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Halloween: (personal): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
I read a self-help article on how to be more productive – that is, how to get more done in the same amount of time. It said to choose your three most important projects and work on them first when you are fresh. If a project is big, break it down into smaller parts.
I chose two projects that will appear on my list every day: doing the exercises for the chiropractic work I have committed myself to and working on the anthology of stories of people who have lost babies in the cult. I broke the book project into smaller parts. The first part I chose was to get the “permission to publish form” written and sent out to people who have submitted their work or requested the form.
I will be so excited when people receive them, sign them, and return them! The book will have started to take shape and will seem to have a life of its own. I can even start the Table of Contents!
Now there is a project I have been working on for decades it seems, and that is learning to ask for help and not feeling diminished by relying on others. It’s the kind of thing you work on at random times during the day – you can’t easily sit down and work without distraction on it for a half-hour, so it won’t go on my list. This seems like an ideal time to practice being graciously dependent. <smile>
So….these are some things I would like some help with:
1. If any of you have a permission to publish form (with the author retaining the copyright), please send it to me! And tell me if you needed any other type of form.
2. If anybody has had experience in self-publishing, tell me what you know about:
choosing a self-publishing company
doing the layout (including artwork)
making the book itself
3. If anybody has ideas for the title, please share on the blog! It will inspire others to come up with ideas, too. My working title is “Pregnancy and Loss in Ritual Abuse: Stories of Survivors Who Have Lost a Baby through Forced Abortion, Sacrifice, or Forced Adoption.” It’s descriptive, but not very catchy. Also, it doesn’t indicate that I plan to include some accounts by therapists and allies.
In case nobody has trouble asking for help <snork> I’ll let you in on some of the obstacles I have encountered along this particular branch of my healing path.
In the cult, there was nobody to turn to for help. I was on my own, and I quickly learned that crying out for help brought swift retaliation. They wanted me to be small, frightened, and helpless. I don’t remember them doing this to me, but some survivors report that they would set up a situation where the person the child turned to for help actually did help for a while. But it was a trick; that person turned on you, punishing you for asking for help, or betrayed you to the cult. Or else the cult taught you not to try that again by hurting the person you had come to rely on and love and telling you it was your fault for being so needy.
No wonder survivors don’t trust others to be there for them. No wonder they feel that it is up to them to take care of themselves and that dependency is dangerous. And since we grew up believing everybody was untrustworthy, we did not learn how to find trustworthy people. We didn’t know what red flags to look for or how to test the waters by asking for something small and observing how the person reacted. That’s the way you build trust – small tests over time until you are secure that the person will stay in character and not turn on you.
Some cult survivors had families who were not part of the cult. Or if they were cult, they behaved lovingly in the “day life.” This must be really confusing. My family did not torture me outside of cult settings, but they weren’t particularly trustworthy. If I asked for something, it was more likely or not that I wouldn’t get it because it was not what they wanted for me.
For example, I remember asking for books for my birthday and even giving them the titles. Did I get those books? No. Did I get any books at all? No. Why? “Because you read too much.” I didn’t get it. I had just spent four whole years learning to read, and now I was not supposed to? Why had I I bothered?
Sometimes my parents would say they would do something I asked of them and then change their minds without explaining. This was just as disappointing as having my wishes ignored. What happened at home reinforced what I was taught in the cult. You can’t count on anybody but yourself.
But you can learn to trust later on in life. All you have to do is make yourself believe that some people are trustworthy, learn how to identify them, and then take a giant leap of faith and just do it! Easy-peasy! (Not.) That’s why I am still working on it after all these decades.
10/13 Full moon
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/14 (?) Columbus Day
10/31 Halloween/start of the Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year
11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/2 All Souls’ Day
11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day
11/12 Full moon
11/28 US Thanksgiving
12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22 Sundays of Advent
12/11 Full moon
12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/26 Annular solar eclipse. Totality visible in Saudi Arabia, southern India, Sri Lanka, parts of Indonesia, Singapore, and parts of the Philippines.
12/31 New Year’s Eve
Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
9/29 – 10/1 Rosh Hashanah (New Year, Day of Judgement)
10/8 – 10/9 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/13 – 10/20 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, harvest festival)
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s actual half-birthday
10/21 Hitler’s alternative half-birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and 10/20. His alternate birthday is celebrated on Easter of the current year and his alternate half-birthday six months later.)
10/21 – 10/22 Simchat Torah (celebration of the complete annual cycle of reading of the Torah)
11/9 Kristallnacht State-ordered pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria)
12/22 – 12/30 Chanukah
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)
6 thoughts on “Learning to Ask for Help ”
When I ask for help I literally feel like a moron. It is one of the hardest things for me to do because I was humiliated and laughed at when I was a kid. If someone is helping me I forget every thing they say. So now I will try to write down what they say. Big sigh…
Boy, can I relate. Unfortunately…
Thank you for writing. What big steps you are taking, well done! (And the book sounds interesting!)
Help is always been a scary word. Like, properly terrifying. And I know that words can’t hurt you, but knowing and feeling are two very different things.
It’s a shame, because we all need help sometimes, but for me, asking for it is really difficult, accepting it also.
And usually when I ask and help isn’t given or somebody misses the question, it ends up re-imprinting all the old beliefs.
Really, really difficult topic.
Yeah. What I think is that I have to work at it from all angles. And that every time I dare, it’s a step forward.
When I ask for help and don’t get it, I feel so much anger, to the point of rage. It takes time to realize that’s a flashback, sort out past and present feelings. calm down, and then deal sensibly with the present problem.
You are the best
Sent from my iPhone
So glad my words touched you!
But I surely am not the best – every survivor is in the running for that title. Look at your achievements, so much strength and perseverance in the face of so many obstacles. You go girl!