I’ve been dealing with a couple things this past week or two, that seem to still be lingering, hanging around, haunting me.
First, I remembered exactly what it was like to be buried alive (the first & longest time). I remembered the bugs. The bugs that entered every crevice and hole in my body, and seemed to be trying to make their own new ones. I remembered the feel of them in my ears, digging into the corners of my eyes, trying to force their way into my mouth. And since I couldn’t move my arms and could barely move my face, there was very little I could do to stop them. Still, my time was completely occupied with fighting them. That’s probably what kept me alive so long.
The worst part of that torture was actually the nose. When the bugs filled my nose, I could not breathe. If I inhaled too sharply, they would be sucked up my nose and into my mouth. I only did that once, I think. Then I worked out a system of opening my mouth in the center, making a tiny opening and breathing through that, through the gap between my front teeth. Like sucking air through a straw or a reed. Without the straw or the reed — and with bugs fighting to get in. That struggle, not knowing how long I could make it work, and getting less and less air — along with the feel of bugs writhing in and out of my body, all over me — that was definitely some of the worst torture of my young life. Every personality I had at the time had to take turns, just to survive it. I was down there quite a while.
The second too-detailed memory is about that bridge — the one I reacted to, when I had to go under a similar-seeming one, a decade later, to escape the basement place where I had been held captive with other teenage girls, as sex slaves. I can’t seem to find where I had written about that event on this blog — perhaps I only described it on someone else’s, then.
So to clarify… When I was 15, I was drugged at a party and taken off to a basement-type place where me and about eight other girls were kept drugged, barely alive, continuously raped and beaten. Almost every day, another girl would die, and every few days more were brought in to replace the bodies. There was a young guy who was the leader — he wore a long black trench coat and big boots, and had piercings and other crazy stuff for back then (perhaps more normal now, though). He had somewhat of a “throne” in the center of one long wall, on a raised “stage”. A little bit in front of him, there was a shallow trough. Men pissed in it. In absolute desperation, girls drank from it. The only other “water” we were allowed was spiked with the drugs that kept us somewhat compliant. It tasted bitter. I could still feel my anger through the haze of it — but it was like having to travel a distance, to feel any emotion.
Eventually, I figured out how to escape, and did. I won’t go into much detail. I digress too far, anyway. Suffice it to say that I somehow managed to abstain from the drugs and found an opportunity to hold a knife to the leader’s throat and convince him to let me go. It was getting dark outside when I finally emerged into the outdoors after almost 2 weeks of being in that dark place. I was delirious with dehydration, starvation, plus the lingering effects of the drugs, multiple beatings and countless rapes. I started stumbling toward a wooded area, started heading uphill. I could see these two towers — a water tower next to some type of electrical/radio tower — on the horizon. They were my beacons. I didn’t know where I was going, what I was going to do, but I convinced myself that all I had to do was reach those towers and I would be safe.
Along the way to the towers, I came to a road with a steep, impenetrable area on the other side. The only way to go was under an old train bridge. But in my delirious state of mind, I didn’t see that bridge, in that timeframe. I saw something from the past. Something that almost made me turn back, the direction I had escaped from. Until just several days ago, I only had the vaguest idea what I had seen, what I was then remembering, and why it was so overpowering that I considered whether it was worse than what I had just escaped. But for now, let me say that I did force myself under that bridge… and not far on the other side a kindly old trucker picked me up and helped me get home.
Judging by my mental state at the time of the first “bridge” event, I believe I was either late-3 or early-4 years old when it happened. It was one of many Druid ceremonies (as was being buried alive, above). This time, there was this huge old structure, looking much like that old train bridge (to me — they are forever associated in my mind now, and I cannot separate them objectively). In this ceremony, people were strung up, alive, with their intestines strung up over a hook, still attached to their bodies. We were supposed to run beneath them and strike their intestines as we went. We had some kind of “special” sticks to do this with. It was supposed to do something positive — like a magical purging, cleansing, renewal thing for the torturers. But for the tortured, it was unfathomable. I could tell by their faces, and their horrid gurgling screams as their insides were pulled out –and then their tortured groans every time they were struck with the “magic” sticks.
I tried to do it, to save myself a beating or worse. But when I saw the face of the man whose intestines I barely touched with my stick, I couldn’t do any more. I couldn’t even walk beneath them, which is what everyone else was doing. Back and forth. Dragging me along with them. Then eventually they let me be, allowing me to sit huddled, against a nearby tree, trying not to hear the awful sounds of torture that seemed to never end.
Needless to say, this event (and lesser but similar ones) had a huge impact on me. I always wondered why certain types of screams and other human blurts sometimes elicited panic in me. When my children would play outside in the backyard, I would sometimes hide in my bed, with a pillow over my head, trying to drown out the sounds and not believe they were being hurt. Trying to be rational. But it always drains me. Noises. Any noise I cannot get away from. Music. Barking. People talking. Loud car engines being revved up over & over, or idling very loudly. And I honestly feel like I’m being tortured. I go a little crazy, and cannot function. No concentration. Totally absorbed in some type of life-or-death struggle that only I am aware of. Sucks. Now I’m just praying I can grow past it, now that I know at least a big puzzle piece of where it comes from.