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Athiest living in religious household

Community Member

I lost my religion around last year and my family don't know. I live in a dysfunctional household and have a really odd relationship with them. 


My parents were physically abusive when I was younger but stopped around 13. My dad is like a ticking time bomb with his anger and is constantly yelling. My mum can be emotionally manipulative. Both are verbally abusive to eachother and my siblings mostly.


I don't know why they don't come at me as much as my siblings, but I do feel shitty about it, so I try to fight for them as much as I can. 


My older sister is controlling, but for the most part she's nice.


My older bother is misogynistic, homophobic, and abusive at times, but my whole family knows it's due to him dealing with alot (especially since my dad never leaves him alone). I do admit that there were times where I fought (not physically) against him because I just hated how shitty he is. But for the most part, he leaves me alone and I leave him alone, but I try to fight for him against my parents if I can.


My younger brother is sometimes just mean (but then again his 17 so) and likes to take people's things or hit them with pillows whenever we joke. It's not that much of a big deal until he keeps doing it over and over when we have basic conversation. But for the most part, his fun and helps my mum around.


When I was younger, I was just always angry and at times threw things. I stopped and don't like to get physical now, but I still have a long way to go with accepting my past. 


I don't want to be too distant from them, but I do want to have some distance so that I can have my own life. 


I feel like I'm lying to them when they ask me why I can't pray. 


Right now they know I'm dealing with severe anxiety and depression, so they are laying off, but they keep bringing up prayer, saying it helps to talk to God. 


I spent around 2 years in the past going real hard about religion and yet, I was still depressed and anxious. And I know God isn't meant to fix that, but I just realised after some research and time, I just can't find a connection. 


It is hard to live without believing in something (that's how my anxiety and depression got severe) and I don't know what to do.


Should I go back and just pretend? 

5 Replies 5

Community Member

I don't know if I'll ever marry because it's really rare that I like someone romantically and even when I have, I never thought about marriage with them (except one person). I definitely don't want to have sex or kids. 


I used to be okay with the idea of never getting married and living alone. But now, I find myself being afraid that I'll deal with depression and anxiety on my own.


I really do hope I like someone enough to marry them and be happy. But also, I kinda just want to live near friends and family and I'm good to go. 


Have you or do you know anyone, who has never gotten married and are old and happy? 

Community Member

How does one overcome or cope with emetophobia without therapy. 


I will try to see a psychologist but I need tips for right now. 


Are there any facts about vomiting and fainting that will ease my fear of them and reassure me that it's nothing to be scared of? 

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome


This is a unusual post for this site but it is welcomed.


I'm an atheist. I'm 67yo. You are older than 17yo as your younger brother is 17. 


I have religious friends, Catholic mainly but Christian. Sometimes one good friend after talking for 2 hours will throw in a "thats like Jesus, he loved everyone". I reply "if thats what you believe, I'm happy for you". Respect.


However, mutual respect from religious people to atheists is rare, the human mind seems fixated on ones beliefs once they believe and it is so unshaken they will still mention it even when they know it is a topic that can divide them from us. So what can you do?


Well, if every time you objected to their mentioning of religion you wouldnt have any family or friends left. So it becomes a dilemma at your extreme reaction of it. If you fake your beliefs then you aren't being yourself, you aren't true to your own beliefs. So in the middle is avoidance, smoothing over and dodging comments and questions.  It is pointless telling your parents what you are entitled to eg your own beliefs. I joked once to my Catholic friend that if he continued to push me to become a Christian I will consider becoming a Muslim. It quietened him down a bit lol.


In terms of your family dysfunction, your parents will not improve their behaviour as time goes by, as you'll always be a child to them. Controlling people need more control the more independence you seek. Better to plan your work/income to reflect a plan to find your own place to rent and it could become a sanctuary for your siblings if an when required. If that happened visiting your parents will change the dynamic, you'll find your quality time will improve as they will be glad to see you.


I dont know your education/working situation but thats the medium term objective I'd seek. Certainly not remain under the same roof for years and years.


What do you think?



Yes it is unusual. For some reason beyond blue keeps combining my posts together. Sorry 

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Possibly combined together as you've posted so many separate posts. Better to post one and get replies then if you have more question you can ask them on that same post.