The closet..
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13-10-2015, 10:04 PM
The closet..
I didn't see a thread for this, if I missed it.. my apologies.


So as I said in my introduction, I've been an atheist since August.. so still brand new. And something that keeps crossing my mind, is how to tell my family.

They are Southern baptists, they do not go to church but they are firm believers. I have some close friends who know, and of course my boyfriend. But my family.. I'm really nervous about.

1. I don't want to upset them, I don't want my mom, who believes so strongly to be scared for my soul.

2. My sister and I struggle as it is, and she will most likely disown me.. I can live with that.. except I'd miss my niece and nephew terribly.

My theist friends that I haven't told, I am not too worried about.. they can take it or not,, it's up to them.

So my main delima is my family. I don't see them very often.. maybe once a year. They live in Georgia, I'm in Washington state.. but we do talk on the phone a lot, so we are not distant as far as that goes.

I want to live an authentic life, but is it worth it at the expense of breaking my parents hearts?

Any thoughts or advice would be great.



It's easier to fool people, than to convenience them that they have been fooled. --Mark Twain
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13-10-2015, 10:38 PM
RE: The closet..
I think you can still live an authentic life without shouting your atheism from the rooftops. Wink I have Christian/Catholic friends and family members leftover from my theist days. While most know that I am an atheist, there are a few who don't know because I think it would cause them *tremendous* worry (as you mentioned) over my very soul. Since some of them are older, I don't want them worrying over that ridiculousness. I also have a Christian friend who believes religion saved him from addiction. I have not told him of my atheism because he uses religion as a coping mechanism and is not militant or hate-filled about his beliefs.

You have to do what you feel is best for you, but I don't think you need to put pressure on yourself to tell your family if you are not ready to. You can still be authentic to yourself Smile

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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13-10-2015, 11:13 PM
RE: The closet..
You see then once a year. They don't go to church. How likely is it that they'll even bring up religion? As long as you don't bring it up, they probably won't even mention it..
Also, stop using giant purple text. It's annoying.

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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13-10-2015, 11:24 PM
RE: The closet..


Thank you Jenny, that helps a lot.


And Lightvader, I'm not concerned about my font. If you don't have any advice then simply pass me by. If I didn't have a concern...I'd not ask.

It's easier to fool people, than to convenience them that they have been fooled. --Mark Twain
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13-10-2015, 11:36 PM
RE: The closet..
Damn it, note it looks even more annoying Dodgy
I did offer advice. Don't bring it up.
Seriously, you meet them like once a year. How likely is it that your parents will talk about religion, if they don't even go to church? And what if the conversation doesn't go as planned when you do bring it up? Sour the limited time you spend with them ?
And how old are your parents? Like ancient Egypt old?

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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13-10-2015, 11:54 PM
RE: The closet..
(13-10-2015 11:36 PM)Lightvader Wrote:  Damn it, note it looks even more annoying Dodgy
I did offer advice. Don't bring it up.
Seriously, you meet them like once a year. How likely is it that your parents will talk about religion, if they don't even go to church? And what if the conversation doesn't go as planned when you do bring it up? Sour the limited time you spend with them ?
And how old are your parents? Like ancient Egypt old?


I talk to my parents all the time.. as I said.. the only seeing them once a year means little.. we talk all the time. They also bring up god all the time. The fact that they don't go to church, doesn't make it a non issue. They are just as strongly religious as if they did.

It's easier to fool people, than to convenience them that they have been fooled. --Mark Twain
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14-10-2015, 12:01 AM
RE: The closet..
Then just tell them. Or don't, if they're really old. Then it's better to let them live their few remaining years with the "knowledge" that you'll go to heaven instead of making them worry needlessly about your fate.

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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14-10-2015, 03:01 AM
RE: The closet..
(13-10-2015 10:04 PM)Suzykw Wrote:  I didn't see a thread for this, if I missed it.. my apologies.


So as I said in my introduction, I've been an atheist since August.. so still brand new. And something that keeps crossing my mind, is how to tell my family.

They are Southern baptists, they do not go to church but they are firm believers. I have some close friends who know, and of course my boyfriend. But my family.. I'm really nervous about.

1. I don't want to upset them, I don't want my mom, who believes so strongly to be scared for my soul.

2. My sister and I struggle as it is, and she will most likely disown me.. I can live with that.. except I'd miss my niece and nephew terribly.

My theist friends that I haven't told, I am not too worried about.. they can take it or not,, it's up to them.

So my main delima is my family. I don't see them very often.. maybe once a year. They live in Georgia, I'm in Washington state.. but we do talk on the phone a lot, so we are not distant as far as that goes.

I want to live an authentic life, but is it worth it at the expense of breaking my parents hearts?

Any thoughts or advice would be great.



The problem with these spots is there is so much where the optimal decision isn't decided by some rule but rather is simply, "it depends". Take in all the advice but don't expect much that will really help. With each relationship you're really on your own.
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14-10-2015, 03:11 AM
RE: The closet..
Lightvader, remember this is the Personal Issues and Support section. That's all I'm going to say.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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14-10-2015, 03:20 AM
RE: The closet..
It's the same with coming out as gay or as a naturist.

If you are worried about what they will think and apologise in anyway then they will see this as something to be ashamed of. If you show that you are personally comfortable with expressing yourself as an atheist then they will be less likely to see it as shameful. This why pride and confidence in yourself is so important.

So don't make a big announcement, like mum, dad, I'm an atheist. That's you telling them that it's a big deal. But don't lie either. Just start to show that you aren't religious and that you do not really buy into the whole religion thing. That's a far cry from telling them that you are an atheist and gives them some time to get used to the idea of you not thinking the same way as them. Eventually you can reveal that you just don't believe and it won't be a shock to them.
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