Reflections on Coerced Perpetration and Perpetrator-Identified Parts of Self: A Letter of Understanding

This piece was written by a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous.

She challenges me…by saying things I had not thought of…by saying them in ways I had not thought of…by lingering on parts of her experience that I have skipped over or run away from. This is one issue that I have dealt with, but not at the depth that she has, and I feel honored that she chose to share it with me.

And not just with me. With all who may read my blog today or in days to come. Or who may choose to quote from her writing so that her words may spread even further. (Just cite this article.)

Thank you, dear friend, from the bottom of my heart.

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What comes next is not you.  Is not who you are.
What they made from you is not who you wished to be or become.
These parts of you did not have a choice.  You did not have a choice.

For some time now, we have been reflecting on coerced perpetration trauma and the subsequent creation of parts for the purposes of furthering the agenda of our oppressors, who were our family, along with the perpetration groups with which they were involved.  We are not very far along on this part of our healing journey – it is a place we have been utterly terrified of for decades.

Our perpetrators, our parents, did a very good job of breaking us.

Our whole lives have been centered around striving to be free of our perpetrators, to escape, to survive, to find and create a meaningful life where we can do good.  Help others. Bring more light into the world in whatever small ways we can. Forever it has been thus, for us…. Trying to do good, be good.  Take care of others. Of course, these altruistic behaviors originate from many places in many people, abused or not.

What has also been true is that we always knew there was a “Dark Side,” another side, another way of being… another place within our psyche, where other beings and entities existed.

However, we believed these “others” were evidence of psychosis.  ALWAYS.  We were told this – as many of us were, as survivors of extreme, sadistic, organized abuse.  Any memories, thoughts or voices, expressions through art or poetry, images, sensations: ALL of it = psychosis.

So, of course we stayed away from this content, these “entities.”  Avoidant in the extreme; the idea of learning or understanding more about these “others,” who live in darkness, felt tantamount to death.  This has been the belief.

Until. Until a massive shake-up and reorganization of our system happened and we started to wonder.  These “evil others,” these demonic entities, these images of perpetrating harm against other children, animals, others… what if these were real events from childhood, what if these “others” were parts of self, parts of our system?

We must have sensed something about this around the time of our big internal shake-up.  We bought a book, called “The Alchemy of Wolves and Sheep” by Harvey Schwartz.  We read Harvey’s book and felt understood in a way we never had before. (Though some parts of us hid certain chapters – those that said healing is possible.)  Through his book, we felt that someone in the world could actually comprehend and bear witness to the degree of evil that some humans perpetrate against others, including against children.  We saw that someone might be able to see into the nature of this experience of coerced perpetration trauma and even have compassion and care for them.

Coerced perpetration trauma is the result of extreme forms of abuse perpetrated by offending persons and systems when they want to perpetuate their evil, when they want to create mini-versions of their own abusive selves, when they derive a sick pleasure from taking an innocent child, a child who is dependent on them, and twisting and perverting their natural attachment bonds to create a part of that child’s self/mind that will behave EXACTLY as told.  A part that will do whatever their “handler” wants, whatever their perpetrator requires of them.  A child that will behave exactly like the perpetrator, that will inflict harm on others or engage in antisocial behavior.

Why would a child do this; behave as a perpetrator?  Why would a child, with the full capacity for being kind and loving, harm another child or animal?

They would do this in order to survive. They would do this to survive extremes of torture and abuse. A child would harm others in order to survive the extreme manipulation of their mind by perpetrators who know how to break humans.

Adults and children alike – will do just about anything to survive.  This is, actually, a harsh truth about human nature.

We are built to survive at all costs.  At the level of our ancient brain, we are hard-wired to stay alive.  We have wondered and wished: why didn’t they just let us die? Why didn’t we just die?

We always thought these “others” we knew about were ALL-BAD, and totally evil.  And, actually, I believe some of them are, pure evil.  But as a system, we have learned a lot in the past few years.

One thing we have learned is that the “others” who live in darkness – that even they exist on a continuum of evil.  Some, it seems, embrace their evil-ness, some, it seems, are “just doing their jobs,” some, it seems, do not like their jobs.  Some are a little bit interested in all of this healing work that has been going on.  Some, of course, would like to kill everyone and completely stop all progress.  The “jobs” within are multitudinous.

The point is, that not everyone wants to be a slave to the perpetrating system.  Not everyone wants to live in darkness forever.  Not everyone wants to believe everything they were taught.

