Beneath the Layers

I feel as if i had been sad all my life. No one knew because I chose to suffer alone. But – How could you not have been happy Sandie? How could you not have been happy when you seemed to be happy all the time? Yea… I guess one could say that but how do I explain it? How do I explain what i felt? How do I explain what no one knew? How do i describe real pain?

Sadness…Who understands what it is like to be sad? Who knows the kind of pain that never leaves, the kind of pain that sits in silence eating noisily at one’s flesh?

I was so active, I did so many things. I had so much life at parties, I often had much to say. How could I not have been happy? Yea, How could I not have been…? My happiness was only on the surface. Somehow it seemed whatever joy i felt was never enough to penetrate my layers and touch that place that needed filling.

Do you know that it is possible to be lonely in a crowded room? Do you know that it is possible to scream right in the midst of laughter? No one will hear you, no one will notice, no one except the person in you.


It is that person who would come in the still of night to confront me. Without the noise and the confusion of the outer world I would be forced to lie face to face with myself and it was terrifying.

Sometimes it happened in the wee hours of the morning – AM – when i rose too early for work and couldn’t fall back asleep – sometimes it would happen late in the night – PM – when i called sleep before it was ready and had to wait on it. I would lie peering through darkness, darkness staring back at me…

I once tried to explain to a friend how I felt. i couldn’t adequately offer an explanation in words so I took a paper and pen and drew a diagram for her. In the diagram I showed myself having many layers and I numbered them from 1-10. I explained to her that i felt pleasure (‘joy’) from layers 10 – 4 but as I got closer to my core – my Oneness – I was just so very very sad.

I was trapped inside myself, trapped right where the pain was. Layer One held me captive and refused to let me go, begging me for remedy, begging for food and water. It was such a cruel thing to do. It was cruel because I had run out of options. Everything I tried had failed… Nothing satisfied it.

In my most desperate moments I thought of God. I had nothing else to try. What else could i try when nothing else worked and suicide was not an option.

One day Layer One asked, ‘Why not give God a test run, if you don’t like it just go back but why not just try it?‘ Who thinks about putting God on probation? Who thinks about just giving him a try, just to see? I did.

The thought would keep coming, layer One would not cease. I tried to pull myself away to layers 8 or 9, all in an effort to ignore the overbearing desire of One and feel 8 or 9 simple pleasures. That only served to plunge me back to the most infinite layer – there – again – to suffer.

I remember that Sunday morning – June 5, 2011. The sun was bright, I saw it through the layers of my window though i couldn’t feel it. I was there still recovering from the storm which lingered from the night before. I was in bed. I had awoken early and had spent hours scrolling through the pages of my mind.

I heard when my room door opened and someone came in. The person was busy moving around as if trying to find something. In all the movement I heard the person say something quickly about church. I knew the voice – it was Jodi.

I continued to ‘sleep’, pretending i didn’t hear her or what she had said. Two very important words had wormed its way in me, 1. Church 2. Coming.

Layer One got the news and said, ‘GET UP!‘. I protested, ‘I’m so tired, it’s so early, I’m so sad, I have nothing to wear…’ There was what felt like a pound in my chest thereafter. Layer One spoke again and said, ‘NOW!‘ and i obeyed and slowly got out of bed.

I pulled my towel around my body and strolled pass Jodi’s room. I lingered in the kitchen. I was begging her to say something else. I didn’t want to mention what I didn’t hear. I didn’t want to seem interested but I was begging her to ask me again. Almost instantaneously she opened her mouth and spoke, ‘Hey San, I’m going to Kavan’s church, you wanna come.‘ Immediately I felt happy inside. I quickly told her, ‘yea‘ and ran to the bathroom to shower.

While trying to cleanse a broken heart i cried and prayed urgently to God. i felt as if something almost answered my prayer. It said, ‘today might just be the day, come child.

We got to church about 9:30am. It was so hot. The room seemed full but someone found two seats for us at the back. I sat in my seat fighting the heat and rioting tears as the Pastor spoke.

People all around were caught up in worship. I sat observing. I didn’t want to cry. I thought, ‘someone will think something is wrong if i start crying.‘ But everything was wrong, How could I have been so foolish? I sat trying to make myself invisible, trying so hard to hide, ‘don’t let them see me please‘ I begged.

Immediately it felt like AM – PM – again. Layer One was coming forth and taking charge. Now i don’t remember the full sermon, i only remember those words that were the beginning and the end of everything.

The Pastor said, ‘if there is someONE here who wants to accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour, come…‘ When he said, ‘come’ it felt like an echo in the room. it seemed everyone stopped breathing. The word, ‘come’ hung in the atmosphere. Something in me told me to respond, that it was time.

When he repeated ‘Come’ a voice in me said ‘Go’ and I stood up and walked in the middle (Go——-S———-Come). The walk seemed to take forever. I felt as if I was walking for 25 years to the Altar.

When I got there i saw a cross in front of me. I looked at it and looked away trying desperately to find another focal point. The Pastor leaned over and whispered, ‘Are you here for Salvation or Prayer?‘ Layer One quickly said, ‘Salvation – yes.

I closed my eyes in an attempt to stop the waterfall of tears and i searched desperately for layers 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 but no other part existed. I thought, ‘must i stand here alone with this cruel, wretched One that only seeks to expose me?

The Pastor started by praying for my mind. My unique mind quickly followed his instructions, emptying itself of all the clutter – making space for what was to come. No one existed, the church was suddenly empty.

I was in a place with my ONENESS.

In that moment there was nothing behind me, nothing ahead of me, only the present existed and there i stood – ready. My mind continued to listen to the Pastor, focussing on his prayer.

I was then instructed to raise my hand and repeat the salvation prayer and just as i did that something happened… From the depth of my stomach came a LOUD scream!!!! I don’t know how it happened and I don’t know why. Now I cant imagine doing that but out of me came a LOUD SCREAM! I was there in a limitless existence screaming away all the things in me that held me bound.

I wasn’t thinking. Where did all my thoughts go? I screamed and cried.

I raised my hand again and realised that something else was happening. My hands felt very very different. I wondered what was going on. Thoughts then came piercing through the barriers. I wanted to speak to him from the trance in which i was held. I wanted to grab hold of the Pastor and advise him, ‘sir, please sir, something is going on, my hands feel funny, please sir, my hands. non prescription propranolol. ‘

In my palms i felt a magnetic charge. I clenched my fist to see if it would go away. I moved my hands around in space, opening and closing fingers. It didn’t hurt but it was a sensation like fire. The Pastor then anointed my forehead with olive oil and Layer One felt ignited.

The sensation in my palms grew stronger, it was almost as if something was boiling in the palm of my hands. The LOUD scream came again and I went on my knees. I felt when someone pulled off my shoes and anointed my feet. My two hands were also anointed. I held on to the Pastor’s hand while he held mine thinking, ‘ cialis without prescription from india. Sir, dont you feel it, dont you feel the fire, Do you feel it too?

Everything seemed to last forever. Someone had their hand on my stomach. Someone whispered to me answers to questions I didn’t ask out loud. Someone was praying the thoughts I kept private. Someone was praying on my behalf. Someone was talking to me in the first person, ‘I am…I am…

Everything then calmed down. The sensation in my hand faded away. I opened my eyes and saw people. Someone gave me napkin to wipe my face while another took my contact information and told me i had made the best decision and that God would be there for me.

When I got up off my knees, i felt different. Something was just so different. When I got home, I wanted to do things. I wanted to wash my clothes and clean my room and cook. Can you believe it? I wanted to cook. While in the kitchen i felt as if someone spoke to me. The voice said, ‘a wa u go church go do today, look ow you go embarass yuhself, dont go back!‘ I quickly dismissed the thought. I felt way too good to allow anything negative to disturb it and I continued humming and dancing in my head.

I felt so happy and light. The feeling stayed with me. It didn’t go away. That night i slept like i hadn’t slept in years. I was at peace. I felt a sense of peace i didn’t know existed. One was content and at peace.

The following week I was so anxious to tell everyone the good news. I felt as if i had a piece of good news to share. After a few days I decided to tell my best friend in detail all that happened. Feeling so very excited I picked up the phone and called her.

As i recounted my experience she chuckled and said, ‘I knew something had changed.