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I chose to be alone because of religion

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by Hope4love, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Hope4love

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    I'm not completely alone as I live with my family, but I have no friends to hang out with or to talk to.
    the thing that is preventing me from looking for people is because I left islam and obviously I can't tell anyone because I'm not allowed so I have to keep that to myself too.
    the problem now is I'm starting to get a bit paranoid about what if everyone knows why I left the religion (i don't practice prayers, don't celebrate religious days...etc)
    I'm so desperate for friends but at the same time I'm hopeless because I know how it will end, I tried it before and in my country it's the social norm to be muslim and do what they do.
    I started again as a freshman on college but I just don't fit in, I'm already thinking about dropping again because having no friends and going everyday to college makes me feel pathetic and worthless, I feel like I should rather stay home and find online jobs until I leave the country, but I don't know maybe I'm just paranoid because I have social anxiety too.
    if you're a muslim or having had a religious background, please share your experience, would love to learn from you!!
     
  2. Ram90

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    As a semi-practicing Hindu, it was difficult for me to stop socializing religiously (if tha't actually a thing, ha ha) and move on in social situations. Of course, I won't deny that it helped that most of my family and friends and maybe society in general aren't too religious anyway. Hinduism does have the flexibility of practice. I'd assume Islam may have the same, right? I've had Muslim classmates back in school and college who were pretty religious, the kind who did Namaz 5 times a day. They got permission from the principal to go out of class during the late morning, afternoon and evening namaz timings and got extended lunch breaks on Friday to go to the Mosque for special prayers. But at the same time, I had muslim friends and classmates who didn't do any of that, Friday prayers included. Maybe their parents valued education over prayers, thinking that the praying they do at home is sufficient? Or not, I never really discussed religion with them back in school/college, so most of this is just me speculating.

    That said, how religiously flexible is your family? My family was pretty orthodox to start with. My parents are pretty religious, but they don't rub most of it on my sister and me. We're free to practice and pray as we wish. That's one reason I call myself a semi-practicing Hindu. I rarely go to temples and pray occasionally at home. I do participate in certain rituals on holy days/festivals at home and attend religious social gatherings, but no-one in my family and extended relatives blink an eye if we (the younger generation) don't show up to these stuff. Most of the people there are the older generation (aged 50 and up) anyway. Hard work is valued in India and if you skip these stuff because you're at work or studying, that's like totally ok and appreciated ha ha.

    I understand we might be different culturally, but hey, I'm here if you wanna continue chatting about this to figure something out. I was super religious at one time, thinking religion was the answer to my confusion about gender and sexuality. Once I realized god wouldn't be able to help me, I stopped being uber-religious, though I haven't given up on religion entirely. :slight_smile:
     
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  3. Hope4love

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    Our entire family relationships are built upon fear not love, upon god's duty not caring for one another, all my siblings are not religious at all but I can't tell if they left islam or no, but no one speaks out, if we talk then we are in danger, and also we don't trust each other, we live together for years and we don't know each other, we don't go out the house together, we don't celebrate anything not even the new year, my friends always asked me if my family is normal but until today I can't identify what it is because they are all pretending that everything is ok, I tried to open a discussion and they keep closing it.
    btw I also had Hindu friends when I was in UAE, they are amazing people and respectful and we never really talked about religion, we were just kids enjoying life as it is
     
  4. Rin311

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    When you live in a place where most people are religious and follow the traditions, it can be very isolating not to be one of them. I would suggest moving to a more diverse area, if you can. I try to imagine myself still living with my family (I grew up in a conservative Christian family) and not being involved in church, and that would have been a very lonely life to live. Take care.
     
  5. Ram90

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    In one way I see the situation, it's actually good if none of you talk about whether or not you're religious or not. Belief systems aside, I mean. I mean that should keep the pressure off you, shouldn't it? You can define the "amount" of religion you want in your life, can you not? Have I understand correctly, so far?
     
  6. resu

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    My family are Catholics from India, and I grew up in a conservative state in the US. I understand the loneliness you felt, and I would strongly suggest finding friends who accept you as a person (note: definitely don't come out if it's unsafe). One thing I've noticed is that creative (artists, musicians) and educated people are more likely to accept not being religious. Likewise, you might choose a degree that will help you find a career in a big city or overseas. Also, you might try to find clubs or groups you can participate in that aren't focused on religion.

    Overall, I think a major goal would be achieving financial and physical independence from your family, and completing a degree can help make it a reality.
     
  7. Nebulous

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    where you planning on moving to?