A few experiences have helped us begin to see things differently and to be willing to learn a little bit more about these “others.” Something has shifted to dial back the utter terror (an absolute TERROR of understanding our own selves implanted by our perpetrators) so that we can begin to consider that these “others” may actually be parts of… us.

In 2020, we saw a webinar by Richard Loewenstein through the ISSTD on the demystification of perpetrator tactics.  His words have been percolating inside all this time.

First, he described programming as torture.  Plain and simple.  And boy, did that hit home.  We found ourselves recalling various “lessons,” “programming,” and “training” experiences…. They were torture.  As in true, mind-bending, horrifically pain-inducing, crazy-making torture.  We dreamt repeatedly about adults being tortured and seeing them “break,” and each time we woke feeling shocked that one could “break” an adult so completely. If you could “break” an adult so completely, what chance does a child have, what chance does a 3 year old, or a 5 year old, or an 8 year old or even a teenager have against an army of adults bent on “breaking” them, using extreme methods of torture?

This was another dawning moment…. That the use of torture was how they “programmed” all of us.  That certainly helped to demystify the word “programming.” But it also made the method clear – this was pain-inducing torture, including techniques that break hardened military men and women, people who have been trained to withstand these techniques.  They apply these similar methods (and worse, actually) to children.

The next thing Loewenstein said that stayed with us from the moment we heard it, was his description of “introjects” (parts that identify with the perpetrator) as “Underground Freedom Fighters.”  This term conveyed a sense of respect and honor for parts of us who had to do terrible things in order to survive… especially those protector parts who did what they did, not because they liked it, but because they had to.

Loewenstein called to mind the extremely dangerous dictatorships of Nazi Germany or Saddam Hussein.  He asked us to consider that working under Hitler or Saddam meant obedience or death.

We understand that equation: obedience or death.

We are starting to see that parts made in the likeness and qualities of the perpetrators had no choice.  These parts may have been convinced that they made a choice; they may have been offered something that looked like choice, that didn’t seem like the indoctrination or the coercion it was… but they did not have a true choice or a voice in what they would do or how they would think or feel or behave.

A few months ago, we went back and read those chapters we ‘skipped’ in Harvey’s book that suggested healing was possible. Most powerful was his chapter, ‘The Child Soldier as a model of internalized perpetration.’ It resonated within us and across barriers. It helped us to understand the level of manipulation we – and sadly, many children around the world – have been subjected to in the name of power, greed, and ideology. Reading about the rehabilitation of these child soldiers, who had both experienced and committed atrocities, we found understanding and compassion for them. And we felt profoundly, the healing power generated by a caring person bearing witness and saying, again and again and again: “None of what happened was your fault. You were just a little boy… None of what happened was your fault. None of what happened was your fault.” (Harvey Schwartz quotes from Beah, I. (2007). A long way gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier. Sarah Crichton Books.)

We immediately started reading “A Long Way Gone,” by Ishmael Beah and thank him deeply for his brave voice and courageous spirit.  Our heart breaks for his suffering and rejoices in his redemption.

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For some time now, we have been able to tolerate the barest glimpse of what these “others” may hold.  We have flashbacks… which is interesting, right?  If they were entirely “other,” flashback material would not cross over to “our” consciousness, right?

(The “delusion” of their separateness is pretty extreme.)

Recently, we have experienced a series of unexpected life events which set off cascades of internal messages, flashbacks, memories…. And we have begun wondering… if some of the “others” might want to come over to be where “we” are in our internal landscape…. If some of them might be genuinely interested in participating in this ‘healing’ stuff we are doing or even, just breathing fresh air.  Some are terrified of even that, for what might that mean: to breathe fresh air?  We have begun sensing that some might want to see what the life is like – so many of them have been “entombed” within their trauma or their concrete rooms, for eternity, it seems.

We wonder, because some of them have broken through in dramatic fashion – seemingly by accident – some have run though then retreated.  I wonder, sometimes, if “word’s gettin’ out,” if whispers of another way of life are leaking through.  If fragments of light and even a speck of hope might be filtering through barriers which have been rock solid, until now. (Which is terrifying.)

