Contributed by Alexandria Heather
Content Warning: This is a space for survivors to share their testimonies. Consequently, there are some graphic depictions of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence.
Martha’s Vineyard, MA : 4yrs
Sabrina and I were 4.
I would turn her hands over and back, again and again.
Marveling at the meridian between the palm and the back of her hand.
A line where pink faded to deep chocolate.
I was missing half of my color. White skin obviously less-than.
She was Beauty.
She lived several blocks away.
Doors open, no one home.
Almost to the jar when the screen door slammed.
A dark man I didn’t know.
He had a deep voice, an odd accent.
He spoke softly at first, his tone almost friendly.
Red and brown swirling around his head.
He shut the inside door and came closer.
He smelled of sweat, piss, alcohol and shit.
(Upset about the cookies?!?)
He has me. I keep trying to get up. I have no control over my body. I am a rag doll.
His penis has white and green ooze. Musky rot.
Forces into my mouth: gag. Vomit.
It covers him, re-ignites the Rage.
Skin ripping as he shoves himself into me.
My anus stings as if it were burnt.
Kicks me in the crotch.
The screen door slams.
I cannot move.
My skin, bones and ribs ache.
Tears roll down my face but I am not crying.
A small plane passes lazily overhead.
Can’t move. Made of lead and pain.
Please help me.
I call to the plane, to the birds.
It seems as if I passed out.
Suddenly I was aware of being surrounded.
A group of golden figures, crouched over me.
Reaching into me.
Stroking my forehead, rubbing my back, my stomach.
The pain, accentuated by every pulse of blood, decreases.
I feel warmth.
They soothe my pain.
Numb the terror in my heart.
Mom says I acted perfectly normal for about ten minutes and then broke down.
She changed my clothes, washed my face and then called the police.
They came and asked questions. Didn’t examine my body. Everyone smiles and talks quietly but I can’t hear them, I barely could see them.
When I finally found myself again it was dark and I was alone in the house, still sitting on the couch wrapped in a blanket.
I lie on my back. Above, in the murk of the dark room, there is a small glowing light. The pinprick grows into a disk. The disk becomes a sun, then a face, then a hand reaching for me. I close my eyes but when I open them it is still there and has become a small glowing figure. It fills me with indescribable comfort and I fall asleep without realizing, wanting to keep my eyes on the image forever.
Predators were common on the island.
I was four.
She had her own bedroom with a door.
Yet they chose my child’s twin bed.
I was eight when I made the mistake of asking why I didn’t have a dad, why she had no partner.
Her response was the family’s demon:
“I can get laid any time I want, Alexandria! You’re just an ugly fat retard who’ll never get a man! But I can get laid ANY TIME I WANT!”
That night she didn’t come home to prove her point.
But I was asking about Love & Family, not sex.
She may not have understood that.
Home was often cold, dark, isolated.
Punctuated by her rages and flying slaps coming out of nowhere.
She was a 26 year old girl living among the rough-trade bikers and fishermen on the poor side of Martha’s Vineyard.
I was her biggest mistake, her albatross.
Other times when I asked about my father she told me he’d never pay support because he’d lie and say she was with all his buddies.
“Were you?” I’d ask. “Is he really my Father?”
“Of course he is. You just can’t get blood out of a stone.”
The brief times I spoke with him he never denied being my Father.
He never offered any kind of help whatsoever.
The one time he contacted me was when his ‘real’ daughter was a toddler.
“Yeah, how’re ya doin’? Yeah? Good? How’s School? So anyway I’m calling because remember those real pretty dresses your Gramma used to dress you in? Ya got those still? Maybe I could send you the money to mail them to me? They’d look good on my girl!”
It hurt so much I dropped the phone.
Mom hung it up without saying a word.
As if she’d known he was going to say this to me.
“Did you make him ask me that? Why didn’t you just tell him no?”
“They’re your dresses, Alexandria. They barely fit you then. You don’t care about them.”
“Then why didn’t you just give them to him? Why do that to me, Mom?”
“I’m tired of your bullshit, Alexandria. I need to go out for awhile.”
She served at the Black Dog, a popular restaurant near the fishing docks.
I’m told as a child I’d dance to locals like James Taylor playing on their tiny stage.
I liked the homey feeling of the place.
The wood floors and walls were still alive.
But like all the places in which she was a servant, I was tolerated only so much.
I was left home often without supervision.
She’d tried babysitters.
I disliked them.
Mom was the only one I’d let smack me around.
These bitches were gonna get bit.
Begged to be left on my own.
She wearily gave in, making me promise to stay inside while she was gone.
Or at least just stick to the tennis wall by the house.
When she was home she’d know I was safe because I’d volley on the wall for hours with clock-like precision.
The ocean was down the hill from the dingy apartment in Oak Bluffs.
I spent hours alone on the rocks.
Tide-pools offered new miracles everyday.
The Wind and the Ocean in conversation with each other and with me.
Scents and snapshots from around the world floated on their murmurings.
This was my school of life, this was my science and religion.
My mother understood that Nature was our church.
She knew I’d lied about staying indoors, but the promise was her release from responsibility.
We understood that together.
My need for autonomy symbiotic with hers.
Both of us foreigners but from different lands.
Know above all that my Mother is one of the better people on this Earth.
Like so many unsung heroes, she fucking TRIED against all odds.
She is a caretaker, a creator, a botanist, an artist, so much more.
Her story intricate, complex, and honorable.
Know that nothing is Black & White.
We only make it that way to justify or compartmentalize.
Know that no one here got to be true to their Soul.
Imagine a species that scorns it’s very own emotions?
Empathy now like a tiny oasis in a desert that once was ocean.
Pain Eaters scorned because our stories border on the wildly fantastic.
No one person could have had such calamity!
Well, yeah, we do. There’s a reason we do.
It’s called fucking training.
The problem is we’re born into our function without Earthly guidance.
What to do with all the horrors inflicted upon us?
We are here to clean the collective energy.
But if we cannot filter, expel and diffuse it, sticky suffering clogs our light.
So much forgotten!
The psychopaths in charge find human Visions and Imagination threatening.
Their work is reflected in the modern construct:
Intuition, Creativity and Life-Affirming consciousness practically erased.
Culture that labels deviation as aberration, meant to be drugged into compliance.
We may think we celebrate the anomaly.
The Honorable Loner. The Quirky Genius.
I can verify personally there is no home for the oddball, the ugly, the awkward, the weirdo. There is little room for the highly intelligent as well.
The born artist or mystic is an easy target.
For all of us, it is trial by fire.
My experiences are not unusual at all in the Earth’s history of humanoid children.
The empathetic & sensitive soul doesn’t stand a chance.
Perhaps not even in their own family clan.
It is more common for family to be treacherous than not.
Some of us survive. Rarely intact.
Years of shunning alter one’s perspective permanently.
Everyone told me I was weird but no one explained.
She’d moved us to a wealthy NH school district after she disagreed with the Kindergarten’s assessment that I may be autistic.
Years later, when I was struggling socially in high school I asked about that day, wondering if there was something to it after all.
She pretended I wasn’t at that meeting, pretended I didn’t try to correct their conversation – “I’m ARTISTIC, not awwtistic…”
The teacher gently shook her head, as she’d often done with me in class.
“Yes, honey, you are very artistic. Autistic is something different.”
I puzzled over the word for many years.
It wasn’t until my forties that the diagnosis was confirmed.
Other words for me are ‘Loser’, ‘Bitch’, ‘Cry-Baby’, ‘Crazy’, ‘Retard’, & ‘Faker’.
People all over have called me those things and worse. It took me years to pluck out these narrow darts that decide one’s worth.
In elementary school I was sometimes shuffled between stranger’s homes.
When Mom was working or going to school or saying as much.
Middle and upper class homes like decadent prisons.
Everything shrouded in some code of deference and denials, glances and smiles.
At various dinner tables I am Tarzan.
I bolt with no explanation from all kinds of events.
Must get into the woods or by the water!
Kinder folks forgave what must have been a terribly rude child.
Being among humans excruciating.
Faking it impossible until I learned it was called acting.
I did try for a long time to be normal.
But it was more like a griffin trying to hide in a robin’s nest.
