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Needing Some Advice On Coming Out...


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So I'm moving out of my parents house this weekend and in with my boyfriend. He's an atheist and I'm an atheist/pagan hybrid, if you will. With that being said, one of the first things my mom asked me today when we were talking on the phone is if I would be going to church. I told her probably not this Sunday because I would be unpacking and settling in. The pressure! One of the reasons I wanted so badly to move out of state is because I knew my parents would pressure me to still go to church with them. Even as a Christian, I didn't belong there. I'm not one of the pretty, put together, gentle girls that everyone is supposed to be. I'm just not. Have never been. Never will be. Ever. I've tried. Hasn't worked. So naturally, I tried hanging out with them and I've nothing in common with these women. They're just too....girly...they are little princesses to my WOW-loving, Star wars nutty, bellydancing loving, hard metal, etc...me. In addition to that, I don't believe in God any more. I can't. I've struggle for ten years with this. I'm not really ready to come out of the closet with my non-belief. I know what mom, in particular, will say. She'll say I'm a liar and then remind me of all the times God supposedly protected me. Protected me!? Really!? When I was in that car wreck, it was the engineering of the car plus some damned luck that I wasn't injured. Even then I've a bum shoulder now. I dunno. I'm just not ready for this. I suppose I could tell her that I want a break from church and she can't threaten me again with not having a place to live which is what she did last time. This is so hard. I just want to not feel bullied and manipulated by my mom. Dad'll be disappointed but he'll love me just the same. He'll say so. Mom will just attempt to emotionally control me as she always has. I'll also get calls from this NIgerian woman, who while she is a sweetheart will start crying over the phone and telling me that I cannot possibly be happy without God. That's not true. Why can't these people see? I am more free now than I have been at any other time in my life! It is possible to be happy and not have a religious belief. I'm still the sweet, smart, quirky woman that I was before only now my beliefs will be in the open. Any advice....should I just suck it up and sit down and tell them? I'm frightened and scared. They are ministers at the church and both want to go to school to get some certificate or something for ministry and get ordained. I feel fucking trapped. I just want out.

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They can't see because they don't wish to. Boxes are comfortable. We as non-believers have a different box, however, we are generally more willing to peek out the top or punch a hole in the wall.

 

Be firm and kind. Be loving and strong. Answer questions and try to remain non-confrontational. Your mother will try everything she can. Remember you made this decision. It is yours. She cannot take that away from you.

 

Mom may never accept it. That is her choice. Which simply means you will at some point have a different choice to make regarding your relationship with her.

 

All kids leave the nest eventually. Some parents handle better then others. She may take it personally as you are moving out and rejecting the religion of her in quick succession. Be prepared for that.

 

The best advise though is be true to you.

 

 

EDIT: Why did I suddenly felling like Polonius there.

 

 

This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

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I'm not one of the pretty, put together, gentle girls that everyone is supposed to be.

 

No such thing exists. It's a myth. Don't feel bad for not living up to somebody else's unrealistic myth. The people who set the standard are the ones with the problem.

 

I'll also get calls from this NIgerian woman, who while she is a sweetheart will start crying over the phone and telling me that I cannot possibly be happy without God.

 

You happen to know a woman from Nigeria or is this part of a scam? If a stranger is calling you watch out.

 

 

Why can't these people see? I am more free now than I have been at any other time in my life! It is possible to be happy and not have a religious belief. I'm still the sweet, smart, quirky woman that I was before only now my beliefs will be in the open. Any advice....should I just suck it up and sit down and tell them? I'm frightened and scared. They are ministers at the church and both want to go to school to get some certificate or something for ministry and get ordained. I feel fucking trapped. I just want out.

 

Well it's your life so you have to live with the consequences. Try to decide which would be worse for you and pick the other path. If you do decide to tell them be sure to emphasize that you have not believed for a long time. If they are like the Christians I know they will blame recent events like your boy friend or your moving away from home. My mother isn't long for this world so I'm just going to wait for her to pass. I might have to wait a decade or two but I'm good. You might be better off living as yourself.

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I'll also get calls from this NIgerian woman, who while she is a sweetheart will start crying over the phone and telling me that I cannot possibly be happy without God.

 

You happen to know a woman from Nigeria or is this part of a scam? If a stranger is calling you watch out.

 

 

The woman attends church and has prayed for me several times. Last time I moved out she called me and said the same things. I'll be expecting it this time. I tutored her in English to help her prepare for her GED.

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"Hey gang, remember that god fellow I used to believe in..................?"

 

Tell them the truth. You've been examining your religious beliefs for a while now and need some time away from church to sort it all out. .