So… we have begun thinking about how to understand, how to work with and manage these “others.”  We had a re-living experience of torture a few weeks ago.  We re-lived and re-lived and re-lived the moment, the exact moment when you feel you are going to die and you WILL DO ANYTHING to MAKE IT STOP.  ANYTHING.  Anything.  Those of “us” on this side of things felt that. That state. That annihilation. That agony. That capitulation. And we felt it over and over again as some kind of flashback.  And, while that re-living may have been generated from within as a punishment, what happened instead was: we found compassion.  Compassion for the part of us who endured that experience.  She endured THAT experience as an 8 year old child.  OF COURSE she (and whomever they created from her) OF COURSE she did whatever they told her to do.  Of course, she did, she had no choice.

Is that child evil? Is that part-of-self truly evil?  I’ll tell you what is evil: Breaking a child.

Making a child believe they are evil, loathsome, rotten to the core.  What is evil, is breaking a child into a million pieces so you can control their every function and make them do this, do that.  Think this, think that.  Like an army of puppets or robots or slaves (or zombies, says someone inside).

Some with more sophistication, of course, to perpetuate their evil agenda…. An army of children.

THAT, is the evil.  Perpetrating this harm on children. Taking away their innocence, their self-hood, their sovereignty.

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The other night, we happened upon this article by Ellen Lacter, “Work with ‘Abuser Personalities.’” You can find it here: https://endritualabuse.org/latest-articles/  

In this article, we found a lot of clarification about our own experiences.  We have been stuck in the wondering about these “internalized perpetration parts;” wondering if this or that part is “us” or something “they” created?  Is this part an “organic” creation of our own mind/system, or something the perpetrators implanted?  What the hell is an implant?  Why does it seem like there is everything from pure evil within, to parts doing “jobs,” to parts who are just traumatized children holding delusional beliefs (such as: they are dead and live in actual hell)?

There is, indeed, a continuum.  A continuum of humanity within, a continuum of evil, a continuum of goodness and Light. There is a continuum of organically-generated to perpetrator-engineered parts.  It is not black and white. There are parts we made to survive.  There are parts the perpetrators made to use.  There are parts we made that they capitalized on. There are parts they made that didn’t work so well and parts they made that we are healing.

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We now suspect that those “others” are, actually, parts of us.  We are starting to comprehend that our perpetrators created parts of us, from us, to do evil.  To do harm.  To make money for them, as part of their criminal organizations.  To further their agendas.

The utter heartbreak of this feels intolerable.  To know that you and so many parts of you have tried:  to be good, to do good, to protect other children, to protect others within ourselves, to save others, to protect and not hurt animals, to see goodness in the world, to help others heal, to support and offer care, to make the world a better place…. To know that some of us tried NOT TO BE BROKEN in order to protect others from pain – and to have been broken anyway. It feels like failure.  Utter hopelessness and despair.

The utter loss of self. The annihilation of goodness.  The destruction of innocence.  The complete and total loss of control.

This essay is, in a strange way, like a love letter, a letter of understanding, to all the parts of us who were broken. And to the one part of us who is grieving and struggling right now, who tried to hold out for so long, who tried to hold on to some tiny piece of her goodness, who was willing to die to make things stop… but couldn’t.  Dear one, you couldn’t die because they wouldn’t let you.  You didn’t die because your human brain is built to survive at all costs.

You couldn’t protect others or prevent others from being made from you – because you were just a child.  You were only 8 years old and we are all feeling how hard you tried.  And how HUGE the sadness is, this tidal wave of grief.  It is, too big… and we will share it with you so that you do not have to feel the full weight of this unbearable grief all alone.

And, no matter what comes next in our knowing, no matter who did what and who got hurt, we know you did not want to be or become that.  We know: it is not who you are.  Being a perpetrator of harm is not your – and is not our – true nature. It is not something we carried into our adulthood or passed on to future generations. It is something they created carefully, sadistically, and intentionally through torture, manipulation, and overwhelm.

You – and we, all of us, even the “others,” have a spark of creation energy, of cosmic light, and we will find our way to togetherness and healing, to releasing pure evil and that which is not us, in service of healing broken parts of us, and parts of us who believe they are beyond redemption.

We will find our way to understanding and compassion and connection – with nature, with ourselves, with the goodness in the world.  And dear little one, we see your goodness.  It shines through all that they made you do.

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We want to acknowledge that our healing work is deeply embedded in a relational context.  We would not be able to understand, find compassion for ourselves, and take next steps on our healing path were it not for the care and support of those who are sharing this part of our journey. There are not many – when you grow up as we did, it is hard to trust, and connection with humanity feels impossible.  But sometimes, when we are met consistently (surprisingly) with kindness, warmth, and compassion… more healing happens and is made possible with each shared step.

