A Fire-Eater, Hypnosis, and a Gun

I don’t even know how to start this post. I’ve been afraid for a week to write it down, especially in a blog for anyone to read. Although to be honest, I’m realizing that I’ve been afraid to tell this story since I was a little girl. I’ll probably post it privately first, so if you’re reading this, I got over a lot of fear to make this public. (That pretty much goes for all of my posts, but this one especially).

It’s days like this that I understand myself better than ever before, but it comes at a huge price. The things I’ve realized about my childhood have always been scary and difficult. But this… it’s just worse because it explains so much. Healing from trauma means you have to feel the pain, there’s no way around it. Otherwise, you don’t heal. I’ve been struggling for over a week with flashbacks and depression. My last post was about sitting with pain, and yeah that’s pretty much my life right now. I can see why I used to self harm, because it’s almost impossible to explain how much emotional pain I’m in with just words. Luckily I don’t hate myself like I used to, so I haven’t cut in 13 years. I get it though, I understand the desperation and immense pain that brings someone to do that. When I broke my leg and needed surgery, the nurses and doctors were very supportive. But whenever I had to go to the ER for stitches or a psych eval, they hated me. I don’t have time to write about all the horrible things they said and did to me in ERs when I needed mental health care. You can feel so much pain it feels like you’re dying, but if they can’t measure or observe it somehow, then it doesn’t exist or you’re weak. That’s pretty much the message I got. Paramedics were the only medical professionals who were nice to me when I was suicidal or self harming, and I’m grateful for them. But with emotional pain, you’re either alive or you kill yourself. And if you’re alive, people just assume you’re fine. I’m alive for my kid, but the pain is indescribable.

Lately it feels like a ten on a scale of 1-10 for emotional pain. A decade ago, I would’ve ended up in a psych ward at times like this. I guess that shows me how far I’ve come. Today I played with my kid outside for 3 hours, and now I’m lying in bed with the window open listening to the sounds of spring. Sometimes you do whatever you need to do to get through. Right now I guess it’s wrapping myself up in a comforter and staring out the window. I love May. The leaves appear on the trees again, it’s warm but not too hot, and the flowers are blooming. The azalea bushes next to my house are alive with purple flowers, and my crabapple tree is dotted with pink blossoms. Today my daughter rode her bike, looked for bugs, and played with her water table. I listened to my headphones and watched her have fun. On days like this, music is always with me. And on days like this, my daughter’s happiness is everything. It’s very powerful and holds me to the present.

My therapist has been there for me this week, and I’m grateful for her. Phone sessions during this pandemic are not ideal, but at least I’m not completely alone. On Monday she offered to call me again, but I was too despondent to even speak, so she texted me. I told her what I remembered this weekend. I should say realized, because with DID, you can recall memories over and over again and then forget them. Amnesia is a bitch. The details never change, but I usually forget I have remembered it before. Last summer, a younger part told me about a cop. I didn’t really believe them, but they showed me movies in my mind of it happening. I forgot about it for months after telling my therapist one day and then dissociating and forgetting again. However this time I won’t forget.

It was a cop in the town where I grew up. He was about 14 years older than my parents. He wasn’t close with my dad, but he knew my next door neighbor, one of the other men who raped me. The cop must’ve been part of this sick circle of pathetic pedophiles. The memories were bad. There are no words really. Well, I guess there are words, but I don’t want to write them. There’s too much humiliation and shame. Plus, the details are for my poor therapist to have to hear. Basically he raped me, strangled me, humiliated me in a lot of ways, called me degrading names, and threatened me with his gun. There’s a lot more to it than that though. I just don’t understand people. He’s clearly a sick twisted piece of shit, but why the gun as well? I was already ashamed and scared. I wouldn’t have told anyone… plus I didn’t even have anyone to tell. I’m pretty sure my parents got some kind of reimbursement for him doing that to me. Parts tell me they knew. Also, why would they send me to places like my neighbor’s house alone, when they didn’t even have kids my age? (Their kids were older and had already moved out). I know I wasn’t the only child who was raped. I wish I could ask the kids in my neighborhood. A lot of them have issues now, they struggle in some way or another. But none of them say anything. I can see why. If they do remember, it’s too scary to speak up. Parts tell me that we got it much worse than most of the others. The men liked me. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s because I had a British accent so I was noticeable, or maybe because I had been raped since I was a toddler so I just spaced out and didn’t fight them… ugh. Or maybe it was the opposite, maybe they liked that I’d occasionally get angry and try to fight them, which gave them an excuse to use more brutality. I know that some parts would fight and some would freeze. I’m not sure when they broke us, but at some point we stopped fighting because they almost killed us too many times. As much as some parts want to die, others desperately want to live. Such is the paradox of DID. Either way it’s painful, and I feel ashamed.

I’m spacey right now, and I can’t think straight. My head is pounding, and I feel nauseous. I have to keep writing though. After the parts replayed the gun memories, they told me to check my old journals. There was a drawing of a gun, and it looked like a handgun that a cop might have. I remember thinking that drawing was odd whenever I came across it, because I never liked guns and don’t know how to draw them. It was in a journal I wrote when I was 15. I keep saying this, but I don’t know why he had to threaten to shoot us, he’s a coward for so many reasons. My therapist said it’s for power and control, which I already knew. That’s the same thing I’d tell a client if they asked why. But it still doesn’t seem like a good reason. I don’t care what happened to him as a kid, that’s just pathetic. I obviously felt powerless a lot in my life, but I never hurt another person to feel power. This goes back to my domestic violence post, I just don’t get it.

