From Bi-Polar to Jesus
PART I – Introduction
As an adult, I often asked myself, “Where am I?” I knew I was stuck, stuck in a world that had somehow bled into my adult life. “How did this happen? I know I’m not there anymore. I’ve succeeded. I made it after all and I am not living on the street, proof in itself.
As a child, I questioned, “Why am I still here?” I hated life, myself and the cage I found myself imprisoned in by everyone, including myself. My silent cries went unanswered until well into adulthood.
I became a strong person and yet I remained a weak link. However, my “weakness” would prove in time to be a strength I never fully recognized or considered. It was strength, I dismissed as a child, but I found that this strength would someday be my salvation.
I am thankful for my turbulent past. Without such a past, I might not have lived through a serious suicide attempt. Nor would I have been able to speak of the healing of crippling disorders, most notably bipolar, that I have since undergone.
I conformed to my surroundings as a child and found nothing but death. I only truly began to live after undergoing tremendous change. Of course everyone has a beginning to their story, for me, it does not start with birth, but rather, transformation.
PART II – The beginning of “Limiting Beliefs” and learning how to be Bipolar
As a child, I often begged for support from a mother I feared and mistrusted, while pleading for help from a god, I wasn’t sure existed.
“Please” and “help” were empty words that fell on silent ears and I became increasingly desperate to get away. I begged, almost daily, for an escape from my world that was perpetually spinning out of control. Insecurity plagued me and became a constant companion. I had no conscious way of knowing what would happen next, but perhaps I sensed my fate. A heavy sense of doom settled into my chest and I knew that things would remain as they always were: chaotic, uncertain, and seemingly inescapable.
I was a child that wanted desperately; I wanted to be loved, to be cared for, and to be nurtured in the way that one feels when being lulled to sleep by the voices of angels. I never heard those sweet voices as a child. I longed to be wrapped in the arms of a love that warms from the very depths of our souls. A warmth that can't be touched, but felt, like shields of protection. I wanted that protection to shield me from both the real and imagined horrors of my world.
I defined the word “love” early in my childhood life and to this day, I have never forgotten its meaning. Love for me was fear, hurt and sacrifice. “Love” asked, “Do you want me to give you something to cry about?” As a result, I learned to fear. In those days I had many fears. I was afraid of instability, of conflict, and of being seen. On the occasions that I failed to escape notice, “love” inflicted pain, in the form of angry words, outstretched hands, and heavy belt straps. Thus, I learned to hurt. Misunderstanding and frustration constricted my freedom of expression; they offered no escape from my secret horrors and I had little choice but to remain trapped in silence. The secret horrors became my sacrifice. I handled my bedroom visitors, armed with the hope that if I could protect at least one other girl from such visits, then I was doing something right and good. It was a hope that I repeated to myself, every time they left.
Not knowing who, what, or which expectation, “I was trying to achieve” compounded the idea of futility. I took on ownership of foreign values and beliefs as a means of survival. I decided to survive. I came to believe that “fighting to keep from having sex was not worth the fight” and that “emotions were an evil that must be controlled at all costs”. This thought pattern offered safety, security and a way to escape a harsh reality. This escape method also brought disgust, self hatred, and the destruction of everything I stood for or represented.
A child left alone
in a house called a home
Crying eyes is the shame
As the child takes the blame
Innocence is gone
The shell carries on
Masquerading is the art
Always playing the part
Still a child left alone
An unsafe place they call home
While no longer a child defined by "blame, shame and guilt," the adult me still carried the ownership of those feelings. The adult me had much in common with the child I had been. I still wanted nothing more than to escape. I still wasn’t truly living, merely surviving, and while survival was a remarkable fear, I had not and could not escape the memories. I remained caught up in the past, just trying to get by, with no idea how to live rather than survive. I wanted to lock the past away. . I never wanted to remember and I never wanted to feel the emotions that the memories would make me feel. I had saved the child core by learning to play the part. I made it out of the shambles of childhood and into societal expectations of success.
PART III- Transforming childhood thinking in adulthood
I am not sure when I woke up from the past. I’m not even sure when I stopped living in the past as a present reality. I would like to say that my past disappeared when I accepted Christ as my savior, but that just isn’t true.
For thirty years, I sacrificed the child within me. I refused to feel long suppressed emotions by working harder, giving more, and sometimes, albeit reluctantly, giving in. The tragedies of my childhood never learned to stop, but rather I had learned to push back, to adapt, and to overcome; I never learned to stop or give in. However, the constant push to survive soon became the “Jack” that unexpectedly pops out of the Jack in the box. Inevitably I became tired, I was tired of trying to be it all, for everybody. It was an unrealistic expectation I created a long time ago.