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I'll also get calls from this NIgerian woman, who while she is a sweetheart will start crying over the phone and telling me that I cannot possibly be happy without God.

 

You happen to know a woman from Nigeria or is this part of a scam? If a stranger is calling you watch out.

 

 

The woman attends church and has prayed for me several times. Last time I moved out she called me and said the same things. I'll be expecting it this time. I tutored her in English to help her prepare for her GED.

 

Oh okay. Yeah I have Christians say the same kind of crap to me. The one that gets me right now is that you have to have both partners be Christian or else your marriage won't work. Who the #*@& do these people think they are telling me what my marriage can or can't be? And there are tons of them repeating the same lie. They don't care if it's true. They say it because they personally need for it to be true. When they bug you try to remember these people are delusional. That is why they can't understand.

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Some people like to come out a little at a time, like the way Bill Clinton did about Monica Lewinsky. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

You could tell them you haven't decided about church attendance yet. If they press, tell them you are not sure what you believe yet. If push comes to shove, let them know that nagging inclines you in the direction they fear most. If there's going to be a bad guy, make them be the bad guy.

 

Or you could just yank the tooth out all at once. But I was the kid who always kept the loose tooth a secret until it was ready to come out. The pliers were just too painful.

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Zephie, I just think you are great, and smart and you are going to be fine. The best advice I can give you is to continue to be confident in your decisions and remain calm, even when mom pushes your buttons. You dont have to react to everything she says or defend youself. You don't have to offer up any information that you aren't ready to give yet. But if your mom asks if you are going to church, you can tell her you've made a decision to stop going. That you feel good about this decision and that as an adult you would appreciate it if she could respect your choices. You need to create a boundary with your mom and let her know how anf when her words hurt you & how they affect you, and let her know that if she can't respect your boundaries then the relationship she has with you will be more limited in the future.

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If it was me, I'd tell her I'd be having pre marital sex every night, that I'm gonna befriend a drag queen, a satanist, a mexican tattoo artist, and a midget, and you're all gonna go out as often as you can to party and get completely fucked up on alcohol and drugs. Maybe burn a church or two, and that you'll be learning a new spell that'll allow you to eat souls and send them to hell.

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I would calculate what coming out would do to your career.

 

Are there any people who knows someone who knows someone who would dash your career/employment plans anywhere, anytime?

 

As for dealing with your parents, by moving out you now have the upper hand. Your pain is only going to be as severe as the amount of information about your life you let them have. Just don't offer any information about your intentions regarding religion and if it's asked just brush it off and go onto something else.

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Z, I think the thing you need to do is sit down and think about whether you can continue on the way you have been. Can you continue being silent? Can you continue pretending? If not, then you have your answer, and it's time to come out.

 

When I first moved in with my fiancee, it was really difficult for me to tell members of my family like my grandfather. But I was serious about him, and I did not want to lie about the status of our relationship like I had done in the past. He simply meant too much to me. I was really worried about what my grandfather would say; I know it wasn't what he wanted to hear, but he managed to get over it.

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As I am waiting until I move out as well, I don't have a whole lot of advice to give you. I will say that you could do what I plan to do and write a letter. It may be a coward's way out, but I'm really bad at handling confrontation.

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I agree with Conure. Don't talk to them about it on the phone or in person. Write them an e-mail or letter and keep it that way. Put the Nigerian lady's number on screen and don't answer it.

 

And when you see your mom trying to play her manipulative games, call her out on it. Tell her that it's not going to work anymore.

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You're going to be fine. Practice before you drop the big deuce, and practice your boundary-setting afterward. Don't talk about it until you are fully moved out and have ALL your stuff out, since we already know they're manipulative enough to take hostages. After that, no reason to hold back, especially if they're getting pushy.

 

You are an adult. Nobody can treat you poorly unless you let them. But assertiveness takes practice. Get ready to get a call screen app, or even change your phone number. Get used to saying "that isn't a topic I'm willing to discuss," and always follow through on hanging up, walking away, etc. Never let them take you to dinner unless you have your own way home. Don't visit them at home without setting ground rules and getting their agreement, or make it clear you won't visit at all. A lot of Christians are boundary-seeking missiles and will quickly learn those rules. Many just won't. Practice, practice, practice what to say when they start in on you. RP with your BF if he's willing.

 

Astute readers will notice chilling similarities between these suggestions and those offered to the families of drug addicts. Well, your folks are addicts too, and by threatening to throw you out of their house for doubting their religion, they've made it crystal-clear that they've chosen the religion over you for now at least. So you must protect yourself. Don't be starry-eyed now; better to prepare and not need it than to blindly hope your folks will be totally cool and then be blindsided. Good luck sweetie. Good luck. And yay!

