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GASLIGHTING: The Movie That Should Make You Shudder

Gaslighting

GASLIGHTING is a twenty minute film packed with a raw and candid look into the true-life story of a teenage girl named Brooke, played by Hannah Walters, who has suffered sexual abuse as a child. In just a short twenty minutes, her whole life unfolds. With a mother who is caught in a domestically violent relationship and rearing three other children, Brooke is often left in the care of questionable adults who use her compliance and fear to their advantage. The child welfare system continually fails her. Held silent in mental fear, she is victim blamed by teachers, her own mother and a court judge. In essence, for Brooke, there is no safe place.

If this film makes you cringe, cover your eyes, gasp or even cry then you are one of the good ones. This movie is a raw depiction about how a child protection system, justice system, parents, teachers and caregivers continually fail children who have been abused.

GASLIGHTING is a perfect example of what society must fix in order to bring about change in our world. This movie is a reminder that the planetary social construct can no longer ignore the horrors being wrought upon the most innocent of its inhabitants, our children.

Children deserve to have a safe space. Children deserve care, love and protection. GASLIGHTING will remind you of something incredibly important. That teenager you can’t stand, who you think is so horrible, is most likely in even more emotional pain. Beneath their sullen silence, the lashing out, the self-harm and inability to communicate, is a child needing someone to listen to them tell us why they are broken.

As a survivor of sexual abuse I can assure you that this ripping of innocence shatters the very core of a child. I am a firm supporter of anyone working with children being required to go through an intensive course on recognizing the signs of child abuse. GASLIGHTING should be added to the list of required viewing.

Anger is not a base emotion. Pain is. Anger is the projection of that emotion. When you see anger you are really seeing pain.

Watch GASLIGHTING here:

Gaslighting

Please support  GASLIGHTING by leaving a review or donating to the work involved in utilizing this film for global education.

Vennie Kocsis is the author of CULT CHILD and other publications.  She is the host of Survivor Voices Show on Freedom Slips / Studio B, each Sunday at 6PM EST.  She is a child advocate, artist and uses her passion for creative therapy to reach other trauma survivors. Visit Vennie at her personal website, Vennie Kocsis Official.

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Are You Successful?

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“From Waif to Warrior” by Vennie Kocsis – Available for Purchase at: vennie-kocsis.pixels.com

I was asked “Do you feel successful.”

Yes. I do.” I answered.

Their face squinched up.

But you don’t even own a house.”

I had to chuckle. I wasn’t offended. I actually welcome these conversations. It opens up perspective. I was able to explain that I have never wanted to be tied to a mortgage. I don’t like being tied to payments period. I have never had that desire. Anytime I was, it was a great struggle for me. I felt chained and inside of the humanoid mill.

I have always been a wanderer, a traveler, even at times, a runner, from situations I couldn’t handle. But I never have longed for riches or looked at that as a definition of success. If I ever longed for it, it was in a thought of how many people could be helped if wealth was in the hands of the compassionate. Yet, mainly, my mind is always ablaze with possible creations, projects, new ideas to filter in or let blow away in the wind.

You see, I am successful because I walked through fire, burning and scalded to now stand in the most authentic space I’ve ever felt. I am successful at owning the totality of my own life, shamelessly. I am successful because I wrote my story, years of aching and crying, vomiting into plastic bags, most often alone, in dark rooms, screaming out the childhood torture to expel it from my molecular structure.

I am successful for the songs which flowed through me to soothe my spirit and the poetry book so eloquently penned; that I found my gratitude and can look at four brilliant, independent publications. MY hands made those. MY DNA poured those timeless scrolls into tangible literary works. I am successful because they will remain forever, precious to someone.

I am successful because I get to be who I was born to be. I get to create art. I get to CREATE anything I wish. I get to call my own shots. I get to stand in a place of empowerment and not fear of loss. I am successful because I am at peace in this space.

Our definition of success could be defined the moment we are doing what we love, when we are healing and growing. Maybe therein is the critical switch, a word definition, away from accumulation and into inspiration.

I am successful.

Vennie Kocsis is the author of CULT CHILD and host of Survivor Voices Show, airing every Sunday @ 6PM PST. She is an advocate against child abuse and indoctrination. She is an artist and poet residing in the Pacific Northwest.

