Please be aware – this article tackles a very serious, harrowing and at times graphic subject.
I recently shared an article on my Facebook page which a survivor of SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse) had written. The comments I received from friends encouraged me to write about my experience of surviving SRA.
I’ve not written about this topic before now because I hesitate to due to the nature of SRA. I am writing this partly as telling more of the truth of what happened to me. I also write so those who know me can understand more of my healing journey and why it is I struggle with certain things.
People don’t like to believe such things as SRA can possibly happen and many SRA survivors have been accused of making it all up.
The uncomfortable truth is SRA is very real.
SRA ravages lives and involves intense physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and spiritual trauma and is very hard to recover from. SRA systematically indoctrinates, isolates and alienates the child. It destroys the child’s free will as the child is forced to witness and partake in violent rituals involving immense physical and emotional trauma. The child is degraded and humiliated, tortured and brainwashed in order to assure compliance and loyalty.
I WAS THAT CHILD.
For me not only did this occur within the context of the SRA I experienced at my grandparents’ house but in later abuse and torture throughout my teenage years at the hands of both of my parents.
Surviving SRA is full of challenges, particularly religious and spiritual.
As a Christian there are issues that I have to deal with which average Christians who’ve not experienced such things can imagine or begin to understand. In my experience there are very few ministries or Christians out there able to really help.
I have major trust issues. I have big issues with use of language. I find it very difficult to pick up a bible and read it because I was forced to swear on the bible in rituals. Additionally my parents used passages in the bible to keep me in my place, excuse their abuse and heap guilt on me. There are some parts of the bible I can cope with but just the act of picking up a bible is really hard for me. I often find it hard to communicate with Safe Daddy or Jesus. I can go several days totally unable to communicate and then eventually break through whatever the spiritual oppression was and re-establish communication. It is really hard going. Sometimes I cannot communicate with them because I’ve been triggered by something and child alters have taken over and they have a lot of fear and mistrust. The dynamics of living day to day with this deep trauma are very complex.
There was the horror of the rituals but also the horror of what those rituals were a cover for and that is a paedophile ring which operated in my grandparent’s house. I suffered SRA as a baby and toddler and was dedicated to Satan as a tiny baby.
I began deliverance work about 3 years ago after I met a Christian online who was very experienced in ministering to SRA survivors. He was able to recognise what it was I was struggling with. It was very hard work over 18 months but I eventually got free of all the really icky deliverance issues and was able to see past the satanic/witchcraft rituals and see them for what they were - disgusting rituals BUT also a cover for a paedophile ring.
I never heard the name "Jesus" till I was in my late 20's. Up until then it had all been about ‘God’. That ‘God’ figure was a very severe, stern disciplinarian who was always ready to pounce on you and beat you for the slightest misdemeanour. When it comes to ‘God’ I cannot bear to hear about "Father God" because of how ‘God’ was modeled for me by the SRA. I was told over and over that what was happening to me was because I wasn't good enough for ‘God’ and ‘God’ was punishing me for being so bad and horrible.
I grew up believing in ‘God’ being this figure who hated me and was always angry with me. I knew nothing of God's love and was told ‘God’ couldn't ever love me.
To think of ‘God’ as my father, well that just makes it much worse. Consider having a father who beat you and raped you and made you the ‘other woman’ in his marriage. To call ‘God’ ‘Father’ is a very difficult thing for me to do. Yes I know intellectually that ‘God’ is nothing like that but the practicalities and realities are very different.
That is a huge area for me. There is a lot of fear there. How do you reverse 20 years of being told ‘God’ is angry with you and punishing you for being so bad and ‘God’ will never love you because you'll never be good enough? It's terrible really and it made it very hard for me to develop a trusting relationship with ‘God’.
‘God’ is now my "Safe Daddy" - that is how I can relate to Him which is a huge improvement. I’ve made a lot of progress but I do find it very hard to call on God or Jesus. I always thought if only I prayed more etc but I understand better the dynamics now and now understand these difficulties to be consequences of the SRA and abuse rather than it being because I'm bad or not good enough.
Church is another area of enormous stress for me.
There are many reasons for this, some of which are linked to the SRA and how that affects my spiritual wellbeing. My childhood experiences of church were very much about religion and ritual and I had to leave churches which were very ritual based because of the way I was triggered. The expectations of other Christians and general lack of understanding about trauma and what a long hard journey healing from abuse is made it difficult for me to feel accepted in other churches. Church should be a safe place for wounded broken people but too often it became a place where I was judged for not being able to conform to perceived norms of how Christians should be.
I struggle with a lot of things which most Christians take for granted because of the SRA.
