A 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 for an anthology 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.

* The Plural Positivity World Conference is on March 30, March 31, and April 1, 2019.

Here is the link to the conference Itself: http://www.youtube.com/pluralevents

There is a panel which includes me scheduled for 
Sunday, March 31, 2019 10 AM – 11:30 Eastern Daylight Time (1:00 – 2:30 Pacific Daylight Time) “Coming Out & Being Plural in a Singular World” – Panelists: The Crisses, Sarah& Clark, PrincessProto, Dr. Serseción, Jean Riseman

My interview is on Sunday, March 31 at 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time) “(S)RA Myths Debunked – The benefits of connecting with other survivors.” – Jean Riseman

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I have done something very bold. I, who am quite risk-aversive, to say the least, have made a three-month, twelve-hours-a-week commitment to myself. I’m doing this in the hope that it will pay off in terms of improved health and that I will not sacrifice all the wonderful things I get from the Internet, nor my sleep, nor my social life, nor anything else that is really important to me. How I will do this is not yet evident.

Some of you probably know that I have osteoarthritis of the lower spine which limits my mobility and causes me a fair amount of pain most days. What I haven’t shared is that I am getting tingling and numbness in my hands, which strongly suggests that my neck is starting go, too. Since I plan to live another ten to fifteen years, this is serious.

I heard of a chiropractic clinic that uses very gentle techniques to correct imbalances due to injury and subsequent changes in posture: changes for the worse, of course. I had tried going to a chiropractor about twenty-five years ago and was terrified by the spinal adjustments. Not knowing when to expect them triggered flashbacks and I was also afraid that they would worsen my arthritis, not help it. I tried two different practitioners and each time quit after a few sessions. Going gave me no relief, only increased fear.

I had to overcome my initial impression of chiropractors in order to make this commitment. I was told about the clinic and its approach and I read up on it on the Net. It all seemed very sensible. Then I made a mini-commitment for an evaluation and found I was treated with respect and that the approach continued to make sense. The people were nice, too; they enjoyed their work and believed in it and were open and friendly.

I had an awful lot to overcome. There were negative core beliefs from childhood that argued strongly against my availing myself of this opportunity.

I think lots of people can relate to the feeling that I’m not worthy and I don’t deserve this. I can see that other people are deserving of care but I get uncomfortable when it’s pointed out that I do, too. After all, I wasn’t raised to see myself as just as good as others, just as entitled to having my physical and emotional needs met. I was raised to see myself as a tools of others with no intrinsic worth. If it pleased others to see a pretty little girl I was bought pretty clothes and if it pleased them see me filthy dirty and shaking with fear they made sure I was filthy and terrified.

Today I know better intellectually, but that early belief surfaces at times and gets in the way of taking care of myself. Even after years and years of challenging those teachings and coming to understand why I considered myself worthless and forgiving myself for having swallowed their lies, those core beliefs still sometimes show themselves.

There’s another barrier to accepting help for physical problems, especially those that cause pain. You see, the members of cult I was abused in were very pious. Pain was considered an offering to Satan, just as being moral and praying and helping others is a way of pleasing God in Christian churches. If you tried to get rid of pain, it was an insult to Satan, like shoplifting or having sex outside of marriage is considered a sin by Christians. I learned to bear pain stoically, without complaint, and even, at times, to welcome pain or seek it out. I’m going completely against my upbringing by trying to slow down the progression of the arthritis and diminish the amount of pain I live with.

Working hard and spending good money and lots of time every day for three months to avoid pain? The old tape says that Satan is not going to be pleased one little bit. I should be terrified. I should make sure I sabotage the treatment and get worse, not better. I should…I should….but I won’t. I’ve made the commitment and I am going to keep it. It will be a great adventure!

Upcoming Holidays

April
4/1 April Fool´s 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
June
6/9 – 6/10 Pentecost
6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

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)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark

I Have Low Energy

Upcoming Holidays

November
11/3 Full Moon
11/3 Satanic Revels
11/23 Thanksgiving
December
12/3 Full Moon
1
12/21 St. Thomas’ Day/Fire Festival
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/24  Christmas Eve/Satanic and demon revels/Da Meur/Grand High Climax
12/15  Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve

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I Have Low Energy

I’m sorry I picked the 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month to post. I used to do the 5th, 15th, and 25th but I got behind and changed the dates, pretending to catch up. I like the old way better. There is just too much going on around the end of the month and I am distracted and don’t feel like writing. By the time I get five days into a month it is a bit better. It’s easier to write about ritual abuse, and easier, I bet, to read about it.

I still feel I have nothing to say about Halloween. If the whole country is putting up Christmas decorations, like they are here, maybe it will fade from national consciousness. Would that be a blessing, or not? Mixed bag, I bet.

I have very little energy these days. It’s better in the morning. I set the timer for ten to fifteen minutes and work on the computer and then set it for five minutes for housework. Dishes, cats, plants, laundry, tidying up. On the days when I have no appointments, I notice I run out of steam around four in the afternoon. When I come back from an appointment, it is generally around four or five and all I feel like doing is flopping down. I would gladly spend the rest of the day in bed reading junk and eating chocolates.

I am sure part of it is normal slowing down because of aging. Thirty years ago I was working full-time, keeping my house clean, and jogging! Plus I had a social life. Now most of that is impossible. The chronic pain of arthritis severely limits my ability to walk, and jogging or dancing and other such fun things are totally out of the question for the rest of my life. So I can’t blame not jogging three times a week on low energy.

I certainly couldn’t work full-time because so much time goes into taking care of my decrepit body. Doctors and dentists and physical therapy and exercise is equivalent to a half-time job, at least. And I tell myself that email and the blog and such are also another good twenty hours a week. Someday I should log it to see if I am kidding myself.

