correct about one thing - you aren't the center of anyone's universe and people aren't out there plotting away on how to get you to do anything. However, if they see that you are depressed, struggling and it's getting serious, then naturally they will want to help you. That doesn't even have anything to do with religion or dogma. More like pretty basic human instincts.

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Unwanted advice is unfortunately a frequent punishment for complaining. Instead of talking to any of them about any dilemmas, feelings, conflicts, problems, etc in your life, consult a trained and useful therapist to help you navigate all that. They are professional and get paid to be neutral and most of all helpful to you without overbearing spins and helicopter micromanaging, etc.

 

To your people portray yourself as happy, well adjusted and keep any philosophy or maudlin stuff out of any conversations and especially off all social media. Do not invite pity or elicit unwanted help or advice.

its more of a situation where I'm perceived as 'lost', and so they feel justified in talking amongst themselves about how best to 'help' me.
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Thank you this all helps. I am fighting for this, and I am spending time with people who are more supportive, but tends to be more online than in real life. I have definitely had a really good year, and I've been trying to do what I really love for once. But breaking free of people needing to worry about me....and of course I must have helped this dynamic... is pretty tiring.

 

Nothing else is really going on in my life other than this- but even when they're not with me, they're still rambling away in my head (some version of them anyway). But just trying to get out from under the past is enough work.

 

Yes I am trying to tell them I'm fine, but they want details. I am doing my best to be firm.

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Yeah I see that I'm co-creating the situation. It's a funny dynamic because while I had space I was feeling pretty good, but as soon as I have to explain myself to someone else the high expectations come in, and then I start to feel ashamed and doubting myself, and then angry for feeling sabotaged. I'm really writing because I'm shocked at how hard it has hit me when I thought I was doing so well. Frustrated!

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Thank you this all helps. I am fighting for this, and I am spending time with people who are more supportive, but tends to be more online than in real life. I have definitely had a really good year, and I've been trying to do what I really love for once. But breaking free of people needing to worry about me....and of course I must have helped this dynamic... is pretty tiring.

 

Nothing else is really going on in my life other than this- but even when they're not with me, they're still rambling away in my head (some version of them anyway). But just trying to get out from under the past is enough work.

 

Yes I am trying to tell them I'm fine, but they want details. I am doing my best to be firm.

 

Having trouble with the people who raised you is a vicious cycle that's hard to break. These people raised you and have contributed to the way you think. Add the guilt that is the building stone of most religions and the cycle is nearly air tight. I'm guessing the rambling you hear in your head is based on that guilt; you've been used to hearing it since you were born, it was just saying other things. Now that you are "getting out", it's changed it's tune. It really is like coming out by the way.

 

Personally, I would never want my mother to know I have stepped away from her religion. She has suspected it of course, but I've never openly admitted it to her. At one point I thought it would help my personal growth, but it isn't worth the damage it will do to her.

 

It's hard avoiding the details, but you're on the right track. I promise at some point their questions will be scarce.

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Soooo.....who cares if it gets passed around.... I mean you want them to respect you and let you think/live/believe how you wish, shouldn't you extend the same courtesy to them?

Sounds like you are living way too much inside of your own head and making way too many presumptions which leaves you feeling very insecure. You are correct about one thing - you aren't the center of anyone's universe and people aren't out there plotting away on how to get you to do anything. However, if they see that you are depressed, struggling and it's getting serious, then naturally they will want to help you. That doesn't even have anything to do with religion or dogma. More like pretty basic human instincts.

 

I understand what you mean by saying that I am living in my own head. But I have to say I feel trapped in my own head. I work, I exercise, I eat well, I have hobbies I love, I sleep 8 hours. But it's like something flicks the wound and then suddenly I'm down for the count, or just thinking thinking thinking and nothing seems to make it better. But it's better than it was. And perhaps the point is that I am not talking about this stuff enough. And writing here has been helping, so perhaps it's time to think about therapy.

