I want to talk about something that gets very little discussion among survivors of DID/SRA, and that’s demonic torment. Probably no one discusses it because few realize that’s what they’re dealing with. Nonetheless, demonic torment is a given in survivors of severe abuse, especially in childhood abuse. Demonic torment can be thought of as physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain on steroids. In this blog I want to talk about how demonic torment fits into all the various forms of pain with which a survivor must grapple. At the end we’ll talk about how to get set free. Topics we’ll cover:
Types of Pain
What do we know about pain?
Pain in DID/SRA
Are demons real?
Trauma and demons
Inner healing and demons
How do I know if a demon is bothering me?
Don’t be afraid
How do demons relate to pain?
A small light in hell is enough
No one should have to deal with demonic torment alone
Types of Pain
Pain is common to the human condition. Some sorts of pain are well recognized. Physical pain, such as in child birth, kidney stones and heart attacks, are infamous. The emotional pain of rejection, grief, and failure are recognized by everyone. Many fewer people can identify with the serious psychological pain found in mental illnesses such as severe depression, paranoia, or hallucinations. Nowhere do we hear any serious discussion about demonic pain.
What do we know about pain?
Alas, most of us, even if we grew up associated with a Christian church, received no information about demons, not to mention demonic torment. That leaves us totally helpless in understanding the influence demons can have on one’s life. Probably the best example illustrating demonic torment (severe demon-caused pain) is the Gadarene demoniac. The story can be found in Mark 5:1-20 in the Bible. Here we learn of a man with superhuman strength such that he could not be chained, who wandered around naked, cutting himself, and screaming day and night among the tombs. What agony! That’s severe demonic torment. Can demons do that today? Absolutely.
Anyone who has been that seriously under the influence of demons, never forgets it. As I was reflecting on the years of demonic torment we experienced, I was trying to figure out just what about it was so excruciating. It’s physical. It’s emotional. It’s psychological. So let’s look at those types of pain. A number of studies have examined what sorts of pains are actually the most severe. It’s rather interesting. First, science has finally agreed that psychological pain is a real thing. Yes it’s “in your head” but that’s not a dismissive statement. Psychological pain can be extreme.
Second, to some extent emotional and physical pain are processed in similar regions of the brain. Interestingly, emotional pain can lead to a body site identity. “Emotional pain may be located in the body in those places where an expression was meant to happen but failed to materialize.” Our bodies can hold that pain for a long time, esp. if the emotions are not worked through. GI, back, chest pain, and blood pressure are examples of areas where emotional pain is “stored”. Some studies have even found that acetaminophen works to lessen acute emotional pain just as it does physical pain.
Pretty much everyone recognizes that certain types of emotional pain are related to specific physical pains. One article notes, “Words like “heartache”, “hurt” and “pain” are often used to describe emotional trauma. People affected by grief often say they experience it as concrete physical sensations. A churning stomach, a racing heart, shaking, flashbacks and hypersensitivity to noise are all physical by-products of bereavement, according to the British Psychological Society. Yet there’s no uniform set of symptoms, just as people react differently in emotional terms to grief and loss.”
