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Unhappy Have I really let this many people down? - June 20th 2010, 03:22 AM

Situation: I went to my grandparents house earlier for fathers day. I didn't want to go in the first place, but I did. Then, my brother forced me to play a really stupid game called corn-hole . I turned on my mp3 player to listen while I was forced to throw stupid sacks of corn and every time I picked a song, they looked at me like I was some kind of virus. I found out later that they had discovered I was an atheist... My grandfather is a preacher and naturally, he approached me with his views.
'So do you believe in heaven and hell' he asked. I told him no. I think in a way that it's a good thing. 'So you think that when you die you just lie there in the ground?' Yes is what I told him. 'You sure have weird ways of thinking kid.' he told me and tried to ask why i had chosen a path without life according to him. I told him I didn't know why i didn't believe. I just never have and I couldn't if I tried. He laughed and said that he didn't think of me any different but I could see the disappointment in his expression. I got up to watch tv with my little cousins. For the rest of the night every time i walked into a room, there was a subject change. Every time grandpa passed the room I was in I saw him look at me with sadness.I felt so horrible.
I came home and told my mom (who had been at work) about it and she said my cousins (not the ones I had been with) had been telling everybody about my beliefs. Then, she gave me the talk about how she would be praying for me because I'm different than everyone else.
I don't feel horrible for being an atheist, but i do feel horrible when my family looks down at me. I just can't stop crying....But, how am I supposed to feel about this? I feel like my whole family is disappointed.


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Re: Have I really let this many people down? - June 20th 2010, 04:41 AM

Well first off, I'm an Atheist too.

Anyways, of course your family is going to be disappointed when their kid is "weird", a "sinner", or whatever else. But, this shall pass. Finding out has probably been an initial shock, but this won't last forever. My parents acted like I was weird when we had a religion discussion the one day. But, most of my family is more Agnostic than anything. Like, they're skeptical of some things, but seem to want to stay on the safe side.

Maybe the fact that people like us have "settled for an afterlife in Hell", in the eyes of the religious folks, scares them. Consider that they believe in Hell, and thinking while they're trying to get into Heaven, you will be going through, according to their ideals, an afterlife of torment and hellfire... That probably scares them, and saddens them.

I doubt it's anything against you, but they're thinking about "your fate", and it makes them sad. It's sort of like knowing your pet won't outlive you, for lack of a better metaphor.

Does this make any sense?


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Re: Have I really let this many people down? - June 20th 2010, 06:51 AM

I had a similar reaction when my family found out I was Agnostic. I come from a Catholic family. I remember my grandfather looking at me and saying, "Surely you know there must be something up there?" My mother told me she thought it was sad that I didn't have God in my life. My sister once declared that she believed everyone who didn't go to Confession went to Hell -- and it got extremely awkward when I reminded her that I don't go to Confession.

It's normal for your family to be confused or disappointed when you first admit you don't believe the same things as they do. I agree with everything ☣ ArcAngel ☣ said. Eventually, they will come to accept your beliefs. Right now, they are probably just thinking about your fate in the afterlife, or perhaps where God has brought them so much joy and comfort in their lives, they are sad that you are unable to get the same out of religion.

My family still loves me. They might think I'm a little odd for having different beliefs, but they do love me. Your family loves you, too. You haven't let them down at all. Just give them a little time to adjust; I'm sure they will come around.

Take care! xx
   
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Re: Have I really let this many people down? - June 21st 2010, 05:59 AM

Maybe you're right. I'm just paranoid I guess. It doesn't help that my family is a bunch of priests, Sunday school teachers, and stuff like that. Maybe one day, they can accept me for myself... Thanks for helping <3


Drawing on my fine command of the language, I said nothing.


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