Today, I had to have an interesting discussion with a friend from my h.s. years. He wanted to know what exactly happened at the church I went to. This is basically the story:
: So, I went to centenary, and mom had me to go to _____ when I was at _______. I didn't want to be there, because I thought some things were "off".
I mean, the fact that the minister scoffed about people's heart/mental issues and even termed something like depression as sin should have been a big hint.
: But I was determined to make it work because I thought God placed me there.
So, I went to an encounter retreat. They require it before you even call yourself a member.
: I thought an encounter retreat was something like church camp where we sit, worship and just hang out.
: Nope. It was more like a short term "this is what is wrong with you" camp. The first thing they had us fill out was a sin sheet.
: Like, anything that we EVER did or our family has done
No matter if your christian.
: anyway, I had to list the fact that my grandparents were shriners.
and they labeled it witchcraft *facepalm*
I was told that because I was molested that I'd will go to hell because I was possessed by a spirit.
I brought up the sin sheet to another person, and they were like "oh it's no big deal" but apparently it was because I had to fill it out and put my freaking name on it.
So, the next group we were in, we dealt with female heart issues. And the woman told me that because I was molested that I was basically going to hell. Why? Because a demonic influence was over me. Because it was my fault in a way. I wish I was lying. My friend A___ can vouch for this.
I was a bit stunned, so I told A____, she told me that maybe she meant something different? So we went to service where we were told that we were having a deliverance service(never have been to one so you know I didn't have any idea what was going to happen). I was excited cause I thought whatever the hell was wrong with me would be dealt with that night.
Looking at it now, I want to facepalm myself so hard. Anyway, the deliverance service was billed as this big to-do. And it went like this:
they'd call out a demon or sin, then you(with other people) had to go up. The leaders then could cast demons out of you. It had an element of peer pressure because "everyone was doing it" and they threw in that we had to be honest(hinting that we needed to go up there for the things we checked off). I admit I went up alot. And one of those things was for being jewish or even studying it(I swear my brain was dulled). I was screamed at for what I could call minutes. I cried because that was the response I had. I didn't feel like I was "manifesting" but they saw it as that. I was actually having a panic attack. And they kept yelling. And one even cast the spirit of whoredom off me. Because apparently I'm a big whore? Another friend of mine, Adam was there. He was having a panic attack too, and they naturally assumed he was manifesting. *oy*
It went on, and on until they gave us our sin sheets back. Yes, our own. Which means they probally read them. And we were instructed to throw them into the fire to sybolize the fire of God burning away the sin in our life. I was a big mess by this time, but I believed that it was dealt with. Whatever my issues were. That following day, they told us that leaving the camp our lives were going to be really hard for the next three days because Satan is going to realize he has no hold on us(should have been a freaking HINT) anymore and make our lives miserable. I was kind of out of it at this time, because my body literally was tore down on this inside. I just thought I was tired. Nope. I had an over 100 degree fever.
After I came back, I met my new cell leader. His name was Jim. According to him, he was my spiritual father since he was my leader and so on. I will admit, I come from a broken home(I was rejected by my birth father and my mom really didn't want me.) So the idea that the family of God=Christians made perfect sense. As the months wore on, more and more things I couldn't do. I couldn't go on dates unless I had chaperones. I couldn't even be with male friends, in public, alone. The only exception was my "spiritual father". The actions were more intimated than explicitly said at times, which made a good bit of us feel like we came to that conclusion on our own.
The first wound in that church, I guess I could call, was the fallout from my cell leader's "problem". There was a woman in our group that he began hanging around with, and inbegknownst to us, sleeping with. All I knew was that I wanted to be able to just REST and do school work and not always be in church. So, my cell leader kicked me out of his cell, citing that I was rebellious and did not want his covering. I told him that if he wanted me to obey or at least honor him, that he would need to live a life worthy of that honor. He never spoke to me again.
The second wound was from the fall out from my near rape. I befriended a guy named Tim Jackson, well actually we all did. And he kept telling me he felt nothing for me romantically, so I took him at his word. The first attempt was made by him with my friend Amy sleeping only a few inches from us. He began hitting on me, which I did find flattering. Until he began to try and grope me, saying that my pheromones made him do it. I was kinda mixed about it, but told amy anyway, who told Jim. I was told to go amuse myself basically, so I did. The second attempt, what I call the near rape happened at my mom's townhouse. Some time had passed, and I honestly thought that Tim was applogetic. He came over under the pretext of dropping off a gift. He didn't call until he was at the gate, so I let him in.
I didn't think about it, but I just broke the church's rule about the opposite sex. He didn't find me attractive, it was just a fluke. So we were watching toonanmi(remember that show?) and he literally leapt on me. I didn't even have time to respond because I was too shocked. When I did finally realize what the hell was going on(he was trying to unbutton my onesie) I fought him off with everything I had. He kept trying and trying and I finally just beat his ass. I told him to get out.
I made the mistake of telling amy. Instead of telling me to either call the cops or whatever she yelled at me saying I brought it on myself. My mother told me the same thing, that I obviously brought it upon myself because I was alone with a man. So basically, it was my fault....I felt pretty low about that. I mean, my response was "maybe I did deserve this, maybe they are right."
A few months later I started self harming. I used to do it when I was younger, but it was small stuff. This time, I would starve myself for days on end, cut, or just beat myself with the buckle of a belt. I didn't know WHY I was doing it, but I knew it kept the desire to die at bay.
But not for long. I literally longed for death by this time, because I was of the mind that at least I'd be with Jesus. I didn't make any attempts until the final straw broke my back.
I was kicked out of my second cell, the leader citing that I was rebellious, not trying hard enough, and had the spirit of jezebel. The truth was I just had alot of questions, and the leaders of the church told her to kick me out(her words when I finally talked to her again).
I was crushed, because the church worked in the method of cell groups. The church was just a series of cells. And being kicked out of a cell was tanamout of being a nonperson. You had no network, no people to talk to. IT was as if all of heaven turned it's back to you. Then the rumors about me started.
I attempted suicide that christmas. I was to the point where if God obviously wanted nothing to do with me(as shown by the nonhelp at the church) then I was better off dead. I attempted to kill myself by hanging. The psychatrist at the hospital told me I had depression, and that my ways of coping(self harm etc) were faulty and I needed to learn new ways. Also, that the church I was attended was causing my panics and PTSD. He through in the ptsd because he truly believed it was an abusive enviroment.
Before they released me to my mother, they told her under no uncertain terms should I be there, to please send me somewhere else. My mom lied to their face. I was there under a few months.
When I went back, people gave me the cold shoulder. people who told me that God loved me and they did to looked at me as if I was something nasty on their shoe.
Any time I asked my mom to let me leave, she refused, saying it was the youth church's problem and not the adult church. And it was my fault it even happened because she told me not to be in that youth group because I was too old.
So, yeah. That's what happened when I went to _________.