We are so deeply grateful for our therapist, who sees the good and the evil of our experiences and holds hope and such strong faith in our goodness and in our capacity to heal, even when we cannot. Your presence and bearing witness are healing in and of themselves. We know your love, that feels like Light, is helping us to find our own.

We are so grateful to our therapy consultant, for your generosity of spirit and compassion, your appreciation of what it means to be a true ally for healing, and for your wise guidance with the transpersonal and spiritual that are so critical on this path.

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Beah, I. (2007). A long way gone: Memoirs of a boy soldier. Sarah Crichton Books.
Lacter, E. (2021, May 2). Work with “Abuser Personalities.” End Ritual Abuse.  https://endritualabuse.org/latest-articles/
Loewenstein, R.J. (2020). A Demystified, Pragmatic Approach to the Treatment of Patients with a History of Organized Sadistic Abuse. [PowerPoint slides]. https://www.isst-d.org/training-and-conferences/webinar-library/
Schwartz, H. L. (2013). The alchemy of wolves and sheep: A relational approach to internalized perpetration in complex trauma survivors. Routledge.

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Upcoming Holidays

July 
7/23 Full Moon 
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God 
7/27 Grand Climax

August  
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh 
8/13 Friday the 13th 
8/15 (?) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
8/22 Full Moon 
8/24 St. Bartholomew’s Day

September  
9/5 – 9/7 Feast of the Beast/Marriage of the Beast 
9/7 Labor Day (United States)  
9/20 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

7/18 Tisha B’Av (Jewish Day of Mourning) 
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party 
9/1 Start of WW2 
9/7 Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year, Day of Judgement) 
9/16 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement) 
9/17 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday 
9/21 – 9/27 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, Jewish harvest festival

(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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Additional information on various holidays:

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-il
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/

My Home as a Reflection of My Inner Self

* Two hard days in May have passed – Beltane and Mothers’ Day. There’s a full lunar eclipse coming up on the 26th (they always occur on a full moon) and then a long weekend, Memorial Day. I wrote a short little blog post on long weekends back in 2016. https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/long-weekends/

And then we have a break until Fathers’ Day on June 20 and the summer solstice on June 2.

* There are two announcements after the main part of this post.

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I follow declaredominion.com, which is the website of Katherine North, a life coach. I need a life coach because I learned a lot about death as a kid, but life? Not so much.

Katherine sends me a “missive” every Saturday. Her missives are long personal letters with a moral. This week it was about fixing a gaping hole in her kitchen wall left by electricians. I could relate, having recently had not one, but many holes left by electricians. Now that everything is all fixed up, the lighting is awesome – I can actually see really, really well! The memory of the mess is fading fast, covered by a later of dirty dishes and thirsty plants.

Anyway, this week Katherine said, among other things,

“Our homes are such powerful metaphors for what’s happening in our inner lives!”

“If your home was a metaphor, is there anywhere your energy is draining out?“

“And if so, what is the GENTLEST possible way you could begin attending to it? Not with panic, not with shame, but with love and care, as a way of honoring your sacred energies?”

Our physical worlds are reflections of our inner ones, and we can shift the way we feel by shifting the spaces around us.”

And, just a reminder, “It usually gets worse to get better.”

Do I ever relate!

Inside, I am piles and piles of dust particles. Or sand particles. Or tiny shards of broken china. Teeny things, without form or function.

But somehow, who knows how, they come together to make a sort-of-me. Then they have a form and a function. The cook. The cat feeder. The blog writer. And when they have finished the task, they separate and collapse back into piles of tiny pieces.

I know it isn’t always the same little pieces that form the “self” that is needed at the time. The cook who is dropping things on the floor isn’t the same cook as the one who always manages to gently put plates on a flat surface. Then there is the cook who cannot remember how long it takes to boil an egg, the one who seasons things to perfection, the one who prepares five servings of fruit and vegetables, and the one who says, “Fuck this! I am having pizza and ice cream tonight.”

I do not know what holds these pieces together long enough to get food on the table. And I don’t know how the pieces are selected and assembled. I’ve never seen a me-part that was in charge of creating other parts of me.

Looking around my house, I see piles of tiny things. I also see piles of larger things waiting to be organized into something even larger. That makes me wonder if pre-assembled parts of my selves are lying around inside waiting to be used. It would be efficient, wouldn’t it? A chunk of knowledge, a chunk of competence, a piece of panic, and always two ready-formed left feet and one perfect right one.