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I Know Anger. It Is the Unleashing of Pain.

I visit Ethnic Fest in my city today and encounter an end times, sign toting, fear dealing kid in the park who I wind up so hard, his last words screeched at me are “WOMEN SHOULD SUBMIT TO MEN!”

But let’s back up. It happens like this. I admit. I bait him. I see the big, hypocritical sign. I go cynical and comedic. I go in for the kill. However, he IS partially responsible, since he walks my way.

Everything in its season, yes? Maybe it is his time to be touched.

When he walks by, I beckon him to a table where I sit with friends. They remain silent throughout. Then so, the conversation between the two of us begins.

“I have a question, sir.” I ask politely, pointing to his sign. “What if God tells me to believe something that Jesus says I should never obey? What then?”

“That would never happen.” He states.

“Then why tell everyone to do that?” I ask.

So begins our back and forth banter as I “innocently” start pecking at his cognitive dissonance. I ask blanketed biblical questions as if I “kinda” know the Bible. He quotes scripture like a robot. I act curious. I am wringing him like a sponge to see where his head is.

Then a couple of things happen, and things change to a negative tone very fast.

ONE

“So, the whole ritual of eating bread and drinking the juice, what does that represent?” I ask.

I have on bright blue eyeliner. I am shiny, smiling and leaned forward in interest. To him, I am a potential. His face lights up at the chance he now has. He believes he is educating me. He is in an undercover linguistic role reversal, and his ego is blind to it.

“This is how we signify ourselves. Jesus said, eat of my flesh and drink of my blood…”

“So like cannibalism.” I interrupt.

That’s when the body language shift happens. I see his muscles tense and the anger set in. He just got challenged. This is against the rules. No one trained him for this one.

“YES!” I think to myself. “I’ve got him.”

TWO

At this point, a very attractive young woman, in her possible mid twenties, passes, and she low fives him. I watch as they lock hands for a second. She has on a long, body fitting and low cut, bright green maxi dress. She sashays her hips as her shoulder-length, brown hair sways over her back.

“Good job, Brother.” She says directly to him.

“Thanks!” He responds.

His face changes as she passes. His ego was just injected. He is reminded of why he does what he does, by that beautiful girl in the green dress who says “Good job.” That feels good, something no one often said to him in life. My senses are reading multiple movements, emotions and gray areas at once.

“Flirty fishing, huh.” I say casually.

“Yeah.” He laughs. “No, wait, huh?” His face changes to very serious.

“Oh, there was this cult. You know they used attractive females to lure members.” I explain.

“Oh, no. That was just a girl I met in the parking lot who’s a Christian and KNOWS what I’m saying is true.” He is defensive.

He doesn’t catch my subtle hint, that I am educated on luring and religious scamming; that I used the word cult; that I get she is giving him her approval, and I just watched him soak it in like it was his last drink; that there’s no parking lot anywhere close to the park. She represents their possibility. Evangelism brings income, and pretty Christian girls bring possibilities.

But hey, that’s just semantics. Back to the more important topics.

“Ok, so back to the cannibalism.” I re-direct.

That word is a trigger word for him so I make sure and use it again. I want him to think about it every time he takes his communion. I want to plant anti-virus words inside his programming. He scrambles to talk about signification, and I watch him change with agitation as the conversation grows.

I am fascinated with his body language and eye movement. Each piece of debate is flipping and turning him. I play with him, arguing scriptures, letting him feel like he is winning, and I stay dumbed down.

I rile him back up by accusing him of disobeying the Bible by arguing with me, but because I won’t tell him the exact verse to back that up, he says it’s not in there.

“You haven’t read the whole Bible then.” I reverse taunt. “If you did, then you’d know that verse.”

I want him go look it up, in his need to be right and find he’s wrong. Just a couple cracks in the screen.

I ask him what church he attends. He tells me they don’t have a church. He tells me that they go to people’s houses, “PREY” with them and have Bible studies.

“So what’s your story. Tell me about your past.”

He immediately shuts down.

“I don’t talk about my past because God instructs us to be ashamed of our pasts. To ask for forgiveness for those sins, but to stay in shame. They are not to be boasted about. Aren’t you ashamed of your past?” He demand.

“Not at all.” I calmly reply. “The Bible says to testify about the struggles we come out of.”

“Well, you should be.”

