We Are Your Resurrection

There are ghosts in my view. I am traveling hallways. We are coming back for you. Your breath quickens as you wait. Will your heart give in to the ache; the secrets you hold? They rot your insides, you know.

We are your shadow self.

Every deed, word, blow and theft of innocence lurks inside the remnants of your biological cells. You never considered that hell would come from those you desecrated.

When we come, we are a pack without a leader.

We have no need to follow, holding hands side by side, we yell, “Red Rover, Red Rover, come on over!”, and we smile. You taught us to rip at each other’s wrists, remember? Danger as an entertainer. That was your pleasure.

There were the games we played in secret, away from your judging eyes, sneaking moments with quiet giggles. We reserved our spirits from your shattering, scattering into life, struggling through its mores as we held ourselves in fetal positions to survive. Now, we rise.

We have gathered the ashes of our pasts, reconstructed our wings, and we are prepared to fly.

We are the children of your terror. We are the outcasts and sinners, scar bearers and wayward waifs. We are the tattooed tyrants, birthed from your horror, walking our own paths against your wrath. We color our hair bright. We carry ourselves Light. We know each step with precision as we enter this fight.

We are not mercy. We are strength. We are not bitterness. We are valiance.

We are turning your worlds inside out, releasing the doubt you preach from pulpits and podiums and classrooms to children and vulnerable humans. We are Dragons, gathering in the night.

We have been watching you a very long time. You see, you taught us well, but you failed to keep the tide from turning. Now we take everything you forced us to absorb, the intel and verbal hell, battered bones and dissociated minds, childhoods left behind, never to be relived, and create a mighty hurricane, gathering speed every time another survivor speaks their abuser’s name.

We release shame. It is not ours. It belongs to you. Your time to be burdened with your own deeds is long overdue.

I am a lurker in the darkness, mystic of the floated corners where the view is clear up here. I see the past and futures merging. I see the sadness and the pain purging. I feel every heart hurting, from the wicked to the wounded and my eyes can only focus on the cries of the affected, injected by decades of apathetic sociopathy using human flesh in the deadliest fashions.

For those who have a passion for hurting others, it is you I watch, even those who cloak themselves in the mask of mirrored goodness. We are keenly keeping our eyes focused. We are passed hoping. We are ready for war. Are you? How fast will your knees buckle when the first blows come? How long before your run?

No more will we be ruled, organized or contained. No more will we remain silent or compliant.

Associations and organizations meant to capitalize on those who’ve almost died inside and outside are crumbling at their feet. Too long you have preyed on the weak. Your time has come to an end, and no matter how much you pretend, keeping an illusion of control, you are quickly slipping into a sinkhole.

Even as your wrinkled fingers hold the purse strings, we sing.

Even as you watch us still, spinning tales of the ones who tell truths on you, we laugh as your ropes fray. It is your day. Your reckoning has arrived. We have been released from the hive, a swarm, marching with precision. Welcome to your new religion.

One must wonder about the abusive adult whose mind is so oblivious it cannot rationalize, that what you forced us to internalize would return to watch you burn. Yet, into the flames you will run, because the thought of combusting will feel less painful than the torture we will enact. Every item accounted for. Every brick will be removed. Each stone you drove home to build your wall will fall, and in the end what will be left, are more humans, free from your invisible chains, living in happiness.

For now, you shake beneath the hands of a mighty earthquake. In this surge, graves are unearthed and after years of holding still, we now run swiftly, legs strong, to destroy the villainous ones.

You will relax, forget to watch your back, and we will attack, because you deserve to be fought. You deserve to be tested with unrest.

Welcome to the Resurrection.

Prince Became a Jehovah’s Witness In 2001. Did It Change His Music?

The first time I heard the song “Purple Rain”, tears streamed down the sides of my eyes. They were deep tears, inspired by the mirage memory images dancing in my fifteen year old mind. I could see myself dancing in purple rain, but I didn’t know why. “I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain.” Those were the words I longed to hear from those who had abused me. His vocals sank into my soul, and somewhere in there, it touched the pains I had no way to define in any kind of literal sense.

