A Really Emotional Week

Can You, or Do You Know Anybody Who Might Be Able to … ?

Survivors all over the world need:

More drop-in groups
A men’s group
A group meeting in European time
A 12-Step group

Techies, or almost-techies needed:
A person to add items to the GrassRoots website. Ready-to-go text – no editing, typing, etc. required
Somebody who can coach people who want to use ZOOM, make podcasts, make videos, create slides
Somebody to handle Q&A periods for Webinars
Or somebody who can write directions for these things, so that people can do it themselves.

If all of that sounds too hard, write a comment giving:
Your favorite kid’s book and/or
Your favorite healing book and/or
Your favorite healing song and/or
Your favorite something else.

Write and let us know if you are interested in any of these requests. If you have other ideas, great! We want to hear about them, too. Use the comment section or write https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/contact-us/

Thank you!!!!

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RA/MC Panel at the International Trafficking and Social Justice Conference

We did it! We taped our panels, both of them. Now we can relax until September 22, when we meet again for live questions and answers.

Our time-slots are 1:45 and 3:15 on Thursday, September 22. 2022. Read more about our presentations, plus descriptions of all the other presentations at: https://app.traffickingconference.com/schedule

Please come see us in (virtual) person!  Survivors should choose the “Free Attendee Registration” option and remember to write for the registration code number. Register at    https://www.traffickingconference.com/register

Also, once you have registered for the conference, you must register for each event you want to attend.

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Pornhub News

In January 2020, Pornhub was the largest and most popular porn website, the 10th most visited website across the Internet (more than Netflix, Amazon, or Yahoo), and the third most influential tech company on society-at-large, only surpassed by Facebook and Google.

On June 20, the New Yorker published “The Fight to Hold Pornhub Accountable.” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/06/20/the-fight-to-hold-pornhub-accountable I haven’t read it yet, but it must be really damning. A couple of days later, the Chief Executive Officer, Feras Antoon, and the Chief Operating Officer, David Tassillo, left without naming their successors. The same day,  about 30% of its employees were fired with no notice. Their computers were immediately shut down, and all methods of communication were disabled.

Who says we can’t fight back????

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A Really Emotional Week

On Thursday, we taped our presentation for the International Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.

I had spent the better part of each day of the week trying to find the latest version of my talk. This was no small task, as my computer filing system resembles my paper filing system, which consists of large piles of stuff all over the floor. Next time I write something that requires many revisions, I shall consider keeping a running list of the names of the drafts and where they are to be found.

Special thanks to River, Mary, and j., who read the text numerous times, gave really helpful suggestions, and listened to me read it aloud. I used their words verbatim in many places. Not only did they help make it a better presentation, but they also calmed me down.

Being a perfectionist, of course, I am dissatisfied. With the text. With my voice. With my gestures (or lack of them.) With my appearance. Actually, it’s not perfectionism, it is a resurgence of the lies they told me throughout my childhood. There is nothing like videotaping oneself giving the short version of one’s RA/MC/OA experiences to stir up old messages, old feelings.

Anyway, it is done. It is a big weight off my shoulders, and the last part, the live questions and answers on the actual day, will be easy in comparison. One cannot prepare for that!

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Something else really hard happened this week. I don’t want to write about it because I don’t want it to be true. I also don’t want to make anybody else sad. But it is sad, and it is true. If you have been reading the “Update on Baker”, you may be somewhat prepared.

Anyway, Baker never started eating – he ate less and less each day. The medication his vet gave him may have made him more comfortable, but it didn’t do anything to combat the disease. That told us that irritable bowel was not the problem and that it was cancer. We had chosen to treat the most common feline bowel cancer, and it turned out to be one of the less common ones. We made sensible decisions, but we guessed wrong. It’s okay (no it’s not!) If we had guessed right, and he had gone into remission, he would only have lived a couple of extra months.

So Baker died yesterday, and I have been crying non-stop.

