Where Is All of This Going?

 

Acting upon the suggestions I received from some of you regarding my daughter, I found myself placed in a new spiritual proximity to vibes and tensions and thought-patterns any sane person should want to avoid.

I am not a Catholic. That’s just a statement of fact, not an opinion. I only mention this for context because several of the suggestions were posited by those of the Catholic faith.

However, I am curious. When Pope John Paul II passed, it hit me quite hard. Who knew? I dove into learning about him, and by doing so, I learned things I hadn’t known about the Catholic Church. For the first time, I saw a grand intellectualism I’d never known about. And I also saw a fascinating and compelling mysticism.

There is something rich about that, and juxtaposed against the evangelical church, I long for something on par. I don’t agree or disagree with the Catholic Church, but I very much support its curiosity. At least the curiosity it once had. Maybe it still does. What do I know?

One of the readers of the post about the garage incident provided me with links to certain resources meant to help me with my daughter’s situation. So far, I’ve looked into one of them; a website that offers a litany of prayers that focus on deliverance, healing, achieving wholeness, and freedom from demonic influences.

Yes, that’s right.

Another area of the Catholic Church I had not known about. And honestly, I was very uncomfortable about walking into that particular fray. But I did. I did because it’s about my daughter, and she’s continually tormented by something that is not of her. Whether the source is psychological wounds at adoption; some genetic propensity toward OCD; trauma from the terrible hospital years with her younger sister; scars from being bullied in middle school; or the fact that she smokes marijuana too much (her assessment … and I agree); she is fragmented, anxious, and suffers from sudden self-harming psychotic episodes.

These many sources all fit into the enemy’s strategy to dis-integrate us from wholeness, foist confusion and fear upon our minds, and render us hopeless and defeated. Therefore, in my mind as someone who views all of life through a spiritual lens, she is under an orchestrated demonic attack.

I began with the prayers that sounded less assertive … less dangerous. I mean really, who wants to taunt destruction, right? And since they are Catholic prayers, I felt that, out of respect, I should modify the prayers so as not to be presumptuous as a non-Catholic. So I did.

I will try to keep this part brief, but here’s what happened.

The next day when she arrived home from work, I was sitting at the kitchen table. As she walked into the house, she called out with a big “Hello!” and appeared in the kitchen doorway.

Her eyes were bright.

That may not sound like anything to you, but I’ve not seen real life in her eyes for nearly two years. I knew something was different. I felt a charge go through my chest; a little spring of hope.

Four days later, she had already sent out several résumés and received callbacks for interviews. She had also decided that she wants to attend a particular program at a college located in a not-too-faraway state. We even picked dates and made the hotel reservations to go check out the area.

And then a few days later, when she came home for lunch, it became clear that we’re not out of the woods. She’d been dragged back in, but this time deeper into the woods, now surrounded by gnarly oak trees with angry branches and spooky moving shadows.

Her demeanor was dark, like before. She dragged herself into the family room and sat down in the chair across from me, her shoulders down, her hair matted to her head, and her face sullen. “I had an interview with Joe’s dealership,” she said.

I wanted to keep it light and tread lightly. Sometimes I try to avoid conflict with her because I’m just too damned tired.

“Oh, that’s great! What about Tim …”

It always happens so suddenly. Her face contorted, her fists clenched, and she began hitting herself in the head and screaming, “Why can’t you be happy for me? Why …!!” She threw her keys across the room, followed by a fresh coffee from Dutch Bros. Then she jumped up, and came at me, screaming in my face and waving her arms while dropping F-bombs… amongst several other-letter bombs. This went on for several seconds.

I don’t know if this is just my normal response to threats, or if this is the Spirit giving me composure, but I sat there watching her, waiting … just like the time in the garage. Oddly, I’m calm; there’s no adrenaline; no feeling of fear. And then I heard these words (not audibly).

“It just needs to come out.”

The anger, the rage, the frustrations about having a perfectionistic mother from whom she needs approval (her assessment) … all fueled by irrational thoughts fanning those flames. And yes, I am a perfectionist and a driver and I wouldn’t want to be around me either.

She cried and snarled for a bit and then it was time for me to talk. I kept it simple and reasonable and as reassuring as I possibly could. Not with any conscious intent … it’s just what came out of my mouth.

And she actually listened and got very quiet. Just like the other times.

I hugged her close, and she kept saying she was sorry. She went back to work, and texted me, telling me she was sorry and that she doesn’t know why she acts that way. Later after she got off work, she came into the family room where I was sitting, leaned down and embraced me for a long time, whispering, “I’m really sorry.”

We had come out of the ugly tree grove.

Two days later, it happened again.

