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Author Topic: Forever in The Broom Closet  (Read 3266 times)

Jack

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2012, 03:15:01 am »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758
So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
I never "came out" to my parents as pagan. At one point my mom figured it out, and then I went through a Catholic Mystic phase and as far as I know she still thinks I'm there. My family isn't much for sharing personal information, though, so I just don't bring it up and it's not an issue.

Except when they send me angel statues for Christmas every year. :ange:
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Sveta

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Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2012, 09:34:02 am »
I'm a little out and a little in ~ depends on who, where, etc. As an example... I have a "plain" Facebook page and I have a "Pagan" Facebook page ~ I have SOME family and friends who are aware of my beliefs (or at the very least, they're aware that I'm not Christian), and others who know nothing.

Why the bits of secrecy? (or you could say "privacy") Because there are people on the edges of my life who would be more than happy to use it against me. I have kids ~ I don't want someone trying to cause trouble, yknow? It happens.

Selective sharing, I guess.

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2012, 10:13:29 am »
Quote from: Sveta;87315


 
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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2012, 10:52:03 am »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758
Well, to family anyways.  All of my friends know of my religious belief but my family still think that I'm just a lapsed Christian.  No one in my neighborhood knows either.  For the record I am 28 years old, I do live on my own and have my own job.  

As to why I keep my pagan belief hidden.  Well mostly because I live in North Carolina, which is part of The Bible Belt.  I also run my own business, and I never ever mix politics, religion and my business together.  The only thing my clients know about me is that I provide a service that they pay for and that's it.

As for why my family doesn't know.  Because honestly I love my family, my mom, dad, brother and my brother's family, and while religion doesn't get brought up very much (once in a blue moon), when it does I play the role of the lapsed Christian.  

Basically my family doesn't know because I love being a part of my family and I do not wish to be disowned.  However, I can't sit in church everyday falsely praying to a god that I disagree with.  

So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
I know exactly what you mean. In my job one's politics and religion are supposed to be kept to one's self. Except when I lived in small-town Ohio. The place I've lived most of my life, aside from outside college campuses, has been a deeply conservative place. Where people don't even know what a hindu or buddhist are, think Islam is the religion of the "coloreds from overseas", and Church is the pinnacle of everything.

So people finding out that I'm one of the very few pagans that lived in the area was not in the best interest of anything. The last time anything remotely not in the christian vein tried to establish itself in town was when a new age store tried to open up. They were very quickly run out of town.

Then there is the matter of family. My father's side of the family I tell nothing to about my religious or political leanings. Telling a large family of conservative catholics, headed by a woman who is a pre-vatican II catholic, that you're a polytheist and a democratic socialist is like salmon being dropped into a pen full of hungry bears. It really doesn't come up and I do all I can to not bring it up. I don't go to mass with them, and though I may say prayers with them I do my prayers being addressed to a different god discreetly. I don't want to be ex-communicated or accused of being lucifer's concubine (though funny story with that one...), and causing mass heart attakcs aren't my bag so I keep quiet

With my mother's side of the family it isn't so bad. My grandmother on my mom's side (My nan as I've called her since forever) is a pretty open spiritualist, of the Spiritualist Church, eclectic theosophist/UU Christian/aspects of eastern and indigenous beliefs religion. So me being a pagan is A-Okay with her, seeing as she was the gateway that first got me looking into things lol.  My one uncle is a "pagan", which I'm sure he means wiccan judging by his beliefs and some practices. My mother is a christian, non-denominational, who has a profound interest in ghosts and spooky things. She didn't take too well to my paganism but she's gotten over it (I blame half the shows she watches making it look like anything involved in pagan beliefs will let evil spirits come and bugger you in the butt, possess you, and make you do strange things like listen to John Denver music while wearing toast in your pants and other nonsense)

However I keep the majority of my practice to myself. I have a lot of leanings on Luciferianism, Ceremonial Magic, Thelema, and I read a lot of the accounts of greco-egyptian magic and curse tablets. A number of these things have less than savory reputations, even amongst pagans and new-agers whom I try to get along with, seing as they help me feel like I'm not completely alone. I have had more than one neo-wiccan look at me like I was vomiting spiders because I had a few works on the Goetia on my shelf. (though it did make a good gag when I set it beside my copy of the Simon Necronomicon, my Satanic Bible, and my Book of Mormon. The reactions were priceless). So anymore I try to keep quiet to preserve the peace...until you walk into my room and see my bookshelves. Then all bets are off.
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Maps

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2012, 12:39:58 pm »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758
So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
I'm in the closet to the entirety of my family aside from my parents (to whom I only said "I'm gonna try this pagan thing again", so they don't know any more than that) and my husband. Nobody knows any details of my tradition, though, and I'm alright keeping it that way. Given my circumstance, location, and the political climate, simply being an out "theist" is more than enough as far as covering ground goes. Beyond that is a path of diminishing returns any which way you slice it.

