I thought it might be helpful to share a bit about what healing has looked like, for the past few years, as I have worked on memories. I realize that the articles I have posted (in hopes of helping therapists and those who support survivors understand more about programming done, and the issues that survivors face) sound very organized, calm and logical. This is in large part because they have been written after some of the hardest part of a very difficult journey has been completed.
In 2007, I had gone through a very difficult time in my life. I was in a very abusive marriage, and had moved back to Texas after leaving the state for a year. A former friend saw me, was concerned about how I looked, and asked me “Are you okay?” I asked her if we could talk; and shared with her my concerns about my safety and my life in my current situation. She then told me that I could come and stay with her.
I went home; packed up my clothes (my husband was working), grabbed my dog, and fled. I literally had one bag of clothes, and almost nothing else. My friend, who had another friend living with her as well, became part of a difficult and highly emotional journey for me.
Journaling, collaging and self therapy
I began journaling daily, for hours. Parts were sharing their thoughts, concerns and fears on page after page, which included drawings of internal parts with “thought balloons” like cartoons, where they shared their thoughts with me. As the parts shared what they looked like, and their terror/panic/anger and shame, a picture started taking shape; one that horrified me as I saw what had really been going on, and the history of my life.
I filled three boxes full of journals over the course of the next two years. I created numerous collages, as parts put on paper their histories. At one point, I bought a cheap set of dolls of different ages, and hand-sewed costumes that included white lab coats, dark robes and other costumes, as younger parts did “play therapy” and showed me with the dolls what had happened to them.
Some days, I would shake with fear, as parts shared about the programming traumas they had undergone. Other days, I would cry for hours, as I recalled losses; and as parts grieved what they had done in their past. I remember feeling suicidal as retaliation programming would be set off after parts disclosed high security memories, wondering if I would make it through the day. I decided to take life one hour, or even one minute at a time, and to choose to believe I would make it.
The despair would hit, and I would want to curl up into a ball and never get up. And still the memories came, and the journals filled up. I learned to find things that brought me joy, such as listening to songs my littles like (“Nala the Chihuahua” was a top favorite, as well as the gummy bear song in French, and the theme song from “The Titanic” in German). I would color, and finger paint, and play with clay. I took walks every day (with a friend, for safety). I found out to my amazement that I could dance; some ways that were joyful and fun; other ways that saddened me. I sang and played guitar, and made up songs to encourage my parts. I gave inside parts medals of commendation for courage and bravery, as they shared their stories, and helped others in the sharing. I played with my dog and hugged her.
I learned about the families I had grown up with in other countries, and felt disoriented and dislocated, as I realized that the life history I had always believed was a cult fabrication. I then felt deep anger at myself, for having “bought the lie” and at my perpetrators for controlling my life to this degree.
I dealt with rage, taking a sledge hammer and breaking rocks (which helped my friend, who was building a rock foundation and fence on part of her property). I was depressed and felt horrendous betrayal as I remembered my children accessing me, and taking me to be hurt; and realizing that it would not be safe to have contact with them.
The Toughest Times
Some days, I wondered if I would ever heal. I wondered if anyone heals. I wanted to know somebody who HAD healed, who could tell me it was possible to do it.
I got angry at God, yelling at Him, and telling Him I wanted nothing to do with a God who created a world where the types of abuse I was remembering were possible. I then felt His love and concern, and patience, in spite of my pain and hurt.
It was a difficult, hard and lonely process. My friends were supportive, but they had no background to understand the types of programming I was dealing with. I remembered being put in negative sound rooms, and isolation tanks; going through tech torture using Tesla waves, harmonics and machine brain entrainment, and while they cared, they could not really relate.
I missed my loved ones in the group, terribly, and cried as I worked at breaking the bonds. I drew pictures of them. I made pictures of perpetrators, and cut them up with scissors in rage; then would remember that I had also deeply loved these same people. I battled the inside shame and grief of realizing I attached to the very people whose abuse I despised.
I found parts inside who were just like them, both the good and the bad; and struggled to see both sides of them at once. I created an internal healing team of the healthiest parts inside whose job was to hold, love and nurture the young parts who felt scared about all we were remembering; and to help them through the anguish of missing the people they were bonded to.
I didn’t know anyone else who had gone through this, because I didn’t have any contact with any other survivors during this time. But I did have one thing I am very thankful for: when I asked my friend if I could ever heal, ever make it, during the worst times, this friend said “Yes”. When I said “I don’t know anyone else who has been through this type of stuff who has completely healed” my friend said “then you be the first. Show your kids and the people you miss that people really do get out – and stay out.”
I divorced my husband. I made new friends (and was very selective about who they were). I literally started my whole life over, at a time when most people my age were watching their children graduate from college.
It has been a difficult and emotional journey over the years. But it is so worth it. I now know my life history; the gaps are filled in. I remember my loved ones, with a mixture of joy for the love I knew, and sadness over the abuse we all endured, and perpetrated. I enjoy living a life now where people are no longer hurt; where “performance” is not the measure of a person’s worth. I am learning to forgive myself for the things I did that were wrong; and to forgive others who taught me to do those things.
This blog is in a sense part of my restitution, just as my earlier articles were. If sharing my journey is helpful to even one other in their journey, it will be well worth it.