Lunch with my apostate Dad

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:45 pm

Went to lunch with my Dad this week. He has been out of the church for decades and enjoys his free Sundays a lot. Now, you would think he would be satisfied that I have come to know the truth and have some form of empathy that I am trapped by my marriage and children. Instead he repeatedly tells me "don't poison the family". WTF Dad! You could have gotten me out of this terrible predicament 20 years ago if you had simply told me the truth and made some effort to educate me. Instead I am here suffering through endless sunday rhetoric and trying to keep my mixed faith marriage together. Enjoy your time skiing every Sunday! Pisses me off.

I guess my fantasy was that he would embrace my new free world view and take me out for a beer, but our relationship has merely become even more awkward than before my faith transition. If you can even imagine that. Perhaps he secretly wished I stayed TBM for some irrational reasons.

Congratulations COJCOLDS, you have even succeeded at ruining my relationship with fellow family apostates.
Last edited by FiveFingerMnemonic on Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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moksha
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by moksha » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:01 pm

How would your twenty-year younger self have reacted to your Dad opening up to you? Would you have accepted it as consciousness-expanding information or with a TBM shield?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Red Ryder
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:31 am

I can in a very small way ephathize with him now having other family members losing their Mormon faith.

It’s as if he’s mourning your loss of ignorance and naivety.

Or perhaps all these years later he has missed the Mormon secret sauce in his life and is warning you from a nostalgic point of view feeling some empty void. As if he sees the tight knit family outer appearance that is prevalent and subconsciously longs for that in his life. He has suffered in silent dignity all these years knowing leaving the church leaves emotional scars. Having traveled the road of apostasy he knows it’s faults. I dunno.

Or perhaps he wants the Sunday ski slopes to not be so crowded.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by Mormorrisey » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:44 am

Wow. That was...interesting. That's unfortunate, and I'm sorry it's making things awkward with your Dad. I've given up trying to figure out why people do the things they do - I've counselled people to slow down their apostasy because the TBM family can't cope, but "poisoning your family" is a very loaded phrase, and I can see why you're concerned. I'm at a loss for that one. Perhaps one of those old missionary guide "frank and open discussions" would tease out the problem with your Dad?

I can also see your own frustration of assuming someone would empathize. I ran into an old friend some months ago who has been inactive for years, because the old SP pissed him off. I assumed in the meantime that he's found out what I've found out, so I was happy to talk to him about my challenges with church stuff. Turns out he has an even stronger testimony of the church than Sis M., and was not pleased at where the conversation went. I was just floored. I was more "active" than he was, he hasn't been to church in over a decade, but he's a true blue believer and I'm the hardened apostate. Go figure.

Again, I can't figure out why people do what they do. I'm not sure I want to know anymore, either.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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Palerider
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by Palerider » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:12 pm

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:45 pm
Instead he repeatedly tells me "don't poison the family".
Seems we always think of the perfect thing to say after the fact.

There's questioning as a rhetorical device in order to make a point and then there's questioning for understanding.

So, I wonder if a number of heartfelt questions might have helped at that point. Like, "What exactly do you mean by 'poison the family' Dad?" Could you elaborate on that? How do you feel this should be handled, Dad? Do you have regrets about the way you handled things when you discovered the church wasn't true?

The church does a lot of preaching about how important the truth is. Should we ignore that part of the teaching?

You may not like what you find but I'd really like to know how your dad's thinking is working in this regard. And persistently questioning him in a nonthreatening way, allows him to maybe answer some of the real questions that you have posted in your op.

Just a thought.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:03 pm

Palerider wrote:
FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:45 pm
Instead he repeatedly tells me "don't poison the family".
Seems we always think of the perfect thing to say after the fact.

There's questioning as a rhetorical device in order to make a point and then there's questioning for understanding.

So, I wonder if a number of heartfelt questions might have helped at that point. Like, "What exactly do you mean by 'poison the family' Dad?" Could you elaborate on that? How do you feel this should be handled, Dad? Do you have regrets about the way you handled things when you discovered the church wasn't true?

The church does a lot of preaching about how important the truth is. Should we ignore that part of the teaching?

You may not like what you find but I'd really like to know how your dad's thinking is working in this regard. And persistently questioning him in a nonthreatening way, allows him to maybe answer some of the real questions that you have posted in your op.

