Isolation

Upcoming Holidays 

November
11/23 Thanksgiving
December
12/3 Full Moon
12/21 St. Thomas’ Day/Fire Festival
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/24  Christmas Eve/Satanic and demon revels/Da Meur/Grand High Climax
12/15  Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve
January
1/1  New Year’s Day
1/7  St Winebald’s Day
1/12 Full Moon
1/13 Satanic New Year
1/17 Feast of Fools/Old Twelfth Night/Satanic and demon revels
Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
11/12  Birth of both Rosenburg and Goering, Nazi leaders in WWII
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany

 

Isolation 

As ritual abuse survivors, we have probably suffered alone for most of our lives. Most of the survivors I have met were amnesic for their abuse until adulthood. I did meet one young woman who had learned of her abuse when she was a child, but, although she believed it had happened,  she did not remember any of it.

This means that, as children, we started off feeling – and being – different from others. Since I cannot speak for everybody, I’ll share my experiences with isolation; I do believe, though, that they are pretty typical.

I had few opportunities to be around other children before entering first grade. I did notice that other kids knew more than I did, and it was embarrassing. I remember when I was three or four watching my cousins color. I watched them carefully and copied what they did as I had never seen crayons or coloring books before then.

When I got to school, I thought that the other kids knew the rules of the game of life and I didn’t. I was mortified and hid it the best I could by being shy and aloof. Of course I didn’t have friends. Slowly, I watched and learned how to jump rope, play tag, make Cats’ Cradles. By sixth grade, I had made a friend, and in seventh grade, I made another. Both friends were, like me, outsiders.

Inside the cult, all the children were pretty much in the same boat. It was easy to imagine how they felt and easy to imagine that I would feel comfortable with them, if only we had been allowed to talk to each other or play. The children were kept apart deliberately as a means of controlling them. If any two children were allowed to get attached in any way, it was only to put them in double binds and make them hurt each other.

I didn’t belong in grade school. Or high school. Or college. Not at work, not at home, not as a wife and mother. I felt like I was from Mars, simply because I was the only person I knew, or thought I knew, who grew up in a cult but didn’t know it.

When I remembered, two things happened almost immediately. One was that most of my “friends” disappeared when they heard about it, either from me or second-hand. Looking back, these were not friends, they were people I knew. Luckily my kids and my therapist at the time stuck around. I remember my therapist consoling me by saying, “Nature abhors a vacuum. You will attract new people.”

The second one was there was an instant connection between me and other ritual abuse survivors. (My therapist was right! And it only took three weeks!)

I felt so at home with ritual abuse survivors. We did not reject each other because of the enormity of the abuse. There was no need to walk away in order to protect ourselves from the knowledge of how deeply cruel people can be: we already knew. There was a kinship that cut across  boundaries of gender, race, age, nationality, and social class. We understood each other and nobody was shocked by my twisted sense of humor.

Of course, survivors are like any other people. Some got on my nerves or hurt my feelings and I hurt people, never on purpose, but from ignorance, misunderstandings, or my own hang-ups. There was the ever-present possibility of triggering somebody or being triggered, sometimes without knowing it. The initial glow wore off and I learned that even if there was a strong connection, being friends with a survivor can be hard work.

I was blessed to be living in a place where it was easy to meet survivors in person through twelve-step meetings, conferences, peer-led groups, task forces, and poetry readings. There was so much out there that it was, at times, hard to choose.  The Internet was always there and I e-met people from many different countries.

For a variety of reasons, it became harder to meet people in person, most notably because of the chilling effect of the False Memory people. We became much more cautious, even fearful, around fellow survivors. But for about twenty years I did not feel isolated. I was not a Martian, an alien, an outcast, but a regular human being who had had a horrific childhood like so many others.

These days I’m starting to feel isolated once again, but in a different way. Part of it has to do with the difficulty in meeting survivors; you have to work at it. Many of my friends have moved away and some have died. Others have broken with me and we are no longer in contact. Luckily it’s much easier over the Internet. I do not know what I would do without my beloved computer.

