Jade Miller on Helping Inner Kids Tolerate Wearing Masks, Plus an Update on My Depression,  

* This is really positive news! Makes my heart smile. I hope some of you would like to participate, either as presenters or as part of the audience.

The Plural Positivity World Conference:
sponsored by Power to the Plurals https://powertotheplurals.com/
Five days of Inclusive, Online, Free, Recorded Sessions
July 13 – 19, 2020

Call for Presentations
Due dates: May 15, panel presenters’ recorded answers to questions
May 31, recorded sessions
Information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hcMkNWcTNbpajqbzVr79QmSBgDZRGKafyCFumjrp2bs/edit?fbclid=IwAR0EXoOd4o3gif-GiSQEA2EWWhd66CeZ6bhcVY7-9FbpkMF85BXTdN42mgA#

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:
Summer Solstice (corrected text): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
August Ritual Dates: 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/

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An amazing thing happened to me. The Feelings Fairy did indeed swoop down from the treetops and said. “Oh, Jean, you don’t need this depression anymore. Let me take it away and leave acceptance and satisfaction in its stead.” I watched her slowly fly off into the horizon, She flew slowly because the depression was heavy, but that tiny wee thing sure was strong enough to take it far away.

This is the first time in my life, as far as I know, that a depression lifted after only a few weeks. I am very happy. The only symptom I miss is being able to sleep a full night without a bout of insomnia at two in the morning or upsetting dreams. Interestingly, those problems are back! However, I am not flat emotionally, I have more energy ((altho not as much as I would like), I am once again interested in the outside world, and the suicidal thoughts are gone.

My therapist and I are entertaining the hypothesis that it was a situational depression thanks to being housebound, not a real, nasty, dark, black, clinical depression. Isn’t that weird?

I am very sad, though, at the thought that I may not see people I love ever again in person. I believe that this nasty bug is going to be around for a looong time, and it will not be safe for me to consider flying unless they develop a really, really effective vaccine. And no more snorkeling, either. <sniff>

Thank goodness for <ehugs> and Zoom and email.

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 I want to share with you a piece that my friend Jade Miller wrote about helping younger parts adapt to wearing a mask. As an introduction to the article, I’ll share a bit about my style of communicating with both outer and inner kids.

I am very anxious around babies and young children. I am always terrified that I won’t be able to understand what they are trying to communicate. Now granted, most people find trying to communicate with kids frustrating at times but my level of anxiety is ridiculous. I am quite sure that it’s because, when I was young, I tried to communicate and failed. Or rather, I did fine, given my age, but the adults failed to understand.

Here’s a sad little example. My mother wrote, I think in my baby book, that when I was two going on three, I walked down a path saying, “no” at each step. She found it very cute. It never occurred to her to wonder, “no to what?”

And here is a happier little story. When I brought my firstborn home, I thought, “I don’t have a baby to raise. I have a new roommate.” I considered kids fully formed people and always treated them with respect. This approach soon translated into teaching them rather than ordering them around and correcting or punishing them.

So if you (an adult part) is trying to communicate something to a younger part, you will get further by teaching and explaining rather than by throwing your weight around. You will have the authority that comes from wisdom and experience rather than the authority that comes with size, strength, and power. And your kids, inner or outer, will respect you rather than fear you.

On to Jade’s writing about wearing masks and helping inner kids avoid freaking out.

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If Wearing a Mask is Difficult…

I’ve been thinking a lot about those who – for reasons related to trauma – find wearing a mask very difficult. Of course, the safest/easiest thing to do is stay home, but that’s not always an option. Some people have to work. Some people have to do their own shopping. Etc.

So I’ve come up with some suggestions in hopes that one or some of them may help. These are unprecedented times, and these may end up being useless. But it’s worth a shot.

• Try cute, calming, or meaningful patterns – if you have littles, they might find mild comfort in wearing some of my own designs (if you have a request for a pattern I don’t currently have, send me a message and I’ll make one!)

• Try 1-2 drops of essential oil under your nose before you put it on; I’ve had some success in re-training my brain to stay grounded by using essential oils. My own personal favorite is marjoram, but you could try anything that you find pleasant. (Peppermint oil is strong and kind of in-your-face but not usually in a bad way.) Note: some of the oils should not be applied directly to your skin; you may need a drop or two of an oil mixed with it.