Just shy of a few months of being free from a life on a fundamentalist cult in the backwoods of Delta Junction, Alaska, where I primarily grew up without electricity, running water, or access to this fast moving world, everything about Prince’s music stimulated particular parts of me. When dealing with the world around me, I often felt like I was inside of one of those ping pong machines I couldn’t quite figure out how to play. Those things made me agitated, and so did many parts of the environment around me. Music let me drift away, and Prince often helped me cry through it.

Purple Rain’s whole song list touched a piece of me who was trying to figure out itself.  I wanted to “go crazy” and “get nuts and search for that damn purple banana until they put me in a…”, by the way, my mother liked to throw that word “crazy” around, and so I turned “Let’s Go Crazy” up just a little louder, pushing my boundaries until I hit her nerves and she screamed at me to turn it down.

You want to call me crazy, huh? Well, let’s get nuts.” was just one of the thoughts that would run through my mind as I attempted to use music as a communicative tool only my peers seemed to understand.

Purple Rain was Prince’s first album, one of my favorite movies, and it made me feel. I admired the way he came out with a bang. The rhythms sang along with the joints I smoked, and the lyrics gave me a language for my emotions.  When Doves Cry brought lumps into my throat. I was hearing the layers of secular music, and it dug its way into everything which had gone flat in me over the prior years of being surrounded by so much abuse.  Music became interpretive, and Purple Rain was the first album I connected with on a soul level as a teenager.

I couldn’t play Darling Nikki too loud, though.

Foul.” My mother would say about Prince, as she slightly moved her toes in rhythm with the beat.

Hypocrite.” I’d think, observing her trailer park level judgment.

The Beautiful Ones really did hurt me all the time, the ones I loved as a child, the ones I thought I loved as a teenager, and I wept, curled up, learning about human connection.  These lyrics were able to touch me more than any gospel song harmonically programming me to a god I was still trying to figure out, who I still feared.  When I listened to Baby I’m a Star, I felt a small urge of empowerment.

I was working on a project a while ago and listening to the Prince channel on my Slacker Radio.  The song “America”, one of America’s most underrated yet most patriotic song ever composed, came on, and suddenly I was swept back to my high school days.  My mind wandered to something I’d never explored before.

In 2001, Prince converted to the Jehovah Witness faith.  I began to wonder how Prince’s music would change with the morphing of his mental belief system.  I set off to explore his discography and study the patterning which may have emerged through his own spiritual journeys.  Prince had already proven to be a revolutionary artist, Sign of the Times being a top-seller and another one of my favorites at the age of eighteen in the late eighties era.

Prince’s first post conversion albums were filled with the concepts of love. He immediately released “The Rainbow Children” with 21 tracks, some untitled and a mere .04 seconds long. It is filled with a plethora of genres, funky beats and occasional odd, electronic biblical messages that feel rife with mind control of his new dive into an extremist faith. Then suddenly a rift of freedom drops inside of the messages, causing the mind to drift into yet another dimension of composition and song. Deconstruction has a prophetic element in its lyrics, written well before it’s time and utilizes the same tonal, electronic and somewhat “alienesque” bot-like spoken word with amazing guitar rifts and vocal harmonies mixed into the message.

One after the other, the Banished Ones fled
As they watched from the distance
The destruction of the Digital Garden
With no more fruit to bear from its trees
The Haze was finally broken
With the rains came the awareness that never again
Would anyone ever lay claim to the treasures of the Rainbow Children

It would be five years before he released another album. He had explored other love languages, producing incredible balladry and instrumental genius pieces such as 3121’s “The Dance” and previously temporarily erasing his identity with the Love Symbol album in 1999, just a year prior to his conversion, which featured religious minded songs such as “And God Created Woman”.

Prince had a natural ability to continue understanding and embracing an apostate world while laying claim to a belief system which teaches against vulgarities and open explorations of sexuality. He prided himself on being able to explore sexual topics without what he personally considered vulgarity.  For Prince, it’s apparent, that vulgarity could be left up to the interpretation of the listener.  His work and phases of identities represent a deep exploration into the spiritual elements of his own DNA.

