Continued from yesterday…
Hell has never been far from my thoughts; my own, personal one I’ve been forced to endure, and the one I would end up in if I didn’t walk the straight and narrow. It seems I’ve lived with this fear for so long now that I can’t recall what it felt like before I had it. This is especially not a good thing for someone like me—though I didn’t realize it until it had taken over—because I suffer from a panic disorder. For those of you that are unaware exactly what that is, imagine all the large and small fears you may have, exaggerate the emotions that you have when dealing with them by a hundred-fold, then add paranoia and physical symptoms to the mix. I can’t speak for everyone else, but that was the equivalent of one of my panic attacks when I allowed my depression to go untreated and it advanced. Simple things like my small fear of heights grew to gargantuan proportions, and I found myself unable to stand on a stool for fear I would fall; which would also then lead to the fear I would split my head open, etc..etc.. These fears I could cope with, the fear I had of the end I could not.
That show they air near the end of every year on Nostradamus about predictions for our world’s future is what started it for me. That show was a trigger for an illness that I was not aware that I yet had, and spiraled me downhill quickly. I couldn’t get the destruction that he predicted and the show depicted out of my mind; and all the while dealing with the fear of being left behind from the rapture and having to deal with the tribulation because Ijust wasn’t good enough to get to heaven, I was convinced. This fear literally began to drive me insane, and preoccupied my thoughts. I would sit at the kitchen table in front of my bay window nearly every night drinking coffee into the wee hours of the morning, while sobbing uncontrollably. During this time who came to my aid? Why Christians, of course! Do you know how they set out to help me? They told me that I was a sinner, and that the reason I was going through this is because I had sought out the help of a psychic in trying to locate my missing brother, and because of that I was being punished. Nice, huh? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not including family in that jacked-up scenario; rather it was one of the women at church and her husband that I looked up to, who’d counseled my then-husband and I, and who I trusted completely. Yeah, here’s that not knowing who to trust in my life, creeping up again. With my head being screwed on backwards as it was, it didn’t take much convincing on her part to damn near destroy me.
That tale is a story in itself and too lengthy to go into in this one, but let me just assure you that her so-called ‘help’ and ‘wisdom’ forever changed my life: The way I view most people who call themselves Christians, and now whether I’m able to go to church or not. It took my personal physician, the psychiatrist that he recommended after my breakdown, and a lot of meds to undo what that sick, twisted lady did to me. To this day I have reverberations from the effects of it, and have trouble attending church because I fear going into a panic attack when they start preaching fire and brimstone (the fear of having another panic attack after you’ve already experienced one, is sometimes nearly as great as an actual one). It’s been a horrible experience and one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And why did she do this? For no other reason than she herself was playing God, and using the power she had over me as a friend and elder to try and direct me in what she BELIEVED in. Stupid…Stupid…Woman! She could’ve killed me in her ignorance of my disease. I was fortunate I didn’t end up taking my own life.
I know my family is probably going to be very disappointed in me for writing this, and may feel that my opinion could possibly stray someone away from seeking the love of God. That’s not my intention at all. I am not, nor have I ever been an Atheist. I still believe in God, I believe there is a better place waiting for us after this life, what I don’t believe anymore is that the way to draw people to God and keep them there is through the persuasion of fear. What happened to Him giving us a choice? What happened to faith being more important than our actions? What happened to telling others about the LOVE of God? Huh?…I want to know! I also wonder, just what does God Himself think about the things people are doing in His name?
I don’t know what to believe about anything anymore, I’ll be honest. I know that my mother wasn’t a bad person (A little high-strung and eccentric, but not bad). So if she had this gift of insight—one I believe she was born with—couldn’t it have actually come from God? The psychic I talked to about my brother was very kind, gave me close to an hour reading over the phone, and never asked me for a dime, recognition, nothing. Where was the evil in that? She gave some peace to a person who’d been searching for answers. I too, at times, have had dreams or feelings about things that came to pass (my oldest son also experiences these), and have always been especially sensitive to places. When I walk into a home, building, etc…it either feels good or bad to me (which I’ve heard some people can pick up from an ‘energy’ imprint leftover from people that lived there before.). I don’t know all about that shit, I only know what I feel…and sometimes it’s really strong. I’m by no means comparing myself, or even my mother, to the extraordinary gifts of a bona fide psychic, but think all of us have a bit of the gift of insight in us, and I myself know that I am not evil…if I were, would I be worried about offending God?
Have you ever noticed that one person’s sin is not as great as another’s? You’ve got the lady down the street who gossips about her neighbors relentlessly, but goes to church faithfully; yet she’ll overlook her own flaw and readily tells the man down the street who keeps to himself, reads his bible at home, and doesn’t attend church that he’s going to hell because he doesn’t participate. You have the man who’s a closet drinker who points the finger at the person who smokes. Average Joe down the street turned his back on a friend when he/she was in need, sees nothing wrong with this, but is convinced his neighbor is going to hell because he likes to go to the bar on the weekends. Do you see what I’m getting at? According to someone we’re all going to hell! I have no doubt that this woman who hurt me truly believed she was doing Gods will, but was it if I’m now untrusting of Christians and have difficulty attending church because of it? She almost completely ruined someone’s faith because of what she considered her own. I’d think God would consider that a ‘huge’ sin.
I don’t have answers, and really this post is nothing more than an observation into my own life. I honestly don’t know what God has planned for my future, but one thing I’m thoroughly convinced of now is that He doesn’t want me to live my life in fear. If it’s causing pain and making you afraid, then it’s wrong! I’ll go to my grave with that. You can’t fulfill your dreams or have a satisfying life if you’re being crippled by it, and I believe He is a God of love that wants that for all of us. I honestly don’t think He’s going to sentence me to hell for getting a kick out of going online and reading what may/may not happen tomorrow in my horoscope. I also don’t think you, or you, or you, are going to hell for smoking cigarettes, or having a cold beer on a hot day, or getting angry at someone that hurts you; I just don’t. And my opinion is, if there is someone that is instilling this fear in you to get you to do, or believe, or whatever…you need to cut ties, buddy. I was once someone who wasn’t afraid of anything, had ambition, and self-confidence. Allow one fear to control your life and you become afraid of everything. I’m finally only now being able to overcome this, and am saddened about how much of my life I’ve wasted because of it.
My life for many years has been like an unoccupied house I used to live in, full of my things that are covered and awaiting my return, while I, myself, remained homeless and have been aimlessly wandering trying desperately to get back to it. This blog was my way of getting home, and each entry is me going through the rooms, taking the sheets off of items, shaking off the dust, and looking at what’s been hiding underneath I’d forgotten about. My goal? I just want to be able to live comfortably in my life again, but in order to do that I have to take inventory of what I have, what I still need, and what I have to get rid of. If there’s but one of you that can relate to this post, then the guided tour I’ve given you of my home was worth it. Power in unity.