Jump to content

Telling My Parents I'm Athiest Today. Help?


EmptySky
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm 16, so it'd help if someone who came out when they were young told me how they did it. I need all the help I can get. What I'm planning on doing today goes against the beliefs of my entire family. My parents are Pentecostal, so I can't really reason with them. My mom always tries to use scripture to convince me I'm wrong when I tell her my doubts. Since I don't believe in the bible it doesn't work, obviously. My mom grew up in church. My dad didn't, but got into church around 21 or 22. My mom will be the one I tell. Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator

Why tell them now? Can you wait until you move out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why tell them now? Can you wait until you move out?

 

I could, but I don't want to live a lie. They're constantly asking questions about my faith and I'm sick of lying to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator

Perhaps you could tell them you are growing up and have to find your own way. There is nothing wrong or unusual with someone your age exploring and investigating. Don't come off as rebellious or rejecting them and all they stand for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Florduh about waiting. I know at your age, two years seems like a long time, but if you can wait it out for two years when you can move out, it might be better then. You'll have plenty of time then to not "live a lie". They can make life hell for you right now. If you hate living a lie, try looking at it from a different perspective. Maybe write down the pros and cons of waiting verses telling them now. Be pragmatic. You don't owe them the truth if you can't trust them to not make your life hell once they hear the truth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm fifteen, and my mother's been Christian almost all her life so I know a little bit how you feel... I think the difference between you and me is, my mom had doubts when she was younger too, so she's talked herself into believing I'll come around and I won't go to "hell."

 

I agree that the logical thing to do would be to wait until you move out, but I also know what it's like to lie to parents, and I HATE it. So I understand what you mean.

 

I guess my biggest piece of advice would be, be prepared. Think about your parents, and try to imagine every scenario and how you would react to it. Don't just make a quick decision and follow through; you'll regret that later. Mentally prepare yourself for whatever they might do, have your reasons for deconversion ready and at hand, and reassure them that you're not going to run off and kill babies just because you don't believe in the bible (a lot of Christians don't understand how someone could have morals without an ancient book telling them that murder and stealing are probably not good ideas).

 

If there is absolutely no other option, if they react worse than you anticipated, you can always tell them you're just in a "doubting phase" or something, and you're sure you'll come to christianity eventually. Yes, it's lying, yes, it's a cop-out, but that would be a worst-case scenario kind of deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because of the power issue with minors and parents, I would also recommend waiting until you have your own legs and the legal status to use them. However, only you can weigh the consequences of vulnerability with those upon whom you depend for room and board vs. the pain of living a lie. Only you know your parents, and what their level of reaction might be.

 

If they are pressing you on your faith regularly--i.e. forcing you into a position of conflict with them where the choice is argument or lying-- that is especially tough. It sounds like you feel they are forcing your hand to make this announcement, whereas otherwise you would be willing to live and let live. That's a really tough situation.

 

Feel free to vent here, and please hear me when I say that, for the strong of spirit (I hear it in you!) things get better when you grow up and the number one person you have to answer to is yourself.

 

Phanta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 on the waiting.

 

Give it time until you are out on your own,don't set your self up for the "holy wrath" and all the drama.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also agree on the advice of waiting. You can't take words back and since you are a minor and under your parent's care and protection (a nice way of saying control), there is no need for you to upset them at this point so life is tougher on both you and them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I waited. I got home today from school and thought about all the responses. I'm glad I posted and you all responded. I'm going to wait, but the next time I get asked I'm not going to lie. I'm going to try my best not to come off as rebellious, but who knows how they'll take it. For now, I wait. I'll keep everyone updated if something comes up. Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you made a wise decision. We'll be interested to learn of any developments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm 16, so it'd help if someone who came out when they were young told me how they did it. I need all the help I can get. What I'm planning on doing today goes against the beliefs of my entire family. My parents are Pentecostal, so I can't really reason with them. My mom always tries to use scripture to convince me I'm wrong when I tell her my doubts. Since I don't believe in the bible it doesn't work, obviously. My mom grew up in church. My dad didn't, but got into church around 21 or 22. My mom will be the one I tell. Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

Dear Empty Sky,

 

You have touched my heart with your cry for help. You are in almost the exact situation I was in at your age. I was raised Pentecostal as well. I went to my first church service at the age of 3 days old. No, I don't remember it, but I am sure it was much like all the rest of them. By the time I was 17 everyone in my family knew I was leaving the faith or had serious questions. I am not going to tell you what to do. It is really your choice, but I would like to share my experience with you - a capsulized version at least.