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If you want to avoid the issue for a while longer, you may be able to tell them that you will be checking out the churches near to where you will be living.

 

I am amazed that they haven't hit the roof over your decision to live with your boyfriend, btw.

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@Ro-bear...I'm kinda coming out slowly...hopefully me moving in with my boyfriend is a big sign that I'm not a believer anymore

 

@DeanMen I've thought about that. If mom starts her manipulation game then it'll hurt like hell but I will let her know that it's not in her hands anymore.

 

@Burnedout Yep. I'm an adult. It's waaaay past time for me to move out on my own. Sucky economy or not. I've got to learn to stand on my own two feet. They've accepted the fact that I'm moving in with my boyfriend. They don't like it but they've accepted it.

 

@Xerces When I was on my way out of the church but still considered myself a Christian, I made a great friend with a satanist, got a tattoo, had a gay bestie (he lives in another city), was good friends with a lesbian wiccan, and I'm sure we can add more to that list ;)

 

@Sybaris I don't think coming out will affect any future plans. I was going to be a teacher but after taking exams realized that I am probably the worst person to do that. I'm working on becoming a librarian....or paralegal. Whichever.

 

@Blackpudd1n It is getting more and more difficult. One of the reasons my boyfriend suggested that I move in with him is because he saw how frustrated I was getting with living with my parents. If push comes to shove and if they out right ask then I will tell them. Gently but I will tell them.

 

@ConureDelSol I was thinking the same about writing a letter but then I would have to talk to them just the same. It sucks being in the closet about beliefs as they are a part of who you are.

 

@Kurari I concur. I have that lady's number so I can put it on my phone or block it through my phone company. Also calling my mom on her manipulative games is correct. It'll set some boundaries for sure.

 

@Akheia I've been told I'm adult several times. It's hard to forget the verse that says to honor my mother and father. I've literally had it pounded into my head for over 20 years. Everything I did until recently I did to honor them. Everything. Not that I didn't fail at time but I did it for them. It is time to do things for myself. I have to take care of myself. Dad felt I was moving out because of him. I told him no that was not the case. I am moving out because of the stress at home but it is not his fault. I will have to set boundaries with my mom though. She is used to me being beat down and downright submissive. She will mistake this confidence for arrogance. She did that with dad. So yeah, it won't be easy but I'll stand up for myself and let her know that while I love her, I will not be treated disrespectfully.

 

@Blue elephant I've thought about telling them that. They know I've not been happy at Hosanna for a while. So if I check out churches and just never make it in time then hopefully they will get the message. Probably a cowardly way instead of telling them but I do hate conflict. Surprisingly, they didn't hit the roof over me moving in with my boyfriend. I am pretty shocked as well.

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Totally hearing you on FM and agreeing, Zephie. I think practice is really going to help. I had to do it myself when dealing with my stalking Evil Ex--I said rote phrases over and over again till they were ingrained in me, and I tried to use forethought when considering situations that might bring us together: until I was physically gone, I did not ever see him without authority figures present, and afterwards, if he got out of hand on the phone, I learned to hang up and leave the phone off-hook. I practiced saying the sentences to him that I knew I'd need, and when the time came to use them, I was ready. I'm suddenly reminded of how my dad taught me to shoot a gun! ;) In this situation I'd suggest:

 

"Mom, I know you love me very much, so I know you'll want to know that this isn't a topic that I want to discuss with you. Can we talk about (subject) instead, please?"

 

"Mom, I know your religion is very important to you, but it isn't something I want to discuss. I'd rather talk about (subject). Is that okay?"

 

"Mom, I'd asked you to please refrain from talking about religion, and you don't seem like you're able to right now. As much as I want to see you, I'm just going to have to go until you can talk to me without making me feel so uncomfortable. I'm glad to give you a little time to compose yourself. If I call on Tuesday, will you be able to talk to me without talking about religion? Ah, sorry then, tell you what, why don't you call me when you're able to do that?"

 

 

I can't imagine most parents will give up their entire relationship with their child over religion; once you set the ground rules, and you hold the cards (your presence), they'll likely come around to being nice. Note that it's best to avoid the word "but," and when using bad-dog, make sure you end with a buy-in question like "Is that okay?" If she agrees, you can use that against her later if necessary: "You said you could do this, remember? Why did that change?"

 

I don't need to add that sometimes bad-dog means that you'll remove your presence for a while--this, too, is part of the parent-training process. It may hurt a bit in the short run, but it shows you will follow through in the long run, and sometimes older family members who are set in their ways need to see that.

