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Guest JP1283

Suddenly Seeking Sanity

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Guest JP1283

I am a 21-year-old gay male. I was never raised in a religious family. Their was a general belief in God in our household, but my parents left it up to the kids to decide for themselves what God was. Of course, I generally believed in the Bible and heaven and hell. I would always say my prayers each night and tell God I loved him.

 

The only times I went to church were with friends. During one particular visit, the Sunday School teacher said that whenever we sinned, we were always to say "Forgive me, Lord." That developed into a ritual for me. Whenever I sinned, I would automatically pray for forgiveness.

 

When I was about 15 or 16, I started having horrible thoughts and images that I could not control. The Columbine shootings were actually what really triggered them. They would come out of nowhere, and I didn't know what caused them. I couldn't tell anyone about them out of embarrassment and fear, so I kept them to myself for a long time. I soon started praying for forgiveness when I had these thoughts, since the Sunday School teacher had said I should. Praying for God's forgiveness quickly became repetition. Soon I was praying for forgiveness hundreds of times a day for having bad thoughts, with the thoughts and prayers becoming more complex. They had to be done perfectly or I would have to start over. I didn't know what was wrong with me.

 

I moved in with my dad when I was 17 and got a job at a local supermarket. There, I met a girl named Jessica, and we quickly became good friends. One night, we went to Lake Tahoe and I opened up to her about the thoughts that I was having. It was a really big deal for me to talk about them, as I was greatly embarrassed. She then had the brilliant idea for me to talk to her fiancee's brother, who they both lived with. He was a Born-Again Christian (she had just been baptised herself, although she admittedly never read the Bible) and was really good with stuff like this. I remember looking up in the sky and seeing a huge flash of light, and I took it as a sign that God wanted me to go talk to this man. I guess I felt sure that God was leading me in the right direction, and I desperately wanted freedom from my mind.

 

Jessica brought me to her house, where this man, Mr. Brady, was just finishing up a Bible study. I went and waited in her room as Jessica told him that I "desperately wanted to find the Lord." She then brought me out and I met him and his wife. They seemed nice enough. We all sat down in the living room, with Jessica and I one couch and Mr. Brady and his wife facing us. I cannot recall the entire conversation; from what I can remember, he started by asking what sins I committed. I said that I sped when I drove; that I swore, etc. Somehow the topic of my parents came up and he asked if they were divorced. They were; he then said that I probably didn't want to get married, which was true. It was odd that he said that; I had just been talking to Jessica about the same thing. However, the reason I didn't get want to get married wasn't really because my parents divorced; it was because I was gay. Anyway, I told him about the thoughts that I was having and that it was the reason I wanted to talk to him. I explained it as best I could at the time: a voice, my voice, that said horrible, evil things.

 

Mr. Brady then started talking about Jesus Christ; just some basic stuff about him. He talked about how he descended into hell and saved everyone there, etc. However, I will never understand what exactly brought him to say this out to me. He said that "all of your sins will be forgiven, except for one, and that would be if you said that God and Satan are one." The second that he said that phrase, my brain grabbed a hold of it and never let it go.

 

Mr. Brady then switched places with Jessica and sat down by me. He claimed that there were no coincidences, and that God had brought me to him. He said that I must have been one of the chosen ones, since God chose his Elect a long time ago, and that it was as if God were telling Satan that he could not have me. He then claimed that God was showing him things about me. He looked really deep in thought as he said this. He then said that he "didn't want to embarrass me or anything." His wife and Jessica offered to leave the room, but I said no because I didn't want to be left alone with him. I'm not sure what he was going to tell me that God showed him; it probably would have been that I was gay or something. He then said a prayer for the voice to leave and for it never to return, which he had me repeat. He then put his hand on my shoulder and prayed for the voice to leave and for me to never remember that it was even there. He then got up and gave me a Bible to read. He said that he was a teacher at the high school and that if I ever needed to talk to him, I could come by any time. We said goodbye and I left.

