My Late-Life Identity Crisis

There is an announcement after the article.

Mid-life identity crises are easy to spot. Men dream of sports cars, red pick-up trucks, beautiful young women, and tours to Mount Everest. Women dream of “just one more baby,” grad school, and Dancing with the Stars. It’s a rough time for marriages. It’s often a period of depression and ennui. “J’ai lu tous les livres, et j’en ai marre de la vie. (I’ve read all the books, and I am sick and tired of life.”

Identity crises in the elderly – well, you usually think of deepening wrinkles, deteriorating health, loss of independence, and hints of dementia. But do you think of finding out you aren’t the person you thought you were? What are the signs of that? I’d say, for me, staring into space, picking up a pencil and making it hover over a piece of paper, never touching it. Talking out loud to myself, having strange dreams. Also, saying, “really???” a lot to people.

I’ve written before about how I have a sense that there is no me, nothing that holds the hypothetical self together and gives it consistently over time. It’s easier to see continuity with my body. All my memories include the fact that I have a head, two feet, and two hands. My height and weight have changed since I was two, of course, and my hands and feet have become larger. But from the time I was fifteen, there have been no basic changes in the architecture of my body.

Looking back, the earliest clue that I remember is lamenting, “I have no personality.” This was in my early teens. I meant that there was nothing outstanding about me, nothing memorable. I felt that I didn’t catch people’s interest, so there was no reason for them to get to know me. Invisible.

That’s how it feels not to have any sense of self. My body is visible, but my self is invisible to myself, if that makes any sense. And if somebody outside me thinks that they see me, well, they are deluded or just pretending in order to be nice. That doesn’t sound like it makes a lot of sense, either!

Over the past year, things have been changing. I’m back in touch with many people who have known me over the years. When we reconnect, many spontaneously say something like, “You have always been….” When I ask people who I trust to be honest with me and tell me what, if anything, has been constant about me over the years, they can list many traits. I have to listen to them because I know they don’t lie.

If all these people experience me as being constant over the years, they must be reacting to something that has stayed consistent. And, interestingly, they all mention the same things! This suggests that there really is a me and that I am simply blocked from seeing it. What is more, if I met somebody who matched their perception of me, I would like that person. I would be happy to have her as a friend.

Being told that I am perceived in a positive light is in direct opposition to the deep-seated belief that I am toxic, that my love is poison. All these years, I have believed the lies I was told and have covered up “the truth” about me in shame and fear. That’s sad. It’s really nice, however, to start genuinely believing they are lies, not a description of the real me. 

Several months after I began absorbing the implication of these discoveries, I started becoming aware of something I have known all along, something I have known without knowing I knew it. 

A large percentage of me is unconscious, and I am still amnesic for most of my abuse memories. Why don’t I know more? What is down there? What’s holding me back? What am I afraid of? What terrible things would happen if I did know?

Hints abound; hints from childhood and hints from adulthood, both before and after I started remembering. In second or third grade, I thought the Russians had found out how to put people to sleep for a month, play recordings, and have them wake up knowing all that the tapes had contained. I was struggling to memorize the multiplication tables and thought it would be wonderful to go to sleep one night and wake up a month later knowing them perfectly. And why not, while I was at it, also learn multiplication and long division in my sleep? Now how did I know about this?

Perhaps there is a clue in this piece of information. Ewen Cameron was doing these experiments even before he went to McGill. He was in the United States from 1936 to 1943. I was in first grade in 1943. 

In grade school, I was affronted that nobody had tested my ability to see things at a distance, not even guessing the suit and rank of playing cards held behind a screen. I assumed that these tests were the entrance exam, so to speak, to really interesting studies. I was disappointed, insulted, and angry. How did I know about remote viewing? Why did I care so much?

These aren’t memories that popped out in therapy. I have always remembered these thoughts and been puzzled by them.

After I remembered and found therapists who knew about ritual abuse, more hints surfaced. However, they slid out of consciousness after a while, only to resurface after months or years. 

I hope they stay conscious now that I am collecting dots to connect later on.

Two issues are especially important to me.

