Post # 1
So I was hesitant to post this due to the potential backlash. My family is mainly Catholic, but I’m NOT. I am closer to Pagan if I have to really classify myself. No I don’t dance naked in a circle, but I do believe in positive energy, reiki, and stuff like that. I am all for herbal medicine first, and modern second…depending on what it is of course!! Please understand, I am not bashing anyone who is Catholic/Christian, it just is not for me. I don’t believe in Jesus or God. I don’t go to Church. I don’t attend weddings, and only went to my nephew’s baptism at the church because he is my nephew. I only went to the church portion of my great vavo’s funeral because my vavo was clinging to me and BEGGED me to. (Vavo=grandmother btw) I sat poliitely and followed all the motions at both events. I felt I was respectful. I did not get up and get the eucharist. I was literally shamed for not getting it at BOTH events, LOUDLY. I was slapped by my aunt in the back of the head and she said loudly that I needed to “Grow up and accept Jesus as my one true Savior”. I was no amused.
So I think you see how excited anything church or cathlic related events, symbols, etc make me feel. Again, I am not bashing the religion, I think I am just aggravated about the whole thing due to my family being overly religious.
So I recently had a birthday, and some gifts have trickled in late. My aunt, the same one that shamed me loudly in a church and slapped me, sent me some gaudy cross jewelry. A large, gold plated, ornate cross pin, and a heavy ornate cross necklace. She also enclosed a long note detailing how she was ashamed of me and how I need to grow up and accept Jesus or I’ll never be happy in life blah blah blah you are a horrible person for turning from the church blah blah blah I am ashamed to call you family blah blah blah your tattoos are disgraceful and the only acceptable tattoos are Catholic ones and I need to pray for my forgiveness and return to the light.
I am so insulted. I’m 29 years old and I’m not swallowing your koolaid. I want to return the gifts and send her a nasty letter, but I won’t. It’s expected of me to send a Thank you card, but honestly I am NOT thanking someone for insulting me and treating me like a child. What I’d like to do is return the jewelry and send her a firm note stating that I am NOT Catholic and will not appreciate this kind of behavior. Is that horrible? I asked my mom about it and she said it would be fine to return the jewelry with a note but that I should be civil. My mom says it’s disrespectful to throw a gift like that away…which btw was my original idea.
Thoughts? By The Way…I’m not looking for a religious lecture, and I’m not keeping the jewelry anywhere in my home even in a drawer. Sorry, but I don’t need this in my house. Thanks bees.
Post # 2
CookieLady: give her the gift back, and calmly tell her that she needs to grow up and accept that there are all different versions of faith and non faith, and last you checked, “God” had appointed her his/her spox.
I have no tolerance for people shaming adults over their private religious beliefs and she never should have hit you. The end.
Post # 3
Ugh. Fundamentalists and zealots….pushing their beliefs on others since the Dark Ages.
You are entitled to your beliefs just like she is. Her behavior towards you is offensive, to say the least. I wouldn’t concern myself with a response nor would I take the time to send it all back. If your mother wishes to return it, ok. Otherwise, to Goodwill it goes.
Post # 4
If you send it back, I would say something to the effect of “While I appreciate you remembering my birthday, I respectfully send the gifts back.” Although I agree that she was completely rude for forcing her beliefs on you, I’d take the high road but also include that you prefer that she discontinue any attempts to shame you into believing – that it is not enlightening or encouraging in any way.
Post # 5
BalletParker: Me either. I keep trying to write a civil letter but I always veer off…
“Dear Aunt X,
I am returning this jewelry along with your letter so you re-read can your very un-catholic, childish, hypocritical words. If Jesus is as good and merciful as you claim, he wouldn’t be happy with your hateful, immature shaming. I am ASHAMED OF YOU!! You are rude, nasty, and violent. You are not permitted to hit me, ever. I shouldn’t have to tell a grown adult this. Your letter and “gift” were rude, insulting, and immature. Please GROW UP and accept that just because someone doesn’t see something your way, it doesn’t mean they are wrong. Please don’t send me anymore junky catholic jewelry and unless you have something polite to say…SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!!”