Third, an interesting article in Psychology Today suggests that emotional pain is worse than physical pain, for the following reasons:
“1. Memories Trigger Emotional Pain But Not Physical Pain: Recalling the time you broke your leg will not make your leg hurt but recalling the time you felt rejected by your high-school crush will cause you substantial emotional pain. Our ability to evoke emotional pain by merely remembering distressing events is profound and stands in stark contrast to our total inability (thankfully) to re-experience physical pain. This is one of the reasons:
2. We Use Physical Pain as Distraction from Emotional Pain Not Vice Versa: Some teens and adults practice ‘cutting’ (slicing their flesh superficially with a blade) because the physical pain it evokes distracts them from their emotional pain, thus offering them relief. But the same does not work in reverse, which is why we rarely see a woman choosing to manage the pain of natural childbirth by rereading the rejection letter from her college of choice. Unfortunately, although we might prefer physical to emotional pain, others see our pain differently, as evidenced by the fact that:
3. Physical Pain Garners Far More Empathy from Others Than Emotional Pain: When we see a stranger get hit by a car we wince, gasp, or even scream and run to see if they’re okay. But when we see a stranger get bullied or taunted we are unlikely to do any of those things. Studies found we consistently underestimate others’ emotional pain but not their physical pain. Further, these empathy gaps for emotional pain are reduced only if we’ve experienced a similar emotional pain very recently ourselves. Another aspect of emotional pain others often miss is:
4. Emotional Pain Echoes in Ways Physical Pain Does Not: If you got a call about your parent dying while you were having a romantic lobster meal with your partner on Valentine’s Day, it will probably be a few years before you can enjoy lobster or Valentine’s Day without becoming extremely sad. But if you broke your foot playing softball in an amateur league you will likely be back on the field as soon as you’re fully healed. Physical pain usually leaves few echoes (unless the circumstance of the injury was emotionally traumatic) while emotional pain leaves numerous reminders, associations and triggers that reactivate our pain when we encounter them. This is one of the reasons:
5. Emotional Pain but Not Physical Pain Can Damage Our Self-Esteem and Long-Term Mental Health: Physical pain has to be quite extreme to affect our personalities and damage our mental health (again, unless the circumstances are emotionally traumatic as well) but even single episodes of emotional pain can damage our emotional health. For example, failing an exam in college can create anxiety and a fear of failure, a single painful rejection can lead to years of avoidance and loneliness, bullying in middle school can make us shy and introverted as adults, and a critical boss can damage our self-esteem for years to come.”
Pain in DID/SRA
For the victim of DID/SRA, pain is a way of life. The physical and psychological torture that results in DID leads to all manner of body memories (feeling the physical pain of an event while remembering the event), the physical and emotional consequences of PTSD, and often severe depression – even hopeless despair. However, on top of all this, there is commonly a peculiar, intense, and terrifying sort of pain associated with demonic torment. For someone who has never experienced demonic torment, it’s nearly impossible to explain what it’s like, but we believe it is one of the most excruciating pains that a person can have. While hopeless despair can eventually lead to death, the addition of demonic torment leads to an overwhelming desire for death. Some survivors will recount times when they’ve been locked into a state of screaming, writhing pain with no end in sight. Death is the only “hope”. That’s a severe form of demonic torment.
Survivors of DID/SRA are very aware that seemingly innocent triggers can tie into the power of emotional pain to sideswipe life for a season. Flashbacks may take your afternoon. A smile or a hand signal may completely submerge a survivor into a threat-based set of actions that later are entrenched with demons of guilt and shame. Night terrors with demonic visitation can come out of nowhere. Some of these events may have a demonic component. Sorting this out with no comprehension of who demons are and how they function is impossible.
Are demons real?
Obviously, if you don’t believe in Satan or demons, you’re going to have a hard time understanding the severity of the content of this blog. Even some Christians have no education in demonology. Yet Christ, Himself, sent his disciples out to heal the sick and cast out demons. [Mark 1:34 “So he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him”]. Just His Presence in a region caused demons to reveal themselves out of fear. To me it’s rather distressing that entire denominations theologically erase those passages related to demons out of the Bible, essentially making their Savior out to be a kook. Jesus had to deal with demons, but somehow today people believe we’re above all that. Some churches teach the lie that Christians cannot be afflicted by demons. Reality says otherwise. Biblically we are shown that demons are related to some physical, emotional, and mental conditions, and when cast out, the victim is healed. Is there any wonder that the majority of Christian denominations have no track record in healing?????? Not all illnesses are directly related to a demon, but many are, and to determine whether this is so, Holy Spirit has given the gift of discerning of spirits (Cor 12:10). This is a powerful gift, of great value in churches that are Biblically based, for the healing and deliverance of God’s children.
