My spiritual life story.

Uncontrolable

New member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Tucson Az
As any story will, mine will likely ramble some. I guess I will start with the rape. When I was 8, or 9 years old I walked in on my mother being beaten and raped by my abusive stepfather. I have no memory of the sound of the beating, but I know it was the sound of the beating which drew me to the room. Later, as an adult I told myself about the recurring memory of seeing my mother half on and half off the bed, him on top, that I just walked in on them having sex. My mother said she turned toward me and told me to go away. I don't remember this either. My mother was very stoic and never talked about these things. I know now that she was raped and beaten multiple times. My mother's grandfather had abused her at the age of 8. The husband of her sister also abused her when she was around the age of 8. My mother finally told me these things when I was about 50 years old.

The point is that I grew up with a severe case of PTSD. As a kid I did not fit in anywhere but in sports. I was considered a tough kid. Mostly I was full of fear and had no idea why. When I was younger my stepfather was beating me with a strap almost every day. I wet the bed and this gave him every reason to beat me. I had a very powerful love for my brother, a year younger than me. On Saturdays we would sit on the couch together, with my arm around him, watching cartoons. We did everything together. Our stepfather decided this was somehow dangerous and did everything he could to separate us. Another stress point. One day my mother came out on the porch of the house and told me that my brother had to find someone else to play with besides me. This was all in the time of abuse and I thought my brother was the only person who loved me. It was never the same between me and my brother again. I had made a vow to myself never to trust anyone with my feelings again.

My stepfather was killed in a car accident and my mother kept on marrying people who were abusive My real father was a practicing alcoholic. He committed suicide when I was 13 years old. My mother left him when I was about 7 years old I never really knew him. We had two more stepfathers. One was a practicing alcoholic. The other was a man who used people and trusted no one. I had five brothers and sisters. The last stepfather was just waiting to get rid of us.

I grew up into a very confused person with a progressively worsening anxiety. It was difficult to feel my anxiety because I was young, using drugs and alcohol and thought that the way I felt was normal. I got drafted and came out of the military married with two children after 6 years. This is taking along time to tell. But, the spiritual stuff is coming up soon.

My first wife, because of my drinking and assholism left me in Oregon and moved to Colorado. This broke my heart because I thought I would never see my daughters again. While in the military I became a nurse. There was a side to me that had, and has to this day, a voracious curiosity. I was extremely immature. Perhaps that was the reason for my curiosity.

When I got out of the military they were paying nurses $3.08/hour. I went to work for the City of Portland where I started for more than double that as a laborer. But, this was not the only reason I did not work as a nurse. I was afraid to do hands on nursing. I was afraid of touching people and had a severe social phobia. It was almost impossible for me to make friends. I did not trust men at all, especially male authority figures.

When my first wife left me and took my daughters I had no reason to go to work. They were my reason for earning. I decided to go to school on my GI bill. Here comes the beginning of my spiritual search. This was also when I began to realize I was an alcoholic. One morning I woke up in an efficiency apartment with a red head in the bed with me, beer and wine bottles laying on the floor, and thought, "I am an alcoholic". In AA that is known as a moment of clarity. My girlfriend left and I called an Alano Club to ask for help. I was told they would send someone for me in a couple of hours and just to hang on until they got there.

So I turned on the TV. There was a movie about an alcoholic. I did not see any connection to God here. Not until years later did I see the connection. This was an old Bing Crosby move called, "The Country Girl". It may have been the first movie made with a theme of PTSD. I think the movie was made in the 40's. When the movie was made there was nothing called PTSD. That term did not yet exist and would not become a diagnosis until a few years after I was out of the military. This was 1977.

In this movie Bing Crosby played an actor. In an early scene he is standing on a sidewalk posing for pictures while whistling a song that made him famous. He was holding the hand of his 5 year old son. He is so engrossed in posing that he doesn't see his son leave his side, run into the street, getting killed in traffic. After that Bing starts drinking and is triggered by the hit song he had been whistling that day. This was a movie about survivor"s guilt. The same thing happens to soldiers who see their friends killed. I carried my guilt from witnessing my mother's rape and not being able to stop it. Only, I did not know it.

