Oh no… this led to the national catastrophe of her marriage crumbling right in the front pages of the newspapers :-(. May God deliver her and her family from evil.
The question I should be asking myself should be: Where does God want me to be?
I spent today’s Sunday looking at prospective locations and jobs to tranfer to. I called my former coworker who is now in Thailand. I searched online the possibilities for Japan. I outlined what I needed for a change in career should I decide to stay in the same city.
Wow, I was brought to my knees when I had to face the reality of what a major life change would entail. The financial aspect terrified me. I was getting separation anxiety attacks over leaving my son behind. I catastrophized a situation that was still in its inception phase. ” Oh, me of little faith.”
I pray, hear mass, say novenas. I must live my faith and work hard… and keep my eyes on Jesus.
My lifelong engagement with romance is threatened by this website. And I am about to call the wedding off.
I look at Mama Mary as my model for Beauty, Purity, Goodness, Obedience and Love.
I ask for her prayers as I pour my heart out in this phase of knowing what has been happening in my life.
I ask Papa St. Joseph, the model husband, to pray for me and my son that we may be led to live honorable lives in God’s Mercy and Grace.
I pray to Jesus, My Lord, My Savior, My Brother, My Friend, to deliver, heal, and protect me and my son as I fervently ask the blessing to live in His Light and to no longer languish in the darkness of shame, guilt, and lust.
I ask St. Michael the Archangel to defend us in battle by God’s mighty power. Amen.
I finally found the answer to my obsession with things romantic that end me up in a state of an indefinite depression.
It is a demon that attaches itself to a person and oppresses its victim with lust.
I know I have acquired this as an intergenerational “curse” as my parents succumbed to premarital sex as teenagers. This resulted in me.
Up in my ancestry, there have been sins of fornication, infidelity, perusing pornography, relationship and sex addictions.
At a very early age of perhaps five to seven, I suffered from one-time sexual abuse which my memory buried for seven years, until it resurfaced when I was 14. It is not clear who the perpetrator was, but he seemed to be quite young, a teen-ager or a person in his early 20’s.
Growing up, I was exposed to my parents’ sexual strains. They would argue back and forth, my father wooing my mother and my mother resisting his advances. This while they thought I was asleep.
As young as eleven years old, pornographic materials were within my reach. This resulted in a shameful habit of masturbation. I felt ugly and unclean.
When I was thirteen going on fourteen, my life was miserable. My only recourse was the church across our house. I would attempt to say the rosary but never finished on my own. I heard confession often, but the priest’s questions about my sexuality (whether I masturbated or not) freaked me out. I didn’t have anyone to confide in, I was alone.
At around the time the memory of the sexual abuse resurfaced, I was hearing mass daily. Again, I was only 14 at this time. I know it was a conscious way of dusting off the dirt I was feeling. I longed to feel innocent and pure – and Holy Mass gave me the opportunity to rest from the disgust and insecurity I felt most of the time.
Things went well for a period of time. My sense of well being increased. I was less insecure, I felt loved by God, I felt good.
Growing up, I remember being surrounded by Western romances. My mother was a voracious reader of Mills & Boon as she was a big fan of Hollywood. Part of the reason I speak fluent English is my exposure to many things American. My romantic nature was also fuelled by these influences.
Aside from devouring teen romances week after week, when I was fifteen years old, my mother and I watched Pretty Woman fifteen times in the cinema! We both desired that kind of happy ending… and sadly, I caught on the insidious seduction of lust.
But that comes later.
In high school, my ultimate dream was to be a white princess. A leading lady loved for her purity and goodness. I wanted so much to forget my filthy past. And indeed, I got my happy ending.
After our graduation ceremonies which was held one evening in March, my boyfriend of a week came to my school to give me flowers and join my extended family for dinner.
He popped the courtship question on the evening of what I would learn latter on was St. Joseph’s Feast Day. Under the guava and macopa trees of our small yard, I prayed the rosary in my head as I anticipated the question, “Will you be my girlfriend?”
Two days after we went steady, he shared that his father told him not to have premarital sex. We agreed to this and the pact made me love him more.
We lived a chaste life as boyfriend and girlfriend. However, after we had gotten used to what I thought was harmless kissing at first, I recall initiating physical contact that wasn’t “below the belt” but sexual nonetheless. Instead of talking and getting to know each other more, I resorted to these lowly actuations whenever we would go out for night drives.
Over and above feeling guilty and ashamed, my relationship became my god. This “happy ending” was my end all and be all even though we did not share the same interests and hobbies. I was more concerned of keeping him – as he was a good catch – and making him fit into my dreams than in getting to know him and making myself a better person.
After a year and a half, he transferred to the capital city to pursue a medical degree.
Two months after he left, we talked for a long time over the phone. I couldn’t recall what we talked about. It was like he was saying goodbye. I took it as a breakup and thereafter would wake up mornings for the next two months drowning in sadness with physical pain in my heart and endless tears in my eyes.
The heartache of first love was far too much to bear that I resolved not to love anymore. If this was how much it hurt without even “going all the way”, how much more painful would it have been had I given myself to him?
I resolved to be a different person: sex would not mean anything, a man’s goodbye would not destroy me.
After my first “one-night stand”, years of engaging in premarital sex rolled.
When I got pregnant, unplanned, at the age of 23, my first love regretfully told our go-between that he told me to wait for him long ago. I crumbled. Why didn’t I listen or hear when he said this five years ago? The father of my son was hardly husband and father material.
The die has been cast. After the failure of my marriage to my son’s father, no matter my initial resolve, sex would always mean shame and each man’s goodbye was always a rejection.
Furthermore, as much as I tried getting close to the Lord, lust and shame, bewilderment and intellectualizing would always get in the way of a real relationship with The Lord.
Over the years, especially when I was between relationships, there have been times when right before waking up I would be sensually stimulated. One time, I was napping on the sofa, I remember being half-conscious that my mother witnessed my body responding to a sexual dream.
I didn’t know this then. It was the incubus.
After that, I prayed so hard that my secret of having sexual dreams would not be found out.
After my last relationship in 2008, I have not had any sexual relations since. I went into bitter depressions over the loss of my dreams, over the corruption of my life.
At the end of 2013, hope for romance glimmered again. By this time, I was catechized and renewed as a Catholic. I had long repented for my sexual sins (among the many that I’d committed) and resolved to lead a clean life. It happened that an FB friend from America was making welcome advances at me. Like me, he was a single parent. Like me, he was a Catholic. Like me, he yearned to be in a relationship. Our families approved. His mother liked me and my grandfather was happy that someone was taking interest in me. We were both attracted to each other.
One night, after a fun and wholesome time flirting with him in the chatbox, I dreamt that we were having sex. It was so real that my body actually responded willingly and energetically to the stimuli.
I have kept this secret until now.
Our friendship was cut short when he died on the first day of the St. Joseph Novena. His mother emailed me saying that he had an overdose. Later on, it was found out that he was killed.
We never got to the point of being a couple, but his death stunned me, and sent me on a limbo state of sadness.
After that, I had no more energy for love or romance. I was sad beyond belief. I was sapped of any energy for hope of being someone’s somebody special and having a good partner of my own.
Since 2014, romance would be awakened every now and then with only glimpses of what I’d dreamed of: the high ideals of chivalry and valor, friendship, fidelity, and ultimately, love. By this time, only movies would inspire me. Gone were admirers that were plentiful in my youth. Everything in terms of romance was memories of broken dreams or celluloid images of another’s person’s fantasies. Every so often, when romantic stimuli would occur, I would get sexual dreams and wake up secretly pleased or amused.
I didn’t find anything wrong with these occurrences as I always thought sexuality was inherent in being human and even in being healthy. And I believed that I, being without a partner (which is much to my resigned dismay), was not excused from sexual stimuli – after all, they have always been normal, “harmless”, non-obsessive fantasies.
What obsessed me (among other things) was the depressive quality of romance. I would often be overcome by an indefinite but heavy sadness borne out love that cannot be. I would often think about how many stories I’ve lived which all ended in the same way. The last one, a friendship snatched by death.