Just a thought.
Indeed I would like to know the specific concerns behind this statement as well. I will have to press further into what he is worried about.

If I had to guess, given my wife's side of the family being very conservative TBMs there is some embarrassment over me being the one to ruin the Celestial dreams of her extended family, some fear of divorce occurring (My father endured a nasty divorce) and also some manner of worry over the kids becoming drug addicts or deviants somehow because of me not conforming to Mormon standards. In other words, he still has some affinity for the church standards in raising kids they just happen not to apply to him.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:17 pm

Hmmmm... tell me more about, your mother? JK!

His perspective on this is certainly puzzling, this double standard he seems to have. My guess would be that he's worried about losing his relationship with his grandkids and he's telling you to stick with it (at the cost of your own sanity) in order to maintain some order and not lose your marriage. But does he realize you've basically given the church the finger? I mean, really, you still support your spouse and kids going to that institution but you've distanced yourself in nearly every other way, including outright telling your local leaders to F off. In your evolutionary steps of moving further and further from it, would it be anyone's surprise if you didn't go anymore? Would that really be the last straw in your marriage? I mean, it's certainly a point of dissonance, but I think your DW knows you don't believe it anymore.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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jfro18
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by jfro18 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:13 am

I'm so sorry - what a frustrating development in what should otherwise be something that you can bond over.

Like others said, maybe try to figure out what he would take that approach, because that has to have some backstory or reasoning that will hopefully make sense of it all.

But just sorry you have yet another piece of stress to add to all of this.

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Random
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by Random » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:30 pm

Maybe he regrets how he approached his wife in regards to his beliefs, or the fallout from his actions were really bad, as he became apostate - and he doesn't want a repeat in your family (e.g. a nasty divorce). In other words, maybe he felt like he "poisoned the family" in some way, and doesn't want you to go through that same hell.
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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Newme
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by Newme » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:53 pm

Random wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:30 pm
Maybe he regrets how he approached his wife in regards to his beliefs, or the fallout from his actions were really bad, as he became apostate - and he doesn't want a repeat in your family (e.g. a nasty divorce). In other words, maybe he felt like he "poisoned the family" in some way, and doesn't want you to go through that same hell.
That’s my guess too.

Still, the idea of “poisoning the family” makes me wonder if I’ve done this to any degree. Yes, I think so, especially when I’ve been so angry about being hurt by people I love who have placed the cult above me. At times, I wanted to make them suffer too. In some ways, it would be easier to be far from anything Mormon - to avoid getting “triggered” but that’s not ideal either.

Isn’t the cult poisoning the family? Financial corruption, manipulative shaming and control that seem to reflect “Satan’s” way of force. Utah has led the entire nation in mental illness & the church teaches distorted beliefs (like bi-polar/polarizing/either-or thinking like “you are either on the Lord side or you’re not” & “the church is either true or not” which likely contribute to this.

The Mormon cult is poisonous in significant ways. Yet, it’s not all or nothing. High standards and the facilitating of everyone serving one another are awesome. “There must needs be opposition in all things” is true - like yin and yang - there are both nurturing and poisonous potentials in practically everything.

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Newme
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by Newme » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:09 pm

Mormorrisey wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:44 am
I can also see your own frustration of assuming someone would empathize. I ran into an old friend some months ago who has been inactive for years, because the old SP pissed him off. I assumed in the meantime that he's found out what I've found out, so I was happy to talk to him about my challenges with church stuff. Turns out he has an even stronger testimony of the church than Sis M., and was not pleased at where the conversation went. I was just floored. I was more "active" than he was, he hasn't been to church in over a decade, but he's a true blue believer and I'm the hardened apostate. Go figure.

Again, I can't figure out why people do what they do. I'm not sure I want to know anymore, either.
I’ve encountered similar. It’s strange and sad. Some kind of artificial phenomenon - like “sinning” or getting offended - distances them from the church. Yet, they’re still programmed - so that distance makes it hellish for them. They feel like they are horrible for it.

It makes having a faith crisis seem more essential to sanity. I tried to tell a friend who is really hurting, but it didn’t stick. Maybe they have too much going on that makes them feel unstable, so they don’t feel up to really questioning their faith foundation.

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Random
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Re: Lunch with my apostate Dad

Post by Random » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:36 pm

Newme wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:53 pm
Isn’t the cult poisoning the family?
Absolutely, it does!
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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