Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

Ex-Muslim...

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the mosques...

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Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#1  Postby Final Fantasy » Oct 13, 2012 1:33 am

I'm an atheist ex-Muslim in secret. I'm in my final year of university. I'll hopefully try to find my own place to stay and a steady income of cash. I am very worried for my 2 sisters and brother though.

For so long I have put off relationships with women etc. because it would have to be in secret. I tried it once, it failed depressingly :(

The idea is, finding a graduate job, settling down and getting married etc. I would rather not marry at all or have children because my preference is strongly anti-religion. Going against family wishes means breaking ties, at the same time I love my parents (despite teh fucking abuse my siblings and I get). My mum would be devastated and traumatised, I cannot be the cause of that. I also want a safe route out for my siblings, they are smart, I know they are not too fond of Islam. But what can they do about it? They're in high school and financially dependant on my parents, we all are.

It's a heavy burden, I have anxiety, panic and insomnia as a result, it has gradually accumulated over the years (I suspect childhood abuse and school bullying played a large rule). I feel like a mess basically in a huge dilemma.

I always feel constantly judged by others, maybe I'm being paranoid but I get a lot of nasty looks from white people as if they have a strong hatred towards me... (I hate how many people assume that just because you're brown skin you must be Muslim...) - this is Plymouth area btw.

I have no one to talk to, or confide in.

The advice that I took on board by a member of another forum:

You can't convince them. They are not able to accept that you rejected their religion on evidences, because if they were to accept that, then that means that their religion CAN be rejected by an intelligent person on the basis of evidence. They can't allow themselves to believe that because they need their religion to be true. They need to believe that there is substantial evidence for their religion.

Their world would fall apart if they realized it wasn't as they think it is. Too much is at stake for them. It is very very hard to lay your religious beliefs on the line, TRULY look at them from a critical distance, because you have so much tied up with that religion. It gives you emotional support, it forms your entire worldview, it is part of your self-identity and it is the most important element of your life. It is frightening to even consider that it may be false. So people are not able to see the evidence you put before them, because they are not looking at it objectively at all.

You can only have any effect with your evidences on those who are truly willing to look at them with true objectivity. But that person is rare. They are out there, obviously you were able to do it. So you can only do so much in convincing people.
#

It helped a few years ago, but thinking long-term, things don't look great for me right now...

Any help? I've difficulty making friends, and even then, they don't know the full story or understand it (unless you're Asian).
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#2  Postby Final Fantasy » Oct 13, 2012 1:48 am

PS. wouldn't mind going for a drink over it :P
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#3  Postby Final Fantasy » Oct 13, 2012 1:56 am

It would be stupid to assume replies are almost instant here. But I'll act stupid anyway and say:

No one in Plymouth or any words of wisdom/advice? :(

Guess I'll check back tomorrow or something. Truly, I have nobody to confide in, or anything of the sort... without them judging.
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#4  Postby Ironclad » Oct 13, 2012 2:04 am

Hello :cheers:
For Van Youngman - see you amongst the stardust, old buddy

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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#5  Postby Ironclad » Oct 13, 2012 2:11 am

What do you need first? Some way to calm your mind (insomnia etc etc) i'd suggest.

Where are you from? Your family are not in Plymouth, right? I'm not far from you, I'd have thought Uni life would have given you freedoms, new friends & a distance from overbearing family, but it doesn't seem so, why is that?
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#6  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Oct 13, 2012 3:39 am

Get yourself sorted out first (as in self-dependent). It seems like a problem that there is no quick fix too. So trying to help everyone at once might take longer than just going one step at a time (yourself, then your siblings, ect..)
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#7  Postby tuco » Oct 13, 2012 6:24 am

Well, I do not think anyone can really help you as you need to help - sort it out for - yourself.

The notion that your mum would be devastated and traumatized for ever can be, and probably is, false. The advice given to you on another board is just one opinion. Parents usually love their kids no matter what and those who do not - and love their faith, job, social status, etc, more - are probably not worth to be tied to in the way you describe. I know it sounds harsh but such is life. Sometimes the only way to have a peace with oneself is to become radical and stand up for what one feels strongly about rather than trying to conform to others, family, friends, society included, and their wishes. And if you would succeed, you'd help your siblings too. Of course, asking for advice on internet is probably not the best idea, and of course it you who needs to make the decision. Listening to too many people who have no idea whats going on in your head, your family, your life is not going to help much in my opinion.
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#8  Postby james1v » Oct 13, 2012 8:50 am

How old are your siblings?
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#9  Postby z8000783 » Oct 13, 2012 9:40 am

tuco wrote:The notion that your mum would be devastated and traumatized for ever can be, and probably is, false.

This is a good point.

