One Big Sorrow and Two Big Joys

This has been a very emotional week.

The sorrow was the loss of my elderly orange-and-white Cornish Rex cat. His death was not unexpected – he was eighteen and a half and had been sick for several days with all the symptoms of pancreatitis. I thought he was turning the corner because, after three or four days of zero appetite, he asked for chicken at lunchtime Saturday and also ate some dry food.

Saturday night he spent a little time on my bed, which I also took as a good sign, as he had been sleeping on the couch since he got sick. When I woke up, I didn’t see him in any of his usually napping places, so I went to the computer, expecting him to come jump on my lap and help me type. 

When he didn’t show up, I went looking for him again. I spotted him on the floor, motionless, between the couch and the potted ficus tree. I understand that cats usually look for an unusual place to die, preferably a small enclosed one. The space between the pot and the wall would have been ideal, but he didn’t quite make it.

The grief is so strong this time around! It has kicked up left-over grief from my two previous cats, the two dogs from my adult life, and the two dogs from my childhood. The animals from my adulthood were all eased out of life by their veterinarians and the childhood pets were “returned to the breeder so that they could have puppies.” I sincerely doubt that was so; I believe they were sacrificed. This was the first natural death (except for mice and hamsters) that I have experienced. 

And it was the first time that the death of an animal stirred up grief for the people in my life that I have lost. Perhaps it was because it was a natural death, perhaps because I am older now and death is closer to the forefront of my mind.

Besides the grief, I have had to contend with urges to do things to his body that are reminiscent of things that were done in the cult when an animal was sacrificed. The urges are strong, but I know that I will not act on them. It feels good to be so sure I am in control of my behavior that the images in my mind do not make me anxious. I can remember times when I was not as confident and I was terrified that the urges would overpower me. Now they are only an opportunity to process death in the cult at a deeper level.

Enough of the sorrow; now on to the joy.

I have a very good friend who had been extremely sick (not COVID) and was hospitalized for over a month. Everybody, including him, expected him to die, but he fooled his friends and family, his doctors, and himself and made it through. He is now discharged home and gaining his strength back. 

During the period when it was touch and go, I remembered all the good times we had had together and cried a lot. We went back a long time – to our teens – so there was a lot to cry over. There was laughter mixed in with the tears and that made me happy even as I was grieving. Now my heart is light again! Of course, since he is the human equivalent of eighteen-and-a-half cat years he probably won’t be with us for a long, long time, but every day is precious. Always has been, always will be.

I don’t feel comfortable saying much more – I don’t like talking about other people. So on to the other joy.

This one isn’t as dramatic, and that is just fine by me. I had a birthday last week and celebrated with a ZOOM call with my family. Last year it was a bigger celebration because I had asked all my nieces and nephews and their spouses and kids. I had also asked everybody to provide themselves with a cake (preferably chocolate with raspberry jam filling and chocolate fudge icing) and celebrate with me. There was one slice of last year’s cake in the freezer but I forgot all about it and so we all had a cakeless celebration.

No cake, no candles, no presents, but lots of love and another good memory for all. We had such a good time that we started talking about doing it for other family members’ birthdays. That would average out to just under one ZOOM celebration a month! 

For years I had dreaded my birthday because birthdays were so horrible when I was a child. For a good twenty years, I didn’t know why I could barely tolerate them, and then – boom! bye-bye, amnesia! – I totally got it. I was happy to celebrate others’ birthdays, but not mine. I acted out in behavior the feelings of wishing to have never been born. 

I asked for no presents on my birthday or Christmas. To make up for it, my family received presents at random times during the year and one set of grandkids got presents on Lobster Day. That was fine by them. I tried to institute a form of Lobster Day with the other set, but they thought it was too hokey and rejected the idea.

When I turned eighty, though, I realized I was depriving my kids of happy memories and asked for a big bash. No presents for me, just a request to pay something forward. That was shortly after I had decided to say “fuck the camera phobia.” Suddenly, avoiding cameras no longer seemed a loving, self-protective thing to do; it seemed selfish. I was going to leave photos for my kids to remember me by no matter how uncomfortable it made me.

It wasn’t as hard as I had anticipated, and it was great preparation for the ZOOM days ahead. 

