To deny or embrace myself??

comments 4
leaving Christianity


The motivation for me to come out as an unbeliever to my family was the stifling prison living a lie created in me.  It got too heavy, the lies were too hard to tell, and honesty begged me to dance with her.

So I did.  And oh what a dance this has been.

The hardest battle you’re ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.
Leo Buscaglia

Resonating within my soul (or, whatever deep part of my identity exists in my mind, since I don’t really believe in souls) is my desire for freedom.  But this doesn’t feel like freedom yet, for in setting myself free from lies I have now bound myself to the pain of my family.

I asked my husband through tears last night, “Isn’t there a case to be made to sacrifice my freedom for the happiness of my family?  Is it not selflessness to try my very hardest to believe in God again, and if I still can’t, to fake it, so that my family can go on living their life in peace?”

He was appalled, for it was this very same thinking that got me into an abusive relationship years ago.  “No no no Teal!!” He cried out and came over to embrace me.  “There is nothing healthy about that, nothing.  If you want to believe, for YOU, by all means, believe.  But you absolutely cannot do it for someone else.  That wouldn’t be the best thing for your family either, for what is truly good and healthy for one person is good and healthy for everyone else.  You would be doing your family a disservice if you did that.”

I heard his words and the logic in me agreed.  But I still don’t think my heart aligns with that completely — maybe I’m just too terribly broken at the moment to feel clearly.

The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.


  1. Good for your husband, and good for you for continuing to be brave.

    As harsh as this sounds, your family’s pain right now is not your fault, but their own, for believing in such an intolerant religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ktrinh4213 says

    I know it’s very “teenager” of me to say this, but I think you really should be true to yourself and what you believe. If these people can’t support you in your own personal life decisions, I don’t think they’re worth spending the time trying to convince them otherwise. It’s a very “be yourself and screw everyone else” kind of attitude, but it’s just better that way in the end. Sometimes, you can find that friends you meet and the community and fellowship you have among other atheists will be stronger than any familial ties. At least, that’s my experience.

    Stay strong, and don’t blame yourself for their intolerance.

    (Despite still being a kid, I kinda just wanna sit at a coffee shop with a bunch of good people and offer you the love and support you need. Just thought I’d mention. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!!! And, I’d loooove that coffee shop idea. I look forward to the day that I can have strong ties with a some new friends 🙂


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