When there is a squirrelly kid like me is that it’s probably abuse.
Most likely sexual abuse.
Jumping to conclusions is dangerous, and perhaps some saw but couldn’t help.
But the problem will also be with the child’s perception of it all.
I learned to prefer dysfunction.
This carries over into our understanding of relationships, harming deepest the complexities surrounding intimate bonds.
The abused and scapegoated child may never be able to perceive things in a healthy way.
I realized my understanding of intimate, romantic relationships was so warped that I’d mistaken Need for Love.
We’d like to think we aren’t products of our environment, that we’ll fly far from the damage. But it sleeps inside of us.
This happens to us all, in everything, to some degree.
Abuse survivors just get a stronger, weirder poison.
Everything is some kind of lie or translation.
If an organism has too many of these false realities chafing their true soul, they begin to feel false themselves.
In all systems, the new transmutes what the old has offered.
But it is always a dilution and mutation of that original dysfunction.
We like to imagine all that comes next must be better.
It appears, though, more and more gets lost with each new generation of hairless apes.
Ideologies re-formed, warped for eons by powers only in place a few short centuries.
The fabric of the powerful long so perverted there’s little access to what being a healthy human really means. Everything is lies.
So, yeah, we’re all confused about Love & Sex.
When I was four my room was the hallway between the kitchen and living-room.
I awoke to being crushed into the wall.
Weight and movement.
Stale cigarettes & musky booze.
A man’s grunting. My mother’s odd, false wailing.
I remembered it being more pleasant while I was in the womb.
A gentle rocking, the sounds muffled.
Though in both cases I smelled her anxiety.
A jittery, uncomfortable ‘scent’ I’d learn later was a kind of crippling sexual narcissism.
A deep insecurity that drives a woman to prove she is worthy by mating.
I smelled it years later with female friends on the prowl in bars, or even on myself.
It is the scent of a woman deferring to her sexual value, rather than her true value.
The condition includes shame, regret and self-destructiveness directly after the act of sex.
A key element of the wounded modern female psyche.
I’ve witnessed degrees of it in women throughout the economic spectrum and from different countries. It is an epidemic against the human psyche.
No doubt reflected in an equal manner in the male psyche because we are all in the same soup.
The ancient conspiracy to divide us against ourselves depends upon Woman despising herself.
Sex was once sacred.
Now irretrievably defamed.
Without unfettered access to the eternal Spirit of Love the whole species starves.
We stare into black mirrors as we turn into a loveless race.
Mom’s world unequivocally dictated limited roles for women.
Servitude. Subjugation. Private violence.
She worked in bars my entire young life.
There were always takers.
I knew none of them.
Often gone before morning after her Banshee Night.
He rushes out, sometimes not fully dressed, grasping a shoe or underwear.
Breakfast is not offered to me.
The performance is over.
She collapses into absolute self-hatred and shame.
Her wrath soon to seep into my bones.
She would sob and rage at me.
Because it was my fault.
He would’ve wanted her breakfast if he hadn’t seen me.
Days or weeks later, after the physical attacks subside.
After the silent treatment ends.
She’d gush about how I was the best thing to happen to her!
She loved me more than anything!
How talented and beautiful I was!
I began to notice these proclamations of love usually happened in front of her friends.
In front of them we were the BEST of FRIENDS, a wonderful jovial act.
Some of her friends seemed to be very good people.
Caring, creative. Quiet and peaceful. No malevolence. Time spent in their care fed my curiosity about the myth of a peaceful life.
Different from the Church-going suburbanites of the school district. They were usually people she’d met while earning her BA in Horticulture.
She often dropped by unannounced with me in tow.
She’d smoke their weed and then conk out on their living room floors.
I hadn’t understood this was the rudest way to ask for a babysitter.
They all took care of me while she rested.
I’d always be disappointed that she’d wake, groggily stretching me from a kinder bond.
We’d have to leave a place where I was interesting, where it was warm and bright and there was no yelling, no rage.
It’s not uncommon for a covert narcissist to surround themselves with the kindest people.
Mom had the perfect cover, a scrappy single mom raising a weird kid who was easy to smear, easy to use in head games when she got bored.
