Christmas is a time when people think warmly of family gathered around the Christmas tree, sharing laughter as presents are opened and sleepy-eyed children excited see what Santa has brought. Adults share egg nog and cheer, and happy traditions are followed.
But for the child raised in a generational satanic cult, Christmas has a very different meaning. In the daytime, the normal activities of shopping for presents and going to parties occurs, and the family may have a large “warm” gathering of its members in the day.
But at night, things are quite different. The child who in the daytime looks forward to Santa and presents under the day, quakes with terror at the thought of what will come at night.
The winter solstice occurs on December 21, and this is one of the highest pagan/celtic holidays, since the “New Year” begins after this date for the cult. Special ceremonies are planned to ensure the coming of a new year filled with power, and the return of the sun’s lengthening days (many occult ceremonies are also based on ancient sun deity worship). Added to this is the Christian holiday in celebration of Christ’s birth, which the occult group despises, and special ceremonies are planned to desecrate and twist the meaning of this day. For many families in the occult, the whole week from December 21 to December 26 is filled with activities, since family members are naturally gathered together, and there is no need to explain missed days from school for the children.
The cruelty surrounding Christmas and the solstice is intense. Children are often abused by cult members dressed as Santa; or a mocking of the nativity occurs with the end result that “Herod” succeeds in slaying the baby Jesus (with ritual murder of an infant occurring). The child may be sexually abused under a Christmas tree, and paraphernalia of the holiday are given a new and dark meaning.
Instead of a celebration of birth, Christmas for the child raised in a cult family becomes a time of horror and death. Programming may occur, with images associated with the holiday implanted, and the child told that seeing these images (such as a lighted Christmas tree, or nativity scene) will mean contact with “family” or other messages placed in under trauma.
Children (and adults) may receive presents with hidden meanings that remind them of Christmas past and the trauma that is meant to bind them to “family”.
A mock “holiday feast” may occur, but instead of egg nog and ham, the meal is gruesome.
These are just a few of the associations that occur in the dissociated alters of the child raised in a cult family, and why many survivors feel a mixture of anticipation and fear when the holidays come around. Added to this, once the child grows up, intense efforts by cult family members to recontact will occur during these holiday times at which all family members are expected to be present.
Panic and anxiety can occur for the adult survivor on these anniversary dates of intense trauma and rituals, and they may wonder why a holiday that is associated with good cheer for them means the desire to hide and cower.
It can help if the survivor learns for themselves where the panic is coming from, and which triggers were placed in. This usually will occur in therapy, or from journaling.
If a survivor has stopped contact with family members, then receives a flood of Christmas cards or gifts, they should be cautious, and aware that these items could be intensely triggering. A desire to “call and recontact” family members will often be awakened as a result, and the survivor will need to work through this in therapy.
Child alters often hold the most horrific memories, and listening to them, allowing them to process their trauma and fears in therapy, journaling, and art work can also help.
Creating new holiday traditions that feel safe can also help. Some survivors celebrate Christmas by doing things very differently than their family of origin to help reinforce that they are able to break free of all the traditions that their family held. And having outside support and safety help most of all during this time.
Christmas is an especially difficult time for many survivors. But as adults, survivors can choose to break free from the traumatic meanings it once held, and to create a safe Christmas for themselves.