Trauma and demons
Demonization is fundamental to Satanism, yet demonization doesn’t require that one worship idols or have a purposeful intent to bring demons into a person. Anyone, even unrepentant Christians, can have a demon attach to them through serious trauma or unresolved sin. Trauma, particularly in children, leads to demonic attachment; the demons remain attached because they are associated with lies related to the trauma, such as, “God won’t protect me/doesn’t love me” or “Life isn’t safe, and I have to be my own savior.” Sexual trauma essentially always leads to demonic attachment. Given that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have been sexually abused as children, figure out how many in our population are dealing with demons at some level. People often wonder why this particular type of trauma leads to so many years of unremitting pain. The answer may be that there is a supernatural component to the pain because sexual sin is a major means by which Satan controls people. Sexual addictions nearly always have a demonic component. When the demons are running your life, that’s demonic torment. Many, many great books have been written on the topic of demonization and deliverance. Pigs in the Parlor is a good start. They Shall Expel Demons is another good resource.
Inner healing and demons
Ordinary people dealing with the difficulties of life can find themselves harassed by demons. In most cases they are easy to get rid of. For Christians who know their authority in Christ, simple repentance, renouncing of vows, and/or forgiveness of those who have hurt or offended us will allow demons to be readily removed. Besetting sins such as addictions, pornography, and idolatry of any kind are often complicated by the demonic. Related to these conditions, there are usually associated psychological wounds from the past that require healing. Once inner healing is complete, lies are identified and renounced, and the spirit of a person is reset toward holy living, demons have no chance. If inner healing is not accomplished, it’s very hard to stay delivered from demons. Satan is called the Father of Lies, and wherever lies are deeply embedded, demons tend to set up habitation. [For more information about how inner healing ministry can lead to spiritual freedom check out Restoring the Foundations.]
How do I know if a demon is bothering me?
If you or someone you know wonders whether a particular problem is related to a demonic attachment, there are many places to go for information. I want to emphasize that most illnesses and social problems are NOT associated with demonic attachment. On the other hand, some diseases seem to almost always be associated with demonization. Here’s a pretty standard list that I found on the internet that addresses areas that demons commonly affect:
“Please note that every time you find somebody struggling or facing one of the areas below, it’s not necessarily a demon, but it’s not uncommon to find a demon behind these things.
Compulsive sinning against your will: Addictions, uncontrollable anger, lust, urges to murder or commit suicide, etc.
Mental torment: Fear, depression, irrational heaviness in the soul, hearing voices in the mind, hearing auditable voices that nobody else hears, compulsive thoughts, insanity, mental illness, etc. Obsessive irrational worry is almost always a demon. People who are scared stiff over the unpardonable sin are in need of counseling and likely deliverance.
Emotional problems: Unable to get close to other people, sensing rejection for no reason, irrational emotional breakdowns, etc. Often more than just casting out demons is needed in this category, inner healing must also take place as well as tearing down strongholds.
Physical health problems: Arthritis, cancer, HIV, and a host of other illnesses are almost always caused by evil spirits. If it cannot be easily cured, then it’s almost always a spirit that is causing it.
Occult powers or abilities: Anybody who can tell a fortune, lift an object through levitation, break a solid oak board with their hand, etc. using demonic powers needs a deliverance. Martial arts are known for using demonic powers to break boards, etc. Unnatural strength is a sign of demonic power, such as the man with the legion in the Bible.
Unnatural desires and feelings: Sexual attraction towards animals, unnatural sexual desires, unusually strong attractions towards somebody who is married, past lover, etc. can indicate soul ties and demonic bondage.
Experiencing the demonic: Most often (not always, but usually) when people are visited by demons, hearing them, seeing them, etc., they are in need of a deliverance.
Ancestors have similar problems: If both you and one or more of your ancestors have the same kind of problem(s), then there may be a generational spirit at work.
Obsessions: Driving interests in the occult, demons, and creatures of the dark such as wolves, owls, etc. can indicate a demonic bondage. Obsession with death is almost a sure sign of demonic bondage.
Compulsive behavior: Compulsive behavior such as cutting is a Biblical symptom of demonic bondage.”
Don’t be afraid
At this point I want to say that anyone reading this blog who at this point believes they are being annoyed by a demon or they are just not sure, please Contact Me, or find a local pastor who is well-versed in deliverance. Deliverance is not a scary, weird sort of thing in most cases. Prayers of protection and authority, repentance, forgiveness, renunciation or whatever is needed, and a simple prayer of casting the thing out are all there is to it. We don’t go to movies, so we haven’t seen any of the “famous” exorcism movies, but we can assure you that getting set free of demons is normally a very simple, quiet affair. Learning how to get rid of the demons in your life should be a required part of any discipleship program. Any Christian is way more powerful than any demon because of the Spirit of God that lives within us. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF DEMONS.
