The Four Hundred and Ninety Ways I’ve Left You

a rough excerpt

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Everything was going great for Jo until she ran out of money, got evicted from her apartment and then had to move back in with her parents.

Something kept her from calling her parents until the last minute. There was a relentless nagging gut rot that came whenever she thought about it.

But she was desperate and there were only three options that she could think of.

The first option was to send her five year old daughter to live with her dad while Jo stayed in a shelter. She couldn’t bear the thought of her daughter living like that when there were other options for her, even if it meant they would be apart.

The only problem with that was the fact that Nora’s dad had been trying to take her away from Jo since they left. He was mad that Jo had left and took Nora. He was even more mad after he was served papers that showed Jo had asked for a restraining order. (He was very angry she left and he looked at her with real violence in his eyes as they were trying to sell the house.)

Jo believed that if she left Nora with her dad long enough to get the supports she would need for affordable housing, she would never be able to live with her again.

The second option was to ask her parents if they would take her back while she tried to sort out finances she needed to live while she recovered from severe depression.

The third option was to apply to a long-term shelter for vulnerable women where there was support for all areas of life, including mental health, finances, custody cases, and the kind of things a single mom finds herself facing if she needs help and had nobody to help.

This isn’t a sad story. Jo wasn’t the first single mom scrambling for a place to stay or making choices between not so great options. And she won’t be the last. It’s part of life, she thought.

Jo didn’t want to risk losing her daughter to a controlling, hyper critical man who had been emotionally and financially abusive to her. She wasn’t able to believe that Nora would be unscathed.

Jo had no way of knowing what her gut rot was trying to tell her. And at that point, though she knew her parents didn’t want to be burdened with the extra work that came with caring for a depressed single mom, she felt like she had no better choice.

She faced her fears and called the house. Her mom answered. They didn’t chat for long. When Jo told her mom she needed to come home because she didn’t have enough money to pay rent, her mom got angry and then said she would discuss it with her father and get back to her.

Jo’s landlord was knocking on her door every day now. She was really scared. She didn’t know how to deal with the intense conflict. A few days earlier she had told him that she wasn’t sure she could pay the rent. She said she couldn’t work because she was struggling with severe depression and anxiety. But she had no place to go. He asked her if she had parents. Of course she did. He told her that it was settled, then. If she was sick she would call her parents. She would move in with them. They were her parents, they had to help her.

Jo wondered what bubble gum world her landlord had been living in. Did he have family that would take him and his children in if they suddenly lost their house? Would he do the same for family? Was that really the norm and it was Jo who was living in a warped world?

Her dad called a few days later. He had mediated between Jo and her mom and negotiated a reasonable deal for everyone.

Because Jo had been left hanging by her insurance company and the only source of income she had was welfare, her dad said she could come home with Nora for one month. In that month they would help her find an apartment and help her get the insurance settled. Finding a place was going to be tough because her credit was wrecked after having to claim bankruptcy after the split when her income became zero and all the bills had been in her name because she had been the one to have a 9-5 job to support them while her common-law husband pursued his dream through running a business with his dad.

Jo’s dad said they would use their credit to co-sign for a lease and they would give her up to $600 a month for up to a year so she could rent a two bedroom. He thought it was important for Nora to have her own room, even though Jo couldn’t afford the rent for a studio.

Jo’s mom told her to apply to the long-term woman’s shelter in town. Jo really wanted to be able to live on her own. At the time, she didn’t think things were that bad. And they might not have been, if not for circumstances out of her control.

Her dad looked for apartments. He said it was tricky to find a place for a single mom. Nobody in town wanted to rent to someone who had a young kid. Especially not one who had no job, even if she did have a co-signer.

Jo’s parents had gotten into New Age pretty heavily before Nora was born. They belonged to a community of psychics, intuitive, mediums and reiki masters.

Staying at her parents’ home, she got to know many of the psychics and mediums. She was constantly asking for advice. She believed that hearing unspoken truths held white-knuckled by those trying to hide would help her keep from being blindsided.

What she heard unanimously was that Nora’s new step mom was a dark hearted girl. Jo was told to watch out for her. Her mom said this woman was a child collector.

Another person said that she used to party too hard, but that she had cleaned herself up. He told Jo that she was a real backwoods girl at heart, which, to this man, meant she was willing to play dirty and maybe even get physical.

So, Jo was on edge. The problem was that she didn’t know Nora’s new step mom. She had tried to be friendly and welcoming in the first years, holding onto a Pollyanna fantasy of blended families having some differences but ultimately each member being willing to get along for the sake of the kids. But it seemed as soon as this woman had seen for herself that Jo wasn’t a threat, she was willing to be mean, to ignore her or make sarcastic comments when she was dropping Nora off.

Jo gave up trying to be nice. She focused on being quiet. On speaking up only if she felt it was what her daughter needed, and trying to let go of the other things. She didn’t do a very good job of letting go of the little things. In the moment, these things seemed to be signs of a bigger problem.

