Pure Pleasure.

There are many pleasures to be had from working in a primary school. The children are an absolute joy, they can have such a zeal for life, they really make my job enjoyable. There are so many things I could tell you but I want to share with you the best things that happen in my week. 

As someone who loves books, it’s got to be story time but it may surprise you it’s not when I’m reading. I do enjoy reading to others but it’s when my class teacher is reading to the children. I love to hear people read. I can’t help it, sometimes I just have to stop what I’m doing. I find myself wanting to sit down ignoring anything else. I listen attentively to my teacher, who is slowly pulling me in. I feel like I’m a child again, I so badly want to sit on the carpet with the children. I am lost, I twirl my hair, my teacher catches me. I feel slightly embarrassed but I don’t want to move, she smiles knowing she’s got me captivated. Some of the children look at me with smiles, just for a little while we have become the same age! 

The next thing is hearing the children read. Thankfully the children have so many opportunities to read, the school is full of books and information to aid learning. I am privileged to hear children read on a daily basis some are amazing, the way they read the text is very special. They make it come alive.

Part of my job involves doing intervention work. One of the interventions is to encourage children to read, some struggle to read at home because of various reasons. Some do not enjoy reading and some struggle with reading because of their ability, they may have learning difficulties. But I always say there is a way to smash through any barriers. We just have to find the way for you.

I first try to find out their interests then introduce various text materials, comics, football pages in the newspaper, fiction, non fiction. I also find using unusual stuff can help grab their attention, I sometimes use technology the children love using iPads. Anything to pull them back in. 

We start off, I ask what do you think this is about. Their little brain cells start to tick, we have banter back and forth, I try to make it as fun as possible, this is their special time. I am well known for being very expressive in all my lessons. The children love my tall tales, my diabolical accents, my stories of when I was younger. 

I remind them about using expression. I tell them to give it some attitude. I say pretend you are a reporter if reading from the paper. Pretend you are a character in the book. Pretend you are a famous author.

Pretend this, that …

I tell them I don’t want to see the pictures because I want them to grab my mind with the way they deliver the text. I want to imagine… 

The children smile as I wave my arms about getting all animated. They start, I love it, they begin to relax, then it happens the love of reading starts to develop.

I stop them when they are not expecting it. I praise them, I give positive feedback, I give suggestions. I say what do you think… I ask so many questions we start up again with the banter. Ideas come pouring out. Oh I’m getting so excited to know what will follow … they pick up on the enthusiasm. We close the material we are using, then I add please come back and tell me what happens next. The children giggle, eyes wide, nodding, promising.

The next day I have children coming up to me excited, telling me what they had found or what had happened. I stop what I’m doing and give my full attention. I delight in them expressing themselves. I thank them for sharing, off they go skipping, happy and content. 

Sadly some children haven’t been able to explore further by themselves but I turn it around and say let’s venture together to find out what happens. 

My reward is that children start to find a new love of reading whether it be a cereal box or a beautiful book. The love of reading has started. The seed firmly planted. I hope they will take enjoyment in reading for many years to come. 

I remind myself some of these children are the writers and story tellers of the future. I hope one day I will pick their book up off the shelf and hear them express themselves all over again.

The Room…

It had been several weeks since my last visit, I nervously turned the handle. As I opened the door the smell hit my nostrils, it had a damp musky odor. In fact it smelt of bed, no wait, more like a body smell. My brain tried to catch the undertones as if I were smelling a lovely fragrance not a revolting stench. I felt the detective come out in me. Was that stale tobacco lingering in the air. It was dark, I fumbled for the light switch. The light came on, it highlighted the whole room. I was suddenly distracted from sniffing, I rubbed my eyes in dismay, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, clothes were tossed everywhere. I felt a mixture of emotions starting to rise up in me. I looked over the room not really knowing if I should dare step forward. The bed was not only unmade but it looked very uninviting. I looked down I couldn’t see the carpet, I made tiny steps, placing my feet gently on the makeshift floor of clothes, underwear and socks. I had to carefully balance myself around a computer hard drive and wires that were a tangled heap in the middle of the floor. I’ve never seen so much rubbish outside of the local tip. There were cans, paper, boxes, the list was endless. I was waiting for the unexpected like a mouse, rat or a humongous cockroach to attack me. I had no weapon. I picked up a pencil just incase I had to fight for my life. Instinct made me examine the pencil for germs.

