I Struggle With My Faith, and I Don’t Want to Anymore. The Root of the Root.

Here’s the disclaimer. 

I know a lot of people follow me here, because they want to see the messed up things I’m gonna’ say next. That’s fine. 

This may not be the blog post for you though; because it is long, and recaps my struggle with faith and childhood. It’s a self- validation piece, and my life truly unfolded. 

It was hard to write; and even harder to post.
I appreciate anybody’s time in advance, that does want to read further. 

Thank you. It means more than you know. Xo

-Jenni

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I have struggled with my faith since the age of nine, when my Father first took us to church.

I’m trying to come to some sort of terms with it, because it has been weighing on my mind for many reasons; for many, many years.

I’m getting older. I’m letting things go that have infected my soul for so long…FINALLY. I need to find some sort of peace with my faith so that I can nurture it, and possibly build on it more, so I can have closure and true peace inside.

I feel I need to do this, at this point. There are holes in me that will not close without it; I’ve tried, and I know this.

Lately, I feel a shift in my way of thinking regarding “God” and his existence. The ghosts of the past make me question today. The only thing I really know for sure is, is that I do not know what comes after this life at all.

As a child, I grew up in a house where the only father I had ever known drank too much. The F- bomb was dropped as easily as the porn mags, that were just laying around the living area of our downstairs basement, in plain site of a child.

It was all about my father, nothing else. He did what he wanted, and my mother did what he said to do, and was a good wife to him. She loved him, and she loved us as well. 

I never knew from day to day, what mood my father was going to be in, or if I would get hurt by him that day. Sometimes things seemed normal”ish”; but it wouldn’t take long for him to fly off the handle without warning, and become way too agressive with my mother and myself for certain. He caused physical and mental damage, over and over, that hurt us both. Sometimes he would even lash out at my younger sisters too, when I didn’t get there fast enough to get in the way. I’m sure they don’t remember a lot of it early on, and I am SO grateful for that; but I still do. He was cruel and not loving by standard; and that’s how it was for me.

Mostly it was a life of uncertainty, mental chaos, fear and pain; in some regard; whether it was physical, emotional or worse.  I was always on edge, and scared. It also was a lot of avoiding anywhere my father was… at all times… if I could at all manage it. 

I hated him, but I loved him as well because he was my Father. Most don’t understand that. 

It’s not my issue.

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On the outside, we looked like a regular, (lower) middle-class family. It was my father, mother, two younger sisters (my dad’s real kids), and me. My father was a welder and a sprinkler fitter by trade with the Union. We always lived in a house, and had food to eat. We took vacations every year. We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same school our entire school years, k-12. My mother was a “typical” housewife.

It looked, on the surface, to be quite normal; although I know for a fact that many people around us at that time (adults), knew that it wasn’ t. The truth is, I personally lived a very disfunctional childhood. I was fully terrified of my home life, because I was being abused on a regular basis, in various ways. That’s being about as forthright and vague as I can be about it, without getting fully into it; and to prevent more slander from complete strangers that have no clue, and like to send me BS emails and messages about how I’m a pathological liar and making it all up…

You can ask my Mother about it…Enough said.

It pisses me off that I have to deal with that factor.

It’s relevant information none the less, and you need the back- story to understand the whole blog.


Anyways….

My grandmother somehow talked my father into going to her “Christian Reformed” church one Sunday. I was about 9 years old, I believe. I didn’t understand who God even was, because there was NO religion in our family at all, and I had never heard of him up until then. I can’t remember any of my close, or extended family; besides my grandmother; ever going to church or anything. Christmas was just Christmas. Easter was just Easter. There was no talk of spirituality, faith, or God at all in our family…ever.

For some reason or another, my father decided that we would go to church. He latched on to the concept quickly, and our family then started going to church every week…twice on Sunday, and once on Wednesday.

I’d like to think it was because he wanted to change his ways; but that didn’t end up happening at all.

It actually got way more fucked up.

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I DO remember many good memories about that church. 

Christmas programs, Sunday school,  Calvanetts (like girl scouts but church group), many gatherings and social events, Bible school. I know a great deal about the Bible and I read it once, straight through. It took me three years. Lol. Bet you didn’t know that about me. 🙂

The point though is that there were some good people there for sure. I was in all regards “forced” into the atmosphere; but I do have to say that IT WAS comforting in some way, to be around father-figures that acted like proper fathers. Before that, I was totally afraid of men, and I would hide a lot. I had a few teachers there though, that I respected and listened to; It’s because they were all kind to me, and each of them seemed like the kind of father, I’d wished I’d had.

