As a 19 year old (well 19 on April 17th =) ) who has been an Atheist for approximately eight years, it never occurred to me to tell my family. At 11 I didn't really know any better, and I was slightly afraid that if I ever told anyone, I'd get in trouble. I was petrified that everyone in my family would disown me. My mom was never really a religious nut, but she does have her beliefs, that there is a god. She never pushed religion on me, because she wanted me to be able to make my own decisions, unlike her, who when a child was forced into Christianity by my grandmother --her mother. Yet still I didn't tell a soul --except for a few friends who I knew wouldn't reject me.
After a few months I had forgotten that no one knew, I went about my beliefs, by not believing, and no one was the wiser. I think I figured that everyone eventually would realize that I was Atheist after I stopped going to church. Until this past year, I hadn't realized, that no one picked up on my non-belief system.
So when my step-mom, my dad, and I were talking one day in the kitchen and the topic of religion came up --My step my was asking about my, at the time, new boyfriend (side note: still with him and happeh!!) and if he had a belief system. I had told her that thankfully he was sort of Atheist, I expanded on that and said that it was good for me because he doesn't yell at me for being a full blown Atheist. The room fell into silence and my father and step-mom just stared at me for a moment. They weren't expecting it.
"Since when are you Atheist?" She had asked me. She was utterly confuse, which in turn confused me. I thought everyone new. Then I remembered, I never told.
I was nervous when I told her that it's been about 8 years since I decided on my secular belief system. She laughed at me and said that I wasn't I got mad and I'm pretty sure I did the child argue and said, "yeah-huh!" My dad didn't really say anything, I don't think he cared, honestly, I don't even think he has a belief system.
After that conversation, that was pretty much the end of any discussion there would ever be of my lack of religion. The only problem, I don't think my mom knows, nor does my grandmother. I'm still petrified to tell them. I don't even know if I'd ever tell my grandma, I think it would break her little heart to know that her eldest granddaughter (biologically at least) is an Atheist.
I used to go to church with my grandma a lot. Up until 11 that is. I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to stop going, I couldn't pretend to believe anymore, come to think of it, I don't think I ever really believed in a god. I may have speculated on the subject, nut I can't remember a time that I ever actually thought that there was a real god. So maybe i've been Atheist longer than I thought. Go figure.
Well at least there's two down and only two more to go. Wish me luck. I think I may tell my mom sometime this week.