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!

20 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

  1. Thank you so much. In therapy I tol dmy therapist I was not certain why I was so very depressed , was it because the weather changed, because it is fall, and I hate the fall so much, from Halloween on, I am internally done, on the outside, nobody would every know because I keep going, but on the inside, I feel suicidal, I feel self harm, and sometimes do that, etc. Your post made sense, because I don’t remember thanksgivigings that much. I had a daughter, made a perfect holiday for her, she is not 29 years old and loves the holidays, but I still feel horrible inside. I still have nightmares, IS till suffer from self harm (cutting), and still suffer from many internal feelings.

    I amso grateful to have found you, and yet Im not even sure who you are, or if I even trust you, but I liked your post. I have all these huge trust issues with everybody. I m such an odd person, never reply to others because I have to keep myself so secret in this world, yet everybody loves me because I m a giver, but I never let anybody get close to me.

    I am always doing, giving, helping the poor, helping the elder for free, yet when anybody wants to get close to me,I have a wall. I am always fine, you know that saying, I’m fine. inside, I have so many parts, so many voices, so many memories, etc.

    I feel horrible inside and still continue looking fine. Sorry if this does not make sense. I am married to a man, I sleep in separate beds, we do not have sex, (married 32 years), we live very separately.



    1. It makes TOTAL sense! It could have been a description of me when I was about 40.

      I’m an RA survivor and an early government/academic MC survivor. I am happy to answer most any questions about myself. I’ve been working on this crap for about 30 years and I must say I am the happiest I have ever been. If you want to see what I look like at 79 go to my facebook page, Jean Riseman. I’m not a classic multiple, with discrete parts. Instead, I have fragments that come together to get something done or to feel something and then break apart. Like I have about a dozen potential groups waiting in the wings to drive my car — some groups are a lot better than others! It’s hard to explain.

      Think of fall — Halloween, Thanksgiving, the solstice, and Christmas, plus maybe some “minor” days in between. No wonder it is so hard.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ty Jean
    Thanksgiving has always been especially hard for me, too.
    This is the first year with no kids at home. I really don’t want a dinner. Everyone is working.
    Ty for this thoughtful post. Chinese sounds great. Enjoy. Much love, CC


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