I wrote about the first part of the memory here . The next part of the story is truly ghastly.
The hooded figures placed my sister’s “dead” body into a large box. Both my sister and I have always remembered this box. S&L, my most sadistic abusers, gave my parents the box for us to use as a toy chest, and the box always freaked both of us out. (Now I know why.)
The box was HUGE! We could fit two chairs inside of it along with a ton of toys. It was made out of plywood, and it had a lid that was attached with hinges on the back. On the front was a latch screwed in tightly that my parents never thought to remove. They just told us not to climb into the box because, if the lid closed accidentally, we could be locked in if the latched caught.
The hooded figures placed my sister’s “dead” body into the box and then told me to climb inside with her. Obviously, since my sister is alive today, she was not “dead,” but I did not know this. I was just a little kid – younger than my son is now – and I was forced to get into a box with my dead sister that I had just been forced to kill.
The hooded figures closed the lid and latched it, leaving me in the dark. Then, they buried me alive with my dead sister.
From the adult perspective, I seriously doubt they buried us. This was a HUGE plywood box with two children inside, so it would have been heavy, and they would have had to dig a huge (and I mean HUGE) hole in order to bury it. This happened during the daytime, so they probably threw a tarp or blanket over it to make it dark inside and then scooped a few piles of dirt on it to make me think I was underground. I was an extremely traumatized little kid, so I wasn’t exactly thinking through the details.
They left me in the dark for a long time. There was no air circulation, although the plywood was not flush, so I wasn’t at risk for suffocating.
When you are enclosed in a tight place with no airflow for a while, it gets hot. You also hear every single noise – the sound of every breath and every movement. To this day, I must have some sort of background noise going – music, a white noise machine, a fan … SOMETHING!I get triggered by complete silence.
I shared a free-writing exercise I did several years ago. I think this memory is the “box” part, but I still don’t know what the “thrice” is unless it is the triple betrayal of daddy, bonfire, and box. LS = little sister. I have excerpted just the parts pertaining to the box:
*** trigger warning ***
Box. Thrice. Box. Thrice.
Box. Children in a box. Box locked up. Children suffocating. Children die. Children. Box. Box. Box.
Box dark cold scared
Fit in box children fit in box both fit in both latch lock latch lock locked in suffocating hot no air no air hot musty scared locked in box locked in box locked can’t get out with LS
Locked inside hurt scared want to die want to get away want to die die die die die die die die
Hate grownups hate all hate people hate life want to die die die die die die die
Kill me kill kill kill die die die die bang head bang head bang head stop stop stop stop stop want to die die die die die
Kill me die die die die die
Hate box hate daddy hate box hate bonfire hate hate hate hate hate
Hurt LS why hurt LS why why why why why
Why hurt LS why hurt in box why
Hurt me hurt me hurt me hurt me hurt me
Hurt hurt hurt hurt hate hate hate hate hate hate bang head bang head bang head want to die die die die die die
Kill die kill die die kill die die die die die
Why why why
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt