MY LIFE WITH CATS

A new RA/MC drop-in group

A second CUPP of Hope drop-in group has just been formed! It meets
Mondays 5:00–6:30 PM Pacific Time
Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 AM Melbourne, AUS Time.
Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cupp-of-hope-peer-led-drop-in-support-group-for-survivors-of-ramc-tickets-358918343427

This type of group is very, very needed. On-going groups are truly wonderful, but they can’t accommodate more than a few people, and a member is torn if they have a scheduling problem. Drop-in groups, which do not require weekly attendance, are more flexible. They are ideal for people in crisis, people who have been healing for a long time and who just want to touch base with other survivors, and those with irregular work schedules or other commitments that can’t be reliably scheduled.

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Holiday Zoom Open Houses For Survivors of RA/MC

On miserable, triggery days, like the solstices, equinoxes, Christmas, Easter, and “Hallmark Card” days, survivors often choose to be alone rather than be among people who just don’t understand. Now, thanks to ZOOM and joanies, you have a third choice. Bring a meal or a snack to eat together or just hang out with other RA/MC survivors. No need to stay the whole time if you don’t want to.

The next two-hour Open House will be a Fourth of July celebration of our own independence. For the date and time and the registration link, check the Events page at https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/events/

If you have any questions, contact joanies, the host, at
cuppofhope@gmail.com

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my life with cats

This is going to be a totally personal entry – the most personal one I have ever written. Nothing at all to do with RA/MC. 

In 1984, I bought two Cornish Rex kittens from the same litter; a girl, Rosie, and a boy, Fargo. They were named after Rosebud, South Dakota and Fargo, North Dakota. That was because their father’s name was Demon Dakota. (Oops, I promised I would say nothing about RA/MC. Just can’t help myself. – it’s such an integral part of my life.) Their mother’s name was Sweet Purrfection, yuck. They were orange cats with white markings.

They lived a long time. Rosie was sixteen when she died, and Fargo lived another year and a half. I thought I would never get another cat because no cat would be as great as they were. Plus, a kitten would surely outlive me, and it wasn’t fair to go and abandon him like that. So there was lots of crying and feeling sorry for myself. “I’ll never sleep with a cat again!”

After a couple of years, I changed my mind and got another orange and white Cornish Rex kitten. I named him Dakota. He lived to be eighteen and a half. Obviously, I was wrong about dying before him and leaving him all alone in a cold world.  

I lost him last September, and, to my surprise, I was not nearly as hesitant about getting another cat. I have no idea why. Am I braver now? More impetuous? More selfish? Who cares? This is the way it is – I want a cat.

I realize I no longer have the energy to chase after a kitten. Fostering is a possibility, but I wouldn’t be good with a cat with behavior problems and I would be heartbroken about having to give up an animal I had grown attached to. The other option is adopting a grown cat, perhaps an elderly one. The two of us could keep each other company as we limped through our golden years.

For months, I knew I wasn’t ready because I kept expecting Dakota to be in another room. My daughter said I had a ghost cat. As Dakota gradually stopped visiting me in his new form, I began checking out AdoptaPet.com and local animal rescue organizations. My friends started asking me if I had found a cat I liked. I liked some well enough, but the chemistry wasn’t there.

I had a few non-negotiable demands. It must be older, short-haired, affectionate, and it can’t be orange. I don’t need an echo of Rosie and Fargo and Dakota. I prefer an open adoption so the previous owner can check that their cat is okay in my home and can even come visit him if they want. I can ask a million questions and send cute pictures. 

It turns out that some non-negotiable things are negotiable after all. 

I looked through the SPCA website. I hadn’t intended to because their process of giving up a cat and adopting one is detailed to the max, and, frankly, I found some of their questions intrusive, even insulting. I just went to look at cat pictures. Lo and behold, the SPCA has gotten far more reasonable! They now have a section called “Animals in the Community,” which lists cats available for private “rehoming.”

And I fell in love at first sight with a white and orange cat with longish hair. I only found out later that if I wanted him, I could no longer have houseplants or bring flowers from my garden into the house. Most are poisonous to cats, and this cat eats lettuce, spinach, flowers, and house plants. For sixty years, I have had houseplants and flowers on the dining room table, the coffee table, my desk, my bedroom, even in the bathroom.