Easy to victimize herself by showing how difficult and strange I was.
These are the gifts of her mother handed down to her.
Turn against your own child in every way you’d been turned upon.
I was groomed perfectly for every disordered person I met for the next forty years.
Always searching for my Mom, my better half.
Eager to hand over my power in the sculptured, subjective role of Co-dependent.
Easily turning cruel upon anyone showing me their underside.
I thought that was the only way Love danced.
Someone gives themselves up.
Charades of power, jealousy. Triangulation, gaslighting.
Mimicry taught me strange behavior like sleeping with a friend’s love interest meant an attempt to get closer to her.
Approval of her choices, being supportive…?
In fact, many such offensive tactics I’d interpreted as common bonding rituals upset relationships with those far less dysfunctional.
Chronic abuse sculpts twisted misconceptions that take decades from which to untangle. I’ll never be free of those fucking chains, but I escaped the actual prison.
I must always distill moments in life:
Are my thoughts loving?
Am I being kind?
Is this an appropriate response?
Am I working with Unconditional Love?
It goes on and on.
I can wave my victim flag all I fucking want.
The bottom line is I inspire the world to perceive me.
I just might be the asshole in the room.
Being liked, fitting in, isn’t much of a concern anymore.
Being Good is the challenge.
Living up to my own ideals.
Being the adult I always needed around.
Facing what is mine, here. What I am.
Embracing my only inheritance – genetic trauma.
Like compost it stinks to high heaven but holds miraculous, life-giving properties if one tends and turns it regularly.
How much of my pain is ancestor pain and can I heal us all by healing myself?
The duality of being both the Golden Child and The Scapegoat an especially hellish training ground for a Pain Eater.
What can I say, I’m an over achiever.
I was first orally & anally raped at four.
Raped and molested until I was about 14 by several people, mostly men.
Mom told me again and again I was never raped whenever I tried to find reasons, closure.
Then when I was an adult she proclaimed everyone gets raped and I should just get over it.
“Everyone gets raped and you should just get over it. I get raped every year, I got raped last year and you don’t hear me whining about it. Grow the Fuck Up and get over it, Alexandria.”
Her refusals to acknowledge the truth of my life helped me begin a spiral of suicide attempts from the age of 7 to the age of 28.
Friends discarded me when I confessed to these thoughts or attempted suicide.
They say these things are cries for help.
But I don’t think that’s quite what’s going on.
It truly is too excruciating for some of us and we really want out.
My last attempt:
I had a 9mm for travel safety.
Criss-Crossing the continent.
Failure and loneliness in cycles of self-hating talk.
The raw, unending, grinding mysterious pain bore down on me every waking moment.
It simply clicked.
The gun would not shoot.
I never tried again.
I’d tried just about most ways.
My Golden People want me to stay.
They show me it’s just gonna be the same hurts if I give up.
Time Is an illusion and karma’s a bitch.
When we survive a beginning that threatens to destroy us at every turn –
We are being called.
We can effect the negative consciousness the permeates us all.
Newburyport, MA : 11yrs
The neighbor boy likes you!
He thinks you’re really pretty!
You should go over and talk with him!
No boys ever thought I was pretty.
They took over my space and pushed their dicks into my face.
They pulled my hair and punched me to the floor.
But they never said I was pretty.
Staying at Gram’s I often crossed the street to sit on the rocks by the water.
One day the boy appeared next to me.
He stared at me strangely.
Hi, he said.
Hi, I say, shielding the sun from my eyes as I looked up at him.
Is it true you want to be my girlfriend?
What? I say, alarmed.
Your grandmother told me you wanted to be my girlfriend. I just wanted to tell you you’re way too ugly for me to be interested. Ok?
Yeah. Ok. I say. But I never wanted to be your girlfriend!
I yell as he walks back to the duplex his family shared with Gram.
I THINK YOU’RE UGLY TOO! I yell through the wall hours later.
Alexandria! What’s with the racket! Gram yells from her bedroom, the tinkling of ice in her gin and tonic glass loud from her movement.
Durham, NH : 9yrs
3rd grade was the worst.
Constant bullying from students and teachers.
