Years after admitting to myself that I no longer had a faith that I used to hold with a tight grip, I still haven’t fully communicated it to people close to me or that I care about. It’s tough, because I know how they feel about things I care deeply about. It’s awkward, because I know how much they despise the things I care deeply about. In a sense, I hide part of myself because I know how people will react either in person or when I’m not around.
There’s only a few ways people who used to share similar strains of faith can treat someone like me. The easiest is to say I’m a monster, a duplicitous chameleon who is tainted with lies. Maybe my history will be changed for me, to the point that I never really cared or never really was one of them. Or maybe the fact that I never said anything for so long will be taken as shame in what I believe. They could convince themselves they’re in a position to pity me, a wayward soul bound for eternal damnation. Feigning acceptance while lamenting my beliefs behind my back is also an option.
In the back of my mind, I also realize that people might read this if I ever succumbed to a depressive episode. That thought is particularly sickening to me. All they’ll have are the random words of a madman, strung together whenever he was out of sorts, or off his meds, or just plain mental. A narrative about me will form within them, and there’s a good chance it won’t be accurate of me at all.
I’m not a monster for hiding important aspects of myself, though I accept now that it’s out of my hands. To be fair, it never was in my hands. Perception belongs to its respective owner. All I can do is try to convince people to not draw their perception of me in a sinister light.