I have felt lonely for a very long time. I think it started when I was a toddler. My mum was not very nice to me. She never played with me. My earliest memories were of myself walking around the flat aimlessly, wanting someone to play with me as I was so bored, but mum was surreptitiously missing. In the kitchen working, or on her bed taking a nap. Whenever she laid eyes on me, she looked grumpy.

She always saw kids as a rite of passage in life as a “normal” woman in those days.. you got married to a man, then you had babies. Her own mum exhibited strong preferential treatment for the sons in her family, so my mum, along with her sisters, grew up with a sense of bottled rage that only trickles out in momentary lapses of bitchiness, put-downs and endless criticisms. They all act like they can never be wrong. Know it alls. And they have always been very shameless about putting down their own children in front of their own children. Such was the kind of mothers my female cousins and me and my sister grew up with.

I was the only one who broke free and said enough is enough. I called them out on this. And they all turned their kids away from me. What a fucked up family this is right?

The others remained tightly in their mum’s grasp, demonising me for my rebelliousness and always siding with the devilish women who micromanage their lives and poison their world views to the point where… well, NONE of my female cousins are married. None of them are even dating, as far as I know. And there are like 4 of them. Are you kidding me? No it’s not because they are all born lesbian or asexual. No it’s because from a young age, our mums fed us a tonne of poison about men. They hated men deep down, but they dress it up as rational and sensible not to get involved with men, because men will “ruin” your lives. Ruin your careers. This coming from women who have careers themselves as journalists, tour guides and the like. Oh the irony in the crap they spout. Only my mum had low enough self esteem and a disagreeable enough character to totally muck up any chance of career advancement she had in life. Perhaps that’s why me and my sis were the only girls on the entire mum’s extended family who actually dated boys and well, I ended up married for a long time and my sis has been with her boyfriend for nearly 10 years and planning to get married eventually. Both of us found men who were kind.

We saw through our mother’s lies because she had too many weaknesses. She didn’t seem capable, was emotionally fraught.. and she had been so nasty to me all my life living with her that I simply cannot take most of what she opines as truth. It was survival. If I believed her, I would die. Simple as that. And for a short while, I did. In my teenage years I really hated myself and my life. I planned my “escape” since I was about 13. That’s young.

I was lucky though. My father’s side were totally normal people and my grandmother loved me. She in fact, cared for me as a toddler. I still remember idyllic afternoons spent in Grandma’s house as a preschooler and she would spoil me with attention and sweets. In fact all of my uncles and aunts on my Dad’s side did. I yearned for those days ever since I started kindergarten and mum began to look after me full time. And it was Hell ever since. Worsened especially after Mum fell out with the whole of my Dad’s side, and with Dad as well.

As they contemplated divorce, I was trussed in the middle. I was the target of my mum’s blame for everything bad that happened to her. And so it was like that since I was 8 till when I moved out at 20. My ineffectual Dad just started coming home lesser. He still provided financially for us. He earned a good salary and was stable and dependable. But he withdrew from family life and when I was old enough, I discovered he also had a mistress outside. And I don’t blame him. I couldn’t stand living with my mum, and with her heckling him day after day, the situation at home was horrible. I just don’t know why exactly did he not divorce her, but I believe it was down to money as well as the fact that perhaps he did not want her to take away the kids (that’s me and my siblings) to another country. My mum was foreign, you see. And my Dad maybe did not wish to be separated from his children. He loved us. In the deficient way he could… well, he didn’t have a great childhood either you see. He had an absent dead father and my Grandma must have had her hands full with 7 kids to raise on her own so never gave him the attention he needed. He was forced to quit school at 15 and work to support his mum and siblings in the 50s…

I still keep in contact with my Dad to this day. I severed ties with Mum.

But all my life I felt lonely. I know it’s not a feeling based in fact, as I have been surrounded by people. Someone cares about me, all the time. But there is always a sense of loss deep down. I have seen a therapist and it has made things manageable. I guess the feeling of loss stems from my poor attachment to mum. Perhaps.

I deeply desire a loving caring relationship with a real mother. I know I will never get this. My real mother is incapable of loving anyone. And I live with this feeling of loneliness everyday.

If I let it take hold of me, I start to believe that nobody likes me. That I’m an outcast. This is even more acute once I’m in a foreign country. I already felt an outcast back in the country I grew up in. Being treated badly by my own Mum wasn’t an easy thing to talk about to friends. And when I did talk, people would be sympathetic, but they do not comprehend. It’s is such an isolating, lonely experience. You can’t really share it with anyone. Plus others who do have problems with their mums have very different problems. No two sets of family problems are the same by far.

I have had to go about in daily life, trying to bury these deep feelings under by a tonne of business and try to be the mother to my kids that I never had.

How do I reconcile internally these feelings of injustice and longing for motherly love that I can never have in this lifetime? My faith in God. Of course, with my Philosophy background, I know all the arguments that I can use against the existence of God. I can rationalise it away, but I have come to realise that deep down inside, I truly believe there is a God out there. Not necessarily a human, fatherly form, but more like the all-encompassing energy and natural laws by which everything in our world operates every tiny second.