I had a progressively worsening anxiety, guilt and depression. But, thought that I was normal. Still physically and mentally young and able to fight off my feelings.
I did not think about the movie as being significant until much later. Even though it played just after I had admitted I was an alcoholic and was about my disease of PTSD. This was just the first of many times that God seemed to tap me on the shoulder, "remember this?"

I was married again, way too soon after my divorce and moved from Portland to La Grande Oregon to pursue a 4 year degree. At this time I was learning Sociology. I liked Sociology because I did not have to touch anyone. I could literally stand back and just study things. I picked the most difficult and esoteric form of Sociology. What was called "Constructionist Theory" or "Phenomenological Sociology". We did study behavior, but usually as a product of consciousness. I loved every minute of it and would study 14 to 16 hours a day to evaluate and critique a phenomenological text. Gaining knowledge was somehow a substitute for emotional growth and socialization. I was kind of like Descartes, thinking about consciousness as evidence for being in my little closet.

I was working for the Fed as a voc rehab counselor when I had my first nervous breakdown. I did not realize this was another message from God. The break down was precipitated by a TV show on PBS. Dr. Bradshaw was doing, what he called, "Inner Child" work. Here again, I was nothing but a raw, inner child. Bradshaw used to preface his show by saying that anyone with a background involving sex abuse should not watch his program. It was only a short period of time before I began crying spontaneously on my way to work. I did not know I had a sexual injury.

One day at work I had an episode where I became angry with a fellow worker. I had hyper vigilance. I would often hold my anger in and let it out like a volcano. I was beginning to see that my behavior and feelings were unusual. I decided to look at some mental disorders in a MSDS, which provided symptomology. When I came to the page on PTSD I realized that I was afflicted with it.

One day after a disagreement with my supervisor I "whited out". It was like I was zapped by electricity. When I came to I could not stop crying for hours. My issues
were trying to come to the surface, but again, I had no memory, just the recurring memory of my mother having sex. I also had a recurring memory of the day my mother told me I could not play with my brother any longer. I was in bed for a week, too weak to do anything. I moved like I was in slow motion.

One day I went to see my therapist after I had been crying, for no reason. I had quit smoking and was walking and jogging. During my jogs I would cry spontaneously. My therapist began asking me questions about my childhood. I started telling her about my memory of my brother. Suddenly I began to criy deep, mournful tears. I realized then how hurt I had been over my brother issue. My therapist began to pull me out of my grief, she started reminding me what the date was and the time. Suddenly I felt a tingling in my chest and a warm feeling spread over me. it was like being in an altered state. I felt no pain, no anxiety, no sorrow. I later realized I was in a state of bliss.

This feeling of total wellness lasted for a week, then went away. The negative inner conversation came back. It was like torture. But the result was I finally actually felt my anxiety that had been ruining my life. I did not realize it, but despite my handicap of ignorance, I was being healed.

I had read a book which talked about Padre Pio. This priest was famous because he had the stigmata. During WWII Padre Pio was seen floating in the sky over a small town theat the allies were going to bomb. The pilots saw Pio signaling to them not to bomb the town. The pilots left and the town was saved. This was a well documented incident. I had also had the pleasure of listening to the biography of Mother Theresa. I had thought that I would like to have met both Mother Theresa and Padre Pio.

Later I was thinking of becoming Catholic. After Mass one day I was mentioning to someone that I would have liked to have met someone who knew both Mother Theresa and Pio. The priest overheard the comment and approached me to say that he had known both Mother Theresa and Padre Pio. This priest told me about an episode he had with Padre Pio when he lived at the Spanish Monastery with Pio. He said he was walking down a dirt road one day and suddenly he smelled flowers. Then he realized that Padre Pio was praying for him. He said he felt bliss which lasted several weeks. Whenever he began to pray all he could do was cry. When the bliss went away the priest said he had been given an idea of what we would feel in the afterlife. That is when I understood my own bliss.