I was not ungainly or inferior but up to recently, I have always felt with every fiber in my soul that I was, as a woman, undesirable.
And this has always pained me since childhood and up to now.
In the third week of June, I blithely basked in the dreams of romance inspired by Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman. I have gotten used to being an intense fan girl, no longer believing that I could actually have a real life relationship – taking all failures as God’s “No” to my prayers of relationship success. Although the memory is no longer clear, I won’t be surprised if I had carnal dreams at this period.
I was ready to swim the ocean of dreams until my idyllic life was cut short by a deep depression after I spent a weekend being wasting intense emotions over A Street Car Named Desire and its shining star, Marlon Brando.
Following this weekend, I sought our Archdiocesan Exorcist for deliverance prayers for the intergenerational healing of my family.
(See July 31, 2017 post)
At this period, I abstained from my usual habits of watching love stories, be them Asian Dramas or the Hollywood kind.
It has been a month of intense prayers for deliverance, healing and protection for me and my son, who is now 18. The harassments from the evil one have been harrowing, but the Grace and Mercy of God have been constant and amazing.
Recently, I have felt some ease and comfort after nights and days of torment. I have kept my prayers strong, knowing the devil is on the prowl.
Just recently, I have resumed some of my hobbies, but with caution.
And lo and behold, after watching an Asian movie I believed to be harmless led into an opening for sexual temptation, albeit without a physical partner.
The devil used a very attractive actor from the movie to tempt me into obsessive and erotic thoughts even though I had no conscious desire to feel that way. It pushed me into a waterfall of memories and wishes that rendered me weak and feeling pathetic.
Then I remembered reading from sites or books on Exorcism the presence of the incubus and succubus.
I have long been oppressed by this.
I know that God has answered my prayers for liberation in many areas of my life (see July 31 entry) – and thus exposed this stealthy demon to me now that I am ready to see it for what it is. And ask God to permanently remove it from my life and my descendants forever.
I have always longed for purity and love. And this demon has been a block to my blessings. Whether God gives me a chance at love with a real person (as opposed to a fantasy) or not, I accept His will. He knows the longings of my heart.
But first, I ask Him, I implore Him, by Mama Mary and Papa St. Joseph’s intercessions and St. Michael’s prayers, to free me and my son from these demons that have oppressed me, us… To heal us from our painful memories, to protect us from all harm. I pray that God lead us to His Freedom – so that we can love and relate to people the way He wants us to. With dignity, with honor, with His quiet majesty and true love.
“I don’t pray!” my son retorted lightly to what I’d said to Fr. Jun.
“We’re praying for you, Father,” I told our Archdiocese’s Exorcist, who rolled down his window when he saw me and my 18 year old son walk along the traffic of the G Park in the neighborhood of our Cathedral.
“I talk to God, Ma, I don’t pray,” continued my son, “I go to the Chapel at Loyola and rant to God. I even use cuss words when I talk to him.”
I tried not to wince when he gave me an example in the vernacular.
At least he has a relationship with God, talking to him like that.
It’s been twenty-five days since that night.
Everyday, I decide to forgive my mother for the two things she did that night:
- She accused my son of stealing her bedroom keys.
- She reinforced my son’s resistance to attending activities religious in nature. Since then, my son has stopped attending Sunday mass with me. He could no longer be talked into attending religious seminars and the like.
Five days before that, I found Fr. Jun at the Finance Office of the Archbishop’s Palace. I sought him out for deliverance prayers for our family.
On the surface, things have been “just fine” for all of us.
Business was the same as usual: my mother lived comfortably on the fruits of her labor – a preschool she had put up 20 years ago. This is where I am employed.
My father still struggled with his finances, but was otherwise getting by with his second family.
My brother was content with his family life, though things could be better – namely finances.
My sister just went through the motions of her partying ways, perhaps happy at least adjusted, and in a relationship with a single mother.
My son struggled with school, listless, lacking in direction, needing guidance, needing connection.
