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My Cursed Life


Dra_Mucd_Uha
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BeginRant();

 

I'm writing this to get a few things out of my system. I can't write this just anywhere, so I decided to post it here not only for privacy's sake (from "them") but also because I am sure there are people here who can help me. If you can give me some advice, that would be great. If you skim over the whole thing concluding I'm just another teenager with raging hormones, I wouldn't blame you. It's up to you.

 

First of all, discrimination sucks. Most Christians I have come across see Atheists as evil people who have "turned away from God and his love." They then claim that we have seen The Truth, but we are ignorant and ignore it in favor of our own "evil desires." This really pisses me off. They look at me and curse me and who I am only because I don't agree with them. Not only that, but they then look down on me for my lifestyle. Hell, I'm better than most Christians! Normally, I don't even cuss, but thanks to them and they way they treat me I really don't give a shit right now. I live my life with good morals. I truly enjoy living a good life. But when some fundy gets in the way and says I'm living my life wrong when chances are I'm living a more moral life than them, I get pissed. And what can we do against discrimination? There really is nothing we can do about it. When it comes to discrimination, we're screwed. They hate us, no matter what we do. They look down on us like the untouchables in the Hindu caste system, and there's nothing we can do about it.

 

I am 16 and I live with my parents. Right now they don't know I am an Atheist. Or they may. For all I know, my father is tracking what I type. He could be reading this right now. Don't get me wrong, I love my father, I really do. I've always looked up to him. And I would love to tell him I am an Atheist, but I know what will happen. I've been there. It would be just like the time I told my mom and stepfather I was going to live with my dad, and I personally don't think I could take that kind of emotional stress again, especially since this is on a bigger level than a divorce decision. I want to tell him, I would like to hope he would understand. But I can say I am honestly afraid to how he will react, as well as everyone else. I am not keeping it to myself because I have become some teen "you-don't-understand-me" punk. I just don't want to hurt him, or anyone else. If I could, I would go on forever acting Christian to make my family happy. I know one day I won't be able to. To be honest, I almost hope my dad is reading this just so I won't have to confront him myself. How cowardly is that? I don't care though. I'm not going through that emotional shit again. I did it once, that was enough for me.

 

I also worry about my relationship with my girlfriend. This is really a petty matter in comparison to some of you who have lost wives. It's just a High School thing, right? It does matter to me though. I love being with this girl, even though she is Christian. She and I disagree on quite a few things... and there have been times I have considered breaking up with her, but I keep going in hopes the relationship will get better, and it usually does. I don't want to lose her, but having this gap in our relationship is realing hurting us, and something needs to be done. I've even considered trying to "de-convert" her myself, but I wouldn't want to cause her the pain of de-conversion. I guess, in a sense, I feel a lot like Neo right after he got out of the Matrix. I know the truth - but I don't like it. I'd rather live in ignorance than know the truth. I want to go back, but I can't.

 

I guess discrimination is my biggest issue. I get if from every Christian I know, including those close to me, and it really has caused gaps in relationships. Some past friends (the few who know) don't even talk to me anymore. Some still do, but it's about my disbelief most of the time. There have been times in the past when I have felt alone, but now my loneliness is at it's peak. I can't talk to anyone at home about it like I usually do with my bigger problems because they are all Christians and would just tell me to go back to God - after lecturing me about being evil and leaving God. The sad thing is I have noticed I am beginning to let society's expectations get to me. They say all Atheists are evil, dark people who don't care about anything. I've began conforming to that because I feel I am supposed to. I have felt more anger towards people. I have become careless of other people's needs. Christians call this change "Satan," but I call it peer pressure. It's like discrimination - it sucks.

 

EndRant();

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DMU...

 

I've typed half a dozen respones so far and killed them all.

 

Gonna have to cogitate on this set of complex issues and try to make a response that isn't pure insurrection and reprobation..

 

kL

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Wow. Well.. I didn't just skim, I read every word. Not really sure what to say, either. Hopefully someone will.

 

Yep, people suck.. no matter your age, no matter your situation, no matter what you think of the other people in your life... they'll go and do or say something that will just floor you, be totally unlike what you imagined, and whatever your position - the total opposite.

 

Seems like the natural responses to whatever is said is the opposite. I don't get it either.

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I've been searching for a decent response for awhile. Trust me, your post did not go unread!

 

Unfortunately, once we're outside of a particular group, the people who were our biggest cheerleaders often seem to forget about us. Too many people have a lemming-like mentality and would rather follow a leader, even a lousy one, than striking out on their own. And they like to ostracize those who think differently than themselves.

