Postmorthim wrote:Thanks for the detailed post Ima!
It's hard for me to identify an exact experience where le hook was implanted. What I do remember is the utter disappointment upon receiving my confirmation. I was in the seventh grade of private Catholic elementary school and was told that the Holy Spirit would touch me on the day of the sacrament. I was actually excited and greatly anticipated this feat of faith. When the day came I simply received a touch to the forehead by a priest and walked away from the altar baffled to my awaiting sponsor and family. I slowly became disillusioned with my faith. Why would the religious teachers say such a thing and then the spirit didn't deliver? I felt no different walking away from that altar that day. How could the spirit passover me? What was this all about?
Well, I continued with the school and religious teaching, as well as altar boyhood. I then went on to an all male Catholic high school where I seemed to excel in religious classes with a climax in senior Philosophy of Religion. I chose upon graduation to pursue a life in theater.
Needless, to say I didn't attend mass anymore or participate in any of the sacraments.
So I had a hook there somewhere beforehand which I thought in retrospect was dislodged around confirmation.
I guess what I'm experiencing/asking for is a need that those around me try to dispute my claims of death and existence of purgatory or hell. My brother rubs it in my face by using my claims to prove that it is truly what I claim it is and my mother claims it's possible that I could be experiencing purgatory all the while everyone around goes about their pleasant days on earth.
How does a person with delusions of being dead and in a period of afterlife wrestle successfully with them and not go completely batty and be able to try to "live" a normal life?
Boy do I feel confused and just really dang tired...
hmmm okay. i'll tell you what jumps out at me from your post.
you felt the Holy Spirit passed you over. deep disappointment, a faith shaker. then despite an extensive religious education you dismissed the church. now you're having delusions that you're dead already and in purgatory.
so here's my theory. i'm not a shrink. i'm just a fellow recovering Catholic so ... you know ... take it for what it's worth.
the basic Catholic hook is to create you to be a "servant of God" ... by which they mean "servant of the church". this you have FAILED to become and now perhaps somewhere deeply buried in your subconscious the hook is festering guilt (as it is designed to do).
now understand this has nothing to do with any actuality. it doesn't matter how intelligently you've worked to extricate yourself from the religious conditioning of your childhood. the hook is lodged in your child mind where logic fades and imagination reigns supreme. it's your frightened to death inner child that's producing these delusions. the poor thing is living a nightmare. that poor kid thinks he deserves to be punished in purgatory because he failed to become what the church conditioned him to become.
of course the adult you, the logical adult, knows this is male bovine feces but that little boy is still wondering why the Holy Spirit passed him by, maybe he isn't worthy, maybe he deserves living death.
you can't blame the poor kid. i mean, by the time you're 6 yrs old the Catholics have you counting up your sins ("bless me father for I have sinned") and hell and torture are made graphically realistic. what does a child understand of metaphor? he is literal minded and still believes in magic, the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause. in the realm of imagination anything is possible ... even damnation. this is why they hook em young before the intellect can kick in to dispute the lies with logic.