I believe now that I was slowly being shown that God might exist after all. However, with my science training and considering my past I had no reason to believe in God. I just refused the idea. I thought, if God existed he was very far away and had no reason to think of me.

Next came the Dream. One night I had the most vivid dream of my life. I dreamed there were women in black, hooded, cloaks. In the dream I looked very closely at one of the cloaks. I saw that it wasn't really black, but deep shades of blue and purple. The hoods also had a funny bump in the front. The women were walking across a stage and down a ramp. There were three tables in front of me. The tables and floor were covered with vomit. There was a shot glass with an amber liquid in it which i took to be alcohol. One of the women pointed at the shot glass and I understood that this was not about my alcoholism. Then one of the women walked up to me, threw back her hood and said, "We have a presentation for you." She had brown hair which was cut short can curled around her ears. Then I saw my wife"s best friend. She walked over to me and put her arm around me in an act of forgiveness. I pushed her away and refused her. At that moment I woke up. I knew upon waking that I wouldn't be able to see the presentation until I was able to forgive myself.

I did not put this together until later, but the hoods with the funny bump and deep color reminded me of ravens. If you look closely at a raven you will see that its beak has a funny bump on it and its coloration is really not black, but deep, iridescent shades of blue and purple. The ravens come back later. As an archetype ravens are messengers.

So this is where my life goes to hell in a hurry. About a year later I became delusional, my anxiety was off the charts. I started an affair with my secretary and left my wife. I wanted to blow up my life and nearly did. I got involved with an assault and was sentenced to probation. 1st offense. I was fired from my job and moved to Oregon. My secretary went back to her old boy friend. Here is where everything starts to come together.

I was always trying to get back to Oregon. I kept moving out of state. I dragged my ex back and forth to Oregon several times. It was like I needed to get back to my mother. This was a psychological issue having to do with rescuing my mother.

I went to an AA meeting where I ran into a blind Native American. Just for the hell of it I told him the raven dream. When I finished he said I should go talk to the Native American who was standing at the coffee bar. It turned out that this man ran a sweat lodge and his spirit guide was the raven. He invited me to his sweat.
I found out later sweat lodges are good for people with PTSD.

Meanwhile, my probation officer throws down the card of a therapist in front of me. This card had a black bird on it. Within three weeks of seeing this therapist he told me something that helped me start forgiving myself. I was a typical alcoholic and caused a lot of trouble in my life. What he said is that I did not have to repeat any of my past.

Then I went to the sweat lodge. The sweat changed my life. Your first sweat can feel almost like a mystical experience. Sweats are often use for spiritual cleansing.

This was the year 2000. I was living with my mother and brother. It was a few days after the sweat lodge that I asked my mother about the rape. She told me everything. I was working as a courier driver I used to drive to the coast and back daily. I started to cry almost immediately and did not stop until the end of my shift. As soon as I got home I called my therapist. I phoned her. When she answered I said, "He raped my mom, he raped my mom!? As a child of 8 or 9 I had no language to describe a rape. I did not know the word, or what it meant. I found out later that trauma victims often go through an extensive grief period. My therapist told me that I finally had someone to witness what happened. I know that when I was crying into the phone I was a nine years old again. It took me about 3 months of grief work about my mom.

Remember the raven dream. The presentation was the story of the rape. It occurred after I began to forgive myself. The sweat and AA was helping me to change
my life. This all occurred about a year after the dream. I had not thought of the dream except when I told my native friends. There is more.

I could have accepted the possibility that I manufactured the dream in my own subconscious. But this all occurred around people who were helping me to realize the dream without knowing how important it was. The therapist's card with the black bird and the Native American who's spirit guide was the raven.

A couple of months went by. By this time I was thinking about what had happened. I told myself that I was fooling myself and everything that happened was a coincidence. I began to pray for a raven sign. For a couple of months I rarely thought of anything else. I refused to believe in God unless he could prove he was there.

