I was brought up in a religious home and have struggled with the belief that I am possessed. I know it sounds crazy but the feeling is very real. Since early adolescence, I am visited by an evil presence quite often while asleep. He tries to enter me and I am frozen in complete fear. He speaks to me and threatens me with things I can’t bring myself to write or tell anyone. As a child my mom would take me to church and they would pray for deliverance but it never went away even though I eventually told her it did. A few years ago, I started seeing a psychologist for anxiety. After a year and a half of therapy I finally had the courage to tell my therapist about the sexual contact I had by three men when I was between the ages of 6-15yrs. My psychologist is convinced that these possession episodes are flashbacks to those experiences. Is he telling me the truth? I want to believe him but I’m afraid. It’s been very difficult to process the memories from the childhood experiences because of the shame and guilt I feel for being so needy. I enjoyed the attention and even initiated much of the contact. I may have been a child but I knew it was wrong. I feel like God is punishing me.
I admire the courage it takes to bring this issue to us. It sounds like it has been bothering you for a long time and I appreciate the bravery to write about it here.
The therapist is helping make a link between the abuse, your sense of guilt, and feeling punished by god. Somehow the connection between these elements seems to be important.
The fact that it took you such a long time to acknowledge this with your therapist is also important and I would follow his insight as you keep exploring this. Since you’ve trusted the therapist for this amount of time, it seems very reasonable to continue the trust as it is part of the healing. Let him know the struggles you are having with being afraid.
Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Feeling Possessed. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/05/03/feeling-possessed/
Last updated: 1 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 1 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.