The wonderful thing is that this was an open adoption, and his previous person and I have become friends. We made treatment decisions together, and we were always on the same page. She is a wonderfully kind person, and I love that her name is Katt.

This week, Katt’s daughter and her daughter’s significant other came to visit Baker. They spent hours petting him and reminiscing. I spent time with them, then back to ZOOM, then more time. We shared vegan pizza. They sent me his baby pictures – he was such a cute little kitten.

Thursday, right after the taping, I spoke to the vet, and she said the kindest thing to do would be to help him die peacefully. I immediately called Katt, we discussed the options one more time, and she agreed that was the best choice.

A couple of days ago, I learned I had been exposed to COVID. So I was in isolation and could not bring him to the vet to be with him in his last moments. The three of them gladly took him in. My vet arranged for a ZOOM call, so I could sort of be there. I really, really appreciated her thoughtfulness, and it was great to see how gentle she was with everybody

For one last time, I saw how beautiful Baker was and how terribly thin and lethargic he had become. I knew he was surrounded by familiar people who loved him. It was all okay. I cried my eyes out.

They brought his body back, and we buried him in my garden, between Dakota (my previous cat) and where the sweet peas are in early summer. The header shows me covering him with flowers and then dirt.

Now all that there is left to do is grieve.

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Upcoming Holidays

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

September
9/5 – 9/7 Feast of the Beast/Marriage to the Beast
9/5 Labor Day (United States)
9/10 Full Moon
9/22 Fall Equinox
9/29 (?) Michaelmas/Feast of Archangel Michael and of all Angels

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

July 29: Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party.
August 1: Lammas
Early August through October: Various preparations are done in readiness for October, the month with the largest number of celebrations.

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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-day/
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/

The Plural Positivity 4th Annual World Conference (Virtual)

The Plural Association Nonprofit, an international peer-led grassroots organization, offers presentations and meet-ups for Plurals of all kinds, including survivors of RA/MC.

July 15, 7:00 AM Pacific Time to July 17, 7:30 PM Pacific Time
Tickets: $10 – $50 US Dollars
Register at https://www.airmeet.com/e/17a525e0-dace-11ec-9c54-f17dc0c27e6f

“…dedicated to empowering Plurals and the idea that more and more people should have access to Plural community experiences.”

“By cultivating community, we want to bring people together. The goal is to empower folks by involving people more in Plural community and what that means. The conference will feature keynote speakers, stage sessions, live Q&A, along with exhibit and speaker booths, live streams, and activities. There will also be reserved time for attendees to hang out in small groups at our virtual meetup tables.”

Description of presentations and meet-up sessions
https://thepluralassociation-my.sharepoint.com/:w:/r/personal/stronghold_thepluralwarmline_org/_layouts/15/Doc.aspx?sourcedoc=%7B7704c885-f244-450b-8b15-1c00d28b12aa%7D&action=view&wdAccPdf=0&wdparaid=3B21722F

Mothers’ Day and GrassRoots RA/MC Survivors’ Collective

Mothers’ Day

MOTHER

i weep when your title is called. v

i never understood you. weak woman of child. comforter. betrayer.

you chose to stay. you chose to abide. you chose to adorn the robes.

i remember you dressed up as a black cat in a kindergarten play.

i remember your soup.

you were a victim of the times.

From Leni’s blog, “My life as a dissociative.”  https://ourdissociativelives.wordpress.com/2022/05/08/mother/

Once again this year, I skimmed over Mothers’ Day…until I read what Leni wrote about her mother. I found it beautiful and evocative. I almost saw my own mother in Leni’s writing – but she was never a black cat in a school play, and I never went to kindergarten.

How very different both our mothers might have been if the society they lived in had known as much about trauma as ours does today. It makes me very sad.

She was always a vague, undefined figure to me. Partly it was her passive personality, partly because I was raised by others for the first ten years of my life. She was more like a babysitter than a mother. I considered my mother a minor player in my life.

We didn’t celebrate Mothers’ Day, either in the Day Life or the Night Life. It wasn’t a big Hallmark holiday back then. No wonder I don’t react much to Mothers’ Day.