Gross! a tissue stuck to my foot.

Next I saw kitchen items on the side, under the bed, on the window sill. They seemed to have some kind of growth on them, it looked alive! At closer inspection it was identified as green and black furry mold. I started to scratch. I felt like I needed a bath in a good cleaning product. 

What was that?… a cigarette stub, it was standing almost like a statue in the middle of a dish. Now my blood started to boil, I felt my body almost shake, I clenched my fists almost digging my fingers into the centre of the palms. 

It was like a crime scene. 

My mind was trying to blank it all out as I firmly closed the door. 

Then I asked myself one question as I sank to the floor.

What happened, how on earth could he live like this? 

… The teenage boys bedroom!

My de-conversion story from christainity   … Part 4

So like I said this is where the detox of the mind control started to happen. I felt as though I was losing my mind. I started to break down, my mind was overwhelmed. I had flashbacks. I felt guilty questioning stuff that came up. I felt fear that I was listening to the devil. I didn’t want to live!

This process took approx one and half years of my life. It affected every aspect of my life. My boss rang my doctors as I broke down yet again in his office, I couldn’t stop sobbing. I kept saying I was sorry in between the sobs. I still remember his kind words… it’s ok, your at a loss you will get through this. These are major changes you are going through. It’s enough to top anyone over the edge. 

I was given anti depressants and counselling, I didn’t take the tablets but I found a counsellor who had stepped out of a church. He gave me some steps that I needed to do. I searched the internet where I came across stories from others these really helped me. There is a site called journeyfree.org this site talks about the religious trauma syndrome that people go through and it can take years to unpick all the mind control.

Then it just happened… I came to the conclusion I no longer believed…this was the hard part. Jesus had been my life. I felt at a complete standstill. I no longer believed! I couldn’t tell anyone at first but then I started telling my family. 

I wanted a new life. I started to go through some changes. I wanted to break free of religious boundaries, I started to swear. I called it swear therapy I would let them roll off my tongue with glee it felt good. Then I had my first night out with a girl friend I shook as I felt alien in a different world but my friend took great care of me. I spent time with work colleagues trying to chat about normal things. 

I still bump into Christian friends, I also work with a couple which can be a tad bit awkward. I am always avoiding any questions about God, they are still trying to pull me back into church. I feel uneasy around them. They talk so different to how I remembered perhaps it’s cause I was just like them but I’m not anymore.

It’s not been easy, finding myself has been hard. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I am creating a new me and all my new friends have the opportunity to help shape me. I have had to learn to deal with new emotions but have also discovered I can block emotions quite easily, this is not good and it’s not healthy. I have found being a woman difficult, I had rid of any ‘urges’ for years. I was blind to men. I felt dirty for even thinking about the hope of romance. I felt unworthy and unloveable I felt a freak. This has not felt a natural process for me trying to find my sexuality and celebrating this, but I’m getting there. Communicating has been a challenge even now, I have to fill my mind with new things to share. I have freedom to watch things that expand my mind, but I can still get some uncertainty, but that’s good as I can question things. I can make informed choices. I have a bookcase full of books of my choice and CDs full of ‘worldly’ music. I can watch movies that are higher that universal or PG ratings! 

I love to make new friends, people are so interesting, I feel I learn so much from them. I have found people to be so kind outside of the church, they don’t make me feel like a complete lunatic, they listen to my story. They are usually amazed!   

 I find religion causes hate though this will be denied. My eyes are open to so much, I am starting to see so clearly what religion involves. It is mind control to the masses. It’s one big control machine that sucks the life out of you, along with your thoughts and feelings. It sucks you out of you!

Christmas time was the biggest significant change where something sifted. I couldn’t celebrate Christmas, no decorations nothing, my previous Christmases were soaked in Christianity. I spent this Christmas burying things, putting the remnants of Christianity into the grave. I spent time reflecting, weeping and trying to unravel my head of anything that was hanging around in there.

