I’m sure I’ve said here before that I don’t really like the idea of new year’s resolutions, but I’ve been known to make some in the past and have done so this new year as well. I think I did it this year, because, for some reason, I feel the need for a fresh start or a clean slate—a new beginning. One of my resolutions is to write more—nothing new here. Writing papers for my English degree simply sucks time and creativity away, but it has to be done. I am on a break now and so I am going to write as much as I can. Today, I will simply recap what has gone on this past year and then, hopefully continue on for the duration of my break. So, this year has been, to overuse a word, epic. Here are the highlights, not necessarily in the order of occurrence:
1 – Car accident–$10,000 in damages–not hurt though, which is good.
2 – 15 year old son was in an accident at school–two skull fractures–two ERs, an ambulance ride, two days in ICU, and he still can’t taste or smell, but he’s back playing varsity basketball and smiles and laughs and harasses me like his old self.
3 – Whilst at school, my home was burglarized–the thieves took anything that was small and valuable: laptops, Xbox, iPods, TVs, guitars, etc.. I had good insurance though and got a lot of new stuff, except for some jewelry, pictures on my Mac and my iTunes music library, which can not be replaced, but that is okay. Stuff is just stuff.
4- Moved out of my home of 22 years and into a condo with my son. It just didn’t feel good or safe there anymore. We are just getting settled in. Note to self: Don’t ever move the week before Christmas.
5 – Had some very interesting happenings on facebook, which caused me to take stock of some of my “friends,” some of which were family. After being publicly attacked there, I deleted some family and many Christian “friends.” Although the situation was extremely hurtful, it was long overdue.
6 – Because of many, many hurtful situations, and for my own mental health I cut ties with my sister, who is a Christian. Sometimes family means nothing. Friends are the family you choose.
7 – My youngest daughter, who is 19, attempted suicide and I found myself back in the ER for the second time in as many months. She has finally accepted help for her depression and is on medication now and doing so much better.
It’s quite interesting to see a synopsis of a year in my life. It’s been quite possibly the most difficult year I have ever had and I believe that I surprised others, and myself quite frankly, by the way I handled it without Jesus or God to “help” me. I know that many of my Christian “friends” felt it was God trying to call me back to him and prayed that he would break and humble me. Honestly, their behavior only solidified my resolve to stay as far away from Christianity as possible. I have been humbled though–humbled by the fragility of life and my inability to control fate. In the midst of all these trials I questioned the idea of karma and sort of joked that I needed to find out what I had done to bring such bad karma on my family and me. That thought process, I believe, is just the residual affects of being indoctrinated into religion at such a young age. My brain keeps trying to go back to the idea of punishment, guilt, and fear. It’s hard to break free from it. In response to my questioning all the bad things that had come my way, a fellow de-convert, and very good friend said this: “This could appear as ‘bad karma’ for past wrongs but it’s really a reflection of having to live life unaided by a delusion all at once. Religiously brainwashed people encounter strings of ‘bad luck’ but they are able to delude themselves with lies that it will all work for their good, etc. We are going cold turkey with life and reality. We have to allow ourselves a bit of a freak out at times. It is really tough what we are doing. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. There is no ‘right’ way to handle all of this.” Her words were so rational, so honest and, man, I really needed to hear them. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be completely free from the brainwashing and indoctrination of my religious past. I sure hope so. I know that every time shards of destructive religious thought rear their ugly head, I break free just a little bit more.
So, there you have it. A banner year for Barbara. There is much to write about because of it. I have lots of thoughts on prayer and Christian love and filtering out bad and toxic people. I look forward to filling you in.
Happy New Year!!!