Pia (54) experienced ritual abuse from 0 to 21 in Graubünden. She says: «I think I experienced pretty much every form of abuse, of torture.»
How or through whom did you come into contact with ritual abuse?
I got into it through my grandfather. He was a Freemason.
What are the typical experiences you have had as a victim?
I think I experienced pretty much every form of abuse, of torture. It went as far as murder, also with human blood. I was also put under a lot of pressure to never say anything. And I never said anything about it until a few years ago, because I repressed everything so well. But what always accompanied me were my feelings of guilt and shame. I didn’t even know where that actually came from. They also perverted my whole personal belief system. God was the evil one and Satan the loving one.
What was your worst experience?
What you experience in ritual abuse is so bad … I kind of can’t say what’s the worst. Only one such experience is enough to destroy someone’s life or to put a person in a psychiatric ward for life. And we get through quite a lot of these rituals and somehow survive it. But even afterwards, when we are no longer in there, our lives are only about surviving, but not about living. As I said, I had quite a lot of bad experiences, but taken together, the worst of all is that it haunts me to this day. I always felt that I wasn’t living, but simply surviving, even though I have long since stopped being abused. But so often in my everyday life, I didn’t react situationally, but completely overreacted, and no one knew why. Today I know that I was triggered again and again. And the therapist once told me, I should just let the past be the past. I didn’t know that much then, but I told her that I would let my past be the past, if it no longer determined my present. And I had had so much help over the years. I notice every ritual that gets resolved, every healing I get, stops defining my present. Meanwhile, I can say that I’m living, not surviving. And that my past is becoming more and more just really past, that I’m living more and more in a present worth living in.
How do the perpetrators get the children to comply?
They told me that if I didn’t comply, they would get my little brother, and that’s how they got me. I really didn’t want them to come and get my little brother, then I’d rather be tortured and abused. Then I’d rather go along with everything. It was always about protecting my little brother.
Finally, do you have a personal concern or message?
I wish that people who realize that they have experienced something so bad in their lives, that they dare to get help. That they dare to believe themselves and not like me … Since I was 21 years old, I had terrible images inside me that I thought were my perverted fantasy. And it was so drilled into us to keep quiet. I think it takes a choice to talk. But then also being wise. Not just talk away to any therapist, because otherwise you run the risk of being talked out of it or being told that you’ve seen too many horror movies and then made that your own experience. I experienced it in such a way that I told this to a pastoral counselor, so things that had just come up, which, in retrospect, were not among the worst things, but she said she had never heard that before, that can’t be possible. Then, for a long time, I never spoke up again, because she has confirmed to me that I only imagine it and it can’t be possible. I wish that these people get help and that they get to the right places.