Your Mother (/parents) will be religious but for a reason, normally because they believe that is the correct/best way to live your life. As said earlier, first things first. Sort yourself out, get a place, a job and all the other things you need, assuming of course this is want you want to do. If you want to party on the beaches of Vietnam then that's not so much of a problem.

What will be important to your parents is how you live your life. They have a set of values they have derived fro their religion but the values themselves are not necessarily religious. What do you think of them? Are they good? Good enough to live your life by especially when you're in their company?

I expect they disapprove of drink so don't drink when you are with them. But it's more than that. They disapprove of alcohol because of the effects it can have so don't drink to excess - ever. Can you do that?

In other words, show them that you can still live to their values without their religion behind you. It will take time and hard work and there is no guarantee that it will be successful but it will give you the opportunity to maintain the relationship with them that you appear to want.

Good luck.

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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#10  Postby Final Fantasy » Oct 13, 2012 5:34 pm

Hi, thanks for your replies. :)

Ironclad wrote:What do you need first? Some way to calm your mind (insomnia etc etc) i'd suggest.

Where are you from? Your family are not in Plymouth, right? I'm not far from you, I'd have thought Uni life would have given you freedoms, new friends & a distance from overbearing family, but it doesn't seem so, why is that?


I am prescribed some diazepam by my GP to be taken as required and Mirtazapine for the insomnia (although it rarely works).

No they're not from Plymouth, but Wales. I'm at university. Yes, at first the uni life was great with a new-found freedom, but I'm in my final year now and thinking long-term is depressing, about what is to potentially come. I want to get away, but if I do, I risk losing loved ones.

Ihavenofingerprints wrote:Get yourself sorted out first (as in self-dependent). It seems like a problem that there is no quick fix too. So trying to help everyone at once might take longer than just going one step at a time (yourself, then your siblings, ect..)


Thanks, that's what I keep telling myself, that I need to get myself sorted out first and financially secure etc.

tuco wrote:Well, I do not think anyone can really help you as you need to help - sort it out for - yourself.

The notion that your mum would be devastated and traumatized for ever can be, and probably is, false. The advice given to you on another board is just one opinion. Parents usually love their kids no matter what and those who do not - and love their faith, job, social status, etc, more - are probably not worth to be tied to in the way you describe. I know it sounds harsh but such is life. Sometimes the only way to have a peace with oneself is to become radical and stand up for what one feels strongly about rather than trying to conform to others, family, friends, society included, and their wishes. And if you would succeed, you'd help your siblings too. Of course, asking for advice on internet is probably not the best idea, and of course it you who needs to make the decision. Listening to too many people who have no idea whats going on in your head, your family, your life is not going to help much in my opinion.


I understand, cheers. Problem with standing up for myself regarding this is it is very scary and I feel trapped with no options and not in control. This isn't like high school bullying anymore, the consequences are much severe. I'm afraid that I'd never get to see my siblings again too, or that my parents will become even more strict and take their anger out on them. Already there's been massive arguments, in particular my sister not wanting to wear a hijab (they accepted it in the end but are bitter about it and blamed me for planting thoughts in her head... she's a smart girl, asks questions and they don't like controversial questions about religion/culture), I feel she has much potential in life but is limited by religion and culture.

I asked advice on the internet because I don't know who else to talk to (sounds sad I guess, but really there is no one to talk about this or would understand).

james1v wrote:How old are your siblings?


I'm the eldest. Sisters are 18 and 13, brother is 12.

z8000783 wrote:
tuco wrote:The notion that your mum would be devastated and traumatized for ever can be, and probably is, false.

This is a good point.

Your Mother (/parents) will be religious but for a reason, normally because they believe that is the correct/best way to live your life. As said earlier, first things first. Sort yourself out, get a place, a job and all the other things you need, assuming of course this is want you want to do. If you want to party on the beaches of Vietnam then that's not so much of a problem.

What will be important to your parents is how you live your life. They have a set of values they have derived fro their religion but the values themselves are not necessarily religious. What do you think of them? Are they good? Good enough to live your life by especially when you're in their company?

I expect they disapprove of drink so don't drink when you are with them. But it's more than that. They disapprove of alcohol because of the effects it can have so don't drink to excess - ever. Can you do that?

In other words, show them that you can still live to their values without their religion behind you. It will take time and hard work and there is no guarantee that it will be successful but it will give you the opportunity to maintain the relationship with them that you appear to want.

Good luck.