New year fresh year… I collected up all Christianity books, music, DVDs, pictures etc and got rid. I said goodbye properly to my old life and friends. I know I can’t remain friends with believers it will be to much of a battle. I know the tricks of the trade so to speak.

My next step is to be with courage and let more ‘people’ know I no longer believe. I feel free, ready to fly, I love life, I love looking though my fresh eyes and mind. The belief in God no longer makes sense to me and this my reality check. This is good, christians sing my chains are gone… But now my chains are truly gone! 

A message to christians I know you are doing what you feel is right but please leave people alone to make their own decisions. If people want out, allow them the ‘grace’ to find their lives. Don’t push people further to the edge. Don’t give them all the usual banter. Don’t try to scare them into coming back. Leave them alone.

A message to people that find themselves stuck between two worlds hang in there, be kind to yourself, allow the emotions you’ve got to get out of your body. Seek help, give yourself time to heal and whatever age you are you can start living your life with a new identity. You are special, unique and so worth it. You don’t need to decrease no more. You need to increase to the maximum you can. Make up for the years that have been stolen. Be free…

Enjoy your life!

My de-conversion story from Christianity … Part 3

I left the church as the elders took over, these men were very old fashioned they did not agree with women. They taught that women are to submit to men as we have a Jezebel spirit. I with others were to be placed under the older women for guidance as they received guidance from their husbands. They decided that the world had stepped into the church so we had to return to damnation and hell fire. I slowly sneaked out of the door after spending many years of my life there.

I visited some other churches, one was like a nightclub full of young people it appealed to me but when they started asking for bank details, I found it very strange. It was run like a business, tithing messages and committing to the church was top of the agendas. It had a coffee shop it was very trendy, leather settees but I was changing it didn’t capture me for too long. I moved on to another large church the same happened. This one had hundreds of people. I watched them as they got hypnotised to the beat of the music in worship. The preaching was on God’s grace but then we had to follow the leaders of the church, we had to do more.

I bumped into an old friend who invited me back to my old church. I went back to visit, the people were so warm and so glad to see me. The leadership had changed so it was a ‘fresh’ start for them. They told me they had prayed for me to come back home to this church. 

The church tried hard to press into God’s grace this is where I felt I had a ‘revelation’. I had enough of being controlled by church rules. I wanted for us all to stop suffering and to stop causing suffering on people in and outside the church but it fell on deaf ears. I started to feel very uncomfortable, I needed out, my mind was battling within it’s self. I shared with a Godly woman how I was feeling, she told me to see the leadership. I couldn’t do it so I wrote a letter explaining I needed to leave, they wrote back such a lovely letter I felt like a betrayer of the family. I ended up at the large church, I tried to hide but couldn’t get lost in the crowd, I stood out. I was asked to join many of the teams but I declined. I was just sitting on the edge taking it all in. I attended a ‘Holy spirit’ night I sat at the back and watched. The way people were acting seemed almost sexual but with clothes on. A bloke ran up and down with a flag, the music went into a hypnotic beat and people started to draw their imaginary swords for battle. There was shouting they was breaking the windows of heaven. The pastor encouraged everyone to speak in tongues to break through the spiritual warfare. So many young people, toddlers, teenagers all sold out for God. I left, my heart was sad, I didn’t know what was happening to me. The next week I got invited to a woman’s meeting off I went. I listened to the teaching then we broke for lunch. The guest speaker came in and I was sitting by the door in a very loud orange dress she smiled at me. In the afternoon the guest speaker that had smiled at me came to the stage. She started to give prophesy, she said she had messages from God, it all felt very strange as though she was randomly choosing people then randomly giving them a message. One person she gave a message to was delighted but they seemed to know the speaker well , so I guess the speaker knew them well too. Then she moved up to the back she saw me she said this is for someone in an orange top. The girl sitting next to me breathed in as she had a orange top on, she whispered ‘oh no God is going to tell me off for smoking’. I giggled. The lady looked at me and said ‘don’t say no to God’. I sat there I was getting angry inside she was speaking more but I couldn’t hear, I wouldn’t listen. I needed to escape I felt sick inside. On my way out I was the woman in the orange top, I was treated like a celebrity, people wanting to chat, but I made my excuses and left. I came home and cried. I couldn’t face going to another church but my friends warned me that this would not be good that I needed a spiritual home. I tried a little Methodist where I ended up crying after the lady spoke her message, it touched me. I thought God had me there at that time to speak directly into my heart but later I found the message was off the internet. It had been spoken about many times before. Weeks passed then I decided to go back to the large church ‘where I was known as the lady in the orange top’ though it was a dress! I went in saw many of my friends who showed complete delight in seeing me. I sat by an old friend, the worship started, lights dimmed and the young band started the beat. I felt strange I couldn’t join in, I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t raise my hands. I sat down my friend asked if I was ok. Then the preacher came on he started his sermon, it was about decreasing in self and casting off sin. He started to read from the bible. I felt sick, numb and I needed to get out. I whispered to my friend I’ve got to go, I can’t stay no longer, I stood up, eyes turned towards me and I walked out. I drove home and sobbed and sobbed. Over the weeks I decided I still believed in God but I couldn’t believe the bible was the inspired word of God, because it just didn’t add up. This is where the detox of mind control started to happen…

