Feeling abandoned by parents before it even happens

Every day, the dreaded conversation that I’m going to have to have with my parents about my religious views plays through my head. There’s no good way to go about it and there’s nothing I can do about it but remind myself to keep calm. The thought of my dad telling me he’s disappointed in me crushes me, and it hurts even more because I know it’s not just my anxiety talking, he genuinely will be disappointed in me for not being Christian. The thought of disappointing him or making him feel like I’ve lied to him makes me want to ball my eyes out. As for my mom, she’s the one I dread the most. I cannot properly prepare myself for what she will say or how she’ll react. The whole thing makes me want to just send a text telling them what’s going on and then turn my phone off forever. I feel guilty for wanting to shut them out but I know that they are gonna be mad, disappointed in me, and will say nothing but hurtful things to me. I hate that this is the way it is, I don’t understand why I can’t just be accepted. I hate that I have to defend myself like this. Part of me wants to speak with my dad first about it since he’s more understanding but I know that he’ll tell my mom and it just won’t go well. My heart hurts knowing that I could be kicked out of my family or approached with manipulation, anger, guilt tripping, etc. I don’t know what to do, I feel so bad about all of this and all that they’ve done for me and now I’m about to “ruin their lives”. It’s the scariest feeling knowing that at the end of the day, I have to deal with this on my own. It’ll never be the right moment to tell them but I just want to get it over with. I’m 22 and pay for mostly everything on my own, except health and car insurance, so before I tell them I wanna make sure I have enough money saved so I can take over paying for those things and have a good job lined up. This all is so sad to me and I just want to crawl in a hole and never come out.


This hits so many close feelings.
I want to say that I’m so sorry that you are going through this alone and that you’ve had to try to mentally prepare yourself for feeling like you’re letting down the people who are meant to support and love you the most.
Sometimes people who follow religion focus too much on the religious side of things. There are some wonderful kind people who follow the side of it where there is love and no judgement, and I’m so sorry your parents have focused seemingly on the more institutionalised part of it.
Despite what you believe or don’t believe, you always deserve respect and love. Do you have any siblings at all? Or anyone else close in the family to talk to about it or who can maybe be a buffer with your parents?
It must be so devastating having to live lying to them.
You deserve to live safely and freely and you definitely deserve love and support.



Hi Friend, I’m sorry you’re going thru this. I hope that you can sit down with them some day soon and have a heart to heart talk with them. Perhaps you can talk to your father first and see how you can approach your mother. When it comes down to it, I think parents just want their children to be happy. If my son came to me and told me he didn’t believe, I would respect his choices and not make it hard on him. I raised him with Christian morals and he is in charge of his own belief system. I hope your parents will respect your choices too. ~Mystrose


From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hey Friend, Thank you so much for your post. I was so taken aback by your post as an atheist raised by a Christian and agnostic it was a bizarre situation in my own family but I have always been able to discuss it so that would inevitably be where I would go with your post. In your situation which by the way I am so sorry that you are in, this shouldn’t even be a problem for you. It might be best to go and talk to Dad first explain to him that you are a healthy happy decent young woman who loves her parents enough not to lie to them so you want them to know that as you have gotten older you have mad e the choice not to follow the Christian faith and that is it. Its not personal its just a choice you have made and can he help you to speak to your Mum? I would love to think that your parents love you enough to put you first and hopefully that will be the case, Afterall that is the most important thing. I hope you can gather up the courage to do this, you have us all behind you and I wish you the very very best. Much Love Lisa. x


From: eloquentpetrichor

Hello, nicole! This sounds like such a tough situation and one I’ve not encountered directly before. But I hid part of myself for a long time as well and I understand how much it weighs on you to feel like you are lying to them and wanting them to know the truth whether it ends poorly or well.

Have you practiced what you want to say? That may be helpful to roleplay the conversation with your boyfriend or a close friend to figure out how to say it. And you can absolutely go to your dad first even if it’s the same day you tell your mom. You could ask to meet him for coffee or lunch or something and depending on how he reacts then you could say something like “I wanted to tell you first but I want to go tell mom now as well. Will you come with me for support?” Or if he reacts poorly you could just leave if you feel that is best for you. With my news I told my mom first and she asked permission to tell my dad.

Regardless of who you tell first or how you go about it I hope you are able to find the strength to be honest about your beliefs and about how your religion does not define you nor the kind of person you are. You are still a strong, independent, healthy, and happy person who can take care of themself and are in a loving and committed relationship. Any parent should be proud to have you as a child and I hope they are able to understand how lucky they are to have you. They raised you well. They raised you to have your own mind and your beliefs simply do not follow theirs anymore.

You’ve got this! I wish you all the best. Good luck :hrtlegolove:


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