Choosing a difficult path led to much suffering in this lifetime. I wasn’t spared from tragedy, and it makes it difficult to hear people talking about some law of attraction that doesn’t exist.
Goodness doesn’t attract goodness, or I would have had many good people around me. Yet, all my actions stemmed from spiritual innocence from a young age. It was so much a part of me, I thought almost everyone else must be this way too.
I was born into a family of six children and my earliest memories were of my father as a pastor of a Church of Christ in Christian Union. At the age of three, missionaries visited our house, and I ran and hid behind the couch. My mother had to physically pull me out from behind the furniture and she did this often because this is how shy I was.
This shyness followed me through my school years and as a freshman in high school, I suffered severe stage fright when required to give a speech as a part of my grade. Everyone had to and yet I stood there, trembling, unable to speak.
Also, at the young age of three, I was frequented by a woman who came into my room at night. I called her the Blue Lady. I would wake up and see her in the corner of the room and be horribly frightened. I gripped the covers so tight that my hands were sweating, and I’d throw the covers over my head in fear.
At first, she stood far off but as the years progressed, she drew closer. She didn’t have beautiful features. It was a face that would frighten a child with a very stern countenance, almost like she was pointing a finger at me. Her skin was pale blue with black hair and a flowing gown of blue and white. Her hair always looked like it was moving with some unseen breeze, blowing it away from her face.
Her last visit was when I was seven. This time when I awoke, she was inches from my face. I was so frightened that I couldn’t move and had difficulty breathing. I was frozen and could only look into her eyes. Her countenance was stern like before but this time, I saw much deeper into her gaze.
It was as if she possessed all the mysteries of life and death. It was both fantastic and horribly frightening at the same time. A small part of me wanted to bask in this knowledge and the rest wanted to pull the covers over my head and hide. This frozen state was finally released, and I was able to close my eyes. I did and when I opened them, she was gone.
As the years progressed into adulthood, I realized Christianity didn’t have much to offer for it didn’t equip me for the real world that lay behind my parent’s door. At eighteen, my being showed me a glimpse of the future that awaited, and darkness enveloped me.
I was driving at the time and pulled off to the side of the road and wept. I wept for the suffering that was to come and understood that it wasn’t a future I would be able to avoid. The path was chosen before I took my first breath. I’m not a fatalist, by nature, but neither could I deny what I was being shown.
By the next year, I was pregnant, with my first child, and a violent husband. When he was angry, which took little, he would often spit on me, kick me, or shove me against the wall. He slapped me on several occasions and humiliated me in front of his family. I never felt so despised.
Six years later, my second child was born, and I could no longer deal with this treachery and left. I didn’t fuss over the property and let him have everything just to be done with him. This cruelty haunted me for many years, believing that I must be worthless, just as he told me.
With only a high school diploma, I resorted to factory work, odd jobs, and whatever I could find. My ability to function was greatly inhibited by the violence that was done to me, and I struggled to go to work, falling into a deep depression that lasted many years.
It wasn’t just the violence of a previous marriage, but the violence that kept occurring over the years. It was difficult making friends. If someone showed a friendly face, I thought they must be like me. When they showed an ugly side, I’d turn the other cheek.
I was robbed on several occasions, threatened in other relationships, kicked, and mistreated repeatedly. Each time, I tried to show a kind face, but I was dying inside. I drank, too, not to forget the pain, but that this huge burden would somehow become lighter, and I could see through the darkness that surrounded me.
Finally, in 2001, I watched the World Trade Center fall to the ground. I didn’t know anyone personally from that area, but I watched in horror and fell, too, into a comatose state for seven days. The first few days, it felt as if I could personally feel the sin and suffering of the whole world like this huge boulder was on my shoulders that made it extremely difficult to move.
The last three days were the most severe and I lost the ability to form a thought. I couldn’t think or feel, and my limbs felt hot. My breathing, too, was difficult, like I was slowly suffocating, and a sense of total separation from the Creator. If I could have formed a thought, it would have been, “I’m in hell.”
I lost my job that week because I couldn’t go to work. I wasn’t losing much because I could never find a good job in the area we lived in. There just wasn’t much there for someone without a college degree, or with one. It was temporary services, some factories, retail, and bartender and waitress work. I was never offered a wage that was manageable.
After a week of this comatose state, slowly on the seventh day, I could feel again. I was so happy that I wept for hours. I wept for the suffering of the world and my own. I wept because I could finally feel again and then I wept because I was still alive.
A few nights later, I woke up with a very bad headache. When I opened my eyes and looked up at the ceiling in my bedroom, it was like it had vanished, and here I was seeing the whole universe. I closed my eyes and told myself, I can’t be seeing this. It’s impossible.
I opened my eyes and there it was again. Every time I closed my eyes, I felt like I was lifting out of my body, but when I opened them, there I was, lying in my bed, with a ceiling that no longer existed and the whole universe right before me.
