I feel like I’m going to explode. The pressure is down significantly because I’ve been talking to more people about my situation and how I feel and about the thoughts that have been racing in my head, but I still get headaches every day when I think about how much I’m suppressing myself just to feel “safe” here.
I want SO MUCH to be able to wear a shirt that just says “ATHEIST” on it around campus, but the terrible anxiety I get at the thought of doing such a revealing thing is enough to keep me from even ordering one online. It would lessen so much pressure if I could just tell people instead of keeping it all bottled up inside. My flight instincts flare up every time I want to say anything though :( I’ve been slowly telling more and more people that I know about my atheism, and so far their reactions haven’t been so bad. The two girls I may have mentioned before who seemed suddenly very distant and uncaring towards me are now much more open and loving since I’ve proven that I’m not here to drink anyone’s blood or anything (heh heh….YET).
But in all seriousness, a part of me feels like it’s my duty as an atheist going to a Christian college to speak out and ask more questions more often. All the students that voice their opinions in class are Christian, and I feel like they need to see things from a different perspective, and actually learn to think about difficult things.
My friendish-acquaintance who sits by me in my biology class complained that the worksheet we had been asked to fill out last week was one he did not like because the questions made him sad. I was appalled by what he said. If we avoid answering or thinking about questions that make us sad, or angry, or that make us question our beliefs or what we know, then we will forever live in our own ignorance. I should have told him that if he didn’t want to think beyond his comfort zone then he shouldn’t have decided to come to college, but instead I just respectfully disagreed and said I loved answering difficult questions because they make me think.
Of course, I also have to add that when I first met this guy I thought he was mentally retarded. He’s just a few fries short of a happy meal, is all :) (The perfect conduit for Christianity, really).
Anyway, I wish so much that I had enough confidence in myself and in my (minimal*) support here to “out” myself so loudly, but I don’t :( I feel like a coward compared to Jessica Ahlquist.
Other reasons why I’m terrified to wear such a shirt is that I feel like doing so would be, in a way, attacking everyone around me and their views. I’d be labeling myself with a lot of stereotypes and bad connotations. I’m afraid of how the school staff would react. What if I got in trouble for wearing it, and my parents found out, and I broke my mother’s heart because she found out that way that I’m an atheist? Will people avoid talking to me knowing I’m an atheist, because they’re afraid I might try to “take them down the path of sin”? How many potential friendships will I lose? No Christian boy will want to be involved with me romantically if everyone knew I was an atheist, because obviously I’ve got no morals, right? We’d be having premarital sex ALL THE TIME (/sarcasm).
I’m starting to get depressed. I want to avoid this as much as possible because I need to have all the focus I can muster on my studies. I literally can’t afford to get bad grades here.
I just don’t want to be lonely anymore. But keeping quiet to everyone is almost literally driving me crazy.
*But despite my constant whining about lack of support, I want to say that you guys have been great internet support :) I just lack face-to-face-atheist support right now, is all :/
I’m still writing my piece about why I’m here, and why I’m probably going to still graduate from here (even though all I do is complain <:D ). That’ll be finished soonish ;)
I hope your weekends went well,