A Day in the Life of a Trainer (Svali Blog Post)
This information is mirrored from https://web.archive.org/web/20120428154411/http://archive.suite101.com/article.cfm/ritual_abuse/84219
- Trigger warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of cult
activity. Please do not read it if you are triggered by reading these things.
A lot of people have written and asked questions such as, “When did you go to meetings?” or “What about your children when you were in the group?”, and even “How did you divide the cult activity from your normal life?”
This article is an attempt to answer these questions and to better promote understanding of how dissociation works in the person who is cult active. This “day” is based on over 12 years of therapy, and is a collage based on several different memories of what life was like roughly seven years ago when I was still active in the San Diego group.Hopefully it will help those who are support people and therapists understand better how severe the amnesia is between cult activities and daily life, and will explain how a member of an abusive and occult cult can be a kind Christian person in their day life.
7:00 a.m. I wake up tired, as always. It seems as if tiredness dogs my steps even when I go to sleep early. I wake to the buzzing of the alarm clock, and get up. I am already dressed, because over the past two years my husband and I have started going to bed with our clothes on. We laugh and say it saves time dressing in the morning. I am in the uniform of every American housewife: baggy sweat pants and matching top, and tennis shoes with foam soles. I change into a nicer outfit for work.
I get my two children up and prepare breakfast, which is simple: cereal and toast. Afterwards they prepare for school, and I drive them to the small Christian school that they attend. I am the teacher for first grade there; my daughter is in fifth grade. I have a nagging headache that I ignore as we arrive at the school.
8:45 a. m. School starts. I teach first, second, and third grade at a multigrade Christian school that my children attend. Before this, I had home schooled my children for several years. I was asked to substitute at this school when one of the regular teachers left, and soon was asked to teach fulltime. I enjoy teaching and I multitask well; I go from first grade to second to third, giving each activities to do. I have lesson plans set up for the whole semester. I am considered a kind and patient teacher; the kids like me and I like them, although I wish the headaches would go away. Sometimes by the end of the day, they are intense.
3:30 School is out. My daughter has invited a friend home to play, so I remind them all to buckle up for the drive home. I am tired, but I also realize that it’s important that my children have an opportunity to reach out. I worry sometimes at their tendency to withdraw, and encourage them to have friends over.We practice riding our horse in the penned field in our back yard. My son comments, “Gee, Mom, you’re a lot nicer to me at home than when you’re my teacher,” and I laugh and say, “That’s because I don’t want to play favorites at school.”
5:30 I drive the friend home. Dinner is in the oven.
At this point, my day has been exactly that of any other person who is not DID or in a cult group. This is because my presenters, or day people, have been out. They are kind, caring, Christian, and completely unaware that there is another life that I live. If you stopped me at this point and asked, “Are you involved in any activities at night?” I would have absolutely no idea of what you were talking about. I was created specifically to look, act, and be normal in every way during the day. You could follow me around all day to this point, and there would be absolutely no indication that I lead another life at times. The only hint is the headaches, and occasional bouts of unexplained depression that I can’t seem to shake. I have had both all of my life.
6:30 My husband comes home and we all eat dinner. He and I have a good friendship, although we are distant in some ways: he lives his life and I live mine. We rarely argue or even disagree openly. I help the children with homework while he works on a business plan for a client.
7:45 A call comes, and when I pick up the phone, someone says, “Is Samantha there?” This is one of my code names, and I immediately switch. “Call back in a little,” I tell them. “Fifteen minutes,” the voice says.I send the kids upstairs to take their baths.8:00 The call comes again. “Samantha?” I instantly change. My voice goes flat, and I reply in a wooden voice. “Yes, what is it?” “Remember to bring the items we discussed tonight,” I am told. I then recite a key code to this person, who is the head trainer, that ensures that I will remember his message. I hang up after he does.
8:30 I read my children a bed time story. They are very, very afraid of the dark even at six and ten years of age, and insist that a light stays on in their room all night. As the evening progresses, they become more and more anxious. “Mom, I’m afraid,” my daughter tells me. “Of what?” I ask.“I don’t know,” she answers. She says this a lot, and I worry about my overly sensitive and anxious young daughter. Deep inside, I feel that these fears aren’t normal, and that there is something wrong, but I don’t know why. My husband tells me I worry too much, and that our daughter picks it up from me. I stay with both children until they fall asleep. This is our nightly routine, and I feel it is the least I can give them.