As I looked closer, I was able to see a small spiral of energy in the distance that resembled a small whirlwind. It was so far away that I was unable to see its beginning. I followed this light through the universe, all the way down to my own naval, and realized this was my lifeline.
I was much older than I had ever imagined. I want to say that things got easier after that, but they didn’t. I may have conquered hell, but death and the grave were soon to follow.
My second marriage was better than the first, though not positive. For all these things that transpired through the World Trade Center collapsing, he was not a part of. We argued about everything. He was never physically cruel to me, but he could never understand me and grew tired of it. We wouldn’t speak for weeks at a time. It was so bad, that at times, he lived somewhere else.
On my part, he was too shallow and never thought deeply about anything important. I couldn’t understand how what one looked like was more important than just being oneself. He possessed the manipulation of a salesman, and he was very good at it. Seven years later, the relationship ended, for I was tired of going in the same circle repeatedly, and so was he.
Again, we needed to move for the house I bought was fraught with all kinds of issues. The city, through federal funding, gave loans to low-income families to refurbish their properties. They were supposed to replace the roof, and the contractor did, but in the meantime, it rained. Several of the ceilings buckled and the damage was extensive. He refused to fix it, stating the loan didn’t cover replacing the ceilings. I told him the damage was due to his negligence. He tried to fix it cosmetically, and I made him leave.
The issue of the home becoming unlivable was when the sewer pipes needed to be replaced going to the street. They tacked twenty thousand dollars onto the loan amount for work that was never done, and extensive damage on top of it. I refused to sign off on the last half of the contract amount and somehow, miraculously, my signature appeared on this document.
I went to the city for a copy of this transaction that was never signed and was bullied out of the office by a very nasty man. This was grounds for a lawsuit, if not criminal, but I was too bankrupt and broken to fight back.
We settled into a one-bedroom duplex on the upper floor across town. It was very small, but the landlady understood my predicament and allowed me, and my two sons, to move in.
At that time, I began writing stories and had a wonderful dark plot in mind. This girl accepts a ride from a stranger, who says he’s going the same way and would give her a lift. She sees the city lights fading in the distance and grows alarmed. She asked the stranger where they were going. He whistled a tune that was familiar to her, but he never answered.
Outside of town, he taunts her and swerves from the left to the right side of the road. She was so frightened, she couldn’t move and thought if she was very quiet, and didn’t provoke him, he would stop.
This lack of a verbal response only enraged him more. He began singing the same familiar tune, “And I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, I guess she’ll have to die!” He swerved and the car rolled several times.
This scene was so horrifying that I was too drained to continue writing this story and shelved it for another day. I thought of a wonderful name for this book, too. It was Angel and the Badman, but it would have to wait.
A year and a half later, I was six months pregnant with my youngest son. His father was a quiet man, who worked when I met him. He had a quiet demeanor that I mistook for gentleness, and was not given to rash outbursts like my second husband.
The truth was, he had a cunning manipulation that I was blind to, and it was snakelike. What I thought I knew, didn’t shine a light on his true nature. He wasn’t outright about it and hid it from me as long as he could. Eventually, a leopard shows its spots, and so did he.
He left, one day, upset about something, and took the car. I called later and he said he was in a neighboring town about twenty miles away, and he would bring the car back very soon. When we ended the call, I felt very uneasy by his tone.
He came home a couple of hours later and threatened to kill my other two children if I didn’t leave with him. He snatched me out of the house and forced me into the car. This was a whole new level of violence I had never experienced before, and I was terrified.
We stopped at a gas station, and he pulled up to a pump the furthest away from the building. He went in to pay for gas and I struggled to get out of my seat belt. The door handle was sticking, as it often did, and I couldn’t open it. I rolled down the window and tried climbing out, which was difficult. He caught me and pushed me back inside. So much could have happened differently if someone had pulled in to get gas at the same time. No one did and I was alone.
I was quiet and shaking as the city lights faded in the distance. It was then I realized I was reliving this scene I wrote, long before it happened, and this would be the defining moment of whether I live or die.
I asked him where we were going, and he didn’t answer. As we drove further out of town, he said he was going to kill me, and that the baby probably wasn’t his. He swerved all over the road, barely missing mailboxes and flying in and out of ditches.
I knew I must react differently than the angel in my story. I pleaded and cried and told him how much I loved him until my throat hurt. He threw my purse out the window and said I wouldn’t be needing it anymore. At one point, he tried to bite me and slapped me upside the head many times.
Finally, four hours later, he brought me home. For another few hours, he continued to torture me, before passing out. I should have called the police then, but I was too frightened. Only recently, I discovered he had been in and out of prison for the last sixteen years, and he wasn’t afraid of any repercussions that might come from it.
Death didn’t leave its sting that day but would have if I hadn’t reacted the way I did. Seeing me frightened and pleading fed his twisted ego and saved my life.
