Perpetual Change

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1. .Jade Miller is working on an anthology about the difficulty of finding a therapist who can work with DID or other forms of dissociation. Write her at thetraumasurvivorstale@gmail.com

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I’ll be honest. I hate change. I hate it and fear it. When I was a kid, whatever I was doing, I always knew just how safe or unsafe I was. If I was sitting there doing my homework, I knew I was not being beaten or raped or anything, but I never knew what was going to happen the next minute. And therefore for me, even as an adult, change always comes with the possibility of leading to disaster.

When I am really stressed out and lots of old feelings have been stirred up, I can be so afraid that I have a really hard time not just leaving the house, but going from one room to another. I can see what’s in my bedroom, for instance, but I can’t see into the bathroom and therefore I have no idea who or what might be lurking there, waiting to trap me. The fear is so great that I can sit in a trance for an hour or more. I finally get the courage to start talking my way through my fears. That can take another half hour.

There are other situations when I get paralyzed with fear. When driving, I am sure I will get lost and nobody will ever see me again. I have to tell myself that I have a full tank of gas, a charge card, maps, and a mouth I can use to ask directions. I will be okay and I will get home again, even if I do get lost. I have soothed myself with those words zillions of times. Sometimes the ghost of another old threat comes back and I am afraid that if I go out I will be gunned down in the street. That won’t happen if I stay home, of course. My agoraphobia is never simple.

Change never stops, even when I trick myself into thinking everything is stable. I don’t notice the little things, like how my hair grows, and I often close my eyes to medium-sized things, like how my waist grows. I find that the really big things are impossible to ignore, though.

Some people adore change and seek it out. They take risks and get high on the adrenaline rush. They are always on the go, doing things, seeking out new experiences. If for some reason they have to stay still, say in a traffic jam, they get antsy and bored and uncomfortable. Not me, my friend, no, not me.

If these folk have trauma in their past, perhaps they were so flooded with cortisol and adrenaline that they have can’t live without them. When things are calm, they go into withdrawal. They need the jolt of risky behaviors to feel alive. They live fast and hard, always seeking the next thrill.

And then there are those lucky people who are balanced. Either they had pretty darn good childhoods or they have worked through things long enough that they have learned to neither freeze at change nor rush to experience it, creating it if necessary. If they encounter real present-day danger, they can quickly mobilize to fight or escape. If things are calm, they can enjoy the peace and quiet. In between, they can modulate their state of arousal in response to the amount of external stimulus.

That’s the direction I am going in and I feel frozen in panic much, much less often. I’ve learned to welcome and embrace some changes, even to rejoice in them. (Like how much better life is knowing what was the matter all those long years and learning new ways of living with my past.) Acceptance brings a certain peace. I know I cannot prevent changes from happening, they are part of all life, and of the existence of all inanimate things, too. Why fight it? Why be afraid of all changes? Better to save my energy for those battles I can fight and fight them with courage and perseverance and patience and grace.

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Upcoming Holidays

March
3/17 St Patrick’s Day
3/20 Full moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
April
4/1 April Fools’ Day
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/14 Palm Sunday
4/19 Full moon
4/19 Good Friday
4/20 Holy Saturday
4/21 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
May
5/1 Beltane
5/12 Mothers’ Day
5/18 Full moon
5/18 Armed Forces Day
5/27 Memorial Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/20 – 3/21 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
4/19 – 4/27 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/20 Hitler´s actual birthday
4/21 Hitler’s alternative birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and 10/20 and his actual birthday and half-birthday on Easter of the current year and six months later.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

10 thoughts on “Perpetual Change

  1. Oh jean, this sounds all to familiar.
    Good to hear there is a light at the end of the tunnel because sometimes I to, get lost in the fear.
    Not so much when I’m around my husband or children, they tend to keep me somewhat grounded (or some part of me whose job it is to look after them) but as soon as he leaves and the kids are in bed, I’m afraid to move or go to the bathroom or kitchen (or outside)
    I have to shut things down in order to properly function,
    It is truly exhausting.
    Sending good thoughts your way

    Like

    1. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I know what you mean by exhausting.

