Halloween is an incredibly tricky subject for sra survivors. Lily knows it as the Samhain Bad Day, and she’s definitely right in our experience. Samhain, or Oiche Shamna as it’s called in Irish, is a festival involving the harvest and ancestry, and it comes down from a rather long Celtic tradition. The satanic cult I grew up in used this day for rather dark activities involving, among other things, sacrifice. And that’s all I’ll say about that. Samhain falls in the time period somewhere between 31 Oct. and the first few days of November. There are variations, both secular and religious/spiritual, in the ways Samhain is observed.
Anyway, Halloween used to represent a time of absolute horror for me and my insiders. The last week of October in general held alot of anxiety and fear for me/us. Flashbacks and nightmares were rather constant. A couple of years ago, I told my therapist about a really difficult memory from a Halloween many years ago, and that somewhat relieved the pressure. Even though the holiday has got a bit easier since then, that memory still pops up throughout the year. Progress is nothing if not slow.
Still, I’ve come far in the process of reclaiming Halloween. It started several years ago with a silly dinner my sister and I prepared. I basically filled the role of mother for her, and it really killed me to see how terrified she was round that time of year. Using a recipe I’d found in a magazine, I made a dish called Dead Man’s Meat Loaf. It’s a combination of beef, rice, and a few vegetables mixed together and baked. The catch to this particular dish is that you shape it in to a body and decorate it with black olive eyes and red pimento lips. After I’d placed this…em…interesting dish on our table, my sister plunged the serving knife right in to the breast of it and laughed out loud. Halloween became more and more fun from then on, and now it’s almost enjoyable to me. Lily still has a difficult time with it, but I’m certain we can make it at least feel safe for her. Maybe she’ll even enjoy it too, someday.
Healing is possible even from some of the incredibly dark scars of the past.