Oh, it does hurt.
I had written about betrayal several days ago, and in doing so, I seem to have deepened my connection to the memory of betrayal, just by telling it that I sense it is there, and I sense we are not yet together.
I have sat closer with it, and given it more of my time and attention. I have offered it healing energy and life force. I have acknowledged that I cannot feel it; I have asked it what it feels like, and whether it thinks we will survive facing each other. By approaching without intrusion or demand, I seem to have strengthened the trust between my conscious, recovering system, and my unconscious, programmed and traumatized system.
Today, my system awoke in a heavy panic, unable to quell it for over an hour. The dread was deeply pulsing from inside of our belly. When we tried to look inside and ask what is wrong, the conscious headspace looked like it was in a hurricane. Debris was flying around haphazardly. Internal winds were circling the space as well, like a tornado. The circular pattern of the spinning wind in our mind seemed deliberate, and it alerted us to the notion that our headspace may be caught in a program. In fact, later that day, I saw and heard segments of one movie that was used to harm my system and program this inner tornado, and I am sure that many survivors could guess what it was.
Having been awakened mid-sleep by this combination of trauma and programming, we were too weak and exhausted to try to break through it. We looked around at the room, to assure ourselves that in the present moment, we were somewhere relatively safe and familiar. We tried to take deep and slow breaths, although this was painful and difficult, and it did not get easier. We tried to place our hands on our belly and our head. It was all just too uncomfortable, unbearable. So we let go, put on soothing nature sounds, and hoped that we would fall back asleep.
If we could have, we would have tried not to blame ourselves for this experience, and to see it with more compassion. But we did blame ourselves. We believe this is because we have not yet recognized our core betrayal—our childhood enslavement, programming, and relentless immersion in adult cruelty. We often attribute no external responsibility for the many actions that were taken against us, even though this is referred to as organized abuse, and in planning to harm us, it is clear that abusers inherently attribute responsibility to themselves, and the proof is in their plan. Instead, we grant the outer world an automatic pass, and we blame ourselves for how we handled every traumatic instance.
We did eventually fall back asleep, and when we awoke, there was a distinct, compassionate thought in our mind. Anyone who had been put through the life we endured would be struggling with sleep, and with panic, depression, unrelenting pain, and some powerlessness over it all. Anyone who had been put through the life we endured would be struggling to live.
Usually we are not able to let such a thought in, but when we awoke, it was already in us. Some of us think an angel placed it there.
We have not been sleeping well in general. This by itself can be a weakening and debilitating experience. Abusers know this, of course, and they program children who have already been deprived of sleep, as well as food, water, and nurture.
They told me that I would not be so susceptible to their tactics if I were not so innately weak. This statement was a betrayal because it was they who made me weak in the first place. They harmed, deprived, and watched—they monitored my vital signs until they knew my body and mind were most vulnerable to them. Then, they programmed me to fundamentally betray myself.
They programmed my system over the course of many years, and it would be difficult to try to explain it all. But to put it very simply, they made me believe that they were more important, valuable, and precious than I was. And they did this by lying to me—telling me that I caused unforgivable harm when I was born. They told me that my birth had ended the life of the woman who birthed me, and that as a newborn, I had believed that I was more important than she was. They told me that I had a cunning look on my face when I was born.
They made me believe that they are loving and integrous, but that I inherently deserve punishment, so punishment is what they will provide me. They made me believe that if I was not loyal to them, harm would come to me and others.
Then, they made certain personalities inside our system believe that they are our abusers, and that they have the internal job of punishing, influencing, and controlling us, and that any disobedience is a threat to their honor, too. They tried to influence those sections of our system to hate us, to see us as guilty, or to fear us. In recovery, there has been so much damaged trust that has needed to be repaired, just inside of our own inner world. It has been so hard to face and mend this inner separation, and then also extend our awareness outward to the original betrayals of trust that we experienced from our perpetrators.
Today, we worked on bringing greater healing to our system. We had spent much of the day feeling profoundly anxious and hearing incessant programmed thoughts. When trying to relax, we kept feeling as though we were falling.
In speaking with personalities inside who were sending us the incessant programmed thoughts, we learned more about some of our betrayals. We told these personalities that we wondered why they were holding on to a false belief—the belief that a particular ritual (that is causing our current panic) never occurred—and that we have no right to face the loss or the pain of it.
We approached these personalities and offered to listen unconditionally, and to extend them an invitation to enter our internal healing space, and to have relief from their jobs and their pain.
They told us about what happened, and through our communication, I remembered what had happened to me.
I saw myself holding on to a metal pipe. Abusers were telling me to hold onto it, no matter what. If I loosened my grip, I would be electroshocked, through the metal pipe. In exhaustion, I did loose my grip. I did get electroshocked.
As this training went on, a tighter and tighter grip was required in order to avoid punishment. I knew that this experience wouldn’t be over until they had gotten what they wanted, so I kept trying to do the best I could. Gripping the metal pipe, I myself was gripped with ever increasing sadness and loneliness. They were yelling at me, carving mechanisms in my mind that they would later fill with content—content that I should be trained never to let go of. My arms hurt and my hands stung and I was exhausted. I could barely see. The memory ends with me vomiting and being soothed, and being told that I am strong.
Later, certain personalities were hypnotized to believe that the particular false notion—that a certain devastating ritual never occurred—was being placed directly into the pipe. From then on, their job was to hold onto it in desperation, or they would be electroshocked.
Until today. Today these traumatized personalities are free of their training memory, and free of their jobs. I am more free to process the memory of this ritual, which has been causing great internal distress and panic. There is relief, because my attempts at processing my memory felt to them as though their hands were being dangerously pried away from their grip on the metal pipe. Now, through the energy of healing and connection, we have freed ourselves from this double bind.
And we are angry. We are so angry that we were trained to be loyal to so many lies.
These lies make us hate ourselves. If the first message we ever received in this lifetime was a complete lie, we didn’t stand a chance against it. It was the only message we had. No one had ever loved us.
We didn’t know that anyone was being cruel to us, because everyone was being cruel to everyone. Some of us wondered why we felt so badly inside, but we were programmed to conclude that it was because we had committed harm. We had committed harm by being born. The abusers treated it as though it were our first and only free will choice, and due to its nature, we needed to be confined, controlled, forced to repent, or forced to remain in a state of guilt indefinitely.
In recovery I have been told that babies do not choose to be born, or to murder, or even to be conceived. But I can’t get over what I think I did wrong, because if I didn’t do anything wrong, I have no replacement explanation for why nobody loved me.
Only now do I see what I could not see as a child (although some logical child parts managed to come to this conclusion): Some humans can be so cold as to sell children, study torment, and experiment on pain. I wasn’t born to be loved, I was born to be used. Just as every other child slave had been. And that is the betrayal. It is the betrayal that even the logical child parts can know but cannot truly sense yet. It is the betrayal that makes me feel as though I am falling.
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