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/

Loss and Grief

More Great Good News!

I have blogged about the fight to shut down PornHub and its parent company, MikeGeek. Here’s the latest.

The New Yorker published an investigative article on the case on June 20, 2022. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/06/20/the-fight-to-hold-pornhub-accountable

The next day, the Chief Executive Officer, Feras Antoon, and the Chief Operating Officer, David Tassillo, resigned without naming successors.

Update on Baker

My cat has been very sick. X-rays and a sonogram showed signs of irritable bowel or intestinal cancer. The recommendation was an endoscopy to take biopsies and see if they found cancer and, if so, what kind. Only four vets in a 20-mile radius do this procedure, and I was on my own to make an appointment, probably for several weeks in the future. My appointment with a regular vet was still two weeks away, and Baker was rapidly losing weight.

Then his luck changed. I reached out to my previous vet, and, lo and behold, she was practicing only a couple of miles from me. She gave me an appointment for the next day. Miracle! I had the ER send the records to her

She told me that the two likeliest diagnoses were a severe case of irritable bowel disease or large cell lymphoma, the most common intestinal cancer in cats. Luckily, they both respond to the same drug. I figured we would go with this option, as we can’t afford to wait for an endoscopy. Even if we could get an appointment in the next couple of days, the procedure would be risky given how depleted he is.

The meds carrive tomorrow. I am not expecting a wonderful response – rapid weight gain, wanting to run around and play in a week or two, that sort of thing. But I am hoping he will feel better and his quality of life will improve.

However long he may have, he is still my beautiful, sweet, loving Baker, and I am so glad he entered my life.

Update on Me

How am I? In a word, sad. He is such a nice cat, and it doesn’t seem that he will be with us for very long.

But I am also excited about the upcoming recording of our panel presentation and happy about getting better lighting for my computer room. It’s great to be able to feel more than one thing at a time!

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Loss and Grief

Long ago, I found that one loss stirs up memories and feelings of other losses. All of them, but especially those that have not been deeply grieved.

The most soul-wracking loss was that of my husband. Consciously, I was not aware of feeling the loss of anybody or anything else. Now, I wonder if the feelings about all my childhood losses and betrayals were trying to surface and that I was feeling the emotions connected to losses I was not yet aware of.

At first, I was simply stunned. First, I called our children and told them. I then called a friend and got a ride to the hospital where he had been taken. I wanted to touch him, to speak to him in private. I wanted to kiss him one last time. But they told me the morgue was closed, and they did not let me see his body. I did sign papers allowing organ donation. All this I did relatively calmly.

Still stunned, I managed to sleep that night. I woke up confused, sensing that something terrible had happened. Then I remembered he was dead and that I would never see him again, never hear his voice again. A strange howl came out of my mouth, and the tears started.

Later, I learned that noise is called “keening.” It’s the sound of deep, deep grief. I was to hear it often during the next few weeks. Not from anybody else, only from me. I had b=never, that I know of, heard it before and have never heard it since, but I have read about it in books.

The grief came over me in waves, like ocean waves crashing upon a rocky shore. At first, they were continual – it was grief, then a wave of more intense grief, then lesser grief, then another intense wave. Over time, the waves became further apart until there were little grief-free spaces between them. They also became less intense. But they have never gone away entirely.

I have tears in my eyes even as I am writing this.

The process is the same for every subsequent loss. The feelings aren’t as intense, but they are certainly recognizable.

I understand the process better, too. Part is practice. (Losses have a habit of continuing to mount up over the years.) Another part is learning how to build an intellectual framework to contain the emotions. The framework enables me to say, “This is grief. The rest is something else. Some of it is like grief in some ways, most of it is very different.”

Putting words to emotions helps enormously, too. Just saying that grief comes in waves helps me understand what is going on inside and realize that it will not always be this overwhelming.

I can see that I am much better equipped to understand and deal with loss and grief than I was even thirty years ago. Can’t say I am looking forward to the next loss, but at least I know what to expect.

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Upcoming Holidays

July
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Grand Climax/Da Meur

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 celebrated dates.
September 22: autumnal equinox, “Fall Festival.
9/25 – 9/27: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

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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 Dayhttps://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/

 

MY LIFE WITH CATS

A new RA/MC drop-in group

A second CUPP of Hope drop-in group has just been formed! It meets
Mondays 5:00–6:30 PM Pacific Time
Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 AM Melbourne, AUS Time.
Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cupp-of-hope-peer-led-drop-in-support-group-for-survivors-of-ramc-tickets-358918343427

This type of group is very, very needed. On-going groups are truly wonderful, but they can’t accommodate more than a few people, and a member is torn if they have a scheduling problem. Drop-in groups, which do not require weekly attendance, are more flexible. They are ideal for people in crisis, people who have been healing for a long time and who just want to touch base with other survivors, and those with irregular work schedules or other commitments that can’t be reliably scheduled.

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Holiday Zoom Open Houses For Survivors of RA/MC

On miserable, triggery days, like the solstices, equinoxes, Christmas, Easter, and “Hallmark Card” days, survivors often choose to be alone rather than be among people who just don’t understand. Now, thanks to ZOOM and joanies, you have a third choice. Bring a meal or a snack to eat together or just hang out with other RA/MC survivors. No need to stay the whole time if you don’t want to.