First, I have always been puzzled about how I make decisions. I feel fragmented, and I feel that tiny pieces of me come together to do things. But how do the fragments get chosen? And how can I decide to collect those fragments and then, when the task is over, let them go? 

Is it possible that there is a part of me that exists out of my awareness and is aware of my surroundings and everything in my conscious mind? Could that part be guiding the little pieces?

To date, the only theory that seemed to make sense was that actions were guided by stimulus/response. Stimulus: see a dirty dish; Response: put it in the dishwasher. Stimulus: open my calendar app and realize it’s the 10th, 20th, or 30th of the month; response: post a blog entry. I never felt very convinced, but it was the best I could come up with. 

Now I have another possible explanation. Frankly, it seems more likely. And scarier.

Second, I have worried for at least two decades that I might have destructive sleeper alters that I am not aware of. Around 12/31/1999 – 1/1/2000, I was terrified, not only of being killed but also by the possibility that the start of a new century was a trigger to wake up my own sleeper alters. Even worse, this would happen to many people at the same time, and we would go about destroying everything in sight.

Nothing happened. It might have as well have been any other night.

I did not stop worrying on and off, however. I don’t say, “Oh, that proves I don’t have sleeper alters.” All I can say for sure is that if I do have sleeper alters, they weren’t triggered into action by the date change.

Now I am willing to explore this part of me, the large unknown world below the protective amnestic barrier. I don’t know if I will get there. But if I do, I know that what is there will contribute mightily to this amazing late-life identity crisis.

~~~~~~~~~~

RA/MC Panel at the International Human Trafficking and SocialJustice Conference

I will be part of a panel of RA/MC survivors of child sex trafficking. The title of the presentation is “The Interface between Sex Trafficking, Ritual Abuse, and Mind Control Programming.” It will be in two parts. Each part will consist of a recording of the panel discussion followed by live questions and answers. There will be a fifteen-minute break between the two sections. 

We have the whole afternoon on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Read more about the presentation 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 

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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

October
10/9 Full Moon
10/10 Columbus Day
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/25 Partial solar eclipse visible in Europe, the Urals, Western Siberia, the Middle East, India, Western Asia, and northeast Africa. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2022-october-25
10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year 

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups 

10/1 Lammas
Early August through October: Various preparations are done in readiness for October, the month with the largest number of celebrations. 
9/2  Autumnal equinox, “Fall Festival.”
10/16 Death of Rosenburg, a Nazi leader in World War II. (Many Nazi leaders were captured and scheduled for trial in late September and early October. Most of them killed themselves prior to trial.) 
10/17 Hitler’s alternate half birthday (6 months from Easter, 2022)
10/19 Death of Hermann Goering, a Nazi leader in World War II. 
10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday
10/31 – 11/1 Halloween

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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/

Multiples Are All Different

The Next RA/MC Survivor Poetry Reading

Last call! It this Saturday, October 23, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm (Pacific Daylight Time) 

Featured poets are Shana truthteller, Daniel, Jean (that’s me), and members of the audience.

Sign up here: eventbrite.com.au/e/ritual-abuse-survivors-read-their-poems-of-suffering-and-healing-tickets-179703978437

 ~~~~~~~~~~ 

I have been looking inward for many months trying to figure out what organizing principles are at work in my mind. Now I have come up for air and am looking at other people’s thinking patterns with fresh eyes. I’ve noticed how differently people’s minds work.

What strikes me the most is that each person seems unique to me. Even if they were subjected to the same types of mind control programming, they still are very different.

I think of identical twins. Even though they look identical, once you get to know them, you can see that there are small differences. One twin has a mole, the other doesn’t. One twin slouches more than the other. One is more outgoing than the other.

Even though they grew from the same fertilized egg, their environments were not exactly the same. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, they started to diverge in utero and keep on diverging for the rest of their lives.

So it is with survivors who were raised in the same family and programmed by the same programmer. Mentally, emotionally, and physically, they are not clones of each other. Their environments have been far more divergent than the environments identical twins inhabit. 