 

I was one of those who took religion oddly serious. None of my friends, in the church, were as "into" it as I was. I read the Bible constantly from a very young age - 12 or so. I began to be able to understand what I was reading a couple of years later. I read anything I could get my hands on constantly, including the Bible - mostly the Bible. I began to have serious questions. In the beginning, I had zero desire to leave the faith and had no idea that would be what would happen as a result of my questions. So ... my asking them was an innocent and honest inquiry. I did not have rebellion in my heart at this time. All I wanted were answers, so that I could satisfy the burning curiosity of my own mind.

 

I remember my parents being sort of shocked at my questions. Their first line of defense was that "We would understand it all better by and by." I think they thought this would appease me, and the issue would be resolved. It wasn't. I came back with new questions and asked again some of the old ones. This is when I was deferred to the elders of the church to ask. They were annoyed by me. It was evident, and their response reflected it. I was told by them to pray that God would take away my sin of doubt. I was instructed to repent of this sin and seek God's face for strength not to doubt again. So I did as instructed. I still had my questions. They did not magically disappear.

 

I came back again. By this time, I was nearly 16 years old. I had been through my parents, then the elders, now I was sent to the head honcho - the preacher himself. He actually attempted to answer the questions, but could not - not even satisfactorily enough for my young and uneducated mind. I left, knowing he was full of shit. I became severely depressed. I now knew where this was all going. I had enough foresight by this time to realize there would be no answers forthcoming. I was so depressed that I became physically ill - missed school, grades plummeted, tears flowed like a river night and day, and still I read the Bible. I studied it from cover to cover trying to regain my faith.

 

My parents were in shock. They didn't know what to do with me. They took me to preachers far and wide - literally. The took me to doctors, phyciatrists, and counselors. They were shattered, as was I. In the end, I lost my faith. I lost it slowly with the help of my parents and all those they sent me to for help. I can tell you that what you are going to do eventually, will break your parents hearts. You will do it. There is no other option, but how you do it is the question. Only you have the answer. You should think long and hard about the best way to go about it, and then act upon what you know to be the best.

 

If I can ever be of help, I am here.

Pappy

 

SIDE NOTE: I just read your profile. I strongly suggest that you lose the drugs and alcohol interests - at least for now. These things will destroy your life before you have an opportunity to actually have one. I am not telling you what to do, just making a strong suggestion based on experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While our situations are vastly different: I was an adult already and converting to paganism from christianity.... I can share with you, this.

 

I was about to come out of the broom closet when my dad died. I in fact said goodbye to christianity by burying a small crucifix with my father. But I waited over a year before I came out about my change of beliefs to my mother. She was heartbroken. She didn't understand. She still does not understand. And though we believe very different things, we still love each other very much. It just became one of those things we don't talk about.

 

The thing is, that year I waited to tell her... That was very hard to deal with. There was a lot of prayer and a lot of talk about dad being in heaven with god and family members who'd past. I did a lot of nodding my head and little talk. There was a time I went to my brother's messianic synagogue and stood up when the rabbi asked those who had Yeshua in their hearts to do so. I felt SO bad and SO wrong doing that. I later apologized to my sister-in-law about it, because I'd gone with her that day. And she curtly said she wasn't the one I had to apologize to.

 

*SIGH* Anyway...

 

The dynamic will change. Some of us have little issues between family, afterward. Some of us have been disowned or forced to leave (out of sanity's sake) their family behind. Sixteen is very young to do that.

 

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

So when and if it comes up, yes, be honest, but put it in such a way that the shock might be better absorbed, so to speak? Tell them you have a lot of questions that haven't been answered regarding the belief and the bible... If they make you read it (ugh, skip the begat begats, ugh...)--then do so with an open, scrutinizing mind. Maybe it'd help to keep a journal, for the next time something comes up...

 

Whatever happens, I wish you well. Be careful out there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, you're welcome!

 

So, what kind of future are you looking at engaging upon emancipation at 18? Do you have a job lined up? Or a job you are working toward? College? Trade school? Travel?

 

Phanta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

Are you talking about this one?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

Are you talking about this one?

 

 

What a disturbing video. I feel real sorry for that kid who had to endure his mother's wrath, all in the name of Jesus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

Are you talking about this one?

 

 

What a disturbing video. I feel real sorry for that kid who had to endure his mother's wrath, all in the name of Jesus.

 

I found it shocking when I first saw it, but I couldn't help but laugh when he's bringing up something serious enough to be displaying a significant level of maturity, and she threatens to withhold christmas presents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

Are you talking about this one?

 

 

What a disturbing video. I feel real sorry for that kid who had to endure his mother's wrath, all in the name of Jesus.

 

I found it shocking when I first saw it, but I couldn't help but laugh when he's bringing up something serious enough to be displaying a significant level of maturity, and she threatens to withhold christmas presents.

 

I caught that, too. She said something to the effect that he would not get anything for Christmas because it's about god or some such. If she only knew the pagan roots of the holiday....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

Are you talking about this one?

