This is my testimony that I know can only help others to know what is helpful for others and me.
As a child, I was physically and emotionally abused by my father, and due to his narcissistic personality disorder, I was the family scapegoat. I was born 8 years after my sister. My father told me that I was lucky to be alive due to my mother’s previous miscarriage, and if not for that, I would have not been born. You know, I was a “mistake child.” My mother was complicit in the abuse because of her own needs to feel safe. He also took everything from her year after year. He financially ruined the family because of his own needs. Ultimately, when my father was finally caught in an affair, he left my mother after 39 years of marriage and let her know with a phone call.
During my childhood, my father made extreme humiliation and beatings the agenda of the day, every day. Anytime I was near him, he would tell me I was worthless and useless, and if he had any other interaction with me that he felt was positive, he would let me know what a great provider he was for my family because I was an alpine ski racer, which made him think he appeared glamorous.
Nothing could be further from the truth. He was a transparent liar who was only held in high esteem by himself and the people who believed his lies.
I constantly longed to belong to any other family. I could not control this in anyway shape or form. I could not control any outcome, so I self-soothed with isolation, music, and an addiction to pornography, which was aided by my father having the filth in places that were very easy to access.
After emancipation, I first attempted friendships with people who disregarded me. I was 13 and was enrolled at a ski racing academy and I didn’t fit with kids who were raised by wealthy well meaning parents who many were raised much better than I.
In boarding school, I was hazed unmercifully by people who would later continue to hide in the shadows of their former selves as adults to this day. I received a great education at the price of my identity, and it was where my need to over intellectualize began which set the path for me and spiritual bypassing. I do know though it was the path that God had me on, painful or not.
After I attempted many unhealthy friendships in college and those didn’t work out, life was spiraling towards the worst and I was unaware. My need for relationships led me to spend time with drug users and party animals. It backfired and then the enemy timed substance to make my life much worse. This triggered my first mental health breakdown. At that point it was an ongoing battle to have any friendships while trying to balance substance, school, and new medications. This emotional instability was the reason I could not maintain friendships and the reason for the need to seek any friendships in the first place, healthy or unhealthy. At no time did I learn how to confront my pain.
After college I became extremely competitive with myself and others to be the best at everything once I gathered any esteem. This false pride caused me to continue to have a paradoxical self awareness in that I knew the issues, but yet chose to not seek help that was meaningful. Instead, I chose to medicate the issue with any spiritual bypass possible, including ruminating on issues and leaving the help skin deep, only to start the process over day after day.
I was married to a wonderful woman by the grace of God and her family loved me as their own. I started church and was baptized quickly in water and in the Holy Spirit. Church became my escape; I left the substance behind and found solace in my studies of the Bible.
I was still managing but not getting actual help or therapy for my issues. I became so unhealthy that it recently became impossible for me to think in the first person. All of my thoughts that would reflect on my self worth would be in the third person as I projected my own feelings into thought intrusion that would cause hallucinations and devastating ideas about what the Holy Spirit was and why it even existed. I thought in terms of how I felt others perceived me based on assumption. Couple this with a return to substance, and I basically had no understanding of how pretty much anyone actually felt about me, so I became distrustful of every person in my life.
So I medicated more. This lasted four years at its worst, as I bounced from job to job with no end in sight and became hopeless at finding any true happiness. The worst part is that I lied to myself about what I thought I knew was right for myself and others, including my wife.
What a woman; she stuck with me as no other person would, and all I can say is that God has more in mind for us than growing into my father. We wondered why couldn’t have children. It was because I just plain had no business being a father. God loved me too much to see me destroy myself and a precious child in this way.
I chose to ignore my issues with the help of unethical and self serving mental health providers basically my entire adult life prior to church. After freeing myself from them, I found solace in the Lord temporarily until I became overly obsessed with Church and what I call “social media church.”