Chronic pain is also a ferocious consumer of energy. It wears you down. It takes energy to buck the pain and move the body or even to be civil. Pain also interferes with sleep, and poor sleep leads to low energy, which leads to more awareness of the level of pain I am feeling because it is hard to get lost in something interesting.

And then there is the question of sleeping with cats. It’s a terrible idea if you want to sleep through the night. They want to play, they want to have their chins rubbed, they get hungry, they want the other one’s favorite spot. Their meows are piercing. This is the one thing I have control of but so far I have not been willing give up the comfort of contented purring and warm furry bodies against mine. I’ve half-heartedly tried to exile them, but if I dare to go to the bathroom they shoot into my room and hide under the bed until I am asleep.

My state of low energy has been going on long enough that I can’t blame it on October. My best guess is that it is part of normal aging. Here I am, having wanted to be normal for years and years, and now that I am normal, at least in one respect, I hate it. Just hate it! No pleasing me, no siree.

Hmm. I think I am a lot more affected by Halloween than I realized. Felt sort of weepy all day, and forgetful, too. I forgot to post this on the day before Halloween and I have been unable to reply to comments because of some not yet understood glitch in either me or the software. I bet it is me. In a day or so I should be back to normal (haha)

Oh, well, it’s all uphill for now . . . until Thanksgiving.

I Hate Uncertainty

I will probably will write about the post-Christmas period in the next blog. But no promises!

Here are two pages about my personal feelings about Christmas:
 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/christmas-plans/ (The images disappeared — I don’t know why.)

https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/ephemeral-equilibrium-another-christmas/

This page is about the source of winter holiday customs. I wrote about Yule and the winter solstice but a great deal applies to Christmas, too. https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/

Whether it’s personal or on a big scale, uncertainty makes me nervous. I know intellectually that things can change in an instant, any instant, and I will be absolutely unprepared, but I wrap that horrible idea in a cozy blanket of denial. Gets me through the day.

There is massive uncertainty about the direction America will take. I pass on that: nothing much I can do. I will just endeavor to be a decent human being, giving of myself when I can, being as productive as I can. And trying to be more aware, loving, and grateful each day.

On a personal level, I have learned that I can sometimes diminish uncertainty by becoming more informed about whatever it is that is bothering me. Sometimes, not always. Sometimes things just get convoluted.

The Internet is awesome for gathering information! I remember the old days when I had to go to the library. I always ended up surfing the stacks and I spent lots of time sitting on the floor reading books that had nothing to do with whatever I was trying to research. Fond memories – the dusty smell of books, old leather bindings, the joy of coming across a wonderful mis-filed book. But it took up a lot of time, much more than surfing the Internet, even with the distraction of crosswords and cat videos.

I especially hate uncertainty about medical matters. I find that if I have a name for something, I calm right down. But when the doctor doesn’t know or won’t tell me, I am on my own. I can tell the difference from a legitimate website and misinformation or attempts to sell me some magic product that will make me all well again. It’s hard to do, though, because I’m anxious and it is time-consuming.

I’ve just done a good job of avoiding what I thought I wanted to talk about.

Deep breath. Recently I have noticed that I am having trouble with my short-term memory. For example, I put dinner on the table and sit down to eat. But I haven’t brought a fork. So I get up and go to the kitchen to get a fork. But when I am in the kitchen, I have no idea what I came to get. It takes a long moment to come back to me. This can happen a dozen times a day.

I was like that when I first remembered stuff and I was totally overwhelmed. I knew my behavior and the remembering were connected, so I spent exactly zero minutes wondering if I was getting demented. But this time I think it has nothing to do with my RA background. Of course I might be wrong, but it just doesn’t feel the same. Feels more like being stoned. And, of course, I have been reading recently about “mild cognitive difficulties” being a pre-clinical symptom of Alzheimer’s. It apparently shows up about ten years before Alzheimer’s sets in, so I have some time to prepare.

I’ve noticed a couple of other changes. One of the side-effects of the anti-depressant I take, Wellbutrin, is trouble remembering the right word for something. It’s been there for quite a few years but it got a good deal worse about three or four months ago. I stop in the middle of a sentence, frozen because I can’t remember the word or a substitute for it. I can see the object if it is a noun, and I have an idea of what it is I want to express if it’s a verb or adjective, but there are no words associated with the image or idea. If I am writing, I just put XXX where the word should be. By the next day I can fill in the blank.

I know this is aphasia because my mother became progressively more aphasic before she died. It was from TICs — transient ischemic attacks, mini strokes, when the brain is deprived of oxygen for a short time. But her arteries were all clogged up, and mine are clear. So that’s not the explanation.

(Huh. I just thought that this is the linguistic version of not knowing which object I wanted from the kitchen.)

Another problem is that my fine-motor coordination is shot. Can’t thread a needle, even though I can see the thread and the eye of the needle. My typing is horrible because my fingers don’t land where I want them to. It often takes me as long to clean up a sentence as it did to write it. Very annoying, given the amount of writing I do. It’s also embarrassing when I am rushed and miss some mistakes.

I’m not as worried about clumsiness being a sign of early dementia because I have never read anything about it’s being associated with dementia. But who knows? Maybe I just need to do more surfing.

Now that I have put my fears down in writing and told y’all, it’s unlikely I can keep the denial going. Time to get sensible. My first step will be trying to find some self-administered screening tests for cognitive decline. If things don’t look rosy, I will tell my doctor, who is absolutely wonderful. I can’t think further than that.

Thanks, everybody, for listening.