During the SRA work I discovered I was seriously fragmented from the SRA and also from the CSA (Childhood Sexual Abuse) other abuse and torture that went right through my childhood till I was 20. We all have an inner child. When a child is abused the child disassociates/splits to cope with the trauma. When the child disassociated child alters were created who carry the memories and the trauma. This is known as Dissociative Identity Disorder - it used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder.
I include at this point a short quote from a friend on Facebook who is also a survivor of SRA. This quote confirmed what I experienced when I discovered I had child alters that needed help and healing.
“A person who has been through severe abuse such as SRA (satanic ritual abuse) will find it extremely difficult to call on the name of "Jesus" for help. Please do not assume that it is a demon preventing them from calling on the name of JESUS ... in a certain way it is... the spirit of FEAR! PERFECT LOVE casts out that fear!! This person needs to know True Jesus in Every part of their being! Treat each little part (alter personality) as a child who has never met True JESUS and start there... be tender; be patient. They aren't being evil or bad... they are only afraid. When a person has alter personalities it's a very good rule of thumb to assume they may have experienced SRA. So please do take into consideration, that while this precious person is "little" (and you can tell when they are "little" = a child alter is out), it's best to tenderly and patiently introduce them to TRUE JESUS ...the One who will never hurt them and will always love them with His good and safe Perfect Love that never hurts and always protects!! Try to be very discerning and listen to the leading of the LORD.... His heart is not to harm, and He is always tender toward the severely broken!”‘Just sharing some thoughts about ministry to the severely broken’ by Kimberly Joy
In SRA abusers do certain things to ensure the child disassociates.
Creating child alters is all part of the dynamics of SRA. The child is programmed to split in many different ways. That is all part of SRA. That programming ensures the child does not remember the details.
It is common for memories to re-emerge 30-40 years later by which time the abusers are long gone out of the child’s life and beyond the reach of justice. In SRA it is common for there to be multiple child alters who carry out different roles in enabling the person to cope and function.
Where many Christians go wrong on this issue is they assume that child alters are demonic entities which need deliverance. That is a huge mistake to make and such an approach causes additional deep trauma and pain to the person involved. I did need deliverance but not in relation to the child alters. The child alters do NOT need to be cast out like a demon. They need to be embraced, cared for, listened to and brought to a place of healing and peace.
The journey is long and contains many layers of which deliverance is only ONE key.
There's more to healing from this stuff than deliverance.
The child alters were created by deep trauma. That trauma needs to be addressed for healing to happen.
What child alters need is to be given time and space to tell what happened to them, how they feel about it and how they are affected by it. They need to be gently and carefully introduced to Jesus in ways they could cope with. Eventually as healing continues the adult involved becomes more integrated as the need to disassociate decreases because the trauma is decreasing as healing comes.
In my case my internet counsellor introduced each child alter as they came up to gentle Jesus who then took over. I love the way that Jesus communicated with each child alter. Jesus met them where they were, as they were. He gave them all the time they needed to express their hurt, memories, fear, questions and pain then tenderly and gently nurtured them. Little by little each child alter was able to begin to trust Jesus and let Him speak wonderful healing words of love and affirmation to them and re-parent them. Jesus did a tremendous mighty work with me and with my child alters. It was awesome painstaking work. Eventually I reached a stage where the child alters had said all they needed to say and were more comfortable with Jesus.
As the child alters began to heal the programming from the SRA was broken and they became more peaceful and settled.
I am immensely thankful for the work of my internet counsellor. There was something about the anonymity of a computer screen which enabled me to talk about terrible acts and experiences which I could never ever have spoken about face-to-face.
I would not say I am integrated as yet because I still disassociate. However, when I do disassociate it is not as severe or as dangerous as it was before all that work with the child alters.
Having done a lot of spiritual work I thought "this is great I'm free now, yippee". BUT over time I realised the deliverance work was only a beginning because SRA did some seriously intense spiritual, emotional and psychological damage.
I often felt bad because I've had deliverance but am not totally free or totally healed yet. I often felt bad too because of the expectations of other Christians which didn’t match up with my experience.
What I have learned is it’s so hard to get totally free and healed from the long term effects of SRA/CSA. It is a daily spiritual battle. The forces involved are real and it can be like walking through treacle in a thick fog. But there is hope for healing. The reality is it is a very long hard exhausting journey.
That led me to realise I was going to need professional help with the psychological and emotional damage and fragmentation caused by all that. Following the spiritual work the child alters became more peaceful. The child parts of me had found peace and I was able to address the trauma and damage in my life as an adult.
The overwhelming pain and trauma related symptoms I experience such as flashbacks, body memories, disassociation, anxiety, nightmares, hyper vigilance etc are all related to the abuse and is a kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I've found that healing from PTSD, DID, BPD and other long term effects of the trauma needs different kinds of intervention. That intervention has now begun to be provided for me via local mental health provision.