And this time it was worse, taking us to the deepest recesses of the woods to a grove of rotting trees perched upon by nasty vultures mocking us as she screamed at me about killing herself and cutting her wrists, making arm and hand motions as if she had been contemplating and planning it for some time. And then she exploded, relentlessly hitting herself on the head while letting out a long and blood-curdling scream. It was new-level psychotic.

I watched her. I told her to stop. I asked her if I needed to call the police.

And then she went into her room. I was upstairs and had been watching her from over the railing, so I made my way down to her room. I found her sitting on the floor leaning up against her bed, weeping. I kneeled down in front of her, and told her I love her, and put my hand on her forehead. She got very quiet. Later, again, she told me how sorry she was, that she doesn’t understand why she said those things and why she acts that way.

Why am I writing about this? First, I need someone to know what’s going on. I have never felt so isolated and helpless in terms of the capacity of other people to believe and appreciate what this is like. Second, this is real. Here’s what I mean.

I’m old enough to have seen the movie The Exorcist, at the drive-in, no less. And I believe this is what people think demonic influence or an outright demonic attack looks like. Maybe sometimes it does. I don’t know. That’s not this.

This is the culmination of cognitive distortions that have entrenched themselves in the mind of a young person who started out with some real soul-foundation issues to begin with. Her brain has been functioning in a different dimension of perception her entire life, and no one really noticed. She didn’t know that it wasn’t normal. She was just trying to avoid that deep and mysterious sense of abandonment she’d already experienced in her soul at birth by constantly seeking approval and reassurance from others. Add to that, the trauma of her sister’s serious medical trials; my absenteeism as her mom for ten years; the impact of social media on her sense of what’s important; and the resulting development of an intense self-hatred; and you’ve created a very vulnerable target for soul-crushing influences.

Having said this, I’m not ready to defend myself on any of that. Only God knows the truth about my beautiful daughter.

What I do know is that Jesus is the Great Physician. And He is at work in her, and in me, speaking to me about the situation. Not audibly, but through experiences. This may sound weird, but the very day she came home for lunch and went into a psychotic tirade, I had just finished watching the episode of The Chosen where the disciples are out performing miracles, many of those miracles involving the deliverance of everyday people from demonic control. At one point, Andrew placed his hand on the forehead of a woman with grey eyes, and when he lifted it, her eyes were bright and she was in her right mind.

My husband and I were talking about our daughter the other night and I asked the question, “Where is all of this going?”

As I hang on to my ideas of what retirement is supposed to be like, and I mourn the loss of the opportunities I once had, I’m pressed to examine my faith. Is it real? Is it persistent in the face of overwhelming contradictions to my expectations about experiencing relief, receiving spiritual strength, and possessing a resilient hope? Can I walk with Him and my daughter in and out, and in and out, of these darkened woods believing that there will ultimately be a final victory?

Those are my questions right now.

And yes, I know I’m sounding selfish, and that this isn’t about me.

We’re working on it.

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  1. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    I wish I had something helpful to say but I’m completely out of my depth. You sound like a very loving mother and your daughter knows that in her rational moments. Because of that it would seem to me like there’s a lot to be  hopeful about.

    • #1
  2. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    Yes, this is about your daughter – but it is also about you because you are an integral part of each other. What you are doing is exhausting, hard work, and it sounds like the Holy Spirit is with you when you react, calmly, to her outbursts. It sounds like there is so much that this young woman has experienced – too much pain and heartache to handle. Remember, you are never alone. 

    I would suggest that you contact your local Catholic diocese and ask to get in contact with their exorcist. These experienced priests can help you determine if this is a true demonic influence.

    Personally, I would also suggest your daughter ditch the marijuana completely. This may be very difficult to do – but at least it may clarify the path to healing she needs to take (how much of this is the drug, how much is emotional, how much is demonic, etc).  Marijuana, especially in the strengths it is now available, is not a harmless drug.

    I will continue to pray for you. You are also welcome to join the Divine Help group (https://ricochet.com/groups/divine-help/) here on Ricochet for more support.

    • #2
  3. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    You and your daughter will be in my prayers… in fact you are right now.

    • #3
  4. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Exorcism in Catholic belief is difficult to explain in a comment. There are prayers that the laity can say, and there are prayers that only apply to the priest, or bishop in a formal exorcism. The following prayer may be said by a lay person. You do not have to be a Catholic to say this prayer.

    A Parent’s Prayer
    Heavenly Father, I invoke the full authority you have given me as a spouse and a parent and I lift any curses, spells, seals, hexes, vexes, consecrations, voodoo, or any occult action or any evil affecting me or my spouse or my children who are minors.

    In Jesus’ name, I cast out all evil spirits that are harming us. In Jesus’ name, I reject them, I rebuke them, I renounce them, and I cast them out!

    For my adult children, I beg you heavenly father to hear a parent’s plea and free them from any of these occult actions or any evil, and cast out all evil spirits. Father, I beseech you to send a spirit of unity and peace to my family. Heal the divisions in our family; may those family members who are estranged from each other be reconciled in forgiveness and love. May we live together in your peace.

    I pray for special healing graces for each one of us. Heal the wounds that plague us- heal any depression, anxiety, fears, compulsions, addictions, angers, resentments, and any and all mental and physical illnesses. Restore us to full health.

    I especially ask for the following specific grace for my family, if it be your holy will (here mention the specific intention silently or out loud). Most of all, may you infuse into our hearts the gift of faith, always trusting in you. Bring back any of us who have wandered from the faith.

    May we be fully protected from all harm and evil by the Shield of Faith and the Sword of Truth. I make this parent’s prayer in the holy name of Jesus begging the powerful intercession of the Holy Family with the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and all the saints.

    [Note: Spouses have divine authority over their own bodies, their spouses and their children who are minors. In that knowledge, this prayer has a parent invoking that authority and casting out demons and evil from them. For their adult children, they are invoking God to heal and liberate them.]

    • #4
  5. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    I wish I had something helpful to say but I’m completely out of my depth. You sound like a very loving mother and your daughter knows that in her rational moments. Because of that it would seem to me like there’s a lot to be hopeful about.

    Thank you Marjorie. I agree there is a lot to be hopeful for, even if I don’t see all of it right now. And I am also out of my depth, but I think that’s where He sometimes wants us regardless of how uncomfortable it is. I don’t like it and I don’t want to be here, but His timing is better than mine. I get a lot of encouragement from your comment and from others who are listening and responding with compassion.

    GLW

    • #5
  6. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Juliana (View Comment):

    Yes, this is about your daughter – but it is also about you because you are an integral part of each other. What you are doing is exhausting, hard work, and it sounds like the Holy Spirit is with you when you react, calmly, to her outbursts. It sounds like there is so much that this young woman has experienced – too much pain and heartache to handle. Remember, you are never alone.

    I would suggest that you contact your local Catholic diocese and ask to get in contact with their exorcist. These experienced priests can help you determine if this is a true demonic influence.

    Personally, I would also suggest your daughter ditch the marijuana completely. This may be very difficult to do – but at least it may clarify the path to healing she needs to take (how much of this is the drug, how much is emotional, how much is demonic, etc). Marijuana, especially in the strengths it is now available, is not a harmless drug.

    I will continue to pray for you. You are also welcome to join the Divine Help group (https://ricochet.com/groups/divine-help/) here on Ricochet for more support.

    Hi Juliana … dear Juliana! I have found the prayers from the website helpful and I’m grateful to you for providing that resource. 

    As for going to the local diocese, I will consider that, but is that something a non-Catholic is free to make inquire about? 

    As for the marijuana, oh yes. She has been trying to cut back, and actually stopped cold turkey for five days last week. She is heading in the right direction, but smoking resets her brain and gives her both clarity and a break from the torment. I am very very concerned about this because of the terrible side effects, including psychosis. We need a miracle in this regard; her last two outbursts were during the five day abstinence she recently attempted. There are other biological factors involved in these outbursts, but I think the marijuana is a main culprit. We have started meeting Wednesday mornings to go through her finances which gives me a chance to ask about her expenditures at the dispensary. The last two weeks have been zero dollars. She wants to quit … but because it helps her stay calm, it’s a tough transition.

    And yes, I thank you for your invitation to join the Divine Help group. I accept.

    GLW

    • #6
  7. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Exorcism in Catholic belief is difficult to explain in a comment. There are prayers that the laity can say, and there are prayers that only apply to the priest, or bishop in a formal exorcism. The following prayer may be said by a lay person. You do not have to be a Catholic to say this prayer.

    A Parent’s Prayer
    Heavenly Father, I invoke the full authority you have given me as a spouse and a parent and I lift any curses, spells, seals, hexes, vexes, consecrations, voodoo, or any occult action or any evil affecting me or my spouse or my children who are minors.

    In Jesus’ name, I cast out all evil spirits that are harming us. In Jesus’ name, I reject them, I rebuke them, I renounce them, and I cast them out!

    For my adult children, I beg you heavenly father to hear a parent’s plea and free them from any of these occult actions or any evil, and cast out all evil spirits. Father, I beseech you to send a spirit of unity and peace to my family. Heal the divisions in our family; may those family members who are estranged from each other be reconciled in forgiveness and love. May we live together in your peace.

    I pray for special healing graces for each one of us. Heal the wounds that plague us- heal any depression, anxiety, fears, compulsions, addictions, angers, resentments, and any and all mental and physical illnesses. Restore us to full health.

