Category Archives: Faith

From the whip to the Word

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“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and it’s desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

1 John 2: 15-17 NIV

 

I’ve been watching “A&E’s “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” for the past 3 seasons.  Although I’ve never belonged to a formal established cult per se, I understand about Stockholm syndrome, brainwashing, love-bombing, gas-lighting and other techniques that are employed by cults.  Remini frequently talks on the show about how when she was in Scientology she truly believed in it, and also thought that people on the outside weren’t as evolved.   This had much to do with being submersed in a subculture that is insular in nature, designed to promote itself and keep its members in.

When I first entered into a relationship with my ex, who I later discovered was a sociopath and sexual sadist, he convinced me to “try out” BDSM.   The way he introduced the concept was cunning.  He said that of course he would be my Dominant and the one in charge and that I would be his submissive and the one responsible for attending to his needs. That was never off-putting as I am a very caring person and it’s in my nature to want to be a care-taker.  The thing that he pitched to me is that I would have complete control over what we did.  The ever so clever ‘illusion of control’.  Nothing would happen that I didn’t want.

This, as I would later find out was a flagrant lie.   As time pressed forward he never respected my no.   I would come to find out I didn’t even have one.   He did as he pleased.   Think “50 shades of Gray” but with Ted Bundy cast in the leading  role.

I don’t think I would have entered into it at all, save for the fact that I was desperate to feel loved.  He was saying all the right things at just the right time.  I was in an extremely vulnerable place.  I had just come out of a very physically and emotionally abusive relationship.  My son’s father had been cheating on me which had paralleled nearly our entire relationship, I lost part of my cervix due to his cheating.  He had beaten me so badly once, my tooth had gone through my lip.  He had locked me in rooms and refused to let me out to use the bathroom. He had locked me out of the house in the winter in freezing temperatures without a coat.   He threw a razor at my head leaving me bleeding, crawling out of the house searching for help from passing cars on the street.  I ended up with staples in my head to suture the wound.

Looking back when I left my son’s father, it was as if I was swimming in shark infested waters with a fresh wound. I was a beacon for a sociopath like the sadist narc with whom I became involved. .

Somewhere during my relationship with my son’s father is when I had stopped going to church and praying.  I felt so lost.   I felt so abandoned.  When I met the narcopath I was like a deer in headlights.  He appealed to my intellect as he told me, “this may sound crazy but an alternative relationship when done right can,  because of the risky situations it entails,  actually forge a stronger and closer bond between a man and a woman than a typical “vanilla” relationship ever could.”  It sounded so good! Closer I thought? Well slap me silly then sign me up for that.  Me the girl who has been starving for love and attention her whole life.  It almost sounded like the promise of coming home.   He encouraged me to do my research online.  I did.   It seemed like it may actually work at the theoretical level.

Boy was I wrong.   I will have to repost the horror show of what happened during that relationship at another time.

Like Leah Remini while she was in Scientology, when I was living the BDSM “lifestyle” via this D/s relationship I believed that it was a more self-actualized way of being.   A small part of me actually felt superior to others.   That I had discovered that by giving into hedonism, and accepting carnal, visceral pleasures that I had reached a higher plane of understanding somehow.   That I had let go of the entrapment and bondage of guilt and shame that my Catholic upbringing had pummeled into me.

It has taken 7 years of distance from that BDSM D/s lifestyle, therapy, emptiness and utter despair to realize some things:

One, the so called bondage I thought I was leaving behind of shame and guilt,  I ended up trading for actual leather straps being chained to this sicko’s bed getting whipped, caned, spanked, or otherwise beaten so that he could get an erection.  He was sexually impotent without the use of violence as he was a sexual predator.

The truth is the guilt and shame was always there in me because the goodness of God had never left me and I felt ashamed about what I was doing as I knew God would be disappointed.  I was also disappointed in myself.   I secretly wanted a better life but never believed I deserved it.

Secondly, I was not better than vanilla and/ or God fearing people.  Quite the opposite, I was falling deeper into sin and sexual immorality but just could not see it at that time.  Many in that subculture are atheists, agnostics or living very compartmentalized lives; it is my belief they don’t see themselves as sinning.   A sort of denial I guess.

Finally,  the good news isn’t too good to be true.   Even a sinner like me can change.   That sound of the promise of coming home?  That has to do with salvation.  No one but God knows who will be saved but Scripture is pretty clear on one fact:

”Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me. “ 

John 14:6 NIV 

It has taken a long time for me to see more clearly, I am beginning to see more clearly.  I have a long long way to go.  What I find ironic is that I was partly on the right track.  I should have been on my knees, but in prayer.  I should have been being a submissive, but to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus can save me from despair, He can heal me from my sorrow, He can show me an enduring love like no one here in this world can.  Reconciling and restoring the strong relationship with Christ that I once had is the best decision I have decided to make.