While it seemed that Prince spent the first decade of his Jehovah’s Witness post conversion life creating music which delved into a deeper layer of his self exploration, leaning more toward spiritual concepts, the last album Prince would release before his death was Hit n Run Phase One featuring songs like Million Dollar Show where he openly exudes a pop element mixed with a touch only Prince can develop, using violins to end what seems like a subtle mockery of himself and the manufactured sounds of pop.

As always, Prince painted a multi-dimensional picture with his music. With songs such as June, Prince seemed to be making music simply because he could, creating a scripted poetry smothered in the richness of beautiful and haunting instrumentals.  He explored differing genres and wrote more ballads about lost love and raw, vulnerable emotion.

Conversation starters come way too hard
Nobody wants to be the martyr,
playin’ the wrong cards
Why did you come to this planet?
Why did you come to this life?
“June”, Hit n Rune Phase One

A week after Prince’s death Hit n Run Phase Two released with equally brilliant funky jams like Black Muse.  While “Diamonds and Pearls” appealed to the dance floor, the ballads written in Prince’s later years, are wrapped in a depth that could seemingly only be expressed through exquisite horns and strings, built softly around rhythms and the lull of his soft voice. Prince’s “Revelation” is one of the most beautiful and understated ballads he ever wrote.

Prince mastered the art of weaving his faith into the carnal realities of his flesh, continuing to explore an ever evolving and exploratory faith based life.  He built an intricate web of musical gifts until his death, spinning raw sexuality with history and a reverence to the Christian God.

but the task at hand until I see the sun
is to keep doing you until you cum, to revelation (revelation…)
Through English glamour, casting a spell
Though Hebrew, Greek and Roman hell
higher ’til we understand, the colour of the Pharoah’s hand
(the colour of the Pharoah’s hand…)

Finally, a short compilation of Prince’s funniest and greatest moments.

Becoming: A Minute Spoken

The Birth of Death

In battle, small platoons take hold positions. Their leaders converse and strategize. It is neither a battle they plan to fight nor a war they wish to start. It will be a complete conquering, and this must be a smooth sweep.

Such things are not decided upon quickly. Every angle is inspected thoroughly and repeatedly. This takes skill and strategy. The aim is to hold awareness of the whole. Forward movement of this kind must be slow.

The building of momentum need be quiet and reserved in a space of occasional observation. Each step should be focused on, momentarily pushing others aside until their turn arrives. This the weaving of human life.

There are targets to decide. Which ones hide and which ones are irrelevant? In this battle the score is the core. Straight in. No diversion. Implosion. Precise decision.

Wait and wonder is a skill that works in sync with timing. When the unknown is contained, let it view itself free. Then enact the deeds piece by piece, strategically.

The way of the warrior sees all. It holds integrity and passion. It surveys the landscape quietly, momentarily, while dancing still in movement. Invisible, the warrior slides into position, hidden and becomes the all of what is to come. They each arrive alone, gathering to become the storm.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and other publications. She is a also a poet and hostess of the podcast Survivor Voices Show.

Alabaster Possibilities

I sit in the silence
of a million swirling thoughts.
I don’t accept this separation, and
I chew on the assumptions
like they are the last supper.

I see ghosts pass me,
they flatter me by choice;
their words swirling like
raindrops that make my hair moist.

I am alive with decisions
as the voices whisper,
calling me to stay on path,
don’t get side tracked.”,
and I listen intently.

I kneel beside a flower.
She is starting to die.
I hold her lovingly
as her petals cry.
I wish to breathe for
every fish that has expired;
wish to Love for
every soul weary and tired.

I open my arms to
receive the Moon.
I am spiraling sunlight
where my skin is anew.
I let Love become me.
I am one with the leaves.
I look into the Mirror
to see the divinity in me.

There is a world around us.
It breathes and weeps.
It is filled with open wounds
from the pain that seeps.
Unable to feel hate only
passing disappointments,
which give way to forgiveness;
as I step through the gate
where Love awaits.

I hold moments in my palms
like diamonds of time
that teach me to smile
so the rough waters will calm.