9:30 I get ready to go to bed. I have to get ten to twelve hours of sleep a night, or I am completely exhausted. Many times, I fall asleep reading to my two children. Just before falling asleep, I say to my husband, “Remember” and give him the code that lets us know we have to wake up later. He replies in German that he remembers.
1:00 am. My husband wakes me up. He and I take turns being the one to wake up the others. We don’t need an alarm, because our internal body clocks wake us up. I am in my sweats, I fell asleep dressed to make it easier when I rise in the middle of the night. I am finally me, I can come out now and see the outside world, not locked inside as I am during the day. “Get the kids,” he says in a low tone. I go upstairs and tell them, “Get ready, now.”They are up instantly, completely obedient which is very different from during the day. Quickly, silently they put their shoes on and I take them down to the car.
My husband drives, I am in the passenger seat. He drives with the headlights off until we are on the road so we won’t wake our neighbors up. We live in the country on a dirt lane and there are few houses to worry about.My job is to keep alert, looking for anyone following us, to alert him if anyone is coming.
Once we are down the road and turn onto the paved road, he turns the headlights on and we go to the meeting. “I didn’t finish my homework,” my son says.My husband and I turn briefly to him, enraged. “We don’t talk about day at night, EVER!” we remind him.” Do you want to be beaten?” He looks hurt, then the rest of the drive is in silence, the children looking out the windows of the car as we glide silently to our destination.
1:20 am We are at the first checkpoint at the military base. We drove in the back entrance and are waved through, the lookouts recognize our car and our license plates. They would stop anyone who wasn’t familiar or authorized to be there. We will pass two more checkpoints before coming to the meeting area. It is at a large field on a major marine base that includes hundreds of acres. Small tents are erected, and temporary bases set up for the night’s exercises. We come either here, or to one of three different meeting places, three times a week.
People are chatting and drinking coffee. There are a lot of friendships here, because everyone is working towards the same goal. The work is intense and the friendships are just as intense. I join a group of trainers, who I know well. “Looks like Chrysa is missing,” I say. “I bet the lazy b— couldn’t get out of bed.” I am very different at night. I use words that would horrify me during the day, and I am very catty and mean. The others laugh.“She was late two weeks ago, too,” says another. “Maybe we will need to REPORT her.”He is joking, but partly serious. No one is allowed to be late, or sick. Or too early, either. There is a ten minute window of time when all members are supposed to report to meetings. If not, then they are punished if there isn’t a good excuse. High fevers, surgery, or an auto accident are considered excuses. PMS, fatigue, or the car not working aren’t.
We drink coffee to stay awake, since even our dissociated state doesn’t stop the body’s protest at being awake in the middle of the night after a full day’s activities. I go to the tent to change into my uniform. We all wear uniforms at night, and we all have ranks too, based on how high we are in the group and how well we do.
1:45 am We start going to our assigned tasks. I have brought the log books with me, the “item” that I was asked to remember. I keep them hidden in a closet at home, locked in a steel box. These books contain data about different “subjects” that we have been working on.
I go to the head trainer’s room inside a nearby building. I work with him, since I am the second trainer under him. He and I despise each other, and I suspect he would love to undermine me since I have made many cruel jokes at his expense. I am supposed to be afraid of him, and I am, but I also cannot respect him, and he knows it. I point out his mistakes to him, in front of others, and he often tries to get back at me.
1:50 am The room inside the warehouse-like building is set up to work on the subjects. It has a table, a light, and equipment. The room is apart from the activities going on outside, so that others will not be distracted by what we do here.
