"Let's only talk about what I want to talk about"

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Hulagal79

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"Let's only talk about what I want to talk about"
« on: December 16, 2014, 07:40:16 PM »
I was raised in a fairly religious family.  I deeply value my faith and I do try to grow in it, little by little.  Prayer, spiritual reading, religious music, etc. are all important to me. I work hard on relationships with others, and I've tried hard to be fair and open.

My FOO seems to think that religion cannot be mentioned--in ANY way, shape, or form.  Any religious story pertaining to news topics?  No.  Any new developments in our denomination?  No.  Anything on the teachings we all once embraced?  Oh gosh, no!  And on it goes.

I enjoy many interests; not just my faith, but my FOO doesn't seem too interested in any of those, either. My hobbies have been subtly put down, though they're things I enjoy doing and very traditional.  I try to be a 'give and take' communicator and there's no way I do anything like monopolize a conversation (I'm usually shut out by at least a couple sibs). 

A while back, one sib sent an email to all sibs, asking a question which was political and I felt, therefore a little inappropriate, since she knows well that some of the sibs don't agree with her politics.  When I responded, the sender (eldest sis, likely a GC and possibly a N or other PD) quickly shut me down and basically told me not to respond.  I was shocked!  Why was the email sent to me?

Likely, there are no answers to the questions I'm putting forth, mostly, how do you relate at all to your sibs if they don't seem to show respect, except to be 'polite' on your birthday or a major holiday?  It's gotten so odd to deal with.  Really kind of creepy, as if they've forgotten everything we grew up with.  It's like they're very different people than they used to be.

Is there anyway to communicate with them, or do I just keep it to occasional emails and greeting cards? 

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Bloomie

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Re: "Let's only talk about what I want to talk about"
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 10:45:52 AM »
Hulagla79 - I do think that once adults,  siblings begin to excercise their right to develop different or broader belief systems then those they were raised in and maybe there is a valid fear of rejection or disharmony should they be put in a position of directly stating beliefs that differ from others?

Like you, I grew up in a very religious family as did my H and what I have experienced in both is a hostility,  intolerance, squelching, and fear of differences in beliefs and lifestyles in both of our families. It has seemed to me there is this desperate need to either validate the choices of the FOO or if you have strayed from that to hide it. It is a very rigid system that demands that each person stay in their original roles (as if sounds like your sibs are expecting you to do) and keep the pretense and same dynamic of the FOO. And when you step out of that role, as you did in thinking your voice or opinion was welcome in response to an email, you are promptly put back in your place.  :stars:

The problem is we do grow up and we do change and a healthy family dynamic not only allows for that, but welcomes and embraces it. I keep the relationships with my family on a polite, kind, surface level for my own serenity. I came to the point where I needed to accept the way things are and limit the emotional investment I was making with family members who absolutely did not want to go any deeper than the very surface and had consistently demonstrated no real interest in me or my life.

You do not say if your parents are still living and how they play into the relationships with your sibs. I am curious to know if they are still religious and if they talk about their beliefs or religious practices openly?
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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Hulagal79

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Re: "Let's only talk about what I want to talk about"
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 11:36:32 AM »
Thanks for the response, Bloomie.

I agree with what you said.  I know my FOO is upset that I'm no longer staying in line and playing the game.  I also see the P/A comments frequently, not well disguised at all.

The issue I have is that my sibs have rejected and basically censored me and anything I bring up, even the non-challenging, simple topics on just about everything.  I have come to 'read' it as 'you don't have the right to any opinion here on anything.'

Oh, yes, as you say, there is a desperate need to either validate the choices of the FOO, or hide it. Get in line and keep in step!

I've been doing what you're doing--keeping things polite, kind and on the surface (good way to put it, btw).  That generally works very well for me, but at times, especially around the holidays, their P/A emails come out.  I feel the need to ignore the ones in the near future.  I don't want to reward them for being P/A, and it practically shouts to me that this is their current game and ha--how do you like THAT, Hulagal?  Anything I say is shut down, dismissed, and I'm edging ever closer to VL contact, with greeting cards only.  I'm disregarded nearly all of the time, anyway.

Parents are both deceased.  Mother was close to eldest sis and both older brothers; younger sis seemed a favorite of my father.  Both parents were somewhat religious, though that did vary somewhat.  I do think they did their best.