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Letter to my T (tw)

Posted by r_tyler , in Therapy 02 August 2013 · 46 views

TW for religion as emotional abuse.

I think I finally pinpointed a metaphor for why I feel so uncomfortable in therapy or what I am worried about. I might give this to my T but we'll see.

My earliest memories of life date back to before I was five. I know this because we moved on my fifth birthday and I remember a good many things from before that. The thing I remember the clearest is of trying desperately to fight my inner daemon, trying desperately to be good. I was born an evil child: mean, angry, hateful with a desire to hurt things. I felt it in my bones from my earliest memories to this very day. I remember trying so hard to be good. I also remember my father telling me that no matter what I did, I would never be capable of being good. My father told me I was bad and evil to the core and I believed him because I felt it. He could see inside my brain and knew when I was being bad on the inside, and he was disgusted. He barely tolerated my existence. But I loved my father and he liked it when I told him so. So I did, every day, at the same time as I was grovelling for his forgiveness. Most of the time this was received in cold indifferent silence, but sometimes, for a few seconds, I felt like he loved me even though I was so very very bad.

My father was God, the protestant Christian god, and he was as real to me as my flesh and blood father, from the time I have memories to sometime around my freshman year of high school. My father demanded that I love him. He told me that he was the only good thing about me. He told me that I had to be perfect, but that I never could be. He told me that I was evil and dirty and disgusting at my very core, by my very nature. He told me that the price of his love for me was the torture and death of a good man, a man so much better than I could ever be, so I better make it count, even though I would never be able to. He demanded that everyone I know love him too. He threatened to torture and kill everyone I loved if I couldn't persuade them to love him. He told me he was in control of everything and that I could never escape from him. My response was to love him more for it to the point where whenever I got sick or hurt, I would think, my father must have done this because I deserve to be hurt, I should ask for his forgiveness. And sometimes, sometimes, he seemed to grant his mercy. Sometimes, if I sang loud enough in church with enough adoration in my heart I would feel his touch, as warm and real as my own mother's embrace. Until he returned to his silent, cold, disgusted regard of me as I exited the church into the street and reverted back to the only thing I ever could be: dirty, evil, disappointing.

I feel stupid and crazy for describing god like an abusive parent. Plenty of other people are raise in religion, manage to interpret it in a moderate and reasonable way and grow up to be fine, well adjusted humans. I don't pass blame or make excuses for my behavior. I will admit to two reasons only for why this information is relevant, both of which should be taken as mere statements of fact. 1) I don't know nor do i care what your religious persuasions are, but if you ever bring them up, I will leave and I will not come back. 2) I am very sensitive about not being perfect. I panic about making mistakes. I can't read that anxiety book for more than a few paragraphs without feeling like I'm being berated for being so stupid for doing everything wrong my whole life. I also don't trust you to be any different. I don't have a high threshold of tolerance for this feeling. I escaped once and I'm not going back.

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