I, on the other hand, have long been battling my depression, feeling stuck, lost, brimming with purpose but paralyzed.
“The Good Spirit will not stop disturbing you until you move out of that miserable state towards freedom.”
Teacher Love said this the day after the night my son had a breakdown after my mother accused him of stealing her bedroom keys.
On that night he cursed me, he cursed the Church, he cursed the Lord, he cursed the life he was born into.
Fr. Jun, whom I texted, told me to pray the rosary with my family. My son refused, my mother refused.
She attempted damage control by reinforcing my son’s rebellion against attending religious talks and activities.
It seems to me that the miserable state I have always been in is my family of origin.
As a single mother to an eighteen-year-old son, I was adjusting to his developmental needs of individuating from a predominantly female family. Me.
His version of this was going to a club with a vape shop two small blocks away from our house. Ten days before his breakdown, he came home at four in the morning, breaching our agreement to attend Fr. Francesco’s talk at Loyola.
I was making my adjustments of tolerating his nocturnal activities despite my worries. What if he’d get into drugs, meet misguided young girls, get carried away with his hormones, be a father at a young age, be planted with drug evidence, get arrested, jailed, killed? What if he’d get into moral decay, what would happen to his dreams? Our dreams? His life?
And I was battling this without emotional and financial support.
I had no one to turn to despite the ironically large family and social circle I “belong” to.
It was just me, my son, and my God and I had to pretend my life was all great. Status quo.
And then my mother does this.
My deliverance session with Fr. Jun was moved ten days ahead of schedule to accommodate my panic over the incident.
He gave me assignments of wearing a blessed St. Benedict Medal, daily deliverance prayers, the Holy Rosary, Holy Mass, and sprinkling Holy Water and exorcised salt while praying over our property.
Three days after our session, a Ford Expedition that fetched a student had brake troubles as it was about to leave our frontage. Just as a mother with her twins in tow was about to cross the street, she had to go back into the building for something she forgot when the Ford rammed into the bumper of my mother’s Peugeot SUV which was parked next to the pedestrian lane.
I started out the assignments given me, especially sprinkling Holy Water in my son’s room, the classrooms and the frontage of our property.
The day before my second session with Fr. Jun, my son, who still asked me to wake him up, went on a vitriolic tirade against the church, the Holy Mother, the Lord. There was no triggering factor except that I woke him up as requested. In the middle of this all, he stopped in a brief stupor. “What’s the matter with you?” I asked stoically. “I’m thinking about this insanity.” I did not reply.
Fr. Jun’s reply to my text, “He is your greatest trial. It is the enemy harassing you. You know how to combat him steadfast with your faith and firm and constant with your prayer life.”
When he came home that afternoon, he offered with all the resolve he could muster, “I sincerely apologize for my behavior this morning.”
The day after my second session with Fr. Jun, he came over to our place to bless our property which was the location of both our home and small school. He came at my request after the freak accident (which thankfully did not hurt any people). My son was there while the prayers were said. Fr. Jun asked him to sprinkle exorcised salt in the corners of the rooms we entered. Jove, the driver was instructed to cross the doors with blessed oil. I led the group holding the candle while Fr Jun led the prayers while sprinkling Holy Water.
My son did not make signs of the cross but he did as he was requested.
Fr. Jun observed of him, “He seems to be a responsible boy. Talk to him. Not authoritatively, but talk to him. Give him my number, tell him he can text me when he wants to ask anything.”
Fr. Jun told me that our next session would be in August. He added that I should go barefoot at home, as an exercise in humility, in addition to my daily assignments.
“Can I watch telenovelas, Father?”
“Of course, go ahead. We also have to socialize.”
I’ve been doing my daily assignments religiously. No pun intended. I’ve been saying my prayers for my son – for deliverance, healing, and protection. I’ve been pleading to the Lord to find openings wherein my son would respond to His call, to His Love, to His mercy.
Of course, I’ve been praying for everyone else too.
Especially my parents for whom I have strong feelings of hurt. Everyday, I decide to forgive.
