Continued from The Veil, Lifted – Part 1
Oh, it came out in spurts here and there, like an overblown balloon letting out little puffs of air. My restrained rebellion continued to grow. Frustration and depression at not being true to myself and being so conflicted within, led to days of uncontrollable crying and rage. It was almost as if I was two different people. I performed very well in school with perfect grades and involvement in several extracurricular activities, and I hated it. Outside of my ‘performances’, I was a dark and angry individual, but I never gave that part of me a voice. I wasn’t normal and being normal wasn’t working for me. I felt like an outsider. No one understood me and there seemed to be no place for me.
At 17 I ran away. I was caught three days later and dragged back home. At 18 I moved out but I wasn’t done running. Over the next few years, I ran off to Florida and California unannounced. I know this was very hard on my family. It was selfish and inconsiderate. I don’t know what I was running from. Maybe I was trying to find myself.
By the time I turned 26 I was ready to settle down and make a go at being a ‘real’ adult. You know, all of that mind numbing, stress inducing stuff like a full time job and a savings account, 401k’s and life insurance. (I’d rather have needles driven under my fingernails.) I also decided that I should go back to church full time.
I tried several different churches, but the judgement, gossip, backbiting, and hypocrisy was more than I could bear. Don’t get me wrong, I met a lot of great people and there was a lot of good things going on. It just didn’t feel right to me so I stopped going all together and did my own thing at home.
I was really disillusioned by some of the things I encountered in various churches. The Mormons told me the moon would turn to blood to signal the rapture. I suffered from nightmares over this for several years. The moon would turn to blood, the rapture being upon us, and I was frantically running around looking for my children who were nowhere to be found. I was terrified of the moon and, for several years, refused to even look at it.
I tried another church that wouldn’t permit us to leave until we spoke in tongues, and another in which the pastor became so enthusiastic he began throwing the fold up chairs. I don’t know about you, but this just isn’t my kind of thing.
At 29 I began suffering from severe anxiety attacks. When they began, I didn’t know that’s what it was. I thought I was having a heart attack. After my third trip to the emergency room in a month’s time, the doctor put me on prozac. I don’t even know how to put into words how this felt. Aside from the typical symptoms of heart palpitations, an inability to breathe, and numbness and tingling in my arms, I was convinced something was horribly wrong with me. I must have a brain tumor, or I was going to suffer an aneurysm or some other horrible death inducing malady.
I felt disconnected from my body, like I was floating. It felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin and I couldn’t be touched. All I could do was curl up in a fetal position and hug a pillow and breathe my way through it. These attacks eventually tapered off. They were fewer and fewer until they only happened once or twice a year. I mention all of this because looking back now, this was the beginning.
I’ll explain why later.
Not long after the anxiety attacks began, I started researching on the internet. I had questions. I was still experiencing paranormal activity. I developed tinnitus and refused to sleep without the television on because the high pitched ringing would drive me insane. I was afraid of what was happening to me and I was tired of being afraid.
I began my research with paranormal activity. Over several months, I researched ghosts, hauntings, and different types of entities. That led to mediums, psychics, and various other types of psychic abilities. As I was going through all of this I stumbled upon Wicca.
I liked Wicca. It felt right and made sense to me, but I was still a Christian. I found myself trying to reconcile one with the other. Could I be a Christian witch? Could I be a witch that still believed in Jesus? If I don’t believe in Jesus I won’t get into heaven right?
I was at the home of an older friend of mine helping her with some cleaning and rearranging when I happened upon a book. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the book but it was very old with a blue jacket and a title that I found, at the time, somewhat offensive. I asked her about it and she says “Oh, That’s my dad’s book. He doesn’t believe in God. He says it’s all a lie.” I didn’t know anyone that didn’t believe in God. The thought was profound.
The book led me to research Christianity and the bible. The more I learned the more I questioned until it finally hit me that I had been lied to my entire life. I had lived my entire life afraid of what would happen to my soul. Afraid of making mistakes and not being good enough. This sudden realization hit me like a ton of bricks and I. Was. Pissed.
Back at my friend’s house, she asked how my research was going. I launched into a tirade. “I’ve been lied to by everyone my entire life. I’ve spent my entire life fearing for my immortal soul and it was completely unnecessary. Everyone I’ve ever known has lied to me. I’m just done! It’s so much bullshit! I can’t believe everything I’ve always believed in has been a lie! I’m never speaking to God again!” She patiently listened to me vent and when I was finished she says, “I think there’s a joint in my drawer.”
I was truly beyond furious. I stopped researching, I stopped talking to God, and I threw out every bible in the house. I was mad at everyone who had perpetuated this lie in my life. I blamed them all for pulling the wool over my eyes over such a huge and important matter. If someone had walked up to me and said, “Jesus loves you!” I would have punched them right in the nose. This level of anger didn’t subside for a good six months.
To be continued. . .