When the search for an apartment looked like it wasn’t going to work out, that she would have to stay another month, things started to get weird.

Jo went to a guided meditation with her mom. It was creepy. But the creepy part only lasted a few minutes and the rest of it was pretty cool. The group was guided to go into a tree (in their minds) and up to the branches. When they were guided to come back down, she saw four things inside the hollowed trunk of the huge tree that were supposed to represent her spiritual gifts.

She happily talked about her gifts with her dad, believing he had the wisdom to guide her. What they talked about mostly was keeping safe. He never said anything like, wow you’re talented in talking to the dead, you should mentor with one of our medium friends. He never said, hey, I recognize the guide you have with you because she’s been with you since birth. He never explained what the symbols meant that she saw in the tree trunk during her meditation.

She had told him she saw an orb, a stick, a pinwheel and a triangle. This was a man who’d spent years studying metaphysics, had been practicing astral projection even longer, and was considered a spiritual mentor and guide to many in their small community. He asked her what she thought they meant. She had no idea. After talking to her mom, she asked if the stick could have been a wand or a staff. He asked her what she thought. Jo asked her dad if the globe could be a crystal ball. He shrugged.

It wasn’t too long after that meditation that her spiritual journey started moving forward in leaps and bounds.

She started to have vivid dreams. She connected with her guides right there in her parents’ living room. One guide watched tv with them, amazed by how the emotion came through the screen and affected her, even though it wasn’t live.

Once she’d had a precognitive dream that proved true, and once she felt connected to her guides, she started to believe that her spiritual gifts were blossoming. She felt good with her guides. She felt like she was headed in the right direction. She felt that working on these relationships was going to help her in life.

In the meantime, each morning on their way to get tea and coffee after dropping Nora off, they talked about the drama coming from Nora’s dad and step mom. Jo was starting to wonder what this psychic attack was. Nobody could explain it. Or they wouldn’t. It was making her nervous. And, like her parents’ favourite comedian said in his stand up routine about parenting, not making a specific threat was more effective because imagination is worse than the real thing. At least, that’s what Bill Cosby said in the ‘80s.

As Jo’s imagination started to go wild, wondering if psychic attack could include people hearing her thoughts, her dad was bringing ethereal concepts into the physical world. Her dad, a man she trusted and had faith in, started making triangles with his hands as they rested on the steering wheel. This came the day after she was reading about the Illuminati online.

And then Jo wanted to know if her dad could hear her thoughts. As she got more and more afraid that people who hated her might be able to somehow figure out her thoughts, she needed to balance that out with some sense of security. Her dad knew way more about any of this than she ever did. She was just starting. She thought if she could connect with a man she trusted who knew about metaphysics, she’d be safe.

So she started having conversations with him without words. She would think something directed at him. And because she was testing him, she didn’t say anything out loud. What she did one afternoon that convinced her, was ask for proof that he could hear and understand her thoughts. But what proof could she ask for? Something that couldn’t be an accident. And then it came to her. He had always been very careful about touching people. She just knew that him touching her would not be an accident.

At this point she was not talking to her guides. She was ‘talking’ directly to her dad. She told him that if he could hear her thoughts, she needed a sign and she told him the sign would be him reaching out and touching her, like with his hand.

As they pulled into a parking space and he put the SUV into park, he reached over into the console area as she was getting something. His hand very clearly touched her hand. It wasn’t a mistake. He touched it two times. That convinced her that her dad and her could communicate through thoughts.

Once this was established, things that nobody wanted to say out loud could be discussed. Yes, Nora’s step mom was attacking her. But not just her, him too. And on top of that, Nora’s dad was doing it too. So was one of their mutual friends. And they were working together. It bounced from the step mom to Nora’s dad to the friend and back to the step mom again.

Jo would look over as these thoughts were being shared and she could she her dad was in distress. He put his hands over his face at stop lights and ran them over like he was washing his face. Jo heard thoughts like, I’m old. I’m out of practice.

And Jo felt responsible for putting her dad in a position where he was being hurt.

The apartment hunting went from bad to worse. The one place that was willing to take her application seriously heard back from head office. It was a no. Her mom had pulled some strings to get her an interview with the shelter. Jo agreed to go but it wasn’t her first choice. She really had no idea how much support she needed, or how things were about to spin out of control.

Jo’s spiritual awakening gave her a sense of purpose and she didn’t feel lonely anymore. Her guides were always there to help. They were at the ready to show her what kinds of things came with these spiritual gifts. She felt it would be going in the right direction to practice the womb seal mudra she learned in a Vedic healing book, to know what it felt like to have that unleaking power flowing through her and how it felt when she focused her attention on her heart. She felt love. She felt so filled with love that she wanted to share it with others.

