First off, I want to apologize for not getting this post up sooner. In all honesty I thought I had already done so.
For the first part: Click here: Free-Thought Friday #4: Losing My Christianity: Part 1
For Part two, click here: Free-Thought Friday: Losing My Christianity: Part 2
Now, on to the article, the third and final part.
After about a week, we arrived back home to Texas, and rested for a couple of days from the trip. One night, mom and Thomas decided to drink some vodka, and celebrate their new relationship. It was very annoying, because living a trailer, I got to hear all the noises from their elation, which I found repulsive, but tried to ignore. The next morning I had plans to go to the movies with a friend of mine, so I asked mom if she could drive us. She said she didn’t feel like it, so I would have to cancel. But Thomas stepped up and offered to take us, assuring mom that it was absolutely no problem, and it would give them some more alone time while I was gone. She agreed, so we got into the truck and went to pick up my friend, who lived pretty far into the country along a very curvy road.
“Stunned that I wasn’t dead, I got up from the pavement to assess the situation.”
As I said before, Thomas liked to drive fast, and saw that I found it rather fun. He commented that going this fast, seat-belts would be practically useless, so we didn’t bother to wear them. Being more level-headed than we were, my friend opted for the belt. At 80 miles per hour, we flew down the road, until we came around a sharp curve, when suddenly there was a white car going much slower than we were. Thomas hit the brakes, but it was too late. The truck slid sideways, and we began to tumble. Everything was in slow motion, and I recall the scene very well. The truck flipped 3 times, and I had been thrown out the passenger window, and landed on the ground. Last thing I remember before passing out was seeing the truck about to fall on me. I woke to the sound of my friend screaming and crying. Stunned that I wasn’t dead, I got up from the pavement to assess the situation. I saw my friend, and checked to see if she was ok. She seemed a bit scratched up, but fine. The one alarming things was: I couldn’t find Thomas. I frantically searched for him while the sound of the arriving ambulance sirens rang in the distance. As they pulled up, I spotted his body, lying facedown in the water of a nearby ditch. I was absolutely horrified as the paramedics surrounded me, trying to get me to lie down. Frantically I denied their request, saying, “He’s in the ditch! GET HIM FIRST! He’s going to DROWN!” They didn’t seem to be heeded my command, so I started cussing them, “FUCK YOU! HE’S IN THE GODDAMN DITCH, ASSHOLE! I’M FINE, SO LEAVE ME ALONE… HE’S NOT FINE!” It wasn’t until I heard my mother’s voice that I obeyed their requests to lie down and let them examine me. I was still yelling for them to get Thomas, and pointing in that direction until they started moving toward him. After they looked me over, they told me they were going to put me in the ambulance. I refused, saying I was fine enough to just walk home, since it was only about 1/4 mile away. Mom told me this wasn’t happening, and after a few stern words, I conceded and got into the ambulance alongside my friend, who was still screaming. Now I could focus on getting her calm on the way to the hospital, but I still wondered what became of Thomas. Was he even alive?
The ambulance arrived at the hospital, and I got probed and prodded in various ways for them to find out of I had any significant injuries. Mom was there to ensure that I allowed them to do what was needed. They wheeled me to radiology, where x-rays revealed I had cracked my coccyx, which is the bone at the base of the spine. I was feeling better after meds, but we still had no word on Thomas. I was worried, but knew we would find out eventually what became of him. Having been sent back to the ER bed after x-ray, suddenly I heard a loud wailing. It was my mom’s voice, and after some time passed, she came and told me that once I was discharged, we were going down to Houston where Thomas had been life flighted. Apparently one of the medics had told her that he wasn’t going to make it, and he had gotten Thomas’ brain matter all over his hands. This was so upsetting – finally someone was in our lives that seemed to actually care for us, and now he was dying. After I was discharged, mom stuffed me in her other truck, groggy, hurting, and still a bit in shock, and rushed down to Houston to where he was. When we finally arrived and received an update on his condition, the doctors told mom that Thomas had sustained a closed-head injury, and at this point we couldn’t be sure of the outcome, since he was in critical condition, but it wasn’t as bad as the medic had conveyed before. All of his brain matter was intact, but the swelling was life-threatening, and he was in a coma. Apparently he had still been drunk from the night before, and that’s what led to his poor judgement while driving two teenaged girls to the movies.
“Her friend was really nice to me, and took very good care of the various wounds that were missed at the hospital, as well as made sure that I tried to move around despite the pain, so I could regain my ability to walk.”
After having been in a wreck, and visiting two different hospitals all day long, I was tired, hurting, and ready to go home. Mom decided she didn’t want to go too far from where Thomas was, so she called up a life-long friend who resided in the area to ask if we could stay with her a while. Her friend agreed, so we went there. I couldn’t even walk on my own until a week later, so I pretty much stayed on her couch while mom frequented the hospital where Thomas was. Her friend was really nice to me, and took very good care of the various wounds that were missed at the hospital, as well as made sure that I tried to move around despite the pain, so I could regain my ability to walk. For her I shall always be thankful, and feel very lucky that someone was there for me when my mom seemed to abandon me. After about a month of staying there, I decided that I wanted to go home. Mom didn’t want to go, but I insisted she take me there. Mom opted to stay in Houston, so once again, I was alone, and felt totally abandoned. It was during this time I began a real rebellion against the idea of god, and stopped praying altogether. After all, what kind of loving god would have allowed so much of my suffering? I had always believed, always prayed, and remained faithful to the idea my entire life. What good did that do me? It was quite apparent that no one loved really me, and my parent didn’t seem to care about my wellbeing enough to offer guidance or take care of me when I needed it the most. Why did god give me parents that abused and abandoned me?
““You and me against the world,” was never true…”
Six months, and many surgeries later, Mom brought Thomas home. He wasn’t able to speak, walk, or eat on his own. He required constant care, and after a year or so, he regained some abilities, but was never quite the same. He had no control over his emotions, and would have angry and sometimes violent outbursts. I had begun to discover the opposite sex, and would take advantage of mom being stuck at the house with Thomas by running off, getting drunk on occasion, and hanging out with friends whenever I wanted. Some of the guys I knew were already atheists, so we would discuss the god concept quite often. I still maintained outwardly that I believed for a while, but had so much doubt and could no longer reason with them as to why I would still hold the belief. God had not kept us safe, but our decisions to leave did, and he certainly didn’t help maintain my relationship with mom. “You and me against the world,” was never true, but a platitude to momentarily make me feel better. Not long after I had turned 15 years of age, I decided to pray one last time, just in case there was a god. I wanted him to know that I was angry with him for putting me in abusive situations, giving me parents that didn’t give two shits about me, and for never once answering a single prayer. After that last prayer, I knew I was an atheist. I never went back to a belief in the Christian god, and have sought comfort in real explanations about things, lots of cognitive behavioral therapy, and delving deep into understanding life through science and philosophy as opposed to nonsense.
Jennifer writes the Wednesday Woo feature here most weeks. She is the love of my life and amazes me how she has coped with what she went through as a child as well as how she came away from new age beliefs later in life. I hope you have enjoyed reading this part of her story and I am so proud that she told it.