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.”
Photo credit: Hekatekris