 

I can remember the feeling I had when I left his house. I had been emotionally molested; my thoughts were in overdrive as the thought of "God and Satan are one" tortured me. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night. I had went to him thinking that I was going to get help, and left feeling even worse.

 

From that point on, the the thought of "God and Satan are one" haunted me. I thought for sure I was damned, as I could not stop committing the "unforgivable sin" in my head. I would pray and pray for forgiveness, but the guilt was always there. I then started researching the unforgivable sin, the "Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit." Then I had every bad thought against the Holy Spirit that my screwed-up mind could think of.

 

The ordeal with Mr. Brady happened during the summer of 2001. My senior year of school started that August. I became friends with a girl named Rachel, and I ended up transferring into her English class because it was an easier one. The school board changed around the English teachers because one quit, and our class was given to Mr. Brady. Rachel knew Mr. Brady because they had a mutual Christian friend who had been killed that June. Mr. Brady thought that it was "weird" that I ended up in his class ("there are no coincidences.") Rachel thought that it was God trying to bring us closer to Him through Mr. Brady. I then got to be reminded every day of what I went through with him. I always acted like nothing was wrong and didn't let on the damage he had done to me. He was a generally nice guy; he offered to help me with my Senior Project and had a great rapport with his students. I remember him once saying that he "had one of those senses, and that he just knew people."

 

The horrible thoughts went on for a couple more years. I began researching my symptoms, as I finally began to realize that there had to be a reason for the thoughts. I had prayed for help with the thoughts but got no response. Somehow I came across a website all about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. One of the tell-tale symptoms was constant, unwanted thoughts and impulses. Bingo. Another was ritualizing, i.e. compulsively praying. Double bingo. Another symptom was doing things obsessively, such as constantly checking a door to make sure it's locked or always having to wash your hands. Since I had been through all of those things, that sealed the deal. I didn't need a doctor to tell me that I had OCD. The website gave techniques on how to deal with the thoughts, such as simply letting them be there and not reacting to them. It took a while to get used to letting them be there, but I eventually stopped reacting to them and finally felt free of the mental restraint that they had on me.

 

I then became a full-fledged atheist. I had basically forgotten all about the Mr. Brady saga, and I deduced that anyone with OCD could understand why I didn't believe in God anymore. I couldn't have been happier in my life. For a few great months, I was truly happy, besides the fact that I was addicted to marijuana and I was driving myself into debt.

 

However, my life took a huge turn in August of 2004. I had talked with someone who knew someone that I had slept with, and they told me that I should think about getting tested because "they were a tweaker." I obsessed and obsessed over this, so worried that I may have contracted HIV that I couldn't think about anything else. I had not had unprotected sex with him; however, I couldn't shake the worry that something may have happened. So I got an HIV test; the results were going to take a week to get back. What happened during that week totally changed my life for the worse.

 

I ended up calling one of my best friends (Megan, a Christian) and telling her about my HIV scare. She had been the first person that I had told that I was gay and she was totally fine with it. However, she also thought that "maybe I should change," because she "was pretty sure that gay people went to hell." She said that maybe the HIV scare was what I needed, I guess to turn me or whatever. She suggested that I pray to God for help. I hung up the phone, got down and my knees and said an honest prayer to whatever God was out there. "Please help me, God. If anyone can help me, I know you can do it. Please help me through this. I can't have this disease."

 

The next couple of days were really bad for me. I couldn't tell anyone around me what I was going through. My friends didn't know that I was gay so I couldn't talk to them about it. I could only talk to Megan, but she lived 400 miles away. I tried smoking a lot of pot but it made my worrying totally worse. On the Saturday night of the week I was waiting for my results, I read something that really scared me and made me really worry that I did indeed have HIV. I then started obsessing really bad and grabbed my cell phone. I dialed the number to the ER and held it in my hand. Who knows if I would have called or not; I really do not know what I would have done had the following not happened. While I was holding the cell phone in my hand, my best friend Jennifer suddenly called. Jennifer rarely called me. I answered the phone and she asked what I was doing. I stalled for a couple of minutes, but I all of a sudden had the courage not only to tell her that I was gay, but that I was also going through an HIV scare. It's as if I didn't care anymore; I needed help and here it was right in front of me. It felt great to tell her about it; she was totally understanding and invited me over to stay with her for the rest of the waiting period for the test results. It turned out that Jennifer knew exactly what I was going through, as she had gone through an HIV scare as well. I told her about the timing of her call and she said that my praying probably had something to do with that.

