Crying About the Wrong Thing

* ISSTD’s annual conference in San Francisco has been replaced by a virtual conference with many of the presenters that were scheduled for San Francisco. Dates are Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17. 
Information:https://www.isst-d.org/training-and-conferences/upcoming-conferences/2020-virtual-congress/

*For all other conferences, worldwide, check their webpage for updates. And remember, although online presentations lack the immediacy of face-to-face ones, they give you the same information. Sometimes they are better organized, there are more handouts, and the speaker is more relaxed. 

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:
Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/
Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

~~~~~~

May all of you stay safe and well and be very gentle to all of your parts right now, for they are all confused and scared. Know that we are all together in this, scared, confused, brave, connected.

~~~~~~

I want to feel closer to people these days, so I decided to talk to them on video, not just on the phone. I want to see their faces and feel more connected to them. I also would like to offer video calls to a couple of groups of survivors to help with the isolation we all feel.

BUT I cannot seem to learn how to do it. I practice and practice, and each time I mess up in what feels like a new and imaginative way. Today I was given instructions on how to join a Zoom call. It should have been a piece of cake, as I have a Zoom account and have successfully joined practice calls. But it wasn’t.

At first, I couldn’t get a Zoom screen and so started to try different ways of doing things. I ended up with two screens. One had audio, the other video. I didn’t know which I should be on. I chose the video one. When I was asked to unmute and say something, there was no unmute icon that I could see. About ten minutes later, I found the unmute button on the other screen, and I am afraid blurted out a big old swear word.

By the end of the call, I was on the verge of tears, and I stayed that way for several hours. Supper cheered me up, but the next morning I felt the same way.

Plus, I had an uninformative and upsetting dream. I dreamed that a bear was ready to hibernate, and he found a den in a hole in the earth. But it wasn’t very deep, and he thought it wasn’t private enough. He found a big boulder and positioned it in front of the entrance. He was comfortable and slept through the winter.

When he came out of hibernation, he couldn’t push the boulder away. He tried and tried, but all he did was exhaust himself. So he starved to death.

After feeling very bad for the bear, and bad for myself because I couldn’t help him or make the dream turn out differently (I know what lucid dreaming is but can’t do it), I felt the feelings were honored, and I could now look at what the dream was telling me. And, of course, it was about this social distancing. I had been in the house at that point for 22 days, with only two trips for groceries in the first couple of days. I guess I was feeling trapped and didn’t know it.

I was trying to cry about being under house arrest as well as about my poor dream bear.

There are a lot of good newsletters with solid facts about the coronavirus, and I get about ten of them almost every day. It’s way too much. I need to cut back. Being informed is useful; it has shaped my decisions, which I think are sensible. But too much is too much.

I think most people who are stuck at home feel trapped. And since it isn’t their choice, many feel imprisoned, too.

I get the Harvard Gazette every day, a newsletter with links to short articles. One was about a presentation that Karmel Choi from the Mass. General Hospital gave on the Harvard School of Public Health’s online forum. Quoting from the Gazette, “Using onscreen diagrams, she outlined its (stress’s) four major triggers: novelty, threat, unpredictability, and lack of control. ‘Each one of these on its own is enough to make us feel stressed,’ she said. ‘With the coronavirus outbreak worldwide, we’re seeing all of these come together and all at once.’”

That made me stop and think. It’s far more than just being indoors that is driving me nuts. And then you add a history of ritual abuse and child pornography and mind control experimentation, and the question in my mind is, “How come I am not 100% bat-shit crazy by now?”

Continuing to quote from the article, “How we react to these factors can vary widely, however. Choi identified four basic ‘bins,’ or types of reactions: emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral. Although many of us associate stress with feelings of fear or anxiety, it may also manifest as irritability or numbness, she noted. Physically, we may feel less energetic, and may even find ourselves moving more slowly. Eating and sleeping habits may also be disrupted. In terms of cognition, we may find it more difficult to concentrate or think things through, and our memory may become faulty. Behavioral responses range from withdrawal to taking more risks, as we seek ways to exert control in a newly uncontrollable reality.”

