“If you have never lost your mind, you won’t understand me or my story and none of this will make sense to you.”-Jamie Hopkins a.k.a. Afrikana
Have you ever felt crazy?
Have you every felt like you’re losing your mind? You’re losing control? You’re out of control?
Everything around you is moving so quickly, you can barely keep up?
Life is spiraling out of control, everything that can go wrong IS going WRONG at the same fricking time?
There is no break… no breathing room… no time-outs.
You ever felt that before? … okay, just checking, then you’re in the right place!!
As the cool in the gang say, “Let me holla at ya playa…”
In The Beginning
I wish I can pinpoint exactly when I “lost my mind”, but honestly, I believe it was a gradual descent.
Let me explain…
Every story starts at the beginning. The beginning of your existence as far as your mind can remember. That beginning point differs per individual. Another thing that makes us “unique”. We all have a beginning.
Unfortunately, my mind has been so conditioned and damaged (or traumatized) by so many variables (or experiences), that my beginning is often muggy.
It’s dark. It’s depressing. It’s unspeakable.
As a matter of fact, it’s hard to travel back “there”. But for the sake of this blog, and for the sake of revealing what I see (and I believe some of you see as well), this just may save you and your faith.
Again, this is for the mind impaired! If you’ve never lost your mind, you won’t get a word I am saying (or writing in this case). This will just be entertaining and not enlightening. And I want to enlighten. So, for my fellow mind impairers, this is for you!
I digress. Back to my story. And back to my beginning.
My beginning started about five years old. A quick disclaimer: when you are dealing with the mind, you are dealing with the memory. And if your memory has been affected by trauma, so will your recollection of it.
Most days, when I am doing my healing work, I am piecing together my life. In my mind, my life is a huge puzzle and the pieces are scattered. During my healing work, I am putting those pieces together intentionally and emphatically. That’s how I heal myself, but I’ll talk more about healing your mind later.
As far as I can remember, my beginning started at or around 5-years-old. Parts of my memory recall times my dad punched my mother in the face while he was driving. I was sitting in the back seat, in between my sisters, front view of the blow and the look in my dad’s eyes. The look of anger as he reached over with full force and punched my mother in the face.
If you sit long enough, those memories will continue to come. The ones just as the one before. Until your brain is flooded with the same types of memories. If you started out with bad memories, the brain will go searching for more bad memories, thinking that’s what you want to do.
Lead me to write this “poetic expression” about thinking thoughts:
For years, I allowed my thoughts and memories of my past to shape my present. And because my traumatized mind could only recall the trauma, my present wasn’t so bright.
I couldn’t sleep with the lights off. I was afraid of the dark. I was a grown woman sleeping with the lights on, afraid to walk outside alone, always looking over my shoulders, never trusting anyone, never letting anyone close to me, living in and out of fear.
I was miserable.
But outwardly, I was happy, easy going, always telling jokes and making everyone laugh. People loved being around me, which always puzzled me. They had no idea of the torment going on inside my brain.
I was a functional tormented soul, living a Christian life.
“The scariest place to be is inside of an uncontrollable mind.”-Jamie Hopkins a.k.a. Afrikana
How did I cope all of those years in torment? Prescription drugs (never did cocaine or any hard core stuff), promiscuity (jumping in and out of relationships, never committing to anyone or anything), self-medication, self-harm, depressed, suicidal… you name it, I’ve experienced it.
I’ve felt every human emotion there is to feel, including death… or my interpretation of it.
Real story. When I was giving birth to my daughter, I died on the hospital table, and I do not know how long I was “gone”… anyhow, back to the point (geesh it takes forever for a storyteller to tell the damn story! LOL)
I survived the best way I knew how.
Some people were raised by the streets. I was raised by my tormented past, amongst other influences.
Deliver Us From Evil
When I was in my mid-20’s, that’s when the spiritual attacks started. At night I would see him. I will never forget his face. And yes, he was real TO ME. And if he existed in my head, he existed in my life.
He was my tormentor.
Every single night.
I sensed his presence every time he entered my bedroom at night. It was a heavy weight. And when he entered the room, my bed would sink in just a little. A weight not my own. A weight from an entity you could not see with your natural eye.
And he would sit on my chest and cut off my air supply. His weight was so heavy and it would get heavier and heavier until I could no longer breathe.
My only saving grace was knowing the Name of Jesus and saying it repeatedly over and over in my head.
Did you catch that? My only saving grace was MY MIND!!!
The one thing I could NOT trust, the one thing that was out of control, the one betrayer, was my only saving grace.
What I remember. I had to rely on my memories.
I couldn’t speak, he had my voice.
I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t run. No one could help me. I was paralyzed in fear. Trapped in my own bed.
I hated night time.
I hated the darkness.
I hated going to bed.
I’d rather stay awake forever.
This went on for a number of years. I can’t remember exactly how long, just years of nightly visits, until one night they stopped.
The tormentor went away.
When I started therapy.
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of Elohiym, and there shall no torment touch them.-The Wisdom of Solomon 3:1 (CEPHER)
Rage Room: All In My Head
Have you ever met someone who is just mad all of the time? No matter what you say or what you do, you invoke an argument or a sharp tongue with this person? It feels like walking on eggshells whenever you are around them? You tread very lightly not to set off the ticking bomb…
That was me. I was that faulty light switch. The one who always had a chip on my shoulder. Ready to blow at any time!
