What if you’re a Christian… and you have Attachment Disorder… what do you do… with God?
I’ve been in Alcoholics Anonymous a very very long time and I have a lot of time without alcohol. I’ve tried to follow the ‘program’ for all I’ve been worth but have been a miserable failure at it. The only thing I’ve managed to do… by hook and by crook…sometimes by the skin of my teeth… is to not drink.
Step 2 of the AA program says that to recover from alcoholism I must find a Power Greater than Myself. A herculean task for one growing up in an Atheist home. What’s more, it says I must find a “Loving God”…. even more herculean, since I had never had the experience of “Love”. Well the whole thing was a disaster for me. So, to cope without liquor, I’ve been smoking and eating junk food the whole time I’ve been sober.
But during my 2nd year sober, purely by accident, I stumbled onto Jesus Christ, who introduced me to the extraordinary and unconditional… compassion of God. What most humans call “Love”.
So now, that I had the “Higher Power” and the “Love” thing down (Step 2), I thought my problem was solved. All I had to do was to develop a ‘relationship’ with Him (Step 3) so that He could help me work the rest of the Steps.
The Big Book of AA says we are to find out; “The exact nature of our wrongs”. (pg: 59). Later on it says; “The exact nature of our defects” (pg: 72). I like to look at it as saying: “The exact nature of… what the hell’s wrong with me? What’s going on here?”
Now, in the course of tackling this humongous experiment of not addicting to anything, one of the things I discovered about myself – an ‘exact nature of what is wrong with me’ – is that I have an extreme case of Attachment Disorder. Initially, this experiment was to learn how to; “Have no other gods before ME (ie: The 1st Commandment)”, and to determine what the hell I’ve been running so hard to get away from through the use of all these other addictive substances and behaviors. I did not expect to find out this thing – this Attachment Disorder problem – I found out about myself.
But finding this out answered a lot of questions about why I behave the way I do with God. And why I have such a huge problem with Step 3, which is to try to turn my life and my will over to Him.
If you have Attachment Disorder, how on God’s green earth do you ‘relate’ to God the way Christians present Him? If, because of experiencing relationship trauma at a young age, you become wired to be incapable of having a normal relationship with any being (and the Christian God being a ‘being’ – and a big one at that), what do you do about this very difficult problem?
It’s a very difficult problem!!
This is the big reason why I’m starting to step away from Christianity a bit and returning to the simple premise of these first words of God regarding… us…
Then God said,
“Let us make man-kind
in our image,
(It says: “All Mankind” – not just Christians)
These are simple words, and a simple concept. If a piece of God is in me, then why do I have to ‘reach out’ to Him as a separate entity? In one way, He is a separate entity, but I don’t have to deal with that. And, with the Attachment Disorder problem, I’m finding out… I don’t have to. Because, if a piece of Him resides in me, then I can ‘relate’ to this piece and not to Him directly. I don’t have to reach outside myself to another being. I just have to go within. Relating in this way, I can finally feel safe.
(to read about what this ‘piece of God’ looks like to me, please go HERE)
Then, I latched onto this concept. Since Jesus showed me that God is a God of Great Compassion, I know that this ‘piece’ of God which resides in me also has great, great compassion for my terrible plight. What’s even better? This piece of Him in me does not need to have a ‘personality’! It only has to have this huge compassion along with God’s great wisdom and abilities.
Therefore. since it doesn’t have personality…
I don’t have to talk to it!!
When I was growing up, talking to the ‘power people’, with all their ‘personalities’ got me hurt… badly!! All this talking stuff I was told I had to do with God. What a struggle; because it’s so… terrifying. But now, the only thing I need to do is, as often as I can remember, remind myself that this piece of God is there… in me… with all it’s great compassion, power, and ability, and like a cook busy in the kitchen lovingly creating a masterpiece, it’s busy about it’s business, compassionately and diligently working on me… to straighten me out and get me back on my feet again. I don’t have to talk to it!! All I have to do is not run away to addictions so that I can be clear-headed and to bring to it all my emotional angst in groanings without words. Then wait expectantly listening to hear what it wants to do with me, or how it wants me to think about something, next.
So this is the way I am currently ‘relating’ to God. I can’t do it the “Christian” way. Right now I don’t have the ability to. Believe me, I’ve tried my guts out to do it the Christian way. But I can relate in this way. And it seems to be working pretty good for right now.
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By the way, I read that 55 percent of the population now suffers from some degree of Attachment Disorder, I think it’s because there’s hardly any moms (or dads) around anymore. That’s a lot of Christians with potential problems relating to God.
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So this is where I’ve come to so far in my ‘no addictions’ experiment. But, as I’m finding out day by day, things could very well change tomorrow.