 

All of a sudden I was believing in God again. But that was okay. I was believing in the general God; my own God. I kept praying for His guidance and to keep helping me; however, I soon began to start having bad thoughts about God that seemed to keep popping up; thoughts such as "I don't want your help" and "I hate you, God." I felt so guilty about them; it was as if the whole saga was starting all over again. I then started having bad thoughts against the Holy Spirit; however, I wasn't sure if they were the OCD or if they were me having the thoughts. They were different from my constant, repetitive thoughts that I suffered with before. They would just happen, as if I had just thought them. I felt nearly physically ill with guilt over having these thoughts. I decided that I would trust God in that he helped me before and that he wouldn't leave me; I remember thinking that as I saw a bumper sticker that said "Why Worry? God is in Control" which I took as a sign that I would be alright. However, the guilt was still there; I decided that as long as I hadn't said the things out loud, I would be alright.

 

As soon as I thought that, I remembered something that I had long buried in my mind. One night a couple of years before, while ruminating the thought of "God and Satan are one" by praying for forgiveness, I had stopped and gritted my teeth and said it out loud. GOD AND SATAN ARE ONE. The realization that I had done this sent me into a downward spiral. I had done the very thing that Mr. Brady told me never to do or I would never be forgiven for it. I thought that Satan had waited for exactly right moment to remind me of it; I had totally forgotten and right at that exact moment me thinking that I hadn't actually done it, the memory came out of nowhere and hit me like a sack of bricks. I felt totally, completely damned. All of my friends and family tried to tell me that I wasn't damned and that it was all in my head, but to no avail.

 

The HIV test came back negative, but I couldn't be happy about it. I was damned; how could I be happy? I then started obsessing over the unforgivable sin: had I really committed it? What was it? Was I really damned? I couldn't even work; all day long I would look up webpages on the unforgivable sin. For whatever reason, I was believing in Biblegod and that I was damned. I felt that I should call Mr. Brady and talk to him, but I was too scared to do that. I decided that I would go talk to a friend of mine that I hadn't talked to in awhile, and that I could talk to her friend who was supposedly psychic. I figured she could help me; after all, she knew I was gay from the moment she met me. She seemed to know all of my feelings when all I had ever said to her was "hello." If anyone had a gift from God, I figured that it was her and that she could help me deal.

 

I went and talked to the psychic. She read my keys and told me that she saw a cloud of stress all around me. Aside from other things, she said that the next four months would be difficult for me, but that around the first of the year, many new doors would open for me. She also said that in a year or so I would look back and wonder why I ever felt this way. I asked her if God loved me and said yes, and that I could know it simply by the fact that I was alive. I asked her if she believed in the Bible and she said no; it was a beautiful story to her, but that religion was a man-made institution. She said some other stuff that seemed to fit me a to a tee; I can't really think of the things right now. I left her feeling generally good. However, soon the fear of having committed the unforgivable sin came roaring back.

 

I was at work one day and feeling completely helpless. I was thinking about God and Jesus, and I felt a voice (that I now believe was my imagination) ask me if I believed that Jesus was the son of God. I couldn't say yes, and I felt like the Holy Spirit or whatever left my body. I didn't feel like I had a conscience or anything. I nearly broke down. I went and asked a co-worker, who I knew was a Christian since we had talked about God before, if we could talk privately. I explained to her about the situation, that I felt damned. She basically said that there was a spiritual warfare going on, and that all I had to do was say "In Jesus' name, Satan be gone." (Of course, that didn't work in the long run.) I then explained to her about Mr. Brady, and she suggested that maybe I go back and talk to him. I told her that I couldn't possibly do that. She understood, and said that it seemed that was a dark period in my life (well, duh.) She then said that maybe I was building blocks that were blocking God's love. That made me feel great (sarcasm). I even went so far as to tell her I was gay, and she said that I shouldn't tell anyone and that it probably wasn't good.