Ah, the crazy making. That is supposed to trigger my shame. Yet, I have none to trigger.

“How sad.” I say quietly, looking directly at him. “To live in shame.”

He is talking over me now, and he is angry. I understand talking over. It is akin to choking someone to shut them up. He is now telling me that I am a woman, and God instructs me to submit to him. I laugh. I can’t help it. It’s funny. I know this one also. They’re trained to try and trigger females with that stupidity. It’s a sad state of mind.

I try to give him a card. He refuses to touch if. Like it might be a demon. I am glad he doesn’t take it. I’m good with this wacko not knowing who I am.

I can see he is really riled up in a very negative angry way. His roots are rocked. I know anger. Anger is the unearthing of pain.

I feel I should probably make a slight turn to calm him and wrap this up.

“Well, let me ask you something. Does the Bible say God is love?”

“It does.” He agrees, still agitated, his foot tapping rapidly.

“And we are made in God’s image?”

“Yes.” He agrees again.

“Then we are all love by that definition?” I ask softly.

He is suddenly silent. It is as if a robot has been turned off. I am actually surprised at this silence. I expected an immediate robotic response of some contrary scripture as has been his pattern. I didn’t think it would be this simple of a concept which would stump his “hell, hatred, believe and obey” theology. He appears, for the first time, to have grasped a simple thought.

I decide it is a perfect time to be done.

“Hey, thanks for talking to me. Now we can go be love!” I say cheerily, waving my hand as I turn back around to the table.

He walks away, carrying his huge sign as he calls back that I am a wicked, evil woman sinner that should submit to him aka he didn’t, as the man, get the last word in or win the possibility of my pocketbook. Or to shove his questions down; to make me the villain because being wrong isn’t an option.

And I’m thinking “People actually let this man in their homes.”

As my friends and I walk out I see another young man just like the one I’d been speaking with. He has this fancy loud speaker hanging around his neck. It has volume buttons and is attached to a headset and microphone; like the ones used at trade shows.

This guy is also holding a sign and is standing on the corner screaming to the people passing by, talking about their sins. No one is paying any of them attention. They are just park nuisances.

“You sound like Jim Jones.” I lean in fast and hard, hoping my voice picks up on the microphone.

He turns the volume off.

“What?” He asks.

“You sound like Jim Jones.” I repeat.

“Who’s that?” He’s got this confused look on his face.

“Google him. He was a preacher who talked in a microphone just like yours.”

The fact he doesn’t know who Jones is lets me know these individuals are trained cultists who’ve been sequestered from common known truths and possibly internet access. Evangelistic missions with youngsters like this are managed by their handlers, who keep them on tight leashes.

These are swindlers’ puppets standing on festival corners looking for their handler’s next victim. Their masters have chosen the most programmed, best looking and youngest, yet legal, of them to send into the streets.

I think of Scam City. There is a tier racket going on. Extremists looking for followers. He has no church. His church is gaining entrance to people’s homes and lives with the use of a religion.

This is a dangerous criminal racket for which the “tourist” of life should be aware. Becoming a “tourist”, away from our own capable existence, molds a human into prey for the predators who use their religious wares to reel in the “tourists” who’ve become lost. But it’s a scam. Beware the mind pickpocket. They take your thoughts AND your wallet.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of CULT CHILD and other publications. She is the host of Survivor Voices Show on Freedom Slips; Studio B.

Why I Refuse To Misuse the Word Cult

There are linguistics experts who teach us that language evolves and changes over time. I cannot disagree with that.  Still, there are many instances that we must look at language in a deeper way. Linguists examine the structures of languages and the principles that underlie those structures. They study human speech as well as written documents.

Pictures and Hieroglyphics evolved to Mnemonics which evolved into regional languages. There are code languages like Cockney and Urban slang, used by oppressed groups as a way to communicate so their enemies cannot understand what they were discussing.  In essence, they use language as a form of self defense.

I have spent many years studying words that have been turned against humanity; words which, some, once held a deeper meaning. I’ve also explored the possible agendas.  I call these “change agendas“; when there is in intent to purposely, over time, change the meaning of a word in an attempt to trick and skew the mind.

Let’s start with the word “Illuminati“. In a conversation the other day, someone said to me “Well, I use it because that’s what everyone knows.”  I, on the other hand, refuse to use it as it has been termed, because I will not give over my own energy in the way it is being used.

