How Rozell Kept Control: Another Testimony From A Potters Field Survivor, Part 2
We stopped at a 30 foot cliff, where they had stopped on trips in the past, so that if anyone wanted to jump, they could. I didn’t love heights but I had a bunch of friends that said I would regret not doing it, so I climbed up, and after a long hesitation, I had a friend count down and I finally got the courage to jump.
I thought that I slipped, but a friend got a video of it. So I later found out that, unfortunately, my body reacted without me realizing it. It was like my body’s reaction was to step back onto the cliff, which I obviously couldn’t do but that movement sent me shifting backwards while I was falling and I couldn’t straighten out. I was afraid that I would end up hitting my head on the cliff or something so I just closed my eyes tight and prayed that I wouldn’t die. Then SMACK! I hit the water on my back!
That pushed out the most terrifying yelp you’ve ever heard. It was an awful sound that I didn’t even know, at the time, was coming from me. I was in pain everywhere. I couldn’t tell how bad it was yet. Mike and his assistant came over to me on a raft and started telling me to calm down and stop yelling. He asked if I could move my head and legs and arms, and thankfully, I could. This almost wasn’t good news to him because he said the yelp I was making made him think I broke my back. Nothing was wrong that he could see. His reactions from here on out just made it seem like I was being dramatic and attention seeking. He told everyone else that if they hesitated, he wouldn’t let them jump. So embarrassed and in SO much pain, I just continued on the float. When we got to land, I was limping and when we got back to the church, I realized that I had the worst bruises that I had ever seen from my neck all the way down to my butt.
Once I’d gotten home that night, Mike called me for what I thought was to check in on me, but he asked me to gather my roommates (which included my little sister who was in town visiting) and house leaders and put him on speakerphone. He began to rebuke me for my reaction when I hit the water. He rebuked me for my hesitation before jumping. He rebuked me for crying out because the way it echoed and worried everyone. He manipulated it into a spiritual rebuke of my pride and attention seeking behavior. He told me how I needed to think about my reactions in the future. I was so confused. I wasn’t seeking attention, this was a subconscious reaction that I couldn’t control! This sent me into a spiral because I took everything Mike said to me so seriously. I was always made to feel like he truly heard from God and I might think I heard from God, but he always told us if it was really the Lord or not. He always reminded us how much longer he had been walking with the Lord and how much more experience and wisdom he had. So this isn’t something that I could see but maybe I was in denial of my attention seeking behavior. Long story long, I’ve healed enough now to recognize this and many other patterns of manipulation for what they are.
Through this scenario and others, I was broken down and made to not trust myself. I could trust only what was told to me by Mike or confirmed as truth by him. This is wrong.