Ever since I was a young boy, I've been skeptic of the concept of theism, mainly christanity since I was born and bred into a christian-minded household. My first experience with atheism, as small as it sounds, was in the second grade when I asked my teacher how dinosaurs could exist with humans as she showed us in the bible, then why didn't humans become extinct like dinosaurs did? She didn't like that question and said "God loved us more." or something like that. I was only young, but even then, I was a skeptic about the whole thing.. Just like was with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
I was always asking questions like "Why hasn't god shown himself to me yet?" or "If god is real, then why hasn't he answered any of my prayers personally?" and I always got answers like " You see him in everything blah blah blah." but I didn't accept that as an acceptable answer.
At the age of 14, I realized I was an atheist. I was pretty afraid at first when I started to think of myself as such a person. What people would say about me and how this would affect me in school, but more importantly to myself I asked...
"What if I was wrong about this?" This scared me the most, because to be frank, Hell scared the living crap out of me and that was the last place I would want to end up. I, of course, after wrestling over this through sleepless nights declared myself an atheist. I was still somewhat uneasy, but I did feel like I was more myself now. But, I feared my next challange... telling my parents.
Thankfully, even though I lived in a christian household my mom and dad were hardly religious because they were far too busy to actually go to church. When I told my mom about my atheistism one night, She was actually very suportive of me! I mean, she was sort of upset because she felt she let God down since she promised it to raise me christian. Plus, she did kind of feel like a failure when she wasn't around me by confiding in my twin sister about my lack of faith. But she told me that since I was her son, she'd support me no matter what. I was really happy about her accepting my faith.
Dad was different, He wasn't religious, but he didn't like how it looked on our family since we lived in a small community filled with a lot of christians who loved to talk about God more than anything. He didn't say much at first because he, like mom, supported me throughout whatever and said to believe whatever I wanted, but I could tell he didn't want me to go public about the whole thing.
At 16, two years of being an atheist, My family life snagged. I guess my parents didn't take my belief's seriously enough and thought it was just a phase I was going through. However, two years of renouncing god made them upset enough to confront me again about it "Everyone needs to believe in something" Mom would say, trying to convience me to at least convert to theism and try to make me consider believing in some sort of diety. Dad meanwhile, was a lot more harsher "Your a damn embressment if your going around making people try to follow your views." The incident he was talking about was a born-again christian trying to convert me and challanging my views by calling me out and I went in to a debate with him. Someone told Dad I was trying to force my beliefs on people where it was actually vise-versa. He would also say " For **** sakes boy, at least believe in something, We didn't raise you to reject our beliefs." My brother and sister made fun of me most of the time about my beliefs but really, it didn't expand much out of that.
At school, I'm a highly respected student, known for my quick wit and how friendly I am with everybody. Most people respected my beliefs since they themselves were Agnostic, Some even confessing to me that they were closet-atheist. Most christians didn't really like my beliefs, but didn't bother me about it. One kid, the one I mentioned before about being born again, was into the drugs, but said God saved him and began to challange my beliefs.
I tried to ignore him, he was doing so much better in school, he was off drugs and was generally a better person overall, I liked his change and didn't want to make him switch back if I destroyed his faith. I still deal with him to this day and his constant attempts to convert me, Hell, one day he even called me the Anti-Christ.
To say the least, my experience hasn't been as bad as anyone elses, I feel sort of lucky that my parents accepted my beliefs and are not that big on it. Today, they hardly bother me about it unless we talk about it in a debate. I feel lucky that people still accept me, probably because most of my friends are agnostic. "One of my friends is actually very christian, but he doesn't seem to care about my beliefs."
That is my story, thanks for taking the time to learn about my experiences, I really appreicate it :)