What is the meaning of Illuminati?

il·lu·mi·na·ti
iˌlo͞oməˈnädē/Submit
noun
people claiming to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of something.
“some mysterious standard known only to the illuminati of the organization”
a sect of 16th-century Spanish heretics who claimed special religious enlightenment.
plural proper noun: Illuminati
a Bavarian secret society founded in 1776, organized like the Freemasons.
noun: Illuminati

What is the meaning of Cabal?

ca·bal
kəˈbäl,kəˈbal
noun
a secret political clique or faction.
“a cabal of dissidents”

Imagine the private elite meetings, where the Cabalists laugh about how the world calls them illuminated. If you are a believer that words hold power, think about where you are directing your energy, using a word which implies that individuals who enact immense harm on other humans are the love and the light of the world.

The Cabals of Earth are far from being “illuminated”. 

Let’s move on to the word whore. In my study of the sacred whores, I discovered “The Sacred Female” by Art Noble.   He has recently passed on, a sad loss of a kind acquaintance and an amazing researcher. There was a time BCE, when the Sacred Whores were revered, spiritual women, extremely particular with whom they coupled, usually Kings, Emperors; men of royalty.

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In Hammurabi’s Code of Laws, the rights and good name of female sacred sexual priestesses were protected. The same legislation that protected married women from slander applied to them and their children. They could inherit property from their fathers, collect income from land worked by their brothers, and dispose of property. These rights have been described as extraordinary, taking into account the role of women at the time.”

The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine By Nancy Qualls-Corbett

If the Jesus of the Bible was an enlightened man, it would be a fair deduction that he would have chosen to couple with a Sacred Whore such as Mary Magdalene. Yet, as the creators of religion were enacting the dis-empowerment of women, they gradually turned this word into a negative.

So if someone calls me a Whore, attempting to insult me, I smile and say “thank you“. It is a compliment, as I actually am highly spiritual and particular about with whom I share my body.

Cult is another word which appears to have a change agenda attached to it. Originally applied to Christianity by Christians, it is derived from Latin and means “to worship.”

Definition of cult
1
: formal religious veneration : worship
2
: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents the cult of Apollo
3
: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious (see spurious 2); also : its body of adherents
4
: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator health cults
5
a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (such as a film or book) criticizing how the media promotes the cult of celebrity; especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
b : the object of such devotion
c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion the singer’s cult of fans; The film has a cult following. (Merriam-Webster)

Enter the era of mind control, secret government operations like Jim Jones, the possible testing of mind control through religions, or government programs hidden inside of a cult, and the use of the word cult as it originated in reference to religion.  Suddenly religions did not like the word they had created being applied to them, because the world now thought of Jim Jones or Charles Manson.  Enter the change agenda.

Separating religion from the word cult, through experts, organizations, academic publications and media, even though the dictionary still clearly defines its origin to this day, has been a subtle and effective agenda.

Ever heard of The Mandela Affect? If you are told something enough, or if a group that you follow tells you something is truth, you will not hesitate to believe it, even if you have access to information that would tell you that truth is not correct.

One truth that cannot be changed is that, by definition, all religions are cults. If you worship, you are exuding cult behavior. One could ask, then, are all cults bad? I suppose that would be up to an adult to decide. However, I say that anything which teaches the human to work hard and achieve, just to give that “glory” credit to an invisible entity for which their is no proof, is a purposeful dis-empowerment and a subtle mind control trick that keeps human self-empowerment wavering.

Some cult experts seem to dislike it when I discuss the issue of the change agenda in regards to the word cult. I also find it quite odd that so many religious individuals have ingrained themselves into cult advocacy work and institutions. This means cultists are essentially “helping” cultists. See the problems here? Can the brainwashed truly help the brainwashed? One may say that if someone is still worshiping, then they are still under cult thinking, after all, it’s merely the definition of the word.

When words are improperly used, with an agenda to skew the mind, this is called neuro-linguistic programming. You have been programmed that a Cabal is bright and illuminated, therefore, you call it the Illuminati. You have been programmed to believe that a whore is a woman who sells her body to anyone or has sex with multiple men, therefore, you use the word whore as a derogatory term towards women you dislike. You have been programmed to believe that not all religions are cults.