Another part has to do with aging. Now isolation is pretty common among older people, especially those who can’t get around very well. I’m no exception: I have arthritis and don’t have the stamina, physically, mentally, or emotionally that I did thirty years ago. I sure wish there were an easy way to hang out with other survivors, preferably with parking close by.

I recently spent the day with a survivor I have known for years. We didn’t even talk about abuse or healing. We talking about the present and did everyday things, like have lunch and go to the supermarket. But the connection, the understanding, was there all the time. We didn’t have to worry about saying something too intense and chasing the other one away. Our backgrounds were a given, like the color of our eyes.

It was such a treat to catch up on our lives and struggles, to implicitly honor each other’s strength and perseverance. Such a treat to be reminded that I belong someplace after all.

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Problems with Blog Writing

Upcoming Holidays
September
9/20 – 9/21 Midnight Host

9/22 Fall Equinox

9/29 Michaelmas (?)

October
10/5 Full Moon

10/13 Backwards Halloween

10/13 Friday the Thirteenth

10/22 – 10/29 Preparation for All Hallows’ Eve
10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallows Eve

November

11/S Full Moon
11/3 Satanic Revels

11/23 Thanksgiving

Important dates in Nazi groups

9/1 Start of WW II
2
9/17 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday

10/16 Death of Rosenburg

10/19 Death of Goering

10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday
11/9 Kristallnacht
11/11 Veteran’s Day: Armistice, 1918

Problems with Blog Writing

Way back in the olden days, before the Internet had pictures, there were forums that discussed different topics. No moderators, no way to block messages, just free and open speech. Sounds great, but free and open meant that the forums had no way of banning posts that said, “You are the biggest idiot on earth,” or worse. They therefore had a finite life span. Trolls chased out the serious members and then got bored when there was nobody to rage against. But the forums were very helpful in the beginning.

I found a group called “Alt Sexual Abuse Recovery” (ASAR). I read every post and wrote a fair amount. After a while I noticed that people rarely answered my posts with support, information, or questions. Or flames, for that matter. I wondered what the matter was, so I got up my courage and asked.

The answer was totally unexpected. “You write too well. There is nothing left to say after reading one of your posts.” I was shocked and baffled. I really didn’t think I wrote well at all. Inside, I wondered whether what I was talking about was off-the-wall odd or else common knowledge and therefore boring.  I ached for support and didn’t get much.

For a while I tried to write badly. It reminded me of a failed effort to get friends in grade school. I decided that the reason the other kids didn’t like me was because I was too smart, so I tried to do badly on tests. I got poor marks, but no friends. I still had a big invisible sign on me, “Stay away. No friends wanted.”

I was hoping that the comment section would become a little community, with people writing each other, sharing resources and supporting each other. Compared to what I had hoped for, there are few comments. But I am very grateful to those that do comment and try to answer each one.

The problem must be that somehow my writing communicates, “No comments needed or wanted.” Too well written? I can see that the posts are tidy – everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end. My fourth grade teacher would be pleased.

Maybe I should practice leaving off the end — it’s the hardest part to write, anyway. Maybe people wouldn’t like my writing as much and would comment and tell me so. Maybe it’s something else entirely, something I can’t see. Maybe it is all in my head.

The Awareness Center

Upcoming Holidays
August
information on August holidays https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
8/1 Lamas/Lughnasadh
8/7 Full Moon
8/7 Partial lunar eclipse: visible in most of Europe, most of Asia, Australia, Africa, and eastern South America.
8/21 Total solar eclipse: totality visible in parts of Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; partially visible in other parts of the United States, Canada, Central America, northern South America, western Europe, and western Africa.
September
9/4 S Labor Day
9/6 Full Moon
9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)
9/7 Feast of the Beast
9/20 – 9/21 Midnight Host
9/22 Fall Equinox
9/29 Michaelmas (?)
October
10/5 Full Moon
10/13 Backwards Halloween
10/13 Friday the Thirteenth
10/22 – 10/29 Preparation for All Hallows’ Eve
1
0/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallows Eve/
Hallowmas/All Souls’ Day/Start of the Celtic new year, the “dark” half of the year
Important dates in Nazi groups
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party
9/1 Start of WW2
9/17 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday
10/16 N Death of Rosenburg
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday
.

