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More paper art for the comic — angels and demons.
This is a cell phone photo of one of the pages. I will be getting some professional quality photos in a week and sneak peaks will be available at this blog 🙂 Please support my effort with a donation to paypal: paypal.me/swampfaye
He said I drove him sane…
Slyfoot said he was half deaf, half blind, and half crazy, but I didn’t think it was true. People say all sorts of weird things about themselves on the internet to make them sound interesting. I’m not sure all those particular ‘half’s’ are all that interesting, but I thought it was just an attention grabber.
I didn’t know Slyfoot, or Sam as I came to know him later, irl (in real life). I just thought he was some gamer/hacker/computer geek who was way too into Linux and rosaries. I never put it all together until we started talking in earnest–and that didn’t happen until after the dream and we were making plans to get married. By that time it was too late. God had already let me set my own trap and watched quietly as I walked right into it.
I couldn’t blame Him. I had given him permission. I’d invited him to in a flippant moment. Truth be told, I had practically dared him to. I didn’t think he’d take me seriously, and I never imagined it would end up the way it did.
It all started two years after my divorce. I was in my mid thirties. I had four children, but only the two youngest lived with me: E, my daughter, and J, my youngest son. My two older boys, B and D, lived with their father in the same area we had all lived together before the divorce: Katy, Texas.
At that time, I lived in the northwest of Houston in a decent, inexpensive (relatively speaking), townhome apartment, struggling as a single mother still having a difficult time with my ex, even two years after we split.
My father told me to start dating. At this time, my father had been divorced three times and married four times–twice to my mother. I told him I would work on that, with no intention of doing so. I gave the appearance of respect. I didn’t tell him that he was the last person I’d take advice on romance from, or that I couldn’t understand why he and my mother decided to get back together with him. But being my dad, I did listen and I thought about what he said, but not much more than that.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) we have Wards instead of a Parish. And instead of a parish priest, we have a Bishop. You can’t switch wards or bishops, as some people outside the Mormon church do, with some special exceptions.
None of the clergy in the Mormon church is paid.
Temples are not like Ward buildings, where Mormons meet every week to partake of the sacrament, attend Sunday School and auxiliary meetings. They are sacred places where ordinances are performed that tie us to our families for eternity and give a glimpse of heaven. Only worthy members, those with a recommend, are allowed in the temple. To obtain this recommend, members have to adhere to the Word of Wisdom–a guideline to a healthy, God directed/centered lifestyle–pay their tithing–1/10th of their increase, be interviewed and found worthy by your bishop and your stake president, who is a little like a Bishop of the several parishes in his district.
Sometime after my father had told me to start dating, I went in to my bishop for a temple recommend interview and he, Bishop Slack, told me that I needed to start dating. I laughed nervously and told him that my father had said the same thing just a few weeks earlier.
I made no commitments and didn’t do anything more about that admonition than I had my fathers.
When I went into the interview with the stake president, I didn’t expect much small talk. Stake Presidents have even less time to themselves, and more appointments to get to, than bishops. It was a bit of a surprise then, after the stake president started with the question on how my life had been–the trials of single motherhood, how hard that is in a ward full of functional, intact families–that he told me that I needed to start dating.
I laughed and decided that I better take the advice before one of the Twelve Apostles called me. I didn’t want to take a chance on getting all the way up the chain to the prophet.
Previous chapters can be found
Part one can be found at the link Here: A Deaf In The Family: Sam Is Schizo (pt 1)
There were times when I was convinced that other people could ‘hack into’ my brain. I remember having a conversation with someone online, and I became paranoid that this person was trying to hack into my brain to either steal thoughts or give me a ‘mind virus.’
I had several psychotic breaks while I was working as a software developer for a banking corporation. While I would try to concentrate on my work, sometimes the computer screen would seem to start glowing at me, and I was convinced that angels were trying to contact me over the Internet. Sometimes I would wander around inside the building and pictures on the wall would start glowing too. I had the peculiar idea that I was actually the CEO of the company I worked for.