You are being programmed through language. I highly recommend that you read Cathy O’Brien’s blog post on Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I recommend that you study neuro-linguistic programming and understand when it is used against you, it is a powerful and dangerous weapon. One thing I can guarantee, is that you will not look at language the same. If you are a mindful individual you may be more cautious with how you use words, and the energy with which you project them.

Enlightened Ones, We are the Illuminati. Take back your power by being extremely aware of your words and the intent with which you speak them.

Sacred Whores, continue revering your bodies, being spiritual and extremely particular about who you share your body with.

Religious humans, accept that you have, through indoctrination of worship, become a cultist.  Ask yourself why you can’t 100% believe in yourself. You came to this planet with the Knowing of your own DNA. Wipe out all programming and listen to your OWN body’s DNA cells. They are trying to talk to you, but you have been handed a band-aid cloaked in joy which has become a mesh that buries the sounds of your existence.  Learn to enjoy being silent long enough to hear your OWN voice.

Language is incredibly powerful and stays inside your psyche until you choose to correct it and/or reject it. Choose your words wisely. You are projecting energy every time you speak. Science has proven that your DNA can be re-programmed by words and frequencies. Don’t believe me? Give it a try yourself.

Vennie Kocsis is the author of CULT CHILD, an Amazon best-seller in cults and religion/2016. She is an advocate against child abuse and indoctrination. She is currently writing RISE OF SILA, the sequel to CULT CHILD. Her other publications and art can be explored at her Official Website

A Story of Religious Abuse and Torture

Introduction:  This piece is a contribution from an abuse survivor.  It details extreme abuse and could be triggering to readers.  Please consider caution if you are a trauma survivor.  

By Lusciana Philomena

I was born in the US in the nineties. My sister was quite older than me. She had her own issues, but this is my story. What I will say, is that at one point, I discussed my childhood abuse with her. She believed me in our mutual conversation, then betrayed me and told one of my parents about it. The result was the family turning against me and calling me a liar. It created a new wound in me. Yet, I also saw that the Narcissistic triangulation that my parents created with my sibling never ended. It was hurtful to have a moment of validation taken from me by the betrayal of my sibling.

My parents were blue collar workers who both came from military families. We didn’t move around a lot, but we did move churches quite often. Yet, regardless of what denomination my mother and father were trying out at the time, we always reverted back to fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christianity. This was my life from birth into my twenties.

For those who don’t understand the Pentecostal religion, it is a belief system of rituals such as prayer through laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, frenzies, clapping and dancing as if filled with the “Holy Spirit”. I imagine Christianity is wide spread enough that most people have a grasp on this sect of the religion. We were taught about demons, ingrained with demonic threat and fear. We were often put through rituals where throngs of the congregation members would lay their hands on us children to fill us with the spirit of God so that the demons wouldn’t enter us. I was claustrophobic. I felt panicked when I was in these moments. They scared me, and the energy pressed down on me, as I felt small inside of these moments.

I began having nightmares as a child. I would lay in bed awake for hours at night praying and pleading with God to please not let Satan take me. Because of the extreme nature of the fear and torture I was experiencing, I became adept at dissociating away from my body. I was often threatened with eternal torment in a place called “Hell“. I was told that I could lose my salvation and be damned. Yet, in those same breaths, I was also told how much God loved me. I could not make sense of anything around me. Many days were filled with fear, uncertainty and there was no safe place for me. There was gossip, deceit, and trickery everywhere in my environment. I never knew who I could fully trust.

I also attended a private Christian school from kindergarten until I graduated high school. Private schools are not required to adhere to the same curriculum or child safety rules as public schools. In private school, abuse was constant. Since the religious belief systems were also the same as the church we attended, they used the same methodology of punishment. Teachers subjected me to solitary confinement in closets and rooms until I lost track of time. There was physical abuse, severe mental and emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, public shaming and humiliation, degrading remarks, inappropriate sexualization and touching, and isolation from other children and the outside world. I was kept inside of a bubble of fearful compliance.