If it’d happened in these camera-phone days I’d have a nice settlement.
There was a recent video of a child ruthlessly bullied and left motionless in a corner for over 15 minutes. A few days later he killed himself. I was that child. No exaggeration. Somehow I lived.
Even when those I sought comfort from treated me in much the same way.
After a particularly terrible day I came home wanting to kill myself.
That circular thought embedded in my mind.
I’d made one very serious attempt already, some others less serious.
Where others might chalk things up to a bad spell, let the day go I gave up all hope.
Suicide bloomed into the only option my mind considered. I knew I had to fight it. The bottle of pills I’d taken the year before made me so ill I could still taste them.
I struggled with it and called the only person I could think of, Gram.
Why are you calling me again? She asked angrily.
What do you mean? I ask.
Well, we just spoke for 20 minutes. Why are you calling me again?
I didn’t call you Gram. I just called you. I just got home from school.
No, we talked for 20 minutes and you told me how much you loved the dolls I sent you and you said everything’s great in school.
Gram, it wasn’t me. I just got home. My panic rises.
Stop lying Alexandria. What is wrong with you. Now this is what I want you to do.
Call me back and we’ll see if it was a crossed line.
I don’t understand how–
Just call me back again.
She makes me call her several times, she pretends as if she’s checking some mysterious thing that makes these calls show her I was lying about the first call from someone else.
Now I want you to call me and leave the phone off the hook for 20 minutes.
But Gram, I just wanted to talk about–
We can talk later. Leave the phone off the hook.
I do as she asks.
Later Gram complains to Mom that I was messing with the phone.
She demands that I never call her without supervision.
I explain to Mom what happened, she says to let it go. Says Gram does this kind of thing. But later when the bill arrives Mom accuses me of lying.
I am not allowed to call Gram on my own until I am an adult.
Newburyport, MA : 10yrs
Gram is making an apple spice cake.
I want to help but she is easily annoyed and tells me I am in the way.
I watch quietly from the kitchen table after she smacks my face.
She says something’s wrong, it’s not moist enough to mix.
I suggest she add water or more milk.
No, Goddammit, Alexandria, you can’t just do that! You’ll ruin it!
She becomes irate, she is crying and slamming things in her frustration.
She makes herself a gin and tonic with ice.
She brings the bottle up to her room.
Huge snorts erupt as she sobs her way upstairs.
She’d left the bowl of chalky batter on the counter.
All the ingredient containers are there, it is a mess.
I take the bowl of batter to the table.
After 15 minutes of patient stirring it is thick and creamy, ready to be poured into the pan.
Although I know how to make the cake & use the oven, I know it would enrage her. Instead I clean up the mess, put the ingredients back.
As I’m wiping down the counter she comes back downstairs.
What are you doing down here? I heard you making a racket!
I am proud and pleased. I mixed the batter for you! I hold the bowl to her for inspection.
You little bitch. I told you not to add any water! She thumps my back hard.
But I didn’t–
You ruined it! You ruin everything! She throws the whole bowl of batter in the garbage.
She returns to her bedroom and doesn’t speak to me for the rest of my stay.
York, ME: 10yrs
She didn’t blink once when I told her I was an alien.
Or when I said I was dying from Ammonia.
She just chuckled and gave me a big hug.
Ms. Whalen was my 2nd grade teacher.
She was a sun worshiper and I was safe next to her during recess.
Her face turned to the sky and mine turned to hers.
She was a large woman, something my Mother often pointed out.
A failing, a thing to be critical of.
It didn’t matter that mom was obese, too.
To lose Ms. Whalen was to lose my first sense of belonging.
Fat-shaming was alive and well in the 3rd grade.
Mrs. Pelton, a sub for the often ill teacher, joked about how hard it must be for me to get through doorways or fit into chairs.
At recess she’d say loudly that I just couldn’t help being so slow, what with all my ‘lard’.
During a lesson about making butter she made me stand up in front of the class and shake the jars of cream.
Work off some of that lard and I’ll let you have some lard!
She said and everyone just laughs and laughs.
I have a mason jar in each hand and I shake as fast as I can.
But within a minute the spasms start to rise.
I lower my arms and shake at thigh level.