I’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places.   God was always there ready and willing to love me.

 

 

 


Small Blessing

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So I’ve started reading the Bible again.   I’ve also started praying again.   I made a mental list of people with whom I am angry or resentful and that I need to forgive.   It’s odd because as I was making my list I came to the realization that I, am on said list.   How strange?  I have not been able to forgive myself.   In some ways it has proven more difficult to forgive myself than others.   However, I am going to stick with this and see it through until I forgive everyone.

Reading the Bible has been slow going.   It’s not like reading other material.   Questions often come up.  I don’t have anyone to bounce things off.  I wish I belonged to a Church.  I wish I was in a Bible study.   I feel like I am in a good place to do that right now.   It helps to feel connected in a faith community.   That is my next step, to find a Church in which to worship.

This liitle hymn popped into my head tonight.  What a pleasant surprise.   I haven’t heard this since I went to Catholic Mass years ago.   I’m not sure why it came to me?   I believe that everything happens for a reason.   It brought back a lot of fond memories.   The choir sings this particular hymn before the Gospel is read during Mass.    This hymn is one that is chosen during the observance of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday (March 6th) and goes through til Easter Sunday in April.  On Ash Wednesday, parishioners come up to the alter and the priest rubs ashes on their forehead in the sign of the cross.  The ashes are made from burning the  palm leaves from the Palm Sunday Mass the previous year,  As the parishioners comes to the alter, the priest makes the cross on their forehead, and either says,” turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel,” or “’Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.”  I always liked Ash Wednesday because it was an outward sign of my inward faith.   A time to focus inward, a time to fast in rememberance of the ultimate sacrifice the Lord Jesus Christ made for our sins

Perhaps this is a sign from God that I am on the right track with my choice to seek Him.  For me to turn away from a life of sin and be faithful to the Gospel.  It was such a blessing to hear this hymn in my mind.   I went ahead and searched for it on YouTube and sure enough I found it.   I am really looking forward to turning my life around for 2019.

Happy New Year WordPress peeps! ❤️


Spiritually Bankrupt

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

Matt. 5:13 NIV

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There came a point where the desire to wake up in the morning was no longer there.   The simplest of functions like getting showered, dressed, and brushing teeth seemed to require a Herculean effort.

Joy? What is that.  Laughter was but a distant memory.   Medications for depression have done nothing for me.    Individual therapy has done nothing either.   I stopped going weeks ago.  She began to annoy me.   It has gotten to the point where I do not want to speak with friends or family.    Isolation is the order of the day.

Material things do not bring me any pleasure.   Life has become mere existing.   Awake, all I want to do is sleep.  If I’m not asleep I just want to avoid people.   People that used to bring me smiles.  My kids.  Around them I become irritable.  The horrifying realization it is more than just depression, I have reached an utter state of spiritual bankruptcy.

How did I arrive here?  I believe it took decades.   It began with the incest, physical and verbal abuse I suffered in childhood that went on undetected for years.

Followed by more domestic violence as an adult.  Cheatings and beatings.  Leaving  me with staples in my head, getting strangled, punched in the mouth, cheated on with prostitutes, threesomes, Craigslist hookups.   Not to mention the far worse invisible scars of degrading, humiliating, and hurtful words.  Then the violent alcoholic rages.  Eventually I raged back.  All while trying to raise kids.  Unable to leave financially my kids suffered untold damage. My guilt and shame to see them damaged became unbearable.  Suicide often looks like an option.  As I feel to blame for not being able to free them.

I am not sure when I turned my back on my faith.  I used to have such a close relationship with Christ.  First I stopped going to church.  One child was too rambunctious and parishioners began giving those mean glances as if to say “parent your child.”  In fact, two elderly women did say it.  I never went back after that.  Yet no one knew the hell we were living.  The bruises, the screaming….

Then I stopped praying.  I distanced myself from God without realizing it.   I believe I spent so much time receiving secular therapeutic help for the kids and I for the trauma, that it began to replace the Holy remedy that was much more needed.

This year both my parents died.  They lived 1500 miles apart and had been divorced since I was 2.   They died within 3 months of each other.   I fell even deeper down the rabbit hole.   Deeper into darkness.  Deeper into despair.   Losing hope.  Suicide looked more inviting.

I cant quote Scripture but I know it says somewhere that all one needs is a mustard seed of faith.

I think that’s about all I have left in me is a speck.  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6.

That’s all I yearn for is to feel His spirit again.   I feel so very empty.  I intuitively know only He can make me whole.   There are some wounds so deep that only He can heal.    And that is me, a deeply wounded person.

I have spent far too much time lashing out in anger, festering in resentment, wallowing in despair, sadness, brooding about the years that have been swallowed  up by perpetrators abuse and the unfairness of it all.

