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Archive for May, 2010

*******trigger warning – emotional, ritual, & physical abuse*******

Most of my memories of ritual abuse happened during the night, so this flashback surprised me by taking place in the daytime. My sister and I had to work together to piece it all together to make sense of what happened. We both had the same basic memory – of the child falling – but we had to combine our memory fragments to piece together the how. We have different opinions of the truth of what happened that day.

A group of ritual abusers took us out in the woods during the day, which was unusual. We came to a clearing and stood in a group – the abusers with my sister and me – and watched a toddler walk around on a deer stand. The deer stand was high enough up to hurt the toddler if she fell, and it did not have guard rails on the sides (sort of like this one).

There was no adult there to protect the toddler. She looked new to walking and was unsteady on her feet. She toddled this way and that, and I was terrified about what would happen if she fell off. One of the abusers whispered in my ear in a sing-songy voice, “Hey, [child’s name]. Where’s your dolly?”

Eventually, the toddler lost her balance and fell off the deer stand. My sister says she remembers watching her body fall to the ground and thinking, “Hmmm. I thought it would bounce.” She believes the toddler died and that we witnessed a murder. I choose to believe that there was some sort of cushion that prevented the toddler from dying, but I do not remember the toddler making any noise, such as crying after the fall.

I have been haunted by nightmares of falling my entire life, especially of my son falling from a great height. I hear that people never hit the ground when they fall in their dreams, but I do – both my son and I hit the ground in my dreams. I do not like sitting on balconies, and I am fearful whenever my son is anywhere near any sort of ledge, such as a hotel balcony.

My sister has been haunted by the sound of the toddler’s body hitting the ground – thump. She hears is over and over in her head, followed by the thought of, “Hmmm. I thought it would bounce.”

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Photo credit: Hekatekris

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*******trigger warning – confinement and emotional abuses*******

My abusers would sometimes bury me alive. I don’t know why other than to freak me out. I cannot fathom what purpose burying someone alive has other than to be cruel. Those memories are more flashes than anything else.

I did recover one “after” memory of digging myself out and then finding my mother talking to S & L (my most sadistic abusers). I remember her making a crack about how dirty I was. I was a little girl who just wanted to watch TV or read a book. It was very unusual for me to get dirty at all, so my mother’s flip comment about being “dirty” was very upsetting to me.

They would put some sort of tube in my mouth so I could breathe, and then they would heap dirt on me. I feared what would happen if they put something in the tube because then I would not be able to breathe.

To this day, I hate to get my hands dirty. I hate gardening, and I let people think it is because I am too much of a “princess” to get dirt in my fingernails. The truth is that any type of dirt in my fingernails really wigs me out. What’s even worse is dirt inside of my nails, such as when your nail separates, and then dirt gets stuck between the two parts. Seeing any split in my nails sends me over the edge. I have to cut my nails off before I let my nails split like that.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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*******trigger warning – ritual abuse and confinement *******

My abusers used to lock me in a large plywood box for long periods of time. I have no idea why other than to freak me out. My memories of this are sketchy, but I definitely have flashes of being locked in the box alone and then sometimes with objects to freak me out, such as with a Russian nesting doll.

I have flashes of lying still and hearing every single noise. Of course, it was dark in the box, so my hearing was my strongest sense. I would hear every little noise, including the sound of my own breathing, which sounded incredibly loud. I could also hear/feel my heart beating so fast.

S & L (my most sadistic abusers) gave my sister and me one of these boxes as a “gift” to use as a toy box in our basement. My parents thought it was a splendid idea. We could fit a bunch of our toys in the box, including two child-sized chairs. The plywood box had a latch on it that could have locked us in, even without a lock being used. I cannot fathom parents believing such a box was child-friendly, but my parents were hardly clued into what was safe or unsafe for their children.

To this day, I must have white noise going at all times (air purifier, fan, music, etc.), or I feel like I am going to lose my mind. I find it very triggering to be in an environment of complete silence other than the simple noises I might make by a slight shift of my body.

I am also claustrophobic. I have a hard time climbing in the “tubes” at a play land, so I was thrilled when my son became old enough to navigate play land tubes by himself.

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Photo credit: Hekatekris

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*******trigger warning – animal abuse and emotional abuse*******

I have already written about this memory here. I am reprinting the story here. This was one of my most traumatizing memories, so I see no need to put myself through telling the story all over again.

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.

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Photo credit: Hekatekris

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I have already shared the two events that caused my inner child, “Annie,” to go to sleep. You can read about them here and here.  Both stories are very triggering.

After Annie went to sleep, I woke up, and I did not know who I was. I just knew that I was not Annie, and it bothered me to no end that people kept calling me Annie. I hated Annie and everything about her, including her name. I did not want to be called Annie any longer. However, I did not know who “I” was.

