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Archive for February 11th, 2009

Skull (c) Lynda Bernhardt

This blog entry will likely only be healing to me, but I need to get this out. Although I endured an unbelievable amount of trauma throughout my childhood (and some into adulthood), none of the memories has haunted me like this one.

I am feeling driven to face this memory once and for all so I can heal from it. I deserve to be freed from it. I have mentioned it in passing, but I do not believe that I have ever told anyone the full story about that night. I am going to do that now because I need to in order to heal. I have always needed to give my trauma a voice, and that is what I am doing now.

++++ animal abuse & ritual abuse triggers ++++

When I was around six years old, our dog had puppies. I fell in love with H and begged my parents to keep her. They eventually relented, and I was inseparable from H.

I think H was only about 18 months old on the most traumatizing night of my life. My most sadistic abusers, S & L, invited my younger sister and me to go on an overnight camping trip. They offered to let me take H along and sleep with her under the stars. It sounded great.

I remember camping out by a mobile home. I remember eating fish and playing with H.

Then, I am back in that horrible place in the dark around the bonfire. People are milling about before the “ceremony” begins.

The cult leader tells me that this is a special night – they will be “sacrificing” my sister. Of course, I panic, but there is nothing that I can do. They have already snuffed out any trace of emotion from me, but my soul bleeds at the news.

They tell me that I can choose a replacement for her, but I will be responsible for the death of the replacement. I say, “Yes. Anyone but my sister.” They make a big deal about me being the one to choose the replacement.

I am so relieved that my sister will not be the one “sacrificed” until I hear H’s whines. Three or four robed people are dragging my beloved dog toward the bonfire, and she is putting up quite a struggle. They are having to drag her to get into my line of vision. They want me to watch … and I do as they slit her throat with a knife.

Her body stops moving instantly, and then they plunge the knife back into her, making a “cross” as they cut her long ways down her torso. Blood is pouring from my beloved dog, and I can do nothing. I cannot cry. I cannot scream. I can do nothing except feel the weight of being the one to “choose” her death. She was one of two beings in my life who truly loved me, and they took her from me.

They throw her body on the fire, and I smell her burning flesh. They scoop up her feces and smear it all over my body – my face, my hands … everywhere. It is still warm — she expelled it as she fought for her life.

Then, they carve out part of her burned flesh and force me to eat it. I have no choice. I “ chose” this. This was my doing.

I turn over to the side and vomit, tasting my bile filled with fish from my dinner a few hours earlier. To this day, I cannot eat fish. It triggers me enormously, as does coming into contact with dog feces.

++++ end triggers ++++

As an adult, I know that it was not my fault. This was all “drama” to drive home the point that they had the power to kill my sister if I ever told … and I never did until adulthood. Even now, I tell through a pen name and use initials rather than names.

At least I can cry now. It feels very good to shed the tears that I have held back for over three decades. The last time I tried to cry over this, it took me thirty minutes to work up one single tear, but the release was enormous. Today, I have tears streaming down my face. They have been a long time in coming.

I honor H for her love and her sacrifice. I forgive myself for “choosing” her death. I give myself the gift of releasing the pain and the screams that I have held back for over thirty years. I am grateful for the love that this dog gave me, and know that she forgives me. At least her passing was quick.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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