Her mom was starting to act weird, paranoid, even. When Jo and her dad were in a storeroom together and the door was almost closed, she could hear her dad thinking about what a crazy woman she was, worrying that the two of them would be up to something. Jo felt her mom’s anxiety in her side and her dad thought, ‘See? Crazy.’ He looked up after that thought and nodded toward the door.

One night, in her parents’ upstairs bathroom, not ten feet from where her mom and dad slept, she had a crystal clear connection with her guides.

At that point, Jo was convinced her dad was in trouble. She believed his health was failing and that he wasn’t far from landing in a nursing home. Mom had talked about how he was becoming paranoid, closing the main floor windows at night, shredding the mail. She said he had been leaving the stove on.

The three had always had a weird dynamic. If two were getting along, the other was excluded in a mean way. And then the two adults would start fighting and Jo would be stuck in the middle, being pulled at from both sides until she feared she’d be ripped in half. And when she couldn’t take it anymore, they would stop fighting and everything would go back to normal.

Things had been getting intense between her parents. Her mom was critical. They were mean to each other. But it was more than that. Her dad told her that her mom was jealous of her and that she would try to keep her down. He told Jo to ask her mom to teach her reiki. He said if she said no, it was because she was being selfish and envious. He said there would be no reason for her to deny her learning a healing method. He said Jo should ‘suss her out.’

Her dad started writing down weird things on a white erase board on the fridge. It was something about associations. A = apple B= Bob etc.

It was a test to see if anyone from outside his mind was trying to get in. It was a safeguard. He never explained associations to her, but she knew they were very important. It had something to do with identifying the thoughts of others in his mind.

When he would drive her to drop Nora off at school in the mornings, he would talk about Jo’s ex and his new wife. He said she had spiritual gifts, too. He said she was attacking her using negative psychic energy. Black magic. Jo didn’t know what that meant. She was too afraid to ask.

Something major happened one morning. She woke feeling like everything was different. She was able to hear two narratives without being affected by them. One was her own, the other was a person controlling her. She could hear a voice telling her she’d better stay home today. That she should tell her parents to take Nora to school and stay in bed. But she had an appointment with her doctor, she argued. It didn’t matter, came the response. We can reschedule.

She felt for the first time in her life she could see herself as separate from that controlling narrative. There was another narrative explaining what was going on, and telling her how to respond. Jo had been speaking with a man through the internet who she felt really loved her and was capable of taking care of her in these weird metaphysical ways. She trusted him fully. She believed he was a man she knew in real life who wanted to take care of her but couldn’t do this in a traditional way because of extenuating circumstances.

The instruction that she thought came from the man she loved told her to ‘play along’ and act like she was being controlled by the narrative, even though she was suddenly more free than ever in her life to think for herself.

She listened to the guidance of the man she trusted (or so she thought) and pretended to agree to stay in bed sick. She agreed to call downstairs and ask her dad to take Nora to school. The controlling narrative told her to stay in bed. She thought, ‘but I have to pee.’ And she was allowed to get up.

In the bathroom, she looked at her face in the mirror. Really took a good look. She was looking to see what was different. Was it in her eyes? Was there a glow in her complexion? She didn’t know. After she went pee, she was washing her hands in the sink and heard the controlling narrative say, ‘I feel sick.’

But the ‘aware and conscious’ part of Jo knew she wasn’t sick. So she responded, ‘no I’m not.’ But the controlling voice said, ‘yes, I feel sick to my stomach. I think I might throw up.’

And Jo’s tummy did start to feel queasy. She tried to stop the feeling by denying the suggestion. But then she heard, ‘I think I’m going to throw up.’ She responded, ‘no, I’m not’ and then ‘I think I’m going to throw up’ was repeated over and over.

When that didn’t work, she heard a command to gag. She thought, ‘I’m not going to do that.’ But the controlling narrative came, ‘I feel like gagging. I’m about to gag.’ And she did gag. Right there standing over the sink. She thought she would have to throw up in the sink. She gagged so hard her eyes watered. But all that came out was dry heaves.

After agreeing finally to go back to bed, she climbed under the covers over the air mattress her parents had given her to sleep on. She waited. She knew that the man she trusted could see everything that was happening.

He told her to get up and walk out the front door, not listening to anything her parents said, to only give short answers.

As she did that, her mom looked at her dad like ‘wtf?’ and her dad looked at her mom and shrugged. It seemed exaggerated. Like he was acting. Like he did really know what was going on.

Walking up the street, Jo felt a heaviness following her. She saw an image in her mind’s eye that her mom was above her driving her like a car. She didn’t understand what that meant, but she struggled with the feeling of being controlled.

She felt like the man she loved and trusted, the one she was talking to online, was still there with her, helping her through everything.

Little did she know, the man she thought she was talking to online had stopped speaking to her a year before, and another person catfishing by posing as the original catfish (who turned out to be someone she knew and loved and trusted) swooped right in there through one of the other accounts online she had been speaking with, believing it was the man she loved.

