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Archive for June 7th, 2010

** religious triggers **

When I was eight years old, my mother found religion. She was staying in a hotel and took the Gideon Bible (which I found really funny – “stealing” a Bible!). She joined a Southern Baptist Church, where I learned that I was going to hell unless I was baptized. Apparently, it was unusual to “save” and baptize a child as young as I was, but I convinced the minister that I understood the religion, and I was baptized. Unfortunately, what they told me at church was not true – that I would be “safe” with Jesus as my Savior. The ritual abuse continued for another three years.

This church was the first of many that kicked out my mother. I was too young to know the details about the first ousting, but I know from later experiences that my mother has a pattern – She joins a new church and gets ultra-involved. Then, “the Lord” tells her that the pastor needs to do something different. She confronts the pastor as a “prophet.” He blows her off. Then, she rallies others to try to get the pastor fired. This inevitably leads to her being kicked out of the church. I have lost count of how many times my mother has repeated this pattern over the years, but I remember going through this pattern three or four times when I was as kid.

After we left the Southern Baptist church, my mother hooked up with a group of people who met in people’s homes. They believed in speaking in tongues, the laying on of hands, and all of that stuff. My mother decided that my sister and I needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so she took us in her room, laid her hands on us, and told us to speak in tongues. Of course, nothing happened, which my mother said meant that I was not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. After a while, my sister faked speaking in tongues so she could leave. That left me with my mother, who would not let me leave her room until I spoke in tongues. I finally started crying because I thought that God had rejected me. I don’t remember how I finally got to leave her room. I just remember the despair of believing that even God had rejected me.

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Photo credit: Hekatekris

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