I’ve always known that I could be happy about some things and sad about other things at the same time, but one emotion has always been far more powerful at the time than the other. This time they were pretty well balanced.


Upcoming Holiday


9/29 Michaelmas/Feast of Archangel Michael and of all Angels

9/22 Fall Equinox


10/11 (?) Columbus Day

10/13 Backward Halloween

10/20 Full Moon

10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year


11/1 All Saints’ Day

11/2 All Souls’ Day

11/4 Satanic Revels

11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day

11/18-19 Partial Lunar Eclipse

11/19 Full Moon

11/25 Thanksgiving Day (United States)

11/28 First Sunday of Advent

11/30 St Andrew’s Day


Sundays of advent: 11/28, 12/5, 12/12, 12/19

12/4 Total Solar Eclipse

12/18 Full Moon

12/24 Christmas Eve

12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day

12/25 Christmas Day

12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

9/21 – 9/27 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, Jewish harvest festival

10/4 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual half-birthday, 10/20, and his alternate half-birthdate six months after Easter, which falls on 4/4 this year.)

10/16 Death of Rosenburg

10/19 Death of Goering

10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday

11/9 Kristallnacht

11/29 -12/16 Chanukah/Hanukkah (Jewish Festival of Lights)

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


You can find more information on the following holidays at: 

Fall Equinox –

Halloween (personal) – 

Halloween (background) –

Thanksgiving –

Yule/Winter Solstice – 

Candlemas –

Valentine’s Day –

Spring Equinox –

Easter: personal – (for background, see Spring Equinox) –

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve –

Beltane –

Mothers’ Day –

Fathers’ Day –

Summer Solstice (corrected text) –

Lammas –


Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –

Death Is in the Air These Days

For the past several years, I have been thinking of death. mostly my own death. Not every now and then, but several times a day. I keep thinking I should ask others whether they do, too, but I never get around to it.

Why? I don’t want to upset people. I don’t want them to think I am hinting about being suicidal. I don’t want to find out that I am perfectly normal and that being preoccupied about death is a to-be-expected part of this phase of life, but it’s taboo to speak of it for some reason. I don’t want to discover it’s not normal at all. And I wonder whether I would be relieved or upset and angry to learn that it had nothing to do with my age and everything to do with my childhood and the ritual abuse.

I remember clearly what it is like to be depressed and suicidal and I am not depressed. I’m confused and unsure about a lot of things, but depression is not one of them. My thoughts about death are mundane. Should I do this, or that, before I die? Do I want to eat this now, in case I die overnight? or save it for a day of celebration?

I have a notebook in which I keep a list of where I put things. It’s helpful to me in the present and it will be helpful to those who have to sort through my stuff after I am gone. I use the back pages for miscellaneous notes of all kinds.

I was flipping through the notebook and came across this:

Death is in the air these days

in my old cat’s limp

in my constant pain 

back – knees – hands

in the news, of course,

and the invisible plague

But I rejoice

when I die, it will not be at their hands

no torture gone a little too far

not a murder, not an “accident”

and not a suicide

For I am

I am what? Free? Still alive? It seems that I was interrupted and that there was supposed to be a third section. I like it just the way it is – or perhaps ending in total caps: “FOR I AM.” Maybe someday I will flip through the notebook and find that a third section has appeared.

Is it a poem? I guess so. I don’t remember when or why I wrote it. It could have been twenty years ago (if it had not referred to COVID) or yesterday. I assume it was after April 3 of this year because there is a list on the page before dated April 3. But I pick pages to use so randomly that the date can’t be definitive. Since I forget so many things these days and I attribute this increased forgetfulness to increased dissociation, I’m not concerned about a poem popping up unexpectedly.

I have a feeling that it is about gratitude and that feeling gets stronger as I write about it. I’m very glad I am alive, and not a little amazed and puzzled at having lived so long. I thought I would be dead by thirty and now I am fifty-plus years older than thirty. Very strange. It’s like a group predicting the end of the world on such and such a date, and then, when that date comes and nothing has happened, setting the date of doom and destruction further in the future, choosing another date. 

Except that my abusers didn’t set another date – they left it open-ended. Perhaps they were sure that I would obey a call-back and be an active member of the cult for the rest of my life, so there was no need for me to get out of their hair with an early death. Who knows? So much of what they did and said made little sense – it was just plain nuts.