 

She was a nurse, and she explained to me something that had happened to her while working in a hospital. She had been taking care of a dying AIDS patient, who was homosexual. Apparently this guy was afraid of dying and going to hell, so he called her up and asked her to come teach him to pray. They prayed together, and as he lay dying, he looked at her and said, "Cindy (that's her name), they're here." Then he died. That story left me pretty shaken. Eventually I decided that it didn't really prove anything, as the patient was probably on a lot of meds at the time and probably was hallucinating. I was pretty confused by the whole conversation and shouldn't ever have brought anything up with her.

 

Eventually the fear of having committed the unforgivable sin turned into deep depression. I started fearing that God really did exist. All of the bad stuff I had been through mixed with the coincidences I had in my life, such as the phone call I got during my health scare and the psychic, made me, for whatever reason, fear that God did exist. I hadn't really thought about it, but the belief that God was watching over me 24/7 really scared me. Not to mention that it didn't seem rational. I started fearing the world would end, that I was going to hell, that Satan was after me, etc. on top of the fear of God existing. I really missed my atheism and wanted it back so badly. I would have given anything for God to not exist.

 

I had to give up my apartment because I couldn't afford it anymore; I didn't really care because I was living with my mom anyway due to the fact that being alone was hard for me. Out of the blue, my aunt called me and invited me to live with her and my uncle in LA. Suddenly it clicked...doors were opening for me. I moved to LA in December. They offered to pay for me to go to school, which was another door. The psychic was right! And that's when I really started obsessing over Mr. Brady. What did God show him? Since the psychic was for real, could he have been? What if the psychic was Satan trying to trick me?! What if I'm damned?

 

I dealt with severe depression, fear of God existing, fear of the unforgivable sin, fear of the world ending and going to hell, etc. all the while going to work and school. The majority of my day was spent obsessing over God, Jesus, Mr. Brady, the psychic...I tried to put it all together and make sense of it and to come to the conclusion that it was all bunk, but it was impossible for me. It was hard to convince myself that everything that happened in my life wasn't the plan of an all-knowing God and that Mr. Brady and the psychic for that matter weren't for real. It was also hard to convince myself that the phone call I received during my health crisis was a coincidence.

 

Now, I think I'm slowly making progress. The depression is still there, but the panic and constant worry have died down and allowed me to look at what happened objectively. I've basically brushed off the psychic, as some things happened that she said would, and others didn't. But I really can't believe that she got all of that information from my keys. And the nurse that I talked to was a whackjob nutcase.

 

And Mr. Brady. Why would God, knowing exactly what was wrong with me, knowing me better than I knew myself, allow me to believe I was going to get help with my mental problems and send me to Mr. Brady, knowing what would happen? I've often wondered what Mr. Brady was supposedly "shown" by God. I assume it was the fact that I was gay. Well, many people know right off the bat and it isn't because of divine intervention. But if God was going to show him things about me, why not show him that I had a bad mental problem and that he probably shouldn't say things like "Don't ever say God and Satan are one!" because it would set me off? Why would he not show him something that would help me, and instead show him something like the fact that I was gay, something I was extremely ashamed of at the time, and alienate me with that? It doesn't seem like the kind of thing an all-loving God would do. And I was in Mr. Brady's class for a year after that. If Mr. Brady "knew things about people" and had visions from God, why didn't God ever show Mr. Brady all the torment I was in because of that night and the thoughts he put into my head? All Mr. Brady had to do was walk up to me and say, "Hey Jeremy, everything is okay. Just forget about what I said before," or something to that effect. That would have helped. But no.

