Do Trauma Survivors Really Hold Onto the Past?

It is said that we trauma survivors most often hold onto the past, ruminating over it in our minds and manifesting it in our behaviors and dysfunctions.

Our past is a map of who we are. It is our personal history book. For many of us it is a manifesto of survival and the treacherous terrain we have travelled over.

But I say this…

I do not believe we hold onto the past. If we could wave illuminated wands or erase our minds back into a clear palette of beautiful memories and loving childhoods, we would maybe then, believe in miracles. I would most likely take that option without question.

No, dears, we trauma survivors do not hold on. Instead, the past holds onto us, and we spend a lifetime prying it’s fingers from our skin, rebuking its haunting voice in our heads and clambering over the piles of images and dreams it randomly throws into our path.

Reversing language, instead of asking trauma survivors, “What part of your past are you holding onto?”, which implies that the survivor is almost enjoying the trauma of their past, a better question would be, “What part of your past is holding on to you?”

There is too much victim blaming language being thrown at trauma survivors. So, I ask myself, what part of my past holds onto me the strongest?

I’d have to say the sexual abuse and the mental fear fragmentation. It makes my stomach revolt when I’m around certain types of men. I cannot stand to look at them or even have them touch me or act intimately towards me. My mouth will water with the urge to vomit.

I am hyper vigilant in all aspects of my life, no different than a military trained soldier or police officer. I am hyper aware of possible dangers around me at all times, hence the urge to stay at my home where it does feel safest.

I speak to my past often. I tell it, “Don’t hold me so tight. You are squeezing my breath.” And it complies, easing just enough for me to move. Our pasts don’t want to release us. The automated aftermath of trauma has been extensively trained by our abusers to keep its spindly fingers gripped into us like puppets.

And we spend time cutting the strings as the spiders continue to weave. We race against time to stay ahead of them; to clear the webs. Sometimes we get tired. It takes work to stay ahead of a spider. They are dutiful and focused. So we must do the same.

“We do not hold onto our past. Our past holds onto us.” Vennie Kocsis

Child Abusers Rarely Take Ownership of Their Crimes

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.

When a Child Is Trained For Death

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

Life Is Serious

I do so love to laugh. I love cynical, dry humor. I’m your “Running With Scissors” or “Mary and Max” type gal. Give me a dysfunction giggle any day. I get it all the way.

In the midst of laughter I feel a seriousness settled into me. I don’t have time to play around. That is not to be confused with not having time to play. I just don’t have time to waste.

There is no available brain space for saucy bullshit dramas, games or power struggles, wars with others or anything less than true seriousness in regards to life changes I have made and where I intend to go.

To know where I come from even as an adult, is to understand the totality of the word change for me.

I am engaged in news which matters to me, as parents continue to abuse and indoctrinate. I can’t turn my eyes away from the children. They linger. They will be in power when I am aged. What a thrill it would be to pass dimensions with knowing a group of them have their shit together.

I don’t feel passive.
Time is passing.
Life feels serious.

They are hurting. They own my heart.

and maybe that’s why its never fully available to give away to anyone else.

Why “Push Through” Can Be An Illusion

A few months ago my twenty-one year old son and his friends invited me to go hiking.

“Oh, hell yes!” I responded with excitment.

Nature is one of my many loves. I rubbed my hands together gleefully. How cool these youngsters want an oldie but goodie like me along.

“Now, mom,” my son advised, “this is no ordinary hike. I mean, you gotta cross some streams and shit. Like it’s uphill.”

“I’ve hiked before.” I retorted defensively. “I grew up in Alaska learning survival skills. HELLO! Ya’ll should HOPE to have me along.”

We laughed together as we packed our backpacks with carbs and protein snacks, water bottles and extra clothing.

What a beautiful drive to the mountain base. It was to be a mere four mile hike up to where a world opened to more beauty. There, we would have a majestic view of a lake and vast valleys. My adrenaline pumped as I thought about getting up to the plateau and the photo I would get to capture.

The first two miles I cruised along, soaking in the crisp clean air, waving to tree friends, smiling at rock faces, enjoying the streams and waterfalls.