My de-conversion story from Christianity … Part 2

At the evangelical church I found the rules rather strange, I had a past life of being a free spirit where there were no rules and life was for embracing. The first rule that I was taught was if you are going to date you have to be chaperoned (think this was highlighted especially for me because I was a single mother of two never been married). I thought at first people may have been joking but soon discovered there was a definite split of the sexes to be kept. I was placed under the watchful eye of some older married ladies who would tell me how to become a righteous woman. I was told not to even hold hands if I met a man because that would provoke indecent thoughts. That made me giggle but the stern look I got soon put stop to that. I was also told you do not make ‘worldly’ friends the only communication you are to have is for witnessing. They are not friends to enjoy and share life with they are for converting.

Making friends was easy in the church circle you would meet others via your church friends. Churches rally round and meet up to have other meetings so you get to see others but they didn’t usually mix with other denominations as their way is considered to be in error. You would get on straight away as the common thread was always about God and having prayer time. After some time I was introduced to a guy who belonged to a pentecostal church. There was no attraction but he seemed highly spiritual, he introduced me to Pentecostalism. I moved church after I discovered the rock bands, the singing and the dancing. I was warned by the evangelicals that the Pentecostals were not biblical. Here I learnt that you have spiritual gifts, that you have to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit to be truly saved. This involved endless laying on of hands ‘ to receive the impartation of the Holy Spirit’. It took a while for me to ‘receive’ but when I did there were plenty of ‘praise God’ to be heard.

Now there were more rules for me to follow I was to burn my beloved books, music and anything that did not give glory to God as these were evil and from the devil. I had to destroy some of my ornaments and some of my children’s toys. These gave a foothold to the devil he was always seeking to devour christians. There were prophets in the pentecostal church they would give direction into your life as they heard from God. The guy that introduced me to Pentecostalism started to say God had told him we was to get married but I would receive confirmation about this. I was worried I didn’t even fancy this guy but over time I was drip fed that God finds you a man that is completely right for you as he knows best, it will be a marriage of three the female, male and God who holds us together. I did not have to worry about anything else. Then the dreaded moment, I received conformation about marriage from a couple of respected spiritual people in the church. I got married in a registry office with just two witnesses as I guess I knew deep down this wasn’t right. I cried before the wedding as I didn’t love this guy, I told him but he said it was ok then after the wedding I cried more. We ended up church hopping from one church to another catching up with the Holy Spirit. We was married for one year, this guy was really messed up he was brought up a Jehovah witness. He decided he had been given a dud Christian wife, I had a ungodly past, tattoo which really bothered him and a slight rebellion spirit. He thought that I should dress more like a lady and do less DIY. He wanted me to be like the pastors wife who was a righteous woman and seemed to float on air. We received endless marriage counselling. Also let me just say, there was no worry about holding hands because if you don’t find someone attractive you don’t have to worry about provoking improper thoughts or actions! We finally parted after one year of sheer hell for the both of us, against the advice from church I filed for divorce. 

Now I was a divorcee I was to receive some intense prayer, laying on of hands because I allowed the devil to trick me out of the marriage God had set in place. I had to repent and repent and repent. I was beaten down, I was no good such a bad witness. 

