I consider myself a spiritual person nowadays, but it wasn’t always like that.
My formative years were filled with The Catholics and their particular brand of ‘Hell and Damnation.’ It was boring and frustrating, the only fun part being hauling out this magnificent nativity sculpture thingy every Christmas. I was the youngest and therefore got to put baby Jesus in his crib. I was dragged to Sunday school and Catechism classes by priests and nuns with scary accents and few people skills. My only window of light during that time was my Godmother who was and still is a kind and gentle soul.
She was always patient and involved and because she was an art teacher, gave us amazing pics to colour in. Spending time with her was easy and fun!
Barring that, religion was hell!
Of course in those days one didn’t talk of being spiritual – religion and all it’s attendant rules and punishment was the fodder we were fed.
My entry onto the ‘Golden Path’ only came many years later and when it called, it was wearing high heels and madness.
I was engaged to a wonderful man I worked with at the Newspapapers, let’s called him Mini Stew ( he looked exactly like Rod Stewart – hair and all). He was a truly good and loving human being. We created a wonderful life together, which of course I barely appreciated. He was fantastic with my daughter, The Seasprite, and it wasn’t long after meeting that we moved in with him, and soon afterwards bought another house together. Our home was gorgeous, our lives were good, despite my best efforts to the contrary.
Enter the churchy demons!
I can’t remember how I met the two woman who invaded my world. I do remember however that it was during a time when Mini Stew and I were having a bit of a tiff.
They came into my life full of ‘love’ and ‘genuine concern’ and convinced me that I was living in sin and that I would be punished if I continued. Once I had shared my very sad life story with them they had me believing that all my pain would be miraculously healed and I would be hale and hearty for decades to come.
I should perhaps mention at this point that the one girl’s husband had been a minister and had murdered her father in front of them after proclaiming himself Jesus Christ -complete with crown of thorns. The other was a force of nature all blond hair and smiles, who I discovered later had been horrendously abusive to the domestic worker who lived in the room out back and had been completely unlucky/dysfunctional in the romance department.
But at the time I was blissfully unaware of such things. They surrounded me with love and it wasn’t long before the attention became addictive, and I finally saw the ‘Truth’. With next to no finances, I left my intended, moved out and began a life of loss and heartache.
I was living far from the centre of town and could no longer take my daughter to her school, or myself to work (my fiance had done all the driving). I put my daughter into a local school and began working at the video shop down the road.
Before long I was working myself into the ground because of course I had rushed to find a new home and of course had chosen one I couldn’t really afford. All the fun and joy I had enjoyed while co-habiting with mini Stew became a thing of the past.
But it was ok, it was God’s will and so I continued.
My off- time was spent with the demon twins, reading the bible and ignoring the nagging feeling that they were crackpots. During this time I was dragged along to healing and deliverance seminars where for some reason no one seemed to be able to excorcise my particular demons and trying desperately to talk in tongues. I knew I needed to be saved, after all I had sex before marriage, had lived in sin and never, ever confessed these sins to God and was therefore in veery deep shit!
Looking back I marvel at the stupidity of it all, but at the same time actually do understand how such beliefs were possible. I was the adopted (translate: rejected ) child that not even my adoptive parents loved (translate: knew how to deal with). They made me feel special and important and wanted (translation: stooge). Despite my misgivings and doubts I was really happy being flooded with attention, so I continued.
The breaking point came about 2 years later when I was transferred to another area. Suddenly I needed a car to keep my job. One of the demon twins was selling her Golf cheaply and said that I could pay it off. I agreed immediately. The problem was – I couldn’t afford it!
The new branch was a nightmare. I ended up working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day and had been begging the owner to send more staff, which he refused to do. At this point I had moved in (not romantically) with a rather strange fellow and duly roped him in to help. Because the owner refused to pay, I started renting out machines and not logging them so that I would have money to pay ‘the help’. I was also starving half the time, so I began eating my way through the icecreams – again gratis and for nothing.
It wasn’t long before the whole situation blew up in my face.
I had moved out of my house and stayed with the blond demon for a few months when things had got too rough. She had thrown me out a few months later, when my passion for Christ had begun to wane – hence co-habiting with the weirdo. I lost the car, the demons had come to the shop at night, no less, and demanded the car back as I had only made 2 payments in 6 months. I was left stranded at work and had to phone a friend to collect me.
I was called into a meeting with the video boss and confronted with my theft. I denied it of course. I hadn’t taken money for myself, only for the staff so that I could have a break. I duly resigned.
I remember that day clearly. I walked out of the shop, leaving behind the exhaustion, sadness and fear and not knowing where the heck I was going to find a new job.
My life was a mess, I was a mess, but for the first time in forever I felt free. It was exhilarating – for a while. This was of course before I met The Tiger. But the Universe being what it is, balanced it out by arranging a meeting with ‘Spongehead’.
He was to become one of my greatest friends and the source of yet more poverty.
But at least he came attached with a true love of God and a sense of humour second to none!