but if you don’t want it, the full heart and the thriving; if you are wound tightly inside the cusp of your victimoness, afraid that if you shine no one will notice, your hands will grow bruises and your fingers will become weak from gripping so deeply to the pain. change has to rise in you with the strength of infinite passion. you must make the decision to find out who you are beneath the fog and clouds which continuously drift inside your energy. introspection is an art. it is when you say this day belongs to no one else but you. it’s when you only listen to the blues for the rhythms not the tears, because you have chosen colorful moments that reconnect you to your own ethereal existence. it’s when you choose you. ~Vennie~
I stand still in my slippered feet. The girls are at the table coloring. My youngest son is visiting from college and is recalling a childhood moment with me.
“You took me to watch The Grinch, remember?” He asks. His eyebrows are furrowed.
“I did?” I am flipping through the years like micro film, trying to bring up the memory.
“Oh my gosh, mom! How can you not remember that?” He exclaims. I drown in his frustration.
I am on the spot standing in shame. How careless I must seem to not remember an experience that is so obviously a fond memory for him. What kind of mother would not remember that moment? What kind of mother doesn’t remember special memories with her children?
A mother with DID. I want to say this as he continues on, his brother joining him, but they don’t pause to let words in, and they’re certainly not seemingly interested.
“You DO know who the Grinch is, right?” My eldest asks.
“Of course I do.” I reply.
And they go on to tell me of the movie, and I remember Jim Carey’s antics and sparkly green fur. I just don’t remember seeing it at a theater.
But I can’t say it right now, with granddaughters happily coloring away in their coloring books and my sons in their own energy, laughing and remembering.
I can’t say how I will claw away at the particles of blank spaces trying to find this moment. I can’t let out the lump in my throat that outside of those who understand my cult aftermath, I will stand judged and misunderstood more than not. There will be no room for explanation or conversations that open doorways to understanding.
I can only quietly walk away and wish I could switch minds with them for a day. Then maybe we could understand each other. I could see myself from their perspective. I could understand them more if I could see me like they do.
It’s not their responsibility, but it’s mine to remember. I walk away wincing the ache of failure. How can I ever explain to them the maze that is my brain? How can I draw out blank spaces, pain and the exhausting strain of remembering?
I accept that only those who have suffered similarly to me can feel with me. Only those who have experienced the fragmented pieces that are the aftermath of a complex childhood filled with physical, sexual and mental torture, can truly understand what we become, who arrives to help us through, and why we stand staring, akwardly on the spot, holding blank spaces in our palms.
A wise person once said, “There are three things you should never share; your relationship, your finances and your next move.”
It has become a mantra for my life. Years of being both vulnerable and held back at the wrong times have left me speculating my own judgment. Being alone is safer, away from the possibility of re-victimization.
I learned harsh lessons as I grew up. With no boundaries to define danger or relationships I was tossed out of a childhood that had been riddled with abuse straight into the very society I had been trained to fear, hate and one day even war against in the name of God.
With blinders on, I ran towards everything I’d been taught was sin. I bathed in it. I dove inside of it like it was a swimming pool. I became prey, a seal pup in an ocean full of sharks.
A couple of nights ago, while working on “Rise of Sila“, the sequel to “Cult Child“, I had to write a trauma memory. I had to get into the details of it, part of them being a time my sister wore long sleeves to hide the bruises her rapist left on her upper arms. When I was finished with the section, nausea swept through me quickly, suddenly and filled my mouth with water to the point I had to curl up on my bed and do focus breathing until it passed.
“Fuck.” I thought. “It’s starting.”
This is what happened while I was writing “Cult Child“. The trauma surfaced in waves, and with it came years of sporadic vomiting, night terrors, migraines, days in bed weeping, high peaks of anxiety and agoraphobia and a lot of deep isolation.
I smiled in selfies to post on the Internet. I spun on the positivity pole as if I was the poster child of survival, and I hid the reality of how crippling writing trauma is for me.
