Chapter II December 5, 2009Posted by Teen Atheist in family, friends, school.
Hello, world! Wow, it’s almost been a year since I closed this blog. I’m writing this partly to see who would still notice anything new on a blog that’s been dead for a year (reveal yourselves, lurkers!), and partly because hey, I’m in a whole new chapter of my life now, and I actually have things to say about it this time.
Property on the internets
The teenatheist.com address is dead now, so we’re back to teenatheist.wordpress.com. I had a falling-out with the dude who paid for the domain, plus there’s no point in paying for a dead blog.
I used to say that I wouldn’t mind if people figured out where I’m from and what my real name is, but honestly? It annoys the fuck out of me. Like, a couple of guys found me on a social networking site within a month of this blog’s inception, and there was this dude who made really irritating “I know who you are” comments on this blog several months ago, and emailed me asking for my real name and shit. Guys, sometimes people want to stay anonymous for a reason.
And why is it important, anyway? I always wanted the focus to be on what went on in my life, not what my name is, where I live or what I look like.
Don’t try to force it out of me — I actually just give it away if I like/trust you enough. For instance, I still stay in touch with Holy Prepuce via chat and email, and I ask him for advice about my real-world issues. And a dude I went to high school with started reading and commenting, and I talked to him on chat with my IRL handle and I was like, “You know Teen Atheist? You’re talking to her.” Haha.
Commercial: Kris Allen
If you like me, you’ll check out Kris Allen‘s album! He’s the dude that won American Idol this year, but he is way fucking cool, makes awesome, mellow, acoustic pop-rock stuff, and he did this kick-ass mash-up of “Falling Slowly” from Once and U2’s “With or Without You,” that I have been listening to for days on end. His album is my favorite album of any Idol alum, ever. My favorite song on the album is “Bring It Back.”
Should I get a Twitter? I could, if there are enough of you out there whom I could talk to. Give me your Twitter links!
[Obligatory fundie rant goes here]
One time, I Googled myself and found this Christian site where they featured my blog and were like, “Everybody, please pray for this girl so that she becomes enlighted by God” or some shit. Haha. Keep praying, dudes. The only god I worship is Bjork.
I quit my job in February of 2009. I got sick of it — I was one of the best salespeople on the team, but apparently our manager has never heard of that story about how you’re not supposed to fucking kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, you moron, that’s not how it works. (Read: I was overworked and underpaid, and double-overworked because they knew I was good.)
There are two more characters I have stories about, though. First is Eddie, this guy who joined the company a little after I ended the blog. We hit it off and since we lived near each other, he would drive me to and from work. I always thought of him as a really good friend, but we did have weird moments of sexual tension sometimes. But he was engaged, and I kind of lost interest in him early on, anyway.
Two weird stories involving Eddie:
1) One time, he asked if I wanted to “hang out” (intentionally vague). I said yes, he picked me up and it turned out he and his best friend were taking me to a bar. He paid for my drinks, at least. He kept offering me more booze, but I gave a firm no after the second pina colada, and then they whispered to each other and decided to take me home instead. No idea what that was about. Upon consulting with a high school friend, I was informed: “Dude, he was trying to get you drunk and fuck you.” I am quite clueless, sometimes.
2) A few months after I quit, Eddie started texting me, first asking if I was single, and then asking if he could take me out to dinner. I didn’t understand, because I’m pretty sure he knew that I knew he was engaged. But I was too much of a pussy to say no, so for two weeks straight I just kept saying that I was sick. I felt bad about it, because I really, really like him as a friend, and I still miss him to this day. But I don’t want it to be one of those things where I show up hoping for some nice conversation and by the end of the night I’m trying to figure out how to politely say “please stop putting your hand up my skirt.”
(Side note: I haven’t gotten any in a while, and if I don’t soon I might actually take him up on his offer. But he’s engaaaaged, TA. Control!)
The other guy I’ll tell you about is Lyle. Lyle isn’t a knockout at first glance, but he’s pretty cute if you look really really hard, and is kind of a paragon of perfection for me: 23, never had a girlfriend (read: not a chauvinistic horndog like 96% of the dudes in my country, and it’s not like he didn’t have opportunities — I wasn’t the only girl who dug him, but his friends say he’s cripplingly shy around women), well-off, nerdy (I’m a sucker for scrawny, effete, dorktastic types), humble, sweet, very fluent in English, can sing and play guitar, mmm.
