* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”
* Looking for people who have been used as breeders in a cult setting for submissions for an anthology I hope to put together. Even if you have not been abused this way, could you spread the word and tell all your survivor friends and supportive therapists or pastors about the project? They can write me at email@example.com for more information. Thank you so much!
I Wish I Had Kept an RA Journal
The other day I came across a piece of paper. It was writing dating from sometime between 1994 and 1996, a time when many memories were surfacing. I have no recollection of writing it.
I’ve never been good at journaling. I start one, do a few pages, put it aside and forget about it. Then when I need to write something down I either start a new journal or grab any old piece of paper. Since there is no central place I keep all these writings, I cannot go back and look something up.
Many people have the organizational skills to keep their writing together, and maybe even date it or – wow! – index it. I wish I were that way, but I’m not, and never will be. I did make a small step toward organization and made a “locator book” where I write where I have put things. Now I have only one thing to lose instead of dozens…as long as I remember to use the book!
That piece of paper upset me and has been on my mind ever since I found it about two weeks before Beltane. Even though it’s important, I wasn’t ready to pursue it back in the ’90’s. I was so overwhelmed then, and I pursued the things that were pursuing me and taking over my life. I can’t fault myself: I think I made the right choice.
But now I am more stable and less often in relentless flashbacks. So I have the luxury of pursuing it now.
I have wondered for a long time why I am so fragmented. I learned that fragments were used in one of the experimental programming systems that were implanted in me. But I couldn’t have become fragmented then: I didn’t start being used for MC experimentation until I was six. And if fragmentation had been induced at that age, there would have been a trace, a memory, a longing for a less fragmented state. I never experienced any loss or yearning.
I don’t have trouble accepting that I was pretty well dissociated before the age of six because I remember what it felt like to be dissociated back then. Early photos show the vacant stare of a dissociated child. Before the age of about a year and a half I looked like a regular baby; my face was expressive and my body seemed to move freely.
Although I remember being dissociated, I don’t remember being multiple, in the classic sense, with inner parts with separate personalities and histories and places within my mind. I remember thinking just the way I think now and I remember freezing and going blank just the way I do now.
In the writing that I discovered, I was dialoguing with a two-year-old boy, a baby still. He did not know what happened to him, but he knew it hurt. I asked if somebody did know, and he pointed to another two-year-old boy whose body was covered with intersecting black lines. He reminded me of a picture puzzle. This boy could not talk. He understood me and nodded or shook his head to communicate. Since he couldn’t tell me what had happened. he pointed to another boy.
This one was in pieces, tiny pieces. The boy with the marks tried to reassemble him. He could only find pieces that fit for one little finger. That is where the writing stopped.
What it signals to me is heart-breaking. I feel that I was electroshocked when I was two and that was what caused the fragmentation. Recently I asked a survivor half my age what a feather symbolized, as I have doodled feathers on and off since childhood, and she told me it meant electroshock. I felt validated.
I had no words at the time to describe to anybody, even myself, what had happened, and no way to make myself whole again. But fragments could be assembled to make a small part of me, and that is how I have always experienced myself. Small groups of fragments come together to write a blog entry or feed the cats and then dissolve, waiting safely someplace until needed again.
I’ve also always had some confusion about my gender. I know I am a woman, and I don’t feel like a man in a woman’s body. There are times, however, especially when I first wake up, when I am surprised to find that I am a woman. I remembered abuse when I was five that explained the confusion to my satisfaction. Looking at the writing, though, it seems to me that messing with my beliefs about my gender started around the age of two. Why? I have no idea, at least consciously
It just now occurred to me that the first little boy I spoke with is, indeed an alter. He took me forward in time to the moment when he felt the electroshock and then to when he was fragmented and no longer himself. It shows me I was once unfragmented but have forgotten what that felt like. although I do have a couple of memories from before the age of two. Was I multiple then? I don’t know.
Every answer brings up more questions. I know that this process will continue for the rest of my life. Each time I get an answer, with its accompanying questions, I know myself a little better. I know for sure that there will not be enough time to answer all the questions raised, and so I shall never completely know my past. Some days that makes me sad and angry, other days I think I know all too much about my past, and that too makes me sad and angry.
5/28 Memorial Day
5/29 Full moon
6/17 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer Solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/23 St John’s Eve
6/28 Full moon
7/4 Fourth of July/US Independence Day
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Full Moon
Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)