I wish with all my heart that all survivors could have only one call-back date and then be left alone for the rest of their lives. No boundaries broken, no unwanted communication, no intrusive thoughts. Wouldn’t that be great? To be left alone in peace to heal the wounds they inflicted and to die a peaceful, natural death.


Upcoming Holidays

5/23 Pentecost
5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse 
5/26 Full Moon
5/31 Memorial Day

 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

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 
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.)


* You can find more information on the following holidays at:
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve:
Mothers’ Day:
Fathers’ Day:
Summer Solstice: (corrected text)
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2
Fall Equinox: Halloween: (personal) 
Halloween: (background)
Yule/Winter Solstice: 
Valentine’s Day:
Spring Equinox:

Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox)

Pregnancy and Loss in Ritual Abuse

There have been two previous posts on this topic: a survivor who chose to remain anonymous wrote of her experiences between the ages of 13 and 17 with the sacrifice of full-term babies and Tracy’s account of the similar loss of her babies

This topic is not often talked about, and survivors feel very much alone. I was therefore asked to compile an anthology on this topic. I can do the editing and set up, but I need help in letting people know that a book is in the works. It would mean posting a notice on your blog, if you have one, and letting all your RA/MC contacts, therapists and pastors as well as survivors, know about the project. Ask them to spread the word. And, if this is in their background, ask them to consider writing something – an account of what happened and how it affected them, a memorial, a rant, a poem, whatever moves them.

I plan to get a PO box and post the address here. Meanwhile, tell the people you contact that they can get in touch with me at, or the comment section of this blog. (Emails to don’t always come through. If you don’t get an answer, try again or write a comment telling me about the problem.)  Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”


The following is an excerpt from Jade Miller’s blog “Thoughts from J8: Notes on attachment, trauma, dissociation, SRA, multiplicity, and recovery.” I edited it down a little and Jade approved the changes.

The blog has a lot of really helpful material and I hope you will go and explore the back entries.

I thank Jade from the bottom of my heart for her generosity and courage in sharing her experiences and for giving me permission to publish it both here and in the anthology.

Pregnancy and Loss in Ritual Abuse

by Jade 21. April 2016

This post is going to be a bit heavier than others. Feel free to exit at any time. Do whatever you need to do – I will never be offended if someone doesn’t read something I write. Take care of yourself. I will try to be as sensitive and non-triggering as possible, but some things are just hard. There’s no way around it. They’re hard, and they suck. Like really badly, they suck.

One thing I don’t talk about with people hardly ever (and this includes people who know me in real life and are privy to my story), and haven’t heard talked about hardly ever, is the topic of pregnancy and loss in the context of RA. And honestly I don’t know if I can, or how. It’s not easy for me. In fact, this might be one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written thus far in my blogging career. And no, as pretty as it sounds, the idea that writing about it is “cathartic” to me is not really accurate. I wish it was, but it isn’t. The main reason I am writing about it is because I don’t find it discussed anywhere. It’s not the kind of thing you can just spring on your friends. Hell, not even your average therapist would know what to say to this topic, since most don’t even know about RA. See the problem?

Pregnancy, miscarriage, infant loss, infertility, etc is a hard topic anyway. No matter what the circumstances are. There’s difficulty in discussing it already, and that’s in “normal” circumstances. People have so many emotions and are met with so many responses that are insensitive or unhelpful. People are told not to grieve, or that they should grieve a certain way, and/or that they should move on after a certain (somehow predetermined) amount of time has passed. They are urged not to tell their stories or acknowledge their loss(es) because it makes others uncomfortable or because others don’t see their pain as being as valid as other types of losses.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I also want to make it clear that this is not a one-up post. I’m not trying to say that pregnancy/miscarriage/infant loss is somehow “worse” for RA victims in the sense that I am cheapening the pain of anyone else who has experienced this outside this context. I am not the type who wants to compete for the title of “most damaged,” or anything along those lines. If you know me, you know this is the truth. That’s one game I don’t want to play, I’d give anything not to play, and being an RA survivor is not something that makes me special, IMO. I’m not here to utilize that status for special attention, and half the posts I write about it, I wish I didn’t need to write. I wish RA never happened to anybody so there would be no need to raise awareness.

