More on Isolation: Secrets

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My Schedule

I want to tell you that I am going to spend Christmas with my friend in Arizona and fill my soul with beauty. I really don’t know how much access to the Internet I will have, but I doubt that it will be a lot. So I am going to skip the December 20 and 30 bog entries.

Because of lack of Internet access, I also won’t be approving comments from December 13 to January 4. Write them anyway! They will be just as appreciated even if they appear late.

I’m going to miss your comments a lot. If I do manage to get to a computer, I’ll sneak in and approve them. Sound okay?

More on Isolation: Secrets

The topic of isolation really seemed to resonate, so let’s go ahead with it.

I think that any time we have a secret, isolation follows. I’m not talking about not telling what you are going to give somebody for their birthday, I’m talking about the kind of secret that would get you or the other person or persons in trouble. And ritual abuse survivors sure have been made to keep a whole lot of that kind of secret!

Obviously, the secret puts a barrier between you and those who aren’t supposed to know about it. You have to be careful not to slip and tell by mistake and you have to keep your feelings to yourself. You are walking on eggshells, and danger seems everywhere. What would they do to you, or what would happen to those you told, if you made a mistake?

So we live like this until we learn that healing comes through telling rather than staying silent. That is a really hard concept to absorb after so many terrible threats over so many years. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to speak out.

Then there is the guilt that was bestowed upon us. Whatever happened, it was our fault We were stupid and lazy and bad and it was our fault for doing something wrong because we didn’t try hard enough to get it right. We believed that, and we saw that others didn’t believe that about themselves. We were always the weird ones, stupid, lazy, bad, and at fault.

This basis of childhood guilt lays the foundations for more complicated forms of guilt. Take survivor guilt, for instance. We feel guilty because another child was hurt, and we weren’t, especially if we were told that it happened because we did or didn’t do something. It’s much, much worse when somebody was not just hurt, but killed. It’s tormenting to be alive after witnessing such things. And if we were made to do that?

Reading about PTSD in vets, you will find that seeing a buddy die or seeing combatants you were responsible for die is excruciating. Flashbacks to these events occur over and over and can, without support, lead to addictions or other self-destructive behaviors. I’d say we know that path all too well.

For years I blamed myself for not having done anything to stop them from hurting other people. When I finally accepted that I was little and powerless and did the best I could, I still blamed myself for not having suicided rather than be forced to hurt anybody else. It took years, decades really, to acknowledge that my life force fought against dying, even by choice, and that they had taken so much of my power that I could’t have suicided even if I had chosen it and had had the means. I was truly a helpless little kid.

At the time I was struggling with these issues, I was going to Survivors of Incest Anonymous groups for ritual abuse survivors. When I tried to talk about guilt at not protecting others, I didn’t feel understood. Not rejected, but our heads were just in a different place.

Finally I found a twelve-step group for perpetrators. My therapist was opposed to my going for fear it would increase my guilt. But it was such a relief! We all had different stories and we all had the same feelings about ourselves. As I felt compassion for the other group members, I learned to view myself with compassion.

One of the most powerful experiences I have ever had was when I co-led a group  called “Guilt After Killing” at a conference. There were about forty people there. The two of us leaders spoke for about five minutes each and then encouraged people to talk to each other. They didn’t really need encouragement! They talked until we were told that the room was needed and then continued talking in the halls.

There were ritual abuse survivors, mind control survivors, and veterans in the same room, but we all spoke the same emotional language. In that room, some spoke of things they had done for the very first time. Some heard stories both like and unlike theirs and perhaps shared their experience to help others. Together, we weakened the power of the secrets we had been carrying for so long and came away a little bit lighter.

22 thoughts on “More on Isolation: Secrets

  1. Is there any happiness in living the life as a survivor?

    I’ve been thinking about this from my bed which I’ve been living in for the past couple of months.. my bed is my safety net. I eat, read,,play games in my bed. I don’t shower….I’m scared to wash my face. The dishes haven’t been do e in months. Wash minor cleaning hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long. There is an apple core stuck in the creased top of o juice box. Last night’s meal remnants are in the bathroom

    Eating is once a day and very limited variety. My dresser drawer carries the peanut butter, Fluff, pepitas, Goldfish crackers and juice. I bring food up from the kitchen and that’s where it stays, even the unbeaten stuff.