I also remember one time when I went downtown to a B. Dalton’s bookstore. While I was in the store, everything started glowing. I walked around transfixed by this blinding light. I would think that the titles of the books were coded messages meant just for me.
Another time I was at the Universal Studios theme park and I had a psychotic break. I remember walking through a Dr. Seuss exhibit, and I was mesmerized by all of the pictures. I thought that I was somehow literally travelling through time and becoming part of a Dr. Seuss story, and that I would be loved by children for all eternity.
I remember thinking several times that electricity was intelligent, and that I could communicate with light bulbs.
I had the curious notion a few times that when I smoked a cigarette, I was inhaling “the sins of the world” and internally converting them from evil to good. I suppose I thought I was a Messiah with a Magic Marlboro.
There were, of course, many movies which I thought had coded references just for me, or that I was actually a character in a particular movie. The first time I remember this happening was when I was watching a movie called Stay Tuned, in which a television junkie is sucked into “Satan’s Cable Channel” and has to match wits with demons in order to get back into the real world. Other movies in which I thought I was a character include The Truman Show, The Matrix, Fight Club, Legend, and Cool World. I’m sure there are more, but I can’t remember them all offhand.
There was also the curious phenomena which I called “channeling.” I would sit at the computer and I would suddenly become convinced that I was being ‘invaded’ by an entity of some sort. I would type whatever came to mind, thinking that this ‘entity’ was speaking through me. Later I would go back and read these things and naturally they didn’t make very much sense.
I even thought I could channel the spirits of singers, living and dead. To my embarrassment, at one time I even thought I was channeling Dolly Parton. Yes, I can laugh at this now, along with just about everything else I’ve detailed, but at the time it was pretty sad.
I remember having a long ‘conversation’ one time with a tree. The tree would ‘say’ things such as “I am ancient and weary…” or “I am filled with the power of the earth…” I remember that there were ants and ladybugs crawling on me, and I went to brush them off, but the insects would beg me not to kill them because they had a right to live just as I did. I thought that the tree was magical like the ‘One Tree’ from a series of books by Stephen R. Donaldson. The series by Donaldson revolved around a leper with a magical ring made out of white gold. I actually had a white gold wedding band specially made when I was engaged to a girl named Michelle. I was convinced at one point that the ring was magical just like Thomas Covenant’s ring (the character from the Stephen R. Donaldson series). Eventually I gave the ring to my best friend when he got engaged to his current wife.
I have very few examples of any of my writing that I did during psychotic breaks. I happened to come across an entry I posted online during a particularly bad break:
I saw this girl in the hospital, and she was full of Joy and Glory. I wonder if Lewis could have written a more Holy Story. she was a combination of all my favorite dreams, boy, and I tell you now that even jack doesn’t know JACK sometimes about the Kennedy’s and the tories and the wigs. let’s all get out of this place a little while and reflect that not everything Jack knew was straight from the heart.
I have deleted most of the other examples of writing that I’ve done, mainly out of sheer embarrassment.
The very first time I ever experienced a psychotic break, I had just ‘recommitted’ my life to God. I had challenged ‘the devil’ to an all-out battle. Curiously enough, I wrote a poem during that psychotic break that actually does seem to be quite coherent, if a little sing-songish:
Knight of Faith
All my life I’ve wanted
Just to be a noble Knight;
To serve a perfect purpose
And to fight a winning fight.
So I tried to find my purpose,
And I searched within my soul–
But tho I did not understand it
I knew I wasn’t whole.
I found through introspection,
Through my searching deep within,
That I could not tame my nature
Being bested by my Sin
For my soul was dark and selfish
And I gave it up for dead
‘Til one day I found a Bible
And examin’d what it said…
Then I was gripp’d by firm conviction
I was wrong and it was right!
And I knew if there was Darkness
That there also must be Light.
Then my heart began to tremble
And my bones began to sing–
For there, between the pages,
I had found my rightful king!
And I found to my amazement
That my Bible was a sword
If I only swore allegiance
To Christ, the Living Lord.
Now I’m in his noble service,
My perfect purpose in my sight–
And I thank my God Almighty
I’m a servant of the Light!
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Part 7 Part 6 Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1