I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
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08-11-2012, 10:08 PM
I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
Bear with me, it's a lot. I'm sorry if it seems like I rambled, but I would love to hear your input. Has anyone else come clean with a letter? How did it feel? Did you get much backlash because you didn't do so in person?

Code:
Dear Family,

I want to begin by saying that I love you all, and that nothing will or could ever change that. I am writing to you to confess something that you would have probably found out sooner or later, but I would rather tell you my self. I am an atheist.


This is not a recent self-discovery, nor is it one that was easy to make. The details are unnecessary but I will not hesitate to tell you if you want to know, so ask if you want to know. Unfortunately I no longer believe in God or gods, saints or angels, miracles or demons. I also don’t believe I am going to hell, in fact, I don’t even believe hell exists. Please do not confuse this for hate towards you, towards God, or religion, although there is some animosity, since after so long of living a life like that it almost felt the same as the day I stopped believing in Santa. This was something horribly difficult for me to overcome, something I had to go through all on my own. I felt abandoned, orphaned, without a path. I thought God himself was punishing me, as if at some point in my life I did something so horrible that needed the same punishment Jesus himself suffered at the cross. Meanwhile nothing in my life changed, and I got closer to God than ever before, but that was exactly what brought me to the inevitable realization that this was all a mere illusion, some sweet candy to calm my nerves.

I hope that this does not change your perception of me as a person, as a wife, or as a mother, because I am the same person I always was, albeit maybe happier since I don’t have to pretend I am something other than what I really am. Being my family, you have seen me exactly as I am, and know me as I know myself: optimistic, charismatic, comical, and more than anything open-minded. I hope to receive the same warmth and love as ever, because from me that will never change, and I will love you and care for you as I always have.

If for some reason you feel animosity towards me I will leave you with this: you did not make a mistake. You have been a pivotal part of my development as a human being, as a person, and as a Christian. My mom and dad taught me very well but they had one little flaw. They taught me to think on my own, to investigate, to read the small print. They taught me to ask questions, to study and imagine, and most of all they taught me to appreciate science, and to work hard in school. It has become near impossible for me to take things on faith and faith alone. I need evidence, I
need results, and I want to know the truth, even though I know I might never really know the truth. Please forgive me, but to me the Bible now looks like just another work of fiction, a book of tales and terrible crimes, and horribly violent punishments.

I beg you, please don’t lose your love for me, but if you really think of me as an aberration I ask you one last thing. In the end all I want to know and learn is truth, and I would love it if you would be willing to teach me what you see to be true. Maybe you’re right, maybe I am wrong, but then show me the truth; show me irrefutable evidence because then I will have nothing else to do but accept it as so.

“Atheist: A person who believes in one god less than you”

- Donald Morgan


As you can see, I finished it with one of my favorite quotes so far, in hopes that my family can sympathize. My parents where very religious and took it hard when my brother came out as an atheist. Unfortunately our relationship isn't very close so I haven't had him for much support, just incentive. My husbands family, however is very deeply christian, and I do not expect anything good from this, although his sister has already replied telling me she loves me no matter what, and that she already kinda knew.

The amount of relief I feel right now can only be compared to the amount of anxiety I feel.
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08-11-2012, 10:55 PM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief that you aren't holding in what seemed like an awful secret. You will have to deal with each person on an individual basis.

If you had any other thing in your makeup that you felt you had to reveal, there would have been people there to support you and those who would not and some to whom it simply doesn't matter.

You are still the same person they knew and loved before you wrote the letter. It's up to them to realize that.

Now you can live more honestly.

I’m not anti-social. I’m pro-solitude. ~Author Unknown
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08-11-2012, 11:05 PM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
I wish I could be more open, but it is not meant to be. I hope everything goes well for you.

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08-11-2012, 11:44 PM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
Ok, am I the only one that noticed this? First it says "I hope that this does not change your perception of me as a person, as a wife, or as a mother,", then it is signed at the end Donald Morgan. Panda, are you a woman? If so, did you use a letter from someone else? If you are this Donald Morgan person, how can you be a wife and mother? Now that I got that out, welcome to the dark side. You might discover it is a lonely place now that you came out as an atheist. That being said, you have people you can talk to here.
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08-11-2012, 11:57 PM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
Birdguy Have you tried this? Tongue

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09-11-2012, 12:01 AM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
Awesome!

Good on'ya.

Welcome to the 'out' club. So much fresh air, outside.

Keep us posted as to further reactions.

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09-11-2012, 12:02 AM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
I think you did good, just maybe over explained a little.

I am getting ready to come out myself so I am loving these "I just came out" posts. Hopefully I get to make my own soon. Though when I get the courage to do it, I chicken out. Sad

But these posts are inspiring and helping to relieve some of my own anxieties which I am sure is true for others who need/want to come out....

Congrats! Please follow up and let us know how things progress.
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09-11-2012, 09:41 AM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
...and that is beautiful.

Leviticus does not justify stupidity, but it is more than enough to define corruption of the human mind.

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09-11-2012, 09:09 PM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
Thank you guys so much for the feedback!

Birdguy1979- I don't know what to say to that. Hahaha. I ended the letter with a quote, I described that on the original post.

As for everyone else, it does feel fantastic to be out and about. The replies I got from most my friends where mostly supportive, on Facebook that is, and while I'm not alerted as to who has unfriended me, the general response was "you're still the same you always where".

From my family I have yet to hear. As I said before one of my sister in laws has already replies with support, but the other instead contacted my husband directly, telling him they where all quite surprised and taken back, but none of them have relied to me or told me what they thought. I'm supposed to go to a breakfast tomorrow to celebrate my mother-in-laws birthday so it will be strange, but my husband doesn't really care what they think (he's not Christian but I think he's still theistic). My mother called me today but I wasn't able to speak to her because I was at work, meanwhile my brother and sister both knew, so it's no surprise to them. I will keep you posted.

To those thinking about coming out, I'll tell you this: t's wonderful but weigh out out your options first. I'm married and no longer depend on my parents (they used to care for my daughter, but no longer). Also, I atarted coming out slowly, to people that I knew where already atheist or open minded first. Not only that, but I dropped hints along the way to test the waters. Like speaking out in support of gay marriage, or talking about the separation of church and state (the recent political race helped a lot). So take your time, and remember that it's always bearable, you just had to be patient and the rigt time will come.
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09-11-2012, 09:56 PM
RE: I just "came out" to my friends and family. This is what I e-mailed them
Can I just make an observation that you definition of an atheist at the end doesn't really work too well in India...

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