It’s kind of sad when you think about it. 

I was often jealous of other families that were loving and happy. True fact.

Unfortunately, I also remember that most of the people at “that church”, acted like they just wanted to show off what they were wearing that week and what they had. It was apparent. No one ever clapped after a song performance or a congratulatory mention to someone from the Pastor; which I thought was totally weird and not cool at all. It’s as if they were above showing emotion. The worst part was that the church mostly treated my family like we were less-fortunate and less-than as well, because we had nowhere near as much money as the rest of the congregation that went there….we were charity cases, basically. They used to give us care packages on our porch and just leave them there, and I’m pretty sure they were helping my parents with financial strains at one point. (This is not a fact, just a hunch) The point is, I can STILL remember the stares when we walked down the center isle of the church to be seated every week. I absolutely hated it because I knew why they stared at us. It’s funny how people think that kids can’t pick up on things like that; but it’s not true…they definitely can.

I felt like I didn’t belong there at all; but since I did not have any choice but to go, I adapted as I always did. 

After a while, that’s when the religious indoctrination started by my father.

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It is hard to believe in God, when you are a child who does not understand what is happening to her; and why her father hates her, and hurts her. I often would ask questions about God to my father; which were always met with anger, degradation, and punishment. I once had to stand up at the dinner table for three hours and be lectured and talked down to,  because I asked my father “How he knew that God existed.” 

I was ten.

You see, even at that age, I knew what he was doing to me and my family was not right, and that it didn’t make sense what he was saying; his actions never matched his words.  I also knew that no one seemed to care what was happening to me. 

Everybody thought my dad was just awesome. He wasn’t. He fed and clothed us, and provided for us; but he was not a good father to me at all. He caused trauma that I’ve carried with me, my entire life. 

I don’t have any regrets saying it either, because it’s the truth…and he and I and my mother, all know it.

The truth hurts.

Sorry Dad, but I’m writing this to self-validate, because I deserve to.

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I remember one Sunday, our pastor asking for people who wanted to be saved to “Come up to the front and take the Lord’s hand. The Lord would help us find our way and save us all from despair.” 

I went up.

I wanted to be saved so bad. I did feel the Lord in that moment. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed, as hard as I could for his healing. I wanted my father to stop hurting me, my mom,  and my sisters; and I wanted God to please, please help. I truly believed that he would take the pain away, and fix my life and my family.

It didn’t happen at all.

The same things continued to happen, and as I got older…it got worse.

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was baptized along with my parents and sisters, when I was 11 years old.

My father then became a Deacon of the church.

What I will never get, is that my father would sometimes openly abuse me in front of church people, and NO ONE did ANYTHING, but look the other way. 

One time my family went on a camping trip with another church family, and my father gave me a black eye because I was teasing my sister when we were supposed to be sleeping. 

He punched me numerous times in the face, like a man would hit a man. 

What do you do?

The next day my mother actually had the nerve to ask me, if my father had done that to me. I love my mother more than anything, but I was so enraged in that moment I could literally say nothing, because I wanted to hurt her the way that I was hurting inside….and on my face. 

That’s fucked up.

I was thirteen.

It took me a long time to realize that my mother was a victim as well; but I do know that now, and understand.

She told me not to say anything, like she told me the first time my father gave me a black eye, when I was six. She told me to behave. I didn’t tell anybody. The church family we were with had two small children even. They saw me and said absolutely nothing. Everybody went on about the vacation as if it hadn’t even happened, and I know they all heard it.  That’s when I pretty much figured I was FUCKED, and this God everybody was talking about, was not gonna’ save me at all. 


My father eventually had a long-running affair in the end with another woman. He left my mother, my sisters, myself…AND the church.

Then the church left my mother, and she almost killed herself over it all.

My parents were divorced when I was 14. 

My sister’s were devastated and cried and cried. 

I cried because I was happy my father was finally gone, and could not hurt us anymore. 

Yeah.

By the way, my mom is an amazing woman. She worked her ass off to keep us in that house, clothes on our backs, food in our stomachs…and she did it all without help from the government. 

She IS the reason I am strong. She IS the reason my eldest daughter is strong. 

It took me a long time to realize this. She kept ALL us girls together, when we were all falling apart and had no one but each other. 

