Immersion or baptism

Melissa Ann Howell Schier
9 min readNov 16, 2022

In this dream, tonight, I was a lion, walking in the evening, through a “field” of “Stars”…a place that looked like Van Gogh’s The starry night. The sky was blue and the stars left trails of light behind them in circular patterns. The patterns got bigger and bigger as I walked through the soft grass in the dark, my feet padded, it was beautiful, just like the painting.

As the night, seemed to evolve into day, and the scene became one of daylight, in front of me, I could see a patch of sunflowers, also like Van Gogh’s painting of sunflowers. As I left the darkness behind to approach the light of the sunflowers, I heard a shout and there was like a ripple in the darkness behind me where I had already been.
I turned my head to look around and I saw the place I was in before, and it was not the starry night, it was just a room, and the stars were just projectors, and the grass was just a simulation. The shout was coming from two people, throwing paint in the air and claiming that it is hurting nothing, because it was a “simulation”. The place I had been in was NOT real, but the people throwing paint, THEY were real.
In my dream I was mentally arguing with what I was seeing because I had read that it was the sunflowers where the paint was thrown. But in my dream, I looked back, and even a third person was throwing paint on the floor in a blank museum room. Because, I realize, there is no painting of Van Gogh of The starry night, because it was just an “immersion” experience, one that has been traveling around and that goes with the Van Gogh “experience”, that is “not real”.

As I think of this and keep walking, in my dream, ahead of me I can still see the sunflowers. I tell myself, they are real. They were painted by Van Gogh. I know this because my dad had that same painting on the wall in our home growing up. I recognize it.

I ignore the people back there behind me, throwing paint, and I keep going. But I realize I am now, not on all fours, I am now a lion like the lion in the wizard of Oz…I am walking upright and the “fur” is a costume. As I approach the sunflowers, I realize that the scene is no longer three dimensional, it is flat or two dimensional and I realize that the painting is just projected on the wall in front of me, it is not real. There are people here too, with cans of paint and they THROW it and it hits me in the face…and I wake up from the dream.

So I sit in the dark, and it is now midnight, and I am now wide awake and not dreaming, I am trying to understand this dream. I have just gotten back, the day before this dream, from visiting a beloved family member who believes themself to be trans. When this person was very young, they loved to pretend to be a kitty cat.

They loved animals so much that they wanted to be one. Then sometime in middle school, the fascination turned away from cats to wolves. There are hundreds of drawings of wolves by this precious child, who, along with friends, pretended to be a wolf in an online community for many months. They even learned how to draw and create “dreams” online to make the “experience” feel “immersive”. This person got married, but did not seem happy.

And then, one day, about four years ago, I was asked to go along to meetings of those who, in Austin, believed themselves to be Trans. No more Kitty cat, or wolf, now a human being but still, they believed themself not to be the real person they were born to be.

There were several meetings by different groups, that I went to, over the next few months, at the request of my loved child, but what I remember best was that first meeting, held at a church, and there were at least twenty participants, including the parents of a ten year old child, who, along with friends at school, was convinced of being trans.

Everyone, more than twenty of us, sat in a big circle. I was fascinated by the painstaking attention to detail in the body presentation of some men, wanting to look female, and some women, wanting to look male. It was incredible. But I was listening to them talk. And as I watched and listened, I heard over and over, stories of self loathing, and pain and grief pour out of these individuals. It was heartbreaking to hear.

I realized, with my dream, that these people, have “put themselves” heart and soul, into an “immersion experience” called the trans lifestyle, in order to “escape” the pain they were feeling. It made me want to cry for them. We all have experienced an “immersion” or diversion from reality…some use gaming, some use movies, some use drugs, some use theater or music. But most people know what is real and what is pretend. Some apparently do not.

When it was my turn to talk, I remember I was able to verbalize my concern for these people, especially parents of children, who were putting so much emphasis on gender, instead of giving children reasons to be happy and feel accomplished about something, either sports, or art or music or writing or reading. I felt they were being misled, and I said so. A person has to accept who they are first, in order to then move forward and make something of their abilities and talents.

I also realized that the people in my dream, who were throwing paint, seemed somehow “aware” of the existence of the “immersion experience”, and were trying to “throw reality” into “play” and for that I am grateful. It would be unconscionable to leave parts of society in an immersion experience, about “trans” or “gay” or “climate change” without a way out, even if it WERE a valid “experiment”.