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Agree on everything else. But this part stood out for me because I am basically in the same situation. It's hard when your family can't accept you, I mean, it's what most people are struggling for their whole life, no? I mean, it is concerning that it's driven the OP to depression, but it might not have anything to do with how confident he is in his belief, but more to do with the way families are built and the way we strive for them to be proud of us and accept us and love us unconditionally.

 

This is really very interesting. No, not all families function that way. What I mean is that in my tribe, pride isn't part of the equation. The only person you have anything to prove to is yourself really. The last people on this planet that you need to prove yourself to is family precisely because they love you despite all the differences and disagreements. Basically, a case of we may never agree with your choices or what you are doing and we will totally let you know about it, BUT you'll always be our child, aka unconditional love.

 

Of course religion complicates the above, because a true believer is going to worry about your soul and namely that if you don't live a certain way, you'll be doomed for eternity. So you can see their dilemma - deep belief and actually their love for you is what's driving them to keep trying to save you. If they didn't love you, it would be so much easier to accept your lack of salvation so to speak. But should you be upset and depressed that they love you that much? Food for thought.

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Thanks... also you have to realise this is all happening in Britain. So it's not all eternal damnation and hellfire. It's all happening with frowns and dry wit.

 

I'm not sure it's really love though if it's just someone needing me to be a certain way. I would say that's the opposite of love. But I understand what you mean is that their intention in genuine.

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Thanks... also you have to realise this is all happening in Britain. So it's not all eternal damnation and hellfire. It's all happening with frowns and dry wit.

 

I'm not sure it's really love though if it's just someone needing me to be a certain way. I would say that's the opposite of love. But I understand what mean is that their intention in genuine.

 

Well yes, I'm using it as an example since we don't know your specifics. My point is that generally speaking, religions demand certain behaviors are to be followed and failure to do so has consequences, usually damning ones. So if someone really truly believes that, it's difficult for them to abide the idea that their loved one is going to pay those consequences. This is really where maybe you need to strive to understand them better and their literally impossible dilemma and not be so hard on them and so upset with them about it.

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This is really very interesting. No, not all families function that way. What I mean is that in my tribe, pride isn't part of the equation. The only person you have anything to prove to is yourself really. The last people on this planet that you need to prove yourself to is family precisely because they love you despite all the differences and disagreements. Basically, a case of we may never agree with your choices or what you are doing and we will totally let you know about it, BUT you'll always be our child, aka unconditional love.

 

Of course religion complicates the above, because a true believer is going to worry about your soul and namely that if you don't live a certain way, you'll be doomed for eternity. So you can see their dilemma - deep belief and actually their love for you is what's driving them to keep trying to save you. If they didn't love you, it would be so much easier to accept your lack of salvation so to speak. But should you be upset and depressed that they love you that much? Food for thought.

 

Consider yourself lucky if you were raised in such a family! I'm glad you were!You are right, the only person we have to prove anything to is ourselves, but when you grow up in a family that basically never accepts you, never really loves you unconditionally, yet tells you they do, you turn into a very confused adult that is still seeking their approval. It takes time and a lot of soul searching to first realise and than act on the fact that you only need to prove yourself to you.

 

Religion, in my case, made it horribly worse. My mother puts God even above her. God loves us more than she does. Imagine growing up with a proxy mother. It's insane.

 

But should you be upset and depressed that they love you that much? Food for thought.

 

It is a good point, I've been through it already and after the anger phase of "converting" to a non believer, that is what I came down to.

OP, it's hard to see, but this is the only way they know to love you. You don't have to do what they want of course, just do what you're doing, avoid giving them details about your life and talking about subjects that trigger them. Yes, it may just come down to "how are you?", it sucks, I know, but since they won't change their mind or actions, it's the mid way solution for everyone to be happy.

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Thanks... also you have to realise this is all happening in Britain. So it's not all eternal damnation and hellfire. It's all happening with frowns and dry wit.

 

LOL

 

 

Yeah, they are trying to pull you back. My therapist told me that that's what happens when a person strays from the herd. You can't be different! You have to come back!! And they're not even promising cookies!!111one one

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