“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 . . .