***TRIGGER WARNING*** This page will include mild mention of topics pertaining to Chr*stianity, G*d, J*sus, etc. Also some brief discussion of other potentially triggering topics may be contained, excluding details, such as e*ting disorders, s*icide, s*lf-harm, c*tting, etc. Do not read this if you find those topics triggering.
I practically grew up in the mental healthcare system, having been sent to my first psychiatrist at age 11 or 12. I forget the exact age. I really probably should have seen one before that; I suspect I had all the diagnosable signs of an eating disorder by age 8, but at the time no one recognized it for what it was. I certainly didn’t understand – at 8 – what I was doing, or why. So only when I became severely depressed, started self-harming, and began to mention suicidal thoughts later at around age 11 or 12 was I sent to my first shrink, and shortly thereafter, underwent my first psychiatric hospitalization.
What followed was what seemed like an endless revolving door of psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychologists trying to deduce why someone so young would be so intent on self-destruction.
Folks, they never figured it out, and neither did I. Not until adulthood, that is, and without the direct involvement of a shrink.
Quite early on in the process, at 13, 14,15, I became excruciatingly sick of talking in circles about myself, as there just didn’t seem to be anything noteworthy to say, and they didn’t seem to have anything helpful to say back. I’d been sent (intentionally passive terminology) to them to talk, but for the most part, I hated them all and resented their intrusion into the particulars of my life and my thoughts. When you’ve blocked out your entire life – other than a few key events – there’s precious little to “work through,” as they say, in therapy. I had no idea why I thought what I thought or felt what I felt, and I was utterly disinterested in figuring it out. At the time, what I really wanted was for everyone to leave me alone, and let me deal with things the way I wanted – by cutting, starving, puking, and overdosing – until I died young and left it all behind. Life seemed too long.
Back then, therapy was all about self-esteem, self-empowerment, self-care, self-regulation, self-discipline, self-soothing, self self self self self. There didn’t seem to be any therapy for a person who was so sick of themselves that they wanted to annihilate that self and start over.
Then, one day, despite my own misery and the misery I caused many others, despite quite a few close calls and run-ins with death, I made it to young adulthood, and I met God. What I essentially found in Him was the promise of a new self, which was exactly what I needed. I didn’t need to improve upon the old, because popular psychology seemed to deny or overlook the fact that the old self was where the problems all originated – I needed a new one. This I embraced wholeheartedly. And I’ve been on a healing journey with Jesus ever since.
The real story is very much more complicated than that, but since I don’t have time to write (and you don’t have time to read) a book about myself right this moment, that will have to do. (I do believe a book about my healing process may be in my future, but, I’m assuming it’s probably more distant future than immediate future.) The thing is, I had never really suspected Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) in my history. I also never realized I had Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) either, because many systems are very invested in hiding it until a time comes when they don’t feel like they have to, anymore. Only in adulthood did I begin to discover those things. I knew when I did, that the “help” I’d been subjected to as a child and young adult was not the kind of help I wanted to pursue any further.
I’ve never gone back to working with mental health professionals since that time. I do not at all look down on people who choose that route; people have asked me if I’m pro- or anti- medication, therapy, ministry, and various other healing methodologies and the truth is, I’m pro- “whatever works.” I’m a Christian, and those values are hugely important to me. But especially in the context of any kind of religious or ritualistic abuse, I understand the sensitivities of survivors to those concepts. I am happy to talk to anyone at any time about the subject, but as a writer who hopes to help people who are on similar journeys – and those who work with them – my function here is not to push my belief system on the readers. Sometimes I do talk about it in my posts; more often, I don’t. I don’t omit it because it doesn’t matter to me. I omit it out of respect for the many different beliefs and backgrounds and sensitivities of the people who read what I write. Above all, I feel there is an urgent need for trauma survivors and those who help them to have information at their fingertips about things that can help them heal. There are a ton of topics that can be discussed in a helpful way without deteriorating into a sermon or an attempted conversion. This, more than anything, is my purpose for writing this blog.
As far as my own healing journey, I have had people ask me what it is that I do, myself, to help facilitate healing. In keeping with my experiences, desires, and personal beliefs, I do not have a “therapist,” per se. I have many people in my life who help me learn about myself and heal from past wounds. The pair of people who are actually “employed” (also per se) to help me heal would probably prefer the term “prayer ministers,” as we utilize a specific type of inner healing prayer method that is designed to help hurting people discover the wounded places in their hearts/souls and connect them to the true Healer. As a matter of convenience, though, I often call this pair of people my “counselor” or even my “therapist” (especially in FB conversations), even though that’s not entirely accurate, and even though there’s perhaps a 50/50 chance that my prayer ministers would turn themselves inside out at the thought of being called therapists, in the traditional sense (LOL…sorry, if you ever read this…*mwah*). I do this simply because this is the term most people can relate to most easily, cutting out the need for a big long explanation of their role in my healing, because most people I talk to when the subject comes up do not need or want the particulars at that time.
Another question I get sometimes is how long I’ve been in the healing process. I was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder about 10 years ago and began working with a different prayer minister at that time. They used something called theophostic prayer ministry, which – while challenging – seemed to work well for me. I worked with them for approximately 2 years, and then took a 6-year sabbatical from that particular type of healing method. I struggled quite a bit during that sabbatical but unfortunate and uncontrollable circumstances made pursuing healing impossible at that time. In 2013 I contacted the person I work with now (who had acquired a ministry partner in the interim) and began having regular appointments again, and I am still currently doing that. We started off using an individualized combination of the aforementioned theophostic prayer, along with some Immanuel Approach, and Sozo prayer, and my prayer ministers have since learned and been using HeartSync. I have varying thoughts about all of the above methodologies, but that is another conversation for another time. So I have only cumulatively been seriously in healing for about 4-5 years. For some people, this would seem phenomenally fast if they know how much healing, progress, and self-awareness I’ve obtained over that period of time. And they would be right. There’s really no natural explanation for this, other than a prophesy spoken over me by someone I’ve never met in the early stages of my discovery of SRA memories who foretold that my healing would be divinely accelerated in order that I would be able to bring other people to greater freedom as I healed. I can’t say I believed her at the time, but as I sit here writing this today, I can look back and at least recognize the divine acceleration of healing that has come true, and is still coming true. The second half of her prophesy is, I guess, still to be seen. 😉
So that’s where I come from, in a nutshell, and where I am today. That’s what I’ve done in the past, and what I’m doing right now. I’m always open to questions. Cheers. ~J8