This experience comes into your life intrusively and never invited or planned for. It is totally destructive, like a star being eaten by a black hole where it is dismantled not just down to the atomic level but even the subatomic and were matter is converted to energy and vaporized.
Once we have gone through this portal, you are changed forever. The mirror is a one-way passage. There are three choices on this side. You can be numb on the inside and cloak yourself with normalcy on the outside . . . so at least you can still communicate with the majority who still live on the other side in the hope-yet-betrayed world. That's what most try to do and like the movie, the Invasion of the Body Snatchers you can't tell the real hope-yet-betrayed people from the make-believe zombies.
A second choice is total despondency which can translate into eternal depression and self entombment in isolation or even literal entombment through suicide. This is the minor path, but one soul going into this self-imposed hell is one too many.
The third is where we refuse to allow the pain to go numb, because if it goes numb, we know that we will stop feeling at all and are thus no different than the android. Yet, we try to function and live in a world that makes no sense anymore. This is the great paradox. The first time I noticed this dichotomy was when I was at my most severe state of acute suffering and was invited to a Christian dinner party. The main topic of discussion was whether or not the host should put mother of pearl chips in their paint when they redo their dinning room ceiling. I was smiling on the outside, pretending to listen (I was still flirting with the zombie path at the time) yet on the inside while the voices were ricocheting around me . . . yes mother of pearl or no mother of pearl . . . I was in deep thought planning my own suicide. If I hang myself, and my wife finds my body, would it traumatize her for life? Would it be better to jump off bridge where she would only see me in the morgue or funeral home?" Yes, I was also flirting with the second step at the time. But I eventually, by God's grace, choose the last path.
So it is a strange world in which we must live . . . aliens in a land of Oz. We sit and hear the same ole cliches about if you have a good devotional life, God will bless you and you will be protected from any harm, and you will have perpetual happiness yada . . . yada . . . yada. I know that I always sound cynical at times like this but I'm really not. I am content in my emptiness knowing, like those in Hebrews 11, that our hope is yet realized.
During our recent Mountain Climbing experience, it was a Christian group and there was "ministry" woven in around the strenuous physical efforts of approaching and climbing the big mountain. I loved the people and am eternally grateful that they pulled my tired ass up the mountain. Yet, the times of Bible study were like so many I remember prior to my fall down the rabbit hole, or transformation through the looking glass. I withdraw in solitude. I can't play that game. We are aliens.
Now and then I do run into those who have hoped and have lost. Who have met the Fall of Adam and met it with great intimacy. With those I find a great kind-ship. We are aliens from the same land. It reminds me of the movie The Doctor (1991) where this arrogant asshole doctor suddenly finds himself with probable terminal cancer. His world is shaken and he meets the Fall as an unwelcome friend. He finds himself as an alien in a place where he can no longer relate to even his own wife and certainly not with his old friends and colleagues. But he does meet a young woman who also is dying. With her, they speak the same language and live in a world that is of a different stuff.
I am at least happy that my wife and I have shared the same experiences of loss and in that we have an unwavering kind-ship. Maybe she has taken a different path of coping that I have, maybe the first path . . . I'm not sure.
While I would reverse the acts that pushed me through the glass in a millisecond, they were evil and of the Fall, yet I feel more alive now than ever before. Feeling, even feeling that which hurts, is betting than not feeling at all. An still we share in that great hope that some day, some how, all that is wrong will be righted. That is the true Gospel.
Sorry once again about the typos.