With this post, I’m simply attempting to make a space for the RA crowd to realize they aren’t alone. I’m trying to explain to the uninformed why there are even more complicating factors for us when it comes to telling our stories and grieving our losses because of the context. It’s not about saying we have it worse than others who have experienced this type of loss. Loss is loss. Pain is pain. All of it sucks. All stories are welcome here. All feelings are valid here. But I’m trying to speak about something that – in my eyes – is rarely spoken of, in hopes to let others know that I see you. I hear you. I’m thinking of you.

I certainly can’t speak for everyone, and I don’t have the depth that other bloggers have to bring out every nuance of this subject. I can only speak for myself, and I can only speak about what I can comprehend at this time. As an RA survivor, I didn’t even remember what had happened to me until after the fact. The problem with this situation (like most others) is that RA itself is so evil, so atrocious, and so commonly unheard of. I have a hard time finding anyone that I feel can handle the knowledge of things that have happened to me, much less be able to handle witnessing my emotions as I continue to go through the process of healing. It becomes a double bind: the closer I get to someone, and the more I feel I can trust them enough to tell them, the more I care so much about them that I don’t want to tell them…for fear of hurting them. And I would imagine the closer they get to me, the more they care about me and the harder it is for them to tolerate imagining me in that kind of pain. Secondary trauma is real, and oftentimes RA perpetrators know that their victims have compassionate, protective souls that would rather suffer alone than cause someone else the pain of knowing their reality. They count on this. They hide behind it. They hope it makes us go our whole lives without healing, by keeping things hidden in the dark from other people (and even ourselves).

So, the truth is that I have suffered losses as an RA victim. I’m not even sure how to categorize them. I’m not sure if “forced abortion” is the right phrase, or “intentional termination” (not by me), or something else.

One of the hard things about this is that the process is traumatic from start to end, and buried in so much pain and shame that I imagine that it could potentially go unacknowledged for survivors’ entire lives. It’s so far removed from the normal context of pregnancy and miscarriage, it feels impossible to talk about it. So I’m going to try. I don’t have a “need” to – I don’t need to shock people, I don’t need the attention or the pity or the outrage. I’m thinking of survivors who have also experienced something related, and feel trapped in shame and silence. 

With RA, it’s not a case where two people decide they want a baby, whoever they may be and however they may choose to pursue it. Or any of the other less traditional situations that still include someone wanting a baby and taking a course of action to create one. It’s not a case where the pregnancy is achieved and then something goes wrong and the baby is lost naturally, whether very far along or not very far along. RA is extremely different. RA pregnancies are often cases where impregnation is forced on someone that didn’t consent – which is traumatic enough (by itself) to spend a lifetime trying to recover from. Sometimes the victim is drugged (I believe I was), so it’s hard for them to fight back during the impregnation process – not that they haven’t already been conditioned not to by then – and they may not remember a whole lot afterward. The pregnancy itself is traumatizing, since the person did not choose it. They likely wouldn’t have chosen it if they’d been given a choice. Sometimes they are shockingly young. Sometimes the process is indescribably painful (or would be, if not for the drugs). Discovering the pregnancy is traumatic. Feelings about the baby are ambivalent, and oftentimes there seems to be no right way to feel. Being angry and scared and resentful of the baby can sometimes induce guilt. As usual with RA, it’s a lose-lose situation for the victim. No matter what they feel, it seems wrong. They have feelings that directly oppose each other at the same time. And they may or may not have traumatic responses to what happened, unless they were too drugged or dissociated to recall right away. It’s likely that they dissociated different pieces of the memories to different parts of their mind, because no one can endure such a thing in one piece. I couldn’t, although I am no one special.

So the RA victim already has all of that going on.

Then, whenever the perpetrators decide it’s time, the pregnancy is terminated for their own purposes and by their own methods – also against the victim’s will. This process is also extremely traumatic and often violent – not just mentally and emotionally, but physically. It can be horrifically painful (I’m pretty tough but I’m fairly sure I passed out at least once and it wasn’t due to drugs). The average non-RA-survivor can’t really imagine how terrifying and excruciating it is. The perps usually find some way to suggest that the loss is the fault of the victim, and/or the victim later feels the horror of responsibility for the fact that they didn’t “save” the baby when it dawns on them that maybe they could have. (Truthfully they could not have.) The emotions are (once again) intensely at odds with each other, which either re-shatters some elements of the person’s mind, or drives the existing dissociation in even deeper. First the victim is traumatized because they are pregnant, then they are traumatized because they are not pregnant any longer. Depending on how far along they were, and how much time they’d had to try to adjust to the idea (and the physical experience), they once again don’t know how to feel. Their mind has been jerked in every different direction.

