I was introduced to a man named God when I was just a little girl. He was a massive figure emerging from the clouds, often with furrowed, gray eyebrows, pointing a finger at the sinners below him. He was a magician who created a planet with a wave of his hand. He had a dramatic story, with a top soldier who abandoned him and took part of his army. But he protected the ones who were loyal to him.
and if I was a good girl, God would love and protect me too. If I could become clean of the sin through which I was born, God would love me forever and ever. Yet, if I could not become pure in his eyes, God would set his rage on me, dooming me to burn and scream in pits of fire.
So began my journey into being the victim of a learned love/hate relationship with my apparent spiritual father and the only man to whom I should ever be the most loyal. One day, though, I would begin to reason in my mind.
“How are there pictures of someone whom no human has ever seen?”
“Why is it, no matter how well I behave, I am still molested and beat?”
“Why won’t God fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can understand his tongues language?”
“What have I done wrong that God is not protecting or loving me?”
“Why is God so mad at me?”
God made me walk on eggshells, wishing I could hide beneath a blanket or a tree so he couldn’t see me, but he allegedly spies constantly and has eyes so big he can see everything at all times. There was no hiding for me. Humans watched me, and so did God.
I yearned for God’s love. I longed to fit in with the rest of the cult children. Yet, there I was, feeling as if I always stood on the edge, looking in on a fervor I could never quite achieve. So then…
I must be bad like the adults say I am.
I can’t identify the badness.
It’s my fault I’m scared.
It’s my fault I don’t say no to Brother Ray.
It’s my fault because I take the cookies.
It’s my fault I talk loud.
It’s my fault. It’s my fault. It’s my fault. Those words will stay, long after I grow up and escape God.
But I’m only eight, and right now God owns my mind. God started owning my mind when I was three.
I will strive for God’s love, beg for His forgiveness for whatever I may have done wrong, even if I don’t know what it is. I will accept his hatred of me. I will teeter on this wire, traumatically, mentally fragmented, long after his illusionary existence shatters into a million pieces.
I have escaped a plethora of narcissists in my lifetime, but of all the trauma bonding that was injected into my journey here, God’s ripped me apart the most. God’s ego left caverns of echoing scars, repeating threats in my head, leaving me to battle his aftermath even after I came to know that the idea of good behavior buying a golden ticket to a fantastic resurrection show was a hoax.
I would forsake him proudly, but the words of his messages, spoken through the mouths of vile humans, would remain the silver balls traveling the ping pong game that my brain was molded into.
I have a little coping skill I use. Whenever I begin to doubt myself or speak negatively to my own existence, I tell God to shut his imaginary mouth. His ghost doesn’t get to manipulate me anymore. And he does. He shuts the fuck up, because the echo of his programming is under my fingertips now.
Control. Alt. Delete.