This is hard to write. It was easy to write the other stuff, because I didn't dig into myself to bring out any of the hard stuff. CAUTION, triggers. Really.
I grew up in a strict Christian Fundamentalist home. My mother was more religious than my dad. I went to church 5 times a week--it was my life. I remember when I first heard about hell, how terrified I was. I walked the aisle to get "saved" the first time when I was 6, and I was just sure I was going to hell. At 6? But then I was afraid I didn't really mean it--so I walked the aisle 2 more times--at 10 and at 13. Then I was just confused. I could not see grace the way other people could. This may have been because of what happened to me at 4.
I was at a neighbor's house and they took me by myself to a room over their garage. There I was molested and worse. I was told not to tell, and I remember him saying "Now you know what happens to little girls when they're bad."
I never remember feeling safe when I was little. I never told anybody, of course. I played with my dolls in a very sexual manner, and my mom caught me and called me a dirty girl. I figured that I must really be bad.
When I was 19 I was attacked by a man when I was on my parent's land out in the desert. My parents were in town--the hardest part of this was knowing I was going to die--he told me so. But my brother's giant German shepherd attacked the man and he left. He never came back. In fact, he left town. The really scary part was that there was a serial killer operating in town at that time, and after this guy left, the murders stopped. I know in my gut that he was the guy. I tried to tell my parnets, but what I said was "he was going to hurt me" and they didn't believe that. So that was sort of my fault--I didn't tell them what really happened.
I had a breadown when I was 21--it was a terrible time. I hallucinated demons trying to rape me and worse. I was too young or dumb to connect this with my sexual trauma. Instead I thought God had turned his back on me and that I was surely going to hell. This was a terrible time. I can barely stand to think of it. The depression was terrible, and I experienced my fist mania during this time. I was not given medical attention. My family felt that if I had enough faith I would get well. This made me sure I was hellbound, because I tried and tried to have faith. I eventually became mad at God, then it became a tug of war, "Oh God forgive me, " or "Oh God, why the hell are you letting this happen to me? What did I ever do to deserve this?" It went on like this for several years. I could not work--I was non-functioning.
Then I moved to Salt Lake to stay with a friend, and a doctor here diagnosed my depression, and started me on meds. Elavil. (That's how old I am, lol.) The difference was amazing. I felt better than I had in years. Still after all this time, I think Elavil was the best drug for my head. But the side effects were terrible. So I switched to trazadone, and it helped a lot. I need drugs that help me sleep--if I don't sleep I am a basket case.
In 1988 I was put on desipramine. And I went right through the roof, had a full blown mania. I remember talking to the clouds, and thinking I could move them with my mind. So I ended up in a hospital. While I was there they decided to help me work on the sexual abuse--I was ready--so I ended up staying there for about 4 weeks. We did some serious work, work that helped me re-live the trauma and deal with it. It was a very difficult but helpful time. And I was diagnosed bipolar for the first time. (I think it was the talking to the clouds...)
My first marriage was violent and horrible. After 5 years I got up the strength to leave and found out 9 days later I was pregnant. I still stayed away. Eventually I married my present husband, who is wonderful, and who loves the baby (now 18) as his own. It was after I left my first husband that I learned that I had PTSD as well. I had flashbacks to the marriage, and then to the abuse.
I have never quite figured out all the God stuff, but I guess I believe in God, but not the God I was taught to fear. I am still confused but on a much, much better level. I don't fear hell anymore. I see both a therapist and a p-doc, and they are both wonderful. I'm on a whole slew of medicines, but I figure if it works, don't fix it.
I'm doing pretty good these days, mostly worrying about my son, who is severely bipolar and is--as I write this--in hospital. But I have sworn to be there for him no matter what. And I am very greatful to be here, among friends, at PLM. Thank you all!
Well, that's enough for now.