I decided on a fresh start I moved area and found some small churches where I tried to recover but slowly I was pulled back to the highlife of the Pentecostals. I found a church where I was excepted, this was a lively church. I got buried under church life. I was exposed to endless preaching, teaching, meetings and conferences. I allowed myself to be emerged fully as I knew I had to repair my relationship with God. My spiritual walk became so great I was looked upon with favour. I had to decrease, God had to increase. I got involved in any witnessing programmes, I never felt comfortable but it was my way of showing God he could use me, besides I had been told this was my calling. I helped anytime I could as my time and life belonged to God, so did my money!

I attended two services on a Sunday they were full of dancing, singing, shouting and people prophesying. There were endless alter calls, people got slain in the spirit, bodies would be everywhere, people sobbing, screaming as demons would flee. We regular chased to where God was doing something marvellous getting a spiritual high. There were times where your spirit would be downcast and so low but this was a battle so you pressed in, repenting, calling out to God. We were taught we could lose our salvation. I battled with thinking about hell all the time, my mind was in constant fear. I was taught demons were everywhere, they could enter a believer as you can imagine this scared me so much. I became a slave to reading my bible and prayer. I focused so much on my reward of life in heaven, that I started to forget to live my life on earth. The church was always battling against groups of people, they insisted we was the ones under persecution. Their motto was ‘come as you are to Jesus’ (I now add you won’t stay like that though, we will break you until you conform and become a robot).

Then things started happening at church there was a massive split it was ugly, people were hurting and grieving. Apparently this had happened before. I saw no love just people wanting to be top dog. I think this is the time my mind started to question stuff…

My de-conversion story from Christianity… Part 1

Every life has a story sometimes the story can be hidden, I decided to share my story in the hope to help others. You see this is a de-conversion story from Christianity where I spent over twelve years of my life. The reason why I am the girl between two worlds is because at times I’ve been absolutely torn between my old life and my new life. I have had to learn to discover myself but at the same time create a new self. I have left a large community of believer friends and had to restart all over again. I want to thank the people who have supported me through the tears, emotional outbursts and when my head has been so mashed I’ve had to withdraw from communicating with them. Ironically they are the people Christians warned me about, the Christians lied they have turned out to be completely beautiful in so many ways. First one friend, do you know when we first met I couldn’t even hold a ‘normal’ conversation. I was literally shaking as I tried to chat to her. My work colleagues who have witnessed such a battle and have been supportive even though they don’t fully understand. Then there’s my other friend who at first gently blew my wings to try and help me to take flight as I attempted to morph from a caterpillar to a butterfly. 

It must have been difficult for my friends to watch me go through this but they have been so patient, believing in me, encouraging me and lifting me when I fell face down. I was unsure if I would ever escape the mental torture that gripped my mind. The detox of the mind control that has took place was a hard process to go through. It was like being stuck in a nightmare where you screamed but no one could hear you, I felt I would never be able to think clearly again. Guilt and fear stepped in freezing me in between the two worlds.

Slowly I am taking control, I grow stronger every day and I am actually starting to enjoy my life. Freedom in my own choices have been difficult to make but now it’s starting to feel good, I used to leave it all in God’s hands because that’s what I was taught.

So let’s begin… 

It all started in the year 2000 I had left a damaging relationship, I was broken that’s when God ‘found’ me. I wanted to be loved, I was told this Christian God actually loved me so much that he sacrificed his son for me so that I could live a life of freedom. I experienced freedom for approximately one year. I gained a massive family at an evangelical church that would invite us for Sunday lunches and would teach me God’s word. If I had any questions they would try to answer or they would pray that my faith would increase because this would help me when there were no answers. I was given bibles, Christian literature and free tea and biscuits it was so different to what I’d ever known before. 

I soon got water baptised at this church which meant I was sealed, I had received a invisible stamp that said ‘I belong to Jesus’ on it. At the time it felt good I was in a constant bubble floating around without a care in the world. 

Then sadly the bubble burst I found out that Christians have to live by certain rules. This is the exact point my mind was to be hijacked.

To be continued …