Every day I’m thankful she is my mom.

Just wanted to say that because I love her, and I respect who she is and what she sacrificed for me.

She raised my daughter until she was 13 years old because I knew I couldn’t. If not for her, I would never know my daughter because she would be with an adoptive family right now instead. 

I’m so grateful for her. She always loves me no matter what. 

I love you.

Thank you.

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Ok . Back on track with the religion thing. Sorry.

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I guess my whole issue is; I feel most people hide behind their religion, and are totally different people when it’s all said and done. 

I fully respect my friends that are passionate about their faith in God, and practice it. I have no issues with anyone believing what they want, because I feel like it’s as personal as your life-journey is. Everyone finds their own way and belief, no two ways or stories are exactly the same, unless you’re in a cult.(lol)  

Ok, that was bad; but wtf.?

There are however, a lot of shady, scummy, horrible people in the world that use God as a cover, and those people are not godly at all. I know this because I’ve lived it.

Anyways… 

My childhood experiences and church involvement, have tainted every single thing that comes to religion for me. It’s sad that I’ve felt guilty for talking about it in detail, until now. After my son passed, I said “Fuck it” all together and just started trying to see things for what they were . 

My core beliefs are as follows:

* I don’t like organized religion. 

*I do not believe the Bible is the do all, end all; or you’re going to Hell, at all. I don’t even know if it’s real, or if there is a Heaven or Hell, and really I think it’s just a bunch of stories, and totally hypocritical and perverted to say the least.

I don’t think God is coming back, or he’d be here by now. Don’t people consider this at all?

I don’t know really how to say all this without offending someone, but more people have been killed in the name of religion, than anything else; and that is a fact. 

It makes no sense.


STILL……

There’s got to be something. 

I refuse to believe that this life is all for nothing. I refuse to believe that the despair and suffering of the world, is all for nothing. I refuse to believe that nature is as amazing as it is, without something or someone having a hand in that. I want to see my son again, and some other people too.

But I really don’t know what or who (if anything), is responsible.

I am a much more  spiritual person, than I am a religious person. I think it’s the most logical way to go. 

Wierdly though, a lot of things have been happening in my life that cause me to reconsider trying out just ONE service some time; in “that church”…. just to see how I feel afterwards. 

Maybe that is highly hypocritical, but I feel like I owe “God”, another chance..if he exists.

It’s kind of freaking me out too, because I’m scared to death of the insides of churches, and will not go in them. 

I just want to feel that feeling I had again, when I was up at the front of the church, and truly believed he could save me when I was 11 years old.

For what it’s worth, I hope I at least can find some sort of comfort and direction, and maybe let the ghosts from my childhood finally pass on to the other side, where they belong for good good good.

That can’t be a bad thing, and I think I owe it to myself to walk in that church and find out once and for all. 

I am not a child anymore; and my father is no longer able to cause me damage. The damage I now do regarding the whole thing, is to myself. Hence the struggle.

Even though I don’t speak to him; I have for the most part accepted that it can’t be changed. 

I will always remember though.

It’s because I understand that his Father hurt him too, and it is a cycle, that I can take a different look at it now. I am also a person who knows about alcoholism, and hurting people you’re supposed to love. Also because I love him; he’s the only father I’ve ever known. 

And that’s why I know there must be something. 

Two years ago, I never would have been able to say that about him. I let it affect my whole life, and way of thinking. But that’s over now.

That didn’t happen by itself. 

I have control of my life now.

I guess I’ll update, and let you know how it goes. 

Thanks for reading. I haven’t talked this extensively about my reasons for my beliefs and how they got there in open written forum before; and so that in itself is completely freeing. 

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME



PTSD… It’s in Me…

I like to be straight up, because I just can’t grow without being so. 

It is hard to do sometimes, because of the emotional pain.

This is one of those posts…apologies for errors upfront.

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Understanding my triggers that set off my PTSD, has been a traumatic journey in itself. It is an added disorder I aquired formally, after the passing of my chronically ill son in 2008. I was not diagnosed formally until 2014; after checking myself into a mental- health crisis facility, because I wanted to kill myself, and my meds were not working.

I was not aware I had PTSD at all…even though I had almost every one of the symptoms. I just thought I was going crazy, and that people that went to war were the only ones that had it, or could get it. 

I was wrong.

