By the time I was in 8th grade, my parents decided to get a divorce. This did not upset me because I couldn't stand all the fighting. In addition, my father had become an alcoholic by now and would slap around my youngest brother when frustrated. Though I was not close to my brother, I was hurt seeing him treated this way. My father left to live elsewhere. I was now open game for the whole family.
The constant coldness and hurtful words towards me intensified after my father left. Though I never forgot my sexual abuse, I could no longer keep the pain inside. I confronted my oldest brother about the whole situation one day when no one else was home. I watched him frantically trying to come up with words. When that failed, all he could do was deny it and call me crazy. Perhaps he thought I was about to expose the truth because after that day he did all he could to turn the family totally against me. Day after day my brothers and mother would pick on me. No remark was out of line for them. It was now three against one. I could no longer take the pain.
Now that my father was no longer there to shield me from any harm, my youngest brother felt open to release his own built up anger on me. Besides being made fun of at any given moment, I now had to deal with his violent outbursts. Though he would hit me often, my mother turned a blind eye on the situation. I felt betrayed, alone, angry, depressed, and without hope.
With nowhere to turn, I started engaging in drug use. School no longer mattered to me, and I rarely attended. With forged notes, I would cut classes to drink and smoke pot with others like myself who no longer cared about life. I started believing what my family told me daily. I was nothing, a loser, and evil. I gave up on God totally, figuring that He didn't care for me either. The rituals and dark practices I knew as a child and had stopped practicing out of fear of God no longer bothered me. I embraced any knowledge of the occult that came my way.
The more I participated in such knowledge, the more I saw things that cannot be explained by rational thought. I was both scared and intrigued by such a force. By the time I graduated from high school, I had become a complete rebel. I hated all the hypocrisy I saw around me. With all the emotions I still had within me, I transformed into a cold exterior. When I couldn't smoke or drink the void within me away, I would engage in immoral sexual behavior. This, too, never brought solace. I felt more guilt and shame then ever before. Since nothing seemed to bring me happiness, I tried to physically escape by moving to Hollywood, California, with a friend. Hollywood is a very strange but exciting place. For a drug user, it is a mecca. Normal people are the minority. It was the worse place for me to ever live. I had an abundant supply of drugs whenever I wanted them. Sexual immorality is more commonplace there then breathing itself. As for belief systems, it is a melting pot for cults, clans, and every practice imaginable. The people I met taught me all they knew about the occult. My drug abuse escalated into uses of cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, PCP, and heroin. With few exceptions, if it could be snorted, shot, popped, or smoked, I did it. As my depression increased, so, too, did my death wish.
Before my 21st birthday, I could no longer afford to live in Hollywood. I returned home to live with my father. My drug tries were severed by the move, but my pain remained. Though my father loved me greatly, he no longer knew me. I had changed so dramatically since I had left for Hollywood and because he had no idea of anything happening in my life, he contributed my behavior to being difficult. He did not like what he saw in me, and this disproval only enhanced when I got a job as a bartender in a local strip club. When he found out I had started to oil wrestle, he could no longer tolerate me. I soon moved out and into an abusive relationship. Though short-lived, I went from one abusive relationship to another (of varying degrees). Like the pattern while living in Hollywood, I also went from one job to the next without caring about the consequences.
I felt completely washed up and depressed at all times. All I wanted to do was die. I was afraid to commit suicide because of the pain involved and the possibility of damnation. Nothing I tried brought about the death I sought. The pain of living I could not escape. Every little bit of hope I clung to was short-lived. With no other option available to me, I decided to try for a college degree. I was hoping this was exactly what I needed to turn my life around.
I entered a private all female college in 1992. I majored in Criminal Justice out of curiosity. I took on a second major in Psychology hoping to figure my life out. To my surprise, I did extremely well in both majors which boosted my self-esteem a bit. Despite my academic achievement, I could not get rid of all the pain inside of me. I entered into three years of Psychotherapy freely offered by the college. Though it was nice to be able to talk to someone, it didn't seem to help much. I was labeled with having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and High Depression of unknown classification. Not only was I depressed and in deep pain but also was now a label within the DSM manual.
By my senior year in college, I had stopped going to my therapist. My grades were excellent, and I pushed myself to achieve everything academically open to me. Some teachers would pull me aside out of concern and warn me of pushing myself too hard. I ignored all the warnings and plunged deeper into independent research studies. The result was horrible. I would often find myself curled into a ball on the floor crying my eyes out. There was a week that my mind stopped functioning altogether. I literally couldn't even remember how to open a book.
During this time my anger at God was so great that I gave Him a ultimatum. I insisted He help me or else I was going to embrace the dark side completely--bringing as many people down with me as I could. Up until this point, my occult dealings were for my own knowledge (I was not one to hurt others). This anger towards God did not help me at all. In fact, just the opposite happened. I saw the dark side like never before in my life. As strange as this may sound, I became aware that my closest friends in college (whom I lived under) were not who I thought they were. Though they tried to convince me that "they" were higher spiritual beings, I knew them to be demonically possessed. This did not bother me at the time. I was so against God by now that I invited any opportunity to talk to the numerous beings that would speak through them. I called them jokingly my "home entertainment system." At first I thought it all was a joke. I listened intently for mistakes in the stories they told me to no avail. I even listened to them speak through the vents of my apartment to try to catch them in the game. It remained the same. This phenomena was very real, and it fascinated me. The more I hung out with them, the darker I allowed myself to become. I hated what I saw myself becoming, but I was so fixated on darkness that all I wanted to do was understand it. I read and bought every black magick book and occult item I could find. I charged everything on credit cards and was soon in major debt. Though my grades never suffered, I became addicted to the occult like never before. This was all soon to change.
I had a normal routine of sleeping on my couch between classes to relieve my sleep deprivation. One such day, I experienced what people call an out-of-body experience. Though I will not go into detail about it (that is a story within itself), all I will say was that it was very frightening. The following day I had another. A couple days after and while typing on my computer, it happened again. Other than being fully awake the third time, the only other difference from the other two was that I seemed to be stuck halfway in and out of my body. I had trouble breathing, and panic filled my senses. Not having any place to go, I ran upstairs in a frenzy. When I entered my "friends'" house, they were all laughing. One stated, "How does it feel to be dying?" She kept on laughing at my terror. I sat at their kitchen table and prayed silently to Jesus for help. Within 5 minutes, my whole body was back to normal. You would think that I would have caught on that Jesus was the way to life. Yet I didn't. I graduated from college with highest honors and continued my dark existence in the occult. After experiencing a physical demonic attack on my body, I became frightened even of a falling leaf. I knew I needed help, and I did not know how to go about it. I called many pastors and set up appointments to talk with them. Though they did their best to help me, they were ill-equipped to handle my case. Some just looked at me as if I was a nut.
My search for help continued and extended to online chat rooms. I spoke to any Christian that would listen to my story. One particular pastor in a Christian chat room told me all about Jesus and how to be saved. He helped relieve my fear that God hated me and would never accept me back. He told me to have faith and to trustfully accept Jesus into my life. I made the step in faith in September of 1997. It was the best day of my life!
Though I still have many struggles and shortcomings, three months after I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, my depression left completely. Each day is a blessing to me and filled with a joy I cannot describe. I have never loved life before Jesus. Now I live each minute for Him. All I want to do is serve God and grow in His plan for me. Jesus did come to set the captives free. I am living proof of that. Praise the Lord . . . . for HE is Good!
God Bless each of you.
Love you in Christ