Ritual Abuse Causes Early Physical Aging

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:

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/
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/
Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/
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/
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 Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/

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It seems that every couple of years, I read about another deleterious effect of abuse that shows up years after the actual abuse has stopped. Just last week, I got another opportunity to rant – or rather, to process my righteous anger –  about how ritual abuse ravages our bodies in so many different ways.

What set me off was an article in an email newsletter I get from Harvard. Apparently, childhood violence (but not neglect) sets processes in motion that make victims age faster. They aren’t talking about chronic diseases like lupus, arthritis of all sorts, diabetes, or addictions, all of which often shorten the life span significantly, This is on a cellular level!

Here’s the Harvard Gazette summary of: Colich, Natalie L., Rosen, Maya L., Williams, Eileen S., and McLaughlin, Katie A. “Biological Aging in Childhood and Adolescence Following Experiences of Threat and Deprivation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” American Psychological Association, Psychological Bulletin, 8/3/2020 DOI: 10.1037/bul0000270: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/08/violence-and-trauma-in-childhood-accelerate-puberty/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Gazette%2020200805%20(1) .

This appears to be the original article in its entirety; complete, interesting, very long, and very complex. https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/bul-bul0000270.pdf .

The authors found that violence in childhood causes early puberty. It also shortens telomeres, the part of the chromosome at the ends, which protects them from deterioration. Essentially, this means that chromosomes will wear out earlier.

I don’t really understand this part of early aging, so I’ll just quote from the article.

“Another area was epigenetic aging metrics, in which patterns of methylation across the genome can be used to estimate a person’s chronological age. Again, children who experienced violence showed accelerated epigenetic aging markers compared with their chronological age, indicating that their cells aged more quickly than expected.”

But that’s not all. In childhood, the outer parts of the brain thin, and the number of connections between the neurons diminishes. The brains of children living with violence thinned faster than those of the other children, especially in areas that process social situations and emotional information.

This means that the brain has adapted to being tuned in to situations that present a threat and is less focussed on situations that are not dangerous. No wonder, as adults, that we are hypervigilant and anxious and have trouble developing trusting relationships.

It’s just not fair. When you escape, you should be rewarded with a healthy body that doesn’t hurt, as well as a spirit full of hope and determination. Plus not just self-esteem, but pride at being able to get free of their clutches. I think this is the least you could ask for, the least you should expect.

Well, we all know it doesn’t work that way. Torture damages body, mind, and spirit, and you are left with the challenge of figuring out just what the damage is and what can be done about it. They made the mess, and you get the job of cleaning it up.

By you, I mean you and I and all survivors. Not a single one of us gets a fair shake. As I say when I am really furious, this sucks toad tits.

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Here’s a list of other blog entries on physical problems and ritual abuse:

Depression, Obesity, and Inflammation
https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/depression-obesity-and-inflammation/

PTSD and Dementia
https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/ptsd-and-dementia/

Things on My Mind This Week (Ritual Abuse Correlated with Ovarian Cancer)
https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/%e2%80%a8ritual-abuse-things-on-my-mind-this-week/

Stress, Cortisol, Eating, and Meditation
https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/stress-cortisol-eating-and-meditation/

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Upcoming Holidays

August
8/24 St. Bartholomew’s Day
September
9/1 Full moon
9/5 – 9/7 Feast of the Beast/Marriage of the Beast
9/7 Labor Day (United States)
9/22 Fall Equinox
9/29 Michaelmas/Feast of Archangel Michael and of all Angels
October
10/1 Full moon
10/12 Columbus Day (?)
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/31 Full moon (Blue Moon)
10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
10/4 Hitler’s alternate half birthday
10/20 Hitler’s half birthday
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/19 Death of Goering
10/31 Halloween
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish or Christian holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes.)

After the Triumph, the Crash

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

* Summer Solstice – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/the-summer-solstice-lughnasadh-lamas/

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It took only two weeks for the euphoria of having made a decision not to drive to wear off. I felt – and still feel – that it is an act of self-care and that I am being grown-up and realistic and responsible. These are all good things.

I am lucky enough to live in a city with both Uber and Lyft. I am unlucky enough to find it’s a total hassle to use these services. Twice I have been stranded, and most of the other times I have been anxious about being left on a street corner. It’s not a lot of fun.

I was going to call my reaction backlash, but it isn’t. It’s just the disappointment of waking up to reality. Backlash, according to the MacMillan dictionary, is “a strong, negative, and often angry reaction to something that has happened, especially a political or social change.”

We know of that backlash first-hand because people who had a vested interest in not exposing child abuse (especially the more violent, systematic versions of child abuse, like ritual abuse and government/military mind control) launched a sophisticated campaign to discredit survivors and their therapists. With enough stories placed in the media, the general public came to believe that such things just don’t happen…especially in their back yard.

There’s another, more personal, kind of backlash. It occurs when it seems that a cult member is about to escape. Attempts to intimidate them into staying increase – harassment, physical attacks, threats to attack people they care about, attempts to get them fired or evicted, etc. We are living evidence that these tactics don’t always work!

And then there is the internal backlash. When you do something that is loving toward yourself, or when you dare to fall in love or make a best friend or get a fantastic job, another part of you freaks out and tries to sabotage your accomplishment. There is a lot of internal chaos, self-criticism, and attempts at self-punishment. That is breaking the cult’s rules! And that is forbidden and dangerous and you must stop right now!