I was mad at the world. Life was shitty. People were shitty. I was shitty. And everything around me… you guessed it… was shitty.
I hated the life I was dealt. I was sexually molested by my uncle at 5, abandoned by my father soon after, raped at 16, beaten by my stepdad at 17, rebuked by the church at 21, homeless at 23, married and divorced by 28. I’ve lost my daughter, my family, my friends… I’ve been in horrible, abusive relationships with manipulative narcissists…
And then, there’s the not-so-kind me who has done deplorable things to people. Unspeakable. Not kind or loving at all. I’ve hurt people – not physically, that was never my “thing”… I hurt you where it really hurts: your heart. I knew that the body can heal itself, but that heart can stain you for life. Because my heart was stained.
Hurt people hurt people.
Oh and I had a way to make you feel like a complete waste of skin… with my words. I am not proud of that Jamie, so I do not speak of her much. But sometimes, in times like now, she gives us lessons. I learn from that Jamie. That angry Jamie. First lesson she taught me:
Anger is a helluva drug!
Anger is a helluva drug, and it’s not so easy to get rid of once it’s permeated the depths of your soul.
But being angry isn’t just about being angry at the world or even at the people that you lash out on and blame your shitty life on… that’s not what anger and being angry is all about.
If I’m completely honest, anger is a spirit. It’s a state of mind. It’s an internal malfunction.
It’s really an aftermath set up by your brain to protect people from reaching that “center core”… that tender sore spot. That broken place.
It’s an internal mental protective mechanism to isolate the problem – and in the broken brain (the mind impaired), the problem is everyone ELSE.
The heart knows the Truth. The heart knows that the problem is internal. The heart wants to love, the mind wants to protect, and the war between the two when one has been damaged causes the other to break when pressure (or trauma) is applied.
Imagine being trapped inside a dark cave. The walls around the cave are meant to protect what’s inside… you (the heart of you).
When something traumatic happens, the heart retreats into the cave. And your mind step in, form the cave walls, and stand firm to protect the core. No one can get close to the core. Nope, not one! It (heart) goes into serious lockdown.
The mind then uses emotions to cover the walls of the cave.
The usual suspects (emotions, feelings, agents) called upon to ‘protect’ the core are: anger, suicidal ideation, unforgiveness, depression, anxiety, sadness, doubt, indecision, rejection, bitterness, poverty, confusion, neglect, abandonment, forgetfulness, offense, lonely, and the worst one of all: THE PAST.
The mind begins to fill the thoughts with all of this stuff. Connecting memories with experiences with like emotions. The emotions have to be related and in the same family in order for the walls to be built strong. For example, anxiety and depression usually travel together. So does lust and pornography. So does peace and contentment. And so does love, faith and hope.
Most times, this gathering of like emotions is done unbeknownst to the one who’s traumatized – they don’t know why they retreat. They just lose interest in being around people. Gradually… retreating into isolation.
And it is in isolation that the mind really goes to work! And really builds the cave walls. Reminding itself how dangerous it is to allow people close.
People cannot be trusted. People cannot love the broken you. People hurt you.
The thoughts come faster and faster and you can’t stop them. They are uncontrollable at this point. Now there comes feelings of hopelessness.
And anyone who dares to get close will see the dark secret kept: the raging ball of fire. The angry for no reason.
The heart has told you so many stories that you begin to feel sorry for the broken soul. You know all they really need is love, so you stick around trying to heal their hurt.
News Flash: YOU CAN’T.
I hope that really helped someone. Stop trying to be savior. Stop trying to be healer. Stop trying to be lover. You can’t change them, but let me tell you how you can REALLY HELP them.
Don’t humiliate them. Don’t expose them publicly. Don’t talk about their sins to others. Don’t gossip about them at family gatherings. Don’t speak of their sins with anyone.
And please, for the love of all decency… STOP CALLING THEM CRAZY!
Love COVERS a MULTITUDE of sins.
Does that mean that you allow them to abuse you or mistreat you with their pain? NO!
That means you understand that their anger is not personal, so you lovingly guide them to the root of their anger.
I can almost guarantee that when you peel back the anger, you will find a broken heart.
So LOVE them back to health. Love them back to a healthy mindset. Get them professional help!
People say this statement jokingly: “Oh she done lost her mind!”
But, it is true. You can lose your mind. You can lose your stability. You can lose sense of reality.
And it can happen to ANYONE.
It is my desire, to expose what losing your mind looks and feels like, and how to recover. Because… you CAN recover. But no one can do it.. but you.
That’s why I said earlier, if you are on the side of taking the damage from a damaged-minded person, or the mind impaired, then your only way to help them is to love them unconditionally. Be that stable voice in their head, because they will need it (and I’ll explain this in detail in part 3, the last chapter!).
And be honest, if you can’t handle being strong for the mind impaired, please out of all decency and love for them, LEAVE!
You will only impair them further. You will only break them further. So be strong or be gone (and I say that in all power of love!).
Ok, now that is off my chest 🙂
I have a lot of ground to cover here, so I will have to break this out into 3 parts. Coming back from a mental breakdown is a long road, but with the right support and tools, you can live again – happy, healthy and whole! In peace.
Subscribe now so you can be notified when I drop Part 2! Next chapter… The Journey of Healing is Long.
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