Hilariously, though, I have never even been formally introduced to this dude, and have only talked to him a few times, so I was stuck with the conundrum of “Can you like someone for his inner beauty when you’ve never really met?” Because it’s not like I fell for him because of his looks.
But, ever heard of this thing called mamihlapinatapai? It’s when two people look at each other and want the same thing, but they’re both too afraid to make a move. Yeah, I think Lyle and I had that? Because I’d stare at him but end up catching him staring at me first, and I’d look away immediately because I’m a wimp of failcat proportions. But I can safely say that I’ve never had anyone look at me like that before.
Another funny thing is that we always talked about each other rather than to each other. I learned of this really late in the game — literally a week before I left the company — but my supervisor said he would ask her about me sometimes. EEEEEE.
But I just waved off all of these signs because I was going through a huge He’s Just Not That Into You phase, and I’m typically dense about men, anyway. Like, I didn’t figure this shit out until six months after I quit, when I told this to a new friend, Gloria, and she was like, “You moron, you should’ve jumped him while you had the chance” and I was like, “OH, FUUUUUU—.”
In the end, I think Lyle really wasn’t that into me. I’ve been told that if the guy doesn’t have the balls to ask you out, he’s not worth it, anyway. It just sucks that it’s been almost a year since I last saw Lyle and I still get heartclenchy when I think about him. Gah. Go away, feelings.
I have his number (it was in a company directory). I’d never use it, but I sometimes wish he would text out of the blue. Hi, you don’t know me but —
“Pass out at three, wake up at ten, go out to eat, then do it again…”
Unfortunately for me, my college life is NOTHING like that. Well, not unfortunately, because even though life right now is completely boring to the outside eye, I’m actually genuinely happy. I have party girl friends, and through conversations with them, I’ve realized that while partying is fun sometimes, I’m just not that kind of girl, and it’s okay. I think it just means that I’m too smart to get shitfaced. I don’t really like the taste of alcohol, and I have way too many secrets to allow myself to get hammered. And my friends have dudes try to rape them while they’re drunk on a weekly basis, so yeah, I don’t think I’m missing out on much.
My boring life? Consists of me studying a lot and having boring (awesome) friends and chatting with Holy Prepuce in English class. Hee, that was fun. They forced us to watch The 6th Day (that Schwarzenegger flick about cloning), which was like pulling teeth, although this Rod Rowland dude is hot. After the movie, we discussed cloning, and since I go to a Catholic university (not the one I wanted, not the one my parents wanted — the other one), the debate ended with my professor concluding, “Clones have no souls, therefore cloning is bad, the end.” Bah.
I’m also forced to take four Theology classes, FML. Last week, my professor expressed shock and disgust that OMG, there are actually places in the world where they treat those dang homosexuals like human beings! I wanted to cry. I hate my country, sometimes.
Moving on: You’d think that studying in a uni with such a high Hot Guy Ratio would mean that I’ve found someone new to help me forget about Lyle, but no luck so far. They’re hot, just…not my type. Nobody’s half as witty or endearingly nerdtastic. Sigh.
Religion and boy drought aside, I actually love this place, and I’m glad I ended up here serendipitously. I think my studying is paying off, too! I never expected to be the topnotcher in my Math class. Awesomeee.
“A new world calls across the ocean…”
It’s official: I’m moving to the States next year! I want Seattle, my parents are considering New York or Maryland, but I’m happy either way. Yay!
The holidays are here again! And if there’s anybody reading this at all, I’m in a Christmassy mood, so if you want a handwritten greeting card from me, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your mailing address and I’ll send you one! And I would also appreciate some e-cards, too. 😀
How do you greet someone on Kwanzaa? Because if it were me, I’d wave my arms wildly in the air and just yell “KWANZAAAAAAAAA!” It’s such an awesome holiday name, why waste it?
So, that wraps up the new, dorky, boring, awesome chapter of my life! See you all around, maybe here or on Twitter if I decide to make one. And until next time: KWANZAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Ask Teen Atheist, #1 April 13, 2008Posted by Teen Atheist in Ask Teen Atheist, friends, issues, school, teen angst.
Tags: atheism, friends, peer pressure, religion, school, teenage
Hooray, somebody finally wrote in to ask me for advice!