 

God sat idly by that night and watched Mr. Brady put that thought into my head, and let me suffer with it for years after the fact. And right after Brady put that thought into my mind, God decided to show Mr. Brady whatever deep, dark secrets I was hiding instead of showing him that what Mr. Brady had said to me was already forming as a cancer in my mind and that I had OCD. God had the choice of showing him something that would truly help me, and decided to not do that and alienate me instead? Looking at it objectively, it doesn't make any sense. That's what I focus on today when Mr. Brady comes into my mind.

 

I found out that my uncle used to go to high school with Mr. Brady. Apparently, he was very effeminate in high school and was on the cheerleading squad. Everyone thought he was gay. Many people get that impression that he's gay when looking at his photograph. I think he might be closeted gay, and I almost feel sorry for him because he has a wife and kids. Maybe he found Jesus because he didn't want to be gay or something. I honestly don't know. But I think I've always had that feeling about him. One time, when I was in his class, he offered to pay for me to spend the night at a hotel that was supposedly haunted (I was doing a project about ghosts.) What teacher does that? Either he was trying to be nice and helpful, or he had a crush on me. I'm not sure.

 

But I'm starting to realize that Mr. Brady has the same direct line to God that I do, which is none. No loving God would have sent me to him, knowing that I thought I was going to be helped, and let him put all that stuff in my mind and let me stew in it for years.

 

Honestly, all my fears aside, I label myself agnostic. In my heart of hearts, I know that I wouldn't want to worship a God who would give me a disorder like OCD and then "send" me to someone even though He knew that person would make it worse.

 

I think I'm starting to have the attitude that I don't really care if God exists or not. All of the stuff that happened can be explained away by coincidence, and none of it should be taken as signs that I should alter my life. It was just stuff that helped me out, and I should leave it at that. I have other things in my life to worry about. My OCD is starting to flare back up with bad thoughts again, and I need to work on getting it under control. But I do have good things in my life; I have a good job with good pay, another job in which I just got a promotion, a new place with brand-new furniture. I have it pretty good. There isn't any external evidence that I am damned in my life; it's all in my head, and that's what I need to keep reminding myself. I have made great strides in all of this and sometimes I wonder how I ever made it through the last couple of years. I guess it's true that whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

 

Thank you to all of you who took the time to read this. I'm sorry if it's hard to follow; I'll try to fix it later if there are any problems or inconsistencies.

 

JP

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I'm sorry for your extreme torment.

 

Sounds to me, perhaps you're not OCD, Sounds like you have panic disorder. (Or perhaps OCD and Panic) They go hand in hand at times as you obsessively panic. Extreme anxiety and fear absolutely consumes you for no logical reason. What IF's consume you also.

 

It took me many years to face my disorder as well, however I finely had to break down and see a DR. (Not a Physiatrists, A General practitioner) As ending up in the emergency room day after day convinced I was dieing wasn't flying. I lost all control of my life (I felt at the time) I was in despair because I thought I was crazy, as I couldn't fix myself. I couldn't shut my mind off of the what If's, I like you perhaps thought because I doubted or questioned? I had much going on in my personal life as well that contributed to the breaking point.

 

I was a smoker at the time I laugh now looking back but, My greatest fear was (is) death. The more I feared Death the more I would smoke, the more I would smoke the more I was convinced I was going to die. It was a crazy circle of obsessing about death, then Smoking, Then obsessing about dying because I smoked, I was a basket case so smoked more. Silly now looking back. But it was part of my illness. :wacko:

 

I remember my first visit to my dr. I just broke down and told him to commit me, There was no fixing me. Then I was apologizing for being so upset. He said, If you had Diabetes would you ignore it? I said NO, he then asked me why I was apologizing for being sick? I never really looked at it in this way. He asked me to give him a chance to help Fix me, and told me to look at this like I had diabetes. I agreed. I was put on Paxil CR. (They have just recently pulled it off the market) I also had to help myself. I quit smoking (Cold turkey) and slowly started living again. I've been dealing with my Fear issues, I was so afraid of dying, I stopped living, and had my self in a constant state of fear.