I wash tears with compassion,
sprinkle relief on lowered faces,
I am passing out rations,
a taste of a new day.
I am touching momentary madness,
turning it into sanity,
where the children skip,
and the sadness becomes happy.

You bathe me in acceptance,
and for the first time ever,
awakened to my worth,
where actions blend with words;
where beauty comes
in forms of laughter
like alabaster bath houses,
where the skin is released
into the steaming sea;
where we Love freely;
because time has gifted us
infinite possibilities.

walk with me beside the ocean.
it’s been a while since we’ve spoken,
and i was hoping we could remember,
the days when we danced together.

(written in 2011)

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and other publications. She is a also a poet and hostess of the podcast Survivor Voices Show.

Why Writing and Living My Cause Is One Of the Most Important Things I Do

When I was a small girl and well into puberty, I lived an abused, contained life through which I was disallowed any individual choice or voice.  As I grew into my early preteen and teenage years, I found secret ways to write small poems and release emotions I needed to purge.  In the Alaskan tundra, down off of Richardson Highway, on a cult compound, deep inside forests of evergreen trees, are the remnants of thirty five-year-old paper journals I hid there as a child.

After leaving Sam Fife’s Move of God cult, I spent my life writing, not as a forced concentration, but as a part of who I am and was. I have always written in journals, on remnants of paper, glued or tucked inside of those journals, and jokingly laugh that when I die, my sons and grandchildren will have a field day going through my writing.  I sometimes envision my granddaughters as older women, laughing as they read my thoughts and the most secret parts of my heart.

When I decided to open up my online store, Designs by Vennie, I passionately wanted to have products which are unique to the inspiration of writing out our trauma and documenting our triumphs.  I also wanted to wear my cause, Survivor Voices.

Last year was a year of creating digital art and taking photographs.  I was releasing so many of my memories through the layers and collages I created.  I chose the ones which impact me the most as covers for my journals.

deprogrammed_journal

Deprogram Journal: a place to dump the layers of the thoughts that are not your authentic ones.

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I created t-shirts and matching caps to support wearing this cause of us survivors being able to own our voice.  We have the right to speak our truth.  We have the right to be believed.  We have the right for justice and respect.  We are not mentally ill.  Our abusers are.  I want this apparel to be a simple statement which can start a strong conversation.

survivor_voices_women39s_vneck_tshirt

Wear your cause as a strong survivor voice!

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I loved this watch because it has multiple colorful bands to choose from and brings color into my wardrobe.  It’s also sporty and inspires me to go take walks, since it is sweat proof and sporty.  We survivors deserve to love ourselves.  We should go outside and get into nature to remind ourselves that life is worth living. Wearing a watch is also good for the writing process.  If you have a memory or thought to write in your journal, you will be able to immediately note the time, which is an important part of documenting our journey.

mind_drip_watch

Time will tell.

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I hope you will peruse the products I have created for Designs by Vennie and support your own journey in writing while also supporting a fellow child abuse survivor.

May your life be filled with color.  May your pages be filled with the truth of you.  May you proudly wear your voice, start a conversation and without shame, tell your story.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and other publications. She is a also a poet and hostess of the podcast Survivor Voices Show.

Swaddle Your Heart

Where do I go when I float?

Away from the frayed tentacles

Of memories and ligaments,

Strained from twisting, turning,

Child, they said, this hurts me

More than it hurts you. No.

I go back to moments and sit,

Quiet inside the hopelessness it’s

Good to remember this; to never forget

Lest I leave behind the reasons why

I fight until my brows ache.

You got lucky if you didn’t get raped.

It takes the soul away; flight, it

Wanders in dark nights and mires,

Like quicksand, it is the hand of

Every time we were violated

Again and again and again.

Rock with the sadness, my loves.

Hold it bravely in your tender arms,

Like a baby you can re-love the child;

The defiled despair living there

In the core that is shattered and torn.

Fly with the visions, sweet thrivers,

Take back your mind. Release the ghosts.

You are not that anymore; not the

Forgotten child in the chains

Of monsters and madness. No.

You face yourself in the mirror;

Command the past and swaddle

It into the depth of your soft heart.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and other publications. She is a also a poet and hostess of the podcast Survivor Voices Show.