How could I possibly talk to anybody about this? It’s most decidedly not coffee talk. As stated before, it’s not really even therapy session talk.

I don’t feel the grief every day. I suspect I couldn’t live like that.

I think this because when it does hit me – randomly, at odd times – it hits me violently, viscerally, like a bomb exploding. “Intense” is too mild of a word for it. The pain is so heart crushing it nearly knocks me physically to my knees. I miss my babies in a physical way – as if my very loins have had chunks removed from them and I want them back, I can’t function without them. I know that’s an odd thing to say but I don’t know how else to describe it.

My very body misses them. They are missing from me, even in a purely physical way that I can sense.

I know that’s also an odd thing to say, but there might be people who can relate. It’s not just that my soul was blown apart by the experiences (plural), it’s that my physical being, even apart from my soul, acknowledges the violent implantation of – and ripping away of – little tiny beings that held my very DNA inside them. Despite the circumstances, I loved them. Regardless of how they came to be, they were mine. (Note: it’s okay to not feel the same way, or to not know how you feel/felt about it)

I have nothing to hold onto. I have no graves to visit. I have no other person to bear witness that there was a life, and then there wasn’t a life, and that this is deeply, unspeakably wrong. Even my memories are hazy and my facts are unclear.

The grief comes randomly, like a hurricane that touches down and floods everything – and then dissipates. I can’t (as of yet) tell what triggers it. There are obvious things. Sometimes when I walk by the baby section in a store, I see a tiny onesie or a crib layette and suddenly I can’t breathe and the tears start rushing to my eyes. Sometimes I walk by that section and I’m totally fine. And every time I have to see an OB-GYN for something, there’s the patient form that invariably asks how many pregnancies I’ve had in my lifetime. I’m always tempted to write “I DON’T F-ING KNOW LEAVE ME ALONE” on it but then I remind myself that they’re not trying to be cruel to me. Sometimes I’m not doing anything related at all. Sometimes it hits me for unknown reasons when I’m grocery shopping, or putting gas in my car. There doesn’t seem to be a logic to it. Not talking about it makes it even harder to bear – but who could I talk to? Who could know these things? (other than the entire internet, after I hit “Publish”…but I guess I was  referring to real-life friends)

And there is no resolution that I have found. I grieve quietly, privately, when I can. Sometimes I shut down and go numb. Grief is not linear. Resolution is not forthcoming. That’s one reason I’ve hesitated to write this post. I don’t like bringing up heavy things without offering a solution. But sometimes I feel that acknowledging our losses may be a starting point. It’s the only one I have. So even though I wish I could offer help, I can only offer my experiences. 

My hope is to one day have a garden of remembrance. I want a decent sized place in which to grow trees, bushes, and tons of flowerbeds with fountains, bird baths, benches in quiet nooks, and beautiful landscaping, a tree swing, gazebos…a garden refuge. Maybe I could write there. A place where I can go to be alone and remember my babies – even talk or sing to them privately if I want to – and feel that they are being honored with that space. I don’t know if this hope will ever become a reality, but it’s the one that makes sense for me if I have the resources to do it.

In the meantime, I don’t know how to navigate this landscape. But breaking the silence seemed to be a good place to start. I told my T this morning “can’t even write about it,” with a song and video I’d found on the topic. But I changed my mind. I challenged myself to write about it. If not for me, then for others.

I kind of *hope* that this is an unneeded post and that traffic falls because it’s just so irrelevant to people’s lives that it’s not interesting to them. That’s an odd thing to hope for with a blog post but I do.

Take care of yourselves! Jade




10/13 Backwards Halloween
10/24 Full Moon
10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve/ Hallomas/ All Souls Day/Start of the Celtic new year.

11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/22 US Thanksgiving
11/23 Full Moon
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/22 Full Moon
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/25 Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups

9/1 N Start of WW2
10/12 Hitler’s half birthday
10/15 Death of Goering
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
11/9 Kristallnacht
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)