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Archive for June 8th, 2010

*******trigger warning – religion triggers*******

As I shared in my last blog entry, my mother found religion when I was eight. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and got baptized in a Baptist church. We then left that church and joined a group of people who met in each others’ homes. They were really “into” the Book of Revelation and were waiting to be “raptured.” My mother would frighten me with stories about people disappearing with the rapture.

My mother had no job but hardly qualified as a stay-at-home mom since she was rarely home and certainly did very little housework. I frequently got off the school bus and came home to an empty house. It never occurred to her to leave me a note. Each time I came home to an empty house, I was convinced that my mother had been raptured, leaving me behind and rejected by God.

My mother believed in “speaking over” people and would tell me to “call things that be not as though they were.” She believed that there was power in saying something and that, by saying it, you could cause it to happen. I was not permitted to tell her if I was hurt because, by saying that I was okay, she believed I would magically be okay.

I spent the night at my cousin’s house (father’s sister and family) and came down with an “out of both ends” virus. I was very sick. My aunt drove me home, and I was expelling fluids from both ends the entire way. When we got home, my aunt said, “Faye is very sick.” My mother’s reply was, “No, she’s not.” My aunt was flabbergasted and invited my mother to see all evidence to the contrary in her car. My aunt left, and I was left to my own devices to take care of myself. My mother refused to acknowledge that I was sick because, by saying I wasn’t, that would “heal” me. Unfortunately, it just left me as a nine-year-old child to nurse myself through a serious virus.

My mother would audibly hear God talking to her, but “God” was really inconsistent in his messages. My therapist believes that my mother has schizophrenia and that what she heard was really symptoms of her mental illness. My mother would take unreasonable and irrational positions based upon “hearing from God,” and I really believed that I was not good enough for God because He did not talk to me, too. I wanted to embrace my religion, but everything I was taught centered around my mother being a godly woman and me never being good enough.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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