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Old 10-21-2023, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Hickville USA
5,909 posts, read 3,802,867 times
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This is comical and sort of embarrassing when one of my old threads like this one from 2007 resurfaces. It's comical because of some of the stupid things I said in the OP and embarrassing because I am an atheist now. At least this one was not resurrected simply to embarrass me. I don't think, who knows.

50% of me thinks it's funny and the other 50% wants to crawl under a rock. I can't fathom ever believing that mess. My entire roller coaster deconversion is documented here on CD. Mostly under Ilene Wright. Long story.

Since we're here might as well discuss it. If anyone is interested in why a lifetime Fundamental Evangelical Christian isn't one any longer then discuss away.

My Father has passed and it was a total of 18 years that we did not speak. When he was dying, I decided to go see him with other family that were also estranged from him. It wasn't just me. I wanted closure and so I decided to forgive him and tell him that I loved him. Chapter closed.
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Old 10-22-2023, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
20,066 posts, read 13,524,028 times
Reputation: 9969
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
This is comical and sort of embarrassing when one of my old threads like this one from 2007 resurfaces. It's comical because of some of the stupid things I said in the OP and embarrassing because I am an atheist now. At least this one was not resurrected simply to embarrass me. I don't think, who knows.

50% of me thinks it's funny and the other 50% wants to crawl under a rock. I can't fathom ever believing that mess. My entire roller coaster deconversion is documented here on CD. Mostly under Ilene Wright. Long story.

Since we're here might as well discuss it. If anyone is interested in why a lifetime Fundamental Evangelical Christian isn't one any longer then discuss away.

My Father has passed and it was a total of 18 years that we did not speak. When he was dying, I decided to go see him with other family that were also estranged from him. It wasn't just me. I wanted closure and so I decided to forgive him and tell him that I loved him. Chapter closed.
I, too, cringe and many things I did as a believer; though they are not documented online, [i]I/i] know about them and that's humiliating enough, lol.

My wife ... lifelong agnostic and technical atheist and never religious ... is way better than me at forgiving the unforgivable and I don't consider myself a slouch at it either. Really I guess it's less a question of forgiveness than of how willing one is to not eliminate toxic persons from your life entirely, going forward. I tend to prefer the simplicity of saying "buh-bye" at least until they have enough a personal epiphany to ask for forgiveness. As for closure ... I think it's overrated but I can understand attempting to get it. Nice to have if you can get it.
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Old 10-23-2023, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Hickville USA
5,909 posts, read 3,802,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I, too, cringe and many things I did as a believer; though they are not documented online, [i]I/i] know about them and that's humiliating enough, lol.

My wife ... lifelong agnostic and technical atheist and never religious ... is way better than me at forgiving the unforgivable and I don't consider myself a slouch at it either. Really I guess it's less a question of forgiveness than of how willing one is to not eliminate toxic persons from your life entirely, going forward. I tend to prefer the simplicity of saying "buh-bye" at least until they have enough a personal epiphany to ask for forgiveness. As for closure ... I think it's overrated but I can understand attempting to get it. Nice to have if you can get it.
Thanks Mordant, I guess it was more just putting it to rest for good, rather than closure. I don't know why he was like he was but it was really important for me to see him, I acted like he always did and pretended like nothing ever happened, and just be the bigger person. I would not have ever done that if he hadn't been dying. It was a less tumultuous, more peaceful and less maddening 18 years that I had free from his toxicity, but I would have felt pretty bad about not going to see him even so.

Now, I have no problem kicking toxic people to the curb and not looking back. This was different though, he was my Daddy.
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Old 10-24-2023, 02:15 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
43,209 posts, read 18,363,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
Thanks Mordant, I guess it was more just putting it to rest for good, rather than closure. I don't know why he was like he was but it was really important for me to see him, I acted like he always did and pretended like nothing ever happened, and just be the bigger person. I would not have ever done that if he hadn't been dying. It was a less tumultuous, more peaceful and less maddening 18 years that I had free from his toxicity, but I would have felt pretty bad about not going to see him even so.

Now, I have no problem kicking toxic people to the curb and not looking back. This was different though, he was my Daddy.
Isn't that a kind of "forgiving" ? If you just move on without revenge, vengeance, mean words.

See that's how I interpret "turn the other cheek".....don't seek vengeance; just turn the other cheek and walk away.
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Old 10-24-2023, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
20,066 posts, read 13,524,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
Now, I have no problem kicking toxic people to the curb and not looking back. This was different though, he was my Daddy.
Yes it's different between parent and child. Complicated, often. My FIL did terrible things to my wife, but she has managed somehow not to be embittered by it, or unable to be kind to him in his final days. Obviously a feat that does not require a god to either enable or explain it.
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Old 10-24-2023, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Townsville
6,803 posts, read 2,922,778 times
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Decades ago, my two older siblings (brother and sister) and I became wards of the state due to involvement by authorities in a rather lengthy dysfunctional family situation. My dad would come home drunk and beat up my mother on a number of occasions, scenes of violence that became seethed into the memory of, at the time, a scared 6-year-old. It was when mom was hospitalized after one of my father's drunken episodes that the authorities moved in and the three of us kids became wards of the state and institutionalized. The lives of my older siblings took a different turn to mine, but I remained in that institution until I was 12. It was then that mom, who had visited me every visiting day (every two weeks, I believe), was in a stable enough position to satisfy the authorities and I was released to her custody.

