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It gets better November 1, 2010

Posted by Teen Atheist in Uncategorized.

A friend linked me to this. I was a sobbing mess within the first minute.

I sometimes wonder why I feel such a strong kinship to the LGBT community, and I think it’s because I’ve been through the same thing that many of them have. So I watched this video and I cried, because, as a (very awesome) friend put it:

they are all smiling and happy and you can tell they fucking FEEL this shit, that every single one of these guys knows what it is like to feel like every day, every second, is a struggle against a rising tide of people who hate you just for existing, and that now they are taking all the strength they’ve gained as happy, out grownups and are SHOOTING it through that song and through the camera to all the kids who need it.

So, to all of the teenage atheists out there who found my blog by having to google “teenage atheist” to figure out what the fuck to do, and to anyone who’s ever been made to feel worthless by their own parents: it gets better. As a now-20-year-old atheist who was shunned by her family, seen by her parents as a walking disappointment, and eventually kicked out and disowned, someone who still has to deal with comments and letters ranging from backhanded to downright hateful from Christians who spam my blog, I can tell you with all my heart that it gets better. It’s not easy, and it might take a long time, but you have to know that it gets better. I’m still in repair, tending the psychological damage incurred by living with a hateful, dysfunctional family like mine, but the day I was free of them was the day my life took a turn for the better. I found people who were more like family to me than my parents ever were, and I got to experience so much kindness from so many friends. Relatives, too: one of the places I lived in after getting kicked out was my (devout Catholic) grandmother’s house, and even knowing I was an atheist, she took me in and cared for me, no questions asked, no conditions. She saw me as a human being, not just a single label, or a parent’s ambition I failed to achieve. I finally got to know real love, real family. Away from the toxic environment of my former home, I was kept afloat by wonderful people who made me feel worthy, capable, beautiful, and loved.

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you to keep living, but I do hope you also remember to keep smiling. There will probably always be people out there trying to break you down, tell you that you’re wrong or evil or a failure, but don’t ever let anyone make you feel like less of a person. Some people will be utterly wrong about you, but some people will see you for who you really are. Be a good, kind person to the best of your ability, and good things will come to you.