It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. One minute your teenage child is the sullen, misanthropic jerk who hates everything about you that you’ve come to tolerate, and the next: they’re a wide-eyed, alert and happy God-freak; spewing nauseating positivity all over the place.
There are no real answers for why this happens to teenagers (and their parents), year after year, but that doesn’t stop traumatized parents from asking these same three questions. Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently? What the fuck?!
If you do find yourself asking these questions, it’s likely too late. Sorry. There’s really nothing you can do except hope that logic somehow divinely intervenes and slaps this make-believe, pretend dumbness from their gullible brain. There are, however, loads of warning signs to look for if you think your teen is headed down this scary yet inane path.
THE WARNING SIGNS. KNOW THEM!!
#1: A growing disinterest in activities that once were very important and fulfilling.
This is probably the surest sign that your teen is playing a very dangerous game. Let’s say, for example, that your teenage son’s interest in Grand Theft Auto is suddenly replaced with a weird yearning to understand Issac, the miracle son of Abraham. Or your daughter’s natural urge for making small, harmless fires is all of a sudden supplanted by acts of tithing. Where did this behavior come from? And why now? We just don’t know the answer to this question, but you can be sure that once your child’s all-American, red-blooded activities fall entirely by the wayside, things have reached a very dark place.
#2: Old, lifelong friends replaced with new, creepy ones.
What ever happened to Andy, your 16-year-old son’s red-headed friend from down the street who so enjoyed making pipe bombs and pelting elderly neighborhood residents with clumps of wet sod? What’s that? He’s been replaced with a polite, buttoned-up do-gooder who looks like a Hitler Youth? I think we all know what just happened here.
#3 The physical and mental change.
Parents suffering through The God Ordeal, as most refer to it, find this one the most difficult to take. Seeing your child, right before your eyes, shed the carefully-curated look of disinterest, disgust, and gloom for one of searing enlightenment and boundless happiness leaves many parents feeling almost as if their child has been possessed by God himself. Not surprisingly, this shocking combination of a scrubbed, unsullied outward appearance coupled with an almost palpable inner-glow has made many parents consider (and in some case reach out to), God exorcists in a last-ditch effort. To date, over 240 of these exorcisms have been performed in 2015 alone. And judging by the army of bible-toting, khaki–clad God-wads roaming our schools, that number will only rise.