religious abuse

What Happens When We Dissociate?

How does Dissociation work? Is it okay to Dissociate? What happens during Dissociation? So many questions are posed toward the phenomena of trauma Dissociation.

The scientific process of Dissociation is a brilliant function of a human being’s DNA ability. There are many aspects which could be deeply examined in regards to the phenomena of Dissociation.

  1. Where does the DNA brain and body energy go when it leaves?
  2. Is the ability to Dissociate related to how much torture/pain a human can endure?
  3. Can Dissociation be controlled by the carrier?
  4. What happens during the Dissociative process?
  5. Why do some abuse victim’s Dissociate and not others?

In my memoir, CULT CHILD, I go into great detail about my Dissociative memories. These are real experiences which are extremely clear and prevalent in my memory. They have never changed. They have only been verified.

My Dissociation process as a child did not disappear, but instead, evolved as I became an adult. When I begin to feel my energy separate from my body, a myriad of physical signals happen first.

Sounds disappear. My body feels as though it is floating. My heart rate speeds up. I begin to see my current reality in third person perspective, as an outsider looking in. This happens in a matter of seconds. Then in a blink, I am elsewhere in my mind. I, personally, tend to travel to a dimension outside of my current realm.

Because I dissociated so much as a tortured child, it seemed like a natural and smooth transition to evolve the methods I used to transition, into my own meditative states. If my environment is right, I am able to push through the physically uncomfortable Dissociation transition to access differing sectors of my brain. Now, it is a willful and purposeful action.

The most pertitant element has been grounding to insure I am not left with aftermath; that I can come back to my present reality and be able to function at my own current level. Therefore, before using this technique I usually hold an object in my hand.

For me, there are now two types of “Dissociation”. One, emerged out of a childhood fear, fight/flight instinct, which I used as I was universally assisted through surviving cult inflicted torture.

The other would emerge as a flipping of those ritual tools, utilizing the survival abilities of my childhood abuse as newly assistive methods through which I now freely access the other dimension.

So, from my experiences, there is no set answer to the “What happens when you dissociate?” question. There are too many mitigating factors.

  • a human’s level of pain tolerance
  • a human’s mental strength
  • an abuse victim’s environment
  • an abuse victim’s DNA
  • the type of abuse enacted

For instance, my Dissociations found me continuously returning to the seventh realm, as I know it, while another abuse victim I am friends with jumps to a planet within this galaxy. Yet another abuse survivor I know remains on the ceiling, watching the full extent of their abuse. One element I observe in regards to the extent of an ability to control Disaociation seems to also include a human’s personal evolvement. The more evolved human deals with less fear, thereby being able to travel easier.

To answer how one dissociates would be to speak with every abuse victim who has used Dissociation to cope. While our experiences and circumstances are all differing, what we do have in common are the physical signs, as described above.

Possibly, when we master the skill of traveling, not in fearful Dissociation, but in an ability to focus, using Dissociative abilities to access the levels of our own existence, we have come to explore our memories from a place of empowerment.

This takes work. It has taken me years to evolve my methods. I am still evolving them as I am determined to access more of my mind’s caves. It takes being healthy so the body doesn’t fall ill. One must be able to be in a soothing environment to do this work. Because it is emotionally laborious, most Dissociation carriers avoid the exhaustive journey.

Yet, I say that if one chooses to face the layers of their own dissected childhood, that through the exhaustion, tears and haunting images, learning to stay grounded and traveling into Dissociation has been one of my strongest developments.

Vennie Kocsis is a 2016 Amazon best-selling author of CULT CHILD, a memoir detailing her abusive childhood in Sam Fife’s Move of God cult. She is currently writing the sequel, RISE OF SILA.

#SurvivorVoices Guest Post: “Today Is the First Anniversary of My Freedom”

Guest Post by Adeena Blumenfield

April 16, 2017, at 6:22 PM

Today is the first year anniversary of my freedom.

Exactly one year ago, on April 16, 2016, with the help of Fraidy Reiss of Unchained At Last, the police were called to my home during a violent incident. My now ex-husband was arrested immediately. This incident opened up a journey of freedom for my sons and me.