    I especially ask for the following specific grace for my family, if it be your holy will (here mention the specific intention silently or out loud). Most of all, may you infuse into our hearts the gift of faith, always trusting in you. Bring back any of us who have wandered from the faith.

    May we be fully protected from all harm and evil by the Shield of Faith and the Sword of Truth. I make this parent’s prayer in the holy name of Jesus begging the powerful intercession of the Holy Family with the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and all the saints.

    [Note: Spouses have divine authority over their own bodies, their spouses and their children who are minors. In that knowledge, this prayer has a parent invoking that authority and casting out demons and evil from them. For their adult children, they are invoking God to heal and liberate them.]

    I pray this exact prayer every morning, with modifications appropriate to my not being Catholic. With your comment, God has confirmed that this is okay, and calmed my concerns. Thank you so much Doug.  Blessings to you,

    GLW

    • #7
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Thank you GLW for some more great story-telling. I am sorry of the sadness within this particular story.

    You are strong. You are a God-loving Woman and you do know that He exists.

    And he is the Great Physician. In Mark 1:41 a leper comes up to Jesus and says “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus replies,  “I do will it. Be made clean.”

    I believe that Jesus can make your daughter “clean” and I believe that He will due to your beautiful motherly prayers for her deliverance.

    One last thought – since your daughter comes home in two very different ways, I wonder if she has smoked marijuana on the bad days?

    • #8
  9. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Firstly, did you continue to pray for deliverance every day?

    Secondly, demonic possession is not like it looks on the movies or books.

    Thirdly, even if a demon is driven out (or if you want to say it this way, any evil or violent spiritual influences are driven away or prayed away) if there isn’t Spiritual Holiness to begin to fill that void, the demon will come home again and bring his friends.  Did you consider her spiritual vulnerability at this time?  Can you talk to her about Jesus, perhaps framed as for her own protection?  Perhaps immediately after prayer when she’s clear-headed or not under the influence of evil, or if you want to phrase it this way, sudden unexpected spiritual violence?

    • #9
  10. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Thank you GLW for some more great story-telling. I am sorry of the sadness within this particular story.

    You are strong. You are a God-loving Woman and you do know that He exists.

    And he is the Great Physician. In Mark 1:41 a leper comes up to Jesus and says “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus replies, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

    I believe that Jesus can make your daughter “clean” and I believe that He will due to your beautiful motherly prayers for her deliverance.

    One last thought – since your daughter comes home in two very different ways, I wonder if she has smoked marijuana on the bad days?

    You are such a good and compassionate soul.  Thank you for the encouraging words. He is good and faithful. And yes, He is the only One who can make her whole. As for me, I’ve been through a lot of crazy things in my life, but this is something new. I appreciate your prayers.

    • #10
  11. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    GLW, my heart breaks for your daughter.  I have an adopted child too, and I’m aware on how the adoption can work on their psyche.  My son is thirteen and has not experienced any negative attributes, but he does ask about his past and that’s always a concern for me.  The sense that an adopted child has been fragmented can lead to all sorts of issues.  Have you looked into counseling for adopted children?  I’ve kept this link to Adoptive Learning Partners, but I’ve never used them.  It seems they are focused on younger children and perhaps your daughter is out of their age range.  But I would certainly look into something for her.

    As to exorcism, I don’t know.  Prayer is always good, and highly recommended, but this seems more like a teenage thing of a child that may be predisposed to some of these problems because she was adopted.  Drugs is definitely not a good thing.  Anyway, if you ever have questions on Catholicism, feel free to ask.  I am always happy to share my faith.

    • #11
  12. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Firstly, did you continue to pray for deliverance every day?

    Secondly, demonic possession is not like it looks on the movies or books.

    Thirdly, even if a demon is driven out (or if you want to say it this way, any evil or violent spiritual influences are driven away or prayed away) if there isn’t Spiritual Holiness to begin to fill that void, the demon will come home again and bring his friends. Did you consider her spiritual vulnerability at this time? Can you talk to her about Jesus, perhaps framed as for her own protection? Perhaps immediately after prayer when she’s sane or not under the influence of evil, or if you want to phrase it this way, sudden unexpected spiritual violence?

    Yes, I’ve been praying for deliverance every morning.

    My daughter was raised in the church, was very involved in youth ministry and kids camp activities as a counselor, and part of the young adults group. She had some pretty hurtful experiences given cliques and others who hurt her feelings a number of times. Her best friend was a Christian, but once my daughter started having struggles, her best friend dumped her. The loss of friends has been a big issue for her over the past few years.

    She says she wants nothing to do with the church. Yet, she is willing to let me pray for her.