 

The cult I was raised in, Fucked with my mind, severely. Constantly obsessed about death, torment, dying. and made everyone feel like shit because they were alive. Just like the guy that told you the magic words Never say "God and Satan are one". How did he convey this to you with out uttering it himself? (See my point) He said it, must be he's going to hell as well. It's called mind-fucking. And it's used on people that are already in despair, and having issues of guilt, sadness, self-loathing, feelings of unworthiness. It's who these bastids pry on. They put you under their power by having all the answers, and continue to feed you fear to keep you there.

 

That being said, More bullshit about you going to hell because of who you are. I thought the only unforgivable thing was the God and Satan are one phrase? (See how they keep adding to it? LOL) Be who you are, You're an individual, take pride in the fact that you're the only you that exists. Live life to the fullest, there is entire world out there to experience.

 

I suggest, you get help for your "diabetes", :) Once you do, you can start living, and stop the nightmares.

 

my $ 0.02

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I remember JP. I remember well when I met my “Mr. Brady.” I even had my own trusted “Jessica” who led me to him. I was in a similar state as you too; feeling very alone with my private, terrible (homosexual) thoughts. If you were anything like me, you gave your Mr. Brady power over you before you even met him. My Jessica was the first person I told I was gay; she was thoughtful and kind, but very concerned for me. She “knew” exactly who I should talk too. Oh I so desperately wanted someone to fix me. I just know he can help me. I was ready to grasp at anything. He knew exactly what I should I do. I admired his confidence. This is man who knows what he is talking about. I wish I had that kind of confidence and certainty in my life.

 

I remember JP. I remember well the ritual of the dreaded “light switch.” Is it ALL the way down? Are you sure it is ALL the way down. Check again. I must get the notebook out; I have to write the same thing over and over and over again, hundreds of times—so that I will finally believe it. I must get the graph paper out too, I have many calculations to make, graph it, again and again.

 

I have no magic bullet to help you understand that people who claim certainty about the unknowable are lying to themselves and others. I accepted that personal revelation in a flash one day when I was ready to throw in the towel. Perhaps you do need medication, maybe you just need to get really angry. What I do know is that once I accepted my new reality by OCD disappeared.

 

IBF

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The petty, sadistic actions of biblegod do not show me the face of an all powerful loving deity, they show me the face of humanity.

This is incredibly well put.

 

JP you know we're all here for you. The purpose of the site is to help recover from the damage done. Never forget that. You're among friends here, who get it.

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Guest JP1283

Thanks for your replies. As always you guys gave me things to think about.

 

Yeah, Mr. Brady did mindfuck me. Even if he didn't mean to do it, he definitely did damage. I don't know why I can't shake the fear that God wants me to call Mr. Brady. Why would he? I doubt he'd want him to screw me over mentally and then expect me to talk to him years later. That's akin to sending your child to a rapist and then making them go back and see them years later. Doesn't make much sense.

 

But alas, I don't know how to stop obsessing over him. He's a big part of my life and he doesn't even know it. It's all in my head but I can't shake him. There's coincidences that have happened that go back to Mr. Brady that I think about sometimes, such as when I saw him and his wife at the movie theatre. We were all seeing "The Bourne Identity." Well I remembered that just as I started reading the book recently. I stopped reading it when I remembered that. Another one happened when I looked in my yearbook to see what he wrote it in it. He wrote "I hope to see you in the Kingdom. God bless and good providence." Well I had been waiting for a job offer from Providence Hospital when I read that. See?! Totally stupid, I know.

 

I have been thinking a lot about what Zoe said about him being a false prophet. Certainly a man sent from God Himself would reveal "the truth" to me instead of making my life significantly worse.