Qualities such as birth order, attractiveness, ability to adapt socially, and willingness to obey influence how adults treat children, which in turn influences how children react to repeated trauma. The programmer is not, by any means, handed a blank slate.

The characteristics that a child brings to the programming will influence how they react to that programming. If the programmer catches this, the system may be tweaked to correct for the divergence from protocol. That change in the system will continue to form the child’s reaction to subsequent programming.

I believe that all children have hidden parts of themselves from their abusers. Even with children programmed with the same structure, these parts may be hidden in different places in their systems. They may have been hidden at different times and different stages of the programming. As I said, the child is not a blank slate and continues to have some agency throughout.

I am what is known as polyfragmented. This means that I have been split so often that I am made up of very tiny pieces. I have always felt a little out of it with other survivors because I don’t have fully formed alters or an internal landscape. Or perhaps I do, but it is so well hidden that I can’t see it.

I belong to a support group where everybody is polyfragmented. I feel more at home than I do with most other survivors. But even there, I have found that nobody is entirely like me. Each person’s mind is unique. The way they think, the way they perceive themselves, the way they navigate life, all are unique. Some of them have more or less fully formed alters alongside the fragments. Their internal processes flow back and forth between the two different states, just as people with only fully formed alters switch between alters.

I am coming to terms with the fact that no two people are alike. If I base my sense of comfort — or rather alienation — on being unlike others, and therefore an outsider, rejected, not belonging, I will have to accept that I will never belong anywhere. And that nobody belongs anywhere.

How much simpler it is to stop fretting, to give up a lifetime of social anxiety. That way, I can choose to spend time with some groups of people and not others, based on my personal taste. I can flow between groups and I can enjoy people for themselves. I no longer have to search for people just like me. I can enjoy both the similarities and the differences between myself and others.

