I was adopted into a stable loving family in 1965. From the time I can remember (preschool), I was taught the Christian doctrine.
By the time I was 8 I had learned every song that I was told would help me be a "good christian example"
That same year I was enrolled in a private Christian school. The only thing I remember about that school was that they had my parents permission to spank me. I was hit by these teachers from this "christian" school in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.
When I went back to public school for 6th grade,I was very naive. I can still remember my first traumatic experience.
That day I was out playing during recess and I remember hearing these new kids screaming and cussing at the top of there lungs. I was terrified. I really thought that the heavens were going to open up and a lightening bolt was going to strike down those "bad" kids. I remember thinking wow, I can't be friends with "non-Christians". What would my parents think? I wanted friends but who would my parents approve of?
When I turned 16 my thinking started to change. I had lived in a very sheltered environment all of my life. The only thing I wanted was to get away from these people who kept telling me that I was to live as an example of a "Child of God".
About that time I decided that I was the "prodigal son" that the bible told me, so I set out on my own path. At 17 I became pregnant. This was my 2nd traumatic religious experience. The bible said that I was not to have sex before marriage.
From then on I did a lot of things the bible told me not to. When the guilt crept in I turned to my friends who made me feel OK about what I was doing. By then I discovered just how naive I really was. Typically, their jokes went right over my head. I remember how embarrassed I was.
I had no point of reference to a lot of things. I didn't know what homosexuality was except what I was told the bible said. I also didn't know what my emotions were all about. I came from a home that was never hostile or angry. And I defiantly was not permitted to show anger at my parents. These people seemed to come from a different planet. I felt like such a black sheep around my parents and siblings. I was sure they could see my guilt and shame I carried with me.
Black sheep of the family, yes that is what I was. The 3rd religious trauma experience I had was the worst.
24 months after I graduated from high school, I had left the flock for freedom and a boyfriend and moved with him to Fresno, CA. Soon after, my 3 years of drug abuse finally caught up with me.
During a series of stressful events and culture shock from living "in sin" I became very emotionally sick. I couldn't sleep or eat. I felt judged by everyone in my life. I didn't know the first thing about taking care of myself. I became afraid and paranoid. My mind was playing tricks on me and I didn't know why. Soon my psychosis was very apparent. I began to believe that God was going to come down and take me to heaven or take everyone to heaven except me. That was very hard. But I still had more to learn.
A few years later I had an opportunity to find my paternal parents. I learned that my mother was an alcoholic and had an 8th grade education and my father was also an alcoholic and was obese and illiterate too. Many questions I had were answered. Turns out I came from 2 very dysfunctional and addicted people. They have since died from their disease.
Now at 46 I am able to see a clearer picture of who I am and why things happened the way they did.
Currently I am studying the disease of addiction and I hope to counsel people who want to stop their "internal" pain with drugs. I've sure had my share.
Thank you for your website. I am learning about this trauma I experienced and I thank-you for your research and tools to help me heal.
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