Saturday, May 14, 2011

Setting the stage

And so the traumas begin...

One day, my brother & I were playing at Mary’s house. Mary’s mother told me it was time to go home. I vaguely recall that they were going to eat dinner. For some strange reason, I left their house without my brother to walk home alone. There was a wooded area that existed a short ways from our home. The wooded area was known to have “wild dogs” in it. I knew I was not allowed to go there, but for some inexplicable reason, I ended up in that wooded clearing:

Actual Memory – Dog Attack:

I have no recollection of ever actually walking there. In that clearing, I was surrounded by many dogs – maybe 4 or 5? I don’t remember how many or even what they looked like or what breed. I only remember that they were big dogs. They were all growling and barking at me. I do not remember if I was afraid or not. I simply remember pointing at them and saying “no!” I remember that the dogs would not let me leave the clearing. If I tried to leave, a dog would lunge at me and knock me down. I would get back up, point at the dog, and say “No!” At some point, the dogs attacked. I do not clearly remember the attack. I have some scattered vivid images of lying on the ground and the feeling of the dogs pulling at my legs, but my memories are not continuous. The next thing I remember is a teenage boy carrying me home. I did not know this boy. I vividly remember being HORRIFIED because I had no pants on. I was feeling ashamed and embarrassed that this boy was seeing my naked genitals. I do not know how my underwear and pants came off my body (if it was the dogs or something or someone else…) The boy carried me to my house and I was placed on the couch. My grandmother Maggie was there and called 911. I think I told the Paramedics that the dogs had bitten me, or maybe they had asked if the dogs bit me and I agreed. I remember that they asked me to point to every location on my body that hurt. I distinctly remember being above my body at some point. Looking down at myself on the couch while the Paramedics tried to clean the blood off of my body.

External Explanations Added – Dog Attack:

Later, I was told by someone that the boy was our neighbor. I was told that he had heard me screaming and ran to my rescue. I was told that he had taken a 2x4 and tried to beat the dogs off of me. I was told that my grandmother was at my home watching my sister (who was supposedly sick) and me while my mom was at work. Our dog, Demon, was going ballistic – running through the house and acting very anxious, whining and barking. (Demon was a black German Sheppard that my mother brought home one day. We were told that he was a police dog who had “flunked his K-9 test.”) My grandmother could not hear my screams. She cracked the door open to see what was making the dog go nuts when my dog bolted out the door. The story I was told was that Demon ran to my rescue and began fighting off the dogs – effectively saving my life along with the neighbor boy. Again, I don’t remember how I ended up in the clearing with the dogs, but I clearly remember that for *years* afterward, I felt a secret, paralyzing fear and shame of guilt or personal blame for ever being in that clearing and I was terrified to let anyone really know how I had gotten there. Ironically, I’ve somehow managed to block out or lose the actual memory of exactly *how* I got there.

Actual Memory – Hospital:

I was taken to the hospital by ambulance but I do not remember the ride. The next thing I remember is waking up in a brightly lit room (surgery room? ER?) at the hospital. I felt nothing, but looked around. Someone in the room (a nurse maybe?) noticed I was awake and everyone began to panic. Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to be awake. They put something under my nose (ether?) and I fell asleep again. I don’t know how long I actually stayed in the hospital. I shared a hospital room with another girl (Carrie) my age whose parents, ironically, worked with my mother and grandmother at [redacted] (defense contractor). I remember that the other girl left the hospital before me and no one ever replaced her. I remember feeling sad and lonely. I remember that someone brought me a giant stuffed polar bear as a “get well” present. Because I had injuries to my feet, I couldn’t walk so I would sit on that polar bear like a horse and scoot myself around the hospital on my tip toes. In an unexplained odd way, I remember riding that polar bear around the hospital when the hallways were darkened and no one was seemingly around. As for my injuries themselves, they all seemed to be located on my legs, below the knees. I remember seeing 3 tubes sticking out of one leg. They were short, fat, tan-colored tubes that stuck out of my leg about an inch and a half. I remember being told they were there to “drain infection.” I also have a few various memories of being put in a big, white, claw-foot bathtub at the hospital and screaming in pain and hysteria. On the surface, I think I was being given a bath. I don’t remember the actual bath….only that the experience was extremely painful and traumatic.

Supposedly, my mother sued the town for the dog attack. While I don’t know if this is actually true, I do remember a series of peculiar incidents that would seem to support this idea.