So, of course, this is the wrong cat for me, right? 

His name is Baker. He moved in yesterday morning.

All the plants are gone. The house looks a little empty without plants and flowers, of course. Baker hasn’t found the litter box yet, and I haven’t found what he is using instead. I’ll keep him in the bathroom until he gets acquainted with it. Outside of that, everything is perfect.

He has a fascinating story. His previous owner is a high school English teacher who loves to travel. She had a job in Qatar and rescued him from the street when he was about three months old. He moved to China when she got a job there, then Mexico, then Dubai, and finally the United States. In Dubai, his owner acquired three other street kittens who have grown into feisty teenagers. They pounce on Baker. He is not pleased. And the landlord is not thrilled at having a tenant with four cats. So she decided that Baker should go someplace where he could be an only cat, a calm place with no dogs or children running around, and with one or two people to dote over him and him alone.

His mother was a plain old tabby, but his father was something else entirely. A vet identified Baker as being half Turkish Van. I searched for images of Turkish Vans, and he could easily pass as a purebred. He could stand beside any of those fancy cats in the photos, and nobody would guess that he and his Mom were alley cats.

Vans are rare (only about 100 kittens are born each year in the US) and very distinctive. They are white with orange, black, or calico markings. Their tails are almost always completely colored, and they have irregular markings on their foreheads. Some have spots the size of a quarter as well; these are called “Allah’s thumbprints.” Their fur is soft, the softest I have ever felt. That is because they have no guard hair; they just have the undercoat. 

Cornish Rexes lack guard hair, too, but their fur is very short. I used to call them velvet cats. Baker’s fur is halfway between a shorthair’s and a Persian’s in length, and I can sink my fingers deep into it. So luscious!

Checklist

meets requirements 
older — Yes
short-haired —  No
affectionate —  Yes
no orange —  No
Extras:
in good health —  Yes
sits on laps —   Yes
does not type —  Yes
is gorgeous —  Yes
plays catch —  Yes
plays pattycake —  Yes
has blue eyes  —  Yes
likes to swim —  Yes

I don’t need to justify my decision. Love is love, and love can’t be explained.

Baker

Upcoming Holidays

June

6/21

Summer solstice

6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

July
7/4 Independence Day
7/13 Full Moon
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Grand Climax/Da Meur

