Following paths all our lives, to where?
This was a very difficult time, again watched over by God. I was in the frame of mind still knowing there was a God and believing He had control of my life but I could not understand how to make things better. I was in Texas at this time and very innocent as life experiences go. I had my first drink of alcohol at this time and quickly knew that I could be addicted to anything like alcohol or drugs if I did not acknowledge that, so I drank very little and did not do drugs. I did, however, feel it was ok to be around people that used drugs until I was arrested along with a group I was with. I also am sure I was slipped something and terrified when the masks on the wall came off the wall and were after me. That was enough to help me set some clearer boundaries about that. I felt like the path above that goes off to some place, not real clear. I experienced a lot of time of great depression and I did not loose time but later would learn that I did dissociate from feelings and never knew I could or would do that. You see I was in a home growing up that had little to no anger expressed and no feelings much that I remember so I did not feel anger or if there were feelings they were discounted. Anger was such a strange emotion that one day I was in the car with a friend and I said I think I feel anger. It was so scary to that person I was with they said stop talking like that or I will stop the car and you will have to get out. That was all it took. Stuffed those feelings again! I am so not an angry kind of person but it is excessive when you can’t even feel an emotion that is God given and an aide to help us know boundaries, right from wrong. I entered into a gay relationship and thru that person I found a family, since mine was so far away. I also was safe knowing I could not get pregnant since that was a big fear. I was convinced I would kill a baby, not willingly, but it would happen. I had no idea why but it was a frightening feeling.
Because there was so much depression (can be anger turned inwards) I wanted to end my life but was not sure that I could since I was raised I would go to hell if I did. As a child I had stepped in front of many a car hoping it would happen but that would not be by my hand. I sought out a preacher and meet with him to ask if it was in fact in the Bible that I would go to hell if I killed myself. He said yes so I was stuck to live on. I had no idea how to cope with life but later I would learn that different parts manage as needed. By the time I was 26, I had reached my life goal since I could no go to college as I thought. I was working for 2 doctors. I thought is this all there is for my life? What to do? The doctors believed in me when I didn’t. First of all they took me in to work with them when most people would not have had me do dictation since I had horrible writing and spelling skills. They wanted to hire me when I didn’t think I could do the job. I was terrified. God put these incredible women in my life to show I was of value and thru them I was able to return to college. The local university was not going to let me in because of my past but the Dr. worked it out. I am so grateful to her/them. When I started back I took one class to see if I could do it, I did. Next semester 2 classes and so forth. It was during this time things began to really unravel. I was now changing relationships. I have maintained a good relationship with the first person I was with for 18 years but it has taken work since they don’t believe in the dissociation. God has blessed me with her and her family when I needed a family of choice. Mine did not totally accept me because of my life style and I felt the relationships strained.
I think back to the first apartment I lived in with my partner and how we lived in one room it was so hot and it had the only swamp cooler. We did have a small kitchen too but too hot to cook. Spent a lot of time up at night adding water to the cooler (I had never seen any type of cooler) and we spent time on the roof that hung over the lower porch. The next place was a cinder-block house with a small window unit, one burner portable cook plate, water was obtained by climbing up a ladder to the top of a water tower and turning it on for as long as the water was needed then back up to turn it off. I made some very poor decisions during this time and knew they were wrong from a spiritual angle but it was like I knew there was another part of me I had no control over but at the same time it made no sense. I would periodically have lapses of memory but I had no explanation for the gaps and would blow them off as no big deal but deep inside they were a very big deal. I had no idea what to do about them and was unsure if there was something majorly wrong with me physically or mentally. When I started into college around age 26 or 27 things changed a lot. God was still very much in the for font of my life but I didn’t know what to do different and could not figure out what I was suppose to do with the direction of my life. Later I learned more about this thinking that made all the difference in the world. A big dissociation issue I later realized what was going on is every time I turned on a vacuum cleaner I would hear my name called. It was crazy making in itself. I would wonder if it was God but it just said my name. I would look for someone that might have hollered at me and hated vacuuming. I now know it was someone inside talking to me. Just saying my name. They came for years just at that time. WHY?
Today a friend shared a short video with me that was such a good reminder of the power of words both spoken and written. It is hard to write and know if one is coming across the way they want things relayed. Only God has the final say of how things are taken but this clip will remind us of our part.
Not much is remembered about school in Jr. High and High school except fun with my friends floating in the canal, driving around, church camp, helping in the fields on the farm and seeing to the animals. I was aware of isolating more and more emotionally, sharing less and not feeling I had anyone to go to with feelings since on the outside my behavior did not appear confusing, I was alone. God knew my heart and fears and confusion. My parents thought I should go to a Christian College because it would be a good place for a young lady and I thought I should go there so I could get help for my mental health issues I was aware of, but was unable to define, sort out or figure out how to fix on my own. I felt very alone. Maybe that was a normal feeling for young people. I did go off to a Christian College from Idaho where I was raised to Oklahoma.
I lasted 1 and 1/2 year at the college. It was a new environment for sure with bugs I did not know about, chiggers and food I thought was spoiled, Hominy and then there was okra. I managed to finish the first year desperate to find mental health counseling but then the need for it would come and go since when one is switching it is easy to talk oneself out of there being anything wrong. Still God was with me and I had good roommates and good experiences at this college.
