Self-Advocacy and Medical Problems


To all ritual abuse survivors and their inner ones of all ages –

I am looking for line drawings of small, simple things from nature – leaves, flowers, plants, birds, bugs. It’s for a journal project listed on GrassRoots. Send them to


Drop in on the RA/MC ZOOM drop-in group on Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:30 PM Pacific Time. You are welcome to come weekly, but there is no pressure to attend. It would be nice if those who go to share their impressions of the group in this blog’s comment section. Hearing from somebody who has been to the group might make it easier for others to check it out. Eventbrite registration: 


The next poetry reading is on Saturday, June 25 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Pacific Time. It’s a bit different from the preceding ones in that it has a theme and all of the poets are members of the audience. The theme is “Being Victimized/ Surviving/ Living Fully.” Write a poem on one, two, or all three topics and bring it to the event. You may also use artwork or music to express yourself on the theme(s). You don’t have to share; it’s okay just to listen. Eventbrite registration:


Here’s one of my favorite recipes (I made it up). Slice cauliflower and arrange it in one layer on a plate. Microwave for two minutes. Cover with cheese and microwave for one minute. You can also use your favorite sauce. I like olive oil, garlic, back olives, and anchovies. Pasta sauce is good, too.


Self-Advocacy and Medical Problems

I live with labile high blood pressure. It’s mostly high, but, at times, it drops as much as 60 points for no apparent reason. This makes it hard to treat my hypertension and get my blood pressure down into a reasonable range for fear of making the lows go even lower.

And my lows are no joke. When I am a little below normal, I get fatigued. Then I get very fatigued. I find it hard to focus and get very little done. Then if I go still lower, I get light-headed. At this point, I lie down immediately to avoid falling. I think very slowly and have trouble making decisions.

A couple of times, I have passed out. It wasn’t scary because I wasn’t aware of it occurring, and when I came to, I was alright. A chunk of time was missing, just as if I had had general anesthesia. I imagine that’s what it must feel like to lose time when you are multiple. Me, I don’t lose time in the moment, except if losing one’s train of thought or forgetting something just said is losing a small slice of time. Events slowly fade away, like old Polaroids, and then are gone entirely.

I have learned that doctors are supposed to make a differential diagnosis and then form a differential treatment plan. They should think of all the things that could have caused this particular set of symptoms, then look first at a couple of the most common conditions, then at the most serious ones, and finally work their way through the remaining ones. Once they have the diagnosis, they have “best practice” guidelines to help them choose the most appropriate treatment.

My doctors have ruled out both the more serious and the more common causes of my blood pressure woes and have told me that they are left with “idiosyncratic labile hypertension.” This means nobody knows what causes it, but there it is, and you are stuck with it. (I hear idiosyncratic as, “It’s not our fault., you idiot.”) Varying types and amounts of medication do help lower the upper number, but nothing affects the lower numbers.

I got mad the other day and Googled “precipitous blood pressure drop,” not expecting to find anything I didn’t already know.

I was wrong. I found “postprandial hypotension.” This is common in the elderly, but practically unknown in adults until they reach the late sixties. All articles I  read said that it was not widely known, and not much research had been done on causes or treatments. It occurs because too much blood goes to the stomach and small intestine, leaving not enough blood volume to maintain a healthy pressure. Once the meal is digested, things return to normal. They know what happens, but not how or why.

With this small amount of knowledge, doctors can neither prevent from happening nor treat it. The best they can do is manage the condition.

I found only two management suggestions. One is to walk after meals for up to an hour. That is out for me since I can only walk about 300 steps at a time. The other is to eat six small meals a day rather than three large ones. I can do that, so I started to manage my own condition without medical advice.

I also searched and found three gerontologists that take my health insurance. This, too, made me mad. Wouldn’t it have been smart, at my age, to have referred me to a gerontologist to review my meds and suggest other factors to be considered? Is it a form of ageism that nobody thought of this? I look younger than I am, dress younger, and laugh and swear more than other women my age. Which is 84, by the way.

Moral of the story: we have to push past the voices in our heads that tell us the authorities are not to be questioned. Push past the fear, the triggers, and our passivity and be our own medical advocates.