    As a matter of fact, I’ve been on the phone with her for the past hour and twenty minutes while she drives home from the bay area. In crisis on the phone, and about 45 minutes into it I asked her if I could pray for her. And she said yes. I prayed some conglomeration of deliverance prayers with help from St. Patricks Breastplate, especially the aspect of protection. She was calm after that and by the end of our conversation (I just hung up) laughing at my stupid little stories.

    I am concerned about her returning to Christ, but honestly I don’t think she learned much about Christ or Who He is from attending church. My prayers are always that she would encounter Him in a powerful way and have all of those negative notions about church eliminated.

    She began describing to me what happens in her mind. More open, which is a good thing.

    Thank you Flicker … I understand all of what you are saying. I am trying to be as open as possible to the Spirit’s leading with her.

    Blessings … GLW

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Firstly, did you continue to pray for deliverance every day?

    Secondly, demonic possession is not like it looks on the movies or books.

    Thirdly, even if a demon is driven out (or if you want to say it this way, any evil or violent spiritual influences are driven away or prayed away) if there isn’t Spiritual Holiness to begin to fill that void, the demon will come home again and bring his friends. Did you consider her spiritual vulnerability at this time? Can you talk to her about Jesus, perhaps framed as for her own protection? Perhaps immediately after prayer when she’s sane or not under the influence of evil, or if you want to phrase it this way, sudden unexpected spiritual violence?

    Yes, I’ve been praying for deliverance every morning.

    My daughter was raised in the church, was very involved in youth ministry and kids camp activities as a counselor, and part of the young adults group. She had some pretty hurtful experiences given cliques and others who hurt her feelings a number of times. Her best friend was a Christian, but once my daughter started having struggles, her best friend dumped her. The loss of friends has been a big issue for her over the past few years.

    She says she wants nothing to do with the church. Yet, she is willing to let me pray for her.

    As a matter of fact, I’ve been on the phone with her for the past hour and twenty minutes while she drives home from the bay area. In crisis on the phone, and about 45 minutes into it I asked her if I could pray for her. And she said yes. I prayed some conglomeration of deliverance prayers with help from St. Patricks Breastplate, especially the aspect of protection. She was calm after that and by the end of our conversation (I just hung up) laughing at my stupid little stories.

    I am concerned about her returning to Christ, but honestly I don’t think she learned much about Christ or Who He is from attending church. My prayers are always that she would encounter Him in a powerful way and have all of those negative notions about church eliminated.

    She began describing to me what happens in her mind. More open, which is a good thing.

    Thank you Flicker … I understand all of what you are saying. I am trying to be as open as possible to the Spirit’s leading with her.

    Blessings … GLW

    Thanks for including us all.  All I can do it pray.  So, absolutely.

    • #13
  14. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Manny (View Comment):

    GLW, my heart breaks for your daughter. I have an adopted child too, and I’m aware on how the adoption can work on their psyche. My son is thirteen and has not experienced any negative attributes, but he does ask about his past and that’s always a concern for me. The sense that an adopted child has been fragmented can lead to all sorts of issues. Have you looked into counseling for adopted children? I’ve kept this link to Adoptive Learning Partners, but I’ve never used them. It seems they are focused on younger children and perhaps your daughter is out of their age range. But I would certainly look into something for her.

    As to exorcism, I don’t know. Prayer is always good, and highly recommended, but this seems more like a teenage thing of a child that may be predisposed to some of these problems because she was adopted. Drugs is definitely not a good thing. Anyway, if you ever have questions on Catholicism, feel free to ask. I am always happy to share my faith.

    Manny, you are a good soul. You know a bit of what I’m talking about regarding the impact of adoption on a child. I hope your son weathers any storms … it’s different for each child, but there is something there. I have tried to find adoption informed therapists, but they are in short supply. She’s seeing a therapist right now, but my daughter doesn’t feel heard … a big problem. I continue to look for options, but there’s I have to walk a fine line. She’s an adult, so I have to keep my hands off unless she accepts my help. It takes time for her to warm up.

    And thank you for your offer to help me with learning more about Catholicism. I may take you up on that via PM

    Bless you Manny. You encourage me, and your thoughts are helping both my daughter and me.

    GLW

    • #14
  15. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Flicker (View Comment):

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Firstly, did you continue to pray for deliverance every day?

    Secondly, demonic possession is not like it looks on the movies or books.

    Thirdly, even if a demon is driven out (or if you want to say it this way, any evil or violent spiritual influences are driven away or prayed away) if there isn’t Spiritual Holiness to begin to fill that void, the demon will come home again and bring his friends. Did you consider her spiritual vulnerability at this time? Can you talk to her about Jesus, perhaps framed as for her own protection? Perhaps immediately after prayer when she’s sane or not under the influence of evil, or if you want to phrase it this way, sudden unexpected spiritual violence?