I am amazed by the comfort a little knowledge of Jesus, taught just past the point of pronunciation, has to offer. I think back to the struggles I once had to endure as an adult when “Jack” came calling and my turbulent emotions came flying out. I realize now that I was scared to death and crippled by the inability to understand the “weakness” called emotions. The tangled mass of unwanted feelings was hard enough to endure, but soon I had to contend with the long suppressed memories that came flooding into my mind, filling it with confusion.
Where was I going? It seemed nowhere, except perhaps down. I had become so afraid of the memories that had complicated or painful emotions attached to them that I refused to sleep. I was afraid of who or what might come into my room and into my bed if I let my guard down long enough to rest. My convoluted past was pulling me down to the bottom, I was being eaten alive, and I was letting it. So, I fought. I fought the memories and the emotions, and in doing so, I knew that I was beginning to lose the fight and that soon I would be dead.
My function in life had become dysfunctional. I was unable to do my job and unable to fulfill my role and responsibility as a wife. Worst of all, I had lost what once was the highlight of my life, the joy of being a mother. I had become afraid of myself and afraid of the world. Paranoia crept in and I began to think that people were out to get me. I was stepping into the dangerous territory of schizophrenia. I was lost in the thoughts and behaviors of a child, though I remained firmly fixed in my adult body.
I lay in bed, pondering the contents my head. It was three 0’clock in morning and I was still awake. I was running on pure adrenaline. It seems so long ago. I remember sleeping more than hour. I remember when I didn’t wake up shaking, sweating. I remember waking up without fear, and yet it seemed so long ago.
I can credit the change to nothing save Divine Intervention. For months that turned into years I endured poor sleeping and a constant state of anxiety. Finally, I gave in. In a quiet, sleeping home, it was I who broke the silence and spoke. I remember saying, “Now, God, Jesus, whoever You are, I’m not sure that You are real, but I have one request. I will give you everything and anything in me, if You will just help me out of this hell.” Exhaustion caught up and I slept about three, solid hours.
The next seven months were a whirlwind. Everywhere I went, there were people speaking about Jesus. I often wondered what made these “Jesus” people cross my path. I may have forgotten what I had promised that fateful night, but Jesus had heard and remembered.
There was purpose in the words spoken to me during that time. I was being carried through the toughest times in my life and I didn’t even realize it. I was learning something I had never learned before, I was learning love. I was learning about Jesus. I was learning what it meant to be held with hands of love and to finally hear the voices of angels.
Someone once asked me, “What does faith in God mean to you?” At the time of the question, I couldn’t give an answer that was much more than regurgitation, a litany of all the things I had heard.
PART IV: How the Lord healed my “childish thinking” and taught me to “put away childish thoughts and think like an adult.”
Bitter roots and childish thinking, how was I to put these away? I alone could not take credit for the transformation that eventually came to fruition. What I can take credit for is, accepting a gift that I allowed to be freely given.
I want to start with what it means to be “worthy”. Realistically, how many of us can be in the same category as Christ? There’s no comparison. My beginning reminds me of what I have done. I remember and I am ashamed. I think “God can do better by finding someone else. God needs someone who is more worthy.” In the beginning, God had a plan. I forgot that I was meant to be a part of that plan. Was I trying to question God? Did I believe He was wrong? No, I was merely questioning myself. I was a weak person, afraid of making mistakes. Fear drove me to and from Christ. Part of me knew I couldn’t live life without Christ, but I wasn’t sure I could live up to what I thought He wanted.
I wouldn’t learn until much later, just how mistaken I was. I thought He wanted someone perfect, like the preachers one sees on television. Perfect, like those who come to church immaculately dressed; those beautiful people that seem to never make any mistakes. I thought someone who preached the Word was a good person that Christ chose. My expectations of perfection fell through and when I didn’t die while trying, I felt I would never be perfect again.
With strangers, I always played the role of the child. I participated. As an adult, I cried for that child many times. I only stopped crying when I was able to give that child to Christ. I was able to face the memory, all that I had seen in front of me. Then I took the memories, and with my eyes, lifted a broken child to heaven. At the time, I felt a little better. As time went by, I realized that every time I thought of this moment, I no longer hurt. I had given away the heartache. I gave a little girl to Jesus and He took her with open arms (See the article "How to Take a Bitter Root to Jesus"). I still love and cherish this moment and I continue to give that little girl and my past heartaches to Christ. It wasn’t always easy. There were times I was so consumed with guilt that I absolutely refused to give Christ that child and sometimes the child just didn’t want to go.
