There are a lot of reasons why I don’t share my name, face, or location here on my blog. In addition to the glaringly obvious, that I’m a closet atheist so no one should know who I am because that would defeat the “closet” part, it’s also because this blog has a lot of raw, personal stories. One of these stories is unfolding right now, and as terrible, personal, and depressing as it is, I decided to share it with 400 strangers who follow my blog. Hooray! (Disclaimer: I know that a lot of people have it worse than me, but that doesn’t mean that my situation doesn’t still completely suck and deserve to be written about.)
I’ll get straight to it: my boyfriend and I have been together for over four years. We’ve been sleeping together for a little over half that time. Normal, right?
If you haven’t already gathered from the general story I’ve shared on this blog, I’m pretty good at hiding things from my family. If I don’t want someone to know something, they won’t know it. If you ask me to keep a secret, I’ll keep it.
My older sisters, however, are not as good at keeping secrets as I am, which is the problem. As it happens, we were all out together two weeks ago and they basically grilled me into coughing up my scandalous secret. I was worried, of course, but I figured that my sisters knowing wouldn’t be as bad as my mother knowing, so I just begged and hoped that they would keep what was meant to be private, private.
You can probably see by now where this is inevitably headed. My sister told my mom, and my mom had a “talk” with me. Keep in mind that my boyfriend has graduated college, I’m about to graduate college, and we’ve been together since high school. We’re not exactly children. That didn’t stop my mother, though. The “talk” ensued.
Both he and I had planned out what we intended to say to her as she tried to reprimand us. We aren’t sorry, we’re adults, we love each other, we plan to get married, and most importantly, we are always safe. It’s none of her business. Right?
Her big speech started with three words: “Where was God?” In my head, I thought, …what? She seemed to expect an answer, so being the snarky daughter that I am, I said, “…everywhere?” She said, “oh really?” “I mean, yeah, he’s supposed to be omnipresent.” She didn’t appreciate that.
I don’t know why I honestly didn’t expect a lecture about how I’d disobeyed God’s law. I knew she would be mad, but it was just because she’s a mom and her innocent little daughter (who’s 21) wasn’t a virgin. But if you know anything about my mom from my other posts, God is a big deal to her. Here are a few things that she said while reprimanding me:
– Do you know what the Bible says about premarital sex???
– Every time you do that, you’re slapping God in the face.
– Every time you do that, it’s because Satan is whispering temptations into your ears.
– How can you possibly do that and still take communion?
– How dare he take advantage of a young Christian girl like that? (note: I’m not young or Christian, nor have I been taken advantage of)
– You ought to get down on your knees and thank God that you haven’t gotten pregnant. (note: it’s not thanks to God, it’s thanks to Trojan)
– Even if you wanted to, he should have said no, because men are supposed to protect women.
– It is a SIN. It is WRONG.
– You told me three years ago that you would always “leave room for Jesus.”
– What kind of a good Christian man would do that?
– Sex was intended by God to be for a married man and woman.
– The thing I’m most concerned about is your eternal damnation.
This was one of the few times that I’ve ever been compelled to come out and say, “Mom, well, I’m an atheist. That’s why I don’t obey God’s law. I don’t believe that he exists. Even if he did, I don’t think the bible is too great of a moral guide book. Okay? Okay.” It could have helped in that she would understand why my boyfriend and I are so immoral (because atheists have no morals, right?), but my atheism is so completely a whole other conversation for another day. I don’t think that adding an even bigger problem (atheism) to the original problem (premarital sex) will make anything any better.
The final thing, and probably the only thing that actually made me feel guilty, was how upset she was that I’d been lying to her for so long. Of course, I had my reasons (it was none of her business and this conversation was so awkward and unnecessary) for not telling her what I’d been doing. I usually avoid topics rather than outright lying about them unless I’m directly asked. For example, I wouldn’t tell someone I’m a Christian for no reason, but if you were to ask me if I’m a Christian, I would say yes. Right now, it’s a lot safer than saying “Well, I’m glad you asked, Mom! I’m actually an atheist. Cool, right?” (See Why I Can’t Come Out to find out why)
Out of curiosity, I dared to ask her, “But wouldn’t you rather be lied to about something than find out and have it cause tension between us?” and she said “No. I always want to know.” We were talking about completely different topics at that point. Even with guilt washing over me, I still knew it wasn’t my time yet to come out.
I promise, my mother isn’t usually this crazy. Most of the time she’s actually a normal person who just loves God a lot and wants her kids to, too. But trying to use a book that I don’t believe in to punish me for sinning, which I don’t believe in, because it determines whether I’ll end up in heaven or hell, which I don’t believe in, isn’t actually that effective.