I would have answered this sooner, but my PC frickin’ ate my thousand-word response. Spurred on by the promise of a love letter (yay!), I finally got my lazy ass around to writing a new one. Feel free to give your own input to help Luke out.
Hello, My name is Luke(Kinda obvious). I’m 17, and I currently live in the USA. I guess this fits under personal problems. I’ve been an atheist for awhile now…about 4 months I believe. Before I became an atheist I was a Lutheran, and basically attended church every Sunday. One day I realized that “God” is hurting this world, people fight wars over Religion ect. I finally came out to my mom about a month ago, funny thing is, she said as she grows older she’s been having some atheistic thoughts as well. She basically agrees with most of my ideas and beleifs on religion. I don’t care to tell my dad, since he’s a Lutheran yet he never attends church. I guess my family life is ok, it’s school that is a bitch.
My school is basically very stereotypical. Almost every student in my high school is either a “Red neck” or an extremely religious teenager. Since I don’t care much for trucks or country music I tend to befriend the religious types. I’ve came out about my atheistism to my best friend, he accepted it, didn’t think less of me, told my other two close friends, and they accept it just fine. It’s everyone else that I tend to care about that is a problem. A few days ago I was talking on AIM in a buddy chat room with a few other friends. We were all talking for awhile, and some how Gay Marriage and Religion came up. Of course, all the people were against it, I for one, am for it. I gave them my reason which mainly came out something like this. “You’re against gay marriage because the bible says it’s a sin? Well, the Bible also says a parent is allowed to stone their child if he disobeys, maybe the bible doesn’t have all the answers”.Not sure if that whole stoning thing is actually in the bible, my mom told me, so eh. After a few more statements, they asked if I was an atheist. And being the honest bastard that I am, said I was. Every since then, they’ve all been ignoring me, seeming to look down on me. One ever said I was going to hell, to bad it doesn’t exist eh? They all seem to think I’m a bastard who has no morals what so ever.
So, I’m kinda stuck, basically the whole group of people who I used to consider friends (Besides the 3 I mentioned earlier) Think I’m “evil” or a “satanist” of some sorts. Funny thing is I used to respect a lot of these people and thought they were more intelligent then this. The one person who doesn’t think this way is this one girl, who says she doesn’t hate me or anything for me being an atheist, but she acts like it so the rest of her friends don’t ignore her. I guess I can’t blame her . So I guess this is my real problem, do you think I should just fake being religious again. It would probably be a lot easier on myself if my school didn’t look down upon me. And my best friend’s girlfriend lumps in this crowd, so it’d probably be easier on him since he’s whipped as hell. Or do you think I should just stand up to beliefs, and fuck them all. Funny thing is, I don’t hate or look down upon them for their beliefs. I don’t try to shove my atheistic ways down their throats. I don’t talk behind their back either. Even if I did become their friends again, I’d probably wouldn’t ever respect them the same way again. Damn, looks I’ve rambled. Well, thanks for reading.
First of all, Luke, I admire you for being so honest about your beliefs, even when faced with consequences like that. It definitely takes balls. Hell, you’re more forthcoming than I am — I wouldn’t lie to people and say I’m still Catholic, and I do sign the “Religion” portion of application forms with “Atheist” (that might be technically inaccurate because atheism is not a religion, but whatever), but I practice a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and I tend to avoid joining in discussions when they turn to religion. So, good on you for being out and proud.
Being in an environment like that is definitely tough, and I hate that prejudice is still so prevalent, even among young Americans. You say that you like these people despite how they’ve treated you, and that’s all well and good, but…are they really worth keeping as friends? Because if I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t bother trying to pander to people who don’t like me anyway. Why would I want to be friends with someone if it meant that I’d always be wondering in the back of my mind if he secretly hates me? Things would be great if you got to be friends with everybody, but real life doesn’t work that way (at least judging from my experience).
Faking being religious may seem like a good idea at first; I did consider it myself for when I go to college. But the more I thought about it, the worse it seemed. If you’ve read even a few entries on this blog, you’d know how little I think of my family, and how my atheism changed their perspective of me. I could have pretended to “find Jesus” again to get back in their good graces (or just get Mother Dearest to stop bitching). But I didn’t, because I realized it would have been pure torture for me, and it became clearer and clearer to me that it just wasn’t worth it. What I did instead was seek solace in my friends, who, no matter what their religions were, accepted me for who I am. I learned to stop caring about what my family thought of me, and once I did that, I finally felt happy with myself. That’s the key question, Luke: What is more important, that they like you, or that you like yourself?
