The Profile of Profound Abuse
The biggest challenge for the survivor of Ritualistic Sexual Abuse is that they have experienced a profound shattering of their inner world.
In certain cases of severe abuse, the survivor may not necessarily have any conscious recollection at the moment that he/she was significantly abused.  How can that be? It is because some adults experienced significant abuse way outside the "norm" of abuse (though there is nothing "normal" about abuse). In fact, some abuse inflicted upon kids can be so extreme, perpetrated over a long enough duration of time by sadistic, evil individuals, that the child inadvertently "blocks" the recollection of that time in their life, in a similar process as an accident survivor can inadvertently develop adult amnesia with respect to a severe car or plane crash, where horrible things happened, but the survivor has no conscious recollection of the event.  But, what they are left with are a cluster of symptoms which take the form of PTSD-like symptoms, compulsions, anxiety, and depression.  In these kinds of situations, we are familiar with the reality that panic attacks may very well begin to emerge for the accident survivor, even when there is nothing apparent in the immediate environment that should cause the intense emotional reactivity.
Well, if such a phenomenon can be experienced by adults, with brains fully formed and functioning, how much more for children who are sadistically and repeatedly abused (referred to as "ritualistic abuse") by sadistic sexual pedophiles, who not only traumatize the child through extreme sexual abuse, but also ensure the child's silence by means of threats of grave harm to the child or the child's loved ones? This type of  repeatedly overwhelming traumatic and emotionally torturous experience can create an even more powerful form of amnesia for the child, which not only includes the apparent loss of memory of the event(s), but also the suppressing of those parts of their personality that were conscious during the traumatic events. Thus, parts of the child "split off" and get buried far out of conscious recollection; however, the very real and understandable emotions experienced during the trauma do not get buried, but covered over, disconnected from the actual memory, yet remain just as powerful, and in need of being kept at bay, lest they come to the surface in powerful yet disconnected fashion.  Clinically, this process of becoming disconnected from the memories and feelings of the actual event is called dissociation. 
 
This phenomenon is not related to mental illness, as this is the result of specific traumatic events, as opposed to inherited or organic factors. Though it can manifest itself as appearing to be symptoms of mental illness (and is often confused for many various mental health related diagnosis), the reality is that, for survivors, they are not mentally ill, but rather emotionally trying to keep a lid on very powerful yet forgotten emotions and memories.

The biggest challenge for the survivor of Ritualistic Sexual Abuse is that they have experienced a profound shattering of their inner world. The level and degree of this type of perpetration is hard to comprehend for the average person, as it is incomprehensible that someone would sadistically harm a child in such a manner, and it is inconceivable that a person could perpetrate such evil and inflict such trauma and terror into the heart of a child. This kind of abuse (always involving rape, while other malicious things are done at the same time) is perpetrated repeatedly, over a prolonged period of time (usually years), with a perpetrator who not only has consistent access to the victim, but also a deviant, sadistic and malevolent personality, who does unspeakably horrible things to the victim without any remorse or empathy, and who threatens the victim with serious harm and/or harm to a loved one should the victim try to resist.

The rape victim is too young to be able to stop the abuse, and too vulnerable to be able to fight back. The result is that she/he must endure a continual living nightmare; while, simultaneously, needing to maintain an outward appearance that everything is normal so that no one becomes suspicious and starts asking questions. Thus, the violent abuse continues unabated, while the inside world of the victim becomes shattered and broken into more and multiple pieces, with each part helping to keep the core of the person protected and safe. It is these parts that come out to take the abuse, absorb the trauma, and keep the information and feelings (i.e. memories) of the abuse from the conscious awareness of the victim, so that she/he does not lose her/his mind.

In order to help with clarification, the following paints both a personality profile and a list of symptoms often times present for those who have experienced profoundly significant sexual abuse as a child:
 

A Profile and Symptoms Exhibited by those Survivors of Severe Abuse who have no conscious recollection or memories of childhood abuse:

 

Personality Profile

  • High IQ

  • Enjoys or is good at art

    • Drawing/painting

    • Clay sculpting

    • Poetry

      • the themes are usually of hope, fear, and/or pain

  • Unexplained illnesses

  • Stress-related physical issues

  • Headaches in the temporal region

  • Early graying of the hair

  • Very protective of her children

  • Always busy

  • Often running late

  • Capable and competent

  • Engaging personality

  • Wouldn’t want to knowingly hurt another person

  • Tends toward co-dependency or people-pleasing

 

 

Symptoms

  • Finds that they "lose track of time" throughout the day, often with no ability to recall events, meetings, conversations with others.

    • Involves not just minutes, but can be hours or days at a time.

    • This is explained away to others, yet, secretly she/he knows that it is progressing, and starting to cause people to assume that this is the result of procrastination or ineffectiveness.

    • In an effort to prevent this from getting worse, they rely heavily upon "to do" lists and personal organizers. People assume that this is due to a "Type A" personality quirk; however, the survivor secretly hates having to "try to keep it all together" this way.

    • In personal relationships and when at work,  the survivor finds they always have to be "on point," to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Though this comes across as overly controlling or micro-managing to others, the survivor is simply unable to stop the checking and double-checking of self and others. To try to stop actually produces a huge build-up of tension and anxiety.

  • Finds they experience panic attacks out of the blue.

  • Finds they tend to always need to keep busy, and cannot allow things to ever get too quiet.

  • Finds they are always tense, and find normal, non-sexual human touch to be uncomfortable.

  • Finds they are always second-guessing themselves, and the true motives of others.