      Have you tried talking to the parts that are stuck in the past and fear that they are about to become abused again? I don’t know what they need to hear, but I would imagine it would be some combination of

      I am so sorry you got so horribly hurt
      It never should have happened.
      it wasn’t your fault
      I am here to make sure it doesn’t happen now
      I will protect you
      You can talk to me
      or draw what you want me to know
      would you like a blanket now?
      Some tea?
      pencil and paper?
      Look around the room – have you ever seen this room before?
      This is where we live now
      The bad guys don’t come into home, ever

      Be prepared for them to share some really heavy stuff. And be prepared for having to talk to them many times before they all believe it and have shared all they have to and no longer fear imminent harm.

      keep us posted. OK?

      Like

      1. Thanks For your advice! Somehow I do have parts but absolutely no idea who they are, there are only feelings or thoughts and as soon as I (or some part?) will come closer it all fades away
        My therapist thinks I’m a mind control victim and that feels really scary.
        She calls them ‘process stoppers’ and they somehow block everything
        I do get flashbacks but they tend to be without feelings, or just feeling some but no pictures
        Sorry to burden you with my story, I’m going to listen to your podcast, that was so brave of you!

        Like

        1. oooh, I did something even braver. I let myself be interviewed by Skype, which means video as well as audio! I am so proud of myself for all the work I have done around the child porn stuff.

          Please share with your T —

          What I would suggest is to talk to those process stoppers, tell them you know they are trying to protect you from something horrible because they don;t think you could take it, or they think that the handlers/trainers/whatever you guess those guys might be called will be very angry if you remember.

          And that is a really important job they have, with a lot of responsibility. You wonder if it is just one, or a whole bunch who protect you this way. You wonder if the responsibility weighs heavy on them. And if they are lonely. You wonder who tells them when to do this, and when it isn’t necessary. Or if they make this judgment themselves.

          After you have been empathic for quite a while, start telling them that you aren’t currently being trained or handled. You think you are strong enough to handle at least a little bit of the memories now. It is 2019 and you are no longer young – you have more life experience than you did as a child and are stronger. You also have support, pple you can count on, like your T. You can show them a newspaper with the dates, mention the things you can do that you couldn’t when you were young, etc.

          Sounds like there is a split in your mind between feelings and other parts of a memory and so only one aspect or the other comes back in a flashback. You probably can reconstruct what your feelings might have been to a certain event, but not the other way around.

          You could try and talk to the feelings as if they were a part or alter. As you can guess, I spend a lot of time talking to myself!!!

          Like

          1. Jean, thank you for taking the time to write this.
            It really helps and I keep coming back to it (and send my therapist some of your words which sparked an thoughtful conversation about how to see the actions of those parts not as ‘bad and not helpful’ but just as hurt children not knowing any better)
            It really helped my therapist too, so thank you.
            I on the other hand am far from communicating with parts, sometimes I’m wondering if I have parts at all because things seem to work differently for me, other times it is so clear but just muffled and sometimes I wonder if there are instructions to never share, or make a big confusing mess every time we get close to figure something out.

            I’ve listened to your radio show by the way, good job and a very clear and thoughtful show!

            Like

            1. Well, when I start to get confused about how my mind works, I tell myself it really doesn’t matter, what matters is that talking to myself helps. And that tons of pple talk to themselves – it isn’t crazy behavior.

              And how do you know you aren’t communicating? Just cause they aren’t answering doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. Just keep telling the truth and it will sink in.

              You might want to read this article http://ra-info.org/for-researchers/bibliographies/programming-articles/common-programs-observed-in-survivors-of-satanic-ritualistic-abuse/ It might be reassuring to find out that “the kind of programming you describe has been known about for years – you aren’t weird!

              Thanks for listening. I was taken by surprise at the very last question but I think my response was okay – honest and funny!

              Like

  2. Change is hard for me too. Years ago, before I remembered any of my abuse, any change in plans would lead to complete meltdown in the form of panic and anger, and I (and others) never understood why I was behaving the way I was. That led to needing to be in complete control of all plans, and always anticipating the worst case scenario and planning for it to happen. My motto would be “Prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if nothing happened.” That has led to more isolation and frozen behavior recently. If things feel scary, I simply don’t do them. I stay home. Even if I don’t want to. I sit for long periods of time as well, talking myself into movement. It’s exhausting and frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I get it. Sounds like I used to be. It’s so much better now, and I am very grateful. I still get stuck in panic, but not as often and I don’t stay there as long. I think what helped most was talking out loud to myself. It seemed like somebody else was reassuring me that I could do it and be okay and cheering me on. I hope it eases up for you and that you can see the change and be heartened.

      Liked by 1 person

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