Re-Experiencing terror with the purpose to heal

Summer 1974, months before my release from the network

Summer 1974, months before my release from the network

Trigger Warning. 

I don't issue trigger warnings often, as I expect that those who read my posts are not afraid to be confronted with the darkest side of humanity. What I am sharing here is not about the most violent trauma I encountered in my years in the network. This is about betrayal. The actions by the adults I depended on for my life were extreme. 

I spent the past month in a state of terror, triggered by an anonymous smear campaign containing specific personal information that led me to suspect a woman, but then everything pointed in the direction of a man. Both were people with whom I had been connected personally and professionally, and I had broken off contact with both. 

After four years in the network, when I was ten years old, I was singled out by a twenty-one-year old gangster with white-blond hair, who looked like a movie star. I tried to keep my distance, knowing that girls who fell in love were often eliminated once they were dropped, because with a broken heart they were no good to other perpetrators. His protection meant that I was not to be touched by anyone, not even when he was absent. In our private "sessions" he never touched me; we just talked. This was my first experience with something resembling therapy. I didn't realize for quite a while that he was waiting for me to give myself to him. The time I nearly broke down was when he told me that my mother was no good. At first I was upset. She was all I had, and my protection of her was fierce. I was angry at him for bringing it up. He looked at me with what I could only recognize as deep love, and in that moment I transferred my allegiance from my mother to him. But I held back on kissing him - it wasn't what I really needed. 

In confronting my mother the very next time she tried to make me feel bad, she went on a spree of vengeance against me that greatly surpassed the sadism she had so far displayed. She brought me to a place where I didn't enjoy the protection of the gangster, where I was raped all night. After six months of protection, I felt all the horror. But my mother wasn't finished; she failed to pick me up the next morning at dawn, as usual. I was left behind in an abandoned mansion for five days, without food, without anything. 

I began to spontaneously meditate in my weakened state, and had spiritual experiences. Insights dawned on me, and as death approached, I was ready to embrace it. When my mother came back on Thursday, I was emaciated. I was given one day to recover, to be brought back to an orgy the following evening.  I was so grateful to see the gangster that I jumped into his arms. He took my enthusiasm for an invitation. I gave in.

From the moment the sex started, the abuse escalated. He stabbed me in the back of the knee, then rushed me to the South of France where his parents had rented a home for the summer where I could recover. But he left me there by myself, and returned only to forcibly take me back to my mother. A few days later, my mother struggled to stuff my throat full of Valium, so I'd be asleep by the time the gangster arrived. I willed myself to stay awake, only to see them having sex in front of me.  It was the moment of my mother's crowning glory. However, I was more concerned with my primary attachment figure: the man on top. He shot me an ice cold glare. 

Having been dropped as the gangster's favorite, I expected to be killed in the near future. My agony was prolonged as he insisted on spending time with me, while he also saw my mother. My emotional distance was intolerable to him, and he made me reconnect through fear. He put a loaded Browning against my temple. I heard a spring go off inside the metal and thought my head would explode. When I realized he had cocked the gun, I attuned myself to him, and gave in. Next he would see my mother again. I had never seen her this happy.

One night, after being dropped off by the gangster, my mother smiled as she noticed my bruises opening the door. I had been badly beaten. I flatly told her we had had made up, and her face dropped. When I looked in the mirror, I was shocked. I could barely recognize myself. For a moment, I fully felt the panic of having two adult caregivers who didn't care not to let this happen - who were completely insane.

A fourteen year-old boy I knew from outside the network tried to care for me in between incidents. The gangster found out about this boy and killed him. Eventually, my turn to die came. Though the lead-up was horrific, I was very glad to go. I did, too. I passed to the other side. I didn't want to come back, but I had to. In that moment of sheer bliss I experienced the greatest love I ever felt. This experience would show me the way in adulthood, knowing to search for this rather than the many substitutes offered through drugs, sex, or power. 

In the past weeks, I experienced the fear of that period in my childhood when both the adults on whom I depended for my life ganged up on me, and I was left, neglected and abused, in the knowledge I would soon be killed. In the past weeks, this fear was debilitating. My yoga practice and meditations only brought brief moments of respite. I kept sending light to the woman, and to the man. On the last day, I suddenly connected to long-buried furious anger at my mother and the gangster, for their betrayal. As I felt into the rage, I suddenly grasped how young I had really been. My eleven-year-old was so grown-up, it was barely possible to think of her as the young child she was. Through the anger, she was restored to her innocence, the fear dissipated, and I felt relieved and at peace for the first time in a month.  I sent a final email to the man who had been sending threats, keeping in mind the unresolved pain and hurt hiding behind his words, and blocked him from my email accounts. More important was the energetic boundary I drew. 

Fear and love are the essential opposites in a dual universe; love the attractive force that draws everything back towards truth, with all positive things being one or another of its variants, and fear, the repulsive force, the lie pushing everything deeper into darkness and ignorance, with all negative things being one or another of its variants. Every time fear is conquered, we are more able to love.




M Becker