 

  • Finds they are "Forgetful."
    • Loses track of where she parked the car, or cannot recall how she even got to her appointment or to the destination

    • Unable to recall much about her past, including things that virtually everyone else can recall (eg. elementary and high school teachers' names, courses taken in school, school mascot and school colors, etc.)

    • Changeable mood (mood swings or rapid shifts, others refer to her having perpetual PMS)

    • “Split personality”

    • Frequently changes clothes in the morning until she decides which outfit to wear

    • Frequently changes hair style, even during the day (uses a clip and re-does her hair a lot)

    • Often runs late

    • Will “suddenly” have to excuse herself or leave an event before it is over

    • “Spaces out” at times (stares blankly), and has a startled response or is embarrassed if called upon

    • Is startled a lot in her own home

    • Experiences body memories when she sees, smells, or hears certain things

    • Experiences night terrors, yet can’t seem to recall the dreams when awakened out of them

    • Starts arguments for seemingly no reason, especially when things seemed to finally be settling down

    • Nightmares of being chased, suffocated, or unable to get away

    • Will rarely sit through an entire church service

    • Has a visceral reaction to liturgical robes and symbols

 

  • Hears voices or "noises" in her head, yet has never disclosed since she has been told that "Only crazy people hear voices." Thus, she tries to manage or ignore these voices through distraction and willpower. She has never been told that there are actually 5 reasons that a person might hear voices.

  • Experiences unusual degrees of discomfort at the thought of going to church

    • Avoids participating in communion in church

    • Experiences panic attacks when attending church

    • Finds they must inexplicably leave a church service at a particular point in the service every week, usually using a plausible excuse, such as needing to use the restroom, stomach problems, intestinal issues, etc.

  • Overly paranoid of occult symbols

  • Hates particular family heirlooms, but will never get rid of them

  • Will, at times, wear certain colors, despite knowing that they aren’t her colors

  • Shifting between overly-responsible and irresponsible

  • Feels burned-out all the time, yet cannot pinpoint the specific source of the stress or exhaustion

  • Has previously been diagnosed as having: anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, psychotic episodes, panic disorder

  • Controlling

  • Critical of self or others

  • Apologetic for most things, even those things beyond her control

  • Seems to be attracted to the “wrong” kind of person

  • Hyper-vigilant (can’t relax or let down)

  • Hates being alone, yet isolates

  • Tearful for no apparent reason

  • Inexplicable sense of dread

  • Panic attacks & agoraphobia

  • Noticeably different styles of hand writing

    • right and left hand

    • consistent with her mood

  • Does not need her prescription glasses at times when she would normally use them

  • Self-injurious behavior (more serious)

  • Self-mutilatives (less serious, but still noticeable and feels compelled to continue)

  • As a child, soiled or wet him/herself, hurt animals, and set fires

  • Eating disorders (especially self-induced vomiting)

  • Desire to destroy or run from her own sexuality

  • Discomfort with normal and progressive steps of bonding and intimacy

    • driven to move too far too fast or to avoid all together

    • compulsively physical or compulsively avoidant

  • Unusual interest in following stories pertaining to child abduction or child abuse

  • Unusual interest in spy or thriller movies

  • Inexplicable purchases, despite desires to stay within a budget

  • Inexplicable apparel in her closet

  • Inexplicable brief trips (where no one knows her where she went)

  • Significant medical complaints

  • OBGYN problems

  • Infertility issues

  • Disconnection between sex and love

  • High anxiety during pregnancy (sense of foreboding)

  • Loves her kids, but has few photos of them

  • Possibility of addiction to pain killers

  • Eats for reasons other than hunger

  • Keeps gifts from family that she hates or gives her a bad feeling, but never gets rid of them

  • Remembers her childhood as “basically good,” despite evidence that there were serious underlying issues between mom and dad

  • They have a distorted view of forgiveness

    • Forgive prior to forgiveness being requested

    • Forgive and forget

    • Bury the hatchet… regardless of whether there has been contrition

 

  • Family always sticks together

    • blood is thicker than water

    • you can choose your friends, but not your family

    • to honor your parents is to tolerate their emotional irresponsibility

  • Parents always love their children

  • Food, clothing, shelter = love

  • They have come to believe that certain emotions are “good and “bad.”

  • A sense of foreboding

    • A belief in a personal version of Murphy’s law

      • That they are cursed

      • Ineligible for good things

      • Waiting for the other shoe to drop

      • Inexplicable sense of dread

    • An increasing degree of anxiety the longer things are calm or go well

    • Is uneasy with being quiet or still

    • Hears internal voices (yet fearful others will find out lest he/she be thought of as crazy)

      • Super critical

      • Persecutorial

      • Suicidal

        • Must appear all together

        • Must keep secrets

        • Must endure pain

        • Must keep people from knowing

    • Dissociates (goes away)

      • Feels depersonalized (numb or not real)

      • Tries to stay present (by creating enough pain to stay in the here-and-now)

      • Can, at times, recall seeing her body from outside herself

    • Love/hate relationship with the church or religion

    • Limited recall of certain recent conversations or events

    • Love/hate relationship with paramours of the opposite sex

    • Inexplicably irritated by certain people or situations

    • Flashes of things too quick to see, but feelings of anxiety or dread become pronounced

    • Heightened anxiety and avoidance of certain non-traditional days on the calendar

    • Secretly superstitious to an extreme

    • Performs certain repetitive behaviors or rituals to feel better or safe

    • Self-loathing

    • Self-deprecating

    • Fights to prevent others from loving them or treating them kindly

    • Self-sabotaging

    • Ineffective personal boundaries with selfish people

    • Feels emotionally tired

    • Feels emotionally dead

 

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