The pain is becoming unbearable but I try my best to appear fine.
No, no, you have to raise your arms to burn that lard! Mrs. Pelton grabs my wrists sharply and yanks my arms up. I yelp in pain, and drop a jar. It rolls under the teacher’s desk.
I didn’t hurt you! She said, and turned to the class. I didn’t hurt her, she’s just a cry baby. We all know that. She says cheerfully, and they laugh again.
The spasms take over, the tears streaming down my face.
Go to the bathroom and get ahold of yourself.
She hisses, gripping my wrist.
You’re making a fool of yourself, again, you little pig.
She is so skillful no one else can hear her icy whispers.
In photos I see I was just a little chubby.
By today’s standards, fit.
Mrs. Pelton never stopped, not even after high school.
She’d harass me & complain about me at various workplaces.
Her daughter joined the fun in middle school, younger kids were safe to join in torturing me.
I was born for it, it was my role, I did not question it.
Mrs. Pelton was friends with the group of mothers who would glaringly take me in.
Good christians feeling good about their charity while they belittled my clothes, cleanliness or table manners. Miserable bitches who seek power through dominating and bullying children. They’re a universal breed.
The group of mothers who were nowhere to be found when I became the punching bag.
Even later on, I learned Melanie had been subject to endless diets and bullshit about her body.
Mrs. Pelton was an equal opportunity Momster.
It was the end of 3rd grade when Ms. Whalen asked me to come to her summer art camp.
She lived on the ocean in York Beach, Maine, with her longtime partner, Elise.
I was super excited, and I felt special because she’d invited me on scholarship.
Art and music were the only things that made any sense to me.
It was an expensive school, but I was there because she cared for me.
I can’t describe how it felt to be fully welcome. NSA.
My mother was excited to not have me around, so much so that, as often was the case after any kind of sleepover or summer camp, she forgot to come pick me up.
Happened often when I depended on her for a ride.
If she wasn’t the very last, very late arrival, she’d just not show up at all.
But this time I’d almost wished she’d never arrive and I’d stay with Ms. Whalen forever.
It was the day before my birthday, about halfway through the camp session. It was our quiet time, when we were in our shared rooms, resting or writing home, maybe tidying up our space. I’d found a juggling book in their rambling, house-wide library and I was practicing on my bed with two rolled-up socks. Sandy, my aloof and bitchy older roommate enters, stands there and stares me down disdainfully.
What? I ask. What is it?
She shakes her head and leaves the room. A few minutes later Elise rushes into the room, enraged. She points at me, accentuating each word with her index finger.
You. Get. In. The. Hall. Right. Now.
What’s wrong? I ask.
Get Up! She grabs my shirt and forces me into the hallway. I am now hysterically crying and begging to know what is going on.
You stay right there, you! She pushes me into the wall.
What? Why? I yell, I cry. What did I do?
I catch Sandy smiling widely as she goes into our room down the hallway.
I can hear Ms. Whalen saying behind her closed door, Maybe she didn’t do it? Maybe we should talk with her?
Elise answers, No she’s a goddamn liar. Let her suffer. Why did you even invite her here?
I am completely devastated.
The next day I am greeted at breakfast with birthday cards and drawings from all the girls at camp.
I look around the table and see a lot of people who don’t want me there who were forced to make me things. I am miserable and crushed and Ms. Whalen is never as close to me, ever again.
A few years later I am at the Dover, NH public pool’s Halloween party.
I am wearing a witch wig in the water when I spy Sandy across the pool.
There’s no way she’d recognize me. I think I am very clever.
Like, ‘Get Smart’ fucking clever, right?
I put on my mutt British accent and wade on over.
Pardon, but aren’t you Sandy? Well my cousin Alexandria, who is American, like you, wanted to know what you said to Elise at summer camp?
Fuck Off. She says, and moves away to join a group of girls.
Later, in the locker room I come out of the toilets to find all of my things missing.
I am wearing only a wig and a bathing suit and my mother forgets to pick me up.
Martha’s Vineyard : 3yrs
We called it Daycare.
It was a spacious compound in the forest.
Memories are scattered, incomplete.
The clearest one is my giving an anatomy lesson on the floor of the kitchen.