Mile three the struggle began. The trail became steeper. We’re halfway there, my mind told me. I had this hike in the bag. My son paced me, walking ahead of me a bit, then cheering for me as I huffed and puffed my way to him where we would rest a minute and go at it again again.

Halfway into mile four my legs began to shake. My mind said, fuck you, there’s only a half mile left and then you will be sitting, having lunch, absorbing the best view and resting for a while.

But my legs wouldn’t move. My mind spun with thoughts.

“Get your ass moving.”
“You’re gonna let all these people down and be totally embarrassing!”
“Quit being a wimp. You’re stronger than you think.”
“Just rest for a second then push through!”

Still my legs wouldn’t move. The muscles in my thighs were shaking. My body was not complying. I couldn’t take another step up the rocks. In seconds I was crying; angry and frustrated. I had underestimated my body. Here I was, almost all the way up, with only a half mile of this goddamn hike left. This couldn’t be happening to me. I felt on the verge of physical collapse, but my mind did not agree.

I sat on a rock with my head in my hands, warring with my body as the group gathered around me, calling encouragement.

“It’s okay!”
“Wow, look how far you’ve made it!”
“Save your strength. You will need it for the three mile trek back down.”
“You didn’t let us down! This trail will alway be here!”
“We can come back!”
“Next time we’ll do a different, easier trail!”
“We are so proud of you!”
“We love you.”

Not one time did anyone say:

“Get your ass up and Push through!”

This concept of pushing through is over-rated and over used. Quit saying it for everything. Sometimes people need to rest. Sometimes they need to be congratulated for their hard work. Sometimes you need to acknowledge this. Sometimes you need to praise them for how far they’ve come, then help them back down the mountain so they can rest before they try again. Pushing through is not always the answer. Remember that.

Sea Angel

This video of “Sea Angel” is an audio poem from my poetry book and accompanying spoken word cd, “Dusted Shelves”, which I published in 2011. This particular poem was written during a time when I was deeply depressed. I was in the cusp of writing out childhood trauma in “Cult Child”, my memoir. I listen to this piece now and what strikes me is that my suffering was so debilitating, the thought of being taken under by the sea felt like a comfort to me. Yet, life and hope have always called, and so the emotion became this piece instead. To those who suffer with depression, PTSD, anxiety and more, keep fighting. I remember you daily.

Stream Of Consciousness | 6.18.15

these days attention spans / are so full of lack / there are three seconds / three / yes only three / to get you to find interest in me / as if i could / wrap up a galaxy / in just three seconds / meme / scream / the social machine

all these tips and writing advice / update your blog every week twice / post at certain times to hit your target audience / do this / do that / don’t do this / don’t do that / frick frack / panic attack

most days i’m getting through / there’s a target i wanna hit alright / and it’s not my “audience” / whatever that means / i think they are fellow humans / surviving / who occassionally read me / saying / fuck, me too / i suffered like you

necessary / connection / so easily / turned into affection / he has a pretty smile / she has a pretty dress / they say something senseless / throngs of followers / scrambling for the same power / self devour / its the dysfuntion hour

mimic / critic / solitary skeptic / critically think / the sum of / what we have become / can’t help feed your family / gotta save that / money for drugs / can’t give a hug / might feel too much

apathy / when your sister needs medicine / but you’re broke / next day you’re at the store / what a joke / i take note / this is not / how this goes

empathy / share my last piece / split bread in two / so you can eat too / sacrifice time / for your comfort / my stomach grumbles / the pains i hide / so you dont have to know

they say / if you give / it gets returned / somehow / i keep getting burned / love does come / with a cost / because compassion / cannot be bought / but usery can / at the hand / of the selfish / who prey on the selfless

i see the truth / of what they made you / when was / the last time / you cried / even tried / to heal your insides

i’m here writing / not twice a week / i’m weak / and who invades / the suffering / in their hour of need / who dims the lighthouse / when storms rage the seas / who sees inside me / when the silence roars / they keep scores / who can tread the waters / lonely daughter / wounded father

so you say / let me / sell you followers / and i say / no / im not a caller / no guru / no hero / just my truth / so dont walk in my line / its thin / in between the wind and my skin / and there’s no more room / to let anyone in