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"Gifts of the Spirit" include PTSD

By Robyn W ~
I'm a 58-year-old successful business woman who has suffered horribly my entire life from religious abuse. My parents are/were zealot Christians with my dad being a HUGE hypocrite. I was raised in the Assembly of God Church in a small town in the middle of Iowa. The pastor was a cult leader to the core and that poor congregation went through incredible heartaches and financial loss because of that man. My dad was a deacon and my mom was the piano player. We were at that church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and most Friday nights were prayer meetings.

It was hellfire and brimstone, speaking in tongues, slain in the spirit, holy-roller baptism by fire kind of church and my entire life has been completely fucked up by it. I NEVER learned about the love of God/Jesus. It was ALWAYS fear and realizing you are never going to be good enough no matter what and that you're going to hell. My father STILL to this day tells me I'm going to hell every single time I call him.

As small children, every single year we had to watch the horrible movies, "666" and others like it. One of them shows a small boy get his head cut off in a guillotine because he wouldn't take the mark of the beast. The Left Behind series scared the bejesus out of me and would never read them. I rebelled big time my entire life about this religious abuse which meant I was the black sheep and everyone was praying for me to repent. The preacher would specifically call me down to the front of the church so the elders could pray the devil out of me. I tried to kill myself several times because I was being sexually molested by men in the church and nobody would listen to me. I was beat up by my father on a Saturday night and called a slut at the age of 13. He kept hitting me and I kept getting back up asking him if that made him feel like a man. Over and over. My mother ran into her bedroom and started speaking in tongues and my two sisters kept yelling at me to stay down until finally they couldn't stand it any longer and ran upstairs. They all left me to stand up for myself against this sperm-donor who called himself my dad. I had a black eye so my father told me when we went to church Sunday. morning tell tell everyone I fell down. The first person who asked about my black eye I told them the truth, that my dad beat me up. Not one person in that church helped me.

Although I've spent my entire life de-brainwashing myself from all of this, I find myself still experiencing strong PTSD symptoms. The movie, "Left Behind" was about all the people who are left behind after Jesus comes in the rapture and takes all the Christians. We lived out in the country and my mom was a stay at home mom. There were too many times to count when I would get dropped of by the school bus and discover that NOBODY WAS HOME! I went in to absolute freak mode and would call every "christian" who went to our church to see if they answered. I would be hyperventilating and almost puking my guts out until someone answered the phone. I knew that if THEY were still here, then I was OK. This fear and complete terror has followed me throughout my life. Whenever I discover myself alone, when just a few minutes ago someone was there, my mind IMMEDIATELY goes to the rapture has taken place. It's gut-wrenching terror for a small child to live like that.

I have been so traumatized about this my entire life that for a very, very long time I couldn't even attend a church for any reason. I would immediately start sobbing and once I got to my car I would SCREAM IN RAGE to the point I would damage my vocal cords. Only since my mother died in June of 2016 have I slowly been able to attend a church service that I don't sob (I may still shed some tears) and don't scream in rage.

For all of these years, I have been seeking and searching. It sounds like a lot of us take religion classes in college. I explore other religions and push myself to stay positive and love myself like I've never felt loved by a god or a parent...or even a lover. I own a sound and vibration business to raise my vibration which helps keep depression, anxiety and panic at bay.

Although I've spent my entire life de-brainwashing myself from all of this, I find myself still experiencing strong PTSD symptoms.I started abusing alcohol when I was 45 and finally at 56 I was able to kill that vice. Alcohol-free is the only way to be when you're dealing with PTSD. Smoke a joint but stay off that poisonous alcohol. I spend a LOT of time in meditation and self-reflection and reconciling my purpose in life.

Because most of our religious trauma happened from very early childhood, those things become embedded in our chemical make-up. Our brains were wired to live in constant fear (you might be in a car accident on the way home from church so get down on your knees now and repent!)! It's very difficult to break away from this and I still struggle on a daily basis. What if they're right?

When my my mother would come to my house and try to witness to me and tell me I was going to hell, I would tell her she was wrong. And, she would say, but what if you're wrong and you go to hell and you never get to see me again? And I would say well WHAT IF YOU'RE WRONG AND YOU GET PUNISHED FOR TORTURING ME ALL THESE YEARS?!!!

Fuck. It's just never-ending.