 

I look at it this way, DMU. What you do or don't believe is your business. No one has to know, no one is entitled to treat you any differently because of it and no one has a right to force their beliefs on you. You have no reason to be ashamed of your unbelief!

 

If your family, friends and girlfriend truly care for you as you are (rather than what they want you to be), then they will accept the knowledge that you are an Atheist should you choose to impart it. If they cannot handle the knowledge, then it's their personal issues that are the problem and not yours. You are not responsible for their thoughts, feelings, words and actions -- and don't let them tell you any differently!

 

Some may be shocked at first and need a cooling period to come to terms with it. Some may shrug and say they knew it all along. And, of course, you know that there are some who will never understand and see it merely as a "phase" you're going through. Or that you've "fallen away".

 

Perhaps, though, things will not go as badly as you expect. Whenever you feel ready to tell someone in your life, do it in a way that presents you as a reasonable young adult who has carefully weighed the pros and cons of Atheism before taking up the "no gods, no masters" banner. Do not speak like a child who has "rebelled" using Atheism as a tool for such so-called rebellion, even if some of their reactions make you feel defensive. Swallow your pride and keep calm no matter what happens, and you'll be the better man for it.

 

I have nothing more to say at the moment, but I wish you all the luck.

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Eternal Darkness has some good advice. Don't be ashamed of being an atheist. No one has the right to force their beliefs on you. You are not responsible for the thougths, feelings, words, and actions of others towards your atheism. Don't act out of rebellion, but out of calm decision.

 

It's tough because you are a minor; you may have to grit your teeth and bear with it over the next couple of years if you decide to come clean and tell them. Do you think you can hold out telling until you are on your own, even if it possibly may mean your girlfriend breaks up with you? If she's a Christian (especially of the more evangelical type) it may not work out between you two anyway. And it's really no one's business anyway what you believe or don't believe in, but that's kind of a touchy subject when you live under your parents roof and are dependent on them. You talk of past friendships breaking up because of your atheism; have you made new friends that are more sympathetic to your viewpoint? You need a support system! Some flesh and blood ones, not just your cyber-pals at ExChristian (although we'll always be here for ya). :)

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DMU...

 

I've typed half a dozen respones so far and killed them all.

 

Gonna have to cogitate on this set of complex issues and try to make a response that isn't pure insurrection and reprobation..

 

kL

Lol, thanks.

 

Wow. Well.. I didn't just skim, I read every word. Not really sure what to say, either. Hopefully someone will.

 

Yep, people suck.. no matter your age, no matter your situation, no matter what you think of the other people in your life... they'll go and do or say something that will just floor you, be totally unlike what you imagined, and whatever your position - the total opposite.

 

Seems like the natural responses to whatever is said is the opposite. I don't get it either.

Yeah. People can suck sometimes. But I won't let you catch me discriminating - I have met some fairly decent Christians. But only a few. The majority of them are quite offensive to Atheists.

 

I've been searching for a decent response for awhile. Trust me, your post did not go unread!

 

Unfortunately, once we're outside of a particular group, the people who were our biggest cheerleaders often seem to forget about us. Too many people have a lemming-like mentality and would rather follow a leader, even a lousy one, than striking out on their own. And they like to ostracize those who think differently than themselves.

 

I look at it this way, DMU. What you do or don't believe is your business. No one has to know, no one is entitled to treat you any differently because of it and no one has a right to force their beliefs on you. You have no reason to be ashamed of your unbelief!

 

If your family, friends and girlfriend truly care for you as you are (rather than what they want you to be), then they will accept the knowledge that you are an Atheist should you choose to impart it. If they cannot handle the knowledge, then it's their personal issues that are the problem and not yours. You are not responsible for their thoughts, feelings, words and actions -- and don't let them tell you any differently!

 

Some may be shocked at first and need a cooling period to come to terms with it. Some may shrug and say they knew it all along. And, of course, you know that there are some who will never understand and see it merely as a "phase" you're going through. Or that you've "fallen away".

 

Perhaps, though, things will not go as badly as you expect. Whenever you feel ready to tell someone in your life, do it in a way that presents you as a reasonable young adult who has carefully weighed the pros and cons of Atheism before taking up the "no gods, no masters" banner. Do not speak like a child who has "rebelled" using Atheism as a tool for such so-called rebellion, even if some of their reactions make you feel defensive. Swallow your pride and keep calm no matter what happens, and you'll be the better man for it.

 

I have nothing more to say at the moment, but I wish you all the luck.