    Yes, I’ve been praying for deliverance every morning.

    My daughter was raised in the church, was very involved in youth ministry and kids camp activities as a counselor, and part of the young adults group. She had some pretty hurtful experiences given cliques and others who hurt her feelings a number of times. Her best friend was a Christian, but once my daughter started having struggles, her best friend dumped her. The loss of friends has been a big issue for her over the past few years.

    She says she wants nothing to do with the church. Yet, she is willing to let me pray for her.

    As a matter of fact, I’ve been on the phone with her for the past hour and twenty minutes while she drives home from the bay area. In crisis on the phone, and about 45 minutes into it I asked her if I could pray for her. And she said yes. I prayed some conglomeration of deliverance prayers with help from St. Patricks Breastplate, especially the aspect of protection. She was calm after that and by the end of our conversation (I just hung up) laughing at my stupid little stories.

    I am concerned about her returning to Christ, but honestly I don’t think she learned much about Christ or Who He is from attending church. My prayers are always that she would encounter Him in a powerful way and have all of those negative notions about church eliminated.

    She began describing to me what happens in her mind. More open, which is a good thing.

    Thank you Flicker … I understand all of what you are saying. I am trying to be as open as possible to the Spirit’s leading with her.

    Blessings … GLW

    Thanks for including us all. All I can do it pray. So, absolutely.

    Thank you for letting me share in a way I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. The love and respect of this group is overwhelming.

    • #15
  16. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    You are clearly a woman of faith. When you have faith, everything works out in the end, and so it will be with your daughter.  

    • #16
  17. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    I wish I had something insightful or helpful to share but I have nothing.

    You are not sounding selfish at all & yes it is at least partially about you too.

    We went through some very scary times with our special needs son and my Catholic faith is all that pulled me through.

    I have seen the power of just one prayer so I will do what I can. You and your daughter are now in my prayers daily.

    • #17
  18. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    The greek word for sorcery is “pharmakeia”.  The ancients perceived drugs as a gateway to the demonic. I do not dispute their insights. Today, coincidentally, is the 3rd anniversary of my adopted daughter’s death from a drug overdose. 

    I could recount for you scene after scene of events in our life with her that mirror the descriptions in your post. 

    A couple of observations for what they’re worth.  

    1. Marijuana is known to induce psychosis and is not the light, recreational drug people make it out to be.  Alex Berenson’s 2020 book, “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” is…illuminating.
    2. Your daughter’s inattentiveness to her appearance and personal hygiene makes me wonder if her drug use is actually confined merely to “too much marijuana”. In our experience, inattentiveness to appearance and hygiene correlated strongly with the abuse of harder drugs.
    3. “she wants nothing to do with the church” – the fact that she is not neutral, or merely indifferent, but actively objects is instructive. Our daughter eventually exhibited almost a fear or revulsion at the idea of spending time in the presence of committed Christians.  However, she was eager for my wife and I to pray for her as well. The level of her visceral objection to “the church” always coincided with the descent of her mental state, which always coincided with an uptick in her drug consumption.  The curious way she confined her revulsion to the church, and only the church, we believed was evidence of the spiritual conflict in which she and we were engaged.

    To be continued…

    • #18
  19. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    [Part II]

    And for what they’re worth, and because your post conjured up such memories for me on this black anniversary, here are the words I concluded with when I spoke at her funeral three years ago today:

    At the end of the day we don’t have all the answers, but we put our trust in the One who does. We’re going to grow in our dependence on Jesus. We’re going to put more faith in him. We’re going to put greater hope in him. We’re going to love him more, and love our family and friends that much more. And, when love demands it, we’re going to enter into suffering. We’re going to believe ALL of what God says. We’re going to remember that if Jesus came to “seek and save the lost”, it would be hard in any meaningful sense, to say we’re following him if we don’t do the same, even with the possibility of suffering such seeking implies.

     

    We’ve talked a lot today, truthfully if painfully, about lies. But lies don’t just appear on their own. If there are lies on the scene, it’s because somewhere nearby there is a liar. And in our life, this is no exception. He has been around since the beginning. John, in the book of Revelation refers to him as “the deceiver of the whole world”. Jesus said this about him:

     

    “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

     

    So what was once said of author Lillian Hellman could be said about Satan – “every word he says is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.”

     

    The lie that prepared the way for Mary’s death, and the one being whispered to us still, did not appear out of nowhere. We have an enemy. Make no mistake.