How do demons relate to pain?
So what does this have to do with demonic torment? Demons feed off emotions. Pain, fear, sadness, guilt, condemnation, anxiety, self-destruction, and terror are food for them. The more intense the better. That’s why rape, torture, and prolonged death are their favorite activities. Innocent children, who have not yet developed emotional constructs to block the psychological destruction associated with severe abuse, are also favorite targets. Remember that complete dissociation and the formation of dissociated alter parts are unique to severe abuse in children. While demonization can occur at any age, children are wide open (except in the unique circumstance of having parents who are spiritually mature, discerning, and cover their children in prayer). Look at our society today and the number of suicides associated with bullying in children. Demons drive this behavior, both the bullying and the death. Even the signs and symptoms associated with childhood trauma, whether physical, sexual, or emotional, such as night terrors, anxiety, physical illness (GI complaints, fever, nervous tics), or mental oppression are demon fed.
Why does knowing this matter? Complete freedom from the past can only come when we are spiritually free. Every time I say this, I get numerous complaints from people who say that’s just hooey. I suppose for those who are not spiritually awake, they might not know the difference. (Remind me to write about spiritual slumber sometime.) We are made in the image of God as body, soul, and spirit. The majority of people, including most Christians, live out of their soul. Soul wounds are usually “healed” using soulish techniques, which includes 99% of counseling. And this is good. In fact, many physical ailments can also be cured by healing soul wounds. [Actually, as I’ve studied secular counseling a bit, looking at all these different theories of how to bring healing to the soul (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Psychoanalysis, and Gestalt or Existential therapy), it’s easy for a novice, like me/us, to believe that no one has any idea how the soul works.] Understanding how we think, believe, take responsibility for our lives and decisions, and examine our response to wounds from the past are all good things. BUT they do nothing to heal the spirit.
Spirit wounds don’t have to involve demons, but they usually do. Before we are transformed via the Salvation offered only through Jesus Christ, our spirits are wide open to demonization. We reviewed above how that can happen. Many people, even Christians, go through life living with the effects of demons without any knowledge that they can be free. Addictions, depression, oppression, ill health, anger, irritability, on and on are fought on a daily basis without any understanding that there is a spiritual component. Christians can be and should be set free. There is no excuse that churches don’t have elders with spiritual discernment in these areas.
But what about people with demonic torment. Maybe you’ve seen videos of people in Africa manifesting a demon, writhing on the ground, screaming. Maybe you’ve heard of people who have demons visit them at night for torture or sex. Maybe you’ve experienced sleep paralysis. How about a presence that tortures you with words, forces you to do specific actions, or drives you to suicide? Without the help of God there is no escape. Nothing you do physically or emotionally helps. Drinking, drugs, cutting, running away, or intense concentration are attempts to escape, but put you more firmly into demonic strongholds. In fact, in the long run all these escapes feed the demons. Even as a born-again Christian (with alter parts that had accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior), I think demonic torture is outright the most horrible experience there is. Dying is one thing. Dying during torment is another. You may ask, “How do you know?” Almost everyone with SRA programming has been raised from the dead at least once. Unfortunately, the more a person seeks freedom and deliverance, the more torment one undergoes.
If you are DID/SRA/MC, consider this. Demonization is a given. ALL programmers layer in demons. If you haven’t comprehended it or truly understood the severity of your entrapment, it’s because you haven’t yet started to get free from it. While this may seem counterintuitive, I’d say don’t dig too deeply – unless you have well-informed help and a good support system. Despite being suicidal my entire life, I was able to grasp enough spiritual straws to live. Many are not that fortunate. However, I was not formally challenging the demonic, and I was completely unaware of my programming and multiplicity. When that changed, when the past invaded the present and the horror of my existence crashed around me, I sought help. I don’t know how I lived. Hours and hours, day after day, night after night. I writhed on the bed or screamed on the floor. Deep cutting brought no relief. Death was the only option. Although prayer was continuous, I had no strength to fight. None. The only one of us who could say no was Melissa, the mother of our children. Somehow, over those years of torment, that one “no” prevailed. God alone knows how.