That night in her parents’ bathroom, her guide asked if she would do something for her dad, to show him how he was being manipulated by his wife. To free him. She had been told by her guides before that she was going to do something to help a lot of people. Her guide asked if she would be willing to help her dad even if it meant she wouldn’t be able to help as many people.

Jo was willing. It was her dad. She was loyal. She was the kind of person who would put family before herself. But first she wanted to know how many people she wouldn’t be able to help. Her guide answered “100”. She didn’t think that sounded like a lot. She was dedicated to helping.

Her guide said all she had to do was follow direction exactly as it came through.

The next day they were headed to the city to have brunch with extended family.

The instructions were very clear. Louder and more clear than anything had come into her mind before. The instructions were for every little thing. What to wear (black jeans and black turtleneck), whether her hair was up or down, the way she carried her jacket over her arm, which arm. The instructions were explicit in telling Jo to wait for instruction before acting.

Her mom yelled up the stairs that they were running behind. She was instructed to take her time. She was instructed to pick up her mom’s black leather gloves as she walked out the door and to use her mom’s keys to lock it.

In the car on the way down, she got the feeling that her parents were having a non verbal power struggle. Her ‘guide’ instructed her to ‘tell’ her dad to press his foot down on the gas in the fast lane. The purpose was to see if her mom would control him like she always did. The heat became overwhelming in the small space. She was instructed to not say anything.

This type of thing went on for the whole drive. It was intense. But her guide had told her last night that something serious was happening and that it needed to be resolved. Jo had been told that her family members were practising black magic and voodoo. She was told that she had one chance to help them be saved, because this was really bad.

When they got to the restaurant, she was instructed to tell her dad to take her daughter in, that she was going to go in first. She was instructed to go straight to the back where the restroom was. She was explicitly instructed not to look at her family members who were already there. She was instructed to sit in a specific stall and wait.

As she waited, there were times when her aunts or her cousin would come into the bathroom. Before they got to the door, Jo was told who was coming and instructed as to exactly what to say, or not say.

With her cousin she was instructed to not speak unless spoken to. With her one aunt she was instructed to sing a Christmas song in her head.

While she was waiting in the bathroom, she was told her dad had ordered pancakes for her. She would be told when the food arrived. That was when she could come out.

When this happened, Jo arrived at the table to see that food had come for everyone but nobody had ordered for her. She had missed a major announcement – her sister was pregnant. She was instructed to not look at her sister and to not say anything about the news. She was instructed to ask her cousin’s wife to pour her a coffee.

When her food came and she was eating, her aunt came over to talk. She was instructed to stare at her and think ‘if you look through the eyes of God you can be saved after practicing voodoo’. Jo was instructed that if her aunt looked into her eyes, she could in a way see through God’s eyes because He would lend her His eyes for this important circumstance. Her aunt became uncomfortable and changed seats again.

Her cousin came over to talk. Jo was instructed to stare at him too. She was told he might need an extra push to help him make the choice to look into the ‘eyes of God’ in order to be saved. She was instructed to start counting down from 10. At the end she was worried her cousin would not be saved. The guide soothed her and told her it wasn’t really his only chance but his best chance. She pleaded to give him another chance. She was instructed to give him another chance.

Jo was instructed to take her glasses off, put them down on the table and start to stare again at her cousin. He wouldn’t look at her. She was instructed to count down again.

Counting in her head, she thought, ‘five, four, three, two, one.’

And at the exact moment she thought ‘one’, her cousin looked up at her and said out loud, “ding.”

Later that evening, back at home with her parents, her mother sat her down at the kitchen table and said she was really worried about her.

“Have you been taking your depression medication?”

“Yes.”

“I’m concerned about you, sweetie. You’ve been acting weird lately and it’s getting worse.” Jo’s mom put her hands on her arms. “You’re depressed.”

Jo responded right away, “I am not.”

Her mom insisted. It felt to Jo that she was trying to convince her of something that wasn’t true.

She went to the front porch for a cigarette. A few nights earlier, Jo had been thinking about why asking Archangel Michael to cut her cords wasn’t working. She had brought everyone into a blue room and asked Archangel Michael to cut the cords as she was told by her aunt (also an intuitive). Jo didn’t think it was working because she was still feeling attacked. She had been forgiving people, too, as she was told that was important. On that night, her dad had come out onto the porch, unscrewed the light and tugged on the fixture.

“Nope, it’s too rooted.,” he said. This was in response to her thought question about cord cutting.

And on the night of telling her mom she was wrong about having depression, her dad opened the door and poked his head out. He thought, ‘I have to say something or she will think we’re working together to call her out for being the one messing with us.’ And then he yelled at her to watch her step, with his voice directed back into the house. But then he looked at Jo and thought ‘not really.’

