Another part of my experience of the trauma and subsequent recovery has involved some other insidious aspect. Still, some ten years after recovering the initial memory, I'm still suffering from intensely painful cycles. The rude and crude commentary going on around me, for instance, frequently starts to bother me as I get worn down during the work day. My current position in financial services has also exposed me to the numerous illusions and misconceptions in the industry. People are often living a lie and foisting unreasonable expectations on others, like myself.
My own support networks are not strong and keep me suffering intensely. I am also married, but my wife's interest in self-help materials is often tenuous and requires further effort from me to acknowledge its importance.
I am wondering exactly how much of my abuse I need to meditate on still to understand, or simply to free myself to take my next step.
There is another part to my abuse history that cropped up. I am skimming a few parts of some books I picked up a while back, Breaking the Circle: Healing Ritual Abuse, and Lessons in Evil, Lessons from the Light, both about Ritual Abuse therapy and recovery, in addition to having reflected again on my copies of Sybil and When Rabbit Howls. The Ritual Abuse thing presented itself to me for the first time when I was in Twelve Step recovery for Codependence.
I met a guy years ago for whom I had a real affinity. The guy just seemed aware enough, smart enough, and unpretentious enough in a way that really appealled to me. After a little while, a kind of friendship sprung up between us. At some point he started to mention some crazy, out-of-this-world things that had happened to him when he was younger. His father had been involved in crime of some sort, and both his father and mother had been part of a Satanic cult. Sexual abuse and physical abuse had taken place. He told me that there was a 12 step meeting even for something as extreme as this Ritual Abuse stuff.
When my flashback occurred after two or three years into Codependency recovery, and using others as an escape from my pain, as I mentioned in environmentally sound, it disoriented me tremendously. Like an accident, like a long-lasting psychedelic drug, I would guess. Vivid images had appeared in my mind, and feelings of terror, shame, and the like. I was able to start working at various types of uncomplicated work. At some point I had to cope with deep suicidal feelings and ideas. The severity of all this got me wondering if something else weren't going on. How could a simple act of sexual abuse do all this? My upbringing had not been perfect otherwise, but had not been deprived by any stretch of the imagination.
I was able to surmise that perhaps the caretaker who abused me as an infant wasn't just having fun. These deep images that had welled up made me suspect that some kind of Ritual Abuse had been involved, like my friend had told me about.
I went to a meeting, and felt some immense emotional energy, some kind of response to the whole process. The basic idea was that in addition to simply touching me for her pleasure, she had used words and ritual for some more organized purpose.
Around that time, I also tried the Twelve Step group for Incest/Sexual Abuse, and met a girl who I started to get involved with. She was an artist, and working very hard on her own therapy and recovery. I soon discovered that she too had had some kind of Ritual Abuse background. A relative had used a candle and kind of recited some kind of spell or the other making a circle over her abdomen.
As to what it meant for someone to cast a spell, I also have an empirical understanding of that. While I studied science in college, I studied Biological Anthropology, and ritual. While symbols were just objects used according to a belief, they often embodied many levels of emotional commitment and cognitive devotion. Then, in social services, I had learned some therapy and pursued ERicksonian therapy on my own. Milton Erickson worked with hypno therapy in a very practical, knowledgeable, and compassionate way. In his work I saw very clearly the pure use of the techniques often called "magic". Words, images, and behaviors could be combined to communicate messages of healing by a skilled hypnotherapist. For anyone else, they could create a dysfunctional mentality which could lead to something tragic like suicide. At some point when I was reading the work of Wilhelm Reich, MD, he tells of a case of schizophrenia where he basically cures a girl of her terrorized ideas about "religious and dark forces" that she picked up from her obsessive mother by helping her breathe and gain a healthier awareness of her own nature.
In this way, the mysteriousness of ritual abuse could be made plain. I could see that while its effects could be explained and understood with the resources of science, it could not simply be ignored. It needed to be addressed.
In fact, while I was with this girl, I remember walking into a Deli with her one time. An idea popped into my head at that time, that a death spell had been cast on me. I immediately connected that thought to this flashback. I had done a bit of research on ritual abuse by that time, and had heard quite a few stories from survivors. I knew very well that babies had often been used in rituals. Some grisly things had been done to them. It made perfect sense, anyway. Just writing about this is helping me, and is demonstrating to me the reality of it all. Just like any therapy is taboo, and sexual abuse even more so, this bizarre witchcraft of ritual abuse, in its depraved messages, also must be affecting me, especially in a world which is very dysfunctional in its own right. I can't remember the last time I have been able to talk openly about it.
There are quite a few other topics I want to go over as well, but for now, thank you to this site, survivors, and supporters.
I am reminded of Goya's art in which he portrays an eery witchcraft ritual, and his demented work of Saturn eating his children. Also the movie Angel Heart, which provides a healthy, although disturbing, look at the matter. Perhaps I should look at some of the classics, like Rosemary's Baby to watch the exorcism.
Take care, well wishes, happiness, success and healing to all, each and every one. Love,