That component is a work in progress, because I want to spread my healing as it happens. When I could not get the satisfaction I craved in relationships at Church, because I didn’t have the nerve to open up more as I realized that gossip is real. I sought the approval of friends on social media, as is the case for everyone whether they would like to admit it or not, I became a pariah at my Church due to being just plain annoying and substance fueled my sin and people just rightfully turned their back. In my need to explain my lessons as I learned them, I became a broken record of posts on social media that made me appear as a hypocrite.
Again I turned back to my old self-harming place of substance, and my church finally turned their back on me for the health of the church, and I felt betrayed and singled out. In the end it was as God would have it for the best interests of the Church and myself.
God then took over. I always had a relationship with God, even though I was confused about how God was working in my life. I feared God, loved Jesus, but I always knew there was more in our relationship. I only had the ability to identify with praise and worship music to the point of it being just below the surface when in sin and it only pierced my heart when I was not in constant sin.
I did not allow the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide me because my sin was my idol and I could not have a real relationship with God when practicing idol worship. I had a few forays with substance until a miracle happened at my home that when I finally repented as God would have it.
I was wailing and begging for forgiveness as I was breaking down in all factors of my life. After I stood up from being on my knees, water appeared on our kitchen counter not once, but twice. The water was salty and I can only understand them as the tears of Jesus for what I had been through. I covered my face in these tears and drank them. My wife tasted the tears and affirmed my belief this miracle of deliverance. She had left the room and I continued to repent, this time standing with my arms on the island of out kitchen, and a knife in our butcher block began to tremble and shake. I knew it was the enemy wanted to kill me and destroy the repentance and reborn relationship I had with God. It was the most close I have ever been to the supernatural in my life. The water returned again as I backed away from the knives. I had always noticed a wet feeling under my feet when using, but never knew why. Now I do.
Belief that I could take back control of my life through any means became was always my undoing. If you are surrounded by people and anything which may want to control you, find new relationships, new work, and delve into the problem with a qualified, ethical therapist as I have now, and faith in a God who loves you.
Do not be afraid to seek help as it is a sign of humility and strength. First find help in the wisdom that you are loved in a way that cannot be explained by not only people in your life but by God. Never seek approval and love from people and the world. You are selling your soul to a world that will grind you up and spit you out. You will fail and will find it nearly impossible to have a relationship with Jesus if you choose this route.
Seeking a spiritual based therapist to root the core of my issues is actually why I write this now. It is a desire to live in the freedom and the moment that religion does not allow, but instead true faith. Religion can justify behavior, but faith in God will never lead you astray unless one perverts the teaching of Christ.
Actually living a life that God can use me as tool to set others free from bad parenting, horrifying trauma and relationships with people and ideas is now my goal.
Here is the antidote: live as free as possible without anger, judgement and things which actively harm our lives, and it makes the enemy have to attempt to do the things of this world he cannot. Walk in love. I always had a heart for people and compassion, but didn’t have the ability to love and trust them because I was hurting myself and others by living a lie. My father set up a paradigm of reasoning that trust will hurt you that was field by bad relationships, gossip and social media. Build trust in a relationship with God, and work backwards I’d say.
God cannot control our lives unless you let God into your life, and take over. Whichever part of your life you feed will either allow Jesus to build healthy relationship until you and allow the enemy to put you through a living hell. Always trust, and this is important, that God is always using the enemy, and God will even do so to bring you back from spiritual bankruptcy.
Now my father is in hospice. I have forgiven this man who still shows patterns of old as I visited him in Texas before his health went into a severe downward spiral. He accepted Christ in 2007, and sought help to rebuild his relationships with his family. Although my family has been smashed into four separate pieces, I have faith that Jesus restores all things in this world and beyond. I have no choice but to forgive this man, as I have no intention of processing it forever inside or outside of therapy, church or within my heart. Pain will come and so to will return more of the memories when I wasn’t the scapegoat. The memories will fade as will the pain. This experience has given me more depth to understand the pain of others in an empathetic manner. By that, I will continue to actually grow to love myself, as I’m not as bad as I sound.
Grace and mercy to us all.