Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Denial, Religion, Depression

Death is a tough thing, especially when it's close. I took a rather long road trip to visit a relative. Reports as to her health varied. Some look at this whole cancer thing as beatable, but the realist in me knows the odds aren't good. Nearing 90, cancer is tough. The truth here is that 'candidate for treatment' is going out the window even more every day.

So, visiting the situation was tough. It was even tougher with the whole religion question between my parents and I and my other relatives. A select few of my immediate relatives are not members of the cult. That said, they fall into the bible-belt Christian category. Relations between them and my family have been tense for years. Of course, my family and me don't have the best of relations either. So, I get to feel the brunt from both sides. Even more fun - the constant preaching and digs from my family.

So, I've been back in Kansas City for three and a half days now. Mentally, I still haven't recovered from the trip. It's not exactly easy seeing someone you are close to on death's door. The trip also forced me into some disturbing realizations.

The first of which, is I'm no longer sure how much of my separation from my family is me versus the family. On one hand, I hear things like "If you bring Christmas presents, you're no longer welcome at this house". On the other, at least my mom calls every now and again just to talk. And yet, they can't call or talking without preaching at me somehow.

I don't like the 'game' we are playing. And, it's worn very thin. We don't really stay in touch. We have an illusion of staying in touch. My parents preach at me, and I don't tell them about the vast majority of my life and views of the morally bankrupt Watchtower corporation. Because, *if* I told them about my hobbies and passions, I'd no longer be welcome there.

So, despite having gone through so much effort to break free, I don't feel free of it. I'm quickly reaching the conclusion that the only way I'll be able to relax mentally is to clearly let the family know, that not only do I view the religion as a fucking cult, but I have no intention of ever returning to it. Still, doing that would be devastating to my mom.

Why do I even care anymore?

An honest look at this here just shows me that whatever joy I gain from my family is overpowered by the crap relationship that the cult has created. It seems that I have worked so hard for others happiness, that I have no clue what I want. I just wish I could shut off my feelings for my family. Not give a fuck if they live or die. I'm sick of dealing with people that see me as "not doing anything about the truth". I'm sick of dealing with people that say they want to say hi, but really are just going to give an hour long preaching session.

Then, to add to my mental brain fuck, after spending a few days surrounded by people and family, I speed back to Kansas City. Down South, smothered by people who view me as sick. Up North, completely alone.

Truth be told, in the cult, I never felt like a liability. And now, I look at my general mindset, and think I am. I hate feeling like a needy bitch when I'm around people. And as I hate that, I generally hate being around people as well.

So, being around my family, trying to say goodbye to family, just showed me that caring hurts.


Janet said...


Faith said...

Whoah! Careful with the hugs there, Janet! Don't squish too hard. :P

Dude, you should take control of that situation. When someone is calling to say "hi" keep it on track with that. Sharing what's going on, what's been going on, how you are...all nice things to do with family far away.

But as soon as it breaks into the preachy stuff, tell them straight up that you aren't interested, and you can either talk about something else or say goodbye. Or change the subject in a really obvious way, if you don't want to be too confrontational about it.

You're enabling it right now. They do it to you because you allow them to. My mom used to do that back when she was alive and I'd first moved to KC. She believed the world was going to end in 2000, and would talk about it to no end. If you let her.

I stopped her once, I was so sick of it. I said, "MOM! I'm going to be one of the ones to go, ok? I won't be here to repopulate. God knows that's not in the cards for me anyway, so please stop bringing it up with me!"

And you know what? She did. And our relationship became much closer and happier than it had already been.

I'm not saying this works for everyone. But you seem like a pretty cool guy. And a grown up. I'm not sure exactly what all you've been through, this is true. So I hope this isn't offensive to you. I just wish you weren't having such a hard time, man.

Kristina said...


people sucks worse cause they know all the buttons to push...they are the ones that put them there! :-/

A Librarian said...

Ditto Janet's hugs and I am so sorry that your family situation is so painful.

On the other hand, "family" can be whatever you make it. You have an opportunity to create a new family in KC and I know you have already made a start at that. This is your chance to chose those people who know and love you the way you are to be your new "family".

FYI: Needing supportive people in your life isn't the same as being needy. Asking for help, support and company is ok. That's what friends are for. You have our phone numbers, use them.