It wasn’t until the 3rd semester l that I become acutely aware that I was not functioning well. I had participated in Campus Crusade For Christ and enjoyed chapel but that wasn’t enough. One day I was walking across campus when I “woke up” and found I had my arms full of books and had no idea where I was going, what year it was or much of anything. I knew I needed help but would work on that tomorrow. I did not know where I lived but knew if I remembered a 2nd dorm I must live there so I followed an unknown feeling and managed to get back to the room I lived in. It was in the basement, in the corner across from the bathroom, had no sheets on the bed, didn’t look like anyone lived there, no roommate and a chair stuck in the space above the closet. Not knowing what else to do I pulled that chair out. It took a lot of work. I talked with a friend who was having mental health issues as well and agreed we needed to go to the mental health clinic to see a therapist for our individual issues or a preacher. The preacher was not available. They could not take any more students in the mental health clinic and suggested if needed to go to the hospital emergency room just down the road. And tell them what? And they would put me where? No way. I never told my parents of this. The next day I figured I needed to find out what I had missed in classes and so found a schedule, what year it was and where the classes were. I set off to find them. I talked with the first teacher and told them I was sorry I had been sick and needed to catch up. They said they thought I had withdrawn I had been gone all semester and it was now the end of the semester and I had failed. I was in shock!!! How did this happen, what was going on? I had no choices but to tell my parents I was headed home and not able to return. I don’t remember any discussion or response on their part. I do remember my mother tried to get me into a Bible college and when they did not accept me she wrote and told them they ruined my life. I often wonder what direction my life would have taken had I gone there?
I was now almost 20. I do not remember how I got home but knew God was with me. It was hard to sort out what I might need to do differently with God since things just were not clear and falling into place. What was I missing that He might be trying to get thru to me? Was this part of the problem of the confusion?
In the early summer I meet a guy I liked a lot and he was moving to Texas to attend seminary. I made plans to move to Texas to be near him. I moved from a small farming town to Texas to try to make a life for myself with or without this person. It lasted a week because I was in a foreign land again, a big city with buses and a lot of traffic and no friends. I was no stranger to feeling alone and isolated, confused and overwhelmed, but a part of me knew that wasn’t what I needed or wanted so I moved in with friends in a smaller town near by.
It was about the time of middle school that I had the first awareness of mental confusion but as a child I did not know this was not normal. Man, is this what life is going to be like? I was at school and could not remember where my locker was but had a vague idea of the vicinity but then which one? It really didn’t matter because if I did find it I had no idea what the combination was. If I wrote it down I had no memory of where I wrote it down. I did not know what year it was or what time so I would constantly walk by the principles office to look at the clock. I would look at my schedule but then I was not sure which year it was so not sure what class to go to. I would guess and go in when it felt it to be right. After I would pass by a room, sense if it was correct I would enter and sit in the back. If it felt right I would stay. Now I know there was probably another part of me that knew it was right. Thank God for those parts! God had already started watching over me. I have no idea how I made it thru school and no one knew of my internal struggles (1) I am not sure I felt I had anyone would understand the confusion. (2) I never told anyone, as I am sure I felt it was normal, and true to dissociating, I needed to keep my secret. (3) I could switch to another part, that way I could appear appropriate in “normal” most situations. I do remember the principles office asking why I was in there so much but have no idea what I said or their response. It was a difficult time. It was about this time I was Baptized. I was raised in a home where God was taught, we went to church every time the doors were open and we learned many Bible stores and scriptures. It was also in the 50’s and 60’s so mental illness was not acceptable or understood. God was always a part of my life and I have known Him as my Lord and Savior for as long as I can remember. He has always watched over me, this I knew.
Recently I traveled to Ecuador with Compassion International and had a new awareness. I meet a new person who I will call a special angel for me as I have learned much from him. His name is Thom. Thom and I were talking and I am not sure why but I shared a bit of my past with him, mostly about the mental health struggle and having been multiple. I think we were talking about how I came to love and be a part of the Compassion mission. I had been feeling the need or desire to share my past but was unsure how God wanted me to do that and it just spilled out. Thom suggested that I should share my story, but again I did not know what to do because a book was not my forte. As has happened in the past I began to feel nervous for having shared, I listened to old messages of being inferior, unlovable and felt myself slowly glide into depression, once again. For a few weeks the depression got worse and one day just this last week I shared the extreme difficulty with a close friend and we started processing the depression and its origin. I increased my listening to Christian music and to a favorite preacher, Tony Evans. I read more and prayed, told the devil to get away and embraced the Holy Spirit. Through all these efforts I put together with their help that satan loves to “trigger” us at our most vulnerable places. For me it is the depression I have dealt with for so many years off and on. I was even at the point of feeling I might need medication which is not something I have had to do in many years. It was the first time I saw so blatantly how satan and his ban of demons likes to come after us when he sees that slight opening. This time I was going to win. I closed that opening, did not need medication and refuse to let that door open again. Does that mean it won’t happen again, no, just not for telling my life story. Today I am not depressed and I thank my support systems, I know God has placed in my life for times just as this.
I am so pleased to finally share with you my journey of life and spiritual healing from my many years of being dissociatIve with multiple personalities. I hope, if you are dissociative, you will find hope and healing among the words, and know that God loves you no matter what state of mind you find yourself in. This blog is not intended to name names, disclose events of abuse or harm anyone. It is a time of healing and hope as you can see thru the blog entries. Thanks for visiting.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10