I just got a message from my sister that an old teacher of mine from high school is retiring after 39 years. While I was once close to this instructor, I haven't spoken to him in years. I live about 2.5 hours away from my hometown, and the retirement party is on a Sundayafternoon/ night. Thanks to the magic of facebook, I've been able to keep in touch with those from High School that I wanted to keep in touch with. I have no desire to go to this, and have a feeling it's going to lead to more family guilt tripping drama.
Here's a little backstory:
This same sister is much more attached to the past and our hometown than I ever was, so she goes to any and everything that takes place. She lives about 90 minutes away, and because she takes time off work to do this, she expects me to as well. She doesn't understand that this means giving up my Sunday, which means no church. Because serving God isn't a part of her life, she doesn't understand that missing my Sunday service isn't really an option for me.
The same goes for the rest of my family. All the events lately seem to be on a Sunday (Even though they will admit that they have nothing to do on Saturdays), and I know that it's a test of sorts to make me choose between their worldly parties that focus on, well bunnies and eggs instead of the Resurrection.
I grew up as a devout Catholic, but around my senior year high school the people who helped to cultivate my faith left the church as well to go to other nondemoninational churches. I stopped going altogether, and last year the Lord lead me to a different church as well. I was born again, baptized, and haven't looked back. I'm fairly certain my mother tells family/friends that I've become some "fanatical fundamentalist Christian" and means it in a bad way. (Personally, I think that's a compliment, minus the negative tone), along with other things she probably likes to remind people about.
My parents still claim to be catholic but my mother will tell you that she doesn't believe in the bible and neither parent has been to church in 5+ years except for my other sister's wedding. My father used to have a very strong and devoted relationship with God, but about 10 years ago, for whatever reason, he backslid and hasn't come back. My once conservative parents have tried to force their ideas regarding certain topics and when I try to explain my position from a biblical standpoint, they tell me to stop preaching. She (my mother) said several hurtful things in that last conversation, and at this point, we aren't speaking.
Now that the back story has been explained, I have a feeling that my decision not to attend is going to lead to more family drama, and I'm at the point where I just want to avoid them and any more family issues. I've reached the point where I'm about to just say "If it's on a Sunday, count me out" but I still care about them, and don't want to completely cut off my family. I know it's probably best for me given the relationship with my mother, and that I have my church "family" and the family of FH that supports us, but it still hurts. I know that sometimes people do the "fade out" on friends, but is it acceptable to do the same with toxic immediate family members?
Do I just keep giving them passive "I'll see what I can do" answers? ir shold I "wo-man up" and tell them flat out no?
Sorry for the novel if you made it this far....