My father became just a hazy faceless character from a distant memory, and I never saw him ever again after I was institutionalized. All I remember was this drunken guy coming home and beating up mom. I wouldn't know him if I bumped into him in the street. Decades later, however, I started to become curious as to whether he was still living and, if so, his whereabouts. By this time my older sister, brother and I were living thousands of miles apart from one another, my brother in a different country. However, I kept in contact with my sister every now and again by phone. During one such telephone conversation she told me that she had 'dad's' address. We now had a decent stepfather and so calling a violent man from a distant memory 'dad' seemed not to be right somehow. I had NO positive memories of this man at all.

Anyway, after mulling this over in my mind for some time I eventually decided to write a letter to this man who was 'my father'. The letter was more like an essay since I had a lot to say. I wanted this person to know that my only memory of him was of an abusive man who on a number of occasions beat up my mother while I cried helplessly, afraid and concerned for my mother who I loved and depended upon. I wanted him to know that it was because of him that the three of us kids finished up as wards of the state, me for 6-years on my young life. I wanted to share my memories of him WITH him so that he knew that these things were the things for which I was forgiving him. I don't want to come across as some kind of a martyr but there was no bitterness toward this man in my heart - and, truthfully, there never was. I don't have that kind of thing in me ...certainly not for long anyway.

A couple of weeks after my having mailed that letter I received a 20-page response from my father. He started out the letter by telling me that my letter had made him feel like a human being again.

I'll stop there. It's little wonder that Jesus speaks of forgiveness for wrongs committed against us. There is great value in forgiveness, often for both the perpetrator and the victim. All I know is that forgiving my father before he died a couple of years later was important to me.
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Old 10-25-2023, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
28,106 posts, read 30,010,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomulusXXV View Post
Decades ago, my two older siblings (brother and sister) and I became wards of the state due to involvement by authorities in a rather lengthy dysfunctional family situation. My dad would come home drunk and beat up my mother on a number of occasions, scenes of violence that became seethed into the memory of, at the time, a scared 6-year-old. It was when mom was hospitalized after one of my father's drunken episodes that the authorities moved in and the three of us kids became wards of the state and institutionalized. The lives of my older siblings took a different turn to mine, but I remained in that institution until I was 12. It was then that mom, who had visited me every visiting day (every two weeks, I believe), was in a stable enough position to satisfy the authorities and I was released to her custody.

My father became just a hazy faceless character from a distant memory, and I never saw him ever again after I was institutionalized. All I remember was this drunken guy coming home and beating up mom. I wouldn't know him if I bumped into him in the street. Decades later, however, I started to become curious as to whether he was still living and, if so, his whereabouts. By this time my older sister, brother and I were living thousands of miles apart from one another, my brother in a different country. However, I kept in contact with my sister every now and again by phone. During one such telephone conversation she told me that she had 'dad's' address. We now had a decent stepfather and so calling a violent man from a distant memory 'dad' seemed not to be right somehow. I had NO positive memories of this man at all.

Anyway, after mulling this over in my mind for some time I eventually decided to write a letter to this man who was 'my father'. The letter was more like an essay since I had a lot to say. I wanted this person to know that my only memory of him was of an abusive man who on a number of occasions beat up my mother while I cried helplessly, afraid and concerned for my mother who I loved and depended upon. I wanted him to know that it was because of him that the three of us kids finished up as wards of the state, me for 6-years on my young life. I wanted to share my memories of him WITH him so that he knew that these things were the things for which I was forgiving him. I don't want to come across as some kind of a martyr but there was no bitterness toward this man in my heart - and, truthfully, there never was. I don't have that kind of thing in me ...certainly not for long anyway.

A couple of weeks after my having mailed that letter I received a 20-page response from my father. He started out the letter by telling me that my letter had made him feel like a human being again.

I'll stop there. It's little wonder that Jesus speaks of forgiveness for wrongs committed against us. There is great value in forgiveness, often for both the perpetrator and the victim. All I know is that forgiving my father before he died a couple of years later was important to me.
Wow. That is one of the more touching posts I've read in a very, very long time. Thanks you for sharing that.
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Old 10-25-2023, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Time
501 posts, read 170,403 times
Reputation: 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomulusXXV View Post
Decades ago, my two older siblings (brother and sister) and I became wards of the state due to involvement by authorities in a rather lengthy dysfunctional family situation. My dad would come home drunk and beat up my mother on a number of occasions, scenes of violence that became seethed into the memory of, at the time, a scared 6-year-old. It was when mom was hospitalized after one of my father's drunken episodes that the authorities moved in and the three of us kids became wards of the state and institutionalized. The lives of my older siblings took a different turn to mine, but I remained in that institution until I was 12. It was then that mom, who had visited me every visiting day (every two weeks, I believe), was in a stable enough position to satisfy the authorities and I was released to her custody.