I can identify my reactions in all four of her categories. Indeed I am irritable. I react more strongly to everyday events. I can be snappish with my friends, which is not generally like me. I am usually pretty easy-going about small things. I haven’t noticed having less energy, but my energy is dispersed. I float from one thing to another rather than concentrating on the task at hand. (The spontaneity feels nice, though.) Can’t say I am more forgetful than usual; my mind has always looked like Swiss cheese.

I’m sleeping more than I did before. I caught myself eating more and choosing a lot of junk food. It doesn’t feel great to go to bed with a tummy full of potato chips and sugar! In response, I had the healthiest dinner of my life last night: salmon, broccoli, cauliflower with a little feta, a tomato, and lettuce.

I think that the only way I can get through this is to compartmentalize. RA stuff over here, COVID quarantine over here, aging over here, rest of life over here. And float between them, like a leaf drifting in a soft breeze. So far, it is working.

~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/5 Palm Sunday
4/7 Full moon
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/9 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Super)
4/10 Good Friday
4/11 Holy Saturday
4/12 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May 
5/1 Beltane
5/7 Full moon
5/10 Mothers’ Day
5/12 Armed Forces Day
5/25 Memorial Day
5/31 Pentecost

June
6/5 Full moon
6/5-6 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-5
6/19 Summer solstice
6/21 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Annular solar eclipse. Visible from parts of Africa (including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia,) south of Pakistan, northern India; and China. Partial eclipse is visible in south/east Europe, much of Asia, the north of Australia, and much of Africa, Pacific, Indian Ocean. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-21
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St John’s Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
4/9 – 4/16 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/12 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and his alternate birthday, on Easter of the current year. This year Easter falls on 4/12.)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/21  Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/29 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes.)

Despite the Coronavirus, I’m Still Growing and Changing

* ISSTD has canceled all its upcoming conferences and is re-designing them to be online.

* For all other conferences, world-wide, check their webpage for updates. And remember, although online presentations lack the immediacy of face-to-face ones, they give you the same information. Sometimes they are better organized, there are more handouts, and the speaker is more relaxed. 

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:
Walpurgis Day: 
https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/
Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/
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/
Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox)  https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/
Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

~~~~~~

 First, some miscellaneous things.

A silver lining to social distancing. (Maybe this isn’t funny.) I am wondering if cult members are deciding to keep six feet away from each other. Perhaps. if they are over 60 or have chronic illnesses, they are being even more cautious and skipping rituals to self-isolate. Wouldn’t that be great!

The New York Times has many free newsletters. (You can’t get the crossword for free, though.) I get the Morning Briefing, California Today, Coronavirus Briefing, and The New York Times Magazine. Here is where you choose the Newsletter you want: https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters. As I remember, you open an account (don’t subscribe) and then get to see the list of newsletters available.

I missed the Spring Equinox because it came early this year. In my mind, equinoxes are always on the 21st, but this year the Spring Equinox was on the 19th. I wonder if we felt anticipatory dread on the 19th as usual, and had our anniversary reaction on the 20th or 21st.

The last time the equinox fell on March 19 was in 1896, 124 years ago. I think that Satanic groups that take the meaning of their holidays seriously will have done some pretty horrible things in honor of the rarity of this event.

I haven’t researched when it next will fall on March 19, but, from 2021 to 2102, it will always be on March 20. It will finally return to March 21 in 2103. So for the rest of this century, it won’t be anything special.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a light-hearted article on the Spring Equinox at https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox\.

I have not managed to learn anything new about the spring Feast of the Beast. All I know is contained in these two posts: Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/
and Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/.

In trying to clean up my computer files, I found this. It is me to a T!
Did you hear about the psychic amnesiac?
He knew in advance what he was going to forget.

~~~~~~

Okay, on to living with my ritual abuse past in the age of coronavirus.

I am doing amazingly well, so well that I am not sure I recognize myself. My mood is good, and I am not in denial. I know this because I am taking all the precautions I would have if I were a paranoid mess!

Many times I have said that it takes time to live in the present after doing a whole bunch of work on your past. I knew this intellectually but had not fully experienced it. I often used the simile of being teleported into a foreign country, not knowing the language, not having a place to live or a job, and without friends. You have to learn a lot, very fast.

Now I have woken up and found myself in a foreign country. I was partially right, in that it’s going to take some getting used to, but the rest of my description was wrong, The scenery is foreign, but I feel at home. I can speak the language, and I still have all my old friends. I have brought everything with me – my home, my work, my friends, my cat, everything.

A more apt simile for what I am experiencing now is having a cataract operation. Nothing has changed, except everything is different. The colors are brighter, and distant things are sharp and in focus. It’s like my brain, rather than my eyes, is wearing glasses, and it is a total delight.

For me, learning seems to have been unconscious. It perked along under the surface, and I was not aware of anything happening. Then suddenly I became conscious of a vast change. I know how to “be” in this new way and I am not upset by the newness. I’m somewhat puzzled because I have not, to my knowledge, worked on any related issues. I’m not aware of any angels or spirit animals bringing me this gift, I did not pray for it, wish for it, or even imagine it. It just happened.

I’m not sure whether people close to me feel that I have changed significantly. I tend to think not, because nobody has said anything. That’s okay. There is no need for them to know or not know. There is no need for me to talk about it or not talk about it. All I need to do is accept and enjoy it.

I still get triggered at times, and I don’t expect that to change. The reaction to a trigger, though, is soft, muted. The voices don’t scream, they sound almost like part of a conversation with pleasant people. The visuals do not seem to be in the present; they are a gentle reminder of something from the past.

Mind you, I don’t attribute these changes to the coronavirus. I think they would have happened anyway. Perhaps they occurred about a year ago when I stopped being affected by holiday anniversary reactions. It took several months to recognize that change and several more months to recognize this deeper change. I feel like the person I would have been if I hadn’t suffered through ritual abuse in my childhood.

In going through those old computer files, I found correspondence from 1999. I was totally flipped out about the upcoming New Year – 2000. I was not afraid that computers couldn’t handle the change. What terrified me was the belief that Satanists in sleeper cells all over the world would wake up and do destructive things at midnight with poison and A-bombs. Fellow survivors told me it was programming and that I should fight it just like any other sort of programming. I wasn’t afraid of doing anything destructive, it was other people I was terrified of. Nothing was in my control, and all I could do was try and soothe myself.

I can’t remember how I made it through those difficult weeks. I do, however, vividly remember buying a jar of real caviar to eat before I went to bed as a farewell to life….and another one for breakfast, just in case I was still alive and wanted to celebrate. I was totally amazed that nothing bad had happened, nothing all. My friends were right. I had fallen for the programming, and it was all a lie, after all.

It was great to come across that correspondence and to be able to contrast it with how I feel now.

I also found emails between myself and a survivor friend I admired and trusted. She had the same kind of polyfragmentation that I do, and she was a lot further along in coming to understand how her system worked. She told me that the fragments, when they came together, were an alter, and that that alters did not cease to exist when she perceived the fragments as coming apart. They just went back inside. Once she figured this out, she could start working with alters, finding out their jobs, thanking them, suggesting new jobs, and increasing internal communication. Just like everybody else with DID – MPD back then.

What if this were so for me, also? What if, unconsciously, my alters have been working together? Working behind my back, so to speak? What if this new state I am in is what integration feels like?

It’s all pretty mind-blowing.

~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

March
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/5 Palm Sunday
4/7 Full moon
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/9 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/10 Good Friday
4/11 Holy Saturday
4/12 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
May 
5/1 Beltane
5/7 Full moon
5/10 Mothers’ Day
5/12 Armed Forces Day
5/25 Memorial Day
5/31 Pentecost

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/10 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
4/9 – 4/16 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/21 Yom HaShoah
4/29 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/12 Lag BaOmer

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

I’m “Social Distancing” Because of COVID-19  

* Information on spring holidays:

Walpurgis Day: There is some information about St. Walpurga at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/
Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/
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/
Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/
Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

~~~~

A few weeks ago, the COVID-19 virus was something that was happening far away in China. Now it has moved in and become my new neighbor. 

Here’s the number of confirmed cases that Bay Area counties report: Alameda, 3; Contra Costa, 7; Marin, 1; Napa, 2; San Mateo, 1: San Francisco, 11; and Solano, 2, (plus a healthcare worker who lives in Alameda). Santa Clara, just 45 miles away, reports 24 cases. And there is a cruise ship lingering just outside the Golden Gate Bridge, with 114 confirmed cases. It’s waiting to transport all 3500 passengers to military bases so that they can be quarantined for two weeks.

These numbers are as of March 7, and surely will be higher when you read this.

A state of emergency has been declared in both California and San Francisco, where the Saint Patrick Day’s parade has been canceled. Schools and universities are closing throughout the area. Many big tech companies have asked their employees to work from home. Among those are Twitter, who asked everybody to stay home, not just employees in countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Other tech companies that are turning to virtual commuting are Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Salesforce, and LinkedIn. People are taking this very seriously!

Just last week, I wrote, “I’m attending the ISSTD conference this year and would love to connect with anybody who is going. We could hang out at break times and get to know each other better.”

Last night, after only a few hours of dithering, I decided not to go. It was, I admit, an obvious decision, a no-brainer. I am a doubly high-risk person, since I’m 82 and have heart issues, and I am not ready to die yet. I have a lot of filing that has piled up, stuff that needs sorting and throwing away, vacations I want to take, memories to process, and a book that needs writing. Also numerous blog entries, of course!

One part of my mind says that’s the right decision, but another says I’m being silly, and my unconscious, fueled by the past, screams that no matter what I do I am going to get fatally ill because I am so bad I deserve to die a horrible death. Guess it wasn’t such an easy decision, after all!

I certainly have come nowhere near a place of acceptance. One moment I think I am over-reacting and want to go out and do things. I had planned to go to the ocean with a friend from out of town on the Friday before the conference and have lunch at a Burmese restaurant. I am pissed about having that day taken away from me by a stupid virus. It’s been eighteen hours, and I already have cabin fever. On the other hand, I am petrified and don’t want to go anywhere, even to the pool or to routine doctors’ appointments. Or dentist appointments, for that matter!

My daughter just called me. She had planned a work trip to the West Coast in two weeks and had added on a couple of days to see me. Now she has to work from home. The most likely part of the trip to get infected would be on the plane; visiting me is safe because I’m not quarantined, I’m just old. Perhaps she could arrange to be teleported? I’m starting to feel really deprived. 

And I think the situation is not going to be better any time soon. I think we are in for a very long haul – more likely to be many months rather than a few weeks.

It’s funny. My reactions are just like everybody else’s, as far as I can tell. My decision-making process seems to be the same. But everything is surrounded by a fog of RA memories, feelings, self-hatred, mistrust, fear, helplessness, and guilt. The influence of ritual abuse always touches every part of my life, but it usually is far in the background. This worldwide crisis has pulled it closer to the foreground and, it tints everything.

 You’ve heard of rose-colored glasses? I have RA-tinted glasses.

Well, the upside is I will probably have more time to write!

~~~~ 

Upcoming Holidays

March 
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/9 Full moon<
3/13 Friday the Thirteenth
3/17 Spring Equinox
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan

April
4/1 April Fool´s Day
4/5 Palm Sunday
4/7 Full moon
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/9 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/10 Good Friday
4/11 Holy Saturday
4/12 Easter Sunday<
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May
5/1 Beltane
5/7 Full moon
5/10 Mothers’ Day
5/12 Armed Forces Day
5/25 Memorial Day
5/31 Pentecost

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
Rosh Chodesh marks the new moon, the beginning of each month
3/10 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
4/9 – 4/16 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/21 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/29 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day
5/25 Memorial Day

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