April 3, 2010
This is Easter weekend.
For DID trauma survivors with a ritual abuse (RA) background, this is a very difficult weekend, full of difficult memories, painful emotions, and system conflicts.
*** I’m going to speak of some of the horrors of ritual abuse – here is your trigger warning – for those of you that need one of those. ***
With ritual abuse, anything that represented something positive in the Christian faith would have been turned into something dangerous and harmful in the dark worlds. The good would have been twisted into evil. The light would have been made dark. Distortions, perversions, confusion, pain, violence, and chaos would have been celebrated.
Opposites are taught – white becomes black. The day-world church is very distinctly different and opposite from the night-world church.
Children should never ever be exposed to the level of sadistic violence that occurs in ritualistic ceremonies. It is wrong for this to happen.
Children should never ever be forced to participate in the outrageous activities and horrendous practices of the dark night ritualistic world. It is wrong for this to happen.
If you were forced to participate in sadistic ritualistic activities, my heart goes out to you. You’ve seen some of the worst of the worst that happens in this world. It is not ok that anyone hurt you like that.
If you were ritually abused, you would have been painfully traumatized, emotionally tortured, sexually assaulted, and physically beaten. These are horrible crimes. It was wrong for anyone to do this to you. It was wrong if your parents did this to you. It was wrong if strangers did this to you. It was wrong if friends or neighbors did this to you. It is wrong, criminally wrong, for any and all children to be forced to participate in these kinds of activities in any way, shape, or form.
You did not deserve that kind of treatment. (Don’t believe lies that say otherwise.)
You were not born to live in the darkness. (Don’t believe lies that say otherwise.)
You were not destined to belong to evil. (Don’t believe lies that say otherwise.)
You are not the child of Satan. (Don’t believe lies that say otherwise.)
You do not have to live your life chained to this darkness. (Don’t believe lies that say otherwise.)
It is ok and important to get healing from any kind of ritualistic abuse that has happened in your life. RA is gory and violent, it’s controlling and demanding, it’s hateful and sadistic, but it does not have to define who you are. You do not have to stay connected to anyone or anything that pushes you into that direction.
You can separate from those people, places, organizations, and become your own true, genuine self.
You can make your own decisions for what you believe in, and for what kind of life you want to have. You don’t have to be involved in a RA lifestyle if you don’t want to. You don’t have to go to any more RA gatherings, and you don’t have to be one of them.
Your abusers would have told you otherwise, but now that you are an adult, you can decide for yourself. You can think on your own, and you don’t have to be bullied any more.
You can be your own self, with your own life. You can develop your own values, beliefs, and preferences. You don’t have to like the things you were told to like – you can decide for yourself what it is that you like. You don’t have to want the things you were told to want – you can decide that for yourself as well.
You don’t have to be one of them. You can have a life full of kindness, gentleness, compassion, empathy instead. You don’t have to prefer violence and hatred. You can be different from that.
If you have dissociative identity disorder (DID / MPD), be sure to let the parts who were ritually abused to experience some of the more positive things in your life. They might initially say they aren’t interested (I’m guessing they were taught to say that), but if you encourage them to experience some of the positive things in your life, you can help to bring healing to them too. Don’t leave them stuck in their traumatic history – help them to heal and to have a chance to live in a safe, positive, warm place.
All the parts of you can heal from the atrocities of ritual abuse.
But for that to happen, you will need to be willing to introduce the light of the day-world to those parts that were split off into the world of darkness. Invite them to actively participate in your day-world. Let them have a cup of coffee or your favorite soda. Let them sit outside in the sun. Let them listen to some of your favorite music, or watch television, or walk the dogs in the park. Let the have a turn at your favorite computer game, and to nibble on your favorite treats and munchies. The dark-side parts will need to experience some of what your world is like in order to understand how it can be better for them. Be gentle with them. Slowly show them the things that you like.
It might feel scary to interact with these parts, but keeping them separated from you only keeps them stuck in the darkness they have known. With the help of your therapist, let those parts become more connected to your personal worlds where they can learn about kindness, gentleness, peace of mind, etc. Build up your courage and ability to listen to them. Comfort them from the hurts they have experienced. Help them to get out of those places that have been so violent.