I was going to put the sentences in blue I really liked, but by the time I was done I pretty much had the whole thing in blue text. Thanks, there was quite a bit of helpful advice here. You said I am not responsible for the feelings or actions of others - that's one thing I am bad about forgetting. Sometimes I do feel responsible, and I have to remind myself I'm not. I guess the emotional end of it all can be overwhelming sometimes. Just today my stepmother asked me if I am still Christian. Apparently one of my Christian "friends" had ran off and told my step-sister I'm an Atheist, who then told my stepmother. I acted surprised someone said such a thing and declined my Atheism. I then said that I may have some "up's and down's" in my Christian faith, but that's it. It seemed good enough for her, she didn't ask me about it anymore after that.

 

I really don't like lying to my parents, that's another thing I usually don't do. But I know my stepmother. (1) She's too damn emotional. She would probably make a big deal about me being an Atheist. I would never hear the end of it. (2) She and I have a bad history, so I probably wouldn't tell her even if she was a calm, collected person. Long story short: My parents' divorce has always been a mess, and my stepmother has been right in the middle of it. She even had the nerve to tell me my mom abandoned me as a child, among other things, and I was about 10 - 12 when she told me. I admit, I never have had to go through much physical abuse as a child, but there's been plenty of emotions thrown back and forth.

 

That's a big goal if mine if it ever comes down to it - representing myself as a young man who has a solid foundation for not believing in Christianity and not as another rebellious teenager. My biggest issues with Christianity lie mainly in God - how he is inactive in the world, how he created the world with so much evil in it, how he sends people to hell for not following him, etc... These things show the improbabilty God exists, as well as his contradictory character. Hopefully, when the time comes, I will be able to get my points across clearly and in a way that is respectable and not looked down on as rebellion. I'm still doing research to improve my defense.

 

Eternal Darkness has some good advice. Don't be ashamed of being an atheist. No one has the right to force their beliefs on you. You are not responsible for the thougths, feelings, words, and actions of others towards your atheism. Don't act out of rebellion, but out of calm decision.

 

It's tough because you are a minor; you may have to grit your teeth and bear with it over the next couple of years if you decide to come clean and tell them. Do you think you can hold out telling until you are on your own, even if it possibly may mean your girlfriend breaks up with you? If she's a Christian (especially of the more evangelical type) it may not work out between you two anyway. And it's really no one's business anyway what you believe or don't believe in, but that's kind of a touchy subject when you live under your parents roof and are dependent on them. You talk of past friendships breaking up because of your atheism; have you made new friends that are more sympathetic to your viewpoint? You need a support system! Some flesh and blood ones, not just your cyber-pals at ExChristian (although we'll always be here for ya). :)

Thanks. I do know of only 3 non-believers at my school (2 Agnostics, 1 Atheist - also, keep in mind we have a small school. My class has about 100 people in it). The two agnostics are with me in a UIL activity, so I will hopefuly be able to get to know them better.

 

I'm not sure if I can hold out or not. One way or another, my parents will probably find out. Maybe it's just my pride, but I never have been one to not stand up for what I believe in (or disbelieve in). I find it difficult to hide my Atheism. I would much rather present my case to every Christian I come across. But, of course, I know this is foolish and is probably just the result of my emotional pride, or maybe it is that teenage rebellion I loathe so much. But regardless, I think I can make it. Maybe. It's one of those things I have to play by ear. I'm not sure if I want to tell them or not. I think I'll do what EternalDarkness said and just tell them when I'm ready, whenever that is.

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I think I'll let the people who have experienced persecution reply. Can't weigh in on this issue.

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Well dra,

 

It's hard to say what you should do about your family. Living a lie is awful. But ever since I've let the cat out of the bag, I'm amazed at how much better I feel. As an above poster mentioned, you only have 2 years until you are on your own. And if you decide to wait, you won't have to put up with the harrassment that may follow. You're parents may very likely force you to go to church and christian events designed for teenagers. When I was young my mother was going to "force" me , against my will, to get baptized until another adult talked her out of it.

 

I don't know the level of devotion your girlfriend has for Christianity. But speaking from years of experience, it seems to me this thing between you and your Christian girlfriend won't work. Even if you told her the truth and she stayed with you, she will more than likely "missionary date" you. Using herself as "bait" to get you to come back to Jesus. I know that I got more than one boyfriend to "pretend" he was Christian when I was a fundy, teenage girl. Ironically, they always "backslid" once I dumped them. lol. You could possibly deconvert her. But if you don't, a relationship is impossible. Think of the battles that would follow as you fought about how to raise your kids. As atheists? You think she would allow that? You're unbelief and her belief would create too large a void between you. You would disagree on everything. From politics.....to music....to child-rearing.....to what marriage is and how is should work.... Of course your only 16 and marriage may be the last thing on your marriage. But I assume you probably want to get married someday, and this girl is a waste of your time. Not to say that you couldn't stay friends.