This wasn’t a loving marriage gone sour, or a typical domestic quarrel. It was an arranged, forced marriage, in a sadistic and calculated, controlling cult where a man like my ex thrives. You see in this patriarchal cult, it is a man like my ex’s ideal environment. In this community following the rules is the only thing that is sacred. Humane treatment of women and children or morals are never a priority.

I was raised in the Charedi community of Kiryat Sefer, Israel. The oldest of nine children, I spent my childhood days and nights changing my siblings’ diapers, bathing them, cooking, and cleaning our meager home. Constantly trying to fit in, I prayed to God to help me believe in him. Inside of myself, I was fighting the endless questions of his existence, resulting in deep guilt.

I was in shame while wondering why would God give women a brain, if their sole purpose on earth was only to serve men? Was the creation of women in vain? Is our life’s purpose just about avoiding hell? Or is hell right here on this creator-less earth by a religion created by humans? I lived in a silent abyss of mental confusion.

Without my consent, I was engaged at 19 and ultimately forced into a loveless, abusive, and extremely violent marriage. Having no say in most of my daily activities and definitely not having the freedom of life choices, I gave birth to three children within 4 years.

The sexual assaults started during our engagement. What he wanted, he took. The rapes began after we were officially married. The physical abuse began with my first pregnancy. With the birth of my first child, the child abuse began.

My ex-husband informed me daily that, “According to Jewish law, I own you! I can do what I want to you. Your body no longer belongs to you. It belongs to me, and I can do what I wish, how I wish, when I wish.” So, he did.

Nine years of torture and torment ensued. Nine years I lived in constant anguish and horror, sorrow and terror. Nine years where every time I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did.

One year ago, my ex was locked up in the county jail, in the sex offenders unit, where he belongs. His bail was set at $100,000 in full, which my own parents paid. My family and the religious community funded his team of top New York city attorneys.

Yet, when I asked them for help, I was told, “You’re not the one sitting in jail. You will not need an attorney at all.”

I was heavily pressured by my family, the Rabbis, and even the community leaders, including city Councilmen, to go back to the police and tell them that my testimony was a lie. When I refused, I was verbally abused.

Why are you being so difficult?” They demanded of me.

Then another tactic of coercion was attempted when the Rabbi told me he COMMANDED me to lie, considering it a “Mitzva” (a good deed done from religious duty).

I asked them how would I be protected against my ex. The Rabbis and community leaders informed me that my ex will return home immediately in the hopes to “cover this mess up“. They instructed me that the next time he assaulted me, I should give THEM a call. I should never again involve the police.

My family supported this reasoning. They explained to me that if there was a divorce in my family, it would scar them, preventing my younger siblings to ever have an equitable match. Their status in the community mattered more than mine and my children’s safety.

I stayed strong, I did not give in. I held by the truth. I fought for my children’s, and my freedom. The community shunned me. My family disowned me. Yet by my side stood Chani Getter of Footsteps. The support of this organization gave me the strength I needed to keep fighting. I was not alone.

The Superior Court found my ex guilty of serious crimes, including but not limited to, child abuse and neglect, child endangerment, aggravated assault, criminal restraint, and long term spousal rape.

Last month, with the help of Patrice Lenowitz of The Nurtured Parent Support Group for Survivors of Domestic Abuse, and Richard Pompelio of the New Jersey Crime Victims Law Center, the criminal case was finally over. My ex plead guilty on multiple criminal counts. I received full custody of my children. He was denied any access to them. We hope he never will.

In the past year, my sons and I have evolved from being beaten up under the control of a clinically diagnosed Sociopath, to living in a domestic violence shelter, to finally re-starting our lives fresh, in a wonderful neighborhood. My sons are in fantastic public schools. I am in college, studying Molecular Biology.

This transition has not been easy by any means. Yet, we have started a journey that I can finally trust, a new life for all of us. I walk this journey in freedom, with great friends by my side, creating great new memories to look back on and look forward into new and amazing experiences.

There is a life of hope after domestic violence. As Anais Nin so eloquently said, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” I took the risk to blossom, and now, I am blooming and creating new blossoms.