Separate yourself from anyone in the outside world that wants you to stay in the darkness. Firmly reclaim all your insiders as parts of you that belong with you, and not to anyone else. Work very hard to not leave any of your parts left stuck in such violence. Have the courage to pull them all out into a life of safety.
Your whole system can have the life that you want. Don’t let any of them stay stuck in the yuck of the past.
Let them experience the goodness and joy that can be part of Easter.
Kathy Broady LCSW
Copyright © 2008-2010 Kathy Broady LCSW and Discussing Dissociation
March 27, 2009
I am writing this blog article in response to a blog comment / question sent to me re: the frequency of ritual / cult abuse. I am also going to clarify what the term “organized abuse” means to me.
For the purposes of this blog response, I am going to give an answer based on my personal experience as a trauma therapist that specializes in dissociative disorders. Some day I will check into the official statistics for how many trauma survivors with DID have ritual / cult abuse backgrounds versus how many do not. For today, I can more quickly pull from my 20+ years of clinical experience in working with multiples from all different areas of the USA and from different countries of the world.
I have worked in specialized inpatient units for trauma and dissociative disorders, had a busy outpatient private practice, and have been working with multiples online since 2002 via AbuseConsultants.com. SurvivorForum.com group members, and now the survivor writers posting comments on this Discussing Dissociation blog have also written about their ritual abuse histories. I also have collected hundreds of “The Negative Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse” surveys from trauma survivors via AbuseConsultants.com where many survivors have included information about their experiences with ritualized abuses. Between these various opportunities, I have had contact with hundreds of different and unique DID survivors over the past 20+ years.
While individual stories and life experiences have varied greatly for these different survivors, there are a number of overlapping similarities as well. Some multiples have spoken in great detail and clarity about their ritualistic / cult-based abuses, and some multiples have had nothing of the sort happen in their background.
Yes, without a doubt, people can dissociate and split and fragment into different personalities, thus becoming DID, even without cult-type abuses. That is absolutely true. One does not “have to have” cult abuse in order to become multiple – not in any way, shape, or form.
What I mean by “organized abuse” is that the abuse was happening under the controls of an organized group of perpetrators. This could mean a ritual / cult type group. This could mean a governmental / mind control experiment group. This could mean a sex slavery / sexual exploitation group. Organized abuse means that the primary abusers are not working as isolated individuals. The abusers are part of a larger group of perpetrators that have specific plans / ideas / routines / procedures / steps / methods that fit their purposes.
There are any number of organized groups highly skilled in mind control techniques, some more heavily laden in religious beliefs, others just based on making money through selling various versions of sex. Groups such as the KKK, the Masons, and the Illuminati have been named as organized perpetrator groups, with hidden rituals centered on purposeful, planned, severe abuse of children.
The CIA has declassified documents describing various military mind control research programs from the 1950′s through the 1980′s in the USA involving the abuse of children.
For more information, read a lecture series with Dr. Colin Ross and his presentation, “The CIA and Military Mind Control Research: Building the Manchurian Candidate” . Dr. Ross presented this lecture at the 9th Annual Western Clinical Conference on Trauma and Dissociation. Some of the more known military research projects are MKULTRA, BLUEBIRD, and ARTICHOKE.
Some pornography rings — sex slavery groups selling the most extreme forms of sex — claim “ownership” of a variety of children they use, sell, and exploit through various forms of pornography and prostitution. These perpetrators can and do use specific forms of mind control techniques (which typically cause splitting and dissociation) in order to facilitate more control over their “slaves”. The more highly trained a sex-slave is, the more dissociative they are, the more different roles they can play, the more money the prostitution ring can make from selling their services.
Ritualistic abuse and satanic type abuses are an additional complicated type of abuse that is talked about by many survivors. For some people, the SRA is presented as the ultimate goal of their abusers, with the religious beliefs holding the ultimate reward. For others, the cult-like rituals are presented as busy, overwhelming, gory, but purposeful layers of abuse (or screen memories of perceived abuse) that are there to discredit the person and/or to hide the deeper mind-control and exploitation purposes hidden underneath.
In my experience, meeting dissociative trauma survivors with at least one of these types of organized abuses has been the norm, occurring more frequently than meeting clients without them.
Apparently there are a whole lot of real nasty perpetrator types living here in the USA.