 

My mom has agreed to contact Mr. Brady and "get closure" for me. I don't know if or when she'll actually do it though. I let her know about all of this recently and she flipped her lid. She told my brother about it too, who wants to go beat the shit out of that guy and tell him that God sent him to do it. :HaHa:

 

Mr. Brady was total fundy. He would always wear his Christianity.com shirt to school; he did missionary work in Europe where someone put a gun to his head and he told them to shoot him, probably so he could go to heaven and be a martyr; he and others he knew had the ability to "see things that God shows them," etc. I don't know which sect he belonged to exactly; I don't know if it was Pentecostal because I don't think he spoke in tongues. But since others he knew claimed that God showed them things, I think they all belong to some sort of charasmatic church. He did say that I didn't have to go to church, but that I should. During my visit with him, his wife was praying loudly "Yes, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! Oh, yes Jesus!" over and over. It was weird.

 

Again, thanks for reading. Please keep the support coming. I really appreciate it. Thank God I found this site when I did. I would have ended up going crazy! Not that I haven't already.... :grin:

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Guest danosborne

Dear JP:

Oh, man! Your story is so much like mine: OCD, obsession with the unforgiveable sin, the impossibility of purging the unwanted thoughts. I suffered for years with this torture, even though I had read Bertrand Russell, Joseph Campbell and dozens of other scholars, and I knew intellectually that the Bible was not factual. I found that my mind believed one thing while emotionally I was still programmed to be a fundamentalist. I don't know if I'll ever get over it completely, but I have buried my guilt and terror enough to get on with my life. I wonder how many others there are like us. When I thought that I had committed the unforgiveable sin, I don't think my terror was less than that of an execution victim.

 

I think if I could re-write The Book, and I had to designate some sin as unforgiveable, I think I would make child abuction and murder unforgiveable, rather than a mere slip of the tongue. (Not that hellfire is a good punishment for murderers either...) I mean, the unforgivealbe sin rule is such a stupid idea!

 

DO

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JP, as someone who also has various mental health issues, I can definitely sympathise. While religion can sometimes help those of us with mental illness, it can also make things far worse. (In fact, the rather adverse way in which my mental illness reacted to Christianity was what started me questioning my faith. How could something supposedly holy and good make me feel so incredibly bad?)

 

One of the few Biblical teachings I still hold dear to my heart is that you can judge a tree by its fruit:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Now this is actually pretty good advice, especially in your case. Like Zoe Grace said, Mr. Brady has only brought you anxiety and obsessive fear. His 'fruit' has been your pain and suffering, without one iota of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control", which are the fruits of the holy spirit (Galations 5:22).

 

I hope you don't mind me quoting the Bible at you, but I've found that sometimes if you can't attack false fears from the outside, you can attack them from the inside; in this case, from the point of view of a (fearful) Bible believer.

 

It's clear, from your experiences, that Mr. Brady's fruits are completely opposite to those of the holy spirit, and since good trees cannot bear bad fruit, Mr. Brady is one of the false prophets that Jesus was warning about: a wolf in sheep's clothing.

 

Now, I don't know how much all of that will have been, but hopefully it'll get even the obsessively anxious side of you to start realising that Mr. Brady, whatever he's filled with, is not the holy spirit. Maybe he's a self-proclaimed prophet, but he bears the fruit of a false one.

 

And finally, I would join Japedo in urging you to see a doctor about your anxiety problems. I don't know much at all about OCD (I'm hailing from the depression-disassociation end of the spectrum), but it does sound to me like a lot of your symptoms are definitely treatable.

 

Having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and you have every right to seek help for it. If the first doctor you see isn't helpful (and there are many doctors out there who really do not deserve to hold an MD), then try another, and if necessary, keep trying different doctors until you find one who is sensible and helpful. Trust me, a good doctor is worth the search.

 

Be well,

Lalli

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Guest JP

I re-edited my testimony and added a lot of stuff to it. I wrote it a year ago and felt that it needed to be updated and left some things out. Read on if you'd like. :)

 

JP

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Hi JP,

 

I don't have OCD. I have attachment disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, so christianity really facked me up. I don't believe I have OCD but I think when I was a christian, I had symptoms.

