I was 15 when my parents made me get confirmed. I’m in my mid-thirties now.
I told them that I didn’t want to be confirmed. They made me get confirmed anyway. I get that they thought that they honestly believed that they were doing the best thing for me. At the time I was on the altar and the archbishop asked me something and referred to me by the confirmation name that my parents chose for me, I answered “yes.” I should have answered no.
I remembered crying the car ride home. That day was the very first time I suffered suicidal ideations. I felt humiliated. I felt that my parents valued looking good in the community and “saving face” over what was really best for me or what I actually wanted.
At 17, I secretly started attending a Protestant church. I didn’t tell my parents until I moved out of their house. As of now I don’t attend any religious services.
I’ve been in treatment over the ideations. As an adult, I have had panic attacks on and off whenever I’ve gone to Catholic mass for any reason. I have been to communion at other churches with no problem. I’ve experience feelings of worthlessness and suicidal ideations several days later.
I missed my grandmother’s funeral. I was driving my car and thought about Mass and had a panic attack and had to pull over to regain the ability to breathe right. I attended the wake and the burial, but I was unable to attend the Mass out of fear that I was going to have another panic attack or to avoid further ideations.
I’m worried that I’m missing out on family life experiences now. I told one of my sisters that I would not be a godparent to her child. It wrenches my gut to think of telling my other sister that I will not attend her wedding if it takes place in a Catholic church. I don’t know if I will be able to handle attending my parents’ funeral masses.
I decided not to confront my parents about this and will just wait for their passing to forgive them. I’m haunted by the experience but making them feel bad about it won’t fix what happened.
I woke up this morning to another nightmare where I was reliving my confirmation. I don’t need advice. I’m in treatment for depression and anxiety.
Would something else have been the trigger? I don’t know. Maybe.
Would I be able to attend Mass on at least a ceremonial basis (weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc.) if my family hadn’t dragged me to the cathedral 20 years ago? Probably.
I don’t need advice here. I woke up again this morning thinking about my confirmation. This event has haunted me for over half my life. I did not want my confirmation.
I’m sharing my story here in case there are parents whose children also share they don’t want their confirmations. I’ve known others who didn’t want their confirmations as well, and some of them are really devout Catholics now. Others don’t practice any religion or have joined other faiths, Christian or otherwise.
If your child doesn’t want to be confirmed, it may not directly affect how they end up as adults. For me though, it has been a major source of trauma and pain. I wish that I didn’t wake up some mornings or have these experiences while driving a car or that I could go to friends’ funerals.