I have been working on recovering a memory for a while, and I finally got enough of it to blog about. I am still reeling from it (writing this the morning after), so I am just going to write the memory. I haven’t had time to process it yet.
A few nights ago, I “saw” myself standing in the woods. It was this time of year – most of the leaves had fallen from the trees, but the leaves on the ground were still fairly fresh. It was during the daytime, and I saw the people in black hooded robes walking toward me. They were scattered, coming from different directions as if none of them were together and just randomly happened to be walking toward me in the woods. I rarely have memories of the ritual abuse happening during the day, which was disconcerting.
That’s as far as I got the other night. Then, last night (I am writing this on Monday morning), my head started hurting really badly like it does when I have a memory coming. I saw that one hooded figure was carrying a body – a limp body with the hair hanging down toward the ground. The body wasn’t held in a loving way like when you cradle a hurt child. It was held out to be dramatic – “Look! See! This child is dead.”
I tried to absorb seeing a “dead” body when the next wave of the flashback came – that body was of my baby sister. At this point, I experienced internal conflict. The adult me knows that my sister is alive today, but the child me believed her baby sister was dead. I had to reconcile the internal conflict by validating the horror of seeing my sister dead while, at the same time, reassuring myself that she is alive today.
Then, the next wave came – They were carrying her to me because I had “killed” her. That piece is just in flashes with the adult me filling in the blanks. They forced me to smother her with something (a rag?? a pillow??) laced with chloroform or equivalent. I was very gentle because I didn’t want to smother her, but the substance knocked her out, and I believed she was dead from me smothering her.
Then, back to the woods … They were carrying her body there for me to bury. I couldn’t handle any more and shut it down. I tossed and turned for hours, unable to sleep. I am exhausted this morning, and my head really hurts.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt