Editor’s Note: In HIS Shadow comes to us by an anonymous contributor who only wants to go by “SVK”.
“I was five and a half, that summer, playing outside, near the Gurdwara (Sikh church). Sitting on the ground, totally absorbed in my world of rocks, sticks and dirt. I had found a perfectly smooth rock that fit nicely in my mouth. I remember how it felt, even though I knew I wasn’t supposed to put things like that in my mouth.
“Suddenly, Everything went quiet, all the murmuring talk of the people coming out of Gurdwara stopped. A very large, dark shadow blocked the warmth of the sun. I looked up, HE was directly over me, towering Like a great monolith. Eyes blazing like a predator. I was frozen in fear! My heart raced, skipped, & seemed to stop! I almost swallowed the stone in my mouth. But remembering what my mother said, I closed my mouth, locking my jaw firmly, around it, & pressing the little rock to the roof of my mouth with my tongue.
“He was saying something, & I couldn’t understand, his words, loud and high pitched as he reached down for me with both his large hands, grabbing my cheeks. His grip like an iron vise on my five year old face. His eyes boring into mine as he lifted me off the ground, by my face!
“In that moment I see a crowd has gathered around. My eyes swivel around, desperately looking for help! But I see only Smiling faces, blank adoring faces. Unquestioning faces. Glowing in total adoration for everything He does faces. All wrapped in white. No mother or father do I see! No help. No concern. Such burning pain in my face! Wet tears stream out of my eyes, as I moan in pain. My feet kicking the air!
“The little stone is still in my mouth. Held there as I know instinctively that if I open my mouth to cry, it will fall down my throat and choke me to death.
“His eyes bore into my pain. His mouth sharp with laughter at my expense.He is telling them something as he holds me in the air for what feels like ages. As the red hot pain in my face burns!
“Finally he sets me down! I fall down, pressing my forehead to the ground, curling into fetal position. The stone pops out of my mouth as I sob, rubbing my cheeks. Then, several people come & I’m shushed & quickly ushered away, as His attention has moved on.
“In a small back room, of the Gurdwara, I’m given a necklace made of bone beads (I’m told it’s Ivory) it has one central, very round blue stone of lapis. They put it on my neck & I’m told that HE said I must wear it always. And I do, for years. Forgetting when I got it…
“Disassociating the two events. Just remembering HE gave it to me. HE wanted me to wear it.
“After this traumatic event, if my siblings, or anyone teased me about my “chubby cheeks” and tried to pinch them? I would go crazy! Berserk! Viciously Attacking anyone who pinched my face.
“It unlocked the trauma held there, like a button. The body remembers.
“I also learned from that experience never to play out in the open, especially when HE was around, during the summer. And to Never get caught in the front of a crowd. Always to stay in the back and have exit plans.
“Over the years, growing up in the Cult of Yogi Bhajan, I witnessed & experienced so much abuse. He unleashed it mostly on women and girls. Watching other women and girls being shouted at, cussed at, abused and publicly broken down, by Him still left deep wounds on my Heart & psyche.