Stop caring, I say, and find better friends. Even that chick who only pretends to hate you isn’t worth hanging around, because she clearly values her reputation over her friendship with you. How popular we were in high school doesn’t matter in the long run, anyway, at least from what I can tell. I’ve got co-workers who used to be high school cheerleaders, and are now just bitter, pizza-faced hags, having retained only their rancid personalities. The totally-out-of-it stoner dude who always zoned out in class and was made fun of by the other, “smarter” kids? He’s now my boss, Mr. McKenzie, well put-together, smart, and hella sexy, with ladies all falling over themselves just to get to talk to him. (Not me, though. I’d do him, but only when offered. :P)
If you really want to repair your friendships with these people, though, don’t lie to them. That shit will get tired, eventually. Instead, try to prove that despite your differences in beliefs, you are still a good and compassionate person. As they would say, “Turn the other cheek.” Hopefully, they’ll warm up to you and figure out that not all atheists are vicious, ill-intentioned demons.
I hope that despite everything that’s happened, you’re still doing well in school and in your personal life. Always keep in mind that what they say doesn’t dictate who you are. You’re still awesome!
When the going gets tough, the tough kick ass. January 27, 2008Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, career, school.
Tags: atheism, career, college
On the heels of my semi-rejection (the “Uh, we’ll think about it” kind) from Dream College, I blew a lot of money on clothes and shoes. Totaling the receipts post-retail therapy brought me to the conclusion that I needed to get a job.
The following day, I checked out the classifieds and some online listings to see if anybody needed an articulate, computer-literate, bratty teenager with an exceptional typing speed. It turns out, we’re actually in high demand (minus the “bratty teenager” part), especially in this country. In a week, I got a phone call from an outsourcing agency, asking if I could drop by the following day.
I was made to take a few IQ and reading comprehension tests, and a typing test. After being informed that I did well on all of them, and then being coached on how to conduct myself during interviews, the administrator told me that I would be sent for an interview at another company the next day. When he mentioned the company name, though, I dropped a brick. This was an international, Forbes-list-worthy fucking corporation, and they’re sending some kid to apply?
So I did it anyway, because of course I wanted to work there, despite being a lowly Dream College reject. I put on my best idea of “corporate attire,” took a taxi to their pretty, pretty office and got interviewed by three different HR bigwigs (one of whom was adorable in a nebbish, Adam Brody kind of way).
And I got the job*.
It’s a full-time thing, so I will probably have to postpone my studies another year or two. Which I’m totally cool with, natch! College can wait; I have a feeling I’ll be learning much more through this experience, anyway.
Between this and skipping my fourth year of high school, I’m so far off the normal path for fresh high school graduates that I’m in a different continent entirely. I’ve always been one to march to the beat of my own drum, though, so this is nothing particularly new.
*I can’t disclose the nature of the job or the company, for obvious reasons, but it does involve dealing with a lot of cranky and stupid people! Don’t worry, though, I can totally handle it. I’ve been living with cranky and stupid people my whole life. ;P
Like that cheerleader from Odessa January 14, 2008Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, school.
Tags: atheism, college, religion, school, university
If I haven’t updated in a while, that doesn’t mean I’m dead. Sometimes, writers get writer’s block. The best way to coax me out of my “I don’t feel like saying much” mood is to give me an idea for a blog post. Ask me about my life. My friends. My opinions on love and other disasters. Anything. But to ask me whether or not I’m still alive is slightly tacky, I think. (No offense meant to the commenter, I’m happy you care, it’s just that this has happened a couple of times already and I figured I should address it before it happens again with somebody else.)
Anyhoo. I typed the last blog entry while I was at the summit of my post-semi-rejection anger (read: thirty minutes after finding out the results), but I’m actually doing great now. I was angry for, like, one hour, but then I had some food and forgot about the whole thing. That’s basically TA’s Cycle of Anger (family matters excluded): I get mad for a short while, then it all goes away.
