Rejection from family after coming out as an atheist?

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Discussion by: erinhas

Does anyone want to share any experiences with family not able or willing to accept you once they find out you are atheist? How did it turn out? I've been an atheist for many years, but in the last few months my (catholic) family has started to realize this. Some of them are having a hard time dealing with it. I feel like I'm being excommunicated in a way, as well as ganged up on from multiple members of the family. I'm considering cutting them out of my life, including my mother, because of their hurtful ways, or at least giving up on trying to maintain a relationship, as they don't seem to care too much about keeping one with me. This week I was dealt some devastating news and I have already been going through a major struggle over the last year as it is. I called my mother, looking for empathy or wise words or someone to say it would be ok – but instead it was almost as if she was happy that my life was crashing down on me, as if it was some sort of affirmation that god exists in her twisted logic – like i'm being punished by god for not believing. It really just broke my heart that she would get joy out of my pain. I am really trying to be understanding but I don't think I can understand that. I know it could be worse, but it still hurts.

43 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, so sorry to hear of the treatment you are receiving! So much for “loving thy neighbor” and “They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love!” I despise the hypocrisy of those who claim to be consuming, actually ingesting, the blood and body of a god/holy ghost… One would think that if a god was inside of you, or now making up part of your cells, that you might actually behave in a new and wondrous way, but no…they all behave just as before. And, they suffer just as before. If believing was truly rewarded and not believing opened a person up to the wrath of god, why then do so many believers, even the most pious, get all the same diseases, have the same struggles as all of us nonbelievers? If there’s truly someone in control, pulling the strings, he’s doing a really lousy job.

    When I came out, my own family, especially the Catholic members, were the rudest jerks I’ve about ever encountered, and I happily consider myself severed from several of them. They showed me just the exact opposite of what they claim to believe in.

    However, the people who truly love me have come back around and now are basically like they were before the news. I do, however, have a repeated round circle I travel with someone close to me as every so often she feels reinvigorated to try and convert me, but I have become extremely proficient at topic switching. I’m so smooth at it now that she doesn’t even notice I’m doing it! I gave up trying to explain why I don’t believe as she becomes emotional and enraged, screaming at me, including telling me I’m stupid, or declaring, “I didn’t come from no monkey!” If you are able, I advise trying to keep your own emotions out of the picture. Step back and see the bigger picture and just how truly sad the situation is and what religion has done to good people — it truly closes minds, creates bigots, and is again opposite of their claims that it provides “truth.”

    In essence, what I’ve learned is with some I excommunicated them from my life as they were too miserable and hostile. With others, they told me straight away that they don’t care what I believe–they just love me, so we’re cool. They don’t try to convert me, and I don’t bring up my worldview either. Then one other person, whom I truly love and who is elderly and becomes emotional (the person above), I masterfully change the subject and move into areas that I know this person loves to talk about. It works like a charm! It keeps the peace.

    It sometimes makes me sad, though, that this is the state of relations within my family, but it is the only way I can still have family connections.

    What has been surprising is that a distant cousin, who I didn’t know was a nonbeliever, came out and entirely defended me and clarified things to some of my nasty Catholic relatives who were in full assault (on Facebook at the time). He was so eloquent, thoughtful, knowledgeable, that I am moved to this day. He stayed calm. He provided reasoned explanations. What did they do? They became increasingly emotional and nastier. Their arguments were ridiculous, lacking any evidence or just common sense. My distant cousin is now my hero, and I try to follow his style of staying calm and using reasoned arguments, evidence, and common sense.

    Anyway, not sure any of this will help in your situation, but it’s what has developed during the last three years or so for me. I think you’ll need to develop strategies that work for you and carefully choose when to “battle.” I would seek out like-minded friends and family (if you have any) as that truly helped me, too. Nonbelievers tend to give far better emotional support and more thoughtful guidance through rough patches in life, too. They don’t say, “I’m praying for you.” They give advice that might actually help! You have to re-adapt to whom you lean on and how you navigate life’s challenges and/or great times with family as they now look at you through their narrow-minded, judgmental religious prism, but then they believe an evil force, called the Devil, has corrupted you or that their god is trying to compel you back into the flock, or other nonsense. Maybe, though, you are the first and/or only nonbeliever they’re aware of, and so they’re baffled and horrified. They’ve maybe never really thought through things–never allowed their own minds to critically look at religion–and you just simply being a nonbeliever forces them to uncomfortably step a bit out of their own safety zone. You represent their deep-seated doubts that they probably buried long ago and that they avoid. They all live in a bubble of denial, and the nonbeliever pokes a big stick in that bubble.