It’s too bad there are no piles of physical things to use as spare parts. I’d like a brand-new heart with all its innate functions intact, a lot of new teeth, and, best of all, a lumbar spine in working order. When I think what a miracle that would be, I realize that the system I have inside with the intangible parts of myself is also a miracle. Imagine! At a moment’s notice, all sorts of people can appear – a mother, a copy editor, a reader of French newspapers, somebody who, oddly enough, enjoys math jokes. What a diverse bunch of interests and abilities lurk inside me!

So if Katherine is right, and we can change our insides by changing the outside, it would make sense to organize little piles into bigger, more coherent piles. I’m not sure she is, because an artist part of me may be making a mess to communicate that I am a mess inside. Tidying up would be shutting down that path of communication, silencing me as I was consistently silenced in childhood. Not helpful.

But tidying things up might just as well be an artist part trying to tell other inside parts, “Hey, look what’s possible! We can all become bigger and better and more competent and happier without giving up anything. We can become more ourselves, if we want, and we can do it in our way, not in obedience to anybody else!”

I think I will try this approach and see what happens.

PS Math nerds can enjoy fractal elephants at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK5Z709J2eo and other “Doodling in Math Class” videos.

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Upcoming Holidays

May

5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day

5/23 Pentecost

5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse

5/26 Full Moon

5/31 Memorial Day

June

6/10 Annular Solar Eclipse

6/20 Fathers’ Day

6/21 Summer solstice

6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

6/24 Full Moon

July

7/4 Independence Day

7/23 Full Moon

7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

7/27 Grand Climax

 

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

6/6 D-Day (Invasion of France in WW2)

7/18 Tisha B’Av (Jewish Day of Mourning)

