Sorry but I have to let off, and the only place I can is in here.  Feel free to ignore or not post if you want.


I feel really invisible to a large portion of my family, and I believe it has to do with NOT asking for anyone to pray for me on Facebook.  Too many of my relatives get on and say "oh, my (take your pick of relationship) is having a problem, please pray for us!"  


Last month I wrote personally to two of my siblings telling them about the situation I was in with my husband and children, and I didn't even get a "huh, that's rough!"  But one of them feels free to ask me and everyone to please pray for their situation. 


To be fair, there is one sib, and one neice who talk to me, but overall, I really feel invisible to the people who are suppose to matter! 


Ok, rant ended.

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Thanks. I do have friends, but I kind of expected more from the people who call themselves "family". Don't know why, really, the past 12 years they've been like that. This is the last straw, I expect. But having slept on it, I feel better today. I just know not to rely on them for any sort of emotional support now.
Yup,cause all you will get is the same tired old bs.
That is why it is such a scary thing to think that if heaven exists you will spend eternity with your family. I love my family but I don't think eternity would be a good amount of time for us to spend together. Three days is usually enough.
Ha ha ha, you're a card, Aimee Joe. You deserve better. Ditto with my family.

But seriously, prayer really is insulting behavior. It always irks me when a politician states that 'our prayers go out to the victims' of one disaster or another. Is that what we're paying them to do? As a theist might say, 'If that's the best our leaders can do, God help us!' And exactly who are they praying to? They don't say.

My mother always tells me she's praying for me. I don't respond to that literally. It's just the way she ends her letters. She's 86 and very devout. (My late father was a 'quiet atheist', i.e. I never heard him get on a soapbox about it, but he intensely disliked the hypocrisy, and I admired him for that.

I'm sure you have real friends who care about you, and I'm sure your family does too. As another poster said (in so many words), 'praying for you' is a light throwaway expression just meaning 'thinking of you'. I hope so. Well, it may be a bit pathetic, but you have 'cyber' friends you can turn to here.

Finally, here's one of my favorite movie quotes. It's from a half-forgotten early 70s gem called 'The Ruling Class' starring the brilliant Peter O'Toole of 'Lawrence of Arabia' fame, one of the greatest male actors of the 20th century. In this movie, he plays a schizophrenic who thinks he's Jesus Christ, a perfect over-the-top vehicle for him. In one scene, his psychiatrist asks him when he first realized he was Christ. He answers, 'Well, I discovered that whenever I was praying I was talking to myself.'

Maybe that's not quite verbatim, I saw that movie a long time ago, and it doesn't help your situation, but I hope it helps you carry your load and not take things too seriously. Power to you and best wishes.
In my previous post, I mixed up Sandra and Aimee Joe - the comments were really directed at Sandra. Sorry to both of you if I caused any confusion, but I hope you had a good read anyway. I would also like to thank Mojo5501 for his/her interesting and perceptive comment, which appears directly below this.
It's manipulation. If you go with the program, everything is okay; if you go against it, you are ignored.
I was just watching the Masterpiece Theatre production of "Jane Eyre" last night...I don't know if you're familiar with the story but it's about a young girl who is left with her awful aunt and cousins who treat her badly after she is orphaned. The aunt accuses her of being a liar and willfully deceitful and ends up getting her minister to side with her about how "sinful" Jane is. There is a scene where you can tell Jane has her own inner conflicts about who she is and what kind of treatment she deserves.

She is eventually removed from the house and put in an all-girl school run by this same minister for 8 years (until she is able to leave for a job as governess...and the story goes on from there). Anyway, the minister makes an example of her on the very first day by having the sign "liar" hung around Jane's neck and forcing her to stand on a stool for hours and hours. The other students are told to shun her. As she's standing on that stool and all the girls file past her at midnight one girl slips a note in Jane's hand and that's about the most symbolic gesture of how important compassion and friendship are! It meant everything to Jane to have that one friend.

It is so sad to see a child being subjected to the worst of psychological punishment: Shunning and warnings of going to hell for being unlovable and wicked. Even for adults, shunning can be a damaging punishment. Social isolation and solitary confinement are distressful because of our human need for bonds with other.

When family bonds are weak or non-existent, it is paramount to surround yourself with friends. Even one good friend is worth her/his weight in gold because you need an emotional sounding board. This friendship will give you the strength to see your family as imperfect human beings that cannot communicate their love for you except through all this praying behavior! It is their incapacity...not yours'. Divert your attention away from extended family for now and concentrate on your own needs for love, affection, and understanding. Your family may think this is just a temporary phase and only you can define the path you desire. Personally, I just substitute "I'm thinking about you" for "I'm praying for you", and offering to help somebody in a concrete way is much better than passively "thinking"/"praying" anyway.
Serious ditto!
Thank you - I do get your point. (although the family members I refered to were sibs, not extended) I've given up trying to communicate with them. I have friends I can talk to, and some of them don't agree with me about religion, and they still talk/listen to me! Go figure.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for all the input, and patience with my rant! :D
I enjoyed this thoughtful and sensitive post very much. Thank you. I hope it comforts Sandra. I wonder if what happened to 'Jane Eyre' really happened to others in those days. 'Emotional cruelty' like this was commonplace in such schools. Maybe it's from Ms Bronte's own experience (don't ask me which Bronte). Power to you.
I am having a similar problem with my family. Except it is that they think that prayer is all they have to do to make a situation improve. I have a close cousin that is going through some unfair legal issues. I asked the family to write her letters of character. (She indeed is a wonderful person) and instead they are leaving it up to "God" and praying for her "lost" non-Catholic soul. Action is needed in life. And yet they sit around and pray all day. Its rather annoying.
I don't know how to tell you to deal with that. Its annoying to say the least. It seems like believers get extra "holy" when they know they're around atheists, too. They put on a show and its so annoying.



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