I have this debate with myself every time I formalize a new identity: when I discovered I was queer, non-binary, asexual, non-normophillic, kinky... there's multiple "coming out"s for each of those things (and I'm of the opinion that "coming out" should really only be applied to things about yourself that aren't a choice tbh) and for each one I had to decide if it was worth declaring to everyone I knew IRL. Weighed the benefits and the drawbacks for each one, and realized that they're all basically on a need-to-know basis. If I wind up with bruises in conspicuous places and my family starts getting suspicious, then I'm going to have to make it known that I play hard. And so on and so forth. My queer identity is more political and has a much greater chance of getting me hurt (emotionally, physically, intellectually, whatever) than the others, so I will commentate from that perspective more often and more casually. Topics of religion are rarely worth even a second glance from me unless I'm being pitted against a militant atheist, and then my personal affiliation barely matters as I often simply argue on behalf of religion and spirituality as a whole.

Anyways, I guess all I'm trying to say is that it's important to pick your battles and shouting "I'M PAGAN" from the rooftops, while a romantic notion, is just plain dumb most times. Just be who you are, that's the important part.

Sveta

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Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2012, 07:30:13 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;87317
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Owl

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2012, 09:21:21 pm »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758


So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
I'm 54, and most of my family has no clue.  And really?  it's none of their damn business anyway.  I totally keep it from my clients - hell I almost lost a client because I go to ren faires!  Accountants are supposed to be so effing conservative.  *grumble*

I figure it is my business and not theirs.  And I had no problem going to my grandmother's funeral in a Catholic church - that was her funeral and her religion.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2012, 10:56:54 pm »
Quote from: Maps;87340
I guess all I'm trying to say is that it's important to pick your battles and shouting "I'M PAGAN" from the rooftops, while a romantic notion, is just plain dumb most times. Just be who you are, that's the important part.

This many times.  I'm sort of out, in that I don't hide what I do but I don't make it A Thing either, and most of what I do is very low-key kitchen witchin' which is easily overlooked by visiting parents and inspecting real estate agents.  Generally, I fly under the radar and most people assume I'm an atheist with maybe a few fluffy bunny new age traits, rather than actually having a pagan belief I take very seriously.

I also have other stuff going on - I'm autistic and am vaguely active in the disability rights movement, and am also peripherally involved in feminism circles (Joint Destroying in particular, if that means anything to other Aussies.)  So fighting for the right to be a loud, proud pagan - which when it all boils down is a path I chose knowing in advance the difficulties - is lower on my list of priorities than fighting for the right to actually exist when some people think I shouldn't because I was born a particular way.  It's easier to just keep quiet about that stuff, and hide it when I need to, and concentrate on the bigger fights.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 10:57:59 pm by Sulischild »

Wanderer894

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2012, 06:34:03 pm »
Quote from: Sulischild;87435
This many times.  I'm sort of out, in that I don't hide what I do but I don't make it A Thing either..........

 
In the closet except with family and closest friends. I've still got one co-worker who's a FB friend and probably knows, assuming she's read my profile.  Since I mask my knowledge of magickal things and mythology as "eh, I'm just curious about it" no one else really has even guessed.  I'd like if I could be a bit more open, but as things stand, not really an option.
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Hyacinth Belle

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2012, 07:53:30 pm »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758
So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

I'm not "officially" out except with close friends. As in, I don't hide my religion, but I only talk about it with a few close people IRL.

I haven't told my family, although my religion is listed on my Facebook, and I'm friends with most of them. And in helping me move, my mom put my books on my shelf and undoubtedly noticed the collection of Norse / Icelandic and Pagan-type tomes.

I haven't told anyone at work, although there are a few hippie types in m building with whom I've had some interesting discussions about energy. :)

I actually don't mind the rare occasion I have to attend church with friends or family. I might be in the minority here, but generally I find it kind of nice. My family is Lutheran, and my grandmother's gone to the same church for decades, so whenever I go there the worst part is the people who gush over how they knew me when I was "this high." lol. And I generally go to mass with my best friend when we are together (she lives halfway across the country), and it's a nice thing to do with her and the homily is usually interesting.

It used to bother me to go to church, but I now feel secure in my actions and feelings there. I rise and sit when others do, more to remain inconspicuous than to praise God, but I don't say any of the prayers or sing.

