by GAO member, True Anathema
I had an interesting conversation with my brother this morning, who advised me to be careful in my new search, take my time, and not to break ties with others because of their beliefs. That made me really sad, because there aren’t that many people in my life to break ties with.
I was thinking about this yesterday too, wondering why that is. This is because I have always held my fellow Christians at arms length because their logic scared me, even though I tried not to admit it to myself. And I haven’t associated with anyone else that’s not a Christian, except to convert them, which doesn’t bode well for forming relationships. “Light shall not have fellowship with darkness.” Give me a break.
I’ve been angry for the past couple of days and trying not to let it get the best of me. It’s just below the surface and bubbles up every once in a while. I jotted some notes down about why I’m so angry and it ended up being a legal page and a half. Here’s some if it.
When I was four years old I heard the voice of God, which sounded like a really big drum, but there were voices in it speaking a beautiful language. That was my supposed baptism in the holy spirit. I don’t know if I remember the incident or the countless times this incident was recounted to me and others. What I know NOW…is that this was probably an auditory hallucination which was religious in nature. Since I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder a good 9 years ago, this makes perfect sense, because its onset can be detected as early as a few months after birth. Wait, it gets better. I remember seeing three males kneeling at the end of my bed around the age of 11. Their faces were glowing and they were staring at me, but not talking. They did not appear friendly and I knew they were very angry with me. I told my parents because it scared the shit out of me. But, I was informed, these were the figures from the Mount of Transfiguration: Jesus, Moses and some other guy. NOW I know this was a visual hallucination, which can occur in someone with bi-polar disorder when they have a psychotic break and have not recieved treatment.
Still better…..not long after, I was praying on my knees beside my bed and felt a hand on my right shoulder. Again, it was ominous and I instictively knew that it was not friendly. Again, I ran downstairs, a frantic, crying mess, declaring that there was someone in my room and they had touched my shoulder when my back was turned. Not to worry, said mom and dad, I had been visited by the Holy Spirit and he had touched me while I was praying. I never prayed on my knees again….ever. Still can’t sleep with my back to the wall.
Add to this visions and the voice of the Lord as thoughts in my head compelling me what I needed to tell other people. These are symptoms of a classic mental disorder, not really words of knowledge or prophecy. I had a LOT of trouble sleeping, smelled things like bleach, dirty diapers and some kind of spice like cinnamon a lot. There were extreme moodswings, excessive laughter and sadness, excessive talking, compulsive lying, and obsessive compulsive behaviors that are too numerous to name on this post. Add to that the constant and extreme feelings of guilt, headaches, bodyaches, stomachaches, voices that would sometimes whisper to me when all was quiet, always in the background, agitated and angry. I could never really understand what they were saying, but they were not friendly and they scared me.
But, I was told, this was all the Lord speaking and the enemy fighting to gain control of my thoughts. The lying, depression and guilt were because I’m a sinner. The stomache aches were an ulcer, but is it any wonder?
I have come to understand all this for what it is after years of medication and therapy. I don’t blame my parents for their interpretation of many of these symptoms as evidence of the supernatural in my life. Bi-polar disorder and depression weren’t understood when I was a child as it is now, and it was hardly ever diagnosed unless someone presented with extreme symptoms and was a danger to themselves or others. However, there are times I want to walk into my past and say to that little girl that God doesn’t scare people like that. That the mess she is is not her fault and someday she’ll realize that. I would have told her not to spend the next thirty some years of her life struggling with guilt and shame, and trying to be conduit for an angry god.
There is so much more, which I will surely write later, but these are those things which have been on my mind the most. I feel like someone who has woken up from a coma and is having to relearn how to think, talk, act and interact all over again. Three cheers for waking up. Hip, Hip, Hoorah.
Afterthought: maybe deprogrammed would be a better way to describe it.