Texting with a Friend

8960326_origRecently I was having a text conversation with the person I call my best friend. I say that because quite frankly we’ve not done best friends things in a long time. When she found out about my deconversion she was angry and scared and she pulled back from me. Apparently at that time her teenage step-son was giving the family some grief. I’m not sure what he did or is doing, I’ve asked her on several occasions and she says it’s too upsetting for her to talk about. That for the past year she had been feeling depressed and was just beginning to feel better. I said ok when your ready you can tell me, to which she agreed.

Somewhere in there my deconversion came up. She she that was upsetting to her as well and did cause some of the depression. I apologized for that being so upsetting to her(which I’m getting kind of tired of doing. Why should I apologize for my experiences. I can’t control how others deal with them.). She said she didn’t want to talk about it either because calling her best friend and atheist upset her too. I said well don’t call me an atheist then. I’m ok with being called an unbeliever, or a humanist. To which she said “The H word makes me want to puke. Lets just avoid the topic for now, if we can.” At first I let it slide, but as I talked with her more it began to bug me that she appears to think that what I am or what I stand for or how I live my life clearly repulses her. I finally told her that it was upsetting to me that she would be so repulsed by something I identify with. She said she feels like “that work is a justification for something that feels like is trying to take my friend from me.” I wrote that I still didn’t understand. That humanist are for people and the greater good. Her response was “yes. It “sounds” lovely.”  My response was “being for the greater good is lovely. Helping others is lovely. We are humans we need to help each other, not hurt each other. Be a champion for good.”

We went back and forth for a little while longer and then she said she needed to stop talking about it because she was starting to feel depressed. In our discussion I told her that saying something like that was hurtful. That I could tell her what I really think about Christianity, but that I don’t because I’m her friend, that is important to her and that I’m here to build her up not tear her down. She didn’t have anything to say to that, but she texted me everyday for several days after that, with small talk and chit chat. I believe she probably felt a bit guilty for being so judgmental, since she’s always saying religious folks are judgmental, but of course she doesn’t lump herself into that group.

I thought I was fine with how we left things. To tell you the truth I’m not sure how I feel right now. I kind of believe that we have only remained friends and I use that term loosely because we have been friends for 15 plus years. We were high school friends. There is history. She and I are going to need to talk about this at some point face to face. I need to see if she is able to drop her preconceived notions about what she think she knows atheism and humanism is and listen to my side of the story. Not just what her church and her devoutly religious mother have told her.

While I sympathize with my friends and family about their being upset I left religion, I’m not apologizing anymore for it. I’ve done it more than once to each of them. They sure as hell haven’t been as apologizing for their behavior. I’m beginning to become very impatient with those that continue to want me to live the life they want me to live. How about you live your life as you see fit and I live mine as I see fit. If we can find some medium ground there and remain in each other lives that’s great. If you continue to condemn me and disrespect me and mine then you can take your judgement and opinions with you as you go. Life is too short and precious to be surrounded by those who don’t love you unconditionally.

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About theagnosticswife

Living in the bible belt, in middle America, with a once Christian husband who has turned Agnostic. I no longer know what I believe.
This entry was posted in Agnostic, Atheist, God, Life, Outing Oneself and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Texting with a Friend

  1. jinkies says:

    Beautifully put! Hopefully your friends and family will start to be able to move on. It sounds like your friend has a lot on her plate that she needs to talk to someone about.

    • I agree. She’s always been a bit emotional I guess. I never really noticed it before until recently. It’s taking a lot longer than I thought for my family and friends to move on from it. :)

  2. Early on, I had similar experiences with people who have been friends for years, which is part of the reason why I haven’t yet confessed to my family and most of my friends that I’m an atheist. I don’t want to hurt them and I don’t want to have to defend my beliefs. It’s interesting that they are hurt that I’m an unbeliever, since I’m not hurt that they are Christians. I don’t need to take on that responsibility for their lives and they shouldn’t take on responsibility for my life.

