I go into more detail from my profile, but I'll give a cliff notes version.
My mother died when I was 11 years old. Raised in a Baptist family and expected to be Baptist, there wasn't much of anything else to launch at my hate at than Yahweh. I fell into dark corners and sought answers anywhere I could.
I look through Buddhism, Norse Paganism, Greek Reconstructed Paganism, Satanism, Zionism. Some of them affected me, others largely did not, mostly because I was not looking for something to bond with, but to vent my frustration and to also somehow get back at that god.
As soon as I turned 21, I started to drink excessively. I did this out of hate and tried to swallow it all away. I hated my life, my family, my friends, my living situation, everything, including myself. I found myself watching the Bible Series, which was an Evangelical retelling of the bible for television. I found myself vulnerable, in contempt and in pain. I found myself in front of a mirror, believing it to be over, but within the mirror it was revealed to me what and who I was. What I was doing and that I would surely die physically if I kept living in spiritual death. I know this for a fact...I would simply die.
A Christian friend was there, more Christian than most anyway, who knew what happened and nursed me back to health and looking into the word. Over time we had many conflicts of spirit and interest and he acted above and beyond approach, even when our doctrine would outline that he was wrong. A few other things happened, but long story short, I know he was put there to help me back up, but to also teach me who I could not become.
After that, I befriended a group of people who worked in a multicultural, metaphysical gift shop. There we would debate and I slowly started bridging connections between my religion and their's. I was not aware of who she was at the time, but Athena contacted me by burning an image in my mind, a sword striking in the middle of two Vs crossing each other. I found this same symbol in a session of Pathfinder, under the goddess Mayaheine, who was pretty much an exact equivalent to Athena.
I spoke with my friends of this, who at this point became more like teachers and they enlightened me about this reality. They pointed me towards a labyrinth outside of our town that I should offer tribute to the spirits to console them. On the way though, I was pulled to the beach, a sacred place to me, where I came in contact with Poseidon, or rather he had been waiting for me to apologize for past events. With it, he gave me a slap on the wrist, his blessing in the endeavor and had me leave. Unspoken, I have great respect for Poseidon and his waters. Connected to the element of Water myself, as I am a Cancer, I find Poseidon to be a fitting patron for me.
At the labyrinth, the same happened with Athena. Mayaheine was also a visage there, but she was silent and was more coming from Athena, a reminder of how I came there. Athena claimed me, but also told me I could not be a true Christian as I was now. I had experience and seen more than what my own religion would confine. She would be right, as I still look up to Christ and what he has done, but I am also now connected to Athena and Poseidon, and I have experiences since then with other beings.
This is a little more than cliff notes, I realize, but there's a lot left unsaid that doesn't need to be said to get the message.