Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Satan Breathes

I'm sorry to have dropped off the face of the blog-planet. I don't have time to write this. I don't have time to do much at all, except work/school and take care of my children. But I have to get this out and process it by writing because Satan is breathing down my neck. He is terrorizing me. And I have to bring his evil into the light and call it by name. I am warning you now that there is tough stuff ahead. And perhaps some graphic descriptions.

The hours I keep are precarious. I'm constantly on the verge of a *little* breakdown right now because we, Azelia and I, sleep in 4-5 hour increments still, and I often skip the sleep between feedings to work. These ten week terms are a hell of a way to measure your life. Between weeks 7 and 10, I don't slow down. My house doesn't get cleaned, the dinners I serve practically all come from the crock pot, and the true greatness of my husband's patience appears rather immeasurable. I am constantly grading papers or writing papers or working up presentations or writing lesson plans or writing Old English vocabulary words on note-cards. This is a phase of life, I know, but it is a hard, hard working phase.

But when things are working, Satan creeps in. Since July 2012, Satan has a new edge. He has a new way of haunting me and terrorizing me whether I'm awake or asleep. I might be drifting off into a much needed few hours of sleep or I might be driving along happily in my car. It doesn't matter. He uses anything he can. He knows where to hurt me.

What I'm writing about, specifically, are visions. Horrible, evil visions. It usually starts with something I've heard or read, and then Satan uses it to produce a vision in which I am forced to participate in something horrible.

For example, a few weeks ago I heard about the new report on No.rth K.orea, and all of the horrible atrocities they have now proven to be happening in the work camps there. They've called it something like the "new-nazi camps."  Then the newscaster reported about a woman who was forced to drown her own baby (I can barely write that right now). I was driving when I heard those words, and suddenly I saw in my mind's eye, like a little video, myself drowning my own baby, Azelia. I immediately burst into tears and forced the vision out of my consciousness, but I cannot forget it. It's as if I literally saw myself doing it, and the image is imprinted on my mind.

This happens over and over again. It happened when I was reading a novella as part of my school assignment (a pregnant woman is killed by her husband in the story), it happens when I hear something on the news about the Ukraine (I have a good friend who is connected to orphanages there), or when I see commercials about helping children in Africa, anytime it has to do with a pregnant woman or children. I have visions of myself and my children in these horrible situations, and I feel like I'm actually experiencing the trauma.

I have heard that women who suffer miscarriages can suffer from symptoms of PTSD, and these weird visions/flashbacks may be a part of that. But I know that their origin is evil because their result is that they rob me of my peace. They make me fear a lack of Christ, and his dwelling in my heart. That, I know can be nothing but evil.

Each time it happens, I say the Saint Michael prayer, and I consider seeing a psychiatrist and/or a priest. I know I probably need to do both of those things. My mom says I need to seek spiritual healing at a Catholic conference or something. But I suppose the first thing to do is to call this out into the light, to stop suffering it by myself. To remember that none of this belongs to Satan, though he is trying his damndest to steal my peace. St. Michael the Archangel, pray for me.


  1. Honestly praying for you, and feeling some solidarity, too, because this sounds a lot like some PPD/PTSD. The combo of grief from your loss of your precious baby coupled with the hormonal turmoil of giving birth so recently makes it really likely you could be struggling with PPD. You're a great mother, and you're right to combat the evil that is plaguing you with prayer. Talking to a mental health professional or your doctor would be a great move too, though, because what you're describing sounds like textbook post partum depression/OCD.

  2. Oh K, I am so sorry. This sounds so horrible, but yes, as I was reading I was thinking along the same lines as Jenny and I was leaning towards some form of OCD. I struggled severely with clinical OCD and horrible scrupulosity for a couple of years before I conceived Elizabeth and although I didn't have these specific visions that you are describing, there was a lot of other things that where going on that were very similar. OCD can flare up during times of intense stress and it sounds like your day to day existence is full of lots of stress and pressure. (Not necessarily all bad stress, just the craziness of being in school full time, raising a baby and a a toddler, etc.) I second the approach to pray, pray, pray, but at the same time for me what really helped was telling my Napro doctor about it and starting on medication. It helped tremendously, I mean, there was a 180 night and day difference within just a week or so. I am no longer on the medication, but I don't struggle with OCD at this time. I am grateful that medication was an option though as I lived in terror or certain things for way too long, longer than I needed to (when I look back in retrospect). I guess, I am just hoping you can attack this issue using a multi-pronged approach - spiritual direction, therapy, medication (if needed), etc. Praying for you dear friend. If you ever want to reach out and talk more, just let me know. Love you!!!

  3. Oh my dear I am so sorry you are going through this! I second what was said above about ppd or OCD, I would also go to confession and seek a spiritual director to help guide your prayer life during this tough time. I think approaching this as thinking about healing the whole person is key. Yes, prayer is important but God works with our nature and the enemy knows this so he will try and get to us by our nature. So if you go see a spiritual director and a Dr. then you are covering this from all angles. Also encoding the prayers and protection of your guardian angel and thanking your guardian angel for choosing the right side has helped me immensely with anxiety and horrible thoughts. Praying for you!

  4. It is in my ignorance, I'm sure, that I don't understand how this could be OCD, but if anyone wants to enlighten me, I wouldn't mind learning. I know that after our miscarriage, I did have some PTSD type symptoms, like waking in the middle of the night with the physical feeling of losing Jeremiah again. But, that was a reliving of something traumatic that I experienced, so it is unlike what you describe here. I'm honestly not sure waht to make of your situation, but I think bringing it to light, praying as you have been, and seeking outside counsel (spiritual and/or medical) are all steps in the right direction. I'll keep you in my prayers, KJ!

    1. Hey Meg - I am not a doctor or a therapist, but the severe, obsessive nature of the intrusive thoughts and the fact that she can't forget them and is replaying them over and over in her mind made me think it might be OCD. I am not sure if it is OCD because usually there is a corresponding compulsion like ("I think I just ran over something, I should go back and check." The obsession is thinking I ran over something, the compulsion is going back to check. Doing the compulsion type act is the only way to relieve the obsessive thoughts, but it only gets worse over time left unchecked.) Like I said, I am not sure if there is a compulsion attached to relieve the anxiety of the obsessive thoughts, it just sounded like what could be a form of OCD. I hope that makes sense. Overall...I think we are all just trying to get her the help she needs. Because whatever this is, it does sound like pure hell. Prayers for you KJL!!

  5. I do not have the knowledge to add like some of these ladies' excellent insights, but I would have to add, do get some help. When these things get going, we all tend to isolate ourselves to some degree, but that's just working with these things and against you. Praying for you!


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