• Perhaps gum, candy, or a sucker — another idea with the littles in mind. Especially if these things might be considered fun, or a treat… maybe try having something yummy in your mouth while you have to wear the mask? Gummy bears, Sour Patch Kids, a gobstopper or something that will (hopefully) last a little while. See if you can make it through whatever the task is without biting down. Make it a game.

My thought process is that maybe it will help the littles realize that something good is happening (they get candy!) and that their mouth and nose are NOT – in fact – blocked…at least not in the way they’re worried about. They are in “now time,” where even though it might not seem like it, you are trying to protect them and keep them safe by complying with the current health guidelines.

These are the only things I’ve thought of so far. Maybe you could try doing any of them that appeal to you, but only wearing the mask around the house for 5-10 minutes at a time, while doing something extremely relaxing or fun. “Practice” doing it for short periods of time and then take it off. It’s my hope that any positive association that you can build in your mind with wearing the mask and then taking it off ASAP can help create a tolerance that will hopefully be able to last the length of a trip to the store or for an essential errand, etc.

Try to make it a “mission” for the littles, or turn it into a fun challenge. This isn’t mask-specific but I’ve flat-out used bribery in the past when I’ve been facing something difficult and needed to help motivate my system to do something really hard. Plan to take home ice cream later, or order a movie you’ve been wanting to see for a while, after the errand that requires a mask. Be creative.

We are smart, folks. We didn’t survive all the shit we’ve been through just to be defeated by this stupid COVID19 thing. We can do this. I believe in us!

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Upcoming Holidays

May
5/25 Memorial Day
5/31 Pentecost
June
6/5 Full moon
6/5-6 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-5
6/19 Summer solstice
6/21 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Annular solar eclipse. Visible from parts of Africa (including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia), south of Pakistan, northern India, and China. Partial eclipse is visible in south/east Europe, much of Asia, the north of Australia, and much of Africa, Pacific, Indian Ocean. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-21
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St. John’s Day
July
7/4 Independence Day
7/4 Full moon
7/4-5 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in North and South America, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-july-5
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/30 Tisha B’Av (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.)

Safety on the Inside

Here is a page with literally hundreds of articles on safety in all sort of places and situations. Well worth reading!  http://www.minneapolismn.gov/police/crimeprevention/

I’ve saved the most important part of keeping yourself safe for last. Why? It’s the hardest to write! And perhaps it will linger in your mind, which has been prepared by all sorts of practical advice in dealing with the outside world.

Your internal safety and internal communication are crucial to creating external safety. All the precautions in the world won’t help if part of you refuses to take them and sabotages every effort of yours to put them in place. The image that comes to my mind is having a pretty carriage, attaching six horses to differ parts of it, and then telling the horses to pull as hard as they can indifferent directions. Even if one horse is stronger than the others, it won’t go smoothly on one direction. Chances are it will quickly break into a million pieces.

Internal communication, therefore, is the key to successfully keeping yourself safe. Everybody has to be on the same page, or at least watching when the others agree on a plan and put it into action. You might try appealing to alters’ curiosity. “We did it the old way last time. Let’s try a new way as an experiment and see what happens.” Or you might try reassuring your insiders that you are older and stronger and wiser and you have found all these nifty new safety devices and therefore you can keep the whole system safe.

It’s the sad truth that it takes a long time and a lot of hard work to establish internal communication and cooperation. I’ve heard of some people who left the cult all at once and never looked back. Like they snapped their fingers or threw a light switch and immediately saw everything differently. But all the people I know (myself included) had a dimmer switch to work with. They left slowly, left and came back, left and came back, over and over. Many have made it all the way into freedom, others are still struggling and experimenting.

It’s not how long it takes, it’s how persistent you are and how strongly you persevere. You take small steps forward, rest, assess how it went, and plan your next small step. You stay curious and willing to experiment with new approaches. You stay determined. And then one day there is a break through.

I met a woman who was beaten up in her apartment on a regular basis. She tried different ways of keeping her assailants out, but none worked. Or they seemed to work for a few weeks, and then her apartment was broken into again, just as she started to relax a little. She was hurt, puzzled, frightened, and discouraged to the point of giving up. She was convinced that they  knew how to bypass each way she tried of securing the windows and doors.

