When Dr. Pazder and Michelle start their next therapy session, interestingly, we see a little bit of tension between them. He still hasn't quite accepted her claim to have seen apparitions of Jesus and Mary, and she's convinced that what she's saying sounds utterly crazy and couldn't be real, even though it feels real to her. Unfortunately, their moment of self-awareness doesn't last and they plunge right back into the least beneficial therapeutic regimen since Little Albert.
But they get over their moment of self-awareness pretty quickly. In less than a page, we're back to the remembering.
Michelle is still standing before the fire with Satan's burning-hot tail wrapped around her neck. Jesus has buggered off, who knows why or where to, but...he's leaving his mom to look after Michelle, so that's okay, I guess?
She reminded him that the figure in white had called his mother. "She was very far away," Michelle told Dr. Pazder. "Like a star way off in the distance somewhere. And then it got closer."
"And he was telling me that he couldn't stay there. But his mother could. Does that make sense to you?" she asked. She had broken down in tears again.
Hmm, no, dereliction of duty and reckless endangerment on the Son of God's part doesn't make much sense. But hey, his leaving the Virgin Mary to watch over Michelle is still better than nothing, right? Maybe she can help somehow.
"You have got to stay here." Michelle's voice had changed. Now there was a new tone. It was a woman's voice, warm and gentle, but very firm.
"I don't understand," the little girl cried. "I didn't understand the lady. She said she could be my Ma Mere. She took my hand and said to hold on really tight. She couldn't be there always. Not like that, like standing there. Only for a little while. But she'd always know where I was..."
Wait, what? Michelle has to stay where she is, and Mary can only be with her sometimes? But...she can at least do something while she's there, right?
"I wanted to hide behind her. No," the child said unhappily. '"No. I guess not." Dr. Pazder could feel the little girl's desire to hide and her sad realization that it was impossible.
Michelle was quiet again. The next time she spoke, she sounded motherly.
"No," said Ma Mere. "Not hide. Not hide."
Well, WHY THE HELL NOT? Is there anything you can do for the poor abused little kid who desperately needs and wants your help?
Sort of. Michelle says that Mary holds her hand to comfort her, which is nice, but would be nicer if the personification of all evil weren't still essentially molesting Michelle right in front of her. The tail around the neck, remember? It's still there. Maybe smack his tail off her neck first? No? Oh well.
Mary then explains that she isn't doing more to help Michelle because the time hasn't come for her to break free (she does, I notice, at least have the decency to punctuate this with an "I'm sorry." Unlike her son.) and that Michelle mustn't fight back or speak about her experiences until the time comes. Okay, I'll bite. What mysterious divine plan are you following that's so delicate and important that you can't remove a child from a horrendously abusive situation that may kill her for fear of ruining it?
"We have to be human," Ma Mere told her calmly. "You want to help your brothers and sisters."
"I don't have any," the child cried.
"No, you have many."
"How can I help. I can't even help myself. I can't even get out of those circles."
"You will," Ma Mere promised, "but only if you stay. Or else too many people will be left in circles."
So...Michelle has to stay and be the Satanists' chew toy for an unspecified period of time, so she can rescue other children being abused by the cult? We see no mention of children at this ritual, we saw the cult murder at least one kid in cold blood. Michelle now seems to be the only living child in the whole cult. Is there even any other kid left to save? And if there is...that's a big, big responsibility to put on the shoulders of a scared, beaten-down six-year-old. Hey, Mary, I have a better idea: How about you tell your son--who actually has a proven ability to prevail over demons--to do his job and protect those children instead? His pub crawl can wait. Little girls getting inappropriately touched by Satan can't.
This chapter is super short and its only purpose is to have Michelle show a rash that's developed on her neck to the bishop, who acts shocked and says that the mark looks exactly like Satan's tail tip. He makes this determination based on the fact that the Devil's tail looks like that in medieval pictures. Never mind that it wasn't like the Devil posed for medieval painters, and Michelle hints that he's a shapeshifter anyway so his stereotypical appearance shouldn't be the concrete piece of evidence they're treating it as. We're also told that Michelle's rashes are her body's way of "remembering" what her mind remembers. There's a close-up of her neck rash in the pictures section of the book, and it honestly looks more like what would happen if you had anxiety issues and scratched your neck too much as a nervous tic.
Hey, speaking of anxiety issues, one thing about Michelle's description of Mary really stood out to me:
"...You knew she was a mother. She had sad eyes. They hurt her baby. She'll always have sad eyes because of that."
So Mary was traumatized by watching her son's crucifixion (which is one of the most horrific forms of creative murder ever dreamed up by the human race, by the way. Zero stars. Would not recommend.) and now she has to watch more children being tortured.
I really, really hope she's doing this out of the boundless goodness of her heart, because she wants to help Michelle and other suffering children, and not because her son is making her. Because if she wasn't on board with this idea, then we'll have to add "doesn't understand or care about PTSD triggers" to Michelle Remembers Jesus' list of sins.
I hate this book.