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

 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/ 

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/

 ~~~~~~~~~~

* Survivorship Regular Conference – Saturday and Sunday, May 22 – 23, 2021

Clinician’s Conference – Friday, May 21, 2021

Information on the speakers, topics, and registration is at https://survivorship.org/the-survivorship-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-2021-conference/

The May 2021 issue of SMART’s newsletter summarizes these articles about Elizabeth Loftus. https://ritualabuse.us/2021/04/issue-158-may-2021/ You can also find them at https://ritualabuse.us/smart/elizabeth-loftus/

 – A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus

 – Ethics Complaints Filed Against FMSF Board Member Elizabeth Loftus

 – “Lost in a Shopping Mall” A Breach of Professional Ethics

 – Quotes: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.

 – The Alleged Ethical Violations of Elizabeth Loftus in the Case of Jane Doe

More on Internal Communication

There are three announcements after the main part of this post.

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In the previous post, I emphasized the attitude you should bring to talking to your alters, or parts, or inner people, or head-mates. It was pretty general, encouraging kindness and compassion.

Now I’ll get more practical and share some of the approaches I and others have found helpful.

1. Who is your audience?

Start by taking a moment to think of who you want to talk to. If it is a group, do they have different opinions, desires, needs? How long have you known them? How friendly are they to you? What is the age range? This is very important because you want to reach everybody.

Say there is a group of inner children ranging from five to eleven who have all had similar experiences. Tell them you want everybody to understand, and if somebody doesn’t know what a word means, they can interrupt you and ask, and you will explain. Then use fairly simple words. If you talk to the eight-year-olds, the older ones won’t feel talked down to, and the younger ones will understand most of it.

2. Set a time limit

It’s important to have some structure because lack of structure causes unnecessary anxiety. If you have a set amount of time, you can pace yourself and leave time at the end to summarize what you have talked about and thank everybody for participating. If you hope to meet again, say so, and set another time. 

3. Set some ground rules

Keep the rules few and simple. Include “do’s” with the “don’t’s.” Everybody takes turns.  No being mean to anybody else. It’s okay not to talk or to say you don’t understand something. It’s okay to swear and cry and laugh.

4. Make yourself comfortable

Choose a quiet place and bring some things that help make you calm. Bring supplies that the others might want – drawing equipment, stuffed animals, favorite objects. Turn the ringer on the phone off and put on some music, if you want.

5. Talk through to parts that you have not met or that are not available often.

“Talking through” means trusting that parts will hear you even if you cannot see or hear, or even sense them. They might be listening silently as you talk. Or one alter might be reporting what you are saying to them. 

Since this may be happening, whether you know it or not, it’s a good idea to give permission before you start. “It’s okay to just listen and not say anything. Later on, you may feel comfortable enough to speak directly to me.” “If you know of parts that aren’t here now that would benefit from knowing what I will tell you, please let them know what I said. Also, tell them they are welcome to come next time I talk to you-all.” Word the permission so that it is also an invitation.

6. Consider having a recurring meeting.

There are many advantages to having a meeting at the same time every week or every day.

Parts who are shy know that they can always join in when they feel braver. Parts who have gone to a different place internally understand that they are welcome to come back at any time.

If you design the meeting for parts to share memories, you may diminish the number of flashbacks you have during the day. Tell everybody that you have made a special time for them to share memories and feelings. This way, you can give them your full attention and not have to think about anything else. Give them the time and the ground rules. Whenever you feel a flashback coming on or feel triggered, remind them of that special time.

If you feel a lot of ambivalence or internal conflict, you can ask the two main alters who disagree – or everybody who has an opinion on the subject – to come to a meeting. Again, be careful to tell them about the ground rules you have prepared. They are coming to listen to the other person and learn where they are coming from. Tell them that they don’t need to make any decisions; it will just be information-gathering.

7. Meetings to share memories and make friends.

It’s interesting to see how exchanging information can lead to changes in belief and then changes in behavior. I can’t tell you a story about my internal process because my mind isn’t populated with full-fledged alters, so I’ll tell you about an experience I had with a cult-identified alter of one of my friends.

Since my friend was living on her own and did not go home for holidays, this alter had the job of celebrating the holidays on his own. He usually ended up in a psych ward in four-point restraints. He had no inside or outside friends. One day, he was quietly listening to me and my friend’s conversation and gathered I had been raised a Satanist. He came out, and we started talking. We were discussing the upcoming holiday (I forget which one it was), and I found out that his group read the words of the ritual. I was shocked because our group kept nothing in writing. Wasn’t he afraid it might get into the wrong hands?

Comparing our traditions opened up the possibility that there were options, other ways of doing things. We never tried to change the other; we just were curious about what the other thought and did. Gradually, we became friends.

It turned out that he was, or became, more than just his job. He was a poet, and he had tender feelings toward me. He once said that he dreamed of me lying in a bed of tulips. That still touches my heart today. He eventually decided to give up his job without anybody ordering him to or suggesting it, as far as I know. Shortly afterward, he integrated, and I missed him keenly.  

I am suggesting is that relationships, either internal or external, don’t always have to be filled with strife and pain. As parts get to understand each other, they may either agree to disagree or find common ground. Change can happen organically simply by opening up channels of communication. It is so gratifying to know that you have set the stage for growth to happen!

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* I had a brainstorm!

Would anybody be interested in participating in a virtual poetry reading? I’ve been to several in-person survivor poetry readings, and they were very moving and inspiring. 

I could host a ZOOM meeting, but I would need somebody to help me with the technical part.

Let me know if you are interested in helping me, reading your poetry, or attended the reading. Post in the comment section or write me at rahome@ra-info.org.

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* Bryn L. Kroto is a Physician’s Assistant who is writing a thesis at Arizona’s A.T. Still University in the School of Health Sciences. It will be on “…service gaps between Doctors/Physician’s Assistants/Nurse Practitioners and victims of ritual abuse and their families. How can the medical field help connect the dots identifying abuse and foster healing?”

If you would like to meet Bryn, she has made a podcast on “Remembering Truth: Time to Get Real on Ritual Abuse.” https://anchor.fm/bryn-kroto/episodes/Season-2-Episode-5-Time-to-Get-Real-on-Ritual-Abuse-eofq9r

If any survivors, family/friends, or therapists, are willing to be interviewed for this thesis, please write brynkroto23623@msn.com

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I have organized a ZOOM group of survivors whose systems are polyfragmented, or partially so. If you would like to join, contact me through the comments section or write rahome@ra-info.org

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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/
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 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/ 

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Upcoming Holidays

February
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
2/12 (?) Lincoln’s Birthday
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/15 (?) Presidents’ Day/Washington’s birthday
2/16 Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras
2/17 Ash Wednesday/beginning of Lent
2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/27 Full Moon

March
3/1 St David’s Day (patron saint of Wales)
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day (patron saint of Ireland)
3/21 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/28 Full Moon
3/28 Palm Sunday

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
2/26 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
3/28 – 4/4 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)