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Personal Sharings / Healing Fragmentation

The Three of Us
These are the memories that got triggered for me by the Fire Dance memory contribution.


We lived in a constant state of fear. Fire was the weapon. Mother was the enemy.

The first I remembered/cried, I was small. I was terrified of everything, and I believed she hated me, hated my fears. She wanted me to be brave and fearless like her. She told us stories, horrible stories, of people dying, being burned for witches. She told us that this is the only way to avoid such a death, to spit in the eye of the fear and master the fire. We saw her weaving other spells and majicks, and we believed she had the power of witchcraft. She could make the flames sparkle higher. She could make the fowl go limp before the kill. She could make men fall in love with her and seem to worship her without question. We knew she was powerful, and we tried to believe her when she said we could be too.

But my fear made me weak. I remember, when she put my hands in the fire, I screamed and screamed, "No, mam, no! Please, no!"

Did my fear make her angry? Did my resistence drive her to a frenzy of rage? She held me there above the fire longer than ever before. I dimly heard her voice, yelling, telling me that if I am burned, it's because I am so afraid. I must defeat my fear, be stronger than the fear, push it back.

I could not do it.

I cried such horrible pain, memories of the pain and the fear of her... she who should have been a source of nurture and comfort, but instead was a source of pain.

The smell of my skin burning, I remember the smell of my own skin burning. I remember cowering in a dark corner, in a cold bed, shivering in pain, my whole body aching and hurting. I rock slightly, but the movement scrapes my skin and searing pain shoots through me. I cry softly, "Mam, it hurts. Mam, please take care of me, please help me."

She scorned me, scorned my need and clinginess and fear. She roughly dabbed something on my skin and wrapped my arms and hands. No soft words of comfort. No arms to hold me and say "I'm sorry". I am the fearful child she doesn't want, I am the terrified weakling she refuses to coddle. The more cold she is, the more puling and whining I became.

There was a tiny light in this existence, in two of my siblings. I think there were more children, I have a vague image/memory of an older girl, but she was gone. We were "the three of us". My older brother, my younger sister, and myself... the Three of Us.

I felt some small warmth and light within the circle of the Three of Us. We played together. We slept together, and kept each other warm, arms wrapped around eachother. We gave each other comfort, in a cold, comfortless world. For a while. Until rage began to take over my terror.

Rage had been lurking outside of me for many years, watching the burnings, watching the demon mother torture her children. But this rage couldn't come forward... I never could rage for myself. I only began to feel it niggling at me, threatening to burst out, when I watched my little sister being brought to the fire. I watched her trying to be brave, pressing her little lips together trying not to cry, trying not to cry out in fear and pain.

Protector-rage began to rise up, whispering to me in the dark through my pain. Rage said mam was insane. Rage said mam was cruel and wicked and wrong. After each burning, the voice got louder and more insistent. When watching the others being "instructed" I could barely hold myself back, the rage wanted to launch me into attack. But attack who? The all-powerful, magical mam? It seemed such a ridiculous thought, how could this rage think it could fight her?

So I began whispering these thoughts to my brother and sister. Maybe, I thought, if the three of us stuck together, we could fight her. Or maybe we could escape, run away into the forest, find some other place to live where fire and magic didn't rule the night and day.

To my surprise and everlasting heartbreak, my brother rejected my thoughts, rejected my rage entirely. He grew angry with me. He told me I was wrong to doubt our mam, that mam was powerful and had strong magic and would save us all from death if we just kept believing in her and did our best to cast out our fear. Mam was right, he said. *I* was the wrong one. I was weak, he said, and I couldn't stop my fears from ruling me.

We argued. There was a split in our close threesome. Rage rose up and fought with my brother, though I feared losing his love. The rage felt so strong and brave, but it would only flare briefly, and then it would go back into hiding and I would become again the terrified rabbit my mother hated. I dreamed of running away alone, off into the woods, of escaping the nightmare. But terror was the stronger, and I was a coward. Besides, I told myself, I couldn't leave my sister there alone.

After each fight, the gap between my brother and myself grew wider and wider. Soon he scorned me completely. He began to accuse me of listening to the devil. He accused me of being the enemy, and he used my rage as the proof. Mam would never harbor such hatred, mam was only loving. *I* was the one harboring hatred in my breast, *I* was the evil one. Soon he would no longer listen to me at all. When he watched me being taken to the fire for instruction, his face held only coldness and scorn. He knew, you see, that the burnings were my own fault. Mam was trying to teach me the wisdom of her ways. I refused to learn.

He held my younger sister to him, and turned her against me. She was such sweetness and light, and so willing to believe in the goodness and power of him, and of mam. She would look at me with big sad eyes, filled with confusion and pity... and fear. I believe she feared I was mad. Perhaps she feared I HAD been talking to the devil. They withdrew from me completely and the tiny light went out of my life.

The heartbreak and loss of this beloved sister lives in me still today. The desire to protect her, the longing for our hands joined ... is a perpetual heartbreak still.

The next memory I cried was lying in bed, crying with pain and fever, feeling so sick from the smell of my own body. It was a putrid, sick smell, and some part of me knew my burns were infected and would not heal this time. I didn't care. I prayed for death. I felt delirious. I cried the pain in my body and soul, wishing with all my heart for a loving mother, dreaming that my brother and sister had come to me and we were a threesome again. I prayed for death to come swiftly and release me.

Protector-rage hovered nearby, watching helplessly. Rage had grown and grown, fed by my own inability to act, and it hovered around me feeling helpless and frustrated, wanting to DO something to protect me, protect us all, feeling angry and betrayed by our brother, and furious at mam. Rage yelled at me, telling me not to die, not to give up. If I died, who would take care of our little sister? There would be no one to protect her, she would be totally at the mercy of mam and my brother!! But I was too weak and delirious to care. I watched as the rage left me, flying off into a storm, with a final vow of vengeance that I am still trying to deal with today.

Vows are powerful things, and this one was made with the full force of the pain we experienced there. This rage wants revenge, on mam, and on our brother. This rage wants our sister's love again, wants to heal the wounded heart from that life so long ago. This rage wants to protect others from the deluded, the wicked, the twisted and powerful. Avenge and protect, this has become the litany, avenge and protect.

Next ... Protector Rage

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