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But if your mom asks if you are going to church, you can tell her you've made a decision to stop going. That you feel good about this decision and that as an adult you would appreciate it if she could respect your choices. You need to create a boundary with your mom and let her know how anf when her words hurt you & how they affect you, and let her know that if she can't respect your boundaries then the relationship she has with you will be more limited in the future.

 

What she said is really good. Another possible plan of action, or perhaps inaction would be a better word, if to tell her that you're looking but haven't found one you like yet. Basically, you'd be buying some time as you get your courage built up.

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I made the move this past Saturday. So far so good. I'm really excited as is my BF. We're going to be working on the house one room at a time (his house). I am going to tell my mom that I want a break from church and if she goes into more discussion then I can elaborate. I love my parents dearly but I cannot in good conscience follow their beliefs anymore. Being a good person, doing good things, caring for people, loving others, forgiving, mercy, etc, etc, etc are all great things but I don't need a god to tell me how to do that. Mom asked me if I was going to church on Sunday and I said no that I needed to unpack. She's told me not to stay away from church but I have the feeling that she's about to ask me via text message right now (9:45 am CST in the U.S.A.) if I am going to go to church on Sunday. If she does I will need to talk to her and explain to her that I want and need a break from church. If she calls me a liar and otherwise uses insulting or abusive language with me then I will tell her that I love her very much and I love dad very much but after reading the Bible I came to the conclusion that I cannot in good conscience worship their God. This decision doesn't change who I am. It just means that I will not be worshipping with them anymore. I'm still their daughter. I still want a relationship with them. I am not going to suddenly become antagonistic or anything. If mom starts throwing the car wreck or dad's accident in my face then I will stop the conversion right there. She will have to learn to talk to me without manipulating me like that.

 

Yeah it is kind of miraculous that I survived that car wreck and no one else was injured. However, I have a shoulder injury that grows worse. My car was a good quality car and if I were in the same wreck with the car I have now I would have been badly injured. It has to do with the quality of the car. As for dad's accident, if his hand grows back without any medical assistance including transplants or stem cell growth then I will put my testimony in the Lion's Den and go back to church. I will repent of every single sin that I have ever committed, sell all I own, and live the rest of my life converting people to God. However, since God is not known for healing people specifically amputees then I doubt that will happen. So that's the conversation I am anticipating.

 

Btw, it's now 9:51 CST in the U.S.A. and no more texts from mom.

 

Yet....

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Sounds like you have a good plan. Makes me feel bad because, I haven't come out yet and I live over 4000 miles from home.

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Sounds like you have a good plan. Makes me feel bad because, I haven't come out yet and I live over 4000 miles from home.

 

I would rather not come out at all to be honest. I just don't like having to lie to my parents especially since we've been going to the same church. They are very involved there and most people have no clue how I've been feeling. The pressure is just getting to be ridiculous at this point.

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@ConureDelSol I was thinking the same about writing a letter but then I would have to talk to them just the same. It sucks being in the closet about beliefs as they are a part of who you are.

 

 

Yes, you will still have to talk to them after the fact. However, it can be on your schedule. You can refuse to talk to them until they have had time to think about the situation and maybe have had time to cool down. That way, you can keep your distance for the initial bombshell and then talk about it with them when you're ready. I plan to write in my letter that if my parents call me or email me, I won't answer until AT LEAST a week has passed. I want them to blow off their steam first, then talk to me.

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Sounds like you have a good plan. Makes me feel bad because, I haven't come out yet and I live over 4000 miles from home.

 

I would rather not come out at all to be honest. I just don't like having to lie to my parents especially since we've been going to the same church. They are very involved there and most people have no clue how I've been feeling. The pressure is just getting to be ridiculous at this point.

But at least then you'd no longer have to play along. I guess I don't really feel the need to come out because I haven't been to church in well over a year.
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@ConureDelSol I was thinking the same about writing a letter but then I would have to talk to them just the same. It sucks being in the closet about beliefs as they are a part of who you are.

 

 

Yes, you will still have to talk to them after the fact. However, it can be on your schedule. You can refuse to talk to them until they have had time to think about the situation and maybe have had time to cool down. That way, you can keep your distance for the initial bombshell and then talk about it with them when you're ready. I plan to write in my letter that if my parents call me or email me, I won't answer until AT LEAST a week has passed. I want them to blow off their steam first, then talk to me.

 

Honestly, I think I'll probably end up telling my mom if she keeps pushing for me to go to church with her and dad. The worst she can do at this point is to threaten to not pay may car insurance. I need to be paying that damn bill myself anyhow. I pay all of my others.

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