I cannot change any of it.  All this negativity is killing me and those dear to me.

I’m never going to get help from Christ Jesus unless I can admit I cannot do it myself.  That I cannot carry this burden myself.  I can’t solve this myself.   I lost humility long ago and I’m worn thin from trying to go this alone.

I don’t have any answers but I know who does and I’m going to Him.   I realized, I’m not going to hear from God unless I seek the Lord out.

He will meet me where I am at in all my brokenness.  He’s going to show me what to do.  He will lead me and guide me.  All I have to do is BELIEVE that He is going to help me and then I need to be patient and wait for Him.

Spiritual Bankruptcy is my call to action, a time to re-build myself and put me back together in a better way than I was before.   I was once told that adversity brings opportunity.    This is my time to grab the football and run it as far up the field as I can.   I don’t know how far I’ll get towards the end zone, but I will die trying to get back to Jesus.

 

 

 

 


Timely words

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Jesus called the crowd to him and said,

“Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not to defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what the defiles them.”

-Matthew 15:10

Though written so long ago, this is an especially timely message.

 

 


Addiction

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Photo:  my rosary beads 

Anyone who has ever struggled with addiction knows all too well the viscous cycle of it all.

Every fiber of you craves the thing to which you are addicted.   Your brain tells you quietly that it will kill you, yet the voice of the addiction is louder yelling at you to give in.

Every attempt to stop leaves you  struggling in a brutal tug of war.  The internal voice is always telling you to give in:

“You know you will feel better if you do it” 

“You deserve a break.”

”You know it’s gonna be so good…”

There’s a seductive quality to addiction.  I believe that there is perhaps an evil force which belies the whole process.   Trying to ensnare victims back in.

If for some reason you give in and relapse, you tell yourself:

”Its okay, you can just start over tomorrow,” as a way to assuage your guilt.

If you manage to to relapse in the middle of a week, you tell yourself,

”its okay, you can make a fresh start on Monday.”

Then you get so deep into it, you start telling yourself stuff like,”I’ll start over next month.”  

Then comes the realization when you can’t stop after a whole month after really trying several times, “I just haven’t  tried hard enough or I have to work up to it and get into the recovery mindset.”

Then after total agonizing defeat, still a persistent denial busts in that,”I could quit if I want to, I just don’t want to right now, I like what I am doing.” 

What the fuck?!

Did I just hear my thoughts right.  Yup.  I could quit if I want to but I don’t want to?  Buddy, my ass has been done whooped by this addiction but not I’m “ready?”  That’s precious.

I think only a true addict can indentify with these insane thoughts.

I’ve been living with addiction and relapse for a decade at least.  I’m in this shit up to my eye balls.

It occurred to me today That the one huge part I’ve been leaving out of the mix is steps 1, 2, and 3.  Ha!

It’s always white knuckling.  Who wants to admit defeat? Be powerless, And then surrender?  Not a lot signing up for that shit.  We do it because we get sick and tired of being of being sick and tired.

Time to get on my knees again and ask for God’s help.

 

 

 


The God Sessions

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When I was a little girl, I used to say my prayers every night before I went to bed.  I was raised Catholic and so I started my prayers by making the sign of the cross, “ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.“

I would then recite the Lord’s Prayer also known as an “Our Father” then move to a “Hail Mary.”  It was more to help me understand each word as well as to remember the prayers.  When through with those,  I would start asking God to bless my mom and dad,  brothers and sisters, and grandparents.  Then I would start going up our street mentally and ask for blessings for all my friends and their moms and dads, their brothers and sisters  (all by names) until I went down the whole block.  Then I got to my teachers at school, pets that lived in our neighborhood, special intentions for anyone I knew that was ill.  I included the children that were starving in Africa. Every night when Mom had to scrape our dinner plate into the trash she reminded us how there were kids starving in Africa and how they gladly would eat all this food that she was scraping off.  Then I always asked God to please help the person who needed it the most.    I wanted God to help that person first as I knew someone always has it worse than another.

During the day I had an abundant prayer life as well but it was a bit more quirky.  It was magical-thinking meets superstition meets magic 8-ball.

I would stand in my driveway by myself with my basketball and talk to God. In these God sessions I’d ask him important stuff as well as the very mundane.  No question was too big or too small.   Like,”are my parents going to let me sleep over Cindy’s house?” Then I’d hurl the basketball up into the net.  Mind you my little body and hands were so small I had to throw underhand.  If the ball went in the answer was yes.  If it missed that meant God was saying no.

If I was really disappointed with God’s answer, as the case sometimes was, I would say, ”let’s do this three times and 2 our of three times will decide.”  After doing  best out of three,  I would finally have acceptance at that point.

The thing was, I truly believed that God was speaking to my 8-year-old self through that basketball net. It wasn’t hocus pocus. Only now in retrospect do I feel a bit silly.  But only for a moment.  The larger part of me feels wistful and wishes I could go back in time and recapture that time again.   My faith was strong then.  I had such a deep connection to God.