     

    So if I’m honest, in choosing to respond to Mary’s death the way we have, I know that the enemy of my Lord, and the accuser of my brothers, and the deceiver of the whole world, will hate it.  The ravages he visited on Mary will not be forgotten. We know who shares the blame. And I want, in my small way, to dash his hopes and dreams. I look forward to the day when the enemy will be thrown into the lake of fire where, in frustration and rage, he will be prevented from ever again doing to another precious soul what he has done to Mary. Let him grit his own teeth, for a change, and know the frustration of his own impotence.

     

    May God have mercy on someone we loved. Someone we still love, our precious daughter Mary Grace.

     

    Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    • #19
  20. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    GLW, thank you for posting. You have a lot of friends here, and a lot of prayers heading your way. May you and your daughter find clarity and hope and a positive direction of travel.

    None of us excel at life by ourselves. We all need other people – and the love of – and engagement with – their souls. If you consider that other people can be replacements for a relationship with G-d (they are seen as such in the Torah), then she will come to faith if she builds positively with others. 

    A cautionary note – and I deeply, deeply hope that I am not getting this wrong or causing more harm than good: it seems to me that your self-protection by engaging with your daughter less, is backfiring. I know you are doing what you need to do to keep your own sanity. But from the perspective of your daughter, it can be seen as distancing. When she loses it but you stay calm, it emotionally can be understood as caring less than you actually do. Which defeats your own purpose. She needs you to cry with her, to suffer with her. Suffering shared is halved. Joy shared is doubled. 

    I am praying for you both, and wish you every blessing.

    • #20
  21. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Foghorn (View Comment):

    I wish I had something insightful or helpful to share but I have nothing.

    You are not sounding selfish at all & yes it is at least partially about you too.

    We went through some very scary times with our special needs son and my Catholic faith is all that pulled me through.

    I have seen the power of just one prayer so I will do what I can. You and your daughter are now in my prayers daily.

    Thank  you for your faith and your prayers. I believe just one prayer can change everything. I also believe that God’s memory of a prayer never fades. 

    • #21
  22. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

     

    Keith

    I am overwhelmed by your story, and by the thoughts of your terrible suffering that it brought to mind. I am honored and humbled to tears that you would share all of this on the anniversary of your daughter’s passing. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your strength and your faith with me and all of us.

    I want to respond to your post.

    I purchased the book by Alex Berenson this morning and began reading it. I have been aware of the issue, but was unaware of the book and expect to learn so much.

    Yes, my daughter’s inattentiveness to her personal appearance/hygiene is one of  the symptoms of schizophrenia, and I have seen other indicators. As for harder drugs, she took a drug test in April, and another one this week for a new job opportunity. There was nothing indicating any other drugs back in April. She is waiting for the results of the latest test. 

    Her resistance to church comes and goes. She attended the Christmas service with us, happily so, and got very dressed up, did her hair, makeup, etc. without any prompting. One of the women there gave her a very big hug. An uninvited hug from a stranger seemed to set her back – she was not happy about it. I will be asking her to go with us again at some point … I do talk with her more and more about Christ, praying for her, what I’m hearing from God, etc., and she responds with a seemingly eager openness … so, for me it’s not clear what’s going on.

    All of this sits tangentially to my worst nightmare … the thought of losing her. Last night she called from the road, angry and crying, and making subtle remarks about “leaving here.” I spent an hour and 30 minutes with her on the phone during which we prayed … a long prayer. And she was calm afterward, talking about how these episodes come on her before she can stop them, and she doesn’t know why. To me, as someone with PTSD, I understand what it is to be triggered, but what she experiences is far and away more intense than anything I’ve experienced.

    Finally, the words you spoke are poignant, moving, raw, and as real as anything I’ve ever heard about life and death, good and evil, and the manifested efforts of the evil one, the liar. Yet, you spoke with great faith and leave us with a sense of inevitable victory … that we may hold on to hope even in the face of devastating loss and pain. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for courageously sharing your heart.

    GLW

     

    • #22
  23. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    iWe (View Comment):

    GLW, thank you for posting. You have a lot of friends here, and a lot of prayers heading your way. May you and your daughter find clarity and hope and a positive direction of travel.

    None of us excel at life by ourselves. We all need other people – and the love of – and engagement with – their souls. If you consider that other people can be replacements for a relationship with G-d (they are seen as such in the Torah), then she will come to faith if she builds positively with others.

    A cautionary note – and I deeply, deeply hope that I am not getting this wrong or causing more harm than good: it seems to me that your self-protection by engaging with your daughter less, is backfiring. I know you are doing what you need to do to keep your own sanity. But from the perspective of your daughter, it can be seen as distancing. When she loses it but you stay calm, it emotionally can be understood as caring less than you actually do. Which defeats your own purpose. She needs you to cry with her, to suffer with her. Suffering shared is halved. Joy shared is doubled.

    I am praying for you both, and wish you every blessing.

    Hi … thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I emphatically agree that we need each other.