At least there are some genuine, skilled trauma therapists that can help the survivors of these atrocious abuses.
Even if you were a victim of any of these kinds of horrific abuses, there is hope for you.
Kathy Broady LCSW
Copyright © 2008-2010 Kathy Broady LCSW and Discussing Dissociation
March 14, 2009
To continue the previous post, here are five more life-lessons I’ve learned from my years working with those with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID/MPD).
By their life example, multiples have shown me:
6. Spiritual Strength even Under Persecution. Most survivors with DID and long-term severe abuse have had various religious / spiritual connotations mixed in with that abuse, creating a version of Spiritual Abuse and a variety of spiritual crises. Every trauma survivor handles these situations in his / her own way, and yet in my experience, most survivors have at least one or two insiders, if not a whole grouping of insiders or even their whole self, that develop a very strong spiritual life despite the trauma and its effects. Maybe these trauma survivors develop a strong spiritual life because of the trauma? My thought is that any survivors that have the personal strength to fight against the vileness perpetrators and horrific abuse have a deep spiritual reason to do so. How they portray that faith in later years of their life varies widely, but the point is still there: persecution and pain can strengthen and deepen spiritual beliefs. What a strong statement of faith!
7. The Ability to Overcome Adversity in Life. Dissociative trauma survivors have faced head-on some of the most difficult challenges in life. They have dealt with overwhelming pain, tragedy, heartbreak, betrayal, abandonment, and isolation. They have encountered some of the darkest trials and tribulations of life, even during their earliest , most vulnerable years. And yet, despite the effects of being attacked and consumed by wickedness, corruption, and depravity, so many of these dissociative survivors have gone on to have incredibly productive, successful lives as gentle, giving, compassionate, caring people. These are inspiring people with thousands of stories of courage and strength. They are true examples of resilience and over-coming the odds!
8. Joy, Happiness, and Fun-filled Laughter. I have been amazed at how many trauma survivors have maintained an incredible sense of humor and an appreciation of fun, good times, laughter, and joy even after being crushed by intense pain and horror so much of their lives. Maybe seeing so much heavy darkness has created a greater appreciation of light-hearted fun? Any which way, it speaks volumes to me that people who have been immersed in pain can and do continue to find humor, fun, and positive excitement in life. Having good times and finding ways to enjoy life have an elevated importance for these folks, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and trauma survivors that can still laugh (in the good ways!) are genuinely inspirational.
9. The Pure Hearts of Children. Children have a natural joy and wonderment with life. Even though dissociative trauma survivors have had tragic childhoods destroyed by sadistic criminals, these trauma survivors typically split off a part of themselves that totally protected the purity of childhood innocence and beauty. Through dissociation, they were able to keep a part of themselves totally separated from darkness, evil, horror, pain, trauma, and abuse. That is amazing to me. It shows the importance of these childhood feelings and that even the worst viciousness of predators does not take this precious innocence away. This creative, incredible ability to maintain self protection is extraordinary.
10. Loving Others More than Yourself. Trauma survivors were typically forced to put their abusers’ needs ahead of themselves in a harmful, tragic, devastating ways. There is no doubt about the harm that happens to children when their own needs are ignored and neglected. However,many trauma survivors seem to turn this abusive extreme around. In a less abusive context, they maintain the awareness that others are as important as themselves, and they can be extremely compassionate and selfless towards other people. The examples of selfless generosity, giving, and caring can be awe-inspiring and genuine examples of how to love someone else.
In my opinion, trauma survivors that retain the ability to genuinely love and connect with others have risen above the worst effects of the abuse they suffered. Maintaining the ability to bond correctly with animals, and/or people, and/or spiritual powers despite the years of forced darkness and evil is truly amazing and inspirational.
Those of us fortunate enough to experience less trauma and abuse in our lives should take note. Trauma survivors can be incredible role models of what is truly important in life.
- Do you have the depth of character and strength to withstand a war against evil?
- Would you handle persecution and pain with as much grace and strength as DIDer’s do?
- Would you still be a good person even if you spent years of life being controlled by darkness?
I encourage everyone to look deeper than dysfunctional symptoms and mental illness. What can trauma survivors teach you about life?
What can you learn about the power of good over evil?
I see examples of that every single day in the trauma survivors that I know.
Kathy Broady LCSW