Anyway, I'm fine with the way things are now. Someday I wouldn't mind talking about it with my mother or father, but it hasn't seemed necessary.
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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 12:56:46 am »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758


So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
I'm pretty solidly in the broom closet as well, at least until my grandmother passes. She's a sweet and lovely woman, one of the few true Christians I've met, and she would never condemn me but she would work herself into severe anxiety over my soul. She once called my mother in near hysterics because she knew I had read The Golden Compass and her pastor had just told her it was an evil atheism book. That's a kind of worry I can't put her through.

As for the rest of my family, I'm pretty sure they figure I'm not Christian, or just agnostic about it. I don't plan on really "coming out" to my family about it. I'd rather just have it start slipping into my life and if they ask then I'll have answers. I'm also living in Indiana right now, so that's an incentive to keep rather quiet too.

Hrútsvinr

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2013, 08:51:47 am »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758

So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
Thou art no wimp! I find it hard to decide who should know, or who needs to know rather, that I'm Heathen. That said, I haven't explicitly told anyone, except a close friend on the other side of the world, about my Paganism. I'm basically in the closet.
The only people in my life that I think need to know are my immediate family, and maybe my flatmate. Because my religion is a huge part of my life.
But I feel like I would cop massive ridicule from my family, because in addition to being atheists their entire lives, my parents are now staunch anti-theists, as they label themselves. It's difficult to say "I believe in Gods" when they start talking about putting all religious people on an island and building a wall around it. And we talk about religion almost every day.
I'm sure it'll spill out of my mouth one day, but I'm wary.
I think it's mostly as most people here have said, that most people we run into in our daily lives probably don't need to know. In some cases it might make things more difficult for ourselves, or for our children, if people know our practices/beliefs, especially if we live in the Bible Belt, for example (I used to live there).

tl;dr: I'm in the broom (hammer?) closet, and I wish I were brave enough to tell my family. But keeping it private/secret isn't wimpy, just protective of oneself.

JovesChild

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 11:12:18 am »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758
Well, to family anyways.  All of my friends know of my religious belief but my family still think that I'm just a lapsed Christian.  No one in my neighborhood knows either.  For the record I am 28 years old, I do live on my own and have my own job.  

So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
I'm 34, and my family is not aware of my religious beliefs. They just know I am backslidden from Jesus and SOMEday he will make himself real to me "again" and heal the wounds and yeah... Not happening. I cannot explain their god simply didn't want me, and frankly, the feeling is mutual.

I stay closeted because I love my family. I know my mother would only feel pain with the knowledge I'm "working for the enemy" in her mind. So, until she passes from this soil, none of them know. It's lonely as hell when I'm with them only because I feel that separateness. I attend only necessary services such as funerals or weddings that might have religious overtones. I don't participate though because it feels very wrong to fake that. I won't sing along or bow my head in prayer. But I try to be respectful otherwise and non-disruptive of their practices... sadly I know my lack of action is noted heavily. Mainly because I used to be in leadership in that faith, so it's a glaringly obvious thing to some. Another reason to avoid unless absolutely necessary.

My husband, a few close friends, and my children know in part. A couple of my coworkers know I "use tarot", but otherwise, that's about it. My path is my own, and it's personal.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~ Keller

Katefox

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2013, 12:35:07 pm »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758
So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
I have the same problem, and for me, it is pretty much because I am a giant wimp (not saying you are, though!).  Basically, while I'm not one to shout it from the rooftops, if anyone asks about my religion, I'll say I'm Pagan, or at least that I'm no longer Christian anymore (e.g. if talking to people from the Christian groups on campus).  I've mentioned being Pagan to most of my friends, and my boyfriend's family...and yet, not my own family.  I don't think they'd disown me, although my stepfather especially, being a rather conservative Christian, probably wouldn't be too happy with my religious choice (and my siblings probably wouldn't even care).  It's one of those things that bothers me when I stop to think about it, because it feels like I'm being dishonest, but I'm also quite sure making a big production out of telling my family I'm a Pagan now is not the way to go about it, and one day I'll be brave enough to tell them I'm not a Christian anymore.  (For what it's worth, I'm 28.)

Vale

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Re: Forever in The Broom Closet
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2013, 12:48:49 pm »
Quote from: NCPilot;86758


So, has any other adults had this same problem, or am I just a giant wimp?

 
No I don't think you are a wimp at all. I haven't explicitly told any of my family (and I have grown up children!). My brother found out last week when he sent me a FB friend request (!) and I don't see any point in upsetting my elderly parents. They must surely have guessed my non christian status but they haven't asked and I will keep quiet until they do.

Ultimately it is no one's business but mine unless I choose to share.

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