August
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/11 Full Moon
8/13 Friday the 13th
8/15 (?) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8/24 St. Bartholomew’s Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.

~~~~~~~~~~

You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Candlemas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-
Beltane – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/
Fathers’ Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/
Summer Solstice (corrected text) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/ 
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/
Fall Equinox – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/
Halloween (personal) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween (background) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
Thanksgiving – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/
Yule/Winter Solstice – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/ 

Value-Free Abilities, Feelings, and Actions

Read on! The article is hiding below these short but important, announcements.

Welcome!

For those of you who are new to my blog, thank you for following me! I hope you will find it helpful.

Please use the comments section freely. You may comment on the article, ask for information, or connect with other survivors.

Fathers’ Day –

is the first in a series of Holiday Zoom Open Houses For Survivors of RA/MC.
On miserable, triggery days, like the solstices, equinoxes, Christmas, Easter, and “Hallmark Card” days, survivors often choose to be alone rather than be among people who just don’t understand. Now, thanks to ZOOM and joanies, you have a third choice. Bring a meal or a snack and eat together, or just hang out with other RA/MC survivors. No need to stay the whole time if you don’t want to.

Sunday, June 19, 2022, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM Pacific Time (Not a celebration of Father’s Day – it is a time to celebrate each other!)
Register here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holiday-zoom-gathering-for-ramc-survivors-tickets-361102716947

Poetry Reading

There will be another virtual poetry reading on Saturday, June 25, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM Pacific Time. That is Sunday, June 26, 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM Melbourne, AUS Time. The invitation to attend is open to survivors, therapists, support people, and allies.

This is an open event for any survivor of RA/MC to present a 1-3 minute poem about “Being Victimized, Surviving, and Living Fully.” The poem can be on all three topics or on only one or two of the topics. You may also pair visual art with your poem or perform through song.

The event will be in open-mic style, and presenters will sign up through the chat on the day of the event.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ritual-abuse-survivors-read-their-poems-of-suffering-and-healing-tickets-291878545587

Value-Free Abilities, Feelings, and Actions

This is a topic I have been mulling over for years now. I’ll tell you what started me off.

I realized that some of the qualities in myself that I value had also been valued by the cult. I can’t say they were exactly nurtured, for they were demanded on pain of lots and lots of pain if I fell short. Each year, each month, each week, more and more was expected of me. But they did develop in this harsh environment.

Early on, I recognized that my body healed rapidly. It wasn’t until 1999, when I read Judith Spencer’s book, “Suffer the Child,” that I learned that this is a trait that was highly prized by at least one other Satanic cult. I don’t remember hearing about it since, but I don’t need further validation. It makes perfect sense to me.

It is easy to see that the physical process of rapid healing works in both environments. So how could it be a “good” thing or a “bad” thing? It just was.

Intelligence was a more complex concept for me to deal with. I could tell that the grown-ups around me valued intelligence. However, I was very confused about the concept and believed I was stupid. I compared myself, not with ordinarey people, but with those with exceptionally high IQs. The degree of perfectionism was ridiculous – if I wasn’t the best in the world, I must be stupid.

It didn’t help that I didn’t fit in with the other kids. They all had friends, and I didn’t; therefore, I must be dumb because I couldn’t even figure out how to have a friend. Or carry a tune or throw and catch a ball, for that matter. I was so confused that, at one point, I thought maybe I didn’t have friends because I scored higher on tests than they did. I tried to get the answers wrong but failed because I got interested in the material and forgot what I had set out to do. Oh well.

I have a little scar on my forehead marking the destruction by radiation of a growing birthmark. I told the kids I suffered brain damage from this procedure when I was three months old. Brain damage! Little did I know!

In time, I realized I wasn’t stupid; I was just a misfit. And when I remembered my abuse, I could see that my intelligence was valued in the cult as well as at home and at school. How could it be valued both by evil people and by kind, ethical people? It must be outside the categories of good and evil, or above it, part but not part of both moral systems at the same time.

I started thinking of all the things that were accepted and valued in both the day-life and the night-life as value-free. Like stars, for example. Stars aren’t good or bad; they just are.

Before I started writing this post, I looked up the definitions of value-free and value-neutral.

According to the Oxford Learners’ Dictionaries, value-free means “not influenced by personal opinions.“ Not surprisingly, value-laden means “influenced by personal opinions.”

Oxford Reference defines value-neutral as
adjective
• Not presupposing the acceptance of any particular values.
•  ‘Morality involves value judgments, and I want my intelligences to be value-neutral.” 
“The situation in which a participant in a controversial situation is impartial and not influenced by personal beliefs, attitudes, or values, a situation that may often be more theoretical than real. Philosophers of science have long debated the question of whether science can ever be truly value neutral, starting from the premise that the scientific approach to problem solving in itself requires values that accept the importance and relevance of so doing, in addition to the values implied in the search itself, such as the definition of truth. Beyond this, the ethical and moral choices that biological and health scientists must frequently make will always require them to hold certain values.”

Interesting.

Perhaps because I am dissociated, I imagine something that is value-free or value-neutral floating above whatever is going on at the moment. Sort of like my consciousness, except it isn’t conscious. My understanding of the concept is visual; I can see it clearly but have to scramble for words.

Do you know those little glass pendents that contain mustard seeds or open so you can use them as lockets and put a tiny photograph in them? There are all sorts of beads that size, some very fancy. I have a black enamel bead with an elaborate flower pattern and a white bead, again with a flower pattern. I wear them together to symbolize value-neutrality. The little flowers exist in both dark and light settings.

When I feel shame or guilt about something, they remind me that I am in a feeling-flashback. For example, there is no reason to feel shame about sex or guilt about anger. These things just are, like the stars and flowers just are, although they can be used for good or for evil. This belief allows me to think more calmly and more clearly.

Now I understand, with relief and gratitude, that as soon as I got free, I consistently tried my best to use my intelligence and the skills I learned in the cult to help people, not to harm them.

Upcoming Holidays

June
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

 

July
7/4 Independence Day
7/13 Full Moon
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Grand Climax/Da Meur

August
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/11 Full Moon
8/13 Friday the 13th
8/15 (?) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8/24 St. Bartholomew’s Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.

You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Candlemas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-
Beltane – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/
Fathers’ Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/
Summer Solstice (corrected text) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/ 
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/
Fall Equinox – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/
Halloween (personal) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween (background) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
Thanksgiving – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/
Yule/Winter Solstice – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/ 

Memorial Day Tribute to All Survivors

There are announcements after this letter.

~~~~~~~~~

I received this email from a dear friend of mine. It touched me deeply, and I asked her if I could share it more widely on my blog. The answer was, “yes.”

Dear Friends,

On this day in the United States, Memorial Day is a National Holiday where many families and friends come together to BBQ. Celebrating a long weekend. An extra day off work. It is often considered the start of summer and camping season. Part of its history was (and is) to honor all soldiers who have died during their service to the nation.

For survivors like us, this holiday may have also brought extended abuse (as is the case for most holidays).

So on this Memorial Day, I open my heart to a deep, deep place of love, sorrow, and honor as I am remembering each one of you who are all so dear to me. (To those of you I do not know, to all those I may never meet, and  to those who didn’t survive, this is for you, too)

We are soldiers in our own rights. Warriors of a war we survived with only the weapons of our minds. A war not of our own choosing but forced on each of us.

We were child soldiers of this underground battle that was hidden in plain view. We were warriors who died again and again and again. Many of us with parts who are still dead, buried deep inside. We have been prisoners of this hidden war (POWs). This war of insidious, horrific abuse. We may still have parts that are internally imprisoned. Parts of ourselves may still be missing in action (MIA). Yet here we are. We survived.

We are soldiers. We are warriors. We are heroes. Yet the eyes of the world do not see us. They do not want to see us.

So on this day of remembering, I want to say – I see you. I honor each of you. You are not forgotten. You are my heroes today and every day. Thank you for being a part of my life, our lives, and sharing your hero’s journey with us.

With love and compassion,

River and Tribe
(Wounded Healer Warrior Woman Child – A Tribal Community)

~~~~~~~~~

A New RA/MC Drop-in Group

A new ZOOM drop-in group has just been formed!
Starting on June 13, it will meet on:
Mondays 5:00–6:30 PM Pacific Time/
Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 AM Melbourne, AUS Time.

Check https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/events/ to see if registration is open.

The other drop-in group meets on Wednesdays at 5:00–6:30 PM Pacific Time. Both are free.

This type of group is very, very needed. Ongoing groups are truly wonderful, but they can’t accommodate more than a few people, and a member is torn if they have a scheduling problem. Drop-in groups, which do not require weekly attendance, are more flexible. They are ideal for people in crisis, people who have been healing for a long time and want to support others, those who just want to touch base with other survivors, and those with irregular work schedules or other commitments that can’t be easily scheduled.

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Would Anybody Here Like to Lead a Group?

Speaking from experience, leading any group is very rewarding. And it’s a hundred-fold times more rewarding if it is a RA/MC group!

If you have never led a group before, it’s best to pair with a co-leader. If you will be the only leader, you probably will want to have somebody to act as a consultant, if needed. GrassRoots can help you search for either a co-leader or a consultant.

Please don’t assume you aren’t capable of leading a group. You don’t have to be 99% healed or have a license or degree – remember, this is a peer group we are talking about. You don’t have to be an extrovert, and a streak of social anxiety is okay. Of course, if you are in crisis or have tons of other commitments, better wait until life shifts for you. If you are unsure, I’d be happy to talk to you about the possibility.

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Upcoming Holidays

June
6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

 

July
7/4 Independence Day
7/13 Full Moon
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Grand Climax/Da Meur

August
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/11 Full Moon
8/13 Friday the 13th
8/15 (?) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8/24 St. Bartholomew’s Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.

~~~~~~~~~~

You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Candlemas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-
Beltane – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/
Fathers’ Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/
Summer Solstice (corrected text) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/ 
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/
Fall Equinox – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/
Halloween (personal) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween (background) – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
Thanksgiving – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/
Yule/Winter Solstice – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/