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/

Chronic Anxiety

*Look at the last post for an invitation to an online poetry reading, “Ritual Abuse Survivors Read Their Poems of Suffering and Healing,” on Saturday, July 10.

~~~~~~~~~~

It wasn’t until about twenty years ago, when I first got a diagnosis of Chronic Anxiety Disorder, that it occurred to me that I might be chronically anxious. Who, me? What? I still seldom think of myself that way.

Yes, I am afraid of many things and I do get anxious quite frequently. But it’s not continual. And I seldom get full-fledged panic attacks. When I do, I really, really, hate them. On top of being anxious about whatever set off the panic attack, I experience an intense fear of dying because I believe my heart will suddenly give out under the stress. I’m really glad they don’t occur more often.

Can a few of you relate?

Depression is very different. I go for long periods being more or less depressed, and then, thanks to medications, I have nice long periods when I am not depressed. I can remember what it was like, but I cannot conjure up the actual feeling. Anxiety is different. If I start thinking about how something makes me anxious, I become anxious.

Tranquilizers mute my anxiety, but they don’t erase it completely, and besides, they are addictive. I therefore seldom take them – I save them for scheduled emergencies, like the dentist.

When I get very anxious, I talk to myself. “It’s okay, I’ve done this before and I managed to get through it. The fear went away as soon as I did it. But when I put it off, it stayed until I got up my courage and actually did it.”

I understand that I get afraid as an adult of things I was afraid of as a kid. Telephones, large public buildings, birthday “presents.” Sometimes I can get an image of the event that frightened me so deeply. A lot of the time I have to accept that, for now, I don’t know the awful thing that happened, but I do know that it’s natural for a kid to react with extreme fear and to want to avoid that thing forever. Unfortunately, here that thing is again and now I am a grown-up and I expect myