Eighteen year-old Samantha was like any other person, and her life was far from
Her parents divorced when she was 3-years-old. Finding God three
years after the divorce, Samantha's father became very strict and legalistic.
"We weren't allowed to go out with our friends very often. We never went to
the movies," Samantha remembers. "Everything had to be monitored."
dad's church seemed "cult-like" to her with their regulations. In her eyes,
Samantha's father lived as a hypocrite and she began to resent Christianity as a
Wanting a religion with fewer rules than the legalistic Christianity
she had been exposed to, Samantha discovered Wicca at age 12 when introduced to
the religion by a friend.
The main rule of the Wicca faith is "Do as thou
will, and it harm none," Samantha says. So as long as she did not hurt anyone
else, Samantha could virtually do whatever it was that she wanted.
nature-based religion, the foundation of Wicca is the gathering of power from
the main elements- Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit.
"I loved it," Samantha
says, "When I physically gathered the Elements' energy, I felt powerful and
But even with that power she claimed to experience and although she
loved being a part of this rule-less religion, Samantha felt alone and
"I just eventually realized that I need rules in my life. I need
some sort of structure, some 'being' that I know is always there," she says.
"And I needed that above all else."
With home life not getting any better,
all Samantha wanted was to be loved. When she was 16, she got involved with her
boyfriend, Nate.* However, Nate was not the prince charming Samantha had hoped
Abusive and controlling, he would get whatever it was he wanted from
Samantha with force.
At first, Samantha tried to fight back, but she
tolerated the abuse. All she ever wanted was to be loved.
"I didn't have that
at home or at school or anywhere, and I knew that even though Nate was going to
beat me up when I was with him, I also knew that there would be a period where
he'd apologize and give me flowers and kiss me and tell me he loved me," she
says. "That's all I really wanted."
But life continued to spin out of
As a result of being raped, Samantha developed a detachment when it
came to sexual intimacy, which is not an uncommon side effect for women who are
At first, it was a way for Samantha to try to regain control
when she voluntarily slept with random men.
"I was telling Nate, in not so
many words, 'Screw you, I have control over my life, and I have people who still
want me,'" she says.
But her addiction only escalated as she began to sleep
with men she only met that night and did favors for men thirty years
Her attempt to take back control over her body only caused her to lose
even more control of her life.
Feeling even emptier, Samantha found a new
boyfriend and new escape- drugs. Her new boyfriend, Derek,* was a cocaine addict
who helped her get involved with the drug and alcohol scene by supplying her
with the drugs that he was taking himself.
"My favorite drug was Ecstasy. It
made everything feel better. Every physical touch was amplified by a thousand,"
she says. "It just made everything happy."
Samantha says she turned to drugs
because it helped her forget everything; but, that turned out to be the biggest
problem of all. Not wanting to deal with the problems of her life, Samantha
continued her downward spiral of sex and drugs in hopes of forgetting the life
"It's a scary feeling when you wake up the next morning and hear
stories of what you did the night before and you don't remember any of it," she
says. "Especially when the stuff you did isn't even close to who you are or what
you stand for."
Samantha emancipated herself from her parents when she was
17 and became engaged to her druggie boyfriend, Derek. But when Derek went to
jail on drug charges, she says she felt herself reach another dead end.
says Derek having gone to jail broke her down completely to give her life over
to God. In the past, it was the fear of being viewed as a hypocrite like her
father that kept her from taking the leap of faith.
But as her adult life
began, she realized she had reached the end of her rope, so she began her new
life with Christ, she says.
"I knew what I had to do, and my life was in such
shambles that I knew that if I didn't turn my life over to God, I was going to
get hurt. I was going to get an STD or die in a drunken car crash or overdose or
something like that," she says.
Now a new Christian, Samantha finally found
the love she has been searching for all along. As a result, her relationships
began to change as well. She is now friends with her parents. Her father, rather
than being judgmental, is now a person she can go to when she's
Samantha says she now has the strength to deal with her past. She
recently has been able to come forward about being raped."God has given me the
courage and the strength to come forward and say 'This happened to me. But it is
not who I am,'" she says. "I don't let it define me anymore. I can face it
head-on and am learning to move on."
Samantha is turning her life around as
she is currently getting her GED in the hopes of being able to go to college and
become a counselor for abused women or rape victims.
"I want people to know
that they're not alone in their struggles. I remember feeling so isolated from
people and from God, and that is the worst feeling that you can imagine," she
says. "If I could save one person from staying in an abusive relationship or
turning to drugs and alcohol or being raped, it would be worth every ounce of
pain and humiliation. And, if my life brings one person to God, I would do it
all over again." *Name has been changed to protect the privacy of person.
Please send success and horror stories of your Wiccan experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've read through the article a few times now trying to make sure that I haven't missed anything but am positive I haven't. This poor girls experience has nothing at all to do with her turning to Wicca as a faith path. Her life went to pot when she got an abusive boy friend had she been following rede "Do as thou will, and it harm none," she would have gotten out of the relationship after all it was doing harm to her.
This type of thing happens to woman and man on any faith path. For writer to belittle her experience by tieing it to Wicca is insane there simply isn't any connection