I thought I would feel some kind of relief after getting “Cult Child” out. Yet, I didn’t. I felt incredibly proud of myself that I had accomplished the project. I also felt an extreme exhaustion that still lingers as I continue on. I feel weakened. I feel that I have only spilled out a sliver of the truth about the reality that was my childhood.
Last night I had a dream which rocked me. When I woke up this morning, the emotions of the dream came hazily with it bringing short, flash images of children milling about, a lot of confusion and an inability to grasp the rest of the images. There are no worse dreams for me to have, than the ones which involve children. They take the longest to shake from my eyes and the hardest to re-balance my heart from. [Click here to visit my Dreamscape category where I document them.]
I am pushing myself, because this story must be told. It has to be left behind so my sons and lineage will have documentation of their ancestral life. I have to tell the truth for myself, hoping that maybe, just maybe, after I am finished, there will be some reprieve.
But, right now, in this moment, I just feel like avoiding.
I am crawling
Beneath barbed wire.
It is rigged
Close to this ground,
Knees deep in, sunk,
Through the mud.
I am dissociated
From the change related
To regular life patterns.
I feel scattered.
Into the caves I
Disengage for battle.
The end is near.
I hear the echoes cackle.
I could hide away;
Pound out the words
To expel the hurt and
Purge the pain,
Even find satisfaction
If I never see the sun again.
Let it rain.
I am on my belly
Exploring human hell.
There are sights I’ve
Yet to see, and I
Don’t know how broken
They will leave me.
I am aftermath who
Has left more aftermath;
Unable to mend the wires
Sparking anger fires.
Don’t envy my smile.
It hides a plethora of
Vile sounds, smells and
I take this life serious.
No time for war games,
I am fighting real time battles.
No space for the unsupportive
When the cages rattle.
If I go ghost
Into the fog and
Become a mirage,
I’ll never return to
Dissapoint the idealistic
Who created an image of me;
I’m a million scattered pieces,
My body struggles weakly,
Swimming through the mud
Picking each one up.
“In this assignment, let’s write a letter to our defendant/s. There may be one. There may be many. The Defendants are the people who should stand trial for hurting us as children. Write this letter in the voice of you as a child, saying what you want to say to them now.” The Artist’s Way
Dear Abusers in Sam Fife’s Move of God Cult:
I wish you cared about how much you hurt me. Sometimes I sit in contemplation trying to bring out understanding of how you people can be so wicked, sadistic and cold.
Why don’t you think you did anything wrong? Do you know you were wrong and you’re too scared to admit the truth? Why? You don’t want to be judged? But you deserve to be judged.
What do you think your God’s final ruling will be when you stand in front of him? I am confused sometimes when you say “what is done to the least of us you do to God.” Why do you beat God? Why do you molest him? Why do you tell him that he is nothing but sin? Why do you say he is worthless? Why do you withhold his meals to make him comply? Do you think God will love you for what you do to him?
Maybe I’m not the least among you just because I’m a kid. What does the least among you mean to you?
I never trust you to keep me safe because I am never safe. My heart beats really hard when I’m scared of getting in trouble. Sometimes I think I’m floating halfway in the air and halfway in my body.
Mom, sometimes I look at you, and I think you are pretty. But sometimes you feel scary. I wish I could tell you that I only see demons in mean people. It’s in their eyes. Do you know that’s where evil can never hide, Mama? That’s why evil people wear sunglasses a lot, unless they have eye problems, maybe.
Do days feel this long to all the people in the world? They feel like forever to me. Mom, and how come we never get to talk to our Dad? Why do you hate him so much? Does he really not want us like you say? And please don’t marry Leis off to that man from India. He smells weird and then I’ll be all alone and you will make ME do all the cleaning in the cabin.
Mom, Brother Ray did a lot of dirty things to my body when we were living in the Tabernacle. And I am more than a sinner now. I can never tell you because then you will hate me for being a whore of Babylon. I didn’t know that little kids could be whores, but maybe I am what everyone says girls are.
I want to tell you all, how long this will follow me. It will tear apart my teenage years, leaving me void of an identity. It will send me to jail. It will make me choose boyfriends who abuse me. It will take all of my trust. I will trust the wrong people so many times I will stop trusting anyone at all. I will have months of not leaving the house. I will fail my children. I will have night terrors. I will have flashbacks of your torture. I will meet others like me, and I will despise your existence more. I will attack my own body with food and cigarettes.
I will dig my way out of your rubble. And I will find the real me. I will cease continuing your abuse by abusing myself. You will stop owning me. And then I will find you. I will spend lifetimes following you, haunting you, and I will tell all of your secrets. I will destroy your core and rip open your lies. I will survive.
I think you hate me because you can’t break me.
I have more to say, and I will keep writing you letters. And you will listen. Maybe we should tie you all to chairs, beating the truth out of you like you tried to beat fake demons out of us kids. Isn’t that what the Bible says? An eye for an eye?
If my mother were alive, and you were to ask her if she allowed her children to be abused or if she abused her children, her answer would most likely be (with Bible in hand), “Absolutely NOT!”
She would then most likely go on to tell you what difficult children my siblings and I were to raise, along with a myriad of other excuses to support the gross denial covering the guilt she couldn’t face. This is what abusers do; blame the child, and all too often, naive adults actually believe it.
A couple of years ago, a friend who grew up in the same cult as me had a conversation with a woman who knew me when I was a child. My friend asked the woman about my time as a child at the second compound I was taken to in Alaska, and the woman said this:
“Well, she was quite a boisterous child and was always in trouble a lot.”
She victim blamed a child who she witnessed be abused and yet still, thirty plus years later, the denial runs as deep as the ocean. What should we have expected? That our abusers would admit to their crimes? What a ridiculous notion. Child abusers rarely admit to their crimes unless they’re caught. Given the chance, they will quickly blame the child. Witnessing child abuse and doing nothing is just as criminal as participating.
Victim blame a child abuse survivor, and that’s where my patience, kindness and association ends.
I do not ever condone a child abuse survivor having to defend themselves against the abuse they suffered. My fellow child abuse survivors, we’re not mentally ill. Our abusers are. Those who would attack your abuse are in serious need of psychological help themselves.
They lack empathy and understanding. Attacking someone’s child abuse is an extremely apathetic action. I feel we must use our voices to stand against those who would deny the atrocities that we endured as children and that children still endure. We have to stand our ground and not allow children to ever be blamed for the neglect and/or abuse they endure.
Tonight I sit in contemplation, knowing where my passions are, and what makes me feel in a space of forward movement. I am aware of where I put my time and my energy, for my goal is to always be focused on believing and supporting child abuse survivors.
On October 7th, the world was supposed to end again, as it has been for centuries, since Christianity unleashed its torrent of mind control on humanity.
When this story hit the internet, there was a lot of laughter and mocking towards it. I agree. It is ridiculous. However, I find the concept of Heaven and Hell to be ridiculous period. With the state of the planet as it is in now, humans have already created a scenario much worse than the hell they use to fear control children into compliance. Yet, there’s another aspect of this story that I wonder if you have thought of.
I was a child in an end-times cult. I will tell you this. There was no fun or joking in being a child preparing to die either for Christ, the end of the world or both. I believed that I would die. From the age of three, into my teenage years, it was a given that the world would end, and I, along with all of my family and friends, would endure a painful combustion. It is a rigid circle of mind fuckery from which a child cannot escape. There may be rituals involved, such as drills to teach the children how to behave and pray when the end arrives or even an invasion of some kind where they will be killed.
This is part of how soldiers train for war. They train to die. Why are we allowing this to be done to children? Teaching a child that the world might or will essentially end and that their death might be painful, but it’s all for God, is child abuse. Add in the Rapture and the hope inside of the child that maybe they’ll get swept up in that, maybe it’ll happen before the end of the world or maybe it’ll happen all at once. The unknown is just as fearfully mind bending.
When will people stop allowing children to be mind-controlled, trained for death and abused under the guise of religious freedom?
“When a child is trained for death they will always see the world through eyes of fear.” Vennie Kocsis, author, “Cult Child“