Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Beginning

A  couple of days ago I did one of those memes that go around Facebook from time to time.

Justin gave me the age 25. These are the three things that aren't really secrets, but not many people know about them.
I was dating a crack-head con-man who went to jail for stealing our neighbour's car, stealing our roommate's credit card, defrauding several department stores and double-doctoring.I wanted desperately to believe that god would save my life.I was on welfare.
Comment and I'll give you a year to share three secrets about.”

A couple of friends were very surprised about the second entry. Given what they know about me now their surprise is natural. But me at 25 and me over 30 (when I met both these friends) were two different people. I think further explanation is in order.

When I was 25 I wanted desperately to believe that god would save my life. That was 1999. A year later, things were different.

I don’t remember exactly what day it was, but it happened mid to late 2000. My “boyfriend” had just been sentenced to 28 months in prison for a string of charges related to his interest in taking other people’s property and using them to purchase illegal drugs.

At the time I was convinced that I had been damaged beyond redemption from several years of alcohol and drug abuse. I was a non-meeting-attending member of a 12-step “fellowship” where I was being told that if I could just “get the program” and “develop a relationship with the god of my understanding” I would be happy and my relationships would be good.

Even in typing that I feel like an idiot.

So what I was doing was a lot self-help using writing and getting peer support from a few self-identified substance abusers and trying to keep up a solo neo-pagan religious practice while in a relationship with a status obsessed, drug abusing, Jewish convert who thought I was worshipping the devil and telling too much of our business to my friends.

The crazier our relationship got the more I kept praying that god would just end the insanity. I would pray and light candles and cast spells and lay down on the floor in the fetal position and just cry, waiting for god to fix this fucking *thing* and make it right.

The only thing that I knew for sure was you have to believe that EVERYTHING is god’s will or NOTHING is god’s will... you don’t get to pick and choose. People who chose and picked the will of god were not being intellectually honest about what god could do in their lives. (The irony of that statement is not lost on me, by the way.) If life was still crazy it must be because I didn’t believe enough or god wanted me to learn something or maybe god thought that this was the best I could ever do.

I didn’t believe that god would save my life. I wanted to believe that god would save my life. I wanted that more than anything and I would do whatever the believers in my life told me to do to get god to do that. So I continued praying. I continued writing. I continued lighting candles and casting spells, consulting cards and casting rune stones. Every night I ended up in the fetal position on the floor in tears. Clearly I was doing something wrong.

But on that day shortly after I insured that my crazy boyfriend was settled into the minimum-security correctional institution where he was to serve one-third of his sentence before being considered for day parole. I had shipped him some of his stuff and visited him enough times to convince him that he should not “escape” from prison and just do his time, I made one decision.

I decided to stop seeking god.

I wrote the crackhead boyfriend a “Dear John” letter.

I convinced the person I was living with to tell him I had moved out and lied to him about where I was living.
I moved to another town.
I cut all my hair off, I bought a suit and a pair of heels and I went and landed an interesting job.

Months later I realized that my life got better the minute after I stopped praying for god to fix my life and made a decision to actually do something. From that day forward I started questioning the idea of god.

I would not utter the word
Atheist for another two years but this was the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. I was in a very similar situation in the early to mid 90's. My ex-husband was a meth addict... theif, car jacker, robber, con man... he was always in & out of prison, always looking for the next meth fix. He started cooking his own and selling too. It was awful. I was abused. My dogs were abused. I prayed and prayed trying to find a way out. I was 2300 miles from home, from family.

    Finally one day I realized that I had to help myself. While I continue to pray and believe in God (higher power), for me it was the realization that God helps those that help themselves. While I was busy sitting with prayer, I wasn't taking any action or doing anything to help myself. I was waiting for Him/Her/It to do all the work for me...