This weekend has been incredibly hard. I’ve been smiley because in the ‘safe’ world, a lot of good is happening – I got my results on Friday and learned that finally after three years, I have passed a year at university first time. I have passed first year. Finally I feel like I’m winning. We also did an incredible concert last weekend and I’m still on a high from that, and it’s finally feeling like summer here, and the sunshine does wonders for my mood.
But nonetheless, this weekend has been hard. For me, and many, it’s two horrible dates very close together. I mean, the dates differ somewhat depending on the ring/cult and what they worship/stand for, but even so I know this weekend has been hard for many, and I’ve already spoken to some survivor friends who are struggling this weekend.
Today is father’s day. Last year I wrote a blog post about how society needs to consider, and make space for, the fact that father’s day is actually a traumatic day in itself for many, such as abused children. For those interested, here is last year’s blog post on father’s day (https://fightingtheabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/fathers-day-some-survivors-need-support/).
I woke up this morning feeling sick and terrified, and instantly in tears. I curled up, pulled my duvet over my head, and lay there…trembling, waiting for ‘it’ to begin. It took me a good while for my brain to fully consciously kick in with rational logic – I’m away from all that now. I won’t be anyone’s sex slave all day, having to give in to their twisted desires because I ‘owe’ them. I won’t be forced to witness or take part in some ritual to celebrate our father’s. I won’t be hurt. I won’t be tortured. Slowly I coaxed myself out of bed, and came downstairs, and turned my laptop on. I gagged. Everywhere are reminders that it’s fathers day. Everywhere. And quite rightly too – I do realise that for the majority of society, today is a day of celebration and family time. On some level I guess it feels like a stab to the heart, a sharp reminder of what I don’t have, and what I will never have. On days like today it’s hard to feel like anything other than an orphan. An elective orphan – I cut them all off, I’m no longer a part of that family, but then…were they ever a family in the first place?
But mostly it’s just super triggering and frightening. Most of my little alters are close to hysterical, certain ‘daddy’ or ‘grandad’ will appear at any moment and take us somewhere. We’re all on edge in case there’s some programming we don’t know about – I’ve already heard from two survivors who have been smacked in the face with programming today and are overwhelmed. My head feels foggy, I feel dizzy and my skin feels clammy. I have a busy day planned – deliberately – but really I’d like nothing more than to hide under a blanket, in a tent, in the middle of nowhere….completely safe in my own private cocoon, where nobody – friend or otherwise – can find me or invade my personal space.
I also ache. My body is going through memory recovery lately (see post on embodied trauma – https://fightingtheabuse.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/embodied-trauma/) and today my whole pelvic area throbs. It aches and feels like a fist inside is twisting everything up. My back aches and my wrists feel sore and raw, as though they’ve been tied up with cable ties for too long and care cutting into me. Now at least I can rub my wrists and soothe my body, where I couldn’t at the time this hideous abuse was happening. But even so. I’m struggling. Everything in me feels overwhelmed.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Friday was an horrendously bad day. Not only was it Friday 13th, but it was also a full moon. Now, to those in the ‘safe’ world where Friday 13th and full moon are a superstitious joke seen only on werewolf horror movies, you’ve probably just read that sentence and sniggered or frowned and are thinking ‘seriously? Why would that scare you?!’ Please let me explain. Ritual abuse are rings made of mostly satanic cults, but nonetheless cults. Mine wasn’t so much satanic (worshipping the devil – although there was certainly a large element of this) but did strongly worship ritual dates, states, and happenings…they took paganism, and twisted it into something evil. (I have no problem with wiccan or pagan beliefs. I have a problem with them being used in a sick way). So to the abusers, of several rings, the coincidence of Friday 13th and a full moon is a ‘spectacular’ event. An event for worshipping and ‘celebration’. By this, I mean a night of horror, for too many children in various rings. Sacrifice and rituals, torture and chants. I was safe on Friday and kept my head together, but lay in bed at night shaking. A large part of me felt guilty for being safe at all, for not being with the children and holding their hand. I knew across the country (and indeed globe) horrific rituals would be happening, but I didn’t know where or at what time, or how many. There was nothing I could do but lie there and grieve for them, and be terrified. I was scared of programming – scared I’d suddenly leave the house without any recollection. I was scared they’d appear and try to take me. I felt guilty of that fear. One of my littles came out and cried to two of our dear friends, explaining the date and moon, and that she was scared and upset.
It’s a war. And that night was a battle. And we lay in bed wondering if some of our old friends from years ago would be hurt, or were they safe too, or had they been lost years ago? We’ll never know. PTSD did it’s lovely thing when I’m too triggered or on edge. I could taste the smoke. I could see the children’s eyes – the flames flickering and dancing in their blank, or terrified, eyes. I could smell their fear and also their courage. I felt a child’s tight grip on my hand – our tight grips saying ‘I’m scared too. But be brave. We’re in this together.’ I could hear the occasional whimper from a younger one who hadn’t yet learned how to prevent tears. The older ones – from the age of 5, ish – had learned that crying fixed nothing, irritated the abusers, and left us weaker. We needed to be strong and brave. It has taken a lot for me to grow used to feeling safe when I cry, and even now it scares me on some level.
As I eventually drifted off into a restless sleep, I could hear the choked screams, the chants from the man in cloaks. I could feel my little knees curled up under my chin as I nervously waited – would it be my turn or not this time? I had fallen into a nightmare, of a ritual night years ago where I was still in the cult and still taken to these hideous events. I stared into the flames, and then later stared into the eyes of the sheep chained to the table and bleating desperately. And all I could think, in my traumatised and dissociated state, was ‘silly sheep, your eyes are the wrong way round.’ The sheep’s eyes were full of fear, but the pupils were obviously horizontal, and focussing on that got me through the next horror. I fell asleep on Friday night tasting the blood, feeling a child gripping my hand, and feeling my own choked and silent screams trapped in my throat as I was chained up and made to witness an horrific ritual.
And I woke on Saturday morning crying, knowing that whilst for me the nightmare was a memory of years ago….for some innocent little ones, that nightmare would have been a close reality for them just the night before.
I know I wasn’t alone as a terrified survivor, and I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from other survivors and also my friends. I battled between guilt at my safety, to cold terror. I spent Saturday trying to get my head clear again, and now today is Father’s day.
I am a wobbly, foggy, dazed mess inside. Please God get this weekend over. Not that next weekend is much better… 😦
Thinking of all victims and survivors over this terrible weekend. Heartbroken at the thought of how many tears and hearts lost, all over a silly date and silly moon. Hoping somehow that they will have known that someone was thinking of them, wherever they were. Ritual abuse is a horror. A war. A horror. It’s sick.
Victims, you can get out, I promise. Keep fighting. Hang in there.
Survivors, you had a right to survive. Please don’t tear yourself apart that you were safe. I know that’s hard – I feel like crap. But the rest need survivors to show them the way out…. I didn’t know where these events were taking place, I couldn’t even have guessed, there was nothing I could do and it’s a whole world. It won’t end overnight. Us survivors need to keep shouting, and keep surviving. Stay strong.
Take gentle care everyone, over this triggering and dangerous period….