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#8166 - 09/30/01 03:05 AM I was lost and now I am found
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA
I was lost and now I am found.

Today, I buried my former choir director. He was a sweet and loving man from whom I derived spiritual sustenance. His commitment to the body of church music and to the experience of it as an offering, even a sacrament, to our worship had been my refuge from my unhappy life. For many years he also directed us in a men's plainsong Gregorian chant choir that left me in spiritual ecstasy each time we sang. He was a sure and steady source from which I maintained my spiritual life. He had replaced another wonderful man, a priest who had died, from whom I had learned how to understand that there was a God whose presence was a constant in a world of confusion. I loved them both.

My first loss, was devastating. I felt like this priest was my guide, my only substitute for a family, a refuge and an important part of my connection to God. He had been snatched away, leaving me to drift in the pain of my life constantly dragged down by mysterious unknown forces which I concluded was me being a Freak of Nature.

After he left, I threw myself into the music, singing often, often feeling like only the choir director and I knew the true spiritual possibilities of the heights to which the music could take us. But, I had left that church and the choir several years ago, in search of new things.

Now, he too, was gone. I cried throughout the service. When no one spoke of the importance of the spiritual force that this man represented, I got up during the funeral and spoke, simply and from my heart, about his loving strength and spiritual commitment to us, how the music was a sacrament, a prayer of harmony, and how his focus helped us recognize the Truth of God's Presence.

But my loss was different this time. I was changed. Before, I had come to my loss from the depths of my confusion, the sense of being so lost that I and my inner child would never be united – but now it was different. I had come to this loss with an awareness, for the first time in my life, of who I was, of who I am!

You see, I had a transformation happen in my life. Some four years ago, I recovered the memories of my sexual abuse at the ages of 0-5 years by my mother. Finding out the great mystery of my past was a staggering blow – after all it was my MOTHER! And the feeling of anger and loss and regret over a seemingly lost and wasted life was overwhelming.

I had lacked a sense of myself through out my life. I discovered that my being lost was mostly caused by not knowing about my abuse or its symptoms. The discovery of this brought a flood of introspection about my life and the choices I had made, many of them mysteriously faulty and guided by unknown forces. The work that I did to map the symptoms, including sexual identity confusion, depression, hypervigilence, trust issues, and low self esteem became my transformation. The symptoms had repeatedly pushed me into poor choices of mates, sexually obsessive thinking, failed or unsatisfying career choices, periodic depressive states, and an underlying, ever present anxiety which felt like my only constant in life.

Over the past four years, I had worked hard on these issues. I am still on an emotional rollercoaster. But I can see things coming, sometimes. I can head them off, or not give them the power they used to enjoy. This feels like there is real growth for one who had viewed the world “through a glass darkly”. This process of recovery has been my transformation - discovering who I am.

The loss I felt at the funeral today was no longer grounded in desperation. I will miss him and I cried for the loving man that he was when I was in need. But I am becoming whole and my connection to God has changed. I am open to the many doors through which the Spirit enters my life. I no longer dependant on another's spiritual guidance. My relationship with God is direct. And I realize that none of this could have happened without God's presence.

I once was lost but now I am found. And I am starting to like being found.

"..this place isn't a discussion's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

#8167 - 09/30/01 09:30 AM Re: I was lost and now I am found
Just Call me J Offline

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
As someone who has gotten to know Grief on a personal basis over the past 6 years (He appears to have lost some weight, since I last saw him in April...), I can relate to your experiences. I'm so sorry to hear of your losses, Thad.

The tears I have spilled since 9/11 have certainly felt different than those I let slip since my cousin's suicide in Nov 1996 became an the first in an unfathomable string of losses.

I don't stop myself from crying as much as I used to. It is so much more freeing than it ever was before. I feel more healed by it, than ever before.

Thank you Thad for sharing your thoughts with us. I hope that you can take comfort in knowing that you're not alone in your hurt and loss. It sucks that we have to have to be members of the same club (2 clubs even), but the lessons I've learned from Grief have helped me here, as well.

And for that I feel blessed.

We're in this together.


We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

#8168 - 09/30/01 06:50 PM Re: I was lost and now I am found


What a wonderful post this is! There are so many good things here. The celebration of the life of one who was so important in your life...someone who saw in you a gift and called it forth. Someone on whom you could count in the sea of confusion. Someone who loved you for YOU!

That your teenage son went with you to this service and had the opportunity to see and feel your emotions is also a wonderful gift--for both of you. How powerful it is for you (and your son) that you were able to stand and call forth some of the memories that you have of this very important person in your development.... I also think it is a real gift that your ex could see and acknowledge your courage and admiration for a soul that in many respects had a lot to do with who you are today.

I only know you through these posts, Thad, but it is truly inspirational to me (and reassuring) to read this wonderful account because it identifies and reinforces the hard work that you have done in your healing process. When you say that "I was lost and now I am found," it is so clear to me that you have found YOU! What a wonderful gift Spirit has given you this day, Thad!

Thank you for sharing the details of this powerful experience. Each of us in recovery needs to know all the way down to our toes that amidst the darkness, shame, and the muck and mire that our real essence does shine through once in awhile. And we must cherish these glimpses in order that they can more and more frequently.

Bless you my friend,


#8169 - 10/01/01 11:45 PM Re: I was lost and now I am found
abcd Offline

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA

Same here, man. Nice post. I feel the same way--lost and found again. I understand the whole roller coaster feeling, and my relationship with Christ has certainly been THE saving grace (pardon the pun). It's so tough at times to see the coming upswing when you've been down so long, when there's been so much confusion in your life (sometimes most of your life even--as in my case; albeit I'm only 23 right now). Bit by bit, however, I have thought things over, and things are fitting into place once again. I feel many times that I have hit rock bottom, only to find myself falling further, but slowly, I see once more that there is a Higher Being watching over me--even when I feel like I'm not at my best. Amazing grace indeed--I was lost, but now am found :o) Take care, and hang in there. Never forget that feeling when you first believed, and trust me, you'll never TRULY fall again. \:\)

#8170 - 10/02/01 01:49 AM Re: I was lost and now I am found


How wise you are at age 23...and how very fortunate you are to working to confront your demons and to heal yourself. Some of the rest of us (who are more than twice your age) are just now "remembering" our sexual abuse...after a lifetime of feeling broken, abnormal, and disconnected from our real selves. I am so impressed with your courage and your willingness to take responsibility for your own recovery. Wow!



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