The subject is there, ready to be worked on. Another, younger trainer is there to help, and I tell her to administer the medication.We are working on medications to help induce hypnotic states, and are studying the effects of these medications, combined with hypnosis and trauma. The medication is injected subcutaneously, and then we wait. Within ten minutes, the subject is drowsy and his breathing is slower and heavier, but his eyes are open which is what we want.(I will not describe the rest of the session here, it is too painful for me to describe at this time. I believe that human experimentation is cruel and should be stopped, but the group that I was in did it on a continuous basis).We record information in the logbook throughout the session, and I have a laptop computer into which I am putting the information as well. We are profiling not just the medication, but also this person’s individual response. We have profiles that are very complete and thorough on this person, started when he was an infant. I can pull up a special profile that tells me everything about him: his favorite colors, foods, sexual preferences, soothing techniques, and a list of all the codes that will elicit a response from him. There is also a diagram of his internal world that has been created over the years.This subject is easy to work with and things go quickly. I correct the young trainer at one point, when she starts to do something too soon.“You have to learn patience,” I chide her in German. At night, we all talk German, it and English are the two ligua francas in this group.“I’m sorry, I thought it was time,” she says. I then teach her the signs to look for when the subject is ready.This is why I am a head trainer. I train the younger ones, because after years and years, I know human anatomy, physiology, and psychology inside out. Luckily, I caught this young trainer before she made the mistake; if she had made one, I would have had to punish her.
At night, mistakes aren’t accepted, ever. Once a child is two or three, they are expected to perform correctly, or they are brutalized. This continues into adulthood.
2: 35 The session is almost over and the subject is recovering. The medication is quick acting and he will recover in time to drive home. I leave him in the care of the younger trainer and go to the coffee room to take a break. There I smoke a cigarette and having coffee with the other trainers. During the day, I have never smoked and coffee makes me ill, but here, at night, it is completely different.
“How’s your night going?” Jamie, a friend, asks. I only know her as Jamie, it isn’t her real name, but we all go by our nicknames at night. She is also one of the teachers at the school during the day, but we aren’t friends there.“Slow. I had to correct another stupid kid,” I say. I am not kind at night, because no one has ever been kind to me. It is a very dog- eat-dog and political atmosphere where the cruel win.
“How about you?” I ask.She grimaces. “I had to march some brats around”, she says, referring to military exercises with children ages 8 to 10. Every night there are military exercises, because the group is preparing for the eventual takeover. The children are divided into groups by age, and different adults take turns teaching. We chat for a few minutes, and then go back to our “jobs”.
2: 45 This is a short session. It is a “tune up” for a member who is one of the military leaders. I take his profile out and review it before starting. The head trainer and one other trainer are working with me.The hypnotic induction goes quickly, and he remembers his programming. It is reinforced with shock, and we check through all parameters. They are all active and in place. I sigh with relief. This was an easy one, and he doesn’t fight us.Afterwards, I am soothing and kind. “You did well, “ I tell him. Inside a little trickle in my stomach revolts at the use of brutality to teach. He nods, still slightly dazed from the session. “You can be proud of yourself,” I tell him, and pat his hand.He is given his reward afterwards, and spends time with a child. He is a pedophile and this is how he is comforted after his session.
3:30 We have changed out of our uniforms, which are placed in a special hamper to be cleaned. My clothes, which were neatly folded on a shelf are back on, and we are all in the car on the way home. My daughter speaks. “I get promoted next week,” she says, her voice proud. “They said I did really well in the exercises tonight.”
She knows that I and the other adults will be at the ceremony to honor the promotions. “I’m glad,” I tell her. I am weary for some reason. Usually, I would be glad, but tonight, although it was a routine night, was hard. I have been feeling little cold trickles inside me lately, twinges of terror. Sometimes, I hear a child inside, deep inside, screaming, and I sweat as I work on children or adults. And I wonder how long I can keep doing this. I have heard of trainers who broke down or couldn’t do their job, and I also heard whispered stories of what happened to them. It was the essence of nightmares, and I shove down my own anxiety.
4:00 am We are home and collapse into bed, instantly asleep. The children fell asleep before we got home, and my husband and I carried them to bed. We all sleep dreamlessly and deeply.
7:00 am I wake up to the alarm, tired. It seems I am always tired, and this morning I have a slight headache. I hurry to get the kids up and get ready to teach another day. I wonder if there is something wrong with me, since I seem to need more and more sleep and still wake up tired. I have no idea that the night before, I was up and living my other life.
It may seem unbelievable to some readers that a person can live another life and have absolutely no idea, but this is the nature of amnesia. If programming is done correctly, it is almost undetectable and the person will be completely amnesic to their other activities. This is called dissociation, and it is present in most members of abusive, generational cult groups such the one I describe.