(early environment: fundamentalist Christian/father: legalistic – mother: moderate)
At 7-years-old, I wanted to know the way to get back the magnet that was necessary for me to play a game, a special gift from one of my hospital stays . . . so I prayed hard and often for several days believing GOD would show me where the magnet was . . .
AND I wanted to commit myself to the GOD I felt so strongly in my heart, but did not claim to understand — my dad said “no” and belittled my request by pointing out I was a child and saying I could not possibly understand what it meant to say I loved GOD and wanted to always do what GOD told me to do . . . and he, of course, was right—from a purely mental assessment, I did not understand the importance of what I was saying or comprehend its meaning.
But my heart was broken at that point and I decided that GOD did not answer my prayer about the magnet because I did not make my commitment to him – it was a punishment.
This is my first memory of a change in my idea of GOD and “the way” to live, committed to and depending on GOD or depending on myself—that was my first big mistake that impacted many choices in the coming years because it planted doubt in my heart about who GOD was and gave GOD human characteristics. So, it meant I would have to make it on my own and not depend on GOD to help me –
no magnet showed me there was no GOD willing to help me.
Almost, but not quite, a nihilist –
I still believed I could impact my life to some degree, but less became less and less until in 1980, I reached the natural conclusion of “no reason to live” and decided to end it all . . . but, before that point, I traveled paths to many “ways” seeking “The Way” – challenging and interesting and sometimes very confusing – a strong mix of dark and light!