Everybody on the outside supported me, and I didn’t have much internal backlash. Occasionally a self-critical thought flowed into my mind. I was to blame. I should have worn sunglasses all my life. I should have taken the early signs of arthritis more seriously and started physical therapy earlier. And eaten better and exercised more and smarter. (Not that those things would have helped me drive longer. It’s just that when I think of one thing I did wrong, I get on a roll and think of all the other things that I could have or should have done and didn’t.) Realistically, wearing sunglasses every time I went outside might have bought me a year or so more of driving, but there still would have come a day when I would have had to give it up.

Those internal put-downs are few and faint. Mainly it is just a realization of what a hassle depending on strangers can be and how much longer it takes. Also, even though the Internet claims that it is no more expensive than owning a car, it sure seems that way. I haven’t gotten rid of the car yet, so, of course, I’m still paying insurance and, since the car is seventeen years old, there’s no depreciation to factor in.

Yesterday, however, there was a real positive side to not driving. My best friend took me to Trader Joe’s. He said, “You don’t have to stock up for a month, you know. We will go again.” I thanked him profusely, and he said, “This is what family is for.” I felt so loved!

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Upcoming Holidays

May
5/27 Memorial Day
June
6/9 – 6/10 Pentecost
6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/20 Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St John’s Day
July
7/2 Total solar eclipse. Visible in parts of South America
7/4 Fourth of July/ US Independence Day
7/16 Full moon
July 16 – 17 Partial lunar eclipse. Visible in South America, Africa, most of Europe and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party
(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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Upcoming Holidays

May
5/12 Mothers’ Day
5/18 Full moon
5/27 Memorial Day
June
6/9 – 6/10 Pentecost
6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/20 Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St John’s Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma’ut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/18 Armed Forces Day (?)
(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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Upcoming Holidays

May
5/27 Memorial Day
June
6/9 – 6/10 Pentecost
6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/20 Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St John’s Day
July
7/2 Total solar eclipse. Visible in parts of South America
7/4 Fourth of July/ US Independence Day
7/16 Full moon
July 16 – 17 Partial lunar eclipse. Visible in South America, Africa, most of Europe and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

 

Update on My Huge Commitment to Myself

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

* Remember that two anthologies are seeking submissions:

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

2. I am seeking submissions of accounts of forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption of babies in a cult setting. Contact me through the comments section, rahome@ra-info.org or RA Projects, PO Box 14276, 4304 18th St., San Francisco CA 94114.

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I told you that I was making a huge commitment to myself in hopes of slowing down the progression of my arthritis. The decision is made! I’m committed.

There are already some changes. I can stand longer without pain, and I can walk further without being forced to sit down by the pain in my lower back. So I am happy. However, my knee, the one that is original equipment, has flared up and so it is still painful to walk. I am hoping that the knee is reacting to the positive change in my back and as soon as it gets used to them it will stop hurting so much.

What did I give up? Some housework, definitely. So what!

I’m getting more and more behind on email. I’ve unsubscribed to some nonessential mailing lists and, I need to do more on that front. I also need to write shorter answers and to stop agreeing to do so many things. That will make me sad, as I like doing all the things I sign up for. But it is only a temporary deprivation.

I’ve also stopped going to the pool as often, and that isn’t acceptable to me. I need to go regularly and reestablishing my routine has been very difficult this year. It’s been one legitimate thing after another; several sicknesses, a conference, a death in the family, my kids visiting me, and I forget what else. It looks like making one big commitment is leading to making another medium-sized one!

There’s no pool commitment yet. I don’t know how to throw the switch and make a decision whenever I want. I’m in the phase of wanting to do something but not doing it and not knowing how to make the jump.

What a familiar place that is! It reminds me of the zillion times I tried to stop smoking and fell flat on my face. I know it finally clicked in, but I don’t remember it happening. Somehow, instead of starting again after a short time of not smoking, the time when I abstained just got longer and longer. Now and then I would bum a cigarette from somebody on the street and enjoy it immensely. I haven’t done that in a couple of years, but the smell of smoke still makes me want to.

I don’t think wanting to make a decision and being stuck, being unable to, is unique to ritual abuse survivors. From time to time it happens to everybody lucky enough to be free to make choices. Even people who seem to have no trouble making decisions often have trouble following through. Easy in, easy out, eh?

However, for me, everything is flavored, so to speak, with the residuals of ritual abuse. I am living my present life in the shadow of the past. It goes more smoothly when I remember the shadow is there and pay attention to the adjustments I need to make in order to compensate.

I like the metaphor of the shadow! When I started remembering, flashbacks were almost constant, and the shadow was so large it almost obscured every ray of light. I had to squint to see the vague outline of the present. One day it would be huge and black, the next day a little smaller and tiny bit fainter. Over the years, it got smaller and fainter, but there still were times when it appeared full force. It hasn’t been full force for several years, but it still can get mighty big and dark.

So, looking at what that shadow might be obscuring, the idea of rejecting pain being taboo comes to mind. Doing things to make myself feel better is immensely difficult. I remember trying to hide being sick when I was a child and being afraid to go to the doctor because he might discover there was something wrong and it was my fault. But these are just derivatives of desperately not wanting to displease Satan by rejecting pain. Since my parents were involved, they, too, had the same belief – that Satan got furious when you took back your sacrifice and tried to diminish the amount of pain you were suffering. So if I did that, they would get it, as well as me. Proof they had not raised me right.

Well, I said fuck it and made a huge commitment. I’ll say fuck it again and make a commitment to the pool. And fuck you to Satan and the horse he rode in on. And I will get away scot-free!

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Upcoming Holidays

April
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
5/27 Memorial Day
June
6/9 – 6/10 Pentecost
6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/20 Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St John’s Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
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 his actual birthday and half-birthday on Easter of the current year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/18 Armed Forces Day (?)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)