Upcoming Holidays

5/21 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/26 (?) Ascension Day
5/30 Memorial Day

6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day


7/4 Independence Day

7/13 Full Moon

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

7/27 Grand Climax

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

4/15-4/23 Passover/Pesach (Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
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 andlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes


You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Candlemas –
Valentine’s Day –
Beltane –
Mothers’ Day –
Fathers’ Day –
Summer Solstice (corrected text) –
Lammas –
and and 
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –
Fall Equinox –
Halloween (personal) – 
Halloween (background) –
Thanksgiving –
Yule/Winter Solstice – 

About Anger

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

* Additional information on the following holidays is available at:


Yule/Winter Solstice


I said I would write about how anger figured into my process as I struggled to come to terms with having been ritually abused. I’m going to describe two tracks, the “day life” – my family – and the “night life” – the cult.

In the day life, I was raised to be a nice little girl. There are many things that nice little girls don’t do, and way up at the top of the list is getting angry. If a nice girl burps or runs indoors, it’s greeted with shock, but if she gets angry, it’s greeted with both shock and deep dismay. It’s a disaster that will bring shame on the whole family. So I was taught from a very early age not to show anger and to suppress it to the point of not feeling it.

All my early experiences in the “night life” consisted of religious training. (My cults practices were old-school Satanism.) Neither religious services nor ‘Sunday School” are appropriate places for anger. Any expression of anger, disobedience, or thinking for myself was immediately punished. The message was consistent; only the means of conveying it were different.

By the time I entered school, I had no conscious understanding or even awareness of my anger. I withdrew physically and emotionally from situations that made me mad. Denial, avoidance, repression, and dissociation were my coping mechanisms. Of course, it was still there and managed to sneak out in disguised ways. I was a whiny, sullen child in the day life, and “I can’t” replaced “I won’t, dammit.” Nobody asked why; they figured I was just that way and tried to change me.

As a teen, I developed a thirst to see the world beyond my family. So many things to learn about out there! New foods, other religions, other political beliefs, books, boys. Independence! I developed ways of getting what I wanted, sometimes sneaky ways, like pretending I wanted something outrageous and then settling for what I really wanted all along. I am sure my determination to move beyond my family was largely fueled by anger, but I didn’t know it then.

As I grew into adulthood, I felt anger, even rage, at my parents, but I had no name for that emotion. They thwarted me, I got angry, and then I got angry at being made to feel angry. There were times when I was shaking with the effort not to strangle them. Believe it or not, I only sorta guessed I was angry, and I certainly didn’t feel the depth and breadth of my rage. But I was a nice girl, and I didn’t show my feelings.

The only times I felt angry, knew I was angry, felt entitled to be angry, and showed it in no uncertain terms was when I was defending my kids. Here’s an example: one of my daughters needed an operation and was admitted to the hospital the night before. We were told I could come with her and stay while she got the anesthesia. Next morning at the crack of dawn, I was at the hospital, and they tried to turn me away. “Against the rules.” I blew up and gave the name of the charge nurse who had said I could, and said I would complain all the way to the top if I were not allowed to keep my promise to my child. She would think that I had betrayed her – not that the hospital had fucked up. Guess what? I got my way!

That I was capable of this kind of behavior surprised me. No worry about not being nice, no fear of consequences, no hesitation. And no guilt afterward, just relief and pride.

I have let go of the anger at my parents now that I understand that they had been abused as children, just as I had been. They couldn’t remember, because society was different then, and so they had no chance of healing or of having an honest relationship with their children.

Yes, I am angry now, but at certain world issues, not at specific people. I do object when people cross my boundaries or neglect me, but I quickly work it out.

I never specifically worked on anger. I worked on the things that made me angry, and, as I understood more, my feelings changed. It was one of those things that just seemed to happen, with no effort on my part. A side effect, so to speak, of all the work I did in other areas.

I don’t think that waiting thirty years is a realistic strategy for others to take in dealing with angry feelings. I think it is probably better to learn to identify the feeling, find out how much of it comes from the past and how much from the present, and find ways of handling both past (flashback) and present anger. My guess is that this approach would make life easier and that results would be seen in less than thirty years!


