I just woke up from a nice three hour nap because i just had a very scary dream.
In real life, growing up Autistic was a literal nightmare because of my family and being a Catholic. I am not meaning this as a slam against Catholicism, or any other religion; however, that being said, i do want to address the ways religion has failed me throughout my life…..and to also address the dream i just had.
In real life, when i was growing up, as a teenager in the 1970’s, i had plenty of problems with my father, who was a very strict and stern Catholic, who did not accept me at all the way i was, because of me being so different. He spent his entire time trying to correct me, scold me, change me, and literally squelch me. He was alway, always yelling at me and shutting me up. In addition, we were all made to pile into the family station wagon whether we liked it or not, each and every Sunday morning, bright and early, at 7:15 AM, to drive the 22 miles into town to attend 8:00 AM Mass at a chilly cold Catholic church, where they seemed to be quite allergic to turning the heat on, or even providing us with pews that were soft and cushioned. On top of this, i also had to contend with my three brothers and three sisters, who were also mean to me, taunting me and picking on me much of the time, all because i was so much different than they were.
The period between the summer before, and all during, my Sophomore year of high school, (1975-76) was particularly painful for me, because my little brother turned really mean beginning that September, and he got so mean that i became literally afraid to see his face at the dinner table anymore, so i began to spend my afternoons and evenings in my bedroom, only going out to go use the bathroom when i knew he was in bed. My little brother literally began to glare at me all the time, growling at me, and calling me names, and telling me “Hoooooomphaaaaa!” all the time, in such a way that i grew to really hate……i can still remember both the wide-eyed harsh look on his face, and the mean belligerent tone of his voice whenever he would tell me over and over:
“Hoooooooomphaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!”……and also call me “Pigggggaaaat!!”……..
and the dinner table became the worst place for me to be, firstly, because my father would still not let me talk during dinner, except that i was allowed to ask to pass the butter or food, and because my little brother would literally sit directly across from me and give me what i would literally describe as an evil diabolical glare that frightened me to the very core of my being. I grew to dread seeing his big blue eyes because of that. I began to keep my hand in front of my face when in the prescence of my little brother, and even in the years following that, even when he began to be nice to me again, i would still keep my eyes averted from his, and i would still even keep my hand up to shield my face from his. In fact, my relationship with him was never the same after that summer and school year.
I have always been afraid of him ever since then.
I began to have to take my dinners, all of them, in my bedroom. I did this my whole entire Sophomore year of high school. I came out at Thanksgiving and Christmas though, when my mom made him back off and be nicer. But this affected me badly……
My weekends were the worst, because i had to stay in my room the entire time to escape him and his “Hooooomphaaaaas” and “Piiiiigaaaaats”.
He actually even said over and over, that i was not a part of the family.
I felt even more cut off from my whole family than ever that year, because of how i was being ostrascized.
At that time, i was reading alot of horror story books, and watching alot of horror movies. I had also had a very frightening dream at the end of my Freshman year of high school, June of 1975, (i went to a Catholic high school all four years, by the way) in which the devil was trying to hunt me down and possess me. Also, that summer before my Sophomore year, my sister, the one who has always been really mean to me, had brought home a Ouija board, and she, my little brother, and i, would play with that every afternoon, and it would tell me awful things about my life, that:
I would never learn how to drive;
I would never have boyfriends until after i was in my twenties;
I would weight 150 pounds by my senior year of high school;
I would go on government aid and never work, and live at home till my late twenties with Mom and Dad.
In addition, that September, my eldest brother had also stopped speaking to me, because i couldn’t take his rough teasing, so he decided to just stop talking to me altogether. My eldest sister, the one who i refer to as one of my nice sisters, was also being very snotty with me all the time. And my other sister, who i refer to as my really mean sister, (who i mentioned above), had taken up residency, placing her craft desk right in front of the part of the kitchen counter, right where the family radio was so i could no longer have access to my music after school. I would have to sneak it at night when everyone were all in bed, so i could still get to listen to my favorite tunes.
