I didn't know it could be so hard for people in America - where do you live?? I live in California so I have never experienced a problem even though I live in a conservative county - they are all pretty much secular.
One thing though; look at this one brightside through all the difficulties: if you were living in an Islamic country you might have been executed.
In my case, my immediate family is pretty liberal, so I've had no problems with them. My extended family is heavily evangelical, but extremely nice people who would never do or say something hurtful... at least not to my face. I have found out about some things said behind my back that were less nice, but I don't know who said what or what the details of the situation were, so it's hard for me to say whether there is much of a problem there or not. The feeling I get is that the blame for my atheism is being put against my parents, who apparently have put up with a lot of crap.
The most direct confrontation comes from coworkers who are almost all Christians. Nearly every time I've mentioned that I'm an atheist, some coworker instantly starts quizzing me on evolution or the big bang, like I'm supposed to be some kind of scientist. Though honestly the more intense conversations at work always revolve around politics. When I say that I'm a moderate with liberal leanings, they hear "communist."