In 2003 I started attending the Eastern Orthodox Church after a long inquiry and investigation into the early history of the church and its councils. But beyond that I was most captivated by the beauty of its liturgies, experiencing the rich and full rituals and the inspiring practice of exercising a daily rule of prayer, following the same exact prayers that millions of faithful Orthodox have been doing for almost 2,000 years.
My daughter, who was 10 at the time, was also intrigued by the services. So much that it bothered her Mom, her Jehovah Witness step dad, My own Mother and her Maternal Grandparents. On many occasions her Jehovah Witness step-dad called me up, yelling at me for taking her to church with me. Another time he tried to refuse me from picking her up on her visitation. He physically confronted me at the door and started lecturing me about me exposing my daughter to stories about the saints as if I was doing something immoral. The confrontation started with Tumlinson telling me “Before you can see your daughter…”
I told him to fuck off and that I would be calling the police as I turned to leave. I should have put a restraining order on him then. But I let my mother talk me out of it. She literally took their side! I guess she was afraid of rumors in her Lutheran church about her son pressing charges against the son in law of another member of the Church (my ex’s parents).
Ok, so I will own that I should have taken more responsibility and called the police. Maybe that would have prevented the further escalations of situation. On the other hand it could have caused more problems. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that I was being attacked for my religious practices.
Every visitation it was the same thing. Brittany would express some argument her Papa, Nana, Mom or Jehovah Witness Stepded presented about me being Orthodox. They would use ad-hominin attacks against me, saying I was not sincere in efforts to persuade her not to attend. Or they would attack Orthodoxy, which they really knew nothing about, through their a’priori of Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism.
This went on for over two years till I finally had a nervous breakdown and abdicated my parental custody rights (which is what Brittanys Mom and Jehovah Witness stepdad wanted all along).
As of Jan 2019, Rebecca and I will have been together for 10 years. We have known each other Since 2001. Rebecca and I met through mutual interests in studying Christian and Jewish Mysticism. Rebecca watched my growing interest in Orthodoxy as I deepened my practice with the Jesus Prayer. She also witnessed what I went through and the breakdown I had. Keven Hodges (PHD of religious studies, credentialed scholar in theology, ecclesiastical history, Greek NT exegesis, and my Godfather) was also a witness to all of this.
From 2005 through 2007, My Godfather provided me with a guest room to stay in while I was trying to recover from the mental breakdown.
In 2009 I felt strong enough to attempt a restoration of communications with my Mom and went to visit her with Rebecca. While were were talking Rebecca asked what led to me “disappearing”. Her answer:
“David was too into his Church”
Holy shit! A person who follows a simple daily prayer rule (something that is even taught to do in the Lutheran Catechism, but not followed) and attends all the services is “to into” their Church.
Later I asked Rebecca what she thought of that answer and she said what my Mom meant was “David was too into the WRONG Church” she also confirmed that I didn’t leave, they drove me away.
On 12/14/2018 I was attacked, out of the blue, by my nephew, who wrote the following on my FB wall (note his actions were totally unprovoked). This comment was left on a meme that was making fun of Mike Pence.
Wow, tell a person who experienced a mental breakdown and is still under psychiatric care “you can’t blame other people at some point in your life you haf to take responsibility for your self“.
Where exactly is the blame? This victim shaming and an example of blaming the victim. Am I to take responsibility for my father beating me at the age of 7 because he didn’t think I was trying hard enough? Am I to take responsibility for experiencing a nervous breakdown? What exactly is it?
Amazing to have this victim blaming come from someone who is 34 and would be out on the street if it was not for their mommy and daddy keeping him afloat.
Such a hypocrite.
After posting the above I noticed Kyle unfriended me. Such a noble Lutheran.
Let me restate that both My Godfather, an esteemed PHD, and Rebecca (a research librarian of 25 years with UNT, who is highly trained in unbiased analysis and critical thinking) are witnesses to what happened and support my version in its accuracy.
Who is witness to other version? A dishonest racist that actively spread fake news about Obama and a manipulated 12 year old that has been poisoned with lies.
We will find out who is on the wrong side of Psalm 7 over the next two years. If you ever wondered why shit went sour for Chris Tumilson, well, it was because he was on the wrong side of Psalm 7 when I invoked it specifically for him from 2006 through 2008.
O Lord my God, in You I put my trust;
Save me from all those who persecute me;
And deliver me,
Lest they tear me like a lion,
Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
O Lord my God, if I have done this:
If there is iniquity in my hands,
If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah
Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies;
Rise up [b]for me to the judgment You have commanded!
So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You;
For their sakes, therefore, return on high.
The Lord shall judge the peoples;
Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness,
And according to my integrity within me.
Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and [c]minds.
My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.
If he does not turn back,
He will sharpen His sword;
He bends His bow and makes it ready.
He also prepares for Himself instruments of death;
He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.
Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
His trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on [e]his own crown.
I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.