I now recognize that my new self-perception was through a newly created “host personality” who had not yet been named. I had a multiple system in place to drive me through my day, but this nameless part of myself was very confused. I had to take a standardized test at school, and I was told to write my “full name.” That was when the host personality first learned that my full name was “Faye Anne Allen.” “Annie” was just a nickname. I decided that, from that moment on, I would be called Faye, and I refused to respond to any other name.

The weirdest thing was that there was not one part of myself that related to the name “Annie.” It wasn’t like I had to retrain myself to embrace this new name. There was not one ounce of Faye that felt like an Annie.

As you can imagine, announcing my refusal to respond to the name Annie did not go over well with my second grade teacher in the middle of the school year. She did eventually relent because I was simply that stubborn. My mother’s name is also “Faye,” so my father flat refused to call me that. I succeeded in getting everyone in my life other than my father and his parents to call me Faye instead of Annie, and I cringed whenever my father would call me that vile name.

When I became a multiple, I endured numerous severe headaches. I complained about them so frequently, both at school and at home, that my parents took me to a doctor. The doctor could find nothing wrong with me. He referred me to an allergist. I was tested for numerous allergens in my back, but I was completely allergy-free. The doctor’s diagnosis was that these were “stress headaches,” and all of the adults in my life seemed completely okay with the fact that a seven-year-old child was having multiple severe “stress headaches.”

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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*******trigger warning – sexual & ritual abuse*******

My decision to split myself into dissociative identity disorder (DID) happened because of two life events. I already blogged about the first one here. The second one involved my father.

Let me preface this story by saying that I do believe that my father was a victim here, although I did not know this as a child when I chose for my inner child to “check out” permanently. This event involving my father was extremely traumatizing, but I do not blame him for it.

My sister and I were at our usual tables around the bonfire when the leader announced that they had a new initiate, and he said my father’s name. My father was dressed in a white robe and blindfolded. I believe that he had drunk alcohol and that my abusers also slipped drugs into his drink.

They walked my father over to me and forced me to give him a “hand job.” They then walked him over to my sister, who was only 4 or 5, and my father had intercourse with her. Our abusers took pictures of this. My father was blindfolded, so in the moment, I truly believe he did not know that he was raping his own child. If he was truly drunk and high, he likely believed it was consensual (albeit kinky) sex with a consenting adult.

My sister and I have the same memories of this night. It was traumatizing for me, and I can only imagine how much more traumatizing it was for her. That was the moment, in combination with the other one I already shared, in which my inner child, “Annie,” went to sleep, and she did not awaken until after a lot of therapy in my thirties.

While my sister and I both recovered the same memory of that night in flashback form, we have both always remembered the following: Our father used to drink cocktails and such socially and for business. After that night, the man never drank a drop of alcohol again. My sister was terrified of our father, and nobody could understand why. She was cry whenever he came anywhere near her. Our mother would show her pictures of her smiling on a slide with our father to remind her that she loves her dad. It took my sister a long time to stop freaking out whenever he approached her.

My sister believes that the reason the cult had access to us as long as they did was because of those pictures. She believes that the photos were used to blackmail my father into keeping his mouth shut. He died from a heart attack at age 43, and she believes that the stress of that night is what killed him.

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Photo credit: Hekatekris

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*******trigger warning – sexual abuse*******

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I went through a very difficult time last Spring (of 2009). The reason for this was my struggle in recovering the memory of the first vaginal rape. Being vaginally raped was my deepest trauma and the truth I ran from the most. I thought recovering the memory was going to kill me. I got very sick for several weeks with bronchitis and the early stages of pneumonia.

Up until this point, all of my abuses took place outside of my body. I did not appreciate that I had an orifice that could be penetrated or that a grown man could insert a part of his body into mine so that I was harmed inside of myself. I was only 6 or 7 – I did not have the first idea about intercourse. I didn’t really appreciate what was being done to my sister when she was raped in my presence because I was not directly next to her, and it was dark other than the firelight.

Here is what I remember … Instead of stripping naked and going to my table, I was invited into the cabin with my sister. We were both wearing sheer nightgowns that anyone could see through. I felt uncomfortable because men were drinking alcohol and watching me. I had no idea what it meant. I believe that my virginity was auctioned off that night. I was paraded around in a sheer nightgown like a prize cow, and men bid on who got to “deflower” the little kid.

What I do remember is that I was brought to a room with a large bed on it. I was told to lie down in my nightgown on my back and wait. A man came in the room, and he raped me. I had no idea what was coming. I did not know that level of pain could happen in that part of your body. I did not understand the mixture of fluids – blood and semen – flowing between my legs after the rape. Nobody talked to me about what was going to happen or what it all meant.

I remember curling up in the bathtub, feeling so much pain and violation and wanting to die. I did not want to exist any longer. I believe this was the moment that I become a multiple with a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (DID). “Annie” (the name I have created to represent my child part) no longer wanted to exist, so she went to sleep inside of me.

On the heels of this event, I experienced a second betrayal that sealed the deal, and Annie was gone for decades, leaving the rest of my soul scrambling to figure out how to exist with no inner child.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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