    Oh, I also decided that I get to call some shots, too, and if relatives and/or friends are arrogant jerks, I don’t have time for their nonsense in my one and only life. Don’t let anybody mistreat you.

  2. Obviously it’s different with everyone, but for me many people in my immediate family know and are fine with it. I don’t spend anywhere near enough time with the rest of the family for it to be a major issue (I live in NYC and most of my family is either in DC or NC). Like you, I have been an atheist for many years and I’m sure that as that news gets around different people will find it necessary to (divinely, no doubt) intercede on my behalf in some fashion and not accept who I am simply because I was born into a religious family.

    I accepted long ago that some people aren’t going to understand and will not let them destroy my live because of their myopia. I will never stop being their relative, but it doesn’t mean I have to let them try to damage my life in some twisted bid for an imagined salvation.

    Either they accept me or not, it will not change me.

  3. I’ve been consciously atheist since the age of three, and I was likely always atheist. My family are devout, but I expect my brain just doesn’t digest religion. Since I was so young when I made this distinction, I couldn’t sever ties with anyone. I’ve been beaten, had demons cast from me, the works. The best advice I can provide is to have a seat and deliberately decide what you value most. Truth, intellectual integrity, etc? Or filial harmony, acceptance, etc? Engage with that, answer honestly. If you decide your intellectual integrity is tops (and you don’t have to), then in my experience the best course is simply to give no ground. The novelty of targeting you will wear off for most of your family. In the meantime, neither indulge their beliefs nor return vitriol barb for barb. They’ve decided to retain a certain sort of childhood, and that’s their business. Don’t argue with them any more than you would your toddler cousin who insists fairies live in the flowerbed. If you aren’t actively trying to deprive them of what is comfortable you will be less of a threat, and the reaction will simmer down. It’s a bit like offering a bit of food to a nervous animal; you mitigate your perceived threat by holding quite still. This approach will preserve some, but not all, family ties. Not much good, this suggestion, but it got me through a decidedly awkward childhoood.

  4. Hi, sorry to hear of your family’s reaction to your rejection of religion. I wonder if it comes down to the fear people have of what-comes-after-death? Perhaps your non-belief is an unwanted challenge that forces the believers to think about the possibility that there is nothing after death. They don’t want to have to think of this, in the same way a smoker doesn’t want to have to think about lung-cancer.
    Just a thought.
    Sorry I can’t offer a way to fix the situation, but all the best to you.

  5. Hi, sorry to hear of your family’s reaction to your rejection of religion. I wonder if it comes down to the fear people have of what-comes-after-death? Perhaps your non-belief is an unwanted challenge that forces the believers to think about the possibility that there is nothing after death. They don’t want to have to think of this, in the same way a smoker doesn’t want to have to think about lung-cancer.
    Just a thought.
    Sorry I can’t offer a way to fix the situation, but all the best to you.

  6. I have seen this with Jehovah Witnesses. It starts with threats of shunning. When mother shuns daughter it seems so unnatural and so extreme. But the catch is the mother risks shunning if she did not. It is a tool to keep people in the fold long after they have rejected the teachings.

  7. Yes erinhas, it could indeed be worse. You could find yourself bonded with or married to a woman who finds joy in your pain; all the while confusing you with verbal affirmations of her deep love for you.

    Getting off religion or god worship is a lot like abandoning an addiction socially. Your old friends who are still ‘doing it’ come to regard you with suspicion and a sub-conscious envy. I hope you understand that since you are going straight to Hell, they feel awkward associating with you on a loving, supportive level. That might be seen by the pie baker in the sky as aid and comfort to the evil enemy. Frankly, that is what you became; an apostate minion of Satan.

    Cheer up. You are free and that was a wise choice and trade-off you made long ago. Giving up superstition is the easy part compared to ridding ourselves of habits like saying ‘God forbid’, ‘Oh God’ and ‘why do I always have to take out the God damned garbage!?’ Have you hesitated before walking under a ladder lately? Freedom from addiction is a constant battle.

  8. I Just act like I’m a believer.

    I’m in third world country & I need people around me (more than any god).
    (This is the only choice for my survival)

    Who cares what u believe in.
    Just say in chorus “God is Love & Love is god” & distract them from all their argument.

  9. How many parents this Christmas are going to teach their kids the story of Naughty Santa & Blessed Jesus? One being a cute joking lie and the other eternally serious. I still hate my parents for this.

