Read this before reading Feb/Mar 2010 posts

Up front: I am a 43-year-old man. If you're coming here from Yahoo! Answers, you may be disappointed and/or surprised. Sorry about that. I like to publish under a female persona often. I'm not gay, I just think that my words come out sounding like a woman most of the time. It feels more comfortable that way. Sorry to all you straight guys who thought I was a catch.

I was sexually molested and tortured by my parents when I was a kid. I was also indoctrinated with a belief that I will spend all eternity in literal agony, burning in hell. I've managed to break free of my childhood to a significant degree: I've been financially successful, I have a beautiful daughter who is mostly happy, I go to therapy all the time, and I've lived a fairly normal adult life.

On August 4, 2008, a woman with whom I was very much in love left me. Since then my life has gone mostly to shit. In September 2009 I got into bed and have hardly gotten up since. In early January I started having something like visions, images from my childhood. Sometimes forgotten things, sometimes unforgotten but seen in a new light, sometimes things that never happened (I hope!). I've never seriously considered suicide until recently, but I have done so: as of 2/13/10 I've made three calls to suicide hotlines. On Feb 17 I started to slip into it again, but this time my friend Lisa was there to catch me.

Since then I've been really struggling with the desire to die. I have to work hard to distract myself from the emptiness. I went to therapy yesterday and spent most of the time crying, incapacitated. The same despair hangs over me now. If I look at it at all, the first thing I think is that it's too painful and I just want to die. It's 2:00pm on Feb 19 right now.  I'm about to go hang out with my friend Simone, but I'm a bit afraid, because I notice that the despair gets worse when I get up out of bed. But I need to be around people, so here goes.

Update June 25, 2010: I got out of bed for the first time a couple of weeks ago; I might be getting better now.

Update October 16, 2010: I seem to be improving. No longer constantly thinking of suicide, just occasionally, but not getting to a point where I feel like I'm about to do it. I started thinking several months ago that I need to find a reason for being here, I need to do something to make this place better. So far I haven't come up with anything huge; instead I've settled, for the time being, on making YouTube videos, sharing my thoughts on Christianity in the hopes that they will be helpful to someone. I've finished my Christianity videos for the time being and I've moved on to investigate and discuss Islam in the same way that I discussed Christianity. Getting out of bed every day now, riding my bike again (I used to race before I got into bed last September). I feel embarrassed and guilty that I don't have a job, and all I do all day is ride my bike and make YouTube videos. I'm trying to tell myself that it's ok, because I'm making necessary repairs to myself in order to become useful to the world again. My therapist wants me to tell myself that it's just ok, with no reason at all except that this is just where I am in my life right now. I'm not skilled enough just yet in Buddhist philosophy to think that way.

I've put together this blog as part of my effort to cope with all of this difficulty. Some of the entries are fairly obvious as to their nature, but many of them might seem confusing at first, as though I'm having a conversation with someone. Those entries are questions that I've posted on the Religion & Spirituality section on Yahoo! Answers. Now, a few people have criticized me on this, saying that it's stupid to expect anything intelligent from such a forum. I have two responses to that. First, there were loads of atheists in the forum with extremely intelligent and compassionate answers, so one might expect that the quality of the discourse not be entirely null. Second, I expect from Christians at least some signs of wisdom, morality, compassion, the usual stuff that Christians bang on about. You can read my entries and tell me whether I was naive to expect it.

Also, in many of these entries, you may see me use the word "dad". If you know me, you'll be shocked. You know that I do not use the words "dad" or "mom" in referring to my biological parents or my mother's second husband. The reason has always been that they do not deserve it. But for the sake of the message boards, I used "dad" instead of "my mother's husband," because in the period of my life I discuss in all of the questions, I did call him "dad", and I want it to be clear that I had the natural childlike expectations of him that he be, indeed, a dad to me. I would prefer to write "my mother's husband," but it doesn't convey the sense of betrayal that actually occurred.