    • Boy that’s the truth. It’s hard enough dealing with all the emotions and confusion that goes along with the process of deconversion. Taking on other peoples problems makes it even worse. I felt guilty for how they felt for awhile. I’m tired of that now and ready to move on. :)

  3. Pingback: Texting with a Friend | a reluctant atheist

  4. Liza McKenzie says:

    I’m sorry; I know how you feel. I think here in the South, most Christians are totally confused by Humanists or Atheists – you might be the first one she’s ever met. I think we scare them! In reality, it’s we who should be scared…..if Christians base their ethics and morality on their religion, what on earth would they do if one day their religion were proven false? Would they all kill each other??

    • lol we definatly scare them! They don’t know what to do with us. If we’ve been their friends we usually go against everything they’ve been taught about unbelievers. Also that’s a good question, what would they do!?

  5. You find out who your real friends are when you become a nonbeliever. I’m sorry you are having to contend with this. You are fortunate to have a supportive partner. I live in the bible belt as well and have for most of my life. Around 10 years ago I came to the end of my deconversion process. The process was long, lonely and emotionally painful. I lost a lot including jobs, my marriage, my social network, security. But I have my integrity and dignity and they can’t take that away from me.

    I think (based on studies) that many believers have been indoctrinated to believe that you can’t be a moral person nor trustworthy unless you have a god watching your every move 24/7. I also think (based on the feedback I get in emails and comments) that their faith is threatened. I am an advocate for human rights and I’m vocal about how organized religion and the religious hierarchy have played a major role in causing oppression and dysfunction. I’m predominately vocal online. I don’t have issues with belief in god — just religions that manipulate, and want to rob people of their human rights and make laws according to their interpretation of their holy books. Because of where I live, I rarely share my non-belief in my offline world unless I’m asked, and for good reason. After all, according to the bible, we are considered an enemy of their god.

    I hope your friend will eventually come around.

    *hug*

    Victoria

    • First off I’m sorry you lost so much in your journey out of religion. That’s is terrible and sad.

      I do think we make them feel threatened. The bible belt can be a depressing place to live sometimes. :) I’m constantly asked where I got my morals from. NO matter what I say they always come back with, I got them from my bible believing days and I know there is really a god, and so on and so forth. I”m sure you’ve heard it all before as well. :)

  6. Stephanie says:

    Sorry. Maybe once she has had more time to adjust she can move past this? As least I live in a very liberal place so not so much of an issue.

  7. ... Zoe ~ says:

    I’m down to one Christian friend now and at times it’s tense but we both seem to be working at it.

    It seems to me the term humanist is associated with arrogance. The mere fact that humanists think “they” can change the world; preposterous. Atheists = no belief in God. Humanists = believe they are God. (Not literally if you know what I mean.)

    • My christian friend and I seem to be working through it in our own way. I believe that is exactly how she views humanist. I tried to explain how I view it. We decided to talk about it at a later time.

  8. Darcie says:

    Came upon your site because of looking for a chicken and dumplings recipe. Thanks! I will be trying it soon.
    I am a Christian and I love to know how non Christians think. Glad I can read some views here.
    Just a couple of thoughts about being a Christian:

    The Bible is full of laws/sacrifices that Jews were to follow to be close to God. Rules, rules, rules!

    But then, it all changed to a new covenant when Jesus, his son, died on the cross and rose again. He became the once for all sacrifice for all sin. Now the way to God is through believing in Jesus. Yes, it is super natural and the belief comes through faith (which can’t be explained scientifically).
    When we believe, he gives us the holy spirit, not laws to direct us. I never think that I’m religious or involved in a religion. You’ve probably heard it many times, but it is a relationship with the creator, savior, and redeemer of the world. Yes, he loves you and the whole world, whether he is accepted or not. The beauty of it, is that we get the choice to make him a liar, lunatic, or lord.

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