Although my son’s death in 2008 and the injustices surrounding it, are technically the propellers that pushed me into the PTSD symptoms presenting themselves in the extreme way they did; the spiral down took years, and my actual formal diagnosis didn’t come until 2014. I suspect I’ve had it way longer than that though; as far back as my later elementary years. That suspicion comes based on what I remember and went through as a child; regarding my family life back then; what I know about PTSD and how it forms; and how many other times I’ve spiraled down and had mental issues and lapses arise in my life before my son’s death; that I could not control or cope with, and had to be hospitalized for. Issues from my past. I’m Doctor-approved mental now, if that makes you feel better.

Seems like everyone in my family wants to put on blinders and forget that my childhood was dysfunctional as fuck too; but I remember. It’s not worth talking about , because I’m just trying to lay out the fact that the symptoms were already there before Karter left. 

Anyways….

I remember when my son first passed, and I felt like I was literally going to die. 

I often equate it to someone walking directly up to me, and putting a shotgun to my heart, and pulling the trigger. 

Only it is not over afterwards….because you live through it over and over again. 

You die again the next day, the same exact way… and so on and so forth, but with memories of trauma, and not a gun…Every day. You can’t much wake up, or make the thoughts stop when you want to.

It’s a bad problem.

It’s exactly like the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, but way more messed up and traumatic; and way more anxiety. It hits usually without warning, out of the blue because of something that triggers a memory that triggers a cycle.

That’s what it is for me. 

How do you begin to mend the pieces of yourself together, when you feel like there’s nothing remaining to stitch?

How do you go from doing absolutely everything 24/7 for your multiply disabled child one day, and every day for three-and-a-half years….to nothing, and gone forever, in 12 hours, with needless suffering and Dr. Neglect? 

It’s going to cause some issues for some.

I don’t talk about it…because it makes other people uncomfortable.

No one knows, except the people who unfortunately have been there, and are there…and live through it every day. Some seem to manage trauma well…

This broke me.

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The loss of A child… OR the disorder

It’s a curse… An elite club that’s becoming more popular, that you don’t want to be in.

My son was pronounced dead right in front of me in the hospital, after the nurse came in and basically screamed out “I think he’s dead!”.  I woke up to that, (as I was dozing because we were waiting, and I was 72- hour tired)..and to my horror, he WAS dead. 

It was surreal. 

I still to this day see his face the last time I saw him alive. He looked scared and I knew he would end up going. I was scared too, because I knew I was going to lose one of the only things that I had ever loved, and I couldn’t do anything at all, but wait.  His meds weren’t even working… It haunts me.

How do you stop something that is happening as you sleep? How do you speed up paperwork and other hospital political bullshit when it is in the works, but not fast enough; so they will help your son, and he  won’t leave your life forever?

It haunts me. 

It was the most helpless feeling ever that I have had, in my entire life…
I think of my son, and what I know now.

My son’s internal organs were backing up, and he was micro-asperating on liquid fecal matter, because his bowel ruptured from a year-old surgery, and no one would listen or do anything when I told them directly that he was dying. They let him lay there for 12 hours, suffering. They gave him Tylenol and said it wasn’t a surgical matter. 

They didn’t even do the proper tests.

I could not have stopped it, or sped up anything. I did everything I could think of to get someone to help and listen. It was as if everything was in a fog, and everything and everyone had it’s place in time….pre-determined.

No one even came to help us despite my pleads until he was already dead, and the nurse found him. As soon as I fell asleep after being up for three days straight, he passes; then everyone comes. They worked on him for 22 minutes, and he was already dead for 20 minutes already,  and I still see his little legs and feet flipping around on the table from the people doing CPR on him, to this day. I still remember my brain on loop, This is not happening…. I’m on the phone with my ex, and I can’t think, and I’m going to pass out, and I’m in the park dancing and singing with Karter again for a moment, and then life stops.

He’s gone, and they call it… And my life stops too…

And I still live it in my head. 

No one knows.

It comes to me in dreams and daily similarities, that I can’t get away from in life. Mentally it’s draining and it affects personal relationships and life for me in various ways…it used to be chunks of time in my life even that I could do nothing but self-medicate, gone…before I learned how to get a handle on it.

Some other facts.

I haven’t had one direct conversation about any of those final moments with karter, with a family member, ever. Including my ex-husband. People wonder why I self-medicated and couldn’t cope.

No one understood. My family was good for about a month on and off, before they stopped calling.