The Awareness Center

Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, there were many very good organizations devoted to ritual abuse resources and healing. Many of them folded after a few years. The WayBack Machine only started archiving websites in 1996 and it didn’t really get going until 2000. Some website owners specifically asked that their material not be archived or, when they took down their webpages, asked to have the material removed from the archives. I was very saddened because I thought that information was lost forever.

You saw how excited I was when svali returned to the web and posted all her past writings and promised new articles. Now I have found another treasure.

The Awareness Center was a project of the international Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCASA). It served as a clearinghouse of information, resources, support, and advocacy and was on the net for fifteen years – from April 30, 1999 to April 30, 2014.

Although the website disappeared, JCASA’s founder, Vicki Polin, collected the finished webpages and put them in blog form. You can find them at http://theawarenesscenter.blogspot.com.

Jewish communities, like all persecuted groups, are very silent about sexual abuse and assault. They do not want to give their enemies any information that could be used to discriminate against them and persecute them. Although there are Jewish cults that practice Satanic ritual abuse, this secret is held very, very tightly, for fear of reactivating the “Blood Libel.” This centuries-old myth claims that Jews kill babies and use their blood as an ingredient in the wafers that are used in the most holy part of Catholic masses. For centuries the “Blood Libel” was used as an excuse for pogroms.

Of the major Jewish branches, Orthodox, Conservative and Reform, the Orthodox branch is most active in its efforts to keep all information about abuse within the community. People who say that they suspect abuse are told to talk to a rabbi, who will forbid that person from going to the police. If somebody does talk to the police, they and their families are shunned and verbally abused. People have lost their jobs and been banned from their synagogue. Their children have been expelled from school. Even women who have been raped as adults are shunned if the assault becomes known.

I have known only a very few Jewish survivors. Of these few, most were abused by non-Jewish groups, usually Neo-Nazi groups who wanted a Jewish child to use as a scapegoat. I can only think of three survivors of Jewish ritual abuse within the family – three in twenty-eight years! And between people I met in person and those I corresponded with by e-mail, I must have met over 2,000 survivors. Of course, many were focused on healing in the present and did not share much of their past with me, so the number may be a lot higher.

Back to the Awareness Center Blog. If you scroll down on any page, underneath “popular pages” you will find the blog archives, which start at May of 1970. Obviously that was not a 1970 blog entry; Vicki Polin must have filed information or kept it in a diary.

At http://theawarenesscenter.blogspot.com/2001/01/articles-written-by-awareness-center.html there is an index with articles grouped under the topics: community issues, clergy abuse, clinical (issues), cults and missionaries, general, family members of sex offenders, holidays, legal, offenders, parenting issues, rabbis, survivors of childhood abuse, and survivors of sexual assault. It includes space for articles planned for the future as well as those already written. Unfortunately, links to a couple of really interesting entries lead to a celebrity gossip page: https://www.axs.com/. I wonder how that happened.

It took an incredible amount of courage for Vicki to create first the webpage and then the blog. Every Jewish survivor deserves to know that this blog exists, for the knowledge of its existence will challenge the feeling of being the only one.

Can I ask a favor of all of you?

Will you tell every Jewish survivor you may know about this resource? And can you tell all the other survivors you know about the blog and ask them to tell their survivor friends to spread the word. Here is a sample paragraph for you to copy if you wish. “Could you tell all your survivor friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, about this blog? It has information and resources about sexual assault in the Orthodox community. http://theawarenesscenter.blogspot.com. Wide distribution about its existence will ensure that it will reach many Jewish survivors and lessen the burden of feeling that they are the only one who has suffered like this.”

Thank you so much!!