Things That I Will Always Understand Better Than You

There are two questions which have been thrown at me for the last fifteen years:

“Why don’t you talk to your father?” and “Why are you Atheist?”

No matter what answers I give, those answers will never be good enough. I wish this could go without saying, but my experiences with my father and with religion are things which I have experienced. If you believe that your perception of my experience is somehow better than how I perceive it, then you lack empathy. There are plenty of unhealthy, ignorant and inappropriate decisions that folks make which deserve to be criticized, but I assure you that giving up religion and cutting ties with an asshole, are not one of those.

This has actually been on my mind the last few weeks. It could be because right around Christmas time, my biological father, John, sent me another email, and another facebook message, both of which were religious in nature. Yes, he knows I am atheist. Yes, he knows that I have no interest in becoming Pentacostal. It doesn’t matter to him what I have decided for myself, because my answers aren’t good enough. He firmly believes that someday he will get me to be his “little girl” again, and then maybe we can move down to North Carolina together and preach the gospel. Then we can add in every creepy, racist and misogynistic thing that comes with it. What he might not know, at least not yet, is that I know he stalks this blog. And I know he stalks me on facebook. And yes, I have him blocked. I understand that no means no better than John does.

I have alienated myself from 90% of John’s side of the family, because I know what kinds of people they are. Some of my aunts like to pry for information so that they can spread it around. Anything I say will automatically be told to John, and I guarantee you he knows that. Information such as who my friends are, which are the most common targets of stalkers. This sperm donor is the type of person who will prey on people’s sympathies, like ask a friend of mine to give me a gift from him, or a letter. I don’t associate with morons, and all of my friends have been told what I think of John. The family members I do trust, are infrequently reminded not to tell him anything about me. I am the gateway into my life, and since I have no intention of opening the gate for John, he’s out of luck. And don’t you dare give me that cheap “but he’s your dad!” rhetoric, because in my life, he is not my dad.

And this is where religion comes into play. John is not the only reason, but he is a reason why I stopped believing in “God”. I always questioned religion as a concept when I was a kid. But in my teen years, Catholicism became integrated into my lifestyle to a moderate extent. I stopped believing when I realized I was becoming an arrogant, close-minded prick. I also stopped believing because it made me feel stupid. And if you know me well, then you know how anti-stupid I am. The fear of becoming a black bible thumper, I think really did it for me. I’ve never been good at lowering my integrity.

It was labeled as a phase I’d grow out of because I was a teenager. Or that I would change my mind as I got older. It’s hilarious, because over a decade later, I still haven’t changed my mind. There are a multitude of things about my future that people tried to predict too. Such as, conceiving children. Changing my last name when or if I get married. Strictly dating men. And my personal favorite, that I wouldn’t become a teacher until I was in my mid-thirties, and became a head teacher at age 24. With no children, no desire to change my name, and still being bisexual, I’d say their predictions were more than a little off.

Bottom line, if I don’t want to practice a religion, then I’m not going to practice a religion. If I don’t want an asshole in my life, then that asshole will not be in my life. I have far too much self-respect and far too little patience to be dicking around with everyone else’s expectations of what my life is supposed to be.

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