I’ve had prayer life and deep faith for most of my life.  Now,  I feel so lost and don’t know how to get that back.  I’m scared.  What if I can’t? Maybe its the evil one whispering that to me?  But if I can get my prayer life back, how do I?  how?

 

 

 


spērō

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Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.


Angels

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It’s been 92 days since my mom died.   I often wonder where she is now.   Where does her soul reside?  I could feel it quietly slip away that night at her bedside.    Mom was more than a good woman, she was the very best.   Gone are the constructs of my childhood, the black and white of what the afterlife looks  like.   The conceptual part of heaven no longer works for me.   I was taught a utopia, free of pain and where all experience only pure love and joy.

It sounds like something I’ve been aching for all along.  I’ve  only caught short-lived glimpses, here and there, like scattered leaves blowing through my life.    The promise of Jesus and of eternal life in heaven?  of resting with His angels is the only hope I have.   I intuitively know I will not find that love here in this world.

Most of my adult life I’ve had a fear which grips me, that I’m damned. So it is only a fleeting hope for me, to join my mom.

“5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to“

Romans 5:5 New King James Version (NKJV)

Mom, you are where the angels soar now, whatever that place is.

This one is for you ❤️

 

 

#missingyou


Compass Rose

It’s still the same I suppose. Every spring as Easter approaches. I drive past the various Churches, with their steeples acting like beacons, sending their Celestial signal up towards the heavens. I pass there aching to go inside.

The ache rises in my chest as I pass, and then my heart sinks as I sit glued in my seat. My blood runs cold as I nervously think that ‘maybe I am unforgivable’.  How dirty I feel. Less than. Not quite good enough to stand next to any of the people donning their Sunday best.

I ache for closeness with Him like I once had. The only One who ever deserved my whole heart, who ever deserved my obedience and love.   He was the only One who would never betray me.

I can’t remember when I had stopped talking to Him.   Some call it praying.  But it was more than that to me.  It wasn’t rattling off a bunch of rote prayers, though that was how I had begun.  We were close back then.  It was like a friend that was sitting at the foot of my bed, just as real as you are reading this now.  I’d talk about everything.  Then listen.   Oh yes, He would answer.   He spoke through my intuition, I believe.  Sometimes I would ask for a sign.  Sometimes He would give me one:  a gentle cool breeze on a hot night or a small butterfly dancing at my window just as I would ask.

I had stopped going to church.  No one particular reason really and not in anger either.  Then a few years later I had stopped praying.   Other things had seemed to take precedence.  It was like one day He was just gone.  You see, it wasn’t an event, rather it was more of a process. Like most good things in life that slip away.

When I tried praying again?  it felt empty and perfunctory like I was running through mathematical computations.  Something was severed.   And I knew it hadn’t been severed by Him.   That pain of knowing what I lost has been unbearable.  The emptiness, nothing thus far can fill.

A thousand miles I have strayed off that chosen path on which I should have tread, maybe more.  It is easy to get lost out there in the darkness. Still easier to stay lost.

I don’t know how I will get back to Him.   I’m so far off course and a compass rose made only of hope in my grip.   I hope that He finds it in His heart, to forgive me.   Hope that this prodigal daughter can come home.   Hope that lost Faith will be found.

 

 


Fairytales don’t exist

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There’s no such thing as love at first sight.

maybe lust at first sight.

infatuation at first sight.

endorphin, adrenaline, oxytocin rush at first sight………

but that other bullshit that the Hallmark greeting card industry perpetuates

just doesn’t exist.

****

but I bought into it at such a young age.

from the very first fairy tales I read.

Snow White being awakened by her Prince Charming’s kiss.

Rapunzel being rescued by some valiant knight on a steed at the tower.

and how can we forget Cinderella, suffering at the hands of unspeakable humiliation and abuse awaiting rescue by a wealthy, handsome Prince, who only saw her for what like five minutes at a dance? Pfffftt c’mon.

******

Yet I fell for it hook line and sinker, like so many other girls do.  And our culture perpetuates it with movies like Pretty Woman, the same storyline, a modern version of Cinderella.  but it’s just not reality is it.

and for those of us who come from neglect and trauma, we are just hoping that we will find that love we so desperately didn’t get in that other.

the love, attention and affection that we were denied as children.

which, is a pretty normal thing to want…..yet an impossible  expectation to have of another person.

One person can not fill such a gaping void.

****

how then?  how to learn to give oneself that thing.   I have no fucking clue.

People talk about finding a Higher Power, God,  to fulfil this and intellectually I get it, makes total sense.

but at the end of the day there’s just a total disconnect.

I can’t speak for others, but for me? Sometimes I wish God could hug me.


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