June 05 1983. Tonight is the night…The deadly cocktail…I have taken an enormous amount of pills and alcohol…4.3 seconds is all it will take for me to drive over the cliff and into the brush. My body will not be found for days…4.3 seconds…I do not want to wake up tomorrow…4.3 seconds…I’m floating out of my body, weaker and weaker…4.3 seconds…My mind has never been so lucid…4.3 seconds…I want freedom…4.3 seconds…I want out. How can a person carry so much emotional baggage…4.3…seconds…A childhood of Incest…4.3 seconds…A childhood of Ritual Abuse/MK…4.3…seconds…To keep up the fight for survival…4.3…seconds…I can’t breathe…It’s closing in on me…4.3…seconds…All I’m asking for is to simply die.
Ritual Abuse (RA) , Mind Control (MK), and Incest, both under the umbrella of childhood abuse, are two of the most avoided topics of conversation, residing mostly inside therapy sessions where survivor and therapist try to unravel a past few want to acknowledge.
The world is often perceived as cruel and harsh. People deny what frightens them and it’s this fear that the perpetrators rely upon to commit their acts. For most of society, their fear extends to the mere mention of the words, “childhood abuse” in connection to their fellow man. Otherwise, it’s too revolting to be taken as truth. More often than not, it is the victim who is blamed and is used as the scapegoat. For a victim turned survivor of horrendous sexual, physical and emotional abuse, this becomes a reality in which few people—laymen and the psychiatric community—venture to offer support.
Ritual Abuse, Sexual Abuse and DID
Children have an uncanny ability to shut the world out when they do not like what they are being told to do, say or act.
When placed in highly traumatic situations such as RA or Sexual Abuse they can do a phenomenal piece of mind work that allows them not to be present while being abused. In simplicity, it’s a child’s dream come true.
“If I don’t like vegetables, then I won’t eat them. If I don’t want to wash my hands before dinner, then I won’t. If I don’t want to go to bed when I’m told to, then I won’t. If someone is doing something to my body that feels yucky, then I will go away.”
Here it stops being a dream and becomes a life long struggle to find oneself; picking up the pieces of a very scattered mind. If this sounds too superficial it’s not, because the body of that child is eating her vegetables, washing her hands before dinner and going to bed when she is told to.
The mind is very actively creating other inside people to do each of these tasks. As the child grows, this splitting of her mind will intensify as more and more splits are required to cope with age appropriate life and continued abuse. All the while, the inner world of alters reside in one physical body, a concept for most too complicated to understand. This state of being is known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder and from this point forward will be Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID). Unless there is intervention in early childhood, this child could go on to create many ‘personality states’ (or inside people).
When the child reaches adulthood with no intervention, things begin to unravel. Suddenly there are voices, confusion and lost time. Friends say we acted or behaved in a manner that we do not remember because it was another inside person performing. We leave to go to destination ‘A’ only to ‘come to’ at destination ‘B’ sometimes days or weeks later. Again, another inside person, or people were present for that time. We hear conversations in our head and think that we are crazy.
Feelings of depression, suicide, isolation and anxiety leaves us at the point where we find ourselves once again in “a reality in which few people—laymen and the psychiatric community—venture to offer support.”
Dissociative Identity Disorder has been described by many professionals as being the most difficult therapy to endure, yet the outcome has one of the highest rates of success in the sense of the patient becoming whole and functional.
It cannot be done alone. We all need connections and support to the human race through the turbulent times in our lives, no matter why or what the circumstances are.
For a survivor of RA with Dissociative Identity Disorder this is most important.
Our perpetrators silenced us in horrendous ways and years later, it is this isolation, silence and fear that still binds us to them.
In a recent interview with a noted psychologist, I asked him if he saw isolation in his practice with RA and dissociative clients. His response was, “Yes definitely, I see isolation in my DID clients, especially the ones who have an RA background. RA’s are often afraid that news will get back to the perpetrators that they are talking. They are afraid of people and of groups because they were abused in groups.”
Healing from Child Abuse and Friends
In the beginning, desperate for reassurance we sought out our friends. They bolted. The fear in their eyes, the fear of the unknown, reminded them quickly of an important appointment they just recalled or a child needing picking up.
I was very lucky, to find one friend, where some survivors sadly, never get this opportunity. From the ages 25-35 years, I would have become another statistic. Another depressed, alcoholic, drug addicted 25 year-old woman with a history of hospitalizations who committed the final act of suicide that she had tried many times to inflict on herself before. It would not have made the headline of the news nor would it have been investigated. It would end there and my life would not have mattered except to a select few.
This is not over dramatizing. This is a fact. I have a close friend, who saw in me, something worthwhile, that 15 years later, I still do not comprehend what she sees. She told me repeatedly that she would “Love me until I could love myself.” On the onset of our relationship, she (nor I) had any idea what we were dealing with. Sexual Assault we could cope with, but Dissociative Identity Disorder and RA—no that is something that happens to other people, not a child from middle to upper class family, highly respected in the small rural community.
Nevertheless, it did happen. Moreover, it happens everywhere.
The toll of being a friend to someone who was a by-product of RA and DID is a commitment no one volunteers for.
As Sandra J. Hockling states in her book, Someone I know has Multiple Personalities, (Found here at Amazon.ca) “For significant others it may be difficult to understand how someone can exist with so many personalities living in one body….You (Significant Other) may not know how to react or what to say. You may feel confused, frightened, helpless, frustrated or even angry.” (page vi)
My Friend spent countless hours holding me together, putting me in hospital when I became too great a danger to myself or her, physically restraining me from hurting myself, hours on the phones trying to find help, being a go between with doctors and the perpetrators that were still alive, and physically removing my body from one province to the furthest place I could go without leaving Canada.
At the beginning of my learning of my diagnoses it rocked my world, shook it up, and dropped it in a pile on the floor for me where 12 years later, I’m still trying to put the pieces together.
Those 4.3 seconds were part of a journal entry, which I wrote in the thick of RA and in the grasp of the perpetrators hands, prior to my fleeing.
It is as momentous today as it was then, but thanks to my friend, we are beginning to have that novelty people call—A life.
…If you have nothing in life but a good friend, you’re rich… ~Michelle Kwan