    I revert to the emotion anger when dealing with my god-fearing family. It motivates me.

  10. It really just broke my heart that she would get joy out of my pain. I am really trying to be understanding but I don’t think I can understand that.

    That would be the virus of religion speaking, and acting out. Just imagine she has a fever, and is not thinking straight (or being herself) – that’s one way you can try to understand it.

    Unfortunately, dealing with family can be difficult, irrational, and emotionally draining. Worse when something as irrational and emotionally divisive like religion is directly involved. By admitting to being atheist, it’s possible your Mother sees it as a failure on her part, and so is angry; or, you are rebelling against her and generations of family tradition. Try to explain your position rationally, and that this is not a reflection her.

    And if possible, try to seek support and advice from others that understand your position better, and would not be as judgmental.

    Best of luck.

  11. erinhas,

    Sorry to hear of your struggles. I was brought up in a Catholic family as well, but fortunately, my atheism was accepted with mild surprise. No ostracism, no vitriol. As I read the horror stories many non-believers faced when “coming out” I became worried how my family and friends would now see me. But it really never became an issue. Just good fodder for lively debates. Sure makes those Christmas and Easter dinners a holiday to remember. : )

    Best advice, find a friend or a family member (if possible) to lean on when times are rough.

    Hopefully, things will brighten for you real soon.

  12. I came out as non-religious 1 year ago this month. Rather than having “the talk” with my devout Catholic mom and religious relatives, I shared a short book that was just published outlining my personal time of inquiry, and the inevitable journey from Catholic to spiritual/new age to atheist. It didn’t go well. My mom has since been apologizing to family/friends for failing as a mother. It’s horrible to hear her disappointment.

    I was just journaling a few years ago (very therapeutic), then thought that organizing my exciting process of enlightenment in book form would surely help my family understand (and accept) completely why I could no longer be religious. How naïve I was! The majority continue to look at me with dread for my sad doomed soul. Recently when we learned of a dire cancer diagnosis close to our family, one of my brothers said to me, “I will pray for her, you can cross your fingers.” But, now and then a relative will secretly share pertinent questions and serious doubts, knowing that I’ve done some research on the subject.

    It might seem odd to share something so monumental in this way, but whether it lead to understanding and acceptance from loved ones or not, it left me with a very clear understanding of how the transformation happened, how difficult it really was, that it wasn’t done lightly, and ultimately I’m left with a profound feeling of freedom that I still feel giddy about.

  13. Sorry to hear how tough your new found life is going. I was raised born again christian in catholic Ireland. I can’t really remember how much doubt I had in my early years going to Sunday school but about the age of 10 in primary school one of the other kids said his family was atheist. While the other kids taunted him with “oh, you’re going to go to hell”, for the first time I realised that belief in God wan’t compulsory. From that point on I was an atheist. I told my father that I didn’t believe anymore and didn’t want to go to sunday school, he’s response was “you are just confused” but he left it at that and didn’t make me go to sunday school anymore. I think my father was struggling with the hypocrisy of his other church fellows and stopped going shortly after that anyway. But still believed in god.
    When I started Catholic secondary school (not other option) I opted out of religion class from day one. I just said I wasn’t catholic and they said fine, go to the detention hall during religion classes. Unfortunately the school organised a protestant minister to come to the school and give a class to the non-cathlics. I wasn’t quiet brave enough at 11 to tell my very catholic head master that I was atheist so I went along to the class for the rest of that year. The following year I conveniently forgot about this once a week class and stopped going, nobody ever found out. I admitted to my friends at school that I was an atheist and while they were all catholic at the time they didn’t give me any grief because each one of them was a year or two away from being an atheist themselves.
    when I started university (a university that serviced the mostly rural side of the country) it was like going back to the start of secondary school again. Not a single atheist in my class. All god fearing good catholic country people. However they didn’t give me any grief either and most if not all are now atheists too.

    That probably doesn’t help with your situation but maybe it helps to know that not all religious people are going to judge you.

  14. Hi! I struggled with the same thing 18 years ago as I considered “coming out”! My greatest fear was loss of my family. It took me two years to finally mention that I was not a practicing catholic. Then it took additional years to say that I wasn’t practicing any faith, and honestly, only in the past few years have I said the words, “I don’t believe in god”. What helped me through it all (and I DO still have the same love and support from my family), is that I think about how much I TRULY believed when I was a believer. I remember how important it was to believe in god, and acknowledge my Catholicism. I understand how important their faith is to my family, So I never put atheism in their family’s face, AND, I respect where they are in their life journey of truth. During my own life struggles, when they said, I’ll pray for you, I didn’t reject it, or spit out that I was atheist, I simple accepted their way of demonstrating that they cared. I hope this helps.