Actual Memory – Courthouse & Kennel:

I remember being brought into an empty courtroom. It seemed very big and intimidating to me. The carpet was a dark blue and seemed almost like velvet to me. The walls were lined from floor to ceiling in a dark, glossy wood panel wainscoting. I distinctly remember the room being dark or very dimly lit. My mom was with me and walked me up to the front of the room. The only other person in the room was the judge. No lawyers…or anyone else that I can remember. I remember looking up at the judge and being very scared. I remember him telling me not to be scared and telling me that I had to tell him the truth of what happened to me. I don’t remember anything I said to him with one exception. I remember him asking me several times if my dog, Demon, had been one of the dogs to bite me. I remember being very scared that he was going to hurt my dog if I said yes. I remember telling him “no!” very emphatically. In my memory, I do not remember my dog ever engaging in the attack – or saving me for that matter. However, during this interrogation I also remember being very scared because I didn’t remember and was afraid that the judge would realize that I didn’t remember and have my dog killed. An indeterminate amount of time later, I remember being taken to a dog kennel. It was me, my mom, and a man who I think was a police man. I was asked to identify which dogs had attacked me. I was walked up and down that kennel several times. The dogs were all barking loudly. I remember being very unsure of which dogs had bitten me but felt a heavy pressure that I must choose and choose correctly. I vaguely remember picking out dogs, but do not know or remember if they were the correct ones. The memory of the kennel is a very hard memory to recall and causes me a lot of residual distress to remember it.

External Explanations Added – Courthouse & Dog Kennel:

Later, I remember being told that another neighbor, an older woman, had reported seeing my dog attack me along with the other dogs. I vaguely remember a lot of anger and hate from my mother that this woman was purposely making up a story about my dog, purposely trying to get him put down, as some sort of retribution against my family. This seems to support & coincide with my fear that the judge’s questioning meant my dog would be put to sleep. Needless to say, my dog was NOT ever put down or determined to be a contributor to the dog attack.

Some time after I left the hospital, my family moved to a 3 story townhouse apartment* that was a mile or so away from the home where I lived next to Mary.

* - side note. I don’t recall any reasoning at the time why we moved but when I was older, I was told by someone that our little house had burned down during a snowstorm while we were away. At that time, my mother supposedly worked as a night auditor at a local hotel. I do remember spending the night at the hotel where she worked once during a snowstorm. The two memories I have in regards to that night are swimming in the indoor pool while watching the snow pile up outside and carrying a box of Fruity Pebbles into the hotel room. Whether that was the night of the fire or not, I do not know. Incidentally, I don’t recall any fire or reports of any fire during that time frame of my life. My mother said (when I was much older) that the fire had started in the garage and was electrical in nature (bad wiring?). Despite the fact that there was literally a fire station a half block away (next to my school), the house was a “complete loss.” The only thing I remember about the move is carrying a stack of paperback books into the new apartment. I don’t remember ever seeing my old house or “remnants” of my old house again. I do remember going by the house when I was older (maybe 10ish?) and seeing a completely new house had been built on the lot, but I cannot place a timeframe on when the new house replaced my old home.

Ironically, Mary and her family were also moving. I remember her coming to my new house one snowy night and giving me a “goodbye gift.” She & her mother stood on my doorstep to give me the gift. She never came inside and we never touched one another. Nor do I remember her brother getting out of the car to say goodbye to my brother. I remember that they were moving out of the state, but I do not recall where or why. As for the gift, I don’t remember exactly what it was…I simply remember that it had something to do with Mickey Mouse and that it was a bath toy of some type. Mickey Mouse was a big influence in my life at that time…as I’m sure it was for many children of that era. I had 3 “Disney encyclopedias” of 3 different colors – red, blue, and green. Each had a different theme. I remember vivid pictures of Fantasia, the Aristocats, the Rescuers, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, and Escape from Witch Mountain. I remember being particularly “obsessed” with Fantasia – even naming a cat after the movie. Because my family was poor, we rarely ever went to the movies. The only movies I can ever remember seeing as a young child are E.T. and Star Wars. I also remember seeing “The Jungle Book” on a big screen, but unless this movie was re-released in theaters, I can’t explain this memory. I spent a LOT of time looking at those Disney encyclopedias, memorizing the pictures inside. They brought me a lot of comfort.

I spent quite a bit of time alone as a child. My mother always seemed to be gone. My older siblings were rarely around (another strange “fact” we’ll cover later). When I was alone, I’d read those Disney books or some other encyclopedias we owned (World Book of Knowledge). We had some old books, including an old old Dictionary. I used to read it frequently. It had a section in the front that talked about different subjects. I remember reading about the “7 Wonders of the World” and was particularly fascinated with the “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” and the Egyptian pyramids. I can still see the pictures in my mind.

Sometime after we moved into the new townhouse, my uncle Sam (mom’s brother) came to visit. I remember that he had some “friends” with him. They had traveled up to [redacted] from Florida. I remember that he had a box of snakes with him. I don’t know why he had the snakes or even how long he (or we) kept them. But I do remember the day he let them go. There were 2 or 3 of them, I think. As crazy as it sounds (and physically impossible I think…), I have vivid memories of those snakes rising up, fangs bared, and striking at him and his buddies. They were laughing and acting like it was a game. The snakes were very angry and attempting to spit or bite. I do not distinctly remember what KIND of snakes they were, but I think they were Blue Racers. I was TERRIFIED. After that, I remember being in awe of my uncle. He was also an amazing artist and guitar player. He showed me a lot of attention. He would sing songs to me, but mostly I was enthralled by the pictures he would draw. I remember seeing some cartoon drawings of naked women (including some in sexual positions, which embarrassed me), but mostly he would draw me pictures of dogs, horses, or unicorns. Then, one night….