Thank you to Adeena for being a brave Survivor Voice. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of Domestic Violence, please reach out. If you feel that your computer use is being tracked, be cautious and try to use the phone or another computer instead. See resources below for global Domestic Violence support.

National Domestic Violence Resources:

ORGANIZATIONS/AGENCIES

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Line
3300 N.W. 185th Street, Suite 133
Portland, OR 97229
Phone: (503) 203-1444
Toll-free: 1-866-USWOMEN (International Crisis Line)
Organization dedicated to assisting American women living overseas victimized by domestic violence. Outreach, safety planning, extensive support services, general info on domestic violence at website.

Arugaan ng Kalakasan
45 Maalalahanin St.
Teachers Village
Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: (02) 921-8013/928-7774 / (02)430-4227
E-mail : aru-kalakasan@phi.gn.apc.org
Arugaan ng Kalakasan is a SEC–registered NGO providing services for battered women and mobilizing the community to action against domestic violence.
Service : Free face–to–face counseling by appointment
Schedule : Monday to Friday 8:00 – 5:00 PM

Canadian National Clearinghouse on Family Violence
Family Violence Prevention Unit
Public Health Agency of Canada
200 Eglantine Dr.
Ottawa, ON I9O 9D1
Phone: (613) 957-2938
TTY Toll-free: 1-800-561-5643
Toll-free: 1-800-267-1291
The NCFV is a national resource centre for all Canadians seeking information about violence within the family, including spouse/partner abuse, child abuse, and elder abuse.

Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma at Alliant International University
10065 Old Grove Rd.
San Diego, CA 92131
Phone: (858) 527-1860 x 4160

Muslim Women’s Help Line
Unit 3, 1st Floor
GEC Estate, East Lane
Glasgow, UK
Phone: 0808 801 0301
Hotline for Muslim women and girls in the U.K. dealing with domestic violence, sexual abuse, and other problems.

National Domestic Violence Hotline (Canada)
Toll-free: 1-800-363-9010
All provinces. Bilingual (English & French).

National Organization of Battered Women’s Shelters (Sweden)
ROKS, Hornsgatan 66
118 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08-422 99 30

Nottelefon Zurich
Phone: 044 291 46 46
Pages available in German, English, French, Spanish & Italian) Counseling by phone and in person, free referrals to doctors and legal advisors, for women dealing with sexual harassment or abuse, or exploitation by therapists, doctors, ministers, at work or home.

Provincial Association of Transition Houses of Saskatchewan (P.A.T.H.S.)
1940 McIntyre Street
Regina, SK S4P 2R3
Phone: (306) 522-3515
P.A.T.H.S. is a non–profit organization comprised of safe houses, shelters, transition and interval houses throughout Saskatchewan for women and children victimized by family violence. The Hot Peach Pages provide links to hotlines, shelters, legal and general info on family violence for Saskatchewan, and throughout Canada.

Scottish Women’s Aid
2nd floor
132 Rose St.
Edinburgh EH2 3JD
United Kingdom
Phone: 0131 475 2372
24-hour helpline: 0800 027 1234
Support and information, referrals to refuges, counseling, and services for children.

Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE)
c/o Austrian Women’s Shelter Network
Bacherplatz 10/ 4
1050 Vienna
Austria
Phone: 01-5482720
Refuges, hotlines, education, counseling throughout Europe.

Women’s Aid Federation of England
P.O. Box 391
Bristol B599 7WS, England
Phone: 0117 944 4411
Freephone: 0808 2000 247

World-Wide List of Domestic Abuse Agencies
Global inventory of hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centres and women’s organizations, searchable by country, plus index of domestic violence resources in over 70 languages.

“Ownership” Featured Blog Post

**TRIGGER WARNING**

One of the ideas that I have struggled with the most this past year is that I was a slave. I was owned. Words that are hard enough to type and still stumble and bumble off of my tongue. My heart clenches, my hands shake, and my mind screams NOOOOOOOO every time I delve into this subject in therapy or on my own. I still ask how? why? Questions for which I will never really have answers.

Read More at Sunset – Fire, Ashes, Rebirth

Motherless On Mother’s Day

by Vennie Kocsis

I don’t quite understand these constant holidays, dedicated to moms and dads and bunnies and love. I see them as marketing scams, a way to boost economy almost every month, by throwing in a Holiday.