  15. Who said a mother must love her son? This whole family thing was made up by religious institutions.
    Think about it, you are living in a house with several people who happen to be related to you in some way but there is no rational or reason behind why you should care for each other.
    The only reason your mother didn’t put you in a basket near an orphan house when you were a baby is because she was delusional by religion that there needs to be some sort of traditional family values. The fool.
    Raising a child doesn’t really benefit you in your life time so why bother?

          • It can go both ways.
            You just explained why his mother hates him, he has fallen too far from the tree genetically wise. Animals reject their offspring for all kind of reasons.
            Only humans feel inclined to care for their offpsring, mostly because of tradition. There are a lot of parents who hate their own children.

            In reply to #23 by Peter Grant:

            In reply to #22 by Mirror:

            What? Does blood has a magic property that make you love people? I don’t get it…

            The “magic” lies in the genetic material it contains.

          • In reply to #24 by Mirror:

            Only humans feel inclined to care for their offpsring, mostly because of tradition. There are a lot of parents who hate their own children.

            How can I say this politely, well I’ll just say it, that is total bullshit. All animals have a huge biological imperative to want to see their children succeed (which of course in biological terms means reproduce). Robert Trivers did some ground breaking research showing that its not quite as cut and dried as people originally thought, there are ways (I’m talking strictly from the standpoint of biology here and all organisms not about the psychological issues with humans) where you can view the parent-child relation as from some aspects a competition as well but for the most part there is no stronger biological drive than wanting to see your children have lots of children and hence propagate your genes.

          • They do, in case their offspring meet their “expectation”.
            Why dogs eat their new born pups if they are a bit sick or weak?
            Why animals rejecting their offsprings?
            I am saying there is a bond between a parent and offspring but only if the parent “like” their osspring. It’s not a 100% positive relationship.

            How do you think parents sense their offspring have similar genes?
            Do parents have a sixth sense to sense their offsprings genese?
            They can only examine their offspring externally. They don’t have a magic wand to sense their offspring’s genes.
            So they can look how their offspring looks like, get visual cues.
            They can see if their offspring is deformed or diseased.
            They can communicate with their offspring, see how intelligent it is.
            They can examine their behaviour, see if ti match their expectation.
            This is how we unconsciously examine other creatures’ genes, we don’t have a sixth sense.

            You could say that once the family saw their son has very different faith then they do, it might have make them feel his genes are not what they desired he would have.
            Pshycology is part of how we sense other peoples’ genes, you cannot separate it from biology.

            Edit: Also, that means a Parent should have no love if he has a retard child since retards cannot have healthy offsprings.

            In reply to #25 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #24 by Mirror:

            Only humans feel inclined to care for their offpsring, mostly because of tradition. There are a lot of parents who hate their own children.

            How can I say this politely, well I’ll just say it, that is total bullshit. All animals have a huge biological imperative to want t…

          • In reply to #27 by Mirror:

            How do you think parents sense their offspring have similar genes? Do parents have a sixth sense to sense their offsprings genese? They can only examine their offspring externally. They don’t have a magic wand to sense their offspring’s genes.

            I felt a little bad after one of my last comments where I said “read in intro biology text book” I was afraid it might look like a veiled insult but I didn’t mean it that way. I said that because reading an intro biology text book several months ago (I’ve never taken any biology classes) was where I learned about this stuff in detal. But had I read that part of your comment I would have realized it was the very appropriate thing to say.

            If you can say that you really don’t understand much at all about biology right now. The book I read was filled with models like this. “The hypothesis is that the way the sparrows hunt for insects is based on optimizing the amount of insects they can bring back to their young which is based on distance from feeding place to nest and density of the prey…” that was a real example — in some cases they hunt one way, going after the easy but smaller prey in other circumstances they will spend more effort to go for the bigger prey — the details aren’t important. You may as well ask “but how do the birds know all these things? do they do statistical sampling of insect populations?” and in all the cases the answer is the same, the “magic wand” is that after billions of years of evolutions the behavior is programmed into their genes as part of natural selection. And that programming includes ways to recognize their own young.

            Not that “how do they know” isn’t an interesting scientific question. Some of the most interesting data involves cases where the “magic wand” clearly isn’t working such as the Cuckoo who lays her egg in with the eggs of other birds and the first thing the baby cuckoo tries to do is to get rid of the real children. The mother birds are so programmed by their genes to recognize things in the nest as children that they treat the cuckoo children as their own, clearly maladaptive behavior.

