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12/15/08                                                                                       View Comments

I'm finally living my life

A gold-hued scene in which Tom (Jackman) faces...Thomas on his knees before Isabel
in the film The Fountain via Wikipedia
Sent in by Krystle

This may seem kind of scattered but I'm writing straight from the heart so to speak. So here's a rough summery of my Christian/ex-Christian journey and some things about me.

I was raised by a Roman Catholic mother and an Atheist but now "Born Again" father (though I seriously doubt he is born again). My parents separated when I was three and divorced when I was four, and I was raised predominantly by my mom until I was fifteen. During that time I was brought to church every Sunday, and for all the Catholic holidays. From kindergarten until grade seven I went to Catholic schools.

Growing up I wanted to believe in Jesus and Bible-god, but I couldn't. I remember spacing out a lot during masses. I remember going to Christian youth camps and having a great time with the other kids. Winning candy for memorizing the most psalm versus in my group. I never really believed in any of what they preached.

I remember I really did try to be a good Christian and believe what I was being told to believe. I remember at the age of ten when my first series of depression kicked in. I remember when I started to read an actual bible not just the children one. I read the whole thing through, and was disgusted at what I found there. I remember at twelve when my dad went from hardcore atheist to born again for my step-mother. When he started going to those evangelical churches. I remember being freaked out by those who were "speaking in tongues." I hated how most of those preachers treated me because I refused to fall under their brainwashing and believe.

I remember at the age of thirteen and fourteen all those times my own depression and emotions was used against me so I could be "born again." I was born again five times that year, and it was around that time when my mom stopped going to church. I tried really hard to be born again, but when those initial positive emotions faded away back to depression, I found myself back in disbelief.

At the age of fifteen I moved in with my dad for six months. After not going to church for a while and being an agnostic I was forced to go to church every Sunday at a church called "The Fountain." I didn't fit in there, and it was stressful for me there. I was the only non-believer and it was a small church. Constantly hearing all those sermons about hell, and how all unbelievers were hell-bound had an effect on me. My father put a lot of pressure for me to be born again. With the pressures from the church, the tense home life, and my own crippling depression, I started to drink, smoke pot and cigarettes, skip school, and pretty much self-destruct. Since I was hell-bound, I didn't matter, because I was going to burn in hell anyway. That's what I was told basically.

A week after my sixteenth birthday I finally left my dad's house, and I had nowhere left to go. My father was very emotionally abusive and controlling towards me and my step-mother. So, I went to a women's shelter until I could figure out what I needed to do. Since I was in a shelter, I couldn't do any drugs or alcohol, and I did try not to... with a few relapses. Also during that time I got into an abusive relationship. Even though I was in a women's shelter, I felt like I deserved the abuse from my then-boyfriend. I also started having memories of the sex abuse from when I was three/four years old until I was seven by one of my mother's old boyfriend's sons. For the longest time a lot of my life was one big blur, I barely had any memories. Now a lot of them were starting to reappear. My first flashbacks were the worst and I had to go through them sober. I hated it.

After I finished and surprisingly passed grade ten, my maternal grandmother took me in. Since than I had to work on staying sober, staying in school, and dealing with my memories, the flashbacks, and the panic attacks. The hardest emotions were the guilt and the fear of hell. To relax I started to meditate to keep myself calm. I started doing research in other faiths and non-faiths, and when I looked at Wicca/Neo-Paganisim I found myself so to speak. Wicca has helped me find the strength within myself to survive and to deal with everything that has been thrown at me. I haven't had a fear of hell moment in almost three years.

At seventeen my depressions stopped. I still have my good days and bad days, but the sadness is only temporary.

At eighteen I graduated from high school, and started working.

Now at nineteen I'm still working, live on my own, and am planning to go back to school for counseling/psychology. I specifically want to work in a crisis center. I am also a writer, and writing has helped me cope. I plan to publish books of poetry and novels. I want to help the victims so they can become survivors also.

I am still dealing with the sex abuse and the abuse from my ex-boyfriend. I have forgiven my father, and I do love him even though our relationship has been troubled. I have been drug-free and smoke-free for three years now, though I still have a drink every now and then. I am not proud of everything I have done in my life, but I am proud of who I am.

I am survivor and I'm finally living my life.

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