My Mother Didn’t Want Me Calling Boys So I Wouldn’t Look Like a Slut

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“Rise of Sila” book cover – coming soon!

As I’m writing “Rise of Sila”, the sequel to “Cult Child“, which details my transition as a teenager from growing up in a cult, to adjusting with American culture, the many ways in which I was conditioned by my child sexual abuse is coming out in deeper ways.

Excerpt from “Rise of Sila”:I feel confused and lost.  Boys come to school all the time with “love marks”, as everyone calls them, on their necks.   Why does that make me bad?  When it comes to boys, things aren’t so different in this world than they were back on the farm.  Boys get treated better out here too. Girls? We’re dumped if we say no when they want to have sex with us and sluts if we say yes.  My second lesson is that because I am a girl, even in this new world, I will still never be right.

Eventually Mama does ask me where Russ is; why he doesn’t call anymore.  I tell her he met another girl and doesn’t want to talk to me anymore.  Mama spends the next hour telling me that men are shit.  They’re all shit.  They take and take. That’s it.  So, I should expect it.  I should never trust a man as far as I can throw him.  If I carry one thing into my adult life I better take this one, Mama rants on.   Her voice fades into the distance as it has come to do when she begins to lecture.

I won’t listen. I will grow up to become battered and bruised by the men I would choose.  I will also become hardened.   She’s right about one thing, though.  Right now, as I sit here listening to her, I know I’ll never be able to trust a boy.”

My mother reinforced in me an ideal that males can never be trusted.  She did so any time a boy I liked didn’t like me back.  While she had strict rules about boys, so I wouldn’t look like a “slut“, such as not allowing me to call them because a “lady” always lets a boy call her, she also projected her own hate for men out through my coming of age experiences.

The layers of aftermath created by the abuse of Sam Fife’s Move of God did not end the day we boarded a plane at the Fairbanks, AK airport in 1984 and flew off to Tennessee.  It would settle into my skin and dominate how I experienced every aspect of my life in regard to relationships.

Writing this sequel is, at times, daunting.  Stories I once told as funny, in short, cryptic and satirical form, now take on a different perspective as I re-live the experiences.  They’re not so humorous anymore.  They are painful and raw.  They are a direct look into my own reality.

Most of all, they are making their way out of my DNA, through my fingertips, and into the pages of a book, which continues to tell my true story through the eyes of a girl named Sila.

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Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

If We Have Rules Are We Free?

The first time I wore a two piece bathing suit I was fourteen years old. I recall the nakedness my stomach felt as it met sun and warmth. My skin tingled. I was shy. Yet, the more I fed my body with the light of the sun’s reflection, the more I embraced its glow.

I imagine this is how the woman feels who, for the first time, removes the hijab, or the long skirt, or the bonnet, or the many array of coverings that have been required for a woman to cover herself with, passed down through multiple years of differing doctrines and laws telling her how she must dress and behave in order to be desirable to a man and appropriate to others’ standards.

I imagine them all with their hair blowing in the wind, skin soaking in the kiss of breeze, free and respected in the true nature of her natural glory. She is me, once disallowed to feel sky on my thighs, told how to dress and what would make me wife material. Chained by my appearance to someone else’s ideal of what was proper, I drowned inside my clothing layers.

I’ll spend eternity alone if it means being free to be me, tattoos and dimension colored hair, making my own way, whatever that looks like. I dream of a day when women are honored for the uniqueness of who we are, not who people think we should be. When that day comes, and it is, I will hold hands with a long line of women, throwing off their chains and running, laughing, into the sea.

Vennie Kocsis
author, Cult Child

She Is Rising

Writing out trauma comes with hurdles.  Sometimes I plow through.  

Sometimes I avoid.  I avoid the smells, sounds and feelings of the memory.  There is hurt in there.  There’s a scared little girl in there. She doesn’t want to have to feel it, but we do.  To bring our story to life, we gotta feel it. 

We jumped a hurdle tonight, plowing through a memory which triggered abandonment and shunning.   This memory triggered the aftermath of sexual abuse, and the compliance holding its hand. 

I wrote it.  I felt it.  I handled it.   I tackled it and re-visited this space, remotely viewing from outside, writing from inside, a duality of conquering memories.   

Stream Of Consciousness | 5.4

the dream / recurrent / dark planet of / cliffs and crevices we / leapt / trained / fought in / total darkness / only scent to / guide so / we became / adept to / aloneness and / the smell of / predators / repeat / through cycles / same space / similar jumps / morphing body / twisting limbs / solid / then liquid and / back again / whatever form / chosen / was / golden for / the moment / have you / ever smelled / complete / lack of light / it reeks of / coal / sulphur / emaculite / lit on fire / what a / morbid place / no food or / rest we / fed / on the loneliness / just a few / years ago / bath night / candlelight / meditation / we go quiet / in the water / i / her daughter / she / we / went flying / so high / i was / eyes closed / had / followed the / spinning hole / the one / you run from / in we go / clear water sky / dimensions high / there are spaces / then the flat / color emerge / below our float / darkened patch / i spin back / retract / familiar ground i / look down / shoot forward / the maze / walls high / human miles wide / there / she says / the dark place / where you / faced the worst / of hellish / hurt i / felt confused / at first / then remembered / we laughed /i had/ thought it was / a planet / see we / planned this / earth / science who / deems us / human we / smile / sometimes shyly / why label we / yet it has / always been me / molecules and / star dust / formed and / unformed / look away / disinformation / mind control station / she / the seven / says the / human heaven / description so bare / doesn’t even compare / to the beauty / shining there / close my / eyes tight to / take in / all the sights / where colors / are felt and / spirit is / held in / revere / the most / precious gem it / is not / stone nor / rock / these illusions / you are taught / I breathe / in blue / exhale purple / heal you / feel me / tears so / beautiful you are / free this / mission is / not complete / i came to / understand the / reality of / delusion / refusing / confusion / become fusion / step through them / over fear like / under thrown spears / it is finished / when you / make the decision / back into liquid / my body lifted / soak in / the lesson what / i see / me / we / molecular hearts / torn apart / it’s just a / fraction of / what can happen / when / we mend / fly again / become wind / ascend / let go / no pretend / face the masses / without / care of judgment / recall your fall / if this / isn’t familiar it / isn’t for you / my truth / can only / be accepted / nothing expected / unpredictable / stay courses / we / ride the horses / become their skin / go back to / the memories again / each time deeper / layers are / thick / strength for this / one free mind / at a time / the goal to / be whole / fly beyond realms / i am / the helm / gaseous flame / i light worlds / but to you / i’m just / that girl / to a few / i am the sea / the ones who / see me / freely / go back inside / we / suck in air and / prepare to dive

When Writing Out Trauma Is Crippling

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.