          • In reply to #27 by Mirror:

            Do parents have a sixth sense to sense their offsprings genese?

            No, they have simple heuristics produced by game theory of which they are not necessarily consciously aware.

          • In reply to #32 by Peter Grant:

            In reply to #27 by Mirror:

            Do parents have a sixth sense to sense their offsprings genese?

            No, they have simple heuristics produced by game theory of which they are not necessarily consciously aware.

            Or to be a bit more precise game theory is one of the mathematical disciplines used to create the models that describe their behavior. Also, for a lot of what we’ve been talking about here you don’t even need game theory. The basic formula for kin selection (determining when from a selfish gene perspective it makes sense for an organism to sacrifice its reproductive potential for a family member) is just rB > C. But Peter is right once you start getting into any interesting models of behavior game theory is an essential math tool.

          • In reply to #24 by Mirror:

            You just explained why his mother hates him, he has fallen too far from the tree genetically wise.

            No, I’m pretty sure the problem here is memetic. As one who has been exposed to the concepts of both genes and memes, he should be able to effectively exploit both. All of my family and friends are now atheist.

  16. In reply to #27 by Mirror:

    hey do, in case their offspring meet their “expectation”. Why dogs eat their new born pups if they are a bit sick or weak? Why animals rejecting their offsprings? I am saying there is a bond between a parent and offspring but only if the parent “like” their osspring. It’s not a 100% positive relationship.

    It has nothing to do with liking. It has everything to do with reproductive success. Read an introductory biology text book and you will see all kinds of examples where parents do things as you mention and its not because their pups didn’t get into Harvard or Oxford its because the overall reproductive success of the pups as a group will be higher if the runts are eliminated. They take up valuable resources and have minimal chance to reproduce anyway so the prudent investment is to kill them off and focus on maximizing the reproductive potential of the remaining ones.

  17. I sympathize with you. Even my Deist/Christian mother who puts up with my atheist literature, devilish AC/DC vinyl’s, and general cantankerousness with religion, still treats me differently. We get along fine… unless we start talking about serious faith issues.

    The rest of my family has been criticizing and ultimately rejecting me for 3 years because of my study of Astrophysics in a secular university (God Forbid!) and entrance into the armed forces. Bear in mind I have a degree in theology already and was a preacher, so for this to happen was quite extreme… to them. I have successfully accepted never being invited to their get togethers. Christmas doesn’t mean the same to me anymore anyhow, so I don’t have a desire to go to a nativity cluttered home for bible lessons and lectures on gift giving and materialism every four seconds. I benefit from being a (slightly) antisocial person who would rather be alone, but I understand that being rejected is much more than this.

    I truly hope you can find it in yourself, with a helpful, compassionate support structure from your friends/spouse, to slowly accept that their rejection comes straight from their religion. You don’t need to ever stop caring about them. THEY are the ones who choose to reject you. They aren’t rejecting you as a parent, but as an acolyte of their batshit religion. Think of it this way, if you removed their faith, they wouldn’t ‘excommunicate’ you. I found this helpful in accepting my family’s nonsensical actions.

    It is hard. It is mean. It is inhuman for someone to reject their children. Just remember: religion makes them do it, just like a drug addict will do illegal things for a fix. It isn’t really up to them. Belief is a poison, and unfortunately it is effecting your family. The pain goes away, but it will last for quite some time – just work on acceptance, that’s all you can do for now.

    • J
  18. Tell them your mission is to enter Hell to rescue Mother Teresa. Oh..and a few Popes. No, probably most of the Popes. And Cardinals, lots, no most, and bishops, priests and all the other sinners who thought God did not notice their indiscretions.

  19. I’m a former JW who, after half a decade of increasingly irreconcilable doubts, “outed” myself to my friends and family less than a year ago. I’ve expressed plainly my own reasons for no longer believing to them, but they’ve made it clear that if I actively try to convince them that what they believe is wrong, they will cut all ties – following biblical & organizational directives to shun “apostates”. Having been raised within that system of belief and myself having been an active member/proselytizer since childhood, my social network has now been reduced to effectively zero. Yay life!

  20. I am the last person to give advice (atheist son of an atheist) but…

    I have suggested to others in your position, with modest success, that promoting your atheism as part of a simple desire to act MORE morally (if you think that the case) can take some of the sting out of the sense of parental failure.