 

Ever since I quit going to church (a year ago), I've been feeling increasingly less crazy.

 

I am glad things are going well for you. I hope you can find a way to handle OCD. Thank you for sharing your story.

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JP,

 

That was a long read but learning about you was well worth it. The idea of the forsaken being fooled by Devils certainly plays off of a solipsist mindset, and it is heartwrenching that you have struggled with it for so long.

 

It's good to see you are forging your own way out. People who burden you with guilt for no other reason than to be divisive really piss me off. I can't tell if you're OCD, but I can tell that you're an excellent writer and you can explain yourself very well, even if you have had trouble coming to terms with who and what you are: a member of homo sapien and a damn fine human being.

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Seeking Sanity---

 

stop seeking... the entire world has gone mad

 

the "christians" have been unbearable since that born again jerk rose to power

 

(he promised the churches 87 billion in faith based funding and positions of power in the government)

 

and the "christians" were unbearable long before that...

but now they have gone absolutely, stark raving mad...

 

no exageration....

read the papers..

 

the current hot topic is the "left behind" series video game

 

christians are called to unite in a "spiritual warfare" on New Yorkers

 

the game is quite literally "receive the holy ghost" or die

 

and the christians go about putting spirit conjure crap on people

or kill them

 

no kidding

 

and it is not a game,

they teach it in the churches,

and they are really doing it

 

It's hard to hang on to your sanity

with all that conjure crap the pente's and the evangelical are dumping into the general public

 

it gets very invasive, right inside your head

 

hang on to your sanity, you can do it

 

know your own mind, distinguish your thoughts from the mentality of the "christians"

it is made manifest with what they call "holy ghost"

but turns out to be their own depraved mentality, manifesting and spewed out on all creation

 

turn it back on the spirit filled churches, evangelicals and pentecostals, were it came from.

 

(those people get 100 % tax exempt free money, and they are loaded)

 

that's what all this is about

 

the money and the power

 

and too many people are suffering the effects

 

 

 

Beverly

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JP,

 

Thanks for sharing your story. I've had several coincidences like yours and I always thought that it was god trying to show me that he cares. One time I went on a trip and I found this tainted religious coin, I even googled it but found nothing, and I brought it back with me. I've since gotten rid of it. I understand about coincidences, but they're just that. They don't have a meaning behind them.

 

I was watching V for Vendetta and V said, There are no coincidences, Delia... only the illusion of coincidence. I think that's true for me, and maybe for you too? I can't speak for you though but please don't let the coincidences get to you. Mr. Brady sounds like a jackass to me, and perhaps he could sense that you were gay and that you were vulnerable and just got to you at a very bad time.

 

Well maybe he is gay, many people pretend that they're not, get married and try to live normal lives, and it sounds very fishy to me that he would offer to pay for a hotel for you. It sounds to me from that that he is gay and that he liked you. How else would you explain something like that? The only reason why I can think that a teacher would do that is because one cared about their student, but it doesn't sound to me like your close or anything, so it was weird for him to do that.

 

And yeah I know about "false prophets" myself. I had this one xian guy try to convince me that he prayed that god "showed" him that we were supposed to be a couple. Yeah, that was a weird experience. :loser: Like you I no longer care if god exists or not, god has never helped me, and I realize that I've always been alone. Xianity made my life a living hell and nothing that anyone says or does could ever make me go back. I hope that things continue to be better for you JP. You definitely deserve to be happy. :grin:

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JP,

 

You've been through absolute hell. I know- I developed OCD myself due to a Catholic upbringing. It can really distort your mindset. I am infinitely sorry that you've had to suffer like this (*hugs JP*).

 

You've got many years ahead of you, in all likelihood. And you're a strong person, from what I can see. You can still have a happy life despite the torment Christianity has caused you.

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us. :)

 

Rosa

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