surviving ritual abuse: poverty, mental illness and isolation

i was born into a satanic cult that ritually abused me.  my family, and everyone that i knew growing up, were all part of the same satanic cult.

ritual abuse is extreme and organized abuse, starting in childhood.  it consists of torture and abuse to program children, and to create dissociated identities in them.

as a child i had two separate lives, and several dissociated identities, identities that didn’t know about one another.  in one life, i was the happy son of a respectable white, middle-class heterosexual couple living in old ottawa south.  in the other, i was a tortured and abused child born to two members of the inner circle of a satanic cult.

i didn’t begin to remember the abuse until i was thirty four years old, after i began psychotherapy.  when i did, i cut off all contact with my family.  i also stopped drinking.  with family and drinking buddies out of my life, i found myself socially isolated, as my poverty deepened.

defines us

four years later

i had just moved into a new apartment.  my only furniture was a couple of bookshelves, a chair and a bed table.  the rest of my belongings, mostly papers, were in cardboard boxes

i was feeling dejected about being rejected by a wonderful woman who i had hoped to date.  i was sleeping badly on a thin mat, and i was in constant pain due to my bad back, and arthritic joints.  life seemed hard, not much fun at all.

i found some books and character sheets for a role-playing game that i had played as a child.  i hadn’t looked at them in six  months.  six months before, i had spent a month remembering a series of cult initiated role-playing game sessions that had happened roughly fifteen years previous to that.  the role-playing game was used as a method of programming the people who were playing it.

that month i spent remembering the gaming and programming sessions was a real bad one.  i was alone most of the time, except for therapy sessions.  i lay around remembering the past, and hardly left my apartment.

even though i knew this, i still felt a strong pull to fill in a character sheet, and to begin remembering the game again.  life felt dull, sad and painful.  filling out the character sheet felt good.

disconnected and isolated  

a few days later, i was lying on my back with a cloth tied over my eyes.  i had been lying there for hours, since i had woken up.  i didn’t know what time it was.  i didn’t know what day it was, or what week.  i spent most the day like this, as i had the day before.

my memories felt exciting.  there had been the possibility of big rewards, and the threat of severe punishments.  the feeling that i was re-experiencing was like an adrenaline rush, same as in gambling.

at therapy, my therapist told me that my behaviour seemed addictive.  i could tell she was concerned.  although i think she’s right, i still avoid working on the memories.

at home, i’m tired, aching, hungry and dirty.  it’s a struggle to do anything but lie in bed and remember.  i’m happy when i cook a meal, take a shower, or go for a walk.

around the same time as i began to obsessively remember this role-playing and programming session,  i also broke my phone, and i didn’t have money for a new one. not only i can i not make or receive phone calls, but i also lost all my phone numbers.  i got even more isolated.

after three weeks, i had realized that the memories had become a fucking problem.  i couldn’t stop remembering, though.  every morning i would wake up, and within seconds my mind would be back on the game.

one day i decided to watch a movie at the bytowne cinema, even though i couldn’t really afford it.  watching a movie was a really good way to shift my attention from the past to the present, but going to the movies regularly was too expensive.  it was a choice between movies to improve my mental health, and having money for food.

back to the present

like a tape cassette that had finished playing, the memories stopped.  i woke up one day and instead of my mind obsessively focusing on the past, i was able to think about what i wanted to do.   equally important, i wanted to do more than lie in bed remembering.  it had been almost two and a half months since i had first filled in the role-playing game character sheet that i had found.

i wish i could say i that took some physical or mental action to end the obsessive pattern i was trapped in, but i didn’t.  what i did was endure it.  maybe it makes sense, since this was one of the ways that i survived the torture and abuse in my childhood: a simple determination to survive, and to endure.

conclusions

i regret that i spent so long compulsively remembering a role-playing game.  the cult has already stolen so much of my time, so many days and nights, summers and years.  i don’t want to lose another minute to them. i don’t want to lose another second to them.

i had good support from my therapist and a couple of friends, but this wasn’t enough.  i wish i had reached out to more people, told them what i was going through, and asked for support.

i wish that we all lived in a culture that knew more about supporting survivors of violence, abuse and torture.  i wish that people, organizations and movements prioritized ending sexual violence, child abuse, torture, and, yes, ritual abuse.

i have a better sense, now, of how poverty, and my mental and physical disabilities make it is easy for me, as for anyone, to get isolated.  ignorance, fear, stigma, and poverty all make it harder to care for myself, and to be cared for by others, effectively.

despite all these obstacles, though, i healed from the trauma connected with the so-called game that was really a programming session.  our minds, and our hearts, identical to our bodies, heal naturally if we only let them.  just as our bodies heal from broken bones, cuts and strokes, our hearts heal from traumas, tortures and abuses.

mental-a-01

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6 thoughts on “surviving ritual abuse: poverty, mental illness and isolation

  1. I work in the mental health field as a direct care worker. Have interacted with survivors that still get accessed. Do you have any awareness of getting shut down or underlying sleeper programs? Just curious. The memory work and getting to know your system is really important. Glad that you are healing!

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    • I sometimes notice programming, and I sometimes notice certain things – words, colours, behaviours – that are especially triggering, and that i think are connected to the programming.

      I do work on remembering what happened, but I focus primarily on trying to discharge the trauma and get rid of the programming and its effects. My focus is on healing, not on understanding the details on what they did to me. This has been effective for me, although it also means that I don’t have a detailed map of the programming, as I have seen in some of the literature on RA.

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  2. Yeah it sounds like your personal process is effective. So so glad you’re healing. Perhaps my own uneasiness and secondary trauma is shining through with my previous comment, having observed unusual circumstances involving access attempts with survivors.

    It’s so wonderful that there’s survivor support community raising awareness where you are. There’s nothing of this nature going on where I’m from. Trying to discuss this stuff with the Community Mental Health system in my town has been very difficult, no validation whatsoever. The isolation that comes along with that can be difficult sometimes. So seeing what’s going on in other areas of the world warms my heart, gives me hope and helps me feel that “community vibe”, even if it’s an online community. Thanks! :o)

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    • Sorry for not responding sooner. I haven’t been on here recently.

      No, there’s no supportive community where I am, at least not that I know of. I have my therapist, and some good friends, but no community of survivors and allies. The support I get from RA survivors is over the internet.

      There is a support group for women Ritual Abuse survivors, which, I think would also include trans people, although I’m not certain.

      I feel you about the isolation. I regularly feel hurt and frustrated about how little support I get.

      Stay strong! ❤ ❤ ❤

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  3. I have a list of Internet survivor support groups which I will send you or post if you want. I also moderate an email group for survivors and one for professionals working in this field. If you, or anybody you know, is interested, let me know. The second one is open to social workers, pastors, MFT’s, etc as well of MD’s and PhD’s.

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