John


If they found out I drank, they'd probably die of shock but not before killing me :drunk: I lead a relatively happy non-religious life at uni, I want to keep it that way, I do not want to be constrained by anyone's god, goddess, cult or whatever. And I don't want to be judged or punished for that choice. :(

Thanks for your advice man, they are strict (no pork, no alcohol etc.). When it comes down to it, they are good people that strive to lead good lives, religion just somehow... corrupts it. I hate it so much, why does it have to do this? Why does religion and culture split loved ones apart and destroy relationships if you no longer want to be a part of it?! :whine:
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#11  Postby Ironclad » Oct 13, 2012 6:10 pm

But if you are close to leaving Uni what is your next step? Presumably you are not going to be sellotaped to your family forever, now is where they (or any family, truth be told) begin to worry about losing you, losing control & wondering what you are really doing.
Now you create your own life, and at a safe distance. Your mother will cope, she will simply adapt, they all do. But maybe you suggest your sister enrols too, somewhere far away but close to where you want to go.

FWIW my gf was a runaway Sikh, it was hell for her & her father traced her to the Uni, but gave up trying to marry her off to a German Sikh & let her 'shame herself'. She found her place eventually & is part of the race relations office for a police force.
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#12  Postby james1v » Oct 13, 2012 6:18 pm

Do you think your parents would stop your siblings going to university if they found out about your lifestyle? If so, you need to be really careful about what they get to know about it.
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#13  Postby sturmgewehr » Oct 13, 2012 6:25 pm

Hi and welcome, why dont u try to join this forum where u will find a lot of like minded people

www.councilofexmuslims.com
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#14  Postby tuco » Oct 13, 2012 6:51 pm

Final Fantasy wrote:

[snip]

When it comes down to it, they are good people that strive to lead good lives, religion just somehow... corrupts it. I hate it so much, why does it have to do this? Why does religion and culture split loved ones apart and destroy relationships if you no longer want to be a part of it?! :whine:


And so you are, I assume, a good person striving to live a good life. When trying to reconcile, you might want to build on these similarities instead of bringing up the differences splitting your family. I am pretty sure you can live like a good Muslim even without believing. What does Islam say besides no pork, no alcohol, and praying to Mecca? Pick the qualities which make you and your parents good persons, show them you keep those qualities, and start from there. One step at the time.

There are several ways how to approach the problem. From being radical to submission, but there is a gray area in between.
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#15  Postby Final Fantasy » Oct 14, 2012 11:18 pm

james1v wrote:Do you think your parents would stop your siblings going to university if they found out about your lifestyle? If so, you need to be really careful about what they get to know about it.


No, they are also very strict about education (what Asian families aren't? Lol :P). But they would probably have to go to the uni in the same city, and commute from home instead of living in halls. :(
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#16  Postby Ironclad » Oct 14, 2012 11:48 pm

Ah, good you came back. I would look at THIS POST & maybe see if they have any advice for you, on this very tricky problem. I am sure they have seen it before, probably experienced it too.
In the mean time, stick around & join in, other people here may chime in before long with more help - we too have had similar calls for help. :cheers:
For Van Youngman - see you amongst the stardust, old buddy

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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#17  Postby Sendraks » Oct 15, 2012 8:45 am

Speaking in support of what other's have said here, sort yourself out to live independently first. If you can, get into a houseshare with friends or anyone looking for a lodger rather than go home after Uni. This keeps costs down and give you more space away from home.

What are you doing after you finish at Uni? Do you want to continue education or get out into the workforce? Either way, having some form of employment to keep you financially independent is a good idea.

I think you're right to be concerned for your siblings and honestly the best way I can think for you to help them is for you to show your parents you're capable of standing on your own two feet, while as Tuco suggested, also demonstrating the qualities they consider to be "good." If you can get out and live your own life, get your own space (and own place eventually), you can offer your siblings somewhere away from home to visit or (if worst comes to worst), a bolt hole once they're over 16 and need to get away from home.

You've clearly given your situation a lot of thought, not just for yourself but your brother's and sisters. I think you have a great chance to be a leader, to get out into the world and pave the way for your siblings to have even more opportunities than they have. You didn't have a big brother out in the world looking out for you, but you could do that for them and at the same time, live life your own way.
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#18  Postby trubble76 » Oct 15, 2012 9:43 am

I don't have any advice beyond repeating the suggestion to become financially self-reliant as soon as possible. I just wanted to wish you luck and to advise caution with the tranx. Beware the opiates, treat them with respect and get off them as soon as is reasonable. Perhaps try out some different relaxation techniques.
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#19  Postby Clive Durdle » Oct 15, 2012 10:05 am

sturmgewehr wrote:Hi and welcome, why dont u try to join this forum where u will find a lot of like minded people

http://www.councilofexmuslims.com


Hi

Join them! :)
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Re: Please help me, I don't know what to do! :(

#20  Postby z8000783 » Oct 15, 2012 10:20 am

The above is a good plan, Final Fantasy.

Lots of experienced people there.

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