My mom is an alcoholic who is dying of lung cancer. She's always been somewhat religious but her admission of being an alcoholic some years ago prompted a full blown return of her previous christian beliefs. Now you pretty much can't be around her for more than an hour without her mentioning how helpful g0d has been in coping with her addiction. When she was diagnosed with cancer, her church attendance/devotion to her faith redoubled.
When I get think about it I get furious with her for being such a coward. Mother is only so interested in g0d now because she's dealing with alcoholism and cancer. It's very typical for people like her, who let their faith go lax in good times, to go running back to their skydaddy when things get tough. Does she think her g0d won't notice that she only cares about him when there's trouble? She knows she's sick and dying so she wants to get right with g0d. If she weren't she'd probably completely ignore the bibleg0d and the supposed human sacrifice christians get off on during this time of year.
Where was her faith when she was neglecting her family? Her husband, her kids, all suffered for years because of her selfish addictions to alcohol and tobacco and are going to suffer more when those addictions finally kill her. . .but does she even care? Is she sorry? The only thing she's actually apologized to me for in all of that is how she, "neglected to give you [me] spiritual guidance when you were young." That's not a fucking apology, at least not the one she should be giving.
As I write, I'm very angry. I want to punish her. I want her to feel the isolation that my sister, father and I all felt while she abandoned us to her substances. I want her to feel the lack of support, the emotional agony, the embarrassment we all went through on her account. If I could, I'd take away her faith. In my angry fantasies, I see her being devastated without her crutches. She doesn't deserve the comfort of an imaginary friend.
I still hope, as I do for many bastard theists, that when she dies there is a split second of anguish as she realizes that there is nothing after death. I hope the last thing she knows is that there is no g0d, no human sacrifice, and she was talking to herself all that time. I hope she feels stupid and I hope it hurts. I hope the dying is slow and painful and the last second of brain function is spent in emotional as well as physical pain.
Deep down I know that I don't really want her to suffer even as I am almost giddy that she has damaged her body beyond repair in the course of harming other people. I enjoy smoking in front of her and reminding her that if she wasn't a smoker who lit up around her children it would have been far more likely that I never would have started. I enjoy bringing up the horrors theists continue to visit upon each other and the world at large in the name of g0d(s). I enjoy pointing out biblical inconsistencies, absurdities and atrocities whenever I get the chance. I love telling her about the the horrible deformities and diseases people and especially infants/children can be afflicted with through no fault of their own and asking her why she thinks g0d tortures the innocent. I love rubbing my non theism in her face; Not in so many words but by asking strategic questions and pointing out certain facts designed to illicit discomfort and illustrate problems with her faith I inflict indirect damage.
I know it's wrong to use my atheism as a weapon. Occasionally I feel guilty for it ... but when she was screaming at me, when she slammed me up against the wall and shrieked in my face, when she abandoned me and my sister to hide in her room and cry because she was too wasted to be even remotely stable; when she took off for months at a time and left my dad to take care of two girls while working nights, I had no defenses. I had no way to fight back. Perhaps it's a little late but I find myself taking sadistic pleasure in the pain I know she feels when she contemplates being separated from her daughter forever. I love asking her if she will be able to enjoy heaven while people she knows and cares about suffer eternal torture. I love making her squirm. Payback's a bitch.
Argh, now I feel guilty. Putting it out there...I know it's so childish to hurt someone because they hurt you. I know it's cruel to kick someone when they're down. I know these things but...I can't help it. I'm glad she's hurting. I keep coming back to that feeling of pleasure I get when I think about how much pain she's going through. I imagine abused dogs who finally turn on their masters feel a similar kind of pleasure when they bite and feel their teeth sink through flesh straight to the bone.
I'm thinking of seeing someone at hospice or something about these feelings. I can't be like this when she dies. I'll feel very guilty if I can't forgive her while she's still alive. I can't let her hurt me even after death. For my sake, not hers, do I think it would be a good idea to forgive. Hopefully I'll find a way before it's too late.