    Come 10pm or so my binging starts. I’ve put on at ,east 20lbs if not more.

    I’m afraid to leave my house. I cancel therapy and shrink sessions all the time.

    I should throw out the phone as No one calls me. Nor do I call out. There is No one to call.

    I thought about going out and being “normal”.  There is a catch to that. I recall 2 summers ago when I was at a picnic. The sky opened up and a woman fearful storm rained down.  Wearing my favorite long dress, we ran out in it, spinning around with our arms stretched out.  Laying our head back, we caught the drops of water.  As puddles formed, we danced and splashed in them.. The people at the party just stared at me. 

    We had a great time…..but it wasn’t me….it was the younger alters who needed to play. They took over and went for it. This happens when it rains or snows and the littles will  push thru and go.   But the body is 60yrs old.  Watching that would shake up anyone and thoughts of me being crazy would first come to mind.

    We get excited easily, but it’s not appropriate for this aged body.  I don’t have much control over it happening. I look or should I say act like a lil kid. It’s precious time. Joyful time. Happy times….but not acceptable time, not in the real word.

    So where do I go to have that spontaneity?  Have carefree fun?  I don’t know where.  Guess I’ll just stay in my bed.

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    1. This sounds so awful! I do not think I could manage two days living like this. I feel so bad for you.

      I know you know I worry about you not getting any protein. Your body gets its protein one way or the other, and right now it is depleting your muscles. Including your heart. That is what worries me so deeply. I would hate to lose you, and I know there are others here who would, too.

      I wonder who inside has decided to do this? Obviously they are trying to protect you and feel that bed is a safe place. And I wonder what they are afraid of, besides everything. Perhaps they would accept comfort from you directly, rather than through sleep and video games. Do you know that if you talk to them, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know their names or ages or who they are, they will listen to you? Especially if you give them the choice. Then they know you aren’t being bossy.

      “I have something kind I want to tell you. You don’t have to listen if you don’t want to. Later, you can ask somebody who did hear me tell you what I said. And I will say it again, too. What I want you to know is that I think you are trying to protect us all and keep us all safe. I appreciate that and I think it is a very big job and maybe exhausting and lonely, too. I would love to hear if I am right and if so, how you feel about this job and what you are protecting us from.”

      Give it a try, huh? I don’t think it can hurt.

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  2. TRIGGER WARNING

    I have to do this now cos supposedly come next week, my therapist is going to use ART on me??? Accelerated something something. I’m not bothering to look it up, sorry This process will remove the memory I had with her on Weds. I’m telling the memory to 1) get it out and 2) see if I still remember it when I read this. So here goes

    This new alter is prolly 4-5yrs old. Her name may be Charlotte or Chantilly, an older name not frequently heard these days. We are at a huge mansion, lots of polished dark wood with big staircase on the right. Very wide steps. The beeps have something to do with this, but just a single high pitched beep.

    First comes the cleansing. Of course we don’t talk, I know we were drugged. The ladies bath us roughly and cleanse both of our private areas inside with water flushes. They have us stand to get all the water out. We are then dressed in pretty pink and white frilly dresses and rouqe and lipstick is put on us. We have to pout our lips and semi smile as they dab the lipstick right in the middle of our lips. Our hair is fixed to hang in ringlets sprayed stiff. A ribbon is then put on our heads with a big bow on top. Our hands are formed to be semi closed with our thumbs laying on our finger. We are to remain like this for presentation. I liken it to looking like a doll.

    We’re led to the center foyer and there is something about a V formation of the girls.

