How have your friends and family dealt with your faith? (Not public yet? Tell us a little about how you were raised. Too personal? Tell us about the family member to whom you are closest.)
Truthfully, that’s not really anything I have to deal with much anymore- my parents have sadly passed away at this point and I have very little contact with extended family. Losing my Mother in 2016, in many ways, is what caused me to become the person I am now. Yes, I hit my absolute lowest point ever as my mother WAS my family for the longest time. The stress surrounding that caused my marriage to fall apart, made me gain a ton of weight, and not take care of myself. Good news is, I’m better – I’m in a happy relationship, am basically a step-father to a young boy, slimmer, and am feeling the best spiritually I have for a really long time – perhaps the Gods needed to tear me down to finally get me on track? Who knows.
I was raised Catholic, but haven’t practiced since High School – My Dad was Catholic until the very end, but my Mother waivered. She only really re-accepted her Catholic faith when she was on her deathbed, but for a while veered somewhat close to some form of Paganism, like a vague Native American Animism or something. Mom wouldn’t care – when I was Gnostic she, albeit thinking I was New Age or something, supported me.
When I was married, I had to hide my spirituality. As discussed in my previous post, I considered myself to be an Occultist/Gnostic for the better part of 15 years – my ex’s family was VERY Christian. I simply did not talk about it around them, and had to pretend I wasn’t myself for the longest time. I’m sure that if they knew exactly what I practiced at that time they would have been very upset with me. And now? I’d imagine they’d see Paganism as being akin to the cartoonish 80’s notion of what a Satanist is. While I miss those guys, its honestly better for my mental health to be away from that.
My Girlfriend’s family is supportive – they honestly don’t care what we practice despite being Christian themselves. At one point they even asked if we could pray for their neighbors in a very trying time.
As for friends / co-workers, most of them don’t care. I have had people at work act weird when I started wearing things like a Odin charm carved from a coyote bone around my neck or a Runic hat that I’ve been wearing due to having to wear a Covid mask (to help hold it on). Some assumed I was an avid fan of the TV Show Vikings – something that I honestly have not seen that much of, nor did it factor into me being into paganism in any way. This was very confusing to them, as many are used to people becoming fake versions of things to show fandom to a show like the fake bikers that Sons of Anarchy created.
One of my clerks (I’m a supervisor in my office) would ask me weird questions about various thigs pertaining to a shirt I was wearing, or some jewelry, etc without actually coming out and asking if I was Pagan which I know he was hinting at. This man was VERY Christian and obviously was trying not to offend me, but it was funny to see him root around the elephant in the room without addressing it. My job (prior to a big layoff) actually had a large number of Pagans working there, so it is a healthy place for me despite the occasional Christian zealot that I can easily stay clear of.
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