My parents are to visit Tina and me this weekend. It stresses me out. Stress is something I don’t need right now. My doctor recently diagnosed me with elevated blood pressure. My doctor put me on a small dose of medication. And while I’ve been exercising (way) more, eliminating salt and processed foods from my diet and cutting back on alcohol and coffee, my blood pressure is still reading at the same or higher than it did 2 weeks ago.
I know, give it time.
Saturday night, a good friend who used to be a nurse gave me a sphygmomanometer, the typical gauge used to check blood pressure. I took a picture (left) for you to see and admire the shininess. I figured out that I can check it fairly accurately myself.
But that’s besides the point. The point is: It’s 6:25 a.m. on Monday morning. I’ve been up since 3. I can’t sleep. Tina can’t either. She’s got a big job today. Me, I keep playing out fictitious conversations in my head of all the things I’d like to talk to my parents about.
THEM: “We’re afraid you’ve lost your way.”
Me: “No, I’ve found my way.”
THEM: “But it’s not god’s way.”
ME: “Yeah, I grew up and chose godlessness. I was under the impression it was a choice. Therefore you can’t be upset that I made the choice that doesn’t reflect yours.”
THEM: “But you’ll roast in hell.”
ME: “Think about what you’ve said regarding a supposed ‘almighty and loving creator’ and keep that improvable hate speech to yourselves.”
But that doesn’t solve shit with people like them.
When my parents visit, the stress revolves around several factors. My dad is well read, conservative and very opinionated. One thing that’s never been talked about directly is my atheism. I told my brother directly. He hates it, but he deals with it. My parents and I have had plenty of discussions about religion, but I’ve never come out of the closet, per se, to them.
When I’m laying in bed awake with paranoia and insomnia, I get wrapped up in conversations like the one above. They vary in certain ways, but they all stick to the same topic. Every time I try to talk about atheism, they won’t have anything to do with it. It’s not that I want to evangelize them. It’s that I feel it’s important that we talk about things that are important to us me.
But their version of Witteveen culture and my version collide. While they talk about their religiosity with great frequency and fervor, if I bring up my views and lack of faith, it’s hushed and swept under the rug. It’s as if they think I’m going through a “phase” or a “fad”.
Really, Mom and Dad, an over 10-year fad? (more below the fold)
Continue reading “Jesus was the Salt that Made my Blood Pressure Rise”