There were layers upon layers of cover-ups at school, as the staff was always watching us and each other. I felt constantly surrounded by human predators waiting to pounce. My mind was terrorized. I was often the focus of being targeted. I thought I was just the worst child in the school. In the beginning, I was a well-behaved child who merely daydreamed. Looking back, I believe at that time I was actually beginning to dissociate from life as a whole. Soon, I decided that since I was going to be in trouble anyways, I might as well give them a reason to punish me, so I began to act out. This at least gave me a satisfactory feeling of justification versus being punished for nothing.

In my home life my father was a confusing man. He could be the most loving father and also the most brutal. Since this was all going on at the same time as the abuse at church and school, I tend to remember these time periods as one, long bundle of abuse. My father taught me “games” that I eventually was conditioned to ask for and even enjoy, which haunts me to this day. I believed that I was born to please my father and make him happy, protect him, and do his bidding at all costs. I also believed that once my father died I would have nothing left to live for therefore I would have to end my life after his. I was conditioned to be my father’s puppet by him directly as well as his immediate family, who told me that I must do what my father commanded.

Some of the “games” he played with me included nerve shock torture where he pressed his fingers deeply into trigger points in my body, pulling the tendons up and away from the bone, then twisting and grinding them. Places he targeted were behind my knees, my neck, and my pelvis area. He purposely created a mixture of pain and sexual pleasure in my body. Regardless of my age, my body scientifically responded, giving him the results that he wanted.

Other forms of torture included tickle torture where I was forced to stay still or else the game started over; he used light breath, fingers and whiskers to tickle my body. All of my father’s sadistic leanings were filled with sexual elements. My household was rife with sexual inappropriateness. My mother would also sometimes behave in inappropriate sexual ways, behaviors that I should not have been exposed to as a child. I soon believed that my mother knew what my father was doing and didn’t care. My father would freely smack me on the behind, as if I was his girlfriend, whenever he wanted. He pinched my skin in inappropriate places, tried to get me to kiss him and chased me around the house. My mother simply hollered at us to settle down.

My father contorted my limbs, bending them the incorrect way. This caused excruciating pain, and I would scream. He threw ice water on me randomly when I was showering. Sometimes he would just stand in the doorway and flick the light off and on, off and on, repeatedly. I could not say a word or ask for him to stop. I was in complete compliance. My mother sometimes participated, throwing water on my face in the morning until I woke up feeling like I was drowning. I was yelled at to get up for the day, again my lights being flicked on and off, on and off. It was all because I was a heavy sleeper, they would say, sometimes laughing at me at the same time.

The torture my father enacted on me seemed endless. He would press into my sternum until the pain was excruciating. He pulled my fingers apart so wide it felt the skin would rip. He’d instruct me to stick out my tongue, grab it with a towel and pull until I screamed from the intense pain. He would laugh when this was happening. He would laugh intensely, as if it was the most entertaining thing. Sometimes he would lead me around by my tongue as I was in pain. Yet he would be laughing, since to him, it was a game. My father allowed me to have pets. Not because he wanted me to be happy. No. It was so he could use them to abuse me further by abusing them. I had the belt used on me to the point that I dissociated from my own body in order to withstand the pain.

As I became older with my father grew more deeply confusing, because coupled with his “games” of inducing mind blowing pain on me; he also showered me with love. At times he whispered in my ear that he loved me and would whisper other loving sentiments. There were moments of doting on me. He had endearing pet names for me. He also treated my pets the same way, sometimes loving them, sometimes cruelly abusing them. These moments induced a great love and bond with my father which intersected itself into the fear state that I existed inside. His behavior created a duality through which I could not critically navigate emotionally.

This abuse was also coupled with ritualistic religion, such as my father quoting Bible verses in the middle of abusing me. I have many gaps for which I don’t have answers. My body and my intuition have an idea of what hides inside those gaps. I often don’t even want to think about the possibility of what more my father did to me, that my mind has chosen to suppress. My mother projected jealousy onto me and in doing so, also physically and mentally abused me. She made me shower with her. Both my father and mother bathed me far beyond the years that I should have been being taught to bathe myself.

My father was an alcoholic and pill user. One night when I was a young adult he physically and sexually assaulted me. I hit him multiple times to get him to stop. Years later, when I confronted him, he alleged not to remember those moments. Yet, with persistence, I finally got him to admit to abusing me, and he said he was sorry. Then he proceeded to use emotional blackmail on me, victim blaming me and trying to make me feel sorry for him, saying that I was “killing” him. My mother was no help when I called her, blaming me for the situation and saying that she didn’t have time to be bothered. I felt helpless and in shock. She further stated what a terrible person I was for hurting my father with such lies. I knew that when it came to accountability in my family, I may never have it.