But hey, maybe I’m bitter.

On these days I am reminded of my absent mother. See, not only did she pass away in 2007, her mother’s soul was stolen when I was three.

Recruited by an ill-intended woman into a sinister cult, my mother was forced to be separated from her children, initially physically starved through food rationing. After years of brutal torture, all of our spirits were broken.

Emotionally, I never had a mother. In cult life, I was rarely allowed to express my feelings to anyone. This was considered to be self centered behavior, a feeding of the flesh and a sin in the eyes of God.!!If by some chance I caught my mother in a listening mood, my emotions were most often turned back around on me.

“Suck it up, buttercup.”

This was one of my mother’s favorite phrases.

These days feel so distant to me. Social media is filled with flowery and adoring words dedicated to mothers. They are loved and adorned with the flowers of sparkly attention.

I wonder if those mothers are supported every single day as they raise children, work and juggle schedules. I wonder if they have their own mothers to love them.

My mother is not here to love me. If she were here, she would most likely be in the midst of her Queendom, wearing her dark “Godmother” sunglasses which she’d taken to wearing for her glaucoma.

She would be the center wheel, the rest of the family mothers in her shadow, as she preened. There is a wince inside of my star heart, a little ache to return, back into the portal where my real home awaits.

I see the outstretched arms of my celestial Mother, her lips parted into a smile reflecting light from her pearly white teeth. She is waiting for me. She is proud that I succeeded in my mission.

“Welcome Home.” She says softly.


(Gif by Vennie Kocsis)



There is no banner or trumpets to celebrate my return. We are not a star family of false pretenses. She gives me the intimate connection which supersedes any material gift.

She holds me inside of her love, and as her arms wrap around my body, I sigh a heavy breath into her chest. I am home again.

To the mother in the starlight, who visits my dreams at night, soothing my cries, stroking my holographic hair, I am alight in your glory. We will see victory in this round.

Around My City She Sleeps

There are people who learn to trust the streets. I think of their lives, how they have made darkness their day and daylight their night so they can stay alive.

Where is the safe space when the alleys are teeming with the unloved at night, ravaged by the anger in their souls, screaming out their behavior and trying to numb the pain?

I understand why she sleeps in the day, quiet beneath an office building eave, on a porch never used. I watch the employers walk quietly past her, making sure not to wake her as they enter their offices.

This mixture of compassion and hopelessness fills my observation. She is sleeping soundly where she feels safe. Somehow, there is a silent understanding of this, and so she is left to rest.

I wonder of her story, who hurt her heart, body or both. I wonder when she gave up, how old she was and what would make life different for her.

Caught in a moment around my city, I see the humanness of humans. I feel the dance of empathy and indifference from those who walk past. If they let her sleep, they’ve done enough.

And I feel a woman with a ghost story, thankful for a tiny porch and the chance to sleep in quiet, beneath a mound of blankets, escaping reality for a few short hours.

Around my city, she sleeps, the wind weeps and minds escape into dreams.

©venniekocsis.com

The Pages I Rarely Share: Why Trauma Journals Are Healing

I rarely share my personal, hand-written journal pages. They are private and raw, exposing trails into myself that I don’t necessarily want others to walk upon.

As I continue the journey of writing through trauma, I’ve connected with other survivors looking for outlets for their pain. I believe deeply in journaling, mainly because there are endless ways one can journal. There are no rules. We get to customize it to fit our own need, and it can look like anything.

I have differing journals for varying states of mind:being. One contains dreams I’m either lucky or unlucky enough to remember. Another contains childhood memories. This one is graphic in nature, and I would not share most of these pages publicly.

I write daily in my gratitude journal to keep my self-love balanced. Another journal is filled with letters written to a stranger. A slam journal holds pasted pieces of moments to remember, like movie tickets, a leaf shaped like a heart found on a walk, a cool newspaper clipping and so much more which has fit my fancy to save, glue and tape.

My “Letters to a Stranger” journal is a stream of consciousness ramble of mind dump journal. There is no necessary “reason” to the entries in it. Should someone pick it up, it may appear as the jumbled code of a multiple mind.