My father became just a hazy faceless character from a distant memory, and I never saw him ever again after I was institutionalized. All I remember was this drunken guy coming home and beating up mom. I wouldn't know him if I bumped into him in the street. Decades later, however, I started to become curious as to whether he was still living and, if so, his whereabouts. By this time my older sister, brother and I were living thousands of miles apart from one another, my brother in a different country. However, I kept in contact with my sister every now and again by phone. During one such telephone conversation she told me that she had 'dad's' address. We now had a decent stepfather and so calling a violent man from a distant memory 'dad' seemed not to be right somehow. I had NO positive memories of this man at all.

Anyway, after mulling this over in my mind for some time I eventually decided to write a letter to this man who was 'my father'. The letter was more like an essay since I had a lot to say. I wanted this person to know that my only memory of him was of an abusive man who on a number of occasions beat up my mother while I cried helplessly, afraid and concerned for my mother who I loved and depended upon. I wanted him to know that it was because of him that the three of us kids finished up as wards of the state, me for 6-years on my young life. I wanted to share my memories of him WITH him so that he knew that these things were the things for which I was forgiving him. I don't want to come across as some kind of a martyr but there was no bitterness toward this man in my heart - and, truthfully, there never was. I don't have that kind of thing in me ...certainly not for long anyway.

A couple of weeks after my having mailed that letter I received a 20-page response from my father. He started out the letter by telling me that my letter had made him feel like a human being again.

I'll stop there. It's little wonder that Jesus speaks of forgiveness for wrongs committed against us. There is great value in forgiveness, often for both the perpetrator and the victim. All I know is that forgiving my father before he died a couple of years later was important to me.
I have an eerily similar background, except it was my father who ended up being institutionalized and my older brother and sister from whom I became estranged. I had no contact with them the last 40 years of their lives, and my efforts late in life were firmly rebuffed. My mother died when I was 18 and my father when I was 21, but he prayed with me to receive Christ shortly before he died and delivered one of my most influential After-Death Communications ("I'm dead but I'm not dead") shortly thereafter. In retrospect, I can see meaning and purpose in this traumatic childhood, and I absolutely don't think it's all my imagination. I weep for my parents because they were highly intelligent, decent people who could have accomplished much more had they not been in the grip of demons (figuratively or literally), but they gave me life and I thank them in prayers almost every night. I suppose there is an element of forgiveness, but I think I pretty much accepted them for who they were all along - even when I and my sister seriously contemplated killing my father for the good of the family. When I speak of forgiveness in prayers, I certainly speak of it as a two-way street. We all have to play the hands we are dealt, and I believe the hands we are dealt are not the product of mere chance but are part of an overall plan for our lives. I have complete disdain for people who dwell on and revel in their supposed victimhood all the rest of their lives.
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Old 10-28-2023, 07:47 AM
 
Location: TEXAS
3,837 posts, read 1,391,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O'Darby View Post
I have an eerily similar background, except it was my father who ended up being institutionalized and my older brother and sister from whom I became estranged. I had no contact with them the last 40 years of their lives, and my efforts late in life were firmly rebuffed. My mother died when I was 18 and my father when I was 21, but he prayed with me to receive Christ shortly before he died and delivered one of my most influential After-Death Communications ("I'm dead but I'm not dead") shortly thereafter. In retrospect, I can see meaning and purpose in this traumatic childhood, and I absolutely don't think it's all my imagination. I weep for my parents because they were highly intelligent, decent people who could have accomplished much more had they not been in the grip of demons (figuratively or literally), but they gave me life and I thank them in prayers almost every night. I suppose there is an element of forgiveness, but I think I pretty much accepted them for who they were all along - even when I and my sister seriously contemplated killing my father for the good of the family. When I speak of forgiveness in prayers, I certainly speak of it as a two-way street. We all have to play the hands we are dealt, and I believe the hands we are dealt are not the product of mere chance but are part of an overall plan for our lives. I have complete disdain for people who dwell on and revel in their supposed victimhood all the rest of their lives.
I believe that those who have/do suffer great injustices/difficulties are dispositioned to rise to great heroic levels of spiritual virtue - if they are so inclined to let The Spirit guide them.
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Old 10-28-2023, 11:07 AM
 
16,023 posts, read 7,063,214 times
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Originally Posted by CCCyou View Post
I believe that those who have/do suffer great injustices/difficulties are dispositioned to rise to great heroic levels of spiritual virtue - if they are so inclined to let The Spirit guide them.
I am not convinced suffering makes one "to rise to great heroic levels of spiritual virtue." What I see happening, in today's climate particularly, is that people who carry that memory of suffering allow their sense of victimhood to color their world with distrust and cynicism and even hate. There is no heroism visible.
But I see your caveat "if they are so inclined to let The Spirit guide them. " and so yes!
Some people who have indeed suffered great injustices have gotten past it and risen to heroic levels and shown spiritual virtue as leaders. And not surprisingly they also show more cheerfulness and wisdom in their personality. I think of Gandhi, Mandela, King and there are many other such heroes among us. What makes that difference is a mystery that only the guiding spirit can say. May their numbers grow and bring peace on earth.
Nice post, thank you.
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