She had also been talking to her insiders and thought they all agreed on the efforts to keep intruders out.  She kept talking to them even in the face of failure. One day a little stepped up and said that if she opened the door, they did get hurt, but that the men had promised that if they could come and hit her a little they would not kill her sister. The little was full of love and more than willing to get hurt to save her sister’s life.

Suddenly it all made sense. Her perpetrators had no high tech or magic way of bypassing the alarms, they just knew how to bully a child. What worked was helping the newly discovered alter to grieve, thanking her for her loving heart, explaining how the adults tried to control children by making threats, and finally explaining that they would not kill her sister because they wanted her alive.

There were no more “break ins.” But there were, of course, other challenges to be met with a whole new bunch of baby steps.

This short entry only skims the surface of things that you can do internally. You can find an article by Arauna Morgan, “Seeing and Breaking the Chains: Steps for Recognizing On-Going Abuse and How to Break FREE,”  at http://endritualabuse.org/healing/breaking-the-chains/. If you get overwhelmed reading it, remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. Pick what speaks to your condition and start with that.

Try and remember that every small step is an achievement: reading part of the article, talking to your insiders, speaking to them with love and respect, pondering what else you can do to protect yourselves. Most of all, cherishing your hope and determination.

 

I hope you all get through the holidays okay. May you stay safe, inside and out, may you cry if you need to, may you be calmly alone or with people you trust and care about. For those of you that have a faith that celebrates these days, may your soul be filled. For those of you that don’t, may you think of things you can be grateful for and feel happy about them, even for a moment.

Personal Safety – Your Home

The most important thing you can do (I sound like a broken record) is to make sure that all of your insiders are on the same page. If 99% of y’all want your home to be safe and secure from intruders, and one child part opens the door on cue, your efforts will have been in vain. Having said that, let’s go through some of the more common things you can do to make your home secure.

I assume most of us rent and will have to get the landlord’s permission to install anything permanent. If you are lucky, you may be successful in making the argument that safety improvements will add to the value of the property and protect it from physical damage. If not, you will have to make do with simple methods that make no physical changes to the apartment.

Make sure the landlord has changed the locks when you move in. Don’t loan anybody your keys, and if you do, re-key the locks.

There are affordable alarms (many under $10.00) that sound when doors or windows are opened.  (Look over a site like http://www.thehomesecuritysuperstore.com/door-alarms-sub=141 for ideas.) You can take them with you when you move or visit somebody. I doubt I could use them, though, because it would be next to impossible for me to remember that they are there. The neighbors or the police do not take kindly to have alarms blaring several times a week.

One survivor I knew sprinkled corn starch by the door before she went to bed. First thing each morning, she checked for footprints. She never found any, but it was very reassuring.

If you are allowed to have pets, dogs afford some degree of protection. Small yappy dogs are better at deterring intruders than large silent ones. You may have many “false alarms” which could drive both you and the neighbors nuts.

Getting to know your neighbors is a huge plus. There is one nosy old lady on our block who spends a lot of her time looking out the window. She’s a one-person crime watch. She has called people to tell them that there is somebody suspicious checking out their house and she has also opened her window and yelled at somebody she thought might be breaking into a car.

If you only get to know one person, pick the busy-body. A small gift, like a plate of brownies, will bring you extra attention. If there is a Neighborhood Crime Watch, join it, read its literature, and attend meetings. Even though it is hard to trust people, remember that the chances of a neighbor belonging to the cult are extremely low. You are safer being known by your neighbors than by keeping a low profile.

If you own your own home, there are additional things you can do. Install motion-sensitive lights and a security camera – or a fake one. Check the landscaping for places an intruder could hide. Plant fast-growing rose bushes or other thorny shrubs under windows. Install iron grates over ground-floor windows. Check the Internet for ways to mechanically secure sliding glass doors and windows.

Last but not least, install and use a deadbolt on your front door. Google “home safety intruders” for more ideas on how to secure windows and doors. Most are simple enough to be installed by those of us who are not mechanically-minded.

I’m going to end by suggesting that you invite your child alters to be part of the project and explain each step you are taking to make everybody safer. Invite them to ask questions and tell them that this is a new way to protect everybody, including the body. They don’t have do it the old way anymore. It’s also a good idea to teach them not to fool with the alarms because the sound will scare everybody, inside and out. And be sure to explain things more than once! It takes time for kids to absorb new information.