Hi, I'm Eric, and I'm 21-years-old.


I am an atheist.


And it isn't surprising that I am, considering how religion has fundamentally ruined my life from the get-go.


I was born in a Conservative Republican, Presbyterian-Christian household. From the start, I was home schooled. For some people, this means gathering in a community of like-minded people, sharing ideas, resources, etc... but not for me. Basically what home schooling amounted to, for me, was unschooling. Which is basically the concept that you learn from your experiences.


Anyway, my parents basically locked my brother and me in our rooms all day with the same toys year after year. We rarely went out, and when we did, it was during the day to the store (usually a health food store) when no kids were around. There were no kids in my neighborhood, when we went to church we'd leave immediately after, so essentially I had no real friends for the first 16 or so years of my life.


Fast forward to now. I should be in college, I should be knee-deep in relationships, and I should be driving to work every day. I should be living. But, I'm not. I am completely at their mercy to this day. I have tried many times to talk to them seriously, but they always turn it into a victim thing on their end and it never gets anywhere. So now, I feel alone, and kind of scared that my life can't get anywhere... I never really had a chance, in retrospect.


So now you can see why I am an atheist (emotionally, anyway)--I never went to real school, never had friends as a kid and was home all day, because of a book written 2,000 years ago that tells you to worship a cosmic jewish zombie, and right-wing conspiracy theories spouted by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the like. Thanks, Christianity! You're the best!


P.S. Any advice would be nice.

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Hi Eric!

Just thought it might be nice for you to hear that there are other 21-year-old atheists out there. My story isn't anywhere near the same as yours, as I went to public school and was born into a liberal Catholic family, but I came to the same conclusion you did. It's a logical conclusion, and, I'd argue, THE logical conclusion if you really think about all this religion stuff.

The best thing I ever did was move out of my mother's house. It's been a couple months of living with my fiance and our cats, and I can honestly say I've never been happier and never felt better about myself than right now. I know you said you're at their mercy, but are you employed? If not, can you get some kind of job? If you are, can you save some money and try to get out of there? It sounds like a very toxic situation, and at 21 you have the excuse of wanting to start your own life to give them if they ask why you're moving out.

See, they really can't keep you there. You're an adult. If they're holding you against your will, that's kidnapping. You can leave, if you've got money to pay for an apartment or rented house - and you can find roommates or housemates on craigslist or elsewhere on the internet. It's definitely possible, and I think you might want to consider it. (Or is your brother old enough to be a roommate/housemate with you? Could you live with him?) It will be difficult at first, but it sounds to me like you need space.

Anyway, feel free to message me if you ever need to talk or vent. I'll be more than happy to listen.

Hey, thanks for the reply.


I'm not currently employed, no... I've been trying desperately to get a job, but it's just not getting me anywhere.


Believe me, moving out of this house is one of the things I desire most at this moment. Quite desperately, in fact.... but I simply don't have the resources to accomplish this at this moment. :-/


I definitely do need space... it gets really frustrating and maddening sometimes, living this way. Argh.

Me too. Military works. Or College

I agree. As much as I don't like to recommend the miltary because of the chance of going to war, in your case Astaroth, it may be your only way out, plus it would help you into college, and chicks dig miltary men. You were born into a cult. You were never meant to have your own life. People like your parents shouldn't have children to begin with because they place religion above their children. I'm surprised Social Services hasn't payed a visit.

 Wow Dude, sorry.  I wonder if it's to late to turn them in for child abuse.  how does your brother feel about things?  Why can't you enroll in college now or take the GED if that's what follows as the next step in your education.  There are grants and student loans you can apply for.  If there's anything I can do to help let me know.  I'm about twice your age but I'm kind of a shut in right now too, my own fault though, but I have gone back to school and that helps a lot.  I haven't lived here all that long and I've only really go one friend that I do anything with but she gets me out of the house once or twice a week.  The rest of the time I'm stuck here living with my 81 yr old aunt, who is a wonderful person but is, of course, a Southern Baptist.  So we do have some stuff other than age in common.  Anyway, welcome! and hope you find what you need here, you're off to a good start :)



I'd love to get my GED, but the fact of the matter is, my math tests at a third grade level. Math literally gives me a headache... I could pass the GED otherwise, but in terms of math I'm kinda screwed.

Get  tested for dyscalculia.

This is a learning disability like dyslexia but in math..if you have this,educational facilities will have to accommodate you.


I would advise against doing this. It seems obvious to me that you would fail the test and be labelled as dyscalculic when the fact of the matter is that you simply have never had proper schooling. Maths, like reading, is not a skill we are born with and although we all find different ways of learning and at different rates, we are all capable of reading, writing and performing sums. I would be fairly confident in assuming that the headache you feel then you approach maths is more trepidation due to the complete absence of any basic method (which would normally be taught in school, if the teacher knew what s/he was doing and you were listening) than any bogus medical condition.

I am the only non-teacher in my family, although I did dabble when I graduated for want of an engineering job. My parents and my sister are private tutors (one to one teaching) and my mum especially has been doing it all her working life. She has yet to find someone who could honestly be described as dyslexic or dyscalculic. Every time a new pupil comes to her with the label "hung around their neck", often with their parents waving their dylexic's certificate (almost proudly - dyslexia magically makes you "more intelligent" than other kids - something that the parents are more than willing to buy in to), it turns out that the kid has been badly schooled and when shown the same basic techniques as any other kid learning to read, picks up reading easily.

I will stick my neck out there and state that dyslexia and dyscalculia are bogus nanny-conditions invented to excuse bad teaching.

Please do not fall into the trap of hiding behind that label, as telling yourself that you can't do something is more of a barrier to doing it than anything else...

Best of luck getting a job and getting out of the house. It's never to late to start your new life.

Exactly, great example.

Different people learn things (and think) in different ways. Unfortunately the nature of a large class is that the method preferred by the majority will be used, to the detriment of the few.

Congratulations, sounds like yours turned out well. :-D

It may be too late to turn them in for child abuse, but it's never too late to start looking for nursing homes for them (especially nursing homes with a bad reputation, which why parents should always be nice to their children). Of course, it's never too late to give your father a right cross.

Wow, that does suck.  Start getting your ducks in a row and planning your exodus.  Might take a little time, but you seem to have the desire to make it happen.  I like coffeycake's advice on finding a job and a roomie.  I think people advertise for roommates in the paper or maybe online.  Hopefully knowing that things will change will give you some relief emotionally.  Hang in there, dude.


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