How we grow up seems to play such an integral part in our mental health, don't you think? I will try to encapsulate my story in as brief a way as possible.
Bad things happen at church.
This is the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of my "church" story. And I shall preface this with the fact that I went to church as early as I can remember.
I was molested at a baptist church...at preschool. I was probably 3 or 4 years old. It was myself and another little girl. I don't remember her name but I remember the molesters name. It is the same as mine...Shannon. He was a teenager,I think one of the centers teachers sons. He stuck his hands down my pants. Me and the other little girl...at the same time. Uh, makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it now. I didn't tell anyone till I was in my 20's. And what could I do about it then. I told everyone it was no big deal. That it hadn't affected me....but,I think it had. To this day I have trouble being with kids I do not know well. What if I were to harm them by accident? What if someone thought i harmed them? What if inarmed them and didn't even know it? See...I am nuts!! And from there the thoughts go on....s-c-a-r-y! I can barely write about it without panicing.
I then attended a main stream Church of Christ with my mom, mostly. Mainstream except it wasn't. It was "Extreem". Hell fire and brim stone. This is where I think I most definitely got my religious scrupulosity. I was constantly told everything I did was a sin. And the way to redemption...confession. It got to a point where I was making things up so I could confess and be lauded. I made sins up! Just so I could confess! In my early teen age years it got so bad I can remember thinking.."Well, if I think I did it, I must have, and that is bad, that requires forgiveness!". Right there... The pin point in time of my religious scrupulosity taking a hold on my mind. Sin or not, confess, be forgiven, be lauded. So incredibly crazy for a young teen to be feeling this way, in the midst of all the other things going on in your life at that time. Puberty, self awareness, self esteem. Uh! I am pissed that I was exposed to such a crazy way of thinking! And even now as I say it was crazy, my mind can still take me to those places. Writing this could be a sin... I am probably going to hell!
There is so much more to it than I could ever write in one post. But I am phobic of going to church! I will not go. I will not chance exposing myself or my kids to such torment. I know many people speak of church being a comfort in their lives, but to me it is a terrifying experience! It is scary! And I'll probably go to hell for thinking so! I will never be good enough for God. I will never be perfect enough. Being a good person is not good enough to get into heaven!
....That is where my mind goes. That's my "Church" story...in short. That is where I believe the beginnning of my obsessions and compulsions began.