As her dad headed for bed that night, he told her – in front of her mom – that she needed to get sleep. He said she had been acting weird and she couldn’t afford to lose any more sleep.

But his thought came, ‘tonight we can really prove she’s the one who’s been masterminding this whole thing.’

Jo stayed up all night, sitting on the couch with her legs crossed and her hands set to womb mudra (to conserve her energy) and she battled her mom video game style with the controller in this game being voice commands.

Jump, she said. And she pictured herself jumping. She dodged her mom all night. Her mom wasn’t letting up. Someone was helping her, telling her what commands to use (spin, cloak, jump etc).

After those experiences, Jo was willing to believe that it wasn’t just people who were specially connected (like twins or soulmates) that could be telepathic. That opened up a whole new way of viewing the world and how people could hurt her.

A few days before Halloween, everything went crazy. There was an overwhelming feeling of anxiety bordering on paranoia in the house. She believed she was picking up the emotions of others in the house and that it was too much to handle. She got swept up into it.

And then, the drama and chaos started in the physical world with conflict happening between Jo and her mom and her mom and her dad. With an undercurrent of Jo’s dad vouching for her with her mom, which meant if Jo did anything to fuck up the credit he had graciously extended her, things would blow up between her dad and mom, and her dad would blame her.

There was the ‘loving’ narrative in her head guiding her, letting her know what was really going on. It was mom casted as the bad guy again that night. But there was also a conflicting sentiment that dad was not so great either.

Between these many conflicting factors, Jo felt herself being pulled apart. She was invested in fighting to make sure the bad guy didn’t win. But who was the real bad guy?

As these narratives were battling in her mind, things were happening in the physical world to bring edification to her beliefs, worries, thoughts.

Her dad would say something to her mom and her mom would respond in a way that spoke directly to a ‘private’ conversation she was having in her thoughts with her dad.

And then the saviour narrative suddenly threw in the idea that she was being controlled by both. That this had been going on her whole life.

Jo began to focus on how it was happening so she could stop it. When a certain word was spoken on tv, she heard ‘that’s a cue.’

And then later that evening, when the microwave dinged, she heard, ‘cue.’

Her dad would cough, she heard, ‘cue.’ And she was in the living room with people she believed were hurting her. Just when she tried to believe that everything would be okay, her dad would cough and he would tell her to do something. Then he coughed and slapped his knee. ‘Cue.’

This went on until she was convinced that cues used for controlling her (in ways she was no longer able to distinguish – as she had on that one morning) were everywhere. And that her mom was hurting both Jo and her dad. Things got crazy.

Jo unplugged the microwave. She changed the tones on the iPad. She took a box of bite sized chocolates and threw them into the backyard. (She believed her mom was hurting Nora using the chocolates.)

Looking back now, Jo can see how her mother was probably being gaslit and manipulated, too.

When she threw the chocolates out, this caused a problem with her mom. She said something to her dad. And her dad got angry with her in front of her mom. He told her she was losing it and she was going to have to stop.

The next day, her dad had a chat with her about what had happened. Jo confided in him. She was really scared. Her dad was calm. Comforting. Like he was convincing a wild animal to get into the back of his van because that was going to help him.

He told her that what she was experiencing wasn’t normal. It was something that needed to be addressed right away. She asked him what she needed to do.

Her dad drove her to the emergency room. He told her to tell the triage nurse what had been going on.

As soon as she had talked to a nurse and was brought into a room for observation, the tension and chaos in her mind left her. There was peace once again.

But all she had admitted to was feeling like her mom was trying to hurt her with psychic attacks. She didn’t mention any of the details and nothing about her spiritual journey. Nothing about awakening.

But the peace had somehow been restored. And that’s what she desperately needed.

Loving My Mother

as God wills

***This is a personal prayer I am sharing from my prayer journal. I ask Holy Spirit to fill these words and descend upon this situation and each person who reads this, bringing blessings, healing and protection as You will. Above all else, Abba Father, Your will be done***

Dear God, Dear Jesus,

I praise You for keeping me anointed in oil, which breaks all yokes and ties and binds that are not divine. Thank You for the oil of joy, which combats mourning. I praise You for showing me how to lift the heavy darkness through praise, which helps to soften and open my heart. All glory goes to You for being able to reach through the darkness that has surrounded me and blinded me and caused me to not be able to hear or feel or speak. Thank You for showing me that Your love really does pursue me wherever I go.

You say in Your word, Abba Father, that we should deal with any unforgiveness before praying, so I lay down all of my anger, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness and any other wrong attitude in Your eyes before You now. I place it at Your feet now, in Jesus’ name.

Thank You for sending Your entire divine army to my side now so that we can together seek our Heavenly Father. Together with your divine army, we pray the blood of Christ over myself and my family now and pray a bloodline around myself and each of my family members now and we call each of us protected in Jesus’ name.