See..I can’t write a civil letter. I just get too annoyed.
Post # 6
As a Catholic, I’m ashamed of your Aunt and offended for you. Assuming you live in the US, I’d send the jewelry back with a copy of the first amendment. Or I’d just throw it away.
Also, her actions are very much not Christ-like. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do To You must have been lost on her. I’m sorry she’s such a twat. But I wouldn’t let her bother you.
Post # 7
carrjc66: Thank you. Again, I have zero-issue with the religion itself just this stuff. I thought I was being respectful at both events. I kept quiet, I followed all the motions, I just didn’t get the eucharist.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
Wow, she really crossed the line there.
I’d send the stuff back with a note saying, “While I appreciate your efforts to share your beliefs with me, I will continue to follow my own path in life.”
I find pushy people get REALLY annoyed when you kindly tell them to stuff it.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
I would have said you were being perfectly respectable – it’s a pity your aunt can’t respect your beliefs. I’d definitely send the jewelry back, probably with a note saying something like “dear Aunt xxx, thanks very much for remembering my birthday recently. However I am unable to accept your gifts so am sending them back to you. I would ask that you respect my beliefs and do not try to pull me back towards Catholicism. I am secure in myself and my beliefs – as you are – and I would appreciate that being recognised. Please respect the choices I have made as I respect yours. Love, your niece.”
Post # 10
MiniMeow: KiwiDerbyBride: Your notes are way better than mine. Thanks bees!!
Post # 11
CookieLady: I think you were very respectful of your family and their religion. You are fully entitled to your own views, as you know. Personally I think organized religion is an oxymoron, but I digress. If you do choose to write a note, please simply say that you are returning her gift in hopes she will find a more appreciative recipient for it. Keep it short – any more is a waste of good ink. 😉
Hang in there! *hugs*
Post # 12
CookieLady: Hey lady, I’m sorry you’re so irritated; your situation definitely sounds frustrating and I want you to know that I feel for you. The one thing that I have learned from dealing with difficult people like this is that no matter how logically you explain your position, no matter how rational or polite you are, and really, no matter what you do, she is never going to get it. People like that operate in an alternate universe, so it would probably be best to try not to let it get to you too bad. Feel free to come vent here anytime you need it though, we all know she’s crazy and out of line!! 🙂
Post # 13
CinqueTerre: thanks! I’m really happy with the responses I’ve gotten, I thought for sure I’d get a backlash. I know for sure that sending her a nasty letter won’t do any good, so I figured I’d do exactly what you just said–vent to the bees!! And I
I think it will say this–
“Hi Aunt X,
I wanted to thank you for the Birthday wishes you sent, however I regret to inform you that I cannot accept the gifts. While I appreciate your efforts to share your own beliefs with me, I will continue to walk my own path.
I think if I write anymore than that I’ll get off on a tangent.
Post # 14
I’d send the “gift” back with a note explaining that you won’t accept gifts that aren’t given in the true spirit of giving and that she shoud examine her own conscience because she is not behaving with true Christian charity or humility. If she was really secure in her faith she wouldn’t feel the need to push it on others. I’d also add that as an adult I am prepared to respect her beliefs if she respects mine.
I’d also greet any future public outbursts from her with the calm observation of “I see you’re creating a scene again. Have you thought about how it shows a lack of dignity and modesty?”. She assumes she’s allowed to get away with this bs because she never gets any push back. I’m not saying you need to exacerbate matters but you should be allowed to stand up for yourself, and if you’re not leave. The rest of your family will come around and tell her to pipe down as well if necessary.
Post # 15
CookieLady: I totally feel your pain. I too am a Pagan from a strict Catholic family and my grandmother actually cut me out of her life because of it. Yes it is sad, no it is not your fault, and in the end the one who is missing out on your happiness with life is the person pushing you away. It took my family almost 10yrs to come to grips with the fact that I simply am not and will never be a Christian again and still they are hesitant and just simply avoid the subject at all costs. Stay true to yourself and know the sting will fade. Love and light.