The Lie of Satanism
There was a time when we found ourselves bound by a lie of our own building. It was a terrible thing that took a year's hard work and pain to escape from. Knowing what we now know none of us would ever have chosen to walk down that path. But that is the thing about life, the choices we make can bring such unexpected and dramatic changes.
It all started so hopefully. It was a time when we were fighting to be heard, and it was a battle we were losing. Those within the Shire that did not share those experiences rebelled against what they were seeing. Instead of showing acceptance and compassion they preferred to believe in lies and delusions. It was easier for them to build up walls and pelt anyone that tried to scale them. And when we tried to look outwardly for a willing witness the reaction received was only more intense. Those people we were lead to believe were there to listen and aid us through this process retreated in fear and incongruence whenever we started to utter our words. We could see out options shrinking away from us. We had no idea where it was we fitted, if there was even a place. We did not know if there would be anyone that cold recognise our words or share the experience. We felt adrift with no sight of an anchor.
There is a saying within the Shire, we are either extremely stupid, stubborn or brave. We tend to think it is one of the first two. However no matter how many doors were slammed in our face we kept fighting to have our voice. We kept trying to find someone to listen to our words. We did find someone. She listened quietly as we scratched out sentences, struggling against ourselves, our life and fears to form the words. She didn't shy away or close the door. Her silence, instead of being cold and deafening, welcomed us into her and showed an acceptance we had only imagined before. She was someone held in great respect and esteem amongst the Shire, and she allowed us to talk for some time before she spoke herself. And when she did, she gave us a label for what we were speaking. Labels they say are bad things, but at times they can offer the person a sense of validation and a stable place to stand. Being told what we were speaking of was ritual abuse gave us reassurance. This wasn't something unheard of, this wasn't some insanity. For it to have a label it must be known, there must be others out there that could understand, having suffered through similar ordeals. The label of ritual abuse finally allowed us to stand on a small piece of solid ground and we were grateful for that.
Unfortunately as things went she also came to the conclusion that what we were talking about was Satanic in nature. We knew at the time she was wrong in that assumption. We knew that this was no worship of Satan. He was the falling angel, the usurper of God's power and therefore the enemy. We knew that after the becoming we would have to fight Lucifer for the souls of mankind. We knew all this but we kept quiet. This woman had finally given us validation and support and we were not willing to risk that small thing based solely on a misunderstanding of dogma. We feared that if we were to challenge that assumption the support would fall away. Maybe everyone else who has endured such things had them happened within a Satanic context and we did not want to lose what we finally had been given. So we remained silent about the conflict, about the reality of the religious teachings of what we had been a part of. What did it matter we told ourselves, what we wanted help with was the abuse, not the words?
We continued to tell ourselves the nature of the religion did not matter, what we had to recover from was sadistic abuse. I think many of us knew there was a danger in this path, but as I have said, the need was too great, and we were not brave enough to question it. At the beginning it wasn't so obvious, those that came forward to speak talked about actions, the rapes and beatings they had endured. They talked in general, as we all did back then, about being group raped, and hinted at the more bizarre activities. Our therapist at the time never pushed us too deep, allowing us to sit comfortably on the surface of such things. I believe she was afraid of what might lie below the surface and so we all comfortably avoided such things. We continued like this for some time unaware of how the lie was twisting around us, binding us back into silence slowly. Therapy wasn't working for us, and although there were many reasons why this was the case, one of them was those of us with this ritual abuse past found it growing more difficult to talk about. We knew we had to censor our words, edit them to fit into what had been established was our reality, and stop anyone that didn't fit in from coming forward. When a door is opened, it can never really be sealed again, you can shut it, but what has come forth previously keeps opening the door. And we found ourselves remembering, and having to deal with what was behind that door more often than before. Our life was crumbling but we didn't know what to do. Being slightly dense as we are at times we still hadn't connected the lie to our problems. We still clung with fearful desperation to the belief that the dogma of this ritual abuse group did not have any part to play in our recovery from it.
It seems slightly insane now that we were unable, or simply unwilling to see the power of the messages and beliefs we were taught, and the importance of dealing with such things. The actual abuse of a child is a horrific thing, but recovery is often more to do with what that abuse taught the child about her/himself and the world around them. But for us we could not yet see the same was true for our experience. It was not until Olivia spoke about her daughter that we saw clearly how much the lie was controlling us. It was in her attempt to talk about the birth and death of her daughter that she found herself having to directly lie, rather than simply not acknowledge the truth. It was a terribly painful experience for her, and for the rest of us listening we knew something was seriously wrong. It is one thing to simply edit out the truth or let a lie go by unchallenged, but when you find yourself making up lies, speaking them directly for the first time you begin to realise that this path is not a good one to be on. Olivia, still a child at that time, felt herself expected to continue the lie, she wrote about it here, as a lie. Her guilt was partly the reason she stopped talking about it, for her it dishonoured not only herself but her daughter. And she like many of us, holds great shame over that.
The lie had us caught. We did not know how to get out of it, we did not have the courage to acknowledge the lengths we went to to maintain that lie. So instead we shut down. We returned to silence because we could not find a way out of the cage we created for ourselves. The lie had is more silenced and caged than before we started speaking. We had to close off from any and all support we had received. We had to remove ourselves from a lot of the offerings of support. At the time, we were with a therapist that preferred silence so removing ourselves from her took little effort, and little direct hurt. But to find ourselves caged again, this time by our own doing brought a heartfelt fear and sorrow. We thought at the time that we would be caught forever, unable to speak or heal from the pains caused to us.
We hid inside for a long time until eventually we realised we had to start dealing with our own truth. We couldn't go to our therapist that relationship was steadily deteriorating. So we began by first being honest with ourselves. This was and still is, never an easy thing to do. We had to confront ourselves, over the lie, and contributing towards it. We had to face up first to our shame and make amends to those hurt by it. Eventually we began to talk to others about our experience, speaking honestly about the teachings of our cult. It has never been an easy journey, we face scepticism, and intolerance. We have been told it couldn't possibly happen, we have been called perpetrators and evil for speaking our truth. But we now know it is our truth that matters to us. We need people to listen, but not at the expense of that truth. The lie consumed us, and it almost was the end of us, we still have to deal with those times when we lived that lie. But we have learnt and continue to learn, that freedom comes when we are courageous enough to speak with full honesty.