I humbly come before You, Father, in the highest court with Jesus acting as my mediator and defender, and at least three elders from the highest council present to ask for forgiveness for breaking one of the ten commandments. Lord, I confess that I have not honoured my father and mother, which You directly commanded Israel as Moses led them through the wilderness after demanding, through Your Spirit, that Pharaoh free His people.

I confess to You, Christ Jesus, that I have held a grudge against my mom for the way I was not protected from things that happened in my earliest youth. I also confess, Jesus, that I blamed my mom for seeing me as a burden. I felt resentful that she didn’t see that I was pure love when I was born and allow that love to change her life for the better.

It sounds pretty childish now that I write it down today, God, but it brought me a lot of pain throughout my life. I felt unsafe. I felt unloved. I felt unworthy. I felt emotionally abandoned. The truth is, Abba Father, that I wanted a close, loving relationship with my mom, but something was always in the way.

Over the years, I have blamed my parents and I have blamed myself. I have tried to change, tried to do better. As a young child, I bent myself into pretzels trying to please, to listen, to follow the rules, to be respectful and to honour my parents. That’s how I remembered it.

Now I know, though, that the dynamics were more complicated than that. I can see, God, that there was an undercurrent of competition that reigned our household, something I couldn’t understand as a child, but something I felt responsible for, nonetheless.

Jesus, I’m sorry that I chose my father over my mother in any way throughout the years. I’m sorry that I participated in things that hurt my mom. Looking back, I can see now how calculated some of the circumstances were. But I chose to participate, because acceptance was so important to me as a child, and the kind of acceptance that came from my mom was a natural up and down cadence while the acceptance that came from my dad was very specifically deigned with punishments or rewards depending on my choices. The system was meticulously designed, down to the detail of creating no discernible pattern. When I would ask why I was being punished some days if it didn’t make sense, my dad would tell me that sometimes he just said no for the sake of saying no. I spent most of my life minimizing this behaviour and justifying it because of what he experienced as a child, which left him struggling to trust and connect.

Abba Father, I’m sorry that I allowed myself to be used as a tool of oppression. Even though I couldn’t know it then, I was used in certain circumstances to hurt my mom’s feelings (and others’ feelings) which I now believe was a way for my dad to have control.

I’m sorry that I ever blamed my mom and held a grudge over things that happened that hurt my feelings, left me feeling unloved. Because I see now that there were really big obstacles in the way. I’m sorry I ever held her to impossible expectations. I’m sorry that it was so easy for me to ignore her humanness.

And while I believed I could look back on my youth and say that I was a good girl, I knew that my teenage years were rebellious. In my teens, I believed I was entitled to these rebellions. I felt it was my job to find myself and push against the boundaries that were set down by my parents. I felt it was my right to not care about my mom’s feelings because I believed she didn’t care about my feelings. I felt I needed to yell and to be disrespectful in order to come into my own voice. I’m sorry for this, God.

I had no way to know or understand the obstacles that my mom faced at any point in her life. We didn’t talk about those things in our house. The attitude of my family unit was that we would just suck it up and that pain of some kind was part of life.

My mom, as You know God, hurt her back when she was a teen. I think she actually broke it. Or came close. It happened when she fell off a horse. And even though that was something we could see when her bad back would lay her up in bed for weeks during the worst times, we never talked about how chronic pain affected life through mood and outlook and quality of life. We never talked about why it made it harder to do things, we were just told to suck it up, to deal with the ways my moms pain affected her ability to run a household – even when she was working outside of the home.

Now that I’m no longer a child, I can see that chronic pain is awful. I can see it affects every aspect of a person’s life. I see that trying to take care of a household while in pain makes tasks like dishes and vacuuming and laundry difficult, and sometimes excruciating. Now I see how chronic pain impacts thinking and mood. When I was a child, I couldn’t understand how the pain could impact her parenting. I was hyper critical about each thing she did that made me feel like I was not loved. I confess, God, that when it came to my mom’s role as parent, I was not compassionate.

Forgive me, Father, for not having compassion for my mom. I’m sorry that I blamed her for not meeting all of my emotional needs. I had no way of understanding how demanding some of my emotional needs were back then. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to break through the fear to truly see my mom the way You see her, God.

There’s something else that I must confess, Christ. When I was a young child, I let something my parents did fill me with anger and blame and a willingness to hurt them the way I felt I had been hurt. When I asked You to send me to the orphanage, or to a foster home or anywhere else, and You said no, I couldn’t understand why You wanted me to continue suffering in the way I was. In my childish desire to seek revenge, believing that You had abandoned me and I was on my own, I wished that my parents would die. I’m sorry, God, it’s a painful, shameful thing to admit.