Upcoming Holidays

12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22 Sundays of Advent
12/11 Full moon
12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/26 Annular solar eclipse. Totality will be visible in Saudi Arabia, southern India, Sri Lanka, parts of Indonesia, Singapore, and parts of the Philippines.
12/31 New Year’s Eve
1/1 New Year’s Day
1/7 St Winebald’s Day
1/10 Full moon
1/10-11 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in Australia, Europe, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See
1/13 Satanic New Year
1/17 Feast of Fools/Old Twelfth Night/Satanic and demon revels
1/20 St. Agnes’ Eve
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
2/8 Full moon
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/25 Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras
2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/26 Ash Wednesday

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
12/22 – 12/30 Chanukah
1/12 Birth of both Rosenburg and Goering, Nazi leaders in WW2
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
2/10 Tu Bishvat/Tu B’Shevat (celebration of spring)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

Anger and Sadness

* In case you didn’t notice, the ritual calendar has been updated and the 2019 version is now available.

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

* You might miss this, as it is down at the bottom of the post. 1/20 – 1/21 Total lunar eclipse. (Super Blood Wolf Moon) Visible in all of North and South America and partially visible in Europe. See The first moon the year is called the Wolf Moon because wolves howl at the moon with hunger. For information on Super Blood Moons, see


I was thinking how anger often masks sadness. If I am feeling angry and manage to stay with my feelings without acting on them in any way, I eventually feel the anger cracking. Tears start running down my face. I feel so hurt and sad that somebody could treat me like that – it’s painful in a way that anger is not.

I feel very vulnerable when I express my sadness. If I dare to let anybody know, I fear I will be hurt again. If I have been unable to protect myself in the past and “allowed” myself to be hurt, others will know and take advantage of my weakness. At times I am so afraid that I shake. It is far safer to show anger because anger can frighten people and make them stay away.

Either way, it is lonely, but anger provides a rush that makes me feel energized and gives me the hope that I can control others and prevent them from hurting me. As long as that adrenaline is flowing, I feel safe and protected.

At the same time, my anger  frightens me. I am not sure I can control it. It could go beyond protecting me into attacking others tooth and nail. It’s tricky. Too little anger and nobody would take me seriously. Too much and I might do real harm. I don’t like destruction and I do not want to kill or maim somebody or throw furniture around wantonly.

I know that these are old, old feelings. My anger, at best, could hurt somebody’s feelings. My body is no longer in shape to toss furniture around the room or do serious physical damage to a person. Rationally, I have nothing to fear from my anger, but not all of me knows that. Anger sure talks a good line, though! It’s got me fearing it could destroy the entire city.

Sadness – what am I sad about? Mainly death. The deaths of animals and children in the cult. Deaths in my family before we could resolve anything. Deaths of so many survivors, so many friends. The passing of still another year and knowing very few more are left to me.

I’m sad about lesser things, too. The cat I had to give away because he started to act viciously toward my other cat. The fact that it is raining and I cannot go do things in my garden. (Except I am glad for the rain.) I broke my favorite necklace. And the list goes on.

Now that I know what lies underneath my anger, I get angry much less often. Its as if the genie has been let out of the bottle and doesn’t want to go back in again. Anger just doesn’t work very well as a distraction – I am on to myself. And that’s okay with me. My sadness can’t hurt anybody, and grieving my losses lightens my burden in time. I feel calmer…and more real.


Upcoming Holidays

1/20 St. Agnes’ Eve
1/20 Full moon
1/21 Martin Luther King Day
1/20 – 1/21 Total lunar eclipse. (Super Blood Wolf Moon) Visible in all of North and South America and partially visible in Europe. See The first moon the year is called the Wolf Moon because wolves howl at the moon with hunger. For information on Super Blood Moons, see

2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/18 President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday
2/19 Full moon
2/25 Walpurgis Day

3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/5 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
3/6 Ash Wednesday/Beginning of Lent
3/17 St Patrick’s Day
3/20 Full moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
1/20 – 1/21 Tu B´Shvat (Celebration of spring)
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
3/20 – 3/21 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
(Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)