Because of my childhood, I endure flashbacks, complex PTSD, an eating disorder and fibromyalgia. I have insomnia to avoid the night terrors. I am hyper-vigilant about being followed, and I am often in fight or flight mode, feeling trapped. My capacity to develop my own spirituality as an adult has been severely hindered due to having a constant, tangible fear which lingers inside of me. Being an abused child left me with mental health and physical disorders. I have severe body somatic pain which can’t be associated with any one specific physical injury, leading doctors to connect my body pain to the reality of body memories.

Body memories are caused by trauma settling into our cells. Therefore, the body manifests the abuse on a daily basis, causing severe genital pain, joint and tendon pain, neuropathy that shoots nerve pain through my whole system. The nerve pain mimics the tendon shock rituals performed on me as a child.

The most confusing part about my abuse is how my parents could be so loving at times and so sadistically brutal at others. I realize that my identity belongs to them and now, I am struggling to figure out who I am before I was born into a childhood of abuse and confusion. I am sifting through broken pieces to integrate them so I can get to know who I really am.

Because of my experiences I have a great capacity to understand others who have been tortured. I know that as I continue to work through the aftermath of my own abuse, I will continue to grow and be a strong support for my fellow survivors.

I don’t know if I’ll even understand why I was tortured, except to understand mind control on a level so deep, a parent believes a religion justifies the abuse of their child. I want to know who trained my father to utilize such specific torture methods on my muscles and limbs. There are so many questions that leave tangled pieces in my mind. As a child my mind fragmented into “pieces or aspects” in attempt to endure what I was being put through however they have more or less integrated now. I wish my parents knew how much accountability and truth would change the course of each of my days. I wonder if my paternal grandfather learned these torture methods while serving in the military, and in turn, used them on my father. Again, I may never have these answers.

And so, I must stand inside of radical acceptance and continue creating who I truly am.

ART

When art comes out of me, it can take on varying forms, depending on who is holding the pen or the paint, as you will see in the pieces below.

 

POETRY

                Another outlet for my pain is writing poetry.  This expression has been a crucial part of my healing journey.

Porcupine No Longer

Ashamed and frozen in fear, time stops.
Pretending to be asleep; staying very still…
Lying and waiting, pretending it’s all just a dream.
“NO! Get up! I have to do something!” SCREAM!
*Silence*… I don’t make a sound. No one can know. Ashamed!
Eyes now scrunched up tight and fists form into balls.
Go into my mind. Pretend I am a porcupine.
Can’t touch me! Can’t touch me! I am a porcupine!
Doesn’t work…
Porcupine’s quills have been plucked clean away! Exposed.
Body is a map whose lands have been plundered before.
Monster’s fingers are legs, walking the map, exploring it all.
Monster is greedy: taking what is not his to take.
Too scary. So scary. Can’t be happening.
Dumb, wretched girl.
Pretend. Pretend. Pretend. Smile. I’m alright.
Tomorrow I’ll pretend I don’t remember what happened at night.

Healing Under a Canopy

Stroll through the shaded wood I must;
Liniment for a marred soul.
In love with the seclusion it offers;
I yearn for the peace it brings.
Amble about in nature’s song
I stroll along to such sounds:
Singing birds, dinky feet on Forest’s floor, water-a-trickling.

Healing from a pain so deep
It threatens to crush my voice.
I rebel, fight back, scream, kick, cry.
I will not allow this.
You cannot have my soul.
My past will not destroy me!
Your ‘control’ is merely an illusion.
I am no longer a child.

For I see the light.
It’s above me,
Filtering through the leaves.
It streaks my face with gold.
I feel its warmth on my skin.
This is the color of confidence.
I give myself the permission.
I can heal.
No one else can have
Me.

I smile.
I laugh.
I cry.
I’m filled with joy.
I am at peace.

Up ahead, I see a bridge.
I will cross it.
I will burn it down.