One day I was in the shower. I was tired of my life and just wanted to get off the ride. At that moment I said a prayer. I said that I wanted God to take my life and I would do anything I thought that God wanted. I felt lighter like a burden had been removed. I did not realize I had just taken AA's third step. When I came out of the shower my mother walked up to me and told me that there were six or eight crows flying around the house that morning and there was a dead one on the lawn. My mother knew nothing about the raven sign prayer. I turned my life over to God and God shows me the raven sign. God knew what I was going to do. Because the crows showed up a couple of hours before my prayer. Crows are a species of raven. God has been with me ever since. I can even see him working in other people lives. When I pray I usually get an answer in 24 hours.

So one day I am thinking about the Bing Crosby movie and I just think to myself that I would like to see that movie again because I am wondering about the God connection. It was a day or two before the movie showed up while I happened to be watching TV. By this time I have had enough education about PTSD that I am very familiar with the symptoms. This wasn't the case when I first saw the movie. So I finally put the movie and my moment of clarity together. This was God's reassurance. It was like God was saying, "Yes, I showed you the movie because I wanted you to know that I had been with you all along. I saw the movie in 1978 and again in the year 2000.

Any questions just ask.
 

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SifuPhil

Resident Nutcase
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Quite an impressive (and scary) story, Unc. Kudos to you for having survived through it all.

I can see where the spirituality came about, and I'm glad for your sake it did.

Thanks for this.
 

Uncontrolable

New member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Tucson Az
Original Poster
Quite an impressive (and scary) story, Unc. Kudos to you for having survived through it all.

I can see where the spirituality came about, and I'm glad for your sake it did.

Thanks for this.
Thanks for your comment. It was tough for me to write this. I am concerned that people will think I am not just out there in left field but have left the stadium.
More and more people are coming forward with their stories. Some are amazingly profound. Many have been made into movies. I think God wants us to know him. I, as a result of this, I do not think there are miracles. God is here daily, with us, and moves us toward our purpose and spiritual goals. God, I sound like a priest. Sorry about that. Have nice day.
 

tnthomas

Banned
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Location
Calif.
Uncontrolable, I usually shy away from reading long posts, but I simply could not stop reading yours.

There is a little piece of each of us in your story, for me-several pieces.

I'm glad that you found your way, and survived the adversity. Thanks for having the courage and sharing.
 

Uncontrolable

New member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Tucson Az
Original Poster
Uncontrolable, I usually shy away from reading long posts, but I simply could not stop reading yours.

There is a little piece of each of us in your story, for me-several pieces.

I'm glad that you found your way, and survived the adversity. Thanks for having the courage and sharing.
Thanks for the kind comment.
 

Gary O'

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Location
Oregon
Surviving is huge, Unc
Good on you
Some of us have these gunny bags of heavy stuff we tote around
Some are able to open ‘em up, look inside
Sometimes show others
One day I’ll prolly tell the story of my schizophrenic child
But
Gonna let this one settle some
Oh, and this is a very good read
Keep a fire
 

gumbud

Banned
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Location
australia
Hi Uncontrolable - ever come across the writers of "conversations with God" by Donald Neil Walsch and if so what are your thoughts?
 

Capt Lightning

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Location
Banffshire, Scotland
Wow, that's quite a story. I admire and respect your resilience in coming through all the bad times. I never had anything that bad, but my Presbyterian parents had a blind faith in 'God' which they could never explain. Things just 'were', that was 'what you did' , something that happened was 'just God's way of doing things'. All that led me to question things and fairly quickly came to reject the concept of 'God' and as I've grown older, I've become more comfortable with my atheist views.

So, there's a big contrast - events have steered you towards your God, while events have steered me towards a Secular Humanist life. Odd the way things happen.
 

terry123

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Location
Houston, Tx.
Hi Uncontrolable - every come across the writers of "conversations with God" by Donald Neil Walsch and if so what are your thoughts?
I love the "conversations with God" series and reread them every now and then.
 


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