Instalment VII – Wherein our Little Heroine prays

Tales from the Tropics II

There is a church in our neighbourhood that both my mother and grandmother swear by for the power of the Virgin Mary. Many women have knelt on the polished stone floor and prayed to be freed from their unhappy marriages. The Virgin Mary loves retribution, supplicate enough and your husband will die. Start at the back of the church, head towards the alter on your knees. Keep the rosaries going until you hit the front. It’s a good twenty-five metre stretch of immaculate stone to the immaculate mother.

Today, I got on my little heroic knees and prayed. Not for death (mine or anyone else’s) but for release.  I’ve got a new prayer “may my desires align with the will of the Lord, if it’s not meant to be change my heart”. It came to me in a dream. I took less than five forward movements on my knees on that floor before I had to quit. Kneeling on stone is hard enough. Try crawling forward on it. Fuck me. Maybe tomorrow I will give it another shot. My mother must have been in some kind of rage to be able to do that, that or she really really wanted my father to die. Spoiler alert- he is still alive. God’s not done with him yet says my grandmother.

Yesterday, at another potent and revered religious monument. I did a whole rosary stationary, on my knees, on cement. I thought I would faint from the pain but I did it. The walking on your knees. Next level. If someone did that for me, I’d answer their prayer. The catholic idea of mortification. The punishment of the flesh to bring us closer to Jesus’ suffering on the cross isn’t that wild. As I knelt on concrete, eyes upwards, staring at the Virgin Mary, I had no thought in my head apart from the rosaries. You need to focus. You think hot yoga is hard. Boo, try finding God when you want to simultaneously vomit and faint. Feeling really good that it was a great rosary though. Really committed.

Today, after I quit the stone floor and did my rosaries on bended knee on the plush cushioning of the pews I was convinced that I had been cursed. To make up for not being able to hack the floor, I did three rosaries in succession and entered into this trance like state.  Was it the Holy Spirit or am I afflicted by a generational curse or possessed by demons?

When I was twenty my mother took me to a catholic shaman because she was desperate to be freed of my father’s grasp. Sounds familiar. Turns out his family cursed her and through her the curse found me. Anyway, that’s another story about how I was exorcised by a catholic shaman. I bring that story up because when he was praying over me, I remember feeling that exact same trance. A friend of mine wrote a book about demonic possession in the Muslim community. In order to free someone possessed they must be prayed over as it weakens the evil spirits within, then the evil spirits can be cast out. Evil spirits cause bad luck in life not just the Hollywood version of demonic possession. 

After I couldn’t crawl my way twenty-five meters on polished stone to free myself of the obsessive broken hearted melancholy the pervades my being, I legitimately thought that inside me may be malicious spirits caused by the “evil eye” of others. I then went home and googled “Am I crazy”. I am ticking way too many boxes of mental illness right now. The obsessive thoughts, the irregular sleep, the extreme mood- very high and very low. Is none of that normal? Can I not pray it out of me??? God, send me an answer that I can stomach.

The author of that sad chick lit book “Prozac Nation” died the other day. I haven’t read it but it’s considered a cannon in that genre. I prefer your sad bois (emotionally manipulate me Daddy). She addresses Sylvia Plath’s genius and depression with such gentle empathy. If after writing Plath still felt the need to stick her head in an oven, then is the genius really worth the pain of suffering? What did her reality feel like up to that point where she tried to kill herself (more than once) that suicide was the pressure release? Then I thought, if Plath had access to modern science, would she have been as gifted or even more so? Would she have been able to work free of the constraints of her depression. David Foster-Wallace also killed himself but I don’t know if he was medicated at the time. Is one more productive if one spends less time in a depressive state unable to move? I am very curious to see what the landscape looks like if they can even out my brain chemistry. I’m not as manic-depressive as Sylvia Plath, yet. Is it really necessary to FEEL everything all the time?

My ex-bf will be very pleased to know that I am considering medicating myself. Kanye West found God and Lexipro. 

SJ xx

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