Meanwhile, life went on… it goes on. Work, activities with extended family.
Just recently, my son and I have been sharing meals more frequently.
When he stopped going to mass with me, he was averse to sharing meals with me as well. But in the past days, things have loosened up between us.
We’ve been spending time together. He’d open up 18 year old guy things with me. I don’t say a lot. I just listen and comment lightly.
I have refrained from lengthy pontificating save for asking when he’d wear the St. Benedict necklace I had blessed for him. Here and there, I’d gently insert how I’d keep praying until he’d join me to hear mass – that he’d be surprised one day. To which he’d smirk and say, “No, thank you.”
He’d tell me, “I’m not an atheist or an agnostic. I do believe in God but I don’t believe in religion.” When asked why he doesn’t believe in religion, he’d say he doesn’t know. I’d end it by saying, “God believes in you.”
I find myself in tears at times. I have become nothing. Nothing without the Lord. I pray for that freedom Teacher Love was talking about. I pray for my son’s soul. I pray for a happy, contented, simple life together – serving the Lord through our work while enjoying the fruits of His blessings.
Yesterday, I was on the phone the entire afternoon with my aunt, my father’s youngest sister. We talked about many things, mostly the extended family. We talked about each other’s lives. About that cousin who recently got engaged. About our sons who are about the same age.
In the evening, after Mass (alone), I was with the younger sister of the cousin who got engaged. She’s a year older than my son and they used to be together a lot as young children.
Now, we dream together of getting away. Living in Thailand. Living lives away from the drama of our families.
It was a fun night. My son and I had supper at the neighborhood carenderia. My cousin arrived. Then we proceeded to McDonald’s. We took pictures. My son left to go clubbing.
“You don’t have to worry, Ate,” my cousin said, “he just goes there to listen to music and chill. Nothing to worry about.” For some reason, I was reassured.
My cousin and I adjourned at past eleven in the evening. My son sent me in FB messenger: “I’m in my room already, Ma. Going to sleep.” 6:45 a.m. Ended clubbing at 4 and waited for the start of the Ignatian Run at 6.
I woke up. Got depressed in the middle of the morning. I wonder if it was because I spent too much time with my father’s side of the family, getting reminded of all the bad and sad stuff that happened in the past.
My financial worries didn’t help.
I decided to get out of the house and write.
My son and I headed to the Old Biz District. He invited me to try “proven”, a notorious street food. I did. Delicious as it was, I didn’t like it.
“I go to the Chapel and just rant to the Lord. Yawa, unsa man ni, Lord? I say.”
I am appalled at his choice of words. But I just tell him, “God will meet you where you are.”
And I feel hopeful. I choose to feel hopeful.
God is meeting us where we are.
July 20, 2017
Hello, dear Reader. Let’s say a special prayer as an intro for this blog.
In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Heavenly Father, Abba, I praise and thank You for this opportunity to write. Finally, here is something that inspires me. Writing down this leg of my journey – the life you have called me to.
I ask you to bless me as I chronicle the days around my seeking for deliverance, healing and protection – for myself, for my family and most of all, for my son. Protect me as I do this – keep me away from pride and arrogance – and remain faithful to Your Truth.
Bless, also, everyone who stumbles upon this blog, Lord. May my humble writings accompany him in his search for Your Truth, Your Mercy and Your Love.
I pray, Lord, Almighty Father, fervently, that You will grant me the grace of good fruits for me and my family, as well as the reader. Deliver us from the snares of the evil one. Heal our wounds, that any recollections will no longer cause us anxiety, guilt and depression. Protect us at all times and give us courage and faith in times of trials and hardships. Give us the immeasurable joy of being in Your Presence everyday. Give us the grace to be grateful for the daily provisions you generously give us. Let this be Your Victory, I pray.
Through Your Son, Jesus’ Mighty Name, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, and through the loving prayers of Mama Mary and St. Michael’s intercession, I pray.
*Above photo taken on my first session with the Exorcist of our Archdiocese. He instructed me to bring all my religious items for casting and blessing. This was taken on July 18, 2017.