The next two-hour Open House will be a Fourth of July celebration of our own independence. For the date and time and the registration link, check the Events page at https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/events/

If you have any questions, contact joanies, the host, at
cuppofhope@gmail.com

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my life with cats

This is going to be a totally personal entry – the most personal one I have ever written. Nothing at all to do with RA/MC. 

In 1984, I bought two Cornish Rex kittens from the same litter; a girl, Rosie, and a boy, Fargo. They were named after Rosebud, South Dakota and Fargo, North Dakota. That was because their father’s name was Demon Dakota. (Oops, I promised I would say nothing about RA/MC. Just can’t help myself. – it’s such an integral part of my life.) Their mother’s name was Sweet Purrfection, yuck. They were orange cats with white markings.

They lived a long time. Rosie was sixteen when she died, and Fargo lived another year and a half. I thought I would never get another cat because no cat would be as great as they were. Plus, a kitten would surely outlive me, and it wasn’t fair to go and abandon him like that. So there was lots of crying and feeling sorry for myself. “I’ll never sleep with a cat again!”

After a couple of years, I changed my mind and got another orange and white Cornish Rex kitten. I named him Dakota. He lived to be eighteen and a half. Obviously, I was wrong about dying before him and leaving him all alone in a cold world.  

I lost him last September, and, to my surprise, I was not nearly as hesitant about getting another cat. I have no idea why. Am I braver now? More impetuous? More selfish? Who cares? This is the way it is – I want a cat.

I realize I no longer have the energy to chase after a kitten. Fostering is a possibility, but I wouldn’t be good with a cat with behavior problems and I would be heartbroken about having to give up an animal I had grown attached to. The other option is adopting a grown cat, perhaps an elderly one. The two of us could keep each other company as we limped through our golden years.

For months, I knew I wasn’t ready because I kept expecting Dakota to be in another room. My daughter said I had a ghost cat. As Dakota gradually stopped visiting me in his new form, I began checking out AdoptaPet.com and local animal rescue organizations. My friends started asking me if I had found a cat I liked. I liked some well enough, but the chemistry wasn’t there.

I had a few non-negotiable demands. It must be older, short-haired, affectionate, and it can’t be orange. I don’t need an echo of Rosie and Fargo and Dakota. I prefer an open adoption so the previous owner can check that their cat is okay in my home and can even come visit him if they want. I can ask a million questions and send cute pictures. 

It turns out that some non-negotiable things are negotiable after all. 

I looked through the SPCA website. I hadn’t intended to because their process of giving up a cat and adopting one is detailed to the max, and, frankly, I found some of their questions intrusive, even insulting. I just went to look at cat pictures. Lo and behold, the SPCA has gotten far more reasonable! They now have a section called “Animals in the Community,” which lists cats available for private “rehoming.”

And I fell in love at first sight with a white and orange cat with longish hair. I only found out later that if I wanted him, I could no longer have houseplants or bring flowers from my garden into the house. Most are poisonous to cats, and this cat eats lettuce, spinach, flowers, and house plants. For sixty years, I have had houseplants and flowers on the dining room table, the coffee table, my desk, my bedroom, even in the bathroom.

So, of course, this is the wrong cat for me, right? 

His name is Baker. He moved in yesterday morning.

All the plants are gone. The house looks a little empty without plants and flowers, of course. Baker hasn’t found the litter box yet, and I haven’t found what he is using instead. I’ll keep him in the bathroom until he gets acquainted with it. Outside of that, everything is perfect.

He has a fascinating story. His previous owner is a high school English teacher who loves to travel. She had a job in Qatar and rescued him from the street when he was about three months old. He moved to China when she got a job there, then Mexico, then Dubai, and finally the United States. In Dubai, his owner acquired three other street kittens who have grown into feisty teenagers. They pounce on Baker. He is not pleased. And the landlord is not thrilled at having a tenant with four cats. So she decided that Baker should go someplace where he could be an only cat, a calm place with no dogs or children running around, and with one or two people to dote over him and him alone.

His mother was a plain old tabby, but his father was something else entirely. A vet identified Baker as being half Turkish Van. I searched for images of Turkish Vans, and he could easily pass as a purebred. He could stand beside any of those fancy cats in the photos, and nobody would guess that he and his Mom were alley cats.

Vans are rare (only about 100 kittens are born each year in the US) and very distinctive. They are white with orange, black, or calico markings. Their tails are almost always completely colored, and they have irregular markings on their foreheads. Some have spots the size of a quarter as well; these are called “Allah’s thumbprints.” Their fur is soft, the softest I have ever felt. That is because they have no guard hair; they just have the undercoat. 

Cornish Rexes lack guard hair, too, but their fur is very short. I used to call them velvet cats. Baker’s fur is halfway between a shorthair’s and a Persian’s in length, and I can sink my fingers deep into it. So luscious!

Checklist

meets requirements 
older — Yes
short-haired —  No
affectionate —  Yes
no orange —  No
Extras:
in good health —  Yes
sits on laps —   Yes
does not type —  Yes
is gorgeous —  Yes
plays catch —  Yes
plays pattycake —  Yes
has blue eyes  —  Yes
likes to swim —  Yes

I don’t need to justify my decision. Love is love, and love can’t be explained.

Baker

Upcoming Holidays

June

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/Da Meur

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

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/