Feel like I should've kept quiet

(15 Posts)

I feel awful sad

I am just beginning, at the age of 24, to explore my beliefs, which are mostly Christian. Over the last few months I've felt I would like to begin attending church, and today I broached the subject with my family (I still live at home).

My gran was lovely about it, and even told me where the church she attended as a girl is, and offered some advice.

My mum? Well, not good. She doesn't "get it" at all, she's been Christened but has never attended church, said "you're too old to be Christened, why on Earth do you want to go there?!"

Now there's a load of tension between us, and I wish I'd just kept my mouth shut, although my gran says I need to be able to speak my mind with her.

I don't talk about much with my mum because she's like this a lot. If she doesn't see the point of something, she'll just shoot you down.

So now, what do I do? Any attempts to go to church are going to be met with a lot of tension and stress in the house. Maybe I'll just wait and if I ever leave home, I can do what I like.

runningonwillpower Mon 16-Jun-14 17:54:06

At the age of 24 you should be able to do what you like (as long as it's legal).

OK, I get it that everyone is not faithful - I'm not - but going to church is hardly reprehensible.

Why do you need your mum's permission to go to church? More importantly, why does she try to control you on this (or anything else)?

You are a grown woman. I think your issues with your mum may extend beyond this.

To be honest, I wasn't seeking permission, I wanted to know I'd have support in starting this journey.

I guess I was hoping for "whatever you choose, it's not my thing but if you feel the need to explore it, good luck" so I was a bit shocked when it didn't happen.

To be fair, we normally get on pretty well - she supports me in the re-training I'm doing, in looking for work and in my hobbies. Maybe it was just a shock reaction, or maybe she is really not into religion at all, who knows?

glammanana Mon 16-Jun-14 18:05:04

At 24 you should be making up your own mind as to which way you think your life should be going and your mum should really give her backing and let you find your own way.
I would just go to Church when you want and you surely don't have to tell her where you have been do you ? My DD changed her faith when she was 13 and has followed it through to my DGCs and it makes no difference to me,its her beliefs that changed not mine,but I still go with them to Special services which involve the whole family and am made to feel welcome.
I do think the issues with your mum need resolving and yes they may extend beyond your choice of faith I feel.

To be fair if she's like this with everything would her support seem fake? I prefer my faith quiet as I find it unnerves people. It also places stereotypes and being from Essex I find I have enough there without adding. I'm not personally into mission type belief, just plod along quietly believing in my own way and enjoying church (cofe) when I attend/need to. I think faith scares people. If you feel you want to be louder in your belief then do and search for like minded people to give you confidence, but you will face that reaction a lot. So long as you are happy with your thoughts and faith then that's a very strong start.

Spinaroo Mon 16-Jun-14 18:11:41

I think your mum may just be feeling a bit defensive that you have decided to go down a route she had no interest in. Its the same as people who bring their children up in a faith only for the child to grow up and decide its not for them. Parents often take a bit if time to accept this. I say give it time and see how it goes

runningonwillpower Mon 16-Jun-14 18:12:38

To be honest, I wasn't seeking permission

You say that, yet you talk about putting off going to church in the absence of her support. You even talk about attempts to go church being met with tension and stress in the house.

When does absence of support become withdrawal of permission?

Sometimes, you have to tread your own path.

You are right running I do need to tread my own path, and I intend to, even though it probably will be met with some resistance at first. I think a lot of it, is because I'm her only child, she's a bit scared about me growing up and doing my own thing, so I think the control thing is her trying to hold onto me for a bit longer smile

Like I say, in other areas, she's great, and I absolutely love her, but this is a bit of a shock for me, and probably for her!

niminypiminy Mon 16-Jun-14 20:58:10

I'm twice as old as you, and my mum is absolutely resolutely opposed to my Christian beliefs -- she's made it clear that she despises my beliefs and has hinted that she thinks worse of me for having them. As my (lesbian) sister said, it's easier in my family to come out as gay than as a Christian!

That hasn't stopped me having my beliefs, of course, but it does mean that there is a coolness between us on the subject which I don't think is ever going to go away -- I hasten to add, it's a coolness on her part, not on mine. I'd never seek to convert her, or force my beliefs on her. It's just that she's swallowed the whole Dawkins/Grayling line and thinks all religion is evil.