I never once got any support for the issue, other than prescribed pills and people paid to listen to me, but not actually hearing anything I said. In the end I started saying crazy things, because I didn’t care anymore and I wanted to die. I held SO much anger and resentment towards certain people for Karter’s passing, and God, and my lack of relief from it all; and I wasn’t going anywhere good with that. I. Felt resentment towards people, because they couldn’t understand my anger with the situation, and acted like I should just get over it after two weeks, a month, a year… Life goes on. 

But it didn’t for ME.

They let my son just lay there and suffer and die, and I had to watch it.

Fix that for me please.

Night terrors…the night terrors too :/

I stopped eating for four months afterwards. I was on pills and drinking and hiding it at the end, because I.Could.Not.Cope.

My ex- husband even tried to lock me away in a home for six months, instead of actually helping me…

Yes, I had anger.

 I left life as I knew it after that, because I needed to survive and I knew I was going down; my marriage was over and I did not want to mess up my other kids more than the BS they’d already  been through because of it all.

I still messed them up anyways; I messed everything up. 

It’s been the absolutely worse thing in my life that I’ve ever had to go through and deal with….ever.

I can’t even put into words how it’s changed me mentally.

You can tell.

I don’t know why I can’t get over it. 

A long, hard, painful, lonely road of recovery is what I’ve actually been doing since 2008; On And off.  When I think about all the personal sacrifices I’ve made to get well again, I have to give myself the credit I deserve even if no one else will, because despite everything, I was able to get better to the level of being stable again, without synthetic anything…and controlling my symptoms and anxiety from it, with a plant that grows out of the ground and is natural.

Judge me all you want.

Every day I continue to get just a little bit more ok with the fact that those bad memories are just memories now…that that was a life I knew long ago, and will never be again. I don’t have to live in it anymore.

I will most likely never have actual relations with my remaining children or family members, to the level of it actually being genuine or mattering.  It’s quite a bitter pill to swallow, because I did not and could not control the things I couldn’t have, and I did not control the things I should have,  to recoup. that privledge. 

I was sick, and I needed help. Everyone gave up on me, and I gave up on me too. I tortured myself mentally in ways that you will never know or feel. 

 I am still sick, but I manage it responsibly now, because it’s all I can do. I’m WAY better than I’ve ever been. 

I have spent many, many years coming to terms with the fact that I lost my son because he had issues that I could not fix. 

I felt guilt because I think I would have done things a lot differently, had I known what was actually going on in full- spectrum. I was completely naive to medication interactions, related side-effects, and the fact that sometimes doctors aren’t always right. His death was slow,  but sudden and traumatic…all major factors. I felt guilt because I listened to doctors tell me what to do; and I did it; and in the end it completely backfired and my son died anyways, because they didn’t do anything that THEY were supposed to do. I felt guilt because I couldn’t control anything that was going on around me, and after he passed…I lost my mind and couldn’t recover the losses. I’ve hurt my remaining children forever because of it, and it will never be the same.  

You never see it until afterwards; but you feel it where it counts, every day after you realize.

To let go of the fact that I could not get the time back and I had to let my 3 1/2 year old son go for good, was unbearable. But I knew I had to do it somehow, because re-living the bad times wasn’t making anything good for me, and it was killing me slowly, right along in sync with my vices.

It is what it is, and the memories remain. 

I sought the support of anything positive and literally clawed my way through this PTSD shit completely alone through reading about it, synthetic medication, keeping myself alive, journaling, and crying a whole lot.

I’m at the level now, where I do not allow myself to dwell too long in his passing, and I keep myself away from the triggers I know will rev up my symptoms; such as alcohol, any form of synthetic, and shitty people who do shitty things, and don’t understand. 

I don’t know it’s just something I live with, and I know that It’s always gonna’ be there, and it’s real.

I’m not too sure about this blog exactly, except that I feel better for getting it out there.

Maybe people can understand that it’s changed me, and who I am.

I don’t know how to talk about it, because I wish I didn’t have it, but I can’t stop myself from remembering.

It’s just one of those blogs.

I know that even though I struggle with this now, I was still chosen to be Karter’s mother and that never changes. I can live in the good memories now, if I just do. Some days are better than others for sure. I miss him… I remember him and his light. I know he’s better, and with me always.

I guess we all carry things that leave scars…and this is just the biggest one of mine. I’m glad to be officially diagnosed too, because it gave me a place to start understanding that I could get better and manage it.

Thanks for reading. 

J.Rounds ©2017 ~Peaces of ME