    Certainly for me, atheism is all about getting societies to make more informed, less dogmatic moral decisions. On the other hand religious parents are often more exercised not by the loss of detailed dogma but by the misapprehension that atheism correlates with hedonism, sex’n’drugs’n’death-metal. and just plain badness. This is their perceived social disgrace. If, however, your journey is motivated by morality they may take a little pride in that.

    Where you can, talk up doing good. Ask questions about morality and the unfair distribution of evil rather than the existence of God. All reasonable atheists are agnostics (even at the 99.9999% confidence level). Use that to perhaps use the other A word sometimes. That your mom could say “He’s searching” might bring a little relief.

    If this isn’t reasonable or consistent with your conscience, perhaps you might buy her a copy of Julia Sweeney’s DVD “Letting go of God”. If nothing else it is a beautiful, funny and touching account of how and why decent people may lose their faiths.

    I wish you all the very best. Fallings out may not be for keeps and in the meantime I hope you find the help and support you need amongst we various disbelievers and dispossessed.

  21. I’ve experienced varying degrees of rejection from family members, as well as business contacts. It is painful and mystifying when it happens. What has worked best for me is simply to be nice, consistently and regardless of what someone else does (to “turn the other cheek,” so to speak). Remember their birthdays, and send them Christmas gifts even if you aren’t invited or if the gifts are returned unopened. In my case, and over a period of several years, even the most hostile relative has come around, and I find that people sometimes confide in me when they are worried they will be judged by the more conservative members of the family. I’m sure they still believe I am going to hell, but most of them are no longer overtly rejecting toward me.Especially with parents and other elders, there comes a time when they start to depend on you and are unlikely to reject a friendly helping hand, even if it doesn’t belong to someone who shares their faith.

    • In reply to #37 by zonotrichia:

      I’ve experienced varying degrees of rejection from family members, as well as business contacts. It is painful and mystifying when it happens. What has worked best for me is simply to be nice, consistently and regardless of what someone else does (to “turn the other cheek,” so to speak). Remember…

      One other point: I never try to convert them. They know my (lack of) beliefs, but I don’t feel the need to convince them to agree with me.

  22. I fully understand and appreciate your situation. My family is LDS (Mormon) or as I like to call them morons :) Anyways, I am a single mom of a beautiful teenage girl. I have been told over and over again if I don’t have God in my life that she was going to end up on drugs and sleeping around. Follow that logic… Well she is a straight A student and never gets in trouble and I love telling my mom how awesome my kid is without God in our life. And every time something bad happens to me my mom tells me too that it wouldn’t happen if God was in my life. My favorite line is “oh I can’t wait until you die, you are going to have a rude awaking”. Seriously what kind of person says that to someone let alone ones own mother! Anyways, you are not alone in your battle. Family’s can be so cruel. If they are tearing you down and not lifting you up, as much as it may hurt, maybe it is time for goodbye. I have amazing friends, and they are my extended family, that I lean on and talk to. I avoid my family as much as possible. Best of luck to you.

  23. Reduce your interactions with your mother and give her the very emotional reason. She should be ashamed of herself. Consider this possibilty – she has been in a religous staight jacket all her life and now she actually envies you – your courage is the red blanket.

  24. When I was a senior in high school, I had a English teacher who had the students keep a journal. We were told that these journals would only be read by him.This became a safe way to share with someone what Secrets I had. The journals remained with my teacher so I felt safe writing in it, particularly my atheism.
    On one particular Friday I mistakingly took it home by mistake. My mother who was or probably still is a nosey busy body found the journal.
    I was confronted by my parents and after admitting the truth sas summarily thrown out.
    You see, up until this point I was expecting to graduate from high school, then contuinue my education at college. Because in the eyes of my parents I was worse then a child molester. I was given the boot.
    I was lucky in the fact that I was very near graduation so I did manage to get my diploma while living on the streets.
    After graduation I had no where to go so I joined the army. I figured I’d at least have a warm bed and 3 hot meals.
    I retired from the Army after serving 22 years in March of 2006.
    Through out the years I would write letters home or call ( to which I was hanged up on as soon as they realized that it was me.
    This all happened 30 years ago. And in some ways seems like a distant faded dream but other times I miss them .
    I have 2 brothers & 2 sisters who will not speak to me either.
    I even found out this past January 2014 that my father died in November 2011.
    I will say this, that I was lucky enough to find a wonderful woman who became my wife who gave a terrific son. The shame of it all is that thay will never get to meet my wife and son., but that will have to be there loss.

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