    I’m not sure where you got the impression that I don’t engage with her. I feel like that’s all I do :). And I’m fully willing to do it as much as it takes and as often as it takes. Sometimes I don’t have the energy or strength, but those times are rare. I am battling my own health issues at the moment and feeling better, but for a while there the fatigue factor was pretty high.

    When she has an episode, I do stay quiet and calm, waiting, but I’m there watching her and listening to her the entire time. When she calms down, I’ll ask her questions. Most of the time, those questions lead to her telling me more about what’s going on, and often times she sheds light on something I had misunderstood – my own cognitive distortion getting in the way. When she sees that I do understand, her frustration lifts almost immediately. She wants to be understood … this is a big thing for her. Very big. Her brain takes off and does things that make her feel like she’s crazy. When she’s able to explain it to me and I get it … and then I  can describe the same thing to her in my own words … that’s when we’re most connected.

    And believe me, we she a lot of tears.

    Thank you for your prayers.

    GLW

    • #23
  24. Derek Tyburczyk Lincoln
    Derek Tyburczyk
    @Derek Tyburczyk

    I truly admire your strength and courage. And God bless you both. I would also like to add, that psychological counseling, and possibly a diagnosis of bipolar disorder? I would never presume to tell you what to do. But God does also Avail himself, through medicine and science that are available to us. If those can also help our situation, then I would think he would encourage us to add these, to our prayer and belief in him. All the best to you and yours.

    • #24
  25. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge
    Chris Hutchinson
    @chrishutch13

    I am so very sorry to read that. I’m the one who may be sounding selfish now but as I read I couldn’t help but think how incredibly similar it sounds to something I may hear from my own mom after one of my sister’s bad days. I truly feel your pain. I will keep you, your daughter and whole family in my prayers. Peace for her. Strength and discernment for you. Grace and mercy for you all.

    • #25
  26. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Derek Tyburczyk (View Comment):

    I truly admire your strength and courage. And God bless you both. I would also like to add, that psychological counseling, and possibly a diagnosis of bipolar disorder? I would never presume to tell you what to do. But God does also Avail himself, through medicine and science that are available to us. If those can also help our situation, then I would think he would encourage us to add these, to our prayer and belief in him. All the best to you and yours.

    Derek, thank you. We need and want all of the blessings He is willing to pour out.

    She has been undergoing treatment since April and has a psychiatrist who gave her a multi-faceted diagnosis. OCD at the core along with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, mood disorder (trending toward bipolar), and eating disorder. The mood disorder coupled with the OCD is causing the greatest volatility of late. She is on medication, and her doc recently increased the dosage of one that deals with psychosis.

    She completed a six week OCD program, which was helpful. She also sees a trauma therapist, but it is not very productive. The main problem is that my daughter doesn’t tell her doctors and therapists everything, and second, the therapist she’s seeing right now does all of the talking and has “rules” for what words she can say and not say. I don’t see that one lasting very long.

    My greatest frustration is my inability to advocate for her. She is an adult, and the healthcare system puts up a high wall. There are options to allow me in to talk directly with her support team, but she needs to see the need for it and want to do it.

    I have been hoping for a switch to a better therapist … and it seems to be heading in that direction. She continues to decrease the frequency of the visits, yet she knows she needs to see someone who will listen to her and seek to understand the whole picture of what she’s dealing with.

    I appreciate your good thoughts and prayers. I know He will bring someone to the forefront and it won’t feel like mom is trying to control her.

    • #26
  27. God-Loving Woman Coolidge
    God-Loving Woman
    @GodLovingWoman

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):

    I am so very sorry to read that. I’m the one who may be sounding selfish now but as I read I couldn’t help but think how incredibly similar it sounds to something I may hear from my own mom after one of my sister’s bad days. I truly feel your pain. I will keep you, your daughter and whole family in my prayers. Peace for her. Strength and discernment for you. Grace and mercy for you all.

    Thank you so much Chris! The outpouring of prayerful support is wanted, needed, and felt. God Bless you.

    GLW

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    God-Loving Woman (View Comment):
    She completed a six week OCD program, which was helpful. She also sees a trauma therapist, but it is not very productive. The main problem is that my daughter doesn’t tell her doctors and therapists everything,

    My greatest frustration is my inability to advocate for her. She is an adult, and the healthcare system puts up a high wall.

    Yes, this has been my frustration as well.  And apparently even if the relative gives permission for his chart to be shared, the psychiatrist can choose to ignore it.  And secondly, I’ve never seen a psychologist or a psychiatrist actually even try to verify the truth or credibility of a patient’s statements.  They may get very good over time at guessing when something the patient says is not true, and guessing what the real situation is, but this is still guessing and certainly lacking in detail.

    • #28
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