My earliest memories center around my mother and her great sadness after my parent’s divorce. To this day, I am not really sure when they divorced exactly… only that they did. My mother sank into a depression that blanketed my world. As far as I know, she hasn’t changed the sheets yet.
The most difficult thing for me to understand at that time was why it was that everyone I loved abandoned me. Physical and emotional abandonment dominated every single relationship that touched me; until one day, in sheer frustration I threw my hands up literally and cursed God for making me so dense. I couldn’t figure out what He obviously was trying to tell me by my having to endure the same experience over and over again. How many times was this going to happen? How many people did I have to lose before I got “it”… whatever “it” was.
“It” was a problem for me that threatened not only my own future possibilities for happiness but those of my two-year-old child as well. A child whose father abandoned me completely the very day I told him I was pregnant. A child who I could see then was going to have to endure the same heartache in his life because I could not and did not get “it”. How could I possibly teach him to recover from his father’s abandonment in his life when I didn’t understand my own father’s abandonment? How could I teach him to forgive his father and release his anger and disappointment when I still carried my own? How could I spare him the terrible hurt he was sure to carry with him over this when inside my own hurt had become so familiar. Hurt over the loss of important relationships in my life registered in my brain as a numbness that I believed was an intrinsic part of who I had become.
It did not seem right to me that my child should suffer. Somehow, at a very deep level I knew these issues were my burdens to somehow figure out and carry in this life, not his. It was clear to me that I had to do something but I didn’t know what. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t tried to figure out why I kept reliving the same dreadful loss experience over and over again. There seemed to be some message I was missing. Some lesson I was supposed to be learning and I just wasn’t getting. Still, the idea that my son would suffer so great a spiritual pain because of my inability to conquer and overcome on my own level was unacceptable to me.
Of course, I prayed but I must have been praying wrong because all I could see was confusion. All I felt was chaos. All I knew was anger over the past… and all I understood was that somehow I was going to have to get on the other side of my fear and my anger… and that was terrifying to me.
Anger was something I was never allowed to release. I came to fear that if my anger came out, I wouldn’t be able to contain it again. I would go mad with rage and possibly hurt someone—probably myself because it is not polite to by angry at someone else. I knew other people couldn’t carry my burdens. Even talking briefly of my pain with others caused them to fear my intensity, which was as strong at age ten as it was at age thirty. I was forever being called intense, serious, weird, strange — or my all time favorite, peculiar (which I actually take as a compliment to this day.)
Somewhere in counseling, I learned that anger was only the first layer of feelings. I learned that anger was what appeared outside when underneath anger was terrible hurt and disappointment and underneath that layer of emotions was fear. In my case, we are talking about fear of loss. For awhile I took to writing “f— you” letters that I never mailed. I keep them around now for the laughs but also to remind myself how quiet anger can be when it is ignored for too long.
I had always been alone… alone for so long that I actually came to feel very uncomfortable in larger social situations… sometimes, even in smaller ones. The odd thing about that was that I wasn’t uncomfortable because of myself. I got uncomfortable because other people seemed so dis-at-ease with themselves. Other people it seemed didn’t know themselves very well and if they did — they didn’t seem to like who they were.
I used to have a recurring dream as a child:
I was in a room full of people when all of a sudden everyone would reach up and literally unzip their human skins right off revealing their true selves, which were wolves. They would turn to me and tell me to be who I really was. I told them I was it. I already was who I was who I was at my core.
I would awaken deeply disturbed. What could that mean? What a terrifying nightmare to have begun when one is so young! That dream visited me for years… along with many disturbing others.
Satan himself began visiting me when I was a little girl. He often took a different form but it was always him. He always had the same proposition and I, the same answer. He constantly petitioned for me to join him and his forces. I never wondered why me or for what reason he came. I came to expect his visits. Of course, I dreaded them. They were always scary. Some were painful to me physically. Some greatly disturbed and unsettled me but never once did my part of the dream vary.
I always had the same response:
“I will never serve you. I will never follow you… so stop asking.”
You know, it didn’t occur to me until very late that my mission on this planet must have threatened him so much that he tried even going through time to stop me. It didn’t work though… no, it did not. I also dreamt myself murdered, tortured, stabbed… I saw my legs broken and my eyes poked out. I saw horrible deaths on different bodies that somehow all were me. I saw my own mother stab me several times — always in the same places and I would awaken crying and very, very upset. My mother was not sure what to think about those dreams. I didn’t dare even tell her about my visits from Satan.
I dreamt about vampires and being bitten by snakes. I dreamt about dogs and cats whose jaws I snapped open with my bare hands trying to defend myself. I dreamt about dinosaurs attacking everyone but me — and Frankenstein scaring everyone but me. I saw evil. I fought evil… but not once did I see God there in that realm. The closest I ever got was flying.
I learned to fly in my dreams at a very young age. I would hover above the demons watching them reach up for me. I would fly at rocket speed away from the chasers who sought my essence for reasons I never understood.
I was alone in my dreams fighting off the world and I was alone in my world fighting to understand. Nothing made sense! I did know God as a little child but there was a while there when I felt even God left me alone… and I, in my arrogance denounced Him publicly, while privately I wept because I could not understand why my suffering was so great!
I began writing at an early age and have found paper and pencil to be my friends… probably the first real friends I ever had. With writing I could be who I was inside without fear of judgment or criticism. I could be as honest about my thoughts as I dared and could even respond to myself if necessary. A world of opportunity opened up to me and there I found freedom, kinship, laughter and delightful consciousness. I found “it” not at church groups or at home. I found “it” on the pages of my journals soothing me with words of wisdom, comforting me with knowledge and blessing me with words… words that flowed out of and through my very heart and out of my hands onto paper that I could see to be able to say in this place, “Here! Look! Here is God! He… ‘it’ is here within me!”
No wonder Satan was so worried.