If the Abuse is Ongoing

There is a blog entry on Labor Day at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/labor-day/

I haven’t ever blogged about this, at least that I can remember. The closest I have come is writing about how to handle harassing phone calls, which, after all, are cues to show up for more abuse.

I wonder why. I think it is because it breaks my heart that some of us think we have escaped, but haven’t. When a friend has unexplained bruises or little burns in strange places, I get really upset. Or when they start remembering recent abuse, perhaps after a long stretch of safety.

I’d like to believe that each and every one of us has broken with our perpetrators, worked through all the cues and programming, and disarmed all the triggers once and for all. That would mean we never could be hurt in this way again, we never could be abducted and reprogrammed. Unfortunately, this is only a lovely daydream.

If you think about studies on domestic violence, you will recall that the abused person often returns to the abuser, perhaps because they are too afraid not to, perhaps because they hope against hope that this time it will be different. The abuser may turn regretful and apologetic and things may be better for a short period of time. But the abuse inevitably returns, and often is more violent. The sweet talk is the carrot, the stick is the threat of dire consequences for disobedience. It’s the same with cults. Empty promises of power and status, more abuse.

There is another dynamic going on with cults. The parts who have been tortured into staying with the perpetrators are young and easily bullied. They also long for connection at any cost, believing that being hurt is the only way to stay attached to somebody, believing that is all they are good for. It is really hard to convince them that they deserve better and that they can live in freedom and safety. Unless they are 1000% convinced, that little kernel of doubt can be used as the entry point for bringing them back to be used and abused as before. (It’s these young parts who believe they must  report to their abusers and tell where they are, whether they moved, what they say in therapy or to their friends.)

Another problem is the existence, in some people, of more than one group or layer of alters. They may be identical to the presenting group, created as a back-up, or they may be organized in a very different manner. The presenting group usually is unaware of the other group(s). And so it is possible, even if all the parts in the presenting group have worked through all their programming and triggers, for there to be other parts who are still susceptible. Extremely discouraging!

Sometimes moving ends the abuse and harassment, sometimes it doesn’t. Many cults network with cults in other locations. In this way, if they want to harass a survivor, they don’t have to pick up and go to the place the person has moved to. They can call and ask for a favor or pay for the local cult to do the harassing. As long as there are active reporting alters, safety is an illusion.

On the other hand, they might leave the survivor alone for a period of time, counting on being able to call them back when they are needed. That period can be positively used to work with the reporting alters and to dismantle call-back triggers.

Please don’t take what I have written to mean that the situation is hopeless. It isn’t. Leaving a cult is very difficult, but it has been done by thousands and thousands of people, and you can do it, too. You have to be brave and face what is preventing you from escaping and you have to figure out what to do about it. And you have to remember that life outside the cult is infinitely better than what you have known. The world is wider than what you were taught, and it contains things you have never experienced,or only experienced for a short while. Things like love, compassion, respect for yourself and others, freedom from terror, beauty, – you an add your own dreams to this list.

Giving you a place to start this leg of the journey, here are two excellent articles on endritualabuse.org.

“Seeing and Breaking the Chains: Steps for Recognizing On-Going Abuse and How to Break FREE” by Arauna Morgan at http://endritualabuse.org/healing/breaking-the-chains/

“Ritual Abuse and Torture-based Mind Control: Reducing and Preventing Re-contact with Abusers” by Ellen Lacter http://endritualabuse.org/healing/ritual-abuse-and-torture-based-mind-control-reducing-and-preventing-re-contact-with-abusers/

Go for it!

Out from the Cult

born into a neon winter
garish and harsh
colors so bright they flamed
no closing my eyes
nothing to suck
only burning neon flames

grown in a cold cold winter
grey and silent
no color
no comfort
only me, alone

then oh!
on the horizon
sunflowers, rivers, green hills, sun and sand, soaring gulls, deer, rabbits, suburbs and suburbs of warm homes, laughter, dancing, song, beds and food and drink
a plentitude, a plentitude

It was a long road, but I got here