The people throwing paint, kept saying that they were not hurting the “painting” because what was “dangerous” was “climate change”, but to me, the opposite was happening. What was dangerous was that the simulation had been so effective, it was believed to be reality and had incapacitated a segment of an innocent population. The activists for climate, must have also had some conscientious objectors to their “sim”.

What is dangerous, is convincing society, using social media, and an online presence, and virtual reality, or simulations, that trans is a “safe” immersion experience that can be “relied upon” to bring satisfaction. BUT, my dream told me that THE IMMERSION EXPERIENCE IS NOT REAL.

These people are real, and their needs are real, and their pain is real, but Trans is not real. The temporary solution of an immersion experience that is “bait”, once swallowed, will not pull them “out of the water”. When they realize that none of it is real or truth, this elaborate “immersion experience” will dissolve, and families of these deceived individuals, will be left to love, and pick up the pieces.

This “belief” in the reality of something that is not real, has cost marriages, medical expenses, drugs and family relationships.

Recently, even in my family, this has even turned to “climate change” and I was told, by my loved family member in Austin, that the car “needed to go”. This person is an artist, and I reminded them how it is not possible to get where you need to go without a car.

And then, just like that, a few weeks later, the car, one that is hybrid and has a battery, died and needed a new battery. It was six thousand dollars and was on back order. For a while this individual used uber, until the realization hit that the cost of uber was more than the cost of the salary.
Then I was asked to bring up my car for the three weeks until the battery was supposed to arrive and to loan the money for the battery.

You choose to not drive a car, and then what? You take an uber, and then what? You run out of money and then what? You cannot pay your bills and then what? You worried so much about climate change, that you wanted to eliminate your car, and yet THAT was the one thing that helped you stay “afloat” in this “immersion experience” you are believing.

Here is what is real…The REALITY is, that moderate positive changes are useful and good to consider, to help resolve climate concerns, but becoming paralyzed by fear of some distant threat, made real in an immersion experience, does no one any good at the end of the day.

I was there to deliver leases to the tenants of our house in Austin, so that our loved one and roommates, will have a place to live that they can afford. The neighbor was outside and wanted to say hello and asked me if I was delivering groceries and I said yes…because I was not invited to the “friendsgiving” they were having this year, but I brought bags of food, anyway, kept cool in padded insulated bags, as a gift.

The neighbor could not believe I drove all the way from Houston to do this. He told me his sisters daughter, has also been fearful about climate change, so much so that she could not accept packages, because she felt like it was wasting “paper”.

So she is housebound and afraid to go out of the house, and works from home, refusing to order any supplies, because to receive them in the mail requires packaging, which she is worried about, because of climate change. The neighbor told me that her fear had become so irrational that it has immobilized her. He said that she was currently in counseling to “unravel” the fear mongering from the truth, to help her discriminate truth from all the lies she has been taught to believe.

He said that he believes in trying to make a difference, and I know politically he is more of a liberal, but he said that at the end of the day, he needs his vehicles and similarly, his niece needs to understand the need for packaging. He said, If I get rid of my cars, how am I going to take care of my wife and kid…AND THEN WHAT? Exactly. He is not swallowing the bait. He is not IN the “immersion experience”. But my loved one, the artist, still is….

But as I ponder this dream I had, I am grateful for the stories I have read about these “paint throwers” because it was them, in my dream, real people, from whom I felt the reality of the paint on my face. It broke the mesmerism of the “dream” of the immersion experience, called “Trans, or Gay or Lesbian or climate change”.

Turning away from REAL life, to a lifetime within a simulation or an “immersion experience” like the “Van Gogh exhibit” that has been traveling around, is not the answer to “the pain” people are experiencing, because eventually we all see the simulation for what it is.

And when the projectors are gone, what is left is just an empty room.
The answer, for me, to the pain, has been to turn to God. And I am not being Cliche. With my heart and soul, that is what has turned my own life around when I was so sad and upset about so many things, and what has given me hope, peace and freedom and forgiveness.

God is there, God is Real, And God gave me this dream so I could help this person that I love. I chose Baptism or renewal of Faith in God as my solution to pain over immersion. I hope it helps. Thank you to those people who are worried about Climate change…I hear you, but so does God.



Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.