 

 

What a disturbing video. I feel real sorry for that kid who had to endure his mother's wrath, all in the name of Jesus.

 

I found it shocking when I first saw it, but I couldn't help but laugh when he's bringing up something serious enough to be displaying a significant level of maturity, and she threatens to withhold christmas presents.

 

I caught that, too. She said something to the effect that he would not get anything for Christmas because it's about god or some such. If she only knew the pagan roots of the holiday....

 

Yeah, I'm tempted to think she's a total fucking moron, but sometimes people just can't say anything intelligent when they're dealing with shock and anger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

Are you talking about this one?

 

 

 

That would be the one. She's like the Christmas Nazi. "No present for you!"

 

I think the dad's a zombie. Might want to check him for bite marks.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember seeing a youtube video about a teen coming out to his mother and she railed on him. It was horrible! None of us want to see that happen for any person, yourself included!

 

Are you talking about this one?

 

 

 

That would be the one. She's like the Christmas Nazi. "No present for you!"

 

I think the dad's a zombie. Might want to check him for bite marks.

 

 

 

I'm guessing that after years of having a bitch for a wife, he's sympathetic to his son, but keeps his mouth shut out of fear of his wife's wrath.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ES, how do you think your parents might react? I think this should weigh into the equation. If you think it will cause a huge problem for you to tell them then keep it to yourself. Otherwise, I think you should consider it as it's not completely healthy IMO to have to spend the next 2-3 or more years going through the motions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pappy,

 

I can definitely see how our situations are the same. Thanks for the response, as your response was longer and more serious than any person I've talked to recently. I was also extremely "into" church at a young age. I started smoking when I was 13, not on a regular basis, but about every weekend. (I tell you about the smoking because it was such a big deal. Smoking in my household is like stabbing the family dog.) Around then, I stopped being serious with church. It was a total change. I started doing things I never dreamed I would do. Then, about a month after I turned 14, some "prophet" came up to me and told me I needed to stop doing what I was doing. Then he grabbed me by the tie and told me to praise god. No joke. So I did. I cried, jumped, all that shit. I was serious then until around 15. I was reading the Bible daily. I started asking tons of questions. Everyone just looked at me like the rebellious kid I used to be, so they put it off as me just being rebellious. I was sick of it, so I also went to my pastor. He didn't try to answer my questions. He told me he didn't know the answers. He told me I had to have faith in what I couldn't see and that the Bible isn't supposed to be clear on everything. I just left. That was the end of our conversation. As you said, all I wanted was answers. That's all I still want.

 

I'm just confused, you know? Where do I go from here? If there's no god, then I'm just here. I can do what I want with no eternal consequences. It's an amazing feeling, but scary, none the less.

 

And about the drugs and alcohol, it's not really a way of life, just experimentation. It's like it's listed, just an interest. Not a hobby or anything. Thanks for your concern.

 

Phanta,

 

Sorry I didn't give you an extended response. I've definitely been thinking about how my parents are going to react. I don't know what they'll do, honestly. They'll be calm, but it's going to be extremely straining. They're going to starve themselves in the name of jesus, pray all the time, and basically do everything they can to keep "godly" things around. And yes, they do pressure me. It's almost like they want to hear me say I'm athiest so they know for sure, but at the same time they don't want to hear it. They don't want to accept that their little bundle of joy that used to be so "holier than thou" doesn't believe in any of it anymore.

 

Komadori,

 

I've also been thinking about how I'm going to say it. Saying the right words will be crucial, and I don't want to traumatize them or anything. I've already made an attempt to read the Bible again. I got to Job and it just made me sick. A loving god doesn't allow people to go through stuff like that. Anyway, Thanks for the response.

 

 

Everyone! This has helped me more than you'll know. It's great having a website like this. And sorry if my responses seem choppy, don't make much sense, or are a little of subject. There's a ton of stuff going on in my head. Thanks again all.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also feel like I've said the word responses way to many times, ha.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey empty,

 

I don't know how long you have been around these forums, but these people who advise you to wait are worth listening to. I think it is noteable that they are always encouraging me to come out (I am 33 for cripes sake)....but you are still under Mom and Dad's Thumb.

So I would recommend being vague and ambiguous when you talk to them about it. Realize that if there is no God, then you only have one life.

 

You can be cool later......for now- start planning for the future. Did you know you can do dual enrollment in most high schools? If you as your school counselor, they can help you.

You can graduate High school with college credits. Then you are that much closer to a degree and self-sufficiency. That will be much cooler then crashing on a friends couch with a bong. ( I am inferring this from the conversation here, please excuse me if I am way off base).

 

From the age of 17 to 19 I was into drugs. It wasn't a great way to get a head.

So just invest all of your energy into your future

Practice breathing deeply and steadily when your Mom quotes scripture at you

Hang in there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.