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Archive for May 14th, 2010

*******trigger warning – ritual and animal abuse*******

At first, most of S’s abuses were when my sister and I were together. However, she would sometimes separate us for our torture sessions. I have no idea where my sister was, but S had me alone in the basement with a new litter of kittens. They were so tiny that their eyes had barely opened. She let me hold one of the kittens and play with it. S then told me to break the kitten’s neck.

Of course, I had no intention of breaking that kitten’s neck, but I also knew what S was capable of. I knew that I had no choice to but to obey, but obeying was so against the grain of who I was, that I simply could not do it. I held that tiny kitten in my hands but could not do it, no matter what S said or how cruelly she taunted me. I was determined that she would not win this battle of wills: she could not force me to take this innocent kitten’s life.

She got in my face. She used all of her tactics, and I was so terrified of her that I could not possibly put it into words. The woman had almost killed me. She had tortured my sister and me. I was frightened to disobey, but I simply could not hurt that kitten. As she continued to badger and berate me, I knew that I had no choice, but I still could not do it. Then, she leaned very close in to my face and said in a stage whisper, “Pretend it’s me,” and I snapped that kitten’s neck as I flooded with rage.

To this day, I am triggered by kittens. Whenever I see one, I think about how fragile they are and how easily their bones can snap. It didn’t occur to me that this was not a normal thought process for a young child, but it was mine … every time.

S did the same thing with my sister, only she used a bird. To this day, my sister is phobic of birds. She fears how breakable they are, and she also fears that they will attack her. She once hid in a closet for 30 minutes as a teenager because a friend’s tame bird was loose in the house. She also went into hysterics whenever my mother told her to go into the henhouse to collect eggs.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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