Here is a quote from a post about Mothers’ Day that I wrote in 2016. https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

“One year, though, I got a shock when I was driving to therapy. I was listening to a C&W radio station, and there was a song about a mother comforting her daughter about loss. The loss of her best friend when she was a child, a divorce, and finally, the mother’s death. “What can I do to help you say goodbye?” The tears were streaming down my face.

“My mother would not have comforted me. At best, she would have told me to act my age. As a result, I learned early on not to let her know my feelings. I never went to her for advice, for a quick good-luck hug, for a smile on hearing good news. I aimed for a distant, polite relationship, like two strangers who don’t much like each other thrown into close proximity. I got the distance, all right, but underneath the veneer was seething resentment and anger.”

I didn’t know then that I could miss what I had never had.

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GrassRoots RA/MC Survivors’ Collective

I just realized that I hadn’t written at length about the project taking up most of my time. It provides me with a lot of fulfilling experiences, including working with a kick-ass group of survivors, as well as a goodly number of triggers.

At this stage in my process, triggers only rarely send me into intense, long-lasting flashbacks. They are more like little reminders that something happened long ago that could use some attention today. I finally can welcome them! I get why my first therapist called them “gifts from the unconscious.” At the time, I wanted to strangle him because they felt like gifts given in the cult, prettily wrapped packages of blood, poo, or the corpse of a pet. Now I understand that my unconscious is suggesting a way to make today’s life a little bit better.

Why did I tell you this? I think it was to explain why I have time and energy for a big rewarding project. Perhaps this is the light I occasionally glimpsed when I was deep in the tunnel.

GrassRoots was envisioned as a place where survivors could come together, find ideas for projects, find volunteers to help them bring their idea to fruition, and read how-to articles on a variety of subjects. We imagined that people who worked together might well “click” and heal a little with and through each other. They might even go on to work on other projects or become personal friends. On many levels, it promised to be a way to break the isolation that so many survivors feel today. And as survivors talk to each other, tell their stories, work together, and form friendships, it breaks the old rules – “Don’t talk,” “You are stupid and incompetent,” “It’s forbidden to have a friend,” “Happiness is evil.”

The process would build community in two different ways, on a micro-level with one-to-one connections and on a macro-level by having more books, art exhibits, podcasts, Webinars, etc., readily available to survivors all over the world.

I must have been a matchmaker in a past life. It gives me so much pleasure to bring people together and have them be grateful to have met each other. Or maybe I was an agent running around finding a publisher for a wonderful book on an unpopular subject.

I remember the joy I felt when I put together poetry readings, first in my living room thirty years ago, then in feminist bookstores. We could speak of things that were taboo, we could witness each other’s pain and struggle to grow, to become healthy, and to create happy, fulfilled lives. I could see joy behind their tears, and my joy was increased ten-fold, twenty-fold, by theirs.

Back then, the joy was ephemeral because I quickly sank back into a stream of flashbacks. Now the flashbacks are far fewer, and I handle them much better. The joy lasts and gives me a desire to do more in and for my community. It’s a feedback loop; the happier I am, the more I do, and the more I do, the happier I am. Of course, I get down at times, but I always seem to pull quickly out of that place of lingering despair and come back to my new normal.

Now the structure of GrassRoots is set up (of course, it needs polishing), and word is getting out. There are quite a few people who are saying,” I can’t right now, but maybe next month, or in the fall, or after my hip replacement.” One day, this little hatchling will take off like a big bird, a bird that keeps growing all its life. And so many people will be cheering it on!

Hey – just had a thought – why not put the GrassRoots newsletter up on this blog? I’ll sneak it in between posts!

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Upcoming Holidays

May
5/15 Full Moon
5/15 – 5/16 Total lunar eclipse visible in south and west Europe, south and west Asia, Africa, much North America, South America, and Antarctica. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2022-may-16
5/21 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/26 (?) Ascension Day
5/30 Memorial Day

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

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.

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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/