I’m going to take my TOEFL in a couple of months to help me with my college applications in the United States, so wish me luck! Unfortunately, I missed the deadline for NYU Tisch, but hey, there’s always next year, and there are other colleges to choose from. Another Plan B, which I have been seriously considering for a while now, is to follow in my cousins’ footsteps and take up BS Nursing in a nearby college. After all, my family is planning to move to the USA in a few years, so I could become a nurse there and live in my own personal Grey’s Anatomy. Hee. I think this is a really good idea, because I would probably make more money as a nurse than as a writer, and then I could just study writing as an additional course in my free time.
Had I not been waitlisted, I probably would not have even considered this option, so all in all, I think I lucked out. It’s not even just a silver lining in a dark cloud here, the whole frickin’ cloud is silver. So, I’m glad things happened the way they did.
Oh, and I also bought myself a ton of new clothes from Gap, so that definitely helped my mood. Retail therapy FTW. 🙂
Update: Dream College January 5, 2008Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, rants, school, teen angst.
Tags: atheism, college, religion
I got waitlisted.
How dumb does somebody have to be to not pass the entrance test for the school known as Everybody’s Second Choice? And, like, I picked Creative Writing, which is probably the least popular course on the list. I don’t know whether or not I still consider myself smart, but I’m definitely not the kind of smart that gets a kid accepted into college.
Perhaps this is the price I pay for skipping a whole year of school?
I’m upset right now. It’s a manly, angry-grunting, punch-the-wall kind of upset, although inside my head, I’m screaming like a banshee.
The problem is, Dream College was the only college I applied for. (This is seriously reminding me of that Justin Long film, Accepted.) I have three options: a) enroll in Crappy College, b) find a job, move out, wait a year and enroll again, c) find a job, move out, be one of those people who never went to college.
Vulnerable December 17, 2007Posted by Teen Atheist in family, rants, school, teen angst.
Tags: atheism, Christmas, college, family, religion, school
In tears once again. Fresh from a particularly acrimonious fight with Mother Dearest, where she let a lot of bitterness come to the surface.
Apparently, I have no right to feel offended by anything they say or do, just because I’m still living under their roof. Because they’re paying my tuition. She actually stooped to guilt-tripping:
“We spent thousands of dollars for your 18th birthday! It was a huge sacrifice for me — I opted not to buy that digital camera I’d wanted for myself because we were saving up to make you happy.”
And she said that since they are still making these huge fucking sacrifices for me, disrespectful, ungrateful, spiteful old me (her words), I’d have to be at peace with the fact that she would always be disappointed with herself for letting me become this way. My choices — to be an atheist, to enroll in my Dream College instead of Smarty-Pants College like her — are her failures.
How could a speech like that not make any child want to kill themselves (hey, at least they’d be making a lot less “sacrifices!”)? How could she expect me to understand that I will always be a reminder of her shortcomings, and be okay with it?
She also wanted to criticize my choice to remain closeted in Dream College:
“You have to fight for what you believe in.”
You know what? Fuck you. Who are you to judge? Am I supposed to settle for a limited number of choices (the only non-sectarian institution is Smarty-Pants College, where she wanted me to go to), just because I’m an atheist? The world isn’t fucking fair, okay, and I’m going to take what I can, even if that means taking on a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in college. If I’m facing this much discrimination at home, imagine how much worse it would be in a Catholic college!
She accused me of taking advantage of Catholic education, which, again: IT’S A CATHOLIC MOTHERFUCKING COUNTRY, WHERE THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GO?
Also, I’ve now been forced to stay home on Christmas Eve, because she said that going out and partying and staying at a hotel would be “too unsafe.” I agree, it is a risk, but I don’t want to be miserable on Christmas Eve. I want to enjoy myself and have a special night, with or without you.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to free myself from all this fucking drama. I wish I could run away, but no, I’m too financially dependent. I’ll probably just stay at home and do whatever she tells me to do, like the daughter she wants me to be. Maybe I should lie and say I believe in God again. After all, she sacrificed her longing to have that digital camera, just so I could have a nice 18th birthday! Because really, wasn’t it enough to see the smile on my face after I came home from the best birthday ever? I was so happy! You had to hold it over my head that it took a huge toll on you, just to prove a point? Well, thanks! You win, asshole! Now when I look back on that wonderful night, all I’m going to remember is THE FUCKING DIGITAL CAMERA YOU NEVER HAD.
Martha, part 2 November 9, 2007Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, friends, issues, school.
Tags: atheism, Martha, religion
I met up with my religious friend Martha for the first time in months. During one particularly quiet moment when we sat on the steps, feeling the wind in our faces, I decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to keep this part of myself hidden from someone I trust.