I ran away three times that school year, first to a girl’s house here in Santa Maria, and then to Santa Barbara, and then to another guy’s house, because i badly wanted to escape my family.
The reason i bring up my teenage past, is because my little brother, that same station wagon, and my whole family, all grown up, were all in this dream. All were nice to me, exceot for “Caras”, my little brother, who is now almost 50 years old. (“Caras” is not his real name, by the way.) In this dream that i just had, we were back at our home in the mountains, and Caras would not say hi to me nor speak to me at all, because he said that i was a bad sinner, because of all of my liberal views, and the kind of music i listen to. I still like heavy metal, but now listen to an eclectic mix of indie rock alternative, New Wave, electronica, etc. He said that unless i changed my ways, dark things would begin to happen to me…and he began to glare and hiss at me again. I also heard another voice saying that the path to hell was very wide, and the path to heaven was very narrow…..
That’s where i woke up. Scared shitless!!!!!!
I am already greatly afraid of going to hell when i die.
But my views ARE liberal, because i refuse to believe that God is mean and too strict. I had “Mean and Too Strict” growing up. I have also had “Mean and Too Strict” in most of the churches i have gone to throughout my years on this earth. My family are full of mean people who still shun and ignore me, even now. Caras even told my mom as recently as September of 2005, that if i were to move up to Idaho, that he would have to stop having family BBQ’s, because if i was there, it would ruin his enjoyment.
He now says that he prays for me everyday, but that he is too scared to have any contact with me because i have always “made him too nervous.”
As for some of my church experiences?
At a Southern Baptist church, i was told that God would blow up the engine on my car if i kept taking my long drives up and down the 101 freeway, because i was “Idolizing that freeway more than God”. Even though it gave me great comfort to drive the 101 freeway everyday. I had just learned how to drive in the spring of 1990, and i have always had a real road geek facination with highways and freeways. At that same church, i was told that rock ‘n’ roll was evil and bad. I was told this at many of the churches i went to, that rock ‘n’ roll was bad and of the devil.
In 1995, i began going to an intercessory prayer group which was down near the town of Solvang, two ladies and a man, who told me that i was going to go to hell if i kept watching MTV and “Beavis & Butthead”!! They also told me that if i didn’t learn how to forgive my dad and all who bullied me on my street, that God was going to take me “Around the mountain over and over and keep me living in poverty” until i “learned my lessons”.
Out of my fear that i would go to hell…i ended up throwing my music collection away several times, only to buy it all back, and repeat process, over and over, out of my fear that i would go to hell if i kept listening to heavy metal and grunge music.
Just recently, i was told by some church people that i could have my Autism prayed off of me!!
Other examples of why i am so against organized religion…..and why i am truthfully too afraid of God to actually feel the love i know i “should” feel for him….are things like:
the Tea Party and their cruel, barbaric and heartless brand of politics;
The same cruel heartless attitude of most of Christian television and televangelists;
The Christian hate i see towards the LGBTQI community;
The way the Catholic church has handled—-no, the way they have swept under the rug—-the issue of all of the priests who have sexually molested so many children—and how that is STILL not being addressed;
A certain Christian rock station i used to like to stream online, where i began to hear the morning deejays poking fun at elderly and disabled people, and they were also even engaging in fat-shaming….yes, these “good Christian” deejays were telling awful mean fat jokes, right on Christian rock radio!! And in the same breath, they were talking about how much God loves us!! Pppphhhhht!!!
The way many Christians shun those who are poor, disabled, and elderly.
I have been shunned and ignored, and accused falsely by many a soul who calls themselves Christian.
Even so, i know my faith and beliefs at the core, are that i feel that there is a God. And i want to feel that my God is a loving god. But i also happen to respect people who have different beliefs and faiths. I would be wrong not to.
So..am i going to go to hell just because of that?
And why, please tell me, why, i would have the dream i just had?
I need answers, please!! Because that dream really scared the pie out of me!!!!!!!