Actual Memory – Sam

I was 5 or 6 years old at the time of this memory. I had been sent to bed after taking a bath. I was half-asleep when Sam came into my room. I think he was alone. He laid down in my sister’s bed (she wasn’t there at the time. I don’t know where she was…). I remember wishing he’d come lay down in my bed. Soon, he did. He simply crawled in bed with me. At first, he laid there stroking my hair. I don’t think he talked to me nor did I say anything to him (that I recall…). From this point, I think I’m missing some memory of what happened next. The next memory I have is Sam with his head between my legs, giving me oral sex. I remember that I was trying to pretend to be asleep (or not conscious) and that I felt deeply ashamed of what he was doing because I had wanted him to do it. Had actually begged for it in my mind (or those were the thoughts going through my head at the time…) Because of these thoughts of “wanting it,” I felt like a very dirty, bad girl and I was deeply ashamed. After that, I have another block of lost memory. I do not know if intercourse* or any other sex acts happened during this incident. I cannot recall. The next thing I remember is Sam standing next to my bed, trying to put his pants back on. He stumbled and fell onto my bed, partially sitting on my head. I remember crying… I had tears running down my cheeks but I made absolutely no sound. I was deathly afraid to make a sound. My eyes were shut very tight and I remember being so sickly ashamed. At that point, Sam began stroking my head again and crooning to me. Calling me his “baby.”

* - side note. Several hours after writing this, I had vivid flashbacks of being “crushed” as he laid on top of me and feelings of panic of suffocation….although I don’t remember any actual physical intercourse. However, because of the feelings of what I saw in the flashback, I believe that there WAS intercourse or, at least, an attempt at it.

I do not remember how I felt about Sam after that incident, but I have a feeling that there were more incidents of sexual abuse with him and his “buddies” before he left. Many years later, I remember overhearing my mother telling someone that she had kicked them all out after she found someone’s panties under my uncle’s pillow, yet she never asked me if my uncle had been inappropriate.

Breakdown and Review:

In this section of the post, I will attempt to breakdown evidence and/or psychological assessment of the information or situations posted above.  I will attempt to look at the situations from a pro-believer standpoint as well as from an alternative or scientific perspective.

Mind control and ritual abuse believers often base their arguments on the cornerstone of induced trauma to "split" the mind of their victim.  For those individuals who debate this hotly contested subject, this post should provide some interesting insight for there can be no disagreement that life-altering trauma occurred during this time of my life. What I feel is pertinent to debate and understand is the essence of my memories during this time frame and their reliability.  For certain, these are NOT "recalled memories."  These are memories that I have retained my entire life.  So what does that say for the argument of their reliability?  What does that say for the question of what they mean in regards to the mind control and ritual abuse question? Was I simply a victim of depraved circumstance?  Or is there the beginnings of a bigger pattern here?

Pro-Believer Traits & Evidence:
- "dog attack" story does not add up.  Even forgetting the fact that I don't remember how I arrived in that clearing, especially a child, I was incredibly skinny and scrawny.  The "attack" happened when I was 5 yrs old.  According to the story I was told, there were 4 dogs involved.  I clearly remember many dogs but not an exact count.  All of my injuries (and subsequent scars that I carry to this day) are below my knees with the exception of ONE puncture wound to my jugular vein on my neck.  When considering the amount of bodily surface area of a small, skinny child, it seems highly unlikely that numerous dogs would only cause injuries to that small area.  Add to this question that any easy internet search of similar dog attacks on children clearly indicate that these animals are most likely to attack the face and neck.  I had none of these injuries.  Except the puncture wound to my neck.  But only one wound with no corresponding "bites" or teeth marks in the area?  Very improbable in my opinion.  Then there is the question of how I seemingly "lost" my pants & underwear but not the rest of my clothing?  And the appearance of the teenage boy who I never recall seeing before or again? Even more puzzling is that, despite the horrific alleged attack, I never developed a fear of dogs.
- re-traumatizing at the kennel and by the "judge"
- threat of losing a beloved pet if I didn't "answer as expected."
- German Sheppard named "Demon"
- possible induced trauma at the hospital.
- loss of close childhood friend who may have experienced co-traumas
- prominent presence of Disney books and movies which large amounts of time spent "studying" them.
- sexual abuse by family member
- "stories" of family history that do not correspond to my actual memories

Alternative Explanations:
I clearly remember the dogs knocking me down and pulling at my legs, even if I do not recall the actual biting into my flesh.  Psychologists claim that "repressing this type of  trauma" is very normal and natural for a child of that age. Could "repressed memories" possibly explain the sketchiness of my memories?  

As for the sexual abuse from my uncle Sam, it is well known among family that he is a serial pedophile.  He has never been arrested for his crimes and it is unknown exactly how many children he may have molested.  Therefore, his abuse of me as a child may have constituted nothing more than simple opportunity.

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