Me: “How do you feel about atheists?”
Martha: “I don’t have anything against them, though I do kind of feel bad for them since they don’t have someone to believe in.”
Me: “Yeah, it would probably be easier to have someone omnipotent to turn to in times of hardship.”
Martha: “Or someone to blame. I blame God all the time.”
Me (laughing): “Yeah. Um, I have to tell you something.”
Martha: “What is it?”
Me: “I’m an atheist.”
Me: “Yup. You’re not mad?”
Martha: “Why would I be mad?”
The sad thing about coming out for me is that I often act like my atheism is something I have to apologize for. It’s certainly not, but I do often have to brace myself for the worst, especially after facing rejection from my own family. I told her about getting kicked out of Christmas this year, and how I essentially lost a brother due to our differences in beliefs (he’s a fundamentalist, I’m an atheist — we’re like Dr. Cox and his annoying sister Paige on Scrubs, only we don’t reconcile at the end of the episode). She expressed disgust at the way they were treating me, and how people treat atheists in general. She told me she felt bad for what my family did to me, which is nice coming from a devout Catholic like Martha.
She then came out to me as a bisexual, which I, being an LGBT supporter, certainly had no problem with. Then we spent the rest of the gray-skied afternoon walking amidst the trees, talking about boys and singing show tunes, the same friends we always were.
The whole thing went much better than I’d expected.
Coinky-dinks October 14, 2007Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, school.
Tags: atheism, prayer, religion
I remember being in the fourth grade and forgetting to do an assignment for English class. In desperation, I clasped my hands and prayed for English class to be canceled so that we could have the bi-monthly, not-really-scheduled Guidance class instead. Five minutes later, guess who ambles into the classroom? My roly-poly, ambiguously gay Guidance teacher. Both shocked and ecstatic, I vowed from that moment on to devote the rest of my life to God.
Never underestimate the power of coincidence. =))
Dear God, if the hot druggie guy from Heroes shows up at my doorstep, professes his love to me and whisks me away to a large mansion in Monaco where we will live happily ever after with tons of money and maybe a kid or two, I swear I’ll devote the rest of my life to you. And this time, I mean it!
My “coming out” story September 17, 2007Posted by Teen Atheist in backstory, family, school, teen angst.
Tags: atheism, Dream College, Pete, religion
The first person I told was my (very religious) brother, Pete*.
We were in a bookstore, and I can’t remember what triggered the discussion, but I just lay it out on the line:
And without batting an eyelash, Pete went, “Eww,” which sent me into a long tirade on how bigoted he was being about it. I doubt anything I said made an impact, though — he was all “fine, whatever you say.”
Fast-forwarding a couple of months into the future, Pete and I are in the middle of a huge fight. It’s always serious when money is involved, because my brother is a greedy, materialistic bitch. At that point, however, the money didn’t matter anymore. What did matter were the words exchanged in our altercation. Through our argument, his true feelings towards me were revealed: he hated the fact that I was an atheist. He called me a “rotten-heart Satanist” and pretty much cursed God for sticking him with a horrible, evil sister. I, in turn, retorted that he was being a sanctimonious fuck who hid his selfish nature behind his religion.
The sad thing is, this whole argument, which was the biggest fight of our lives seeing as we’re still not speaking to each other (and I have no intention of forgiving that ungrateful prick), took place entirely over text messaging.
In any case, my parents got to read the whole thing on my brother’s cellphone, and one of the text messages I sent said something along the lines of “I may be an atheist, but I do follow a moral code!” (I have a feeling he showed it to my parents because he knew they would side with him once they found out that I was no longer a Catholic like the rest of them.)
This was brought up by the parental units themselves as the three of us had a serious talk in the dining room. (Note that I’m on bad terms with both my verbally abusive father and my elitist, self-absorbed mother, so yeah, I’ve got nobody on my side. I hate this family.) They asked me about it.
“Yes,” I replied. “I am an atheist.”
My statement was met by a derisive sneer and exchanged looks of incredulity between them. Look, despite my utter resentment for the both of them, I am trying my best to avoid villainizing them and to narrate as truthfully as I can, and I’m telling you, that’s how they reacted.