There are several other children and four adults.
We are all nude, legs spread or crossed.
I am explaining to the group that our sex organs look very different, but that they are exactly the same.
The adults are smiling encouragingly at me as I give the details.
I am shocked I have to explain it all, but it seems everyone is curious.
It appears I’m the only one who understands.
I tell them the vagina is a flower from which the penis grows.
I explain to them that we are all women first, then some ride the wave into ‘boy’.
We are equal, I insist. It’s all the same, just different codes.
Everyone is examining themselves as I go through the comparative parts.
A boy about my age asks very earnestly if he can also make babies.
I tell him he chose boy this time, and cannot get pregnant. I tell him he can plant babies but he must love and protect them.
He promises to be a very good father.
Naked and innocent, we hug, looking forward to the promises of Life.
It was a moment that stuck with me.
That people didn’t understand, what was fact & memory to me were lost to many as myth or occult science.
That I could teach them.
Later I dismissed the nudity and touching of ourselves.
Martha’s Vineyard was a nudist paradise.
It seemed a normal way to be until we moved to NH and I started to go to The Little People’s Center. Mom said it was daycare so I took all my clothes off on the first day, yelling DAYCARE!
We don’t do that here, honey, the Carer gently tried to cover my wildly dancing squirmy self.
I didn’t recall either daycare being abusive or dangerous. Nothing but peaceful feelings about the places.
I pondered how I could have known things so precisely about human reproduction.
But through the years I had to pick & choose my personal mysteries to gnaw on.
The other memories there are of Gram coming to pick me up in her yellow convertible, a surprise! I ran into her arms.
She went to speak with the people inside the house.
I am to wait in the yard.
She is in there a long time. It’s chicken & rabbit time & that’s good for me.
She comes out with a manila envelope.
And the ever repeated:
Walking down into a garden, on a path next to a stream.
Back & forth, every time I am there.
There is a white door.
Time is lost the most here.
I chalk it up to the fading of memory.
Boston, MA : 42yrs
I can’t handle the pain. Same old story, I know.
I’ve long stopped trusting big Pharma for any relief.
Drugging the physical body isn’t the answer.
Shifting the energy body is the key.
Shifting the mind.
I’d been doing it my entire life to deal with the spinal cord injury.
To cope with the emotional damage I’d collected like cans on the side of the road.
I’d been dissociative for most of my life.
My light out of phase with my flesh.
A miss-aligned transparent overlay.
For the most part cultivated through music, dance, painting and intensive creative endeavors.
The only way to survive it all without the hard drugs broken hearts fall in love with.
The only way to avoid feeding the malignant mold on the gold of my family’s spirit.
But the pain itself was now keeping me from doing the things that save me.
I was lost without my work.
I’d begun an earnest search for all viable means of healing.
When you are desperate you’ll try anything once.
I figured hypnotism would be a way to ramp up that innate talent I had to step out of the pain consciousness.
I made an appointment. Borrow the cash. Rest up for the journey.
Have you been hypnotized before? She peers at me over her half-moon glasses.
No. But I developed a dissociative state to cope with an undiagnosed spinal cord injury and a broken neck.
She stares. What happened?
Well, it seems it was abuse and neglect. So, I’m a bit guarded. I’m not sure if this will work.
Abuse and neglect. Hmm, she says. Well, lets just start gently then. It’s possible your pain is worse because of your…history.
Yes, absolutely, I say. I notice that often. I was diagnosed with Female Asperger’s as well, so I have a predisposition to panic that complicates the C-Ptsd. I’m a mess.
Well, you certainly are facing a lot of challenges. You seem very well composed!
Good dog! I think and I’m ready to bolt. This isn’t going to work.
She starts with a pendulum and a calm, soothing voice.
I’m fully aware of what she’s saying.
Good riddance to that $250.
As I often do in my aimless thoughts, I walk down that garden path to the white door.
There is a flash of a star, a hand, an arm, reaching across the white door.
Not for you, not now! A familiar male voice.
She brings me out of it very rapidly.
See, I didn’t think it would work, I say, gathering my coat in my lap.
Actually, she says, I don’t want to alarm you.
