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lucretia15 Offline
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What the hell is going on? - November 22nd 2019, 06:48 AM

It began with the dreams. Those I had a secular explanation for and could live with. Then, it got worse and worse, and I can't ignore it anymore.

My family are Catholic, and I've always been fascinated by theology. My faith is very important to me and I've always sought to understand it more and more. I was always jealous of the priests, monks, and sisters because their whole lives are prayer and theology. As a child, I was especially taken with the priests. I was so jealous of that life, a life all for God and connected to Him in a way beyond even the sisters, being a spiritual parent. I was fairly distraught after the incident where I was harshly told that vocation is only for men.

When I was ten, the dreams began. It's always the same. I am inside a Catholic cathedral, there is a woman at the altar, alone but for two young altar girls. Sometimes I am watching from the pews, sometimes I am watching from the choir loft, and most times I am seeing from her point of view. The nave is packed, and the altar is ad orientem, facing east. The woman always looks like an adult version of myself. She is wearing appropriate liturgical vestments, and the dream consists of her performing the Catholic mass as per the old Tridentine rite, the church emptying out, and her cleaning up. The dream usually ends after she has cleared her altar, I have never seen what she does afterward.

Now, I have a secular explanation - it's a "position of power" dream, usually indicating one feels powerless, so is imagining themselves in a position of power. For a ten-year-old Catholic girl suffering at the hands of the woman who was principal of my school that year, a proud Protestant who beat me up just as much as the Orangemen used to beat up "papists" in Ireland, of course, I felt powerless, and a Catholic priest was the highest position of power in my world. It makes sense. And being a child, even after I got out of that school, I was still powerless, so there's an explanation for the fact that the dreams never really went away. But they weren't often, and I thought they were fun.

When the dreams got annoying, I secretly looked into the occult, and old heresies. I took some Wiccan ideas, some stuff from Aleister Crowley's tamer magick, and the Collyridian heresy, and engaged in rituals honoring Mary as the Great Mother. See, I still thought of myself as Catholic, but I created a way to play priestess for a couple of hours when no one was home, in hopes that finding a form of religious power would get rid of the dreams. I would have been twelve years old then. It worked, but around fourteen I started getting more traditionalist, so I threw out the syncretism because I'd forgotten why I needed to do it. At first, nothing happened. Something in the past two years, while I used the exact kind of Mary worship Prots accuse us of to bandage whatever was going on, had killed whatever caused it.

Then Mom began taking me to a more traditionalist Catholic church that still does the old Latin rite. That's when it got worse.

The dreams came back, nearly every night now. And waking visions. Once at school, during study hall, while I was writing an English essay. The room faded away and I was before the altar again. I woke up in the nurse's office. The nurse told me that I suddenly fell back in my chair, staring up at the ceiling. I wasn't responding to any stimuli, so they'd taken my unresponsive body to the nurse's office. They were about a minute from calling my mom for permission to take me to Emergency when I came around. The nurse told me she'd convinced the teachers it could be a seizure, but she didn't believe that herself and it looked to her like I was in religious ecstasy or receiving a revelation, and she advised me to seek a psych evaluation. Several times at the church, towards the end of the service when we all stay kneeling for at least half an hour, I have a similar vision. I'm usually somewhat still aware of the actual world, but simultaneously seeing what's actually there and seeing what she sees. Mom thought I was just in deep religious experience.

Then there was an incident near the school's chapel (like I said, Catholic school). I was walking past the chapel when suddenly everything went black, as I saw Mary and the infant Jesus in the blackness before me, and heard a male voice say "I call you to My worship" followed by a woman's voice saying "Serve Him as we will it", followed by both saying "Follow God, not the laws of men". Then it repeated again and again. When the voices faded I could hear a woman chanting something, likely in Latin as it sounded like something heard in church. When the blackness faded, I was in the chapel standing at the altar, and I realized the chanting was coming from me. I couldn't move or make it stop. When it petered out, I was able to move, and I bolted out of there before a teacher came to investigate the noise.

When I try to say a traditional Catholic prayer such as the Hail Mary or Our Father or try to say the rosary or anything like that, if I use the vernacular, I'll feel more and more nauseous and uncomfortable, but if I use the Latin prayers all that happens is I feel really good inside. I think this is likely just a traditionalist thing and not connected to the rest of these problems.

The dreams are nightly, and this is ruining my sleep. The visions happen a few times a week, once or twice at school, two or three times in the afternoons, and often on Sundays at the church. This is bad at school, as it causes hours upon hours of wasted instructional time. Incidents like what happened in the chapel are fairly rare, though they usually happen around things or spaces reserved for consecrated purposes. They're bad because I could seriously scare someone (besides myself).

So, any idea what any of it means? I'm fairly sure we're past secular explanations by now, but I certainly won't dismiss them (that's why I didn't post this in the religion forum), though I'm more than willing to entertain supernatural and religious potential causes and solutions at this point.
   
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Re: What the hell is going on? - November 22nd 2019, 10:51 AM

If you are hearing and seeing things that aren't there, even if it has religious meaning to you, then it could be a symptom of many things such as psychosis, seizures, neurological disorders, pressure on the brain etc. You also mention that you suffered at the hands of the principal and were beat up by another girl. The symptoms you experience and what you have been through could even point to trauma, so you may be experiencing symptoms of trauma such as dissociation or PTSD. However, as we aren't professionals then we can't diagnose you nor say for sure what you are experiencing.

You mention that after experiencing a vision, you became unresponsive and the nurse thought you were having a seizure and suggested a psych evaluation. Have you been able to contact a professional about what you are experiencing? It might help to talk to your doctor to rule out physical conditions first, then refer to mental health.


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