Anyway, Father brought up my Dream College and, while still laughing at me like I was some idiot, asked how the hell I expected to fit in when Dream College has a great emphasis on religion and is headed by Fr. So-and-So. I had no answers for him; I was crying too hard to say anything. (For what it’s worth: I’m probably going to pretend that I’m a Catholic. Doesn’t matter, I really think Dream College is worth the trouble. And from what I’ve heard, they’re actually pretty liberal at Dream College, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.)
Let me tell you a little bit more about my college situation. My country has three major colleges: College That My Mother Wants for Me, which is pretty much everyone else’s dream college since only the smartest ones get in, and everyone there is on scholarship. Second is my Dream College, which has competent students as well. The students of Dream College are more upwardly mobile than the students of College That My Mother Wants for Me. Third choice is Other College, which is known for having rich but incompetent students.
I based my decision on the kind of people who graduate from these colleges. College That My Mother Wants for Me churns out brilliant people; however, these people tend to be douchey intellectual snobs who think they’re better than everybody else. (Like my mother, who is a graduate of that college.) Dream College, on the other hand, produces smart, competent people who are not only intelligent but are kind and polite as well. These are the kind of people I want to be like, and if I have to fake a religion to get into this school, then god damn it (oopsies) I’m going to do it. I don’t want to turn into an elitist like my mother!
Before I veer way too off-topic, let’s return to the story. My father told me that I’m an atheist because I have little faith, which is typical of him. This is, after all, the man who thinks I hate him because I don’t have enough God in my life, not because he had verbally and physically abused me for most of my 17 years. I had to bite back my laughter when he said, “If I were to meet my Maker right now, I could honestly tell Him that I have done nothing to deserve banishment from Heaven.” Asshole.
To their credit, they didn’t punish me or send me to Sunday school for being an atheist. However, I can feel the disdain in their eyes when they look at me and see that I’m even further removed from the kind of daughter they long to have. They think even less of me, and favor my greedy, sycophantic brother because at least he’s still Catholic.
None of this matters to me in the least, though, because I’d decided long ago that I am done trying to be who they want me to be.
* “Pete” is not my brother’s real name.
[Introductory Post] The Pitch September 16, 2007Posted by Teen Atheist in backstory, family, school.
Tags: atheism, Dream College, religion
14 years of being a Roman Catholic. (17, really — I haven’t officially renounced my religion on documents and whatnot. Too lazy.)
3 years of flip-flopping between Catholicism and agnosticism.
This year, I’ve finally decided that there is no God.
So why have I decided to set up a blog about it? How could I possibly be interesting, when I’m a total n00b to the whole atheism thing, and on top of that, I’m just some dumb 17-year-old who doesn’t know any better? I started Diary of a Teenage Atheist because I am, most likely, just a little bit different from all the atheists you know, and I have so much to rant about. My limited knowledge of the tenets of atheism (or whatever) is extraneous to this blog; it will include little to no philosophizing. I hate philosophizing,
it’s so pretentious (sorry, Martin!) it makes me look like an even bigger idiot than I already am. Diary of a Teenage Atheist, if you haven’t yet figured out from the title alone, is entirely anecdotal.
I feel like my situation is more difficult than that of most atheists because, to paraphrase director Q. Allan Brocka, my country makes America look liberal. While Americans worry about their nation becoming a theocracy (“one nation under God,” you know), my country fucking is a theocracy. Where I’m from, 94 percent of us are Christian, and 84 percent are Roman Catholic (I don’t feel like naming my country, but do a little Googling and you won’t have any trouble figuring it out). Divorce isn’t legal here because it violates the sanctity of marriage…or something like that.
My family found out a few months ago, and they were not at all happy or even accepting when they found out, an experience which I will expound on in a future post. I’m not sure whether or not to tell my friends, although a couple of them know, and they handled it pretty well.
Right now, I’m in the middle of college applications, and the college I want to go to is, tragically enough, a Catholic one. The headmaster himself is a religious leader, and the school motto pretty much means “I’m God’s bitch.” Going about this will be pretty tough — do I admit to my lack of a religion and hope they like me anyway, or do I live college life as a closet atheist? It’s quite the dilemma, but if/when I figure something out, I’ll let you know.
So stick around, if only for the schadenfreude you’ll experience reading about the difficulties and discrimination I face as a non-believer in my bigoted Catholic family, not to mention my Predominantly Christian Country (yes, that’s what I’ll be calling it from now on, unless you can think of something wittier).