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DMU, I haven't experienced persection myself, since I deconverted

as an adult, after I had already left the Babble Belt, so I can't offer

you a lot of advice. However, from reading your posts, I think you'll

probably be heading off to college soon, so you'll have an opportunity

then to move off to a less gawd-drunk part of the world. It seems to

me that you should be devoting your energies towards that end, rather

than trying to de-convert all of your christian friends, which (as you

have seen) is usually a fruitless exercise. Anyway, it's something to

think about....

 

Good luck! ;)

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Hi. I can't say I know the ins and outs of your situation, but I'll try to give my best advice.

 

Look, people are going to think what they think and you can't change that. You can't control whether an idiot calls you immoral or anything else. However, keep in mind that people like that are just fools, and their words should rightly be regarded as foolish. Don't think that it really affects you or what you know, because it really doesn't. Sure it sucks if a lot of people around you are ignorant, but don't let it get you down because those mindsets are not worth dwelling upon. Who cares if someone thinks you are "of the devil"? That is their mistake and not yours. Let them drown in their insipid delusion, let them wallow in the deepest mental lunacy; you are not tied to them.

 

To me, the biggest thing is that your conclusions on the world do not define you. People see others as individuals, not necessarily as "atheist" or "pagan" or otherwise. I do think that our religious beliefs (or lack thereof) are things that are very close to us, but in the realm of social interaction, they don't have any significant influence. That's just my opinion, and I could be wrong when it comes to the conditions you face.

 

Because of what I typed above, I really think you should try your best to keep your relationship with your girlfriend going. As a fellow teenager (I'm 17, by the way), having someone you enjoy and care about isn't an average thing at all. As long as both of you like each other religious convictions shouldn't come into the equation. As long as she respects you for who you are, I see nothing but positives there regardless of differences in worldview. I'm an "idolater" and I would have no problem going out with a Muslim girl (which isn't totally hypothetical). Actually, one of my friends in school is a Muslim, and we get along perfectly even though he knows I'm a Hindu.

 

On your family, I don't know how your family is, so it's hard for me to say anything at all. Maybe you could try voicing concerns about the Christian religion instead of sitting them down and giving it to them point-blank. However, I have to say that I have no idea, but I wish you the best in this. Just know that tons of people have gone through it, so you're definitely not alone.

 

Find what's most important to you. In my opinion, other people's labels and ignorant views have nothing to do with that. Good luck.

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I have been voicing my concerns with Christianity, like Julian advised. I've actually been doing it for quite a while. I haven't really gotten very "deep" with them, not as much as I would have liked to, but I have talked to my family about it some. They don't mind me questioning, they actually consider it a good thing.

 

I have also been doing what Gnosis advised: focusing primarily on my life and my future. I am big into computers and writing - and I'm currently working on a novel as well as studying to take the A+ Test so I can get a good job at a local computer store. I would much prefer to have a good-paying job at a computer store than a not-as-good paying job sacking groceries, not to say sacking groceries is a bad thing. I would just prefer the job at the computer store, and that's what I'm working towards (and to think I had given up on computers as a Xian because I wanted to go into ministry...).

 

Regarding my girlfriend - it's tough. In the long run, I agree with Variable, I'm wasting my time. This is probably not someone who I would end up marrying due to all the issues involved between our differing beliefs. But then again, going with what Julian said, this is just High School, and it's a small one at that. I doubt I will marry someone locally. I'll probably meet whoever I will marry in college. But marriage is a different thing altogether. Like I said, this is still just High School. But then again I always said I wouldn't date someone I wouldn't marry. I'm not sure. I may have to play this one by ear and just see what happens.

 

Arg... I have a bad problem with letting the feelings of others get to me. Like I said in my first post, peer pressure sucks. But I can overcome it. I just need to remember the other replies here, because they are very true - I'm not responsible for the feelings or actions of others. And if someone thinks I'm the Antichrist, so be it. I shouldn't worry about it. It's important, I think, to realize not everyone hates me, and that I'm not alone. I'm definitely not the only one who has gone through this, and my situation is one of the easier ones in comparison to the others. I've always been more of an internal person, this is one of the few times I have asked for advice. It is good to know I'm not alone, and others are out there willing to help. :)

 

Yeah, thanks again for all the replies. And for letting me rant. It's helped put a few things back into perspective. Now let's see if I can just keep them there...

 

And welcome to the boards, Julian :) It's good to see another who is close to my age. I hope you enjoy your stay.

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