A typical advice thread on how to deal with family really. I'm pretty sure most of you guys get sick of these, but like everyone else, I believe my problem is different. To make a long, complicated story short: I was adopted into a extremely Catholic/Republican household and this past year I've officially started declaring myself an atheist.
Only my best friend and boyfriend really know. Best friend is an atheist as well. (shes the one that got me to finally get the guts to say it out loud) But on the other hand, my boyfriend is one of those Republican/Christians. It took me weeks to finally bring it up to him that I couldn't lie about it anymore, and he took it better than I expected, but he always says that "nothing is permanent" and that he's always praying for me, which irks me a little.
Back to what I originally was rambling about, (I'm a little excited to be putting my thoughts and feeling into words where people actually feel the same) I don't think there's a way in the world that my "dad" is going to accept this fact about me. We don't have a rocky relationship, I'll spare you the details, but we're not strangers. Knowing him, it's just not something that he'll be able to comprehend rationally.. He's the one that's forced me through most of it until I secretly stopped going at least four years ago, but he still thinks I go to this day. He's the kind of dad that told he he'd disown me if I ever dated a black guy, if you've having trouble imagining the severity of his ignorance..
Getting to the point, what the hell am I suppose to do? I don't live with him, but It's basically the same at the house I do live in, except a little less harsh. If anyone, a community like this would have great insight and holy hell I wrote a lot, please don't kill me, this is my first post/day here.
I'm glad you posted and had the courage to be so sincere. Your situation, like most others, is unique and deserves to be addressed individually. I'm glad you have a best friend who is Atheist so you have some immediate support. As for boyfriends, well to be frank they come and go. Maybe he'll come around, maybe he'll accept you for who you are, or maybe there is a tall handsome Atheist just waiting to sweep you off your feet.
Dealing with family is never easy, but you don't need to rush into anything. Take your time developing your own thoughts and wait until you are comfortable vocalizing your beliefs. I'm sure you'll figure it out, and there are a lot of people here who will cheer you on. I'm glad to have 'met' you. :D
Welcome to TA. I think you did a very good job of expressing the situation you are in. Don't forget to post anytime you have a question or need some opinions. There are lots of very kind and wise folks here who want to help.
Welcome to TA Erynes :)
We have a pretty good group of people with a wide variety of experiences who are willing to help. I am relatively new and only at a partial point of disclosure of my atheism to a few in public life. I have yet to tell my best friend whom I have known for almost 40 years and the thought does scare me a bit.
Welcome to the community Erynes.
When dealing with this issue of "coming out" to family, I would advise you to tread carefully, slowly and with respect to the differing beliefs of others that I'm sure you have. Your father does not need to agree with you, just accept you for who you are. That is really all you are asking of him. If you come at it like that, in a non-aggressive, I'm-not-better-than-you mentality, hopefully you will win his respect or at the understanding. We do not need to slam our non-belief down people's throats.
Welcome again and if you need anything else, please feel free to post anytime!
The quick answer is hold your ground and be strong. The long answer is more complex because of people's sensibilities and sensitivity.
Talk to like-minded people about your views and opinions. Listen to their opinions as well. Everyone's experiences are different and we can always learn something new.
You have time on your side to think about things and how to move forward. Think about the words you can use to describe your views and your feelings. Make sure that you show your family the courage of your convictions. Tell them in a way that is positive and remind them that being an Atheist doesn't make you a bad person.
Freewill, supposedly a god given right, is a central tenet of their faith. You have a right to choose your own way in life.
I could blather on for hours and just get cliched and boring but I'm sure you catch my drift. Hope you found this helpful
Welcome and congratulations on freeing your mind.
Every situation is different and I don't know enough about yours to give advice. But, I will say that you really don't need to come out to anyone except your future spouse and perhaps your children--and maybe not even to them. I encourage people to come out if they can do so safely, but I am not sure that you would be completely safe.
I think, however, that I can safely say you should ditch the boyfriend--unless he is just amazing in every other way.
Everything is so polarizing nowadays, we have family members that won't talk to each other over happenings in Madison, WI. We're kind of at the mercy to a degree of the media talking heads always spitting hate for people that disagree. Having different opinions and lifestyles should enrich life, but unfortunately that's not where we are right now.
I tend to tell people that I do the right thing because it is the right thing, which is exactly what Christianity preaches on paper. I have enough faith in people that most will act with morality without having having to fear hell, and those that act selfishly will do so with the fear of hell.
Being nervous about being different is perfectly normal, you may want to check out the wiki on positive disintegration. It's an idea that explains how painful it is the become dis-integrated from popular culture, but also how much more free and reasonable we are once we have become disintegrated, positively. Mostly, don't beat yourself up, you are doing great!