I have been punished for this awful thing. Because I wished this either the night of or a few nights before my parents were in a serious car accident. A drunk driver, a teen, ran a red light just as my dad was turning left onto Keele from Finch. (less than 2 minutes from the driveway to the underground parking lot of the complex where we lived.) The drunk driver t-boned my parent’s car on the passenger side, where my mom was sitting. She went through months of recovery for her injuries to her back, which had already been in rough shape after she fell off of a horse as a teen.

Even though I was able to put this childish revenge fantasy out of my mind, the feeling of responsibility stuck with me. And if this belief that I was responsible for the accident was enforced by an adult, I don’t know. But I do know that this feeling of responsibility of hurting my parents never left me, even when I could no longer recognize the source.

Regardless of whether or not I have experienced consequences because of my horrible thoughts, I understand You might have more for me to do to repent and make amends. I accept any judgement You have for me now without prejudice.

I humbly come before You, Heavenly Father, with Jesus – who died on the cross for me and everyone – speaking for me as I face Your discipline. I accept Your judgement, knowing it is fair and merciful, knowing it is just.

I’m sorry for not respecting and loving my parents as You have commanded all of us to do. I’m sorry that I was willing to substitute my own traditions in place of Your laws, which cancelled God’s word. I am sorry that I was willing to withhold the love and honour from my parents that You will them to have, and to give that to You instead. I know now that I am to give to each authority the respect and honour You command, as You placed them in positions of authority. I know now that I am to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to give to God what belongs to God, as Jesus said in the bible. Please bring me a supernatural understanding of how to love my parents the way You will me to love them.

I humbly come before You with a teachable heart, asking Holy Spirit to convict me and show me the right way to do things. Please bring me a clear, supernatural understanding of what I have withheld from my mother and from my father that You will to go to them. Hold my hand and shepherd me through each step You will me to take in order to make things right in Your eyes. I wish to please You, God, not myself and not man.

I want to give to my mother the love I withheld from her, the love that belongs to her. And I also wish to give to my birth father the love I withheld from him, the love that belongs to him as You will, God. I trust that I am now able to fully forgive my dad without reconciling with him and being pulled back into his life, because I know that’s not Your will for that relationship. And I know You will keep me each step of the way.

I’m sorry that I let fear get in the way of honouring and respecting my mother. Please help me repent, Beloved Jesus, and show me what love I withheld and how I can now, from over here where we no longer speak, love her the way You will and also to give her any love that I have withheld from her that is rightfully hers.

I’m sorry for sinning in these ways, God. Please bind my hands so that I cannot sin in this way again. Some of the ways I have been convicted of sinning have been automated responses, and so I have asked You to tie my hands so that I am not able to sin in these ways again without even having a conscious awareness of the complicated designs of my learned, ingrained behaviour and automated responses.

Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for us. Without that true, loving sacrifice, I wouldn’t be able to have a direct, personal relationship with my Creator, the God who is, who always has been and always will be.

Thank You for helping me restore anything that was destroyed in fear that You will to be restored. I know that anything done in fear can be undone, while everything done through Christ with God will endure forever.

Thank You for bringing salvation to my family, God. I know that the sins of the parents are cast onto their children, even four and five generations down the line. And I do not want to cast this heavy line onto my daughter or any of my descendants. I am willing to take Your judgement and get right with You so my descendants can live completely free.

I cast the care of everything and everyone involving this situation into Your capable hands, Abba Father, trusting and believing that You already know the answers and You have the perfect solution for everyone. Thine kingdom come, Thine will be done. In Jesus’ name I pray.

I love and honour You, God,

Your child, Jennifer McKay

 

Sonnet 51 4

help me forgive my father, God

Dear God Dear Jesus

My birth father took my spirit like it was a who’s got your nose trick

I was a young child

He made it seem not so bad by coating it in sugar

What’s so bad about a game of who’s got your nose?

Right?

But that’s word for word the devils playbook

My birth father Gord has zero respect for You God. My birth father has zero love for You Jesus

I confess Jesus I’ve been trying to deal w my birth father Gord McKay

(Cardinal mating three wick song)

I confess Jesus I’ve been trying to deal w my birth father Gord McKay on my own. I confess Jesus that I was arrogant in believing I know what I’m doing. I confess Jesus that I believed the lies I believed it wasn’t so bad I believed he really did love me deep down. I confess Jesus I wanted to believe this because I feel angry that I don’t have a real father here on earth. I’m fucking angry

(He said, “when you grow up you will need to tell me to fuck off just like I told my father to fuck off”)

I’m fucking angry Lord Jesus the only true son of God who died on the cross for me that You sent me to this half-hell to be with an earthly father that would never love me.

I confess Lord Jesus that I believe my earthly father has pretended to be Jesus to me from my earliest youth. I believe he took on the role of mediary between God the Father and daughter of Man in order to take the spiritual gifts You gave to me to use them for himself and leave me with none for myself because he feared if he didn’t take it all, I would become stronger and wiser than him with my pure heart always seeking to connect to You true Jesus, my beloved Lord and Saviour.

