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A painful lesson in life

By James W ~

I grew up in a strict Catholic family of seven children. Fear was always present – fear of God - fear of my very abusive parents – fear of life – fear of myself. At 15 years old stress and depression finally overcame me. I was barely able to maintain. I asked my parents for help - I was rapidly losing the ability to cope. My mother – a very mean person - totally ignored me and didn’t care - my father screamed and yelled at me. I sunk deeper but somehow managed to graduate high school and left home for a technical school at 18. I started drinking.

I graduated an 18 month technical school and got a job - but the stress and depression now overcame me and I was hospitalized four times. I spent a year and a half in a mental hospital. In the last hospital stay I met a man that introduced me to fundamental Christianity. I decided to “give my life to Jesus” and get “saved”. From that point I slowly began to cope and understand things better – at least I thought.

At 25 years old I felt God wanted me to leave the hospital and live in a Christian “community”. The leaders claimed they “loved” me and I fell for it. Thinking I was now going to be safe because Jesus loves me I started to recover. I read the Bible all the time. It was amazing. “Jesus lives!” But just under the surface things were getting worse.

I felt God wanted me to [...] live in a Christian “community”. The leaders claimed they “loved” me and I fell for it. Over the months the “community” leaders subtly controlled me using the bible and sin as a weapon. God was speaking to them - they claimed. And “worldly” things and people were everywhere. Now I know better. I became very, very confused and cycled down like never before. The whole concept of God, Jesus, and religion became guilt, fear, demons and devils- as my “salvation was now in jeopardy. I lost any ground I had made. I stayed there a year- finally broke free but was left with nothing - totally depleted of everything emotionally and mentally and nowhere to go. Jesus and Christianity raped me in so many ways. I learned years later the leader of the Christian community was suffering from early onset dementia at the time and eventually died from it. What a loving God we have to bring me there. If Jesus / God were real - he sure screwed with me.

My story is even longer but now I’m in my middle 60’s - still picking up the pieces. Religion is so damaging. You can use the Bible and Jesus to justify any behavior. Over the years I’ve learned and researched that religion is mythology and Jesus never really existed - and that I’m sure of. I’ve learned so much more – and have had so many experiences I can relate. But at this point thanks for reading.