Friday, April 27, 2012

Consuming Abyss (Warning: Triggering) Part XIII

“I’ll protect you,” I cried.
Knowing the tiny kittens would soon be killed, I tried hiding a box of them in the bathroom at my grandma’s house.
Grandma was a locally known medium, practicing levitations and séances. My mother once told me that she had participated in some of grandma’s group sessions.  Grandma listened to spirits and wrote down what she heard. She sold real estate, planted her garden and even had her hair done according to the writings. She was both respected and feared in her community.
To me her home was an evil dwelling of unspeakable horrors!
When I was three years of age my father took me to my grandma’s home for the weekend. During the ensuing abusive experience, grandma demanded that I participate in killing a kitten with a butcher knife. Because I couldn’t bear harming anything and wouldn’t cooperate I was placed in a tiny wooden box with pieces of the cut-up animal and was left in the garage for hours during the night. I was naked, terrified and shivering in cold fear.
During another memory Cassandra, a five year-old part of myself endured the painful and disgusting sexual abuse at the hands of my grandmother, grandfather and father.
Two little girls, other parts of myself stood together shaking with fear while we watched Cassandra perform what we couldn’t do.
As these nightmarish memories appeared I relived the physical and emotional feelings associated with them. Living in state of constant panic, I became paranoid of everyone and everything around me; each thought triggered another terrifying anxiety attack, creating continued insomnia.
I regressed emotionally into a terrified five year-old and was barely able to care for my children.
While laying in bed one morning I heard my sister’s voice in the entryway of our home; I hid under my bed, shaking in fear.
She shouted to Jonathan, “My sister is dead ! I’ve come to take our family belongings !”
He grabbed her arm as she tried to run out the front door with my grandma’s crystal candlesticks she had taken from our dining table.
My life was out-of-control and I couldn’t stop the train wreck taking place. I prayed constantly and tried to apply the 12-Step Program to maneuver through these agonizing times. I renamed God, LOVE because I couldn’t associate HIM with my own father. I found some peace at times, but continued to have nightmares and memories.
Thankfully, LOVE gave me Martha, a kind, intuitive and wonderful Christian counselor who believed me and supported me through my difficult discoveries and healing journey.
Even though the pictures I saw were vivid I had an extremely difficult time believing myself when my memories began involving killing animals. Other family members also participated with grandma in the killing of chickens, rabbits and cats, and drained their blood and excrement into a black pot on the floor of her garage. I still couldn’t comprehend why they were doing these terrible things.
When my flashbacks switched to seeing myself and others violently and sexually abused by the ministers and members of my home church I came to an understanding of the term, ritual abuse. Known religious symbols as well as masks as props were often used for their torturous events.
I was certain that I was crazy.
During one therapy session I kept telling Martha that none of these unbelievable memories could have taken place; surely someone would have noticed and informed authorities in the local community.
Martha then gently asked me if I would consider attending a group meeting with other survivors of ritual abuse. Though I was hesitant I agreed to attend.
When I arrived at her therapy group I was surprised to find several familiar people from my home church in the room !
For the first time I knew that my nightmares and flashbacks were real . . .

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pits of Hell (Warning: Triggering) Part XII

“Tell me about your dream last night,” Martha gently stated.
How could she have known that I had a terribly disturbing nightmare that was haunting me hours later ?
Looking down from the ceiling I see a writhing naked child lying face up bound by ropes to the four corners of an old wooden table in a dimly lit room. Black-hooded demons surround her chanting words she can’t understand. Horror permeates every cell, her skin is burning.
SHE is me !
I am terrified, trapped inside this painful body ! Why are they hurting me ? Help me, Jesus !
SHE is 5. SHE has no thought, no name, no life except to be used by THEM.
Now I see from the vantage point of the table that something alive hanging from the ceiling is dripping on me. Bloody tail, bloody pee. Poor sweet kitty. She is good. THEY are bad, very very bad !
Horror !
I am crouching against the sofa sobbing on Martha’s office floor. This couldn’t be true ! I am crazy, shaking with fear, I am imagining things; terrible, scary things.
Martha’s eyes are sweetly sad and comforting but not what I can receive.
“This couldn’t have been me,” I cried.
Martha nods her head.
Thus begins the first of many horrifying memories of abuse at the hands of my father’s mother, a hateful old woman who orchestrated and inflicted pain and dread beyond words . . .

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Facing My Perpetrator Part XI

“I’ll never admit to that,” my father said while jingling his keys and looking at the floor.
When I returned home from the inpatient facility I was much stronger and knew that I had more healing ahead of me. I told Martha, my counselor that I wanted to confront my father about the incest. She was supportive and helped me set up an appointment for all of us to meet in her office.
Before we left Jonathan prayed with me. I was trembling yet determined to face my abuser and let him know that I remembered what he had done to me during my childhood. During our prayer Jonathan had a vision of me rocking a little baby in my arms. This picture gave me the support I needed to stand up to my father.
When we arrived I saw my mother perfectly coiffed in a black and white suit with black pumps walking with my father up the stairs to Martha’s office. As I walked with Jonathan I carried a tiny blond, green-eyed baby doll I named Susie-Q, a reflection of myself as an innocent child. When we sat down together in her office Martha said, “Eileen has something to share with you.”
“Daddy, you molested me,” I said, shaking inside.
He looked away and down at the floor stating that he would “never admit to that.” Those words hurt the little child so deeply my heart sank deeper than the floor. No rage, only deep deep sadness. I knew then that I would carry this stand-off for the rest of my life.
“I was always there,” my mother retorted, self-righteously.
“You worked every day, mom,” I cried.
That was all they said. That’s it, nothing else. I looked at Martha and her eyes showed such love and compassion toward me that I kept myself from sobbing in front of them.
I don’t remember much except feeling dejection and abandonment as they both walked out of Martha’s office.
Once at home I climbed back into bed. I don’t know how long I stayed there; but the bottom had dropped out. It felt like the end of the world for me. I didn’t know if I could carry this pain any longer.
“I doubted you before, but I believe you now,” Jonathan said after seeing my dad’s reaction to my statement.
At least Martha and Jonathan believed me. I felt a glimmer of hope. I was so exhausted from the uphill battle; the waves of fear, anxiety, insomnia, anger and grief had only just begun for me.
Then the next wave arrived.
I began receiving threatening calls from my siblings calling me names like witch, crazy and liar; then threats on my life ! I couldn’t believe my ears. I didn’t think it would come to this !
Time time time timelessness . . . . no more sense of time . . . just tears, agony, nightmares, grief,fear, anger, insomnia, anxiety, hopelessness . . . on and on and on . . .it felt like an eternity before I could breathe again.
Just when I thought I was climbing out of the depths of despair, another wave hit me even harder . . .