    I just got a wicked head rush, they don’t want me to write….neither do I

    There are men dressed in very fancy suits with tails. They have a white ascot kind of thing around their necks,, maybe frills. They wear white eye masks. They can see us, we can’t see their eyes. When the high pitched beep comes , I hear it in one ear, and that means someone has picked me. The lady comes in and hands me off to the man who bought me. He takes my semi folded HA d and walks me up the long staircase. No words come from me, but he sometimes says something mumbly Saying nice things now, bout how pretty I am, What a beautiful doll. You look so perfect. In our drugged state our tiny feet with our white MaryJanes struggle to keep up. They sometimes pick us up if he is a mean man and hold our bottoms and feels around it. We are in a bedroom now and are standing by the bed. This man tells us to sit on the bed, lifting me up cos we’d have to climb up it’s so high. He’s over by the door lookng at us while he takes of that scarf thing and parts of his clothes. We don’t look at him, we are dolls.

    There are several of us so we are sometimes writing I or us

    He comes over and stands in front of me and strokes my head like a dog. He is saying those nice things again. He lifts our arms and drops them to see if they stay in doll hand shape. We do it right, we know. He rubs our face and lips smearing the lipstick. His fingers open my mouth and I have to keep it open, big. “Such a good doll baby”. He takes out his thing and tells me to suckle on it like my daddy taught me. I hate it. It’s big and hard and hurts my lips. Grabbing me by the shoulders he rocks me back and forth to get more of him in my mouth. We can’t do it but we have too! The beeps happen every once in awhile. We think someone’s watching us. We make sure we’re doing things right and staying like dolls if it beeps. Don’t do bad, you’ll be in trouble!
    Sometimes the ucky stuff comes in our mouth, sometimes not. It’s ucky really ucky Sometimes it doesn’t get in the mouth. We have to let it drip out of our mouth. We throw up if we let it go down our throat so this man let’s it drip out. The other men get mad. He uses his scarf thing and wipes my mouth then picks me up by the shoulders and lays me down on my belly at the other end of the bed. He takes off our white tights and panties rubbing our bottom. We aren’t allowed to close our eyes or look at him in the eyes and don’t say a word or cry. You are a doll. If we are on our tummy then he’s gonna put his thing in my hyney , if we are put on our back then they put it in pee hole. I feel wet stuff on my hyney, he’s rubbing it right where I go potty! The man sticks it in me. It’s to big but he puts it in. It hurts but beep were dolls and they don’t feel hurts. His hand is under me lifting me up and pulling me too him to get it in more. R arms are still in half circles. He rubs our hair from top to bottom all the time. Then he pulls us harder and holds still. It’s gross we hate it. He doesn’t talk anymore cept to tell us to pull up our tights. They get all wet. We don’t no noffin else. Don’t tell UM we told

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    1. I am so so sorry. I don’t know how old you were, but I bet pretty little. Yet you knew you were being sold and you knew what you were expected to do. And you endured it.

      You say us, I think it’s cause there were switches, when one alter couldn’t take any more another came in to do what was necessary. All these years those alters may not have communicated, but they all told you what happened. How much they must trust you!!

      Why do you want you want to get rid of the memory? If it is too vivid, there are ways of toning it down. One way is to invite the alter(s) who are keeping it vivid to come and share what they went through, the emotions, the fear, etc. Another way is to put it somewhere safe for when you can come back to it. Or you can temporarily dim it but putting it on a TV screen and turning down the volume. I am sure there are many other ways of handling it without “getting rid of it.”

      Whose idea was it, yours or the therapist’s?

      Besides, I personally believe you can’t get rid of a memory that has surfaced (or even one that hasn’t.) By trying, you just bury it deeper, which is not helpful. Similarly, I believe that you can’t kill an alter. Trying will either make it pretend to be dead, or believe it is dead when it isn’t, or make it run away. But you can’t kill it, much as you might want to.

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      1. I’m in complete agreement with you on ridding yourself of the alter. It truly irritates me when people talk of it. They were my lifesavers! I know some kind of fade away, or aren’t as prominent anymore, but I would never willingly want to rid myself of any of my alters.

        This was a brand new memory, Weds. I belief there is a group of us who endured this kind of abuse, ergo the ‘us or I’. Think that’s why I can’t pinpoint a name. It definitely begins with ..Ch… there are a variety of names. We’re only 3,4,5 yrs old.

        The ways of making memories bearable are all tried n true. You have so much knowledge , you are remarkable!

        They don’t want me talking on here. The memory is still too fresh and there is alot of sadness that needs to be expressed.

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        1. I’m not remarkable, I have just been actively dealing with this stuff since the early ’90’s! You pick up a lot of information in 25 years.

          I understand not wanting to talk about it here right now. May you all know that it is okay to talk about it, and okay not to talk about it, both

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          1. When I started my sober career 30yrs ago, I could not accept a compliment. They made me cringe. My wonderful sponsor make me say, ” Thank you, I appreciate that”, after a compliment was given. I used to turn away after saying that and stick my tongue out like I had tasted something horrible.
            After time, I became better at accepting compliments.
            Try it, you might like it!!! 😁

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            1. Moi? Do you really think I have trouble accepting compliments? LOL

              I think it’s an issue that most RA survivors have. I work on thanking the person for saying something nice and not worrying so much about whether it s true or not.

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            2. Then your homework is to take the compliment to heart. To restore confidence and healthy self esteem. 😜

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  3. I carry guilt over 3 acts I had to do to survive. I have not yet felt shame, which might be another topic.
    Isolation due to the guilt…oh yeah. How can I tell anyone, that won’t believe me, question me while fully doubting me, or they just think I’m nuts and run. I didn’t want to do these things, I had to to survive! Normal people don’t get it so we are stuck in the isolation bubble. So lonely.
    I feel we need to start talking, getting it out to the public. SAFELY- Jean and I are relatively safe because of our age. The members are probably dead by now. I don’t fear rebuttal.

    A site to check out…….www.survivorship.org. Tons of info, yearly conferences, just be careful when viewing videos. Maybe have terapist or your safe person check it out first or watch together.

    Using your imagination…..I didn’t fear that. My insiders are very clear about what they want and where to go. I’ve got several safe places actually. Each age group has their own safe place….I believe we developed them while under slight hynosis…..not sure.

    My fear of imagination comes in a slightly different angle. I am into metaphysics-, meditation, chakras, guardian angels etc. Thru practicing, my third eye has opened which opens the opportunity to astral travel. No way in hell am I doing that! No way! I am so scared ofwhat I might see, do, experience….nope, not doing it. I think imagination would play a part, but there is no way I will risk taking that step.
    My thoughts are if we dare to use our imagination, we are giving up what control on our tight hold on our reality.

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    1. Imagination – guess it all depends on the context, whether it is safe or not. I sure wouldn’t want to try astral travel!

      There’s a book called “Survivor Guilt” by Aphrodite Matsakis (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Aphrodite+%22Survivor+Guilt%22) which I thought was pretty good when I read it years ago.

      There is also an excellent article, written for therapists by Ellen Lacter, at http://endritualabuse.org/category/fighting-for-survivors/ I found it hard to read because it brought up memories and because she doesn’t pull punches, just tells it like it is.

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  4. they say timing is everything. well, yeah. so struggling with survivor guilt right now. i wait and wait for your blogs, and so often they leave me reeling. anyways, once again your finger is on my pulse and, well, it is good to find validation and hope, in one who has found a way through.

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    1. wow. being in sync. Maybe it’s that those feelings get sharper around Thanksgiving — what is to be thankful for when so many people suffered or died?

      I didn’t plan to write about survivor guilt, but I did realize the first post concentrated on feeling alone in groups and society as a whole. I wanted to make this one more internal.

      And rats, how I originally wanted to end it was about isolation between alters, not being able to contact or be accepted by or accept other parts of ourselves. Maybe that’s another post. There are so many facets to isolation!

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      1. well, i look forward to that post too, as that also falls right in to where i/we are struggling right now. so much to contend with and struggle with and think about. but thanks for putting the struggle into words for all of us out here who so often think we are struggling alone in this.

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        1. I don’t think I recognize your name…welcome to the blog! If you are an old-timer, I apologize.

          Unfortunately, none of us are all alone. Just that we haven’t found the others until recently. So many pple are living with this, without professional help, without contact with other survivors, without an “instruction manual” telling how to handle it. It is a great honor and responsibility for me to be here for everybody in that situation.

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  5. Thank you (again) for taking the time to write. I’m a long (long long looong) way from meeting other survivors face to face but, writing and getting recognition on your blog is a start. I think you are so brave attending those meetings and facing fears and talking about them. Wow!
    I’m sure meeting someone else and talk about all those horrendous feelings is powerful. (And scary)
    I hope you have fun on your trip!
    Kate
    ps. I wanted to ask you something, did you ever experience any fear surrounding using your imagination? Or creating safe places etc? Whenever my therapist is using these techniques the fear becomes overwhelming and I’ve tried searching but can’t seem to find anything on this subject. It’s okay if you don’t have any answers!

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    1. It helped that all my major perpetrators were either dead, decrepid, or senile!

      I had trouble using it, in that I didn’t always get the result I expected or wanted. For example, my T had me walk down a beautiful path and meet my younger self. He asked me what I wanted to say to her. I replied “I gotta get out of here – I want to burn her at the stake.”
      I wasn’t consciously scared when I agreed to do it. Also, although I would like to be more creative and write poetry and do art work, I just never can think of what to put on the blank page. So I would say yes, deep down I am afraid of using my imagination.

      Thanks for bringing this up. I have something to think about now!

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    2. Hi Kate,, Fi ding a safe place for my alters turned out to be very useful. In the beginning of my journey, my doc had me map out where everyone was in the body. I took it literally and outlined my torso.

      I had by then found a majority of alters. I gathered them together according to age. My lils were sent to a room with Matron and Victoria Rose as caretakers. Once in the room, we would shut the door and close windows. No noise could be heard from outside. Inside they were tenderly and lovingly rocked, held by the two caretakers. Before doing any memory work I would tell them all to go down to the room so they wouldn’t have to hear the bad stuff. This room is down in the pelvic area.

      Suzies group consisted of ages 3,4,5 n 6 yr olds. After talking with them, we decided to have a huge pink pillow where they could all go and be safe. Suzie was the most outspoken and protected. They are up under my ribs.

      Then we come to Josh. He’s 7yrs old and a love. He originally thought he was of the Darkside , but after getting to know him, he was just a lil kid who had to do bad things, as are all of our alters! So we brought him over to the Lightside and his new job is guarding the wall between Dark n Light. He wears camo and has his swords to fight if a Darksider tries to climb over. He has those rope walls for climbing the wall and absolutely ,loves his job. Jake and Lance have joined him in keeping out the bad guys. His wall runs straight down the middle of my torso, so he’s a busy guy.

      The teenagers have their own room up around my right shoulder. They have a toolbox and art stuff. They can close the door and do what teenagers do, hang out.

      The older Tracy’s and others stay up around my collar bones. They are “Board Members”. They’re not helping me here telling me what they do, but we used to have meetings.

      On this big sheet of paper, that shows where my alters are, is colorful. Each group could design how they wanted it.

      The Darksiders occupy the left side of my body, blocked by the huge wall that Josh protects. I haven’t gotten to most of them so they are placed randomly around that area. It was kind of interesting tho how they would guide me if they were high or lower in my body. I only have two groups on the Dark side. ‘The Keepers of the Secrets and ‘The worker’s ‘ who work 24/7 keeping a heavy, thick steel block sealed. That’s at the lowest part of the left side and I haven’t met any of what’s under the steel block. I do have my suspicions, …prolly really bad keepers of memories, be it programmed/conditioned alters. Don’t like that area too much….

      Having this drawn out has helped me considerably. Dr Re a would frequently lay the map on the floor when we worked with any newbies or Darksiders. Cos once the alter came ‘clean he could come over to the Lightside and find a spot for himself.

      Every multiple I’ve met has their own way of “Mapping” their system. I hope this gives you some ideas and maybe settles some fears. You can ask any questions, I’ll help you!! And Josh is gungho to help you too!!

      Blessings

      Like

        1. Your welcome. I hope it helps. Visualization and the drawing with colors helped me. When a new alter appears, they have a choice of where they want to go. Where they can be safe.
          My friend had a much more detailed map. It was very linear. That’s what worked for her.
          Whatever you’re comfortable with. I do recommend using a large piece of paper, or tape papers together.

          Like

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