It was a harrowing ordeal to separate from this person, which I could only do in stages in order to protect myself and my other two children. After my son was born, which was his first child, he grew fond of him and held him close.
Despite it, I couldn’t allow this person to remain in my life. He loved him but he didn’t love me. I’ve seen situations where a man loves his child but despises the woman who bore his child. I pushed him away enough, that by the time our son was three, he found someone else.
After my mind settled for a time, I thought more about this book, Angel and the Badman. I felt so free and happy when I was writing. It was therapeutic and when I wrote, it felt like I had a purpose.
I began a new chapter and told my brother about it. I told him the plot and the name of my book. He said, “Angel and the Badman?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “There’s a John Wayne movie by that name.”
Eventually, I was able to see this movie and I was intrigued by the costar, Gail Russell. The resemblance in our essence was extraordinary. It was as if I was seeing myself onscreen in a different body. Physically, we looked much different, and she is much more beautiful than I.
Reading deeper into her personal history, I found that she suffered from painful stage fright, forgot her lines often, and suffered from alcoholism and broken relationships. She hid too, behind furniture when she was little. I couldn’t deny the possibility that this might be me.
Before that time, I thought little about rebirth on a personal level. I was just trying to live and make ends meet, and having a hard time doing it, just like Gail. I wasn’t convinced until a few months later when she revealed herself.
I know it sounds extraordinary, but the night was much like my own. I awoke in the early hours of the morning, but this time, I was gripped with fear, as if I was dying with a pain in my chest. I felt once again all the emotions of Gail’s death.
Feeling alone and misunderstood and knowing, nothing will change in the future. People will always misunderstand me, just like Gail. It was only later that I found out, the morning I felt this experience was the same morning Gail died so many years ago. The coroner’s estimated time of her death was off by an hour, but he was close. On top of it, we were the same age, except she died, and I didn’t.
So, in this lifetime, I just picked up where she left off, with all the same issues. That’s the thing about suicide. People may take that route to try to end their misery but, in the end, it only prolongs it. When they come back in their next life, the issues return, until they work through them.
Gail took her own life by drinking herself to death because she couldn’t find a way through the darkness. This time, she did find a way, but it wasn’t easy. It took twenty years to fall to the bottom, and it would take another twenty to rise above it.
For a long time after, I dealt with anger issues and the unfairness of life. Most of it stemmed from not being able to find a purpose for it. It wasn’t until a few years ago that my intellect and insight heightened to the point of being able to understand, in small increments at a time.
Unable to see fate as a prime factor in this life, I resorted to anger at everyone who ever harmed me, or my parents, who couldn’t provide what I needed when I was growing up. Do I believe in fate? No, but I know some lifetimes are.
The fact is, I chose my parents, and I knew from the beginning the trials I would face. Yet, my being left me blind, with the inability to ward off the evil around me. In the end, who else could I blame but myself? Christianity hardly teaches about the true nature of man opting instead by teaching salvation. This is a farce for salvation doesn’t exist and original sin remains, as I have shown through my spiritual discourse.
Too, I find it alarming now, the way Christianity speaks against Muslims for being a violent religion. Yet, who killed the Creator? The Muslims didn’t. If Jesus appeared again, from a lowly birth, He or She would be crucified all over again by the media and Christianity, for this is man’s true nature, regardless of their “salvation.”
Sometimes, I can see the Hand of God reaching out to me through songs and videos. This song, Stairway to Heaven, is such a one and struck me the most. It was written when I was a baby but never took on the same meaning that it does now. I especially liked the video when Ann Wilson sang it live from the Kennedy Center. There’s this big choir behind her and I was deeply touched by it.
The internal meaning was quite clear when she sang, “How to be a rock and not to roll.” This teaching is about firmly planting one’s feet on solid ground, and how to avoid suffering. There’s a difference between struggling and suffering. God doesn’t want suffering, which is the internal meaning of “not to roll.”
There’s also another video with internal meaning in Scott Stapp’s song, One Last Breath. There’s a lady in this video, wearing blue, and crying drops of blood. It was very indicative of this lifetime and this imagery was quite accurate and beautiful.
When I watched another video, Higher, it was apparent he is an advanced soul, and few people would be able to relate to him. People should look up to those spiritually higher which he made apparent in his video. Instead, they poke fun and laugh at his suffering.
It took many years after conquering hell, death, and the grave before I could write this next poem but I finally did, and you can too.
She dwelt in darkness but not alone.
The score of a million cries pierced her soul,
Nay, it was a million more.
Its breath was unforgiving on that timeless ancient shore.
Not I, said I, with certain distant peace.
I won’t fall prey,
To the God of Dismay,
Nor any of His minions, defeat.
The Lover of my soul is here,
Profound within those cries.
She sings with sweeter effigies,
Then all the starry skies.
Cast out! Cast out!
The darkness that must flee,
The Lover is the Victor,
The Conqueror inside of me!