Everyone who was supposed to protect me and keep me safe as a kid betrayed, used, and hurt me. They tried to break me, my mind shattered, and I’ve spent decades trying to put the pieces back together. Not only is it devastating to realize that a cop did this, it’s also devastating because it finally explains why my dad wasn’t afraid of getting in trouble. Even though I’d started accepting that he tortured me, I still didn’t understand why he wasn’t afraid that he could seriously hurt me and get in trouble. It makes sense now, he had a cop to back him up. They weren’t friends, but they were part of the same evil circle. He probably felt safe because he knew the cop would want to cover anything up if anyone started asking questions. I can’t describe the pain this causes me, because all I had left was the shred of disbelief that my dad couldn’t have tortured me because he could’ve gotten in trouble, so maybe all the images and memories, nightmares, voices, drawings, poems, and pain… maybe they were all wrong. I wanted them to be wrong, even though I knew they were true. I can’t describe it, even though I got flashbacks, I still didn’t want to believe what I was seeing. I didn’t want to believe the parts of me, even though they never stopped telling me the same stories and continued to suffer. I kept thinking, how could someone do this to a child? And wouldn’t he have been afraid to leave marks or get caught? Nope. Now I see why. This realization killed the last shred of doubt I had, like a kid holding onto a tiny piece of hope that maybe she’s just crazy and her parents weren’t really that evil… but it’s all so clear now.

I looked up the cop, because a part gave me his name. The only reason I’m writing this is because he’s been dead almost 15 years. And even though he’s long gone, I’m still scared. Parts of me are terrified that I’m writing this down, but I tell them he can’t hurt us anymore. One of the older parts says, “Maybe he can. Bad cops have bad friends.” He’s not wrong. But hopefully this bastard’s friends are all retired. And obviously I’m not going to share his name (even though I kind of wish I could). I tell them it’s understandable that they’re so scared- they’re trying to keep us safe, but it’s ok because we’ve grown up and he’s dead. They still don’t want me to write about him. I have to write it down though. It can’t stay in my head. I’m grateful for my therapist because I don’t have to be alone with it anymore, but I need to get it out of my head and written down. I’m hoping it will help me somehow.

This piece of shit cop was a detective and a youth safety officer. I couldn’t believe that when I read it in his obituary. He was loved by the community. I remember him hanging around the girl’s club sometimes when I was there after school. Here’s where it gets even weirder: in his spare time he was a magician, psychic entertainer, and a fire-eater. What the hell. He even put on shows at our school sometimes. I don’t remember them, but a part told me about it. They called him “The Amazing (last name).” He knew hypnosis. It said all this in the obituary. I always told my therapists that they used some sort of brainwashing or hypnosis on me, and I felt stupid for saying it because I couldn’t remember it, but parts insisted. It’s why I had a seizure hours after a therapist attempted to do EMDR with me when I was 15. It reminded me of being hypnotized as a kid. I always refused treatments like that adamantly because they scared me. Parts don’t trust that shit. Along with the drawings of saws, guns, knives, etc. in my teenage journals, there were also lots of drawings and mentions of fire. I knew my dad liked to play with fire, but now I know that cop did too. Again, just why?! Why would you threaten a kid with all of this, because you can? Because you’re a weak, pathetic coward who feels insecure and powerless? Obviously none of these reasons are good enough excuses for what they did. There will never be a good enough explanation, and I have to accept that somehow.

I have to accept all of this. I see it all playing in my head like a horror movie, and it somehow makes more sense now. I never understood why I always stared at their guns when I was around cops. I never understood why I was afraid of the police using a gun on me even if the other cops had done nothing to scare or intimidate me. It’s because I learned as a young girl that the police were dangerous and could kill me. I knew they had absolute power, and I guess it’s true that they get away with a lot. It makes sense why I’ve always hated society, seen human beings as hypocrites, and never believed in justice. The very systems in place to protect children were the ones that almost destroyed me. The people who were supposed to be there for me were the ones that abused their power to take what they wanted from me. The one thing I can honestly say after this week is no wonder I have DID. I always joke to my therapist that I’m crazy because I’m ashamed of my mind, but I’m honestly lucky I didn’t actually have a psychotic break from all this torture and pain. I’m lucky I’m in touch with reality and able to be a parent and find joy in life. So for the first time ever, I’m truly grateful that I have DID. I see it all more clearly than ever before, and I told the parts of me that I’m sorry I never fully believed them even though they told the same stories for decades. They really did save me. I might experience a lot of pain still, but I’m free and I’m alive. I survived evil. I think this makes me see the world differently than a lot of people. I struggle to find meaning in materialism, competition, status, power, appearance, popularity, and money the way most people do. Those things don’t interest or motivate me. Kindness, love, and compassion keeps me going. Whenever I find these things in other people, I get some of my hope back. And now that I am strong enough to feel the pain, I feel joy sometimes too.

One thought on “A Fire-Eater, Hypnosis, and a Gun

  1. When I struggle, like I am tonight, I browse the tags for DID to read about others who live like we do. To feel some kind of connection. To feel less alone in this madness – multiplicity.

    I feel you.

    Thank you for being open.

    Liked by 1 person

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