I think there has to be a God because so many of the tragedies and extraordinarily uplifting incidents I’ve experienced in my life were so out of my control and so sudden and so imposed onto me, that I only felt like I was being swept into storm after storm out of my own accord, and having to deal with them and their aftermath. None of this was pre-ordained by me, nor wanted by me. They just happened, and they were all so intense, like they were trying to tell me something. Oh yes I’ve walked all around the atheist block and back. I have come to believe they were the result of God’s plans. That this was the life God wanted for me, because for some reason only God can know, these experiences were what I had to go through in order to achieve God’s intended purpose of my life.

Prove the existence of God? That’s what an atheist would say. But to me, the proof is in everything we see around us. In us. God is self-evident in everything that exists. Yes, even those atheist thoughts. God wants you to go through that too, if you’re one of those God has chosen to do so. We may never be told why this is what God wants us to experience, because this is the nature of God – God isn’t accountable to us. God made us and God decides what happens to us. God doesn’t have to explain the whys of the universe if God doesn’t want to. The universe can be extremely inhospitable, yet it can also demonstrate the most striking acts of kindness. This is what it is in God’s universe, and we either take it or leave it. Yes we can die, or choose to die. But did we really choose it? Or did God intend for us to choose it – which means our choices were not really ours but already pre-ordained by God? Well I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter as it doesn’t affect the way I go about living my life.

An atheist wants God’s existence to be proven in a “scientific” way. A very human invention, the scientific method. It works on a very superficial level, and we can use scientific methods to work out with some degree of accuracy what will happen if we eat arsenic, or if we throw ourselves out of an airplane when it’s in flight. The fact that the scientific method works sometimes does not mean it explains the deepest truths, and it doesn’t. It cannot tell us why we exist and why certain things happen to us. It cannot even fully explain quantum physics or the erratic actions of very tiny particles in our space. We can of course choose to be optimistic and hope that one day (whenever that is) our scientific methods will tell us the deepest truths of our universe. Will we ever get to that point? There is the possibility we may never, and that even if we did, we might come to the realisation that God is behind everything. Why should we think, at this premature stage of our scientific progress, that the scientific method is THE method that will tell us or prove to us that God exists? I think it would be a stretch of faith for me to even believe the scientific method could tell me everything I needed to know.

Every single day I used to ask myself why are all these bad things happening to me. Then when I grew older and smarter, I understood that it was simply human failing and bad luck on my part. Every child who has gone through abuse will look back when they are older and wonder about this. And in our attempts to find an explanation for why bad things happen to small helpless children, we realise how little choice we’ve had in the matter and how far we have become embroiled in something that is not of our own choosing. How could we choose the parents we have? The answer for me, is simple. God chose it. God intended it. For whatever reason, I am not sure.

Is God supposed to be always benevolent? Well I think yes, maybe. Or maybe not.

And anyway I believe totally in the existence of an afterlife. Perhaps not in the way illustrated in the Bible with flames and Satan and such for bad people. But I believe that the afterlife is this wonderful glowing realm of existence, devoid of material bliss but saturated with emotional and spiritual bliss. We will become non-material entities once we are dead so what use for material bliss do we need? We will float around in heavenly realm like spirits once we’re dead. Once we are there we will know for sure, finally, what this universe is really all about. In that realm, there will be no fear, no pain and no nastiness. There will be no need for those anyway, as we no longer need our physical bodies, which are one of the main causes of our pain on Earth. We will be one with God at that point. We will share an intrinsic understanding with God. We will need no explanation when we are dead and ascended in spirit to the non physical realms. We just know.

No more perplexing life questions. No more torment.

What opened the door for me regarding this belief in an afterlife? Reading up on near-death experiences (NDEs). Of course I’ve always had a little twinge of belief in a realm like that experienced in NDEs, but reading about those experiences (there are a lot… just Google it) just cemented my belief in the existence of an afterlife in the heavenly realm. It also strengthened my belief in God.

And yes I believe most people will go there, no matter what they’ve done in their human lifetimes. Even people who have raped, killed, tortured. I believe that, if you look at it from a different perspective, people who have done a lot of heinous crime can be suffering in their own ways, which drove them to those things. I am not saying I have extraordinary compassion for them. I don’t feel sorry for them, just like I don’t feel sorry for myself any more. I just believe that every one lives the life as God intended. There is nothing to be sorry about. At the end of it, we will all experience heaven and oneness with God. And that’s it. I think maybe… there may be some who never make it to that realm, but for them it may be that they have been too closed off mentally, insensitive to the possibility, etc. For such people, death for them will be just like a switching off of a light bulb. No Hell nor punishment awaits them. Just that for them, they will just cease in awareness once dead. That’s it. It’s not a bad thing. Just the way it is. And like those who do enter the heavenly realm, the process is painless.

Actually I’m not sure why we shouldn’t all just kill ourselves and get there sooner. The body’s will to survive is often strong enough to overcome any desire to die. God put the survival instinct into us for whatever reason, I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter. I believe if one wants to commit suicide, that is what one wants, and God probably had a hand in that as well.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me. I believe in God’s existence a priori and there is a sort of going through life just to get through the motions for me and also to find enjoyment and fun and enlightenment along the way. For a long time now, I have been wanting to die and to get away from it all. But when I started to believe in God again, after a long period of intermittent belief in God (I would say about 15 years or so), my belief in God now is solid and affirmed, and it helps me live my life without that feeling of hopelessness that comes when one has been through what seems like terrible injustice.