A small light in hell is enough
As the Primary Presenter, I knew I had authority in Christ and that the Blood of Jesus is stronger than any demonic force. I could and did teach on spiritual warfare. I read many, many books on the subject, but it was not enough. My mind believed, but my heart didn’t. I did not truly believe that the God who sent His Son to die for me on the Cross loved me enough to care. I believed my sins were forgiven, but I was not particularly wanted. I was “in/saved” as an obedient slave. Not only was my spirit shut down, my soul had no love in it. As Alter after Alter was identified, no love was found – neither in giving or receiving. Love of any kind was dead………………except a faint light that happened at the birth of our first child. It was unique. It was transforming, but it was a tiny, tiny light in the blackness of hell itself. No one could remember a moment when they felt wanted or cared about. Pictures of a cute smiling child with curly hair were of a foreign being. We had no recognition of self. Those Alters kept an outside that minimized correction. There was no love – nowhere, in any memory, at any season of life. The demonic hierarchy carefully placed, layered into every level of every subsystem, ruled. When I obeyed them, life was bad but tolerable. When I or my counselor fought them, my life was a living hell.
Why am I talking about this? I think counselors who deal with DID/SRA/MC need to understand demonic torment. Granted now we’re talking to a relatively minute group of people. Victims need to understand demonic torment. Had I known then what I know now, I would have approached things very differently. First, victims who are willing to face healing (and many aren’t) need a strong supernatural support system. A counselor is not enough. A 24/7 available group of spirit-filled, demon-fighting Christians is required. At 3AM when a huge demon is in the room and you can’t get the warrior part of you out, you need to be able to hit a contact on your phone for back up. What happens if you don’t????? It could be another spiritual rape. It could be swallowing a bottle of pills. It could be running into the wilderness to escape despite the lack of shelter and food. It could be using that big knife you have hidden under your bed. Do you get that I’ve done all of these????? As a community of survivors, I pray that someday we will have a community of supporters – true spiritual warriors who have transcended all the attacks of the enemy the only way it can be done – in Victory through Jesus Christ.
What if you are alone and you don’t know Jesus? If you are suffering from any of the spiritual attacks listed in this blog, Jesus alone can help you. I or any other Christian can only help you through the power of Holy Spirit that we carry in us. To be permanently free, you must come to know Jesus, who truly did die for you and was raised from the dead in order that you might be saved. What does that mean? It means your spirit is made ALIVE! Without Jesus your spirit is dead. It can only go to hell. God is in no way connected to it, although Holy Spirit is continuously calling to your spirit to come to Him. In the quiet of your heart you can accept Jesus as your Savior by reading the prayer on this page. You can also Contact Me, and I’ll pray with you. That’s the first and necessary step. Next, you need education. It’s not complicated, but you need to understand how the demonic, spiritual hierarchies, and deliverance works. Now you’re talking about a small subset of Christians, esp. if you have DID/SRA/MC. I love all my brothers and sisters in the faith, but very few of them have schooled themselves in any of this. I praise God that we have the internet, so that no matter where you are in the world, there is some hope for help. A prayer support team is much easier to find than truly knowledgeable counselors. Many of us are praying that God raises up an army of healed survivors to bring others out of bondage. I pray for anyone who touches this blog site, hoping to provide education and encouragement to get free and to help others.
No one should have to deal with demonic torment alone.
No one should have to deal with demonic torment alone. No one. If you are in that circumstance, get help. Don’t end your life. YOU ARE VALUABLE TO GOD. GOD LONGS TO HELP YOU. Many churches have incredibly faithful prayer warriors. Yes, they may need some education about how to pray, but that can be accomplished – possibly by having them read this blog page. I can guarantee that Jesus is ready to save you. I KNOW Him. I know His heart. I know His will. I know His love for you. I know what sort of person He is……..and I only know a tiny fraction of who He is. Come to know Him. He’s the only way your spirit will come alive, the demonic will be cast out, and you will live to be free.
Thoughts or comments? Contact Me. I’m praying for you.