by Debra Ray

Being the victim of an unhappy parent, my life wasn’t what I would have wanted. As the future stretches out before me, my mind sometimes recalls the mistakes in my past. Losing my childhood to abuse gave me a different set of priorities than the other teenagers. I sought peace and love while they formed and chased their dreams. My thoughts were on experiencing happiness in life. I chased this desire of mine in marijuana, alcohol, and friends.

It took a long time before I could face my abuser again and act like nothing had transpired between us. Even then, I visited her and my father out of an obligation to their feelings. Hearing her voice makes me want to yell at her. There are demons in this world that create these conflicts with people. Even she is a victim in this world. She is a victim that I can’t see or be around at this time in my life. Thinking of her as a victim doesn’t help me to be able to feel comfortable with seeing her. I haven’t reached that level of peace yet.
I might not have seen my Dad for a long time, but seeing him isn’t worth the pain involved in seeing her. Four years since I’ve seen my father and my younger brother, because they live with my stepmother. Fifteen years since I’ve seen my older brother, because he had a different father. Broken homes don’t necessarily cause dysfunction, but they create new openings for it that aren’t present in normal households.
I wish I could have the time back that I lost thinking that something was wrong with me. I wish I could have the time back feeling as if I had failed in being a part of my family. I wish I could have the time back that I wasted lying in bed day after day, because there wasn’t any reason to get out of bed. I wish I could rewrite my childhood editing in love and understanding.
I don’t know why God couldn’t have changed the past to have made it better for me. I don’t know why God hasn’t been able to fully end the pain and suffering in the world yet. My suffering is nothing compared to the suffering of some people in the world.
I pray for them to find peace and to be protected when I pray for these things for myself. I’ll pray every night until the pain is gone from this world. Life isn’t worth the pain some people go through. Life isn’t worth crying in the middle of the night over a wasted number of years spent suffering. I tell myself to stop thinking about the past and to put it away, but the tears fall anyway. I pray for God to take away the past from my thoughts, so that I can work on building a happy future. I pray for the wisdom and help necessary for that future. He is there. I’ve experienced him in my life. I’ve heard stories of his presence in other people’s lives and my faith is cemented in reality. I can believe these stories, because they are congruent with my own experiences.
The time and the opportunities lost are the hardest parts to bear. How many days could I have spent feeling happy instead of seeking happiness if those demons hadn’t invaded my family all those years ago. I feel guilty for crying, because it isn’t as if a psychopath tied me to a chair and tortured me for hours while enjoying my pain. It isn’t as if I’m a child lost on the streets of a wartorn country while my father lays dying from mortal wounds acquired from fighting for my future.
When I was twelve, my interest in the supernatural really began. I held a seance in my room by myself. I saw a small light floating slowly up toward my ceiling. I blinked multiple times thinking it was a trick of my eyes, but it didn’t disappear. Around that same time, I had trouble waking up one morning. I got out of bed, and ended up lying down on the floor of my bedroom still too tired to get ready for my day. I heard a man’s voice coming from outside myself. He said, “hi.” I asked him who he was, and he said, “I’m a friend.” I asked him if he could spend the night at my house, and he said, “No, I’m too far away.”
I was confused about my experience and tried to find answers online, and I discovered that sometimes people have this sorts of experiences when they are half-asleep as I was. I decided that I wasn’t crazy and it was a trick of my brain possibly. The years passed and I began to become interested in tarot cards, auras, and out of body experiences. Although I never had an out of body experience, I did see an aura once. Looking back, I can see how angels influenced me throughout those years, and how I was aware of their presence. Once, when I was around the age of nine, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I ran to my mother, scared, and she told me that it was an angel.
When I was seventeen, I had a dream that I went to visit a woman I knew that had been struggling with drug addiction. I had stopped visiting her per my boyfriend’s request. Having this dream made me think that I should go visit to see how she was doing. I decided to go to the house I had last known her to be living the following weekend. When I got up there, everything that had happened in my dream, happened in real life. I was baffled. Like had occurred in my dream, I got to the house, and the woman that she had been staying with told me that she was at “Verns.” When I had woken up from my dream I had thought that “Verns” was a grocery store or something. It turns out that she had moved in with a man named Vern. I also found out that CPS had taken her child Tyler.
The woman that I spoke to then broke down in front of me and told me about her drug addiction and how she couldn’t stop seeing her boyfriend who also did drugs even though she wanted to. She told me that she felt guilty for not being able to buy her daughter new clothes.
I was fully awakened to the reality of the other side when I was 21 years old. It was the most frightening and terrifying experience of my life, and I still wonder sometimes why it was so necessary for it to be that intense of an experience. It created even larger rifts between myself, my family, and my friends. It’s been four years now since that experience, and it has gotten easier to handle. I wish I had embraced this side of life sooner. My experiences and the experiences of others are the foundation for my faith. I had a roommate that has psychics continuously approaching her to tell her that her deceased fiance is near her. I believe it is God reaching out to her. Faith keeps me going.