My story is the story of countless children being raised just like I was. Please don’t forget them. I want other survivors to know that you are not alone. Time and self-work make days easier. Please know that healing to a level of thriving is absolutely possible. To kids everywhere being abused, you are so strong and brave. You have the right to speak up; to tell your story; to be believed, heard and protected. You have the right to be safe and loved. You are not alone, and there are many of us Advocates dedicated to rescuing you and helping you heal.

Growth Sometimes Comes In Small Packages

It’s been a long run with me being a parent. I was a young mother at twenty. The parenting skills I knew, I acquired from my own mother, and well, anyone who has read “Cult Child” knows that her parenting skills were sub par.

There were things I hoped I would never do; like make mistakes. No one ever told me that was okay. No one ever told me that I was a flawed human being.

My eldest son went straight into parenthood at a young age. He is a warrior child, and while his personality is… Virgo, fact based, ready to make a move and sometimes difficult, I admire the tenacity with which he figures out supporting his family.

This is where I feel I failed as a mother. I didn’t have the best of life skills in my earlier days and because of that, my eldest especially, suffered with the same.

When his little daughter was born last week, 6 weeks before time, just a mere 3.5lbs, in the ICU, but doing so well, nothing in the past mattered for me. We sprung into action. I realize that while I cannot do everything, like be a nanny, I can be the best YaYa to these beautiful grandchildren and support my family emotionally while still maintaining my own mental health boundaries.

We are growing. I am learning. My sons are teaching me that I have to let go; that I will always be mom and they will be brothers who have secrets and moments in which I am not included. That hurts sometimes, triggering me back to being a child on the cult, shunned for some infraction. Yet, I bring my critical thinking into the forefront and remember that this is not the same. This is two brothers loving each other, and they deserve that special bond.

In this experience, through help from friends and my counselor, I’m learning my place as mom; that I cannot fix everything. I cannot rescue everyone. I can support without exhausting myself. That is my responsibility to maintain.

I am thankful today for these lessons, and I take them with me, adding to my infinite growth.

When Writing Out Trauma Is Crippling

A wise person once said, “There are three things you should never share; your relationship, your finances and your next move.”

It has become a mantra for my life.   Years of being both vulnerable and held back at the wrong times have left me speculating my own judgment.  Being alone is safer, away from the possibility of re-victimization.

I learned harsh lessons as I grew up. With no boundaries to define danger or relationships I was tossed out of a childhood that had been riddled with abuse straight into the very society I had been trained to fear, hate and one day even war against in the name of God.

With blinders on, I ran towards everything I’d been taught was sin.  I bathed in it.  I dove inside of it like it was a swimming pool.  I became prey, a seal pup in an ocean full of sharks.

A couple of nights ago, while working on “Rise of Sila“, the sequel to “Cult Child“, I had to write a trauma memory.  I had to get into the details of it, part of them being a time my sister wore long sleeves to hide the bruises her rapist left on her upper arms.    When I was finished with the section, nausea swept through me quickly, suddenly and filled my mouth with water to the point I had to curl up on my bed and do focus breathing until it passed.

Fuck.”  I thought.  “It’s starting.”

This is what happened while I was writing “Cult Child“.  The trauma surfaced in waves, and with it came years of sporadic vomiting, night terrors, migraines, days in bed weeping, high peaks of anxiety and agoraphobia and a lot of deep isolation.

I smiled in selfies to post on the Internet. I spun on the positivity pole as if I was the poster child of survival, and I hid the reality of how crippling writing trauma is for me.

I thought I would feel some kind of relief after getting “Cult Child” out.   Yet, I didn’t.  I felt incredibly proud of myself that I had accomplished the project.  I also felt an extreme exhaustion that still lingers as I continue on.   I feel weakened.  I feel that I have only spilled out a sliver of the truth about the reality that was my childhood.

Last night I had a dream which rocked me. When I woke up this morning, the emotions of the dream came hazily with it bringing short, flash images of children milling about, a lot of confusion and an inability to grasp the rest of the images.  There are no worse dreams for me to have, than the ones which involve children.  They take the longest to shake from my eyes and the hardest to re-balance my heart from.   [Click here to visit my Dreamscape category where I document them.]

I am pushing myself, because this story must be told.  It has to be left behind so my sons and lineage will have documentation of their ancestral life.  I have to tell the truth for myself, hoping that maybe, just maybe, after I am finished, there will be some reprieve.

But, right now, in this moment, I just feel like avoiding.