But there are indications you’ve been under very deep hypnosis.
I’m not sure what you mean? It’s just the abuse & dissociation, right?
Well, she says carefully. No. I don’t think it could be that.
Okayyy, I say, both suspicious and fearful.
Her tone just got mad serious.
A colleague of mine came up with a few questions in case I ever see this.
Do you mind if I ask you these questions?
You have lovely auburn hair, is it a natural color? I assume so because you don’t color your grey…no offense, it looks very Bonnie Raitt.
Thanksss. Yes, it’s natural. This is fucking ridiculous, I think.
Are you of German or Irish descent?
Do you know your blood type?
AB-?, she asks like it’s a kind of cheese or extinct animal.
Do you know when your families immigrated to the US?
I can’t hide my fidgeting and I can feel the rocking rising like a scream.
My father, who is a stranger to me, once tried to take credit for my artistic skills. He said his mother was an artist from Germany. I assumed she was the first generation.
My mother’s side was mostly irish & english. Gram’s husband was German. Everything’s been forgotten.
Was he also an absent father?
I don’t understand why YOU’RE ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS! I am getting upset.
I’m sorry, just a few more and I’ll tell you why.
Everything’s alright. She reassures me in her velvet voice. Can you tell me more about how you got your injuries? Can you tell me more precisely what the injuries are?
I’ve had the spinal cord injury for my entire life. I started having symptoms as an infant. I’ve felt the grinding pressure my entire life. My mother purposefully avoided any real examination of it. She forced me to be silent. No childhood accidents that would’ve caused it. In fact, the neurosurgeon told me all of the violent events I recall wouldn’t have caused this kind of injury.
Why is that?
There have only been 80 known cases, ever, of thoracic tethered spinal cord. It’s a rare convergence of massive force and hyperflexivity that traps the spinal cord between vertebrae. It’s caused by trauma only. Mine was the only one left untreated for 34 years. It ruined both my spine and my spinal cord. The cord’s been chewed to bits. It was untethered in 2005, but it’s all shot to shit.
She regards me like a pitiable unicorn. It’s amazing that you’re walking. How are you even alive? Is it near the neck? Is it related to the broken neck?
It’s between the shoulder blades. I think the broken neck was from diving into a pool and ramming into the floor.
Oh, yeah, she says. I remember lawsuits about the design of pool floors. Were you compensated?
No, I just had to hold it together for a few weeks.
Hold it together?
Yes, the dissociative thing. It’s my lifetime method.
Wow, Okay, let’s move on. Have you ever lived in Long Island, New York, Boston?
Well…Gram and Mom lived in Long Island. One time that I was homeless I camped in a barn on Montauk in the winter. I moved to nyc when I was 26 or so. I grew up near Boston, I used to drive to Cambridge Square a lot. Harvard, I say.
I was staying at a friend’s house but when I told her that her boyfriend felt me up and tried to kiss me, she dumped me.
She sighs. Any other universities you’ve been drawn to?
I grew up, basically, at UNH. The entire town was the college, I say. I guess I was really huffed to get to school in West Sussex, England.
Oh, that’s one of the places. She says, writing in her notes.
Just a few more questions and I can answer yours. But I’m seeing multiple red flags. We might want to contact my colleague right now. Carl really knows his stuff.
WHAT STUFF!? Just be honest with me, I’m about to walk out this door.
She raises her palms flat, calming the air around us.
I haven’t finished the questions. But we’ve done enough, I think. I don’t want to make you more ill-at-ease. She pauses. Carl is an expert in government operative techniques. He does a lot of de-programming.
I’m fucking leaving. I get my coat and hat on, gather my bag and canes.
No, please hear me out.
I stay on the couch, ass on edge. Is she concerned or is she trying to sell me something?
He gave me this list to help people who’ve been part of an ongoing experiment on unsuspecting citizens.Your lineage, personal experiences, injuries and locations you’ve lived and been drawn to are all red flags for Mk-Ultra victims.
YOU CAN FUCK RIGHT OFF. I storm out of her office, deaf to her protests.
For the three hour drive home I am constantly walking up and down that garden path in my mind’s eye.
The flash of a star.