So, reading this... I had an incredibly HUGE emotional reaction. The kind that I get when something big is changing in my mind...
The nightmare started when I was five. The "Stranger" would come in my home. He'd hurt my family if I didn't do what he wanted. I could protect some of them, but never all of them. Its been a lot of years, and I still have nightmares. (Although in the last 8-9 months, they have decreased tremendously. Round about the time that I decided I wasn't going to let fear or guilt run my life anymore. And I quit trying to go to church. And live the way they wanted me to live. And I started being more honest about who I am.)
In therapy, we have talked about what traumatic event might cause these nightmares. (I have a lot of them, but none that I could trace back that far...) Paul even talked about casting out evil spirits. We had so many sessions to talk about evil spirits. Possession. Oh. No.
At five, is when I started to understand how evil and selfish I was. That's when I started to try to change everything about me. When I was no longer good enough as just me.
In the book, The Voice of Knowledge, he talks about that very thing. When we learn words, people start to teach us that we aren't good enough. He shares the story of Adam and Eve, and says that eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge introduced us to the biggest lie there is: The lie of good and evil. The lie that WE become good or evil based on what we do. say. or think.
The Stranger has tormented me for so long.
And all I had to do to be free of him, was to listen to me.
I'm still really, REALLY emotional. Feeling a little crazy... but I'm used to that. I have been through this enough to know that once THIS feeling passes, everything will be different.