Exit 120. I know those voices because I hear them too.

Harry Potter has been on my mind again lately.  I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which for those of you who aren’t familiar with Harry Potter, is the script for a play set a generation after the Harry Potter novels, featuring the adult Harry Potter and one of his children.  The play is currently being performed in London.  But that is not the point I’m getting at here.

I spent a lot of time in the car this weekend, and at one point I was thinking about other parts of the Harry Potter story.  I was reminded in particular of a scene that always felt particularly intense and poignant to me, and I’ll try to share my thoughts without giving away any crucial spoilers.  In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series, 17-year-old Harry and his friends are on a quest to find and destroy a group of objects that Voldemort (or, as I called him before, Wizard Hitler) has enchanted with some very dark magic, in an attempt to make himself immortal.  About halfway through the book (chapter 19, specifically), Harry and his friends have one of these dark objects, and after carrying it around for a few months, they have found a means with which to destroy it.  While carrying it around, however, it seems to bring out all sorts of dark and negative behavior in whomever is carrying it, at times leading to fights between Harry and his friends.

Harry feels that Ron should be the one to destroy this enchanted object.  But as Ron is about to do so, the object suddenly speaks to Ron, saying that it has seen all of Ron’s greatest fears, and speaking and reenacting these fears in full view of Ron, Harry, and Hermione.  The object reminds Ron that he is always overshadowed.  In his family, he has his older brothers and younger sister, and at school, his best friends are Harry, who is famous within the Wizarding World because of the prophecies made about him, and Hermione, who is a super genius.  The object makes Ron feel like he cannot do anything right, that Harry and Hermione would be better off on their quest without him.  The voices coming from the object mock Ron by saying that no one wants him, and that no woman would ever be interested in him when they could have Harry Potter instead.

I know those voices.  I know those voices because I hear them too… at least in a metaphorical sense.

Of course, I am not carrying around an object that contains a piece of Wizard Hitler’s soul.  This is because Wizard Hitler and magic aren’t real, a fact that Church I With The Problems and many other legalistic conservative churches never fully grasped, but that’s another story for another time.  But all of those fears were already inside Ron’s head; the dark object just saw Ron’s fears and manifested them in front of him.  And some very similar fears are already inside my head.  Those fears become manifest whenever I feel excluded from something my friends are doing or talking about.  They become manifest whenever I see my friends in new romantic relationships while the months since my last date slowly turn into years.  Sometimes I can distract myself from those voices, just as Harry and Ron and Hermione did by taking turns who would hold the evil object, but they cannot be easily destroyed.

But I have to find a way.  I am a Gryffindor, just like Harry, Ron, and Hermione.  I can be brave and silence the evil voices in my head forever once and for all.  I must.

But I’m still searching for a way to do so.  And it won’t be easy.

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5 comments

  1. The voices I hear say things like, “Your mother and father hate you. God hates you. It would be lovely to be dead. I wish I weren’t alive. You are putrid and disgusting. If people knew what you were really like, they wouldn’t like you.” My favorite as a teen was, “No one loves me.” Which wasn’t far off, really.

    I have learned how to turn the voices off. Joyce Meyer taught me. When you have those thoughts, you immediately replace them with verses from the Bible like, “I love the Lord because he has heard my voice. My God is a strong tower; I run to him and I am safe. The Lord is a shield around me, he is my glory and the lifter of my head.”

    Also, good and true thoughts like, “God loves me. I am a child of God. God can use me to help people.”

    My first therapist told me to say positive things to myself. I tried like, “You are a great person. You can be a success, etc.” That didn’t work for me because I didn’t believe it. You must believe the words you say. You may have to do this all your life, but it is well worth the effort and becomes second nature after awhile.

    Don’t believe negative thoughts. They are usually lies and only bring you down. Ask God to help you think positively. Think and talk about the good things of life and be thankful. I am so thankful I have a washer, dryer, fridge and dishwasher along with dozens of other things. God bless you as you walk with him.

    1. I agree with Belle; the voices will never stop. They will be a constant reminder of your fears and doubts. You can stop listening to them, but they will never go away.

      They can also be a reminder that you do not have to go through life alone. You have friends, you have family, and you have your faith. The voices try to isolate us, get us to think only about ourselves. But you can turn to your friends and family and God when you are down. That’s what we are here for. You are not alone, and you don’t have to let the voices win.

      1. Thank you, both of you… Belle, you’re right, saying that kind of stuff doesn’t make any difference if I don’t believe it. I guess the turning to friends part is also hard for me because so many of my so-called friends have hurt and betrayed me in the past. But I’m not alone, and I have to keep going.

  2. I left my church and had a few breakdowns, so I don’t have any friends now. I’m 67 and stay home most of the time taking care of my 89 yr. old mom. I also have my husband, two daughters and 7 grandchildren who all love me. I feel so blessed and because of quoting scripture a lot – I feel joy, something I’ve never known before.

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