My oldest son was a sensitive little boy. He was shy and did not make friends easily. When the family broke up and I had to take all four kids away to live in a small travel trailer, he decided that he would be better off living in a large house with swimming pool and depend on his teen aged sisters to take care of him. Three out of four went back to their dear old Dad.
He was so lonely back at the house that he continuously went to the neighbors house for company. Those neighbors were Catholic, and took him along to church when he was about nine or ten. There was a very nice visiting brother who talked him into being baptized.
His rich aunt and uncle came, they threw a big party even though his Dad was not a church member of anything, and high hopes were pinned on the new recruit.
Then the visiting brother, having made his quota, moved on, or was transferred to cover up some transgressions.
Then the poor lonely boy dropped out of church attendance and went back to shyness and isolation.
During that time his dear old Dad only went to one Father and Son event which was slot car racing.
The weekends were devoted to drinking and recovering from drinking, not spending time with his children.
One Halloween they kind of ran wild, with the girls climbing out of their bedroom window onto the roof. I think the nice Catholic neighbor may have called the cops.
In high school, my boy had one friend, a sort of difficult teen girl who had been placed in foster care because of family fights.
After high school, my boy went to many churches trying to find the slot where he felt comfortable, and would get him into a relationship with a girl.
Since he struck out on the girl issue he kept on moving around to one church after another.
The Reformed Tabernacle seemed to have a good youth program, and he appeared in an Easter pageant at the church, which was a full on Broadway type play using live animals. I never will forget that I was on the aisle seat when a very large horse came trotting in bearing a Roman centurion armed to the teeth with sword and spear.
Despite the involvement with the youth group and regular attendance, he never quite connected with the woman that he swore that god had chosen to be his wife. When he got rejected with his arms full of roses, he went into a death spiral of depression and religious fanaticism. His behavior at the job earned him a reprimand and orders to seek psychiatric help. Disregarding those orders, he was terminated.
He never took any of his meds, and when all he could find was a minimum wage job assembling computer components after spending seven years in the Mechanical Engineering field, he hit rock bottom.
His journal showed that he was in pain, and only waiting for his life to end.
Jumping off the high bridge was successful and ended his pain. Then ours began.
The pastor of his church tried to explain to him that god does not have anything to do with the mating habits of mankind, and providing a girlfriend to disillusioned young men was not god’s job.
He went to the highest bridge around and was caught parking there, so went into the hospital.
The doctor’s recommendation was to have him take antidepressants. My boy thought that god wanted him to die, and claimed god hated him for his sins.
We never found out what those sins were.