Lord Jesus, the one who died on the cross for me, I’m asking You to take over as boss. You mediate always between God the Father and daughter of man. Bind my hands so I cannot sin by ever falling for false love again and choosing anything other than You over You.

You are my only, True Jesus. I ask that You help me rebuke Baar Jesus and all false prophets now and forever. I wish to be fully Your daughter Lord Jesus. I cast the care of this custody case onto You now Father God in Jesus

Help me trust You who died on the cross for me. After everything I’ve been through, I’m afraid I’m too proud and terrified to ask for help and I don’t know what to do but because I’ve been scared, I confess Jesus, I can’t even admit to myself that I’m scared and that some things I do have been done in fear.

Lord Jesus Christ, I confess I do not feel worthy of Your powerful gracious love because of my sin of choosing false prophets over You.

Even though I was tricked and gaslit and manipulated and cheated and robbed and violated in other ways from my earliest youth, I still feel Jesus like it’s my fault.

I feel like I should have been able to protect You even when I was being beaten down. I feel like I should have been able to stay with You even when he was ripping us apart. I feel like I should have held onto You even when we had crow bars coming down on my arms and hands until I opened my fist. I feel like I should have tried harder better longer more consistently with a more purified heart and 100% rebuke of all evil and demonic strategies and tactics even though I was just a girl who needed a dad to protect me and love me.

Lord Jesus in Your precious name there is no distance of the spirit. I confess I feel responsible for the abuse I’ve suffered and for all the suffering that resulted in the hearts and minds and spirits of others because of it. I confess I feel there is no way to ever be clean and washed white as snow with my sins as far from me as the East is from the West after the ways I failed You.

How can I deserve Your love, Father God when I can’t even feel worthy of the love that comes from Jesus, the one You gave us from heaven in order to truly connect Daughter of Man to You Father God?

I confess I’ve been sacrificing everything I can in order to feel right enough to deserve Your love, but even that has not worked. Even my sacrifices have hurt people.

I feel yoked by my past and false prophets no matter what I do. I feel like I will never truly be free of these chains that lie on the ground at my feet because he will never stop pursuing me.

Jesus, please tell God that I’m sorry.

I confess Lord Jesus, as I stand here right now before the wrath of god, being beaten down by anger and unforgiveness and bitterness and disappointment and harsh criticism, even though I’ve asked You to stand beside me and to speak for me, I believe the fear more than I believe in Your love.

Please bring me a supernatural understanding of how You see me as being worthy of Your glorious merciful Love. Please bring me a supernatural understanding of the next steps for me to fully trust You.

Oh God, I confess that as I stand before You, I don’t feel worthy in any way of the mercy seat. I confess I fear trusting Jesus because of the way false prophets have harmed me and because of the way the things I learned from false prophets have hurt people before I knew the truth. I confess that I keep Lord Jesus beside me and therefore apart from me as I stand here before You because I don’t feel worthy of His representation.

I confess, Father God, that as I stand here before You, I fear allowing Christ Jesus to take the fall for me and pay my ransom and plead my case before You, the highest judge in the highest court. I fear this because I fear I might in some way be tricking You without knowing it.

That’s the wrath I fear, God.

At the same time, Father God, I fear standing before You not having found a way through my fear in order to truly stand in Christ Jesus as He stands in me.

I fear the wrath that will come from not completing my true purpose here on earth, overcoming this world.

I confess I don’t know what to do. I confess I’ve been trying to do this all on my own, Christ Jesus. I confess what I’ve tried has not worked. I confess I need Your help.

Oh beloved Jesus, the one who was sent from heaven, I need You to help me forgive my birth father Gord for everything he has done and not done that has harmed me.

Please purify my heart so that my motives are clear. Please help me love my birth father as You will me to love him, Christ, with a soft, fertile heart rich with nutrient dense soil.

Oh God, please have mercy on me for the ways I have sinned in my heart. Please forgive me for allowing myself to get caught up in the petty childish games of taking vengeance for myself by yelling at images of Gord and by keeping him in my heart so I could withhold my love from him when he hurt me, which he will not stop doing.

Help me feel worthy of the love of Your only true son, the one You sent down from heaven to die on the cross for me.

I’m sorry, Abba Father, for every way I have hurt You. I want to please You. You are my only and I want You to please give me a chance to show You.

Please help me receive all of my needs in Jesus in order to glorify You, beloved powerful and faithful God.

Help me trust your son fully. Help me take that leap of faith by sitting in the mercy seat with Holy Spirit surrounding me and the breath of Christ in me, the only thing giving me life.

I need You. I’m sorry for my arrogance in believing I could do this alone. I’m asking for Your forgiveness though I don’t fully believe I deserve it.

I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.

Abba Father, I love You. It was You, it was You, it’s always been You. ❤️