I belong in all groups because I, too, am a human being, just like everybody else. 

~~~~~~~~~~  

Upcoming Holidays

 October

 10/20 Full Moon

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

November

 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

December

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

 12/4 Total Solar Eclipse

 12/18 Full Moon

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

 12/24 Christmas Eve

 12/25 Christmas Day

 12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

 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: 

 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/

 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/

Different Ways of Knowing

* I probably won’t have any material ready for the scheduled 7/10 entry. Why? Because I am hosting our poetry reading and there is so very much to do!

Hope to see lots and lots of you there!!!!

Free Online Poetry Reading 
Saturday, July 10, 2021  
4 PM Pacific Time 
“Ritual Abuse Survivors Read Their Poems of Suffering and Healing”

Register at  
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ritual-abuse-survivors-read-their-poems-of-suffering-and-healing-tickets-154638336427

How to prepare for the reading:
2. Choose a comfortable place
3. Stock up on tea, soft drinks, and munchies
4. Add important extras, like Kleenex and stuffies

Tips:
1. Mute your microphone unless you are speaking during the Q&A period.
2. If you don’t want to be seen, hover over your image and click the three little dots. Choose “Hide Self.” To turn your image back on, click the “View” button, then click “Show Self View” on the menu.
3. You can change the name displayed on your video. Click on the “Participants” icon (two heads with a number next to them.) A list of Participants will appear. Hover your mouse over your name and click on “Rename.” Enter the name you want others to see. Remember to change it back next time you use ZOOM.

* One more announcement about Pornhub is at the end of the article.

Different Ways of Knowing

I used to think that the only way to learn was to go to school, study real hard, and do things exactly the way they told you to. Then you took a test and found out whether or not you knew something.

I gave those teachers far too much power! There are many ways of learning, and that is only one way, a way that was popular in the early ’40s.

Children learn a lot by watching, listening, touching, smelling. They don’t need another person to do this. For the most part, what they learn is true. Snow is cold. Sunlight is warm. Water is wet. Some grownups paint their lips red, some don’t. Some have hair around their mouths, some don’t. They eat with little sticks, not their hands. Depending on where they live, they call these sticks chopsticks or forks. These are facts. The information comes through the senses, which do not lie.

Actually, senses can lie – if grownups spend a lot of time teaching the children how to ignore the input of their senses and how to misremember an experience as something else. Grownups in cults are particularly adept at negating children’s experiences. “That didn’t hurt.” “That didn’t happen.” “You liked that, didn’t you?” “That was just a dream.” “No, you were at Gramma’s house yesterday.”

Cults also play games with the mind. Double binds are one of their tricks. “Do you want to kill the orange kitten or the spotted kitten? Choose!” “Do you want me to hit you, or do you want to hit your little sister? Choose!” Another trick is inverting values. Good becomes bad; evil becomes good. Words are given meanings that are the opposite of what the larger society assigns to them. You can make kids believe anything if you work hard enough at it.

I think that these learning experiences are processed differently, at least for me. This is because I remember them differently.

Things that were taught to me while being abused come back in flashbacks and through drawing or free-association writing. They had been forgotten, covered over by amnesia. This makes sense to me because everything they taught me was accompanied by a command to forget, to “not know” what had happened or what I had learned. All these things were stuffed way down into my unconscious.

When the amnesia broke spontaneously, they came shooting through in flashback form – images, body feelings, smell, emotions. (Oddly enough, I do not have sound flashbacks.) When I prodded my unconscious through writing or drawing, there were no flashbacks – the memory was there on the page, more or less disguised.

But the things I learned on my own during those dark days and nights come back in a very different form. I just know. All I have to do is join a conversation about a given subject, open my mouth, and out comes the information. It isn’t disguised, it isn’t chaotic. It comes out in a clear, concise, matter-of-fact form. I guess that’s because the information hasn’t been distorted by my abuser’s lies and manipulations.

These days, I know what I am talking about when ”I just open my mouth and out it comes,” but back when I first remembered, I didn’t have enough context to always know what I was saying.

I came across a notebook from 1988/1989 and read some things which surprised and amused me.

“The facade is an integral part of the building.” Hmm. And I thought I was being so original when I wrote that blog entry! But I knew what I meant back then. The “fake me” I constructed when I had to hide the abuse became an important part of my personality, of the “real” me. Then I turned my attention to other things and forgot all about the facade and the building.

I also found two pages in which I referred to myself as fragmented. The one I want to find I can’t, of course. I think these are the exact words, but I’m not 100% sure. It was part of a wish list–

“I want to be whole 
I am tired of offering people fragments of myself”

The other entry is a record of a rather sophisticated dream.

“I dreamed that there were discrete roles or psychological states and when I was in one state I felt coherent. It was slipping from one to the other that made me feel crazy.

This is true, except that I’m always in several and so I feel crazy all the time – fragmented consciousness or identity.”

I knew I was fragmented back then. I knew without knowing I knew. Then I put that knowledge aside for decades and here it is again, front and center in my mind, rather than slipping in and out of consciousness.

Boy, the mind is a wonderfully complex thing.

~~~~~~~~~~ 

* I am writing this as a note because there is more and more news about the successful fight against Pornhub and Mindgeek. This time it’s the announcement of the filing of a lawsuit. I could easily write about Pornhub three times a month . . . but that is a different blog.

34 victims, 14 of whom were children at the time they were abused, have filed a RICO – racketeering, trafficking, and child pornography – lawsuit against Pornhub and MindGeek, Pornhub’s parent company. You can read all 179 pages of the complaint at https://mindgeeklitigation.com/asset/2021.06.17%20-%20Dkt.%20001%20-%20Complaint.pdf.

~~~~~~~~~~ 

Upcoming Holidays

July

7/4 Independence Day 
7/23 Full Moon 
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God 
7/27 Grand Climax

August

8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh 
8/13 Friday the 13th 
8/15 (?) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
8/22 Full Moon 
8/24 St. Bartholomew’s Day

September

9/5 – 9/7 Feast of the Beast/Marriage of the Beast 
9/7 Labor Day (United States) 
9/20 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

7/18 Tisha B’Av (Jewish Day of Mourning) 
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party 
9/1 Start of WW2 
9/7 Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year, Day of Judgement) 
9/16 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement) 
9/17 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday 
9/21 – 9/27 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, Jewish harvest festival

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

~~~~~~~~~~

Additional information on various holidays:

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-il
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/
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/