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Friday, April 22, 2011


jesus crucify
I was raised in the Episcopal Church, half Catholic and half Protestant, at least as far as symbolism and the rituals seemed to go. That was just my opinion for a long time. My father was Presbyterian, my Mum Catholic and they compromised after they were married by going to the Episcopal Church.

At the age of 12, I was an Alter Boy, I was confirmed, I left the church and I was raped, though the sexual assault had NOTHING to do with ministers or any church. That needs to be made clear there was NO connection there except I was 12 years old at the time. But all those things happened to me at age 12. I was fascinated by what Jesus did and experienced in his days before the Cross. The Crucifixion mesmerized me, I simply couldn't comprehend what men, human beings did to the Son Of Man.

From: "The Passion Of The Christ"

My mother told me that whenever the movie Jesus Of Nazareth was on I had to watch it. I've stated here on Shell Shock that once, as a boy I made a crown of thorns and put it on my head to feel what that was like. I had taken my full sized GI Joe, built a rough Cross and crucified Joe making a small diorama depicting that scene on Golgotha that day. And this was long before my sexual assault. Strange, mysterious stuff, indeed...Did I sense what was coming? I guess I'll never really know...

But it was at the age of 12 and after being raped that I turned away from the Church, all of it: the physical Episcopal Church I had attended, my belief in Jesus as my personal Savior...the whole thing. I believe now that I was reacting out of anger and shame. I did not feel CLEAN. I felt dirty because of what happened to me and I felt responsible. I felt like an outcast, abandoned for ever by God and society because of what I let happen to me.

I was 12 YEARS OLD and in my shattered, confused mind my life was over. The Poet/Writer/Musician Patti Smith wrote in one of her most famous works: "Jesus died for someones sins but not mine". That is exactly the way I felt at that time. The entire line from her song Gloria is this:

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine
meltin' in a pot of thieves
wild card up my sleeve
slick heart of stone
my sins my own
they belong to me, me

I really identified with those lyrics when I heard them long after the event. I felt responsible, those sins were Mine, Mine, Mine, they belonged to Me, Me, Me. That was a sub-conscious chant going on in my head that eventually turned to: You are Bad, Bad, Bad as in a bad person. Then ultimately in my mid-forties that lament, that had turned to I HATE me, HATE Me, HATE Me and what I'd become.

By the time I tried to commit suicide in 2006 I simply hated Thom. I hated everything about me. Lost?! That hardly seems adequate to describe what I really felt like then. It makes me physically sweat just sitting here thinking about that time. I have never before drawn the parallels of my interest in the Crucifixion and my experienced being raped. Never matched the timeline and have just recently realized that I left the church after that had happened.

As I think back on the days when I was so lost, so the best of my recollection I still believed there was a God. I think I felt that he didn't believe in me and I figured: "Why would he?!". I was a horrible person, a failure as a human being. the depth of my self-loathing ran SO deep, that web was so complex that it is shocking to me today that I came out of that situation somewhat intact or survived at all.

Today is Good Friday, my first experience going through the Easter weekend as a Christian. I think it is safe to assume that I will probably continue this story. From being Fallen to Saved. My spiritual life is and has been an important element in my day to day recovery from alcoholism/addiction.

I am fascinated by the visions I had as a young boy. I really had a deep passion to try and understand what happened to Jesus during the days leading up to and including his death on the Cross.


  1. Why do you have such a deep need to feel or understand the passion of Jesus...when all along you have been in him and him in you, you have walked along beside him, felt the same pain and shared in his cup of sorrow and sadness for this lost world... it is not you who is without a place, but rather that place, is outside of you... He who has suffered, has done this to show us the way and prepare us...for even darker days than these, in already experiencing the convictions of darkness, knowledge & understanding are in with compassion and in truth you shall prevail...they shall always be yours...just know this...sometimes its not always you alone... that carries your cross

    forgive them, but most of all...forgive yourself - and Live man Live... - if its not right the way it is now - then just "get up - stand up" and change it... forever

    You are my inspiration...

  2. Thank you for your comment. Here is a post I wrote in the last week. I have come full circle as far as forgiveness goes...