I'm being patient. I'm still me, and being a Christian can't alter that. I still love her and always will, and that comes first in our relationship. If she can't handle that I'm a Christian, that's a shame, but it's just one of those things. It's her problem rather than mine, and I'm dealing with it by just never talking about my faith, or my involvement in church, or general Christianity or religion-related things.

Tuo Tue 17-Jun-14 00:41:20

Hello LollipopViolet. I am glad to see that you are still exploring your beliefs. I know that thinking about faith was helpful to you when your grandad died, and we've kept you in our minds (and on our prayer list) over on the prayer thread since that time.

I think that you may have to accept that you may never have your mum's approval on this one and that that may be something you have to live with. Please don't put off going to church, if that's what you want to do, just because of your mum's reaction. Like you mum, and niminy's, my DH doesn't really approve of my faith. He has, however, come to accept it as 'just one of those things I do', like having a different taste in music, say. He has seen, over time, that I am still 'me'. I haven't become rabidly judgemental and anti-gay. I haven't become a creationist. And I have nnever tried to 'convert' him or our children (who are free to come to church or not as they choose - one does, the other doesn't, as it happens). I am happier, calmer, and more at peace with myself than I was before. But I am still fundamentally me.

You may need to be brave, therefore, and ignore your mum's comments for now. Don't make a big thing of them, and try not to let them upset you. There's no need to convince her or to prove her wrong. Simply say, 'This is something I would like to do' and do it. I know it's easier said than done (I waited till I was temporarily living abroad without DH before I started going to church) but after the first couple of times it'll get easier, I promise.

FWIW, you are not too old to be christened if that's what you want. But nor do you need to be christened to attend church - there's no 'entrance test' and no need to do or be or believe anything in particular before you walk through the door (you don't have to be 'good enough' or 'faithful enough' or to believe the 'right' things...), you are always welcome and I truly believe that God doesn't turn away anyone who comes to him.

Good luck. I will renew prayers for you over on the other thread.

Dutchoma Tue 17-Jun-14 07:16:46

Maybe you are right in saying that you 'should just have kept quiet'. Not in the sense that you should just agree to accept your mother's point of view, but in the sense that faith is a very private thing and so maybe (like Niminy and TUO say) is best not spoken about with people that you know will not agree.
When does your retraining finish and do you think you will have an opportunity then to move out?
In the meantime I would try to find a church you would like to go to, find out the time of the service and quietly go. If you like it, go back, if not find another church. Don't talk about what it was like with your mother, just say this is what you want to do and do it.

BigDorrit Tue 17-Jun-14 14:53:40

I'm quite definitely not one of the "faithful", but I don't see why you shouldn't go if that's what you want.

Do you really have to make such a big thing of it though? Why not just tell your Mother that you're going out on Sunday, and go. If you're going to come back evangelising and proselytising then I'd be on her side, but unless you're trying to turn it into an issue, there's no reason for it to be.

Thank you all for the replies - so interesting to hear different viewpoints on this.

BigDorrit I would never get all evangelical or impose my views or faith on anyone else, I really dislike that and so would never do it.

As an aside, the subject has been dropped and everything in the house is back to normal, so I'm going to let sleeping dogs lie with regards to it. There is actually an open prayer session on a Monday that might be a good starting point, to get a feel for the church - it might be that attending that is all I decide to do, for now.

I think it's definitely something my mother and I will never agree on, but that's fine smile

As an aside, I've got a year before I am qualified to apply for entry level childcare jobs, so probably a year or 2 before I'm able to leave home. Trust me, it's on the top of the agenda - I love my family but really feel like I need to spread my wings as soon as it's a viable option.

justyeh Sun 22-Jun-14 08:21:30

I could understand your mum being opposed to you joining a coven or something but going to church doesn't seem that big of a deal really, have you asked why she is so against it ? Maybe you could ask your gran to have a word. If you have faith and believe that is good and will help you when times are hard. There are worse belief's or hobbies to have, but has you say if it causes too much tension then best to keep it to yourself and also you can be christened at any age.

Appletini Mon 23-Jun-14 11:04:40

Some people are afraid of religion. I would just quietly go - please don't be discouraged from exploring your own beliefs.

For the record you are never too old to be baptised!

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