Thanksgiving has always been hard for me because it was awful in my family and because I got married the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (We had chosen that date because it was a long weekend and we thought more people would come.) It’s a lot better now. I had been invited to a friend’s house but I declined because there is going to be a crowd of people and I am sure I would be overwhelmed. So it’s lovely Chinese food – I will be content.
I only have one memory of Thanksgiving from my childhood, and that was of staring at a plate with celery sticks and olives on it. I hated celery and loved olives but I was expected to take one of each. It just wasn’t worth it. In contrast, I have many clear memories of my wedding day and I fondly remember Thanksgivings from my adult years. Childhood amnesia for what should have been a memory-filled day says a lot to me.
The first year I was alone I bought myself a Cornish Rock Hen, made a wild rice stuffing, and sobbed through dinner. The next year I accepted an invitation and was totally miserable in a group of about thirty strangers who all seemed to be having a great time. Now I know myself better than to make those mistakes again.
I think Thanksgiving is a horrible holiday for most cult kids. It’s so easy to turn Thanksgiving upside down and, in Satanic cults, give thanks to Satan for all the opportunities we had during the year to gift him with sacrifices, pain, and fear. It’s not a traditional Satanic holiday, so there is the freedom to design new rituals that satisfy the leaders’ particular sadistic desires. It’s also an extra long weekend, so there is a lot of time to abuse kids, animals, and weaker adults.
My guess is that there is more variability in Thanksgiving traditions among the different cults than there is for the other major holidays. I also imagine that it is not celebrated in most other countries; perhaps only in Canada. Lucky countries!
I hope all of you can prepare to deal with flashbacks and to be extra gentle with yourselves. Do things that soothe you, do things that have worked in the past to avoid self-harm, either to the body or to your soul. If you find a voice saying awful things to you, try talking softly to that voice, saying that it has done a great job all these years of putting you down and you think it was a way of hurting you before the cult members hurt you. But it isn’t necessary any more.
And those of you who are still being abused, I hope that you can protect yourself as much as possible and keep alive the hope that you will be able to escape. Try and remember that leaving a cult usually isn’t an abrupt break. It usually is a series of attempts until a time comes when you have tried often enough, learned enough, and gotten strong enough to leave for good. We all are cheering you on!