These are two pages from my Dump Journal to show an example of what might fall out of my head. I tend to write in this during a mind split moment where my hands need to move while my brain is on overload. I’m in random mode, just clearing subconscious thoughts out of my head. I tend to be lucid. I don’t critically think through it. I allow it to flow and have its own voice.

So, I hope you will dump the images which plague your mind, into words and the thoughts into pages. I hope you give it away, and don’t hold it in.

Dump, my friend, dump.

The Constant Ebb of Impending Doom

By Vennie Kocsis

To untangle the web of my current occasional States of Being has required a process of retracing the steps into my past through the portal of my present behaviors and emotions.

Growing up in an end-times cult, I was taught two main death concepts.

1. God was going to end the planet by destruction, and all humans would die.

2. The Communists would begin that process through a brutal American invasion, which would include the genocide of all Christians.

Therefore, from my beginning developing years, my mind was conditioned for a death event which could come at any time.

Although eventually an acceptance set in as I was put through survival training to live off of the remote Alaskan mountainsides in Delta Junction, existing within this mindset created a layer of doom inside of my childhood emotional state.

Life was not only lived in fear of my own death and the world ending, but of the adults around me. I feared the death of the handful of people I had come to love. I feared the punishment of the brutal adults who were always overseeing us like vultures. I had to watch every word I spoke. I walked on eggshells of fear; afraid to say or do the wrong thing.

I held the secrets of my sexual abusers. There was no safe place for me. There was no one I could talk to; no safe teacher, as they were all abusive, no school counselor, since we were schooled inside the cult, no police or 911 to call, no access to telephones, no ability to write un-monitored letters to my Grandmother or Father, whose addresses I was not allowed to have anyways. Not even friends could ever fully be trusted. I was indeed enslaved in body, mind and spirit.

The programming of mistrust ran so deep, the fear of death and saying or doing the wrong thing, always simmered within my mind. It weaved into my normal state of awareness. Simply put, it became a part of my operating wheel.

This doom morphed into a state of being which embedded itself into my body’s scientific chemical system, understanding that emotions derive from cells and brain chemistry, and became a permanent part of my operational system.

Ordinary day to day activities randomly awakened the sense of doom and fear. Going into public, it simmered in my stomach. It became the possibility of everything bad that could happen. It emerged in unexpected moments like grocery store visits where my eyes watched every stranger who passed me, untrusting and suspecting. Or when driving, where I was intensely aware of my surroundings, watching vehicles and noting who was inside of them. It held me often in isolation, not wanting to venture far from home.

It contributed to the choice of two abusive adult relationships, as I confused being controlled with being protected, believing the second time that I could even help an abusive person, although I could not help myself.

It assisted in taking away my ability to have a reality based thinking, or build self-protecting boundaries, a life skill I was never taught. It led me away from my own intuition and eventually replaced it, until the act of living was filled with a thin layer of expected doom, even if it was undefined by any specific event.

As I became older and experienced more abuse, the hyper-vigilance and fear became my fuel. My mind was constantly on the run and in defense mode. I behaved as hunted prey, always on the lookout of my surroundings. I trusted no one. Yet, naively trusted everyone. My trust abilities were reversed, convoluted and tangled.

However, there had to come a moment where I was living my life, not from a sense of doom, gloom and fear, but through an empowering awareness, wisdom and critical perspectives.

While I still have certain thought patterns that I am working through, when survivors of abuse explain an adult life of feeling impending doom emotion, I hold a true understanding. I feel with them and understand why. Especially those victimized by religious abuse.

To carry the layers of who we are as abuse survivors is like carrying a book which must be read, should someone care to know us. Within the pages, cracks created by a multitude of breaks, are clearly revealed.

I require understanding. I want to feel safe around the people I am with. Not just safe emotionally, but physically as well. It is at the top of my requirement list to be a part of my life; loyalty and safety. It only takes once for that to be broken for me, and I either say goodbye or change my interactions.

To love us survivors is to know us. To reassure us. To look out for us. To help us know without a doubt you will never hurt us. Until we can feel that completely, patience is required to help us trust you. When you show interest in giving us that support, in return, you will receive a deep love.