Trusting the parents
April 22, 2008

by pegleghippie


I have a problem:  I am completely distrustful of my own family.  I don’t know why, but I just assume that I need to keep the facts of my life a secret.  I’m not a secretive person, I’ll tell friends, strangers, and internet folks all sorts of things about myself.  but when it comes to my family, I stay quiet.

A few examples:  In high school, when I found myself drawn to leftist politics, I just didn’t mention my thoughts at home.  Ever.  It wasn’t until my friends talked to my parents about politics did it come out that I was a lefty.  My parents aren’t particularly to the right.  I just felt that I shouldn’t talk about it.

If I like a girl, to this day I won’t admit it to my parents until/unless I’ve asked her out.  This one I can explain a bit better:  I don’t want to deal with their advice.  My parents give good advice most of the time, but sometimes I want to figure things out on my own, and, when it comes to dating, they’re somewhat out of touch.  Also, they have way more to say on the subject than I care to listen to.  So I just keep to myself.

Even things that aren’t points of contention, though, I keep a secret.  My dad became an atheist around the time that I became an atheist.  it was pretty obvious to both of us, but I wouldn’t talk to him about it until he brought the subject up and shared his views first.  Keep in mind: this is something that we agreed on completely, I knew he agreed with me, and I still kept it a secret.  What is that?

It was different telling my mom I was an atheist, as she’s rather religious.  Of course, I didn’t say anything about it until she point-blank asked me one day.  I still haven’t told my sister.  She knows of course, since I don’t go to church when I’m home and I’ve written things (that I know that she’s read) that take a harsh view of religion, but actually telling her that I don’t believe in god?  For whatever reason, I won’t do it.

I was worried about telling them I was a vegetarian.  But something like that, where you’re sharing meals, has to be said.  So when I told them, they said, “good for you.  That’s healthy.  Way to go making that sacrifice.”  They had questions, of course, but they were completely supportive.

My family is completely supportive and loving, but I still don’t let them know about who I am.  Why do I do that?  I’ll publish my life’s story on the internet, but I don’t trust my own family?  It’s very weird, and completely based on emotions, not logic, but I do it anyway.