The little me didn’t trust Jesus. She didn’t want to leave her misunderstood, yet comfortable world. I can only understand and be compassionate to the hurts of that child long ago. I lifted as many memories as I could to Jesus. When lifting didn’t work, I tried something else. I put myself there as the mother that I am now. I hugged that little girl, while telling her how much I loved her. I then would tell her, “I had a guy I wanted her to meet and wait right there just a minute” I then proceeded to walk out of the picture and say to Jesus, “Hey can you help me out? I have someone I want you meet.” Then Jesus and I would walk together to meet another me, the child.
I know as a child meeting Jesus, each time was rather intriguing. In the beginning, I was confused by his patience and kindness. I didn’t understand why Jesus didn’t push, but rather, waited. I couldn’t understand why He wanted me. I could feel the radiance of His comfort and yet I questioned this out of my own fear. Jesus and I walked away from many distressing scenes with his arm around my shoulder and sometimes when it was really difficult, he carried the child. I smile now at the many memories that seem to end, not with heartache and hurt, but with Jesus. Some of my past I may not remember and for me, this is okay. What used to be a stronghold of memories that I let throw me into a cycle of manic depression, is now a stronghold of a memories that take me to the arms of Christ. The “stronghold of hurt” was transformed by the love of Christ.
I am unconcerned about many things in this world. When I have Christ, nothing else makes much difference. For that, I am thankful. I know I couldn't have done anything without Him carrying me most of the way.
I don’t take medication for bipolar anymore. My doctors shake their heads in bewilderment, as they try to rationalize my natural healing. Natural is a good word to describe how love works, when we give love a chance. I believe, I gave Love a chance and his name was Jesus.
I feel no less than love, joy, peace, and happiness. I could write on and on about all that Christ did for me and the magnitude of that feat. The years that seemed so long, are now short in comparison. The truth be told, I will never forget my past, but neither will I forget the great memories I will always have of the child that found that greatest love of all. I have added in and taken out various paragraphs while writing this piece. In writing these thoughts into words, I realized something incredible. These words are not about hurt; they are about love. They are about taking what some may think of as strong and removing the shield. Removing the shield, to give transparency and show underlying vulnerability. I represent a truly weak person that has been made strong, not by what I did myself, but by what Christ did inside of me. I can only take credit for receiving this gift, and that was not an easy thing to learn or accept. I know where I was and what I came from and I know where I am now.
I would like to be able to express my passion in this writing; passion, for the reader, for sharing this experience. I hope I have given you the experience to stop and reflect, and to think about an awesome gift, the gift of salvation. If I can get one person to contemplate the idea of what Christ can do for them, I will have then planted a seed. As a child, it was never about saving me. It was about saving some other child. This article isn't about me, it's about a child and it’s about an awesome God. A God that never forgot and never let go.
I am great as an adult, partly as a result of what the child received. That little girl, she deserved what she got in the end. The road she took to get there was not always easy, but in the end, she received the greatest gift of all, Jesus. I cannot, nor will not, take this gift of love away from her. I am grateful. I possess an incredible amount of thankfulness. This thankfulness is of such magnitude, I can't even begin to fully express this in words. However, I shall go to my grave knowing that a child is safe, even when the child is me. That's good enough, the rest is extra, an unexpected bonus on your life paycheck.
I want to give a special “thank you” to Bob Bodenhamer, for his obedience. You Bob, have a heart for God. There are those that can do NLP/NS/Meta States. Bob introduces NLP/NS/Meta States while offering the dynamics of new meanings when Jesus is introduced. Thank you Bob for the countless hours: in person, on the phone and seemingly endless supply of emails. Bob, your true blessing to me was when you introduced me to Jesus. A Jesus-that is not just a word. I shall carry this gift for rest of this gift for the rest of my life including eternity. Thanks, for making me understand even death over and over is better than suicide.
Taking thoughts captive; to win from sin!
Thank you! Jesus
Love is the answer
With Jesus as the key
He’d take about anyone
Anyone except me
I used to be so scared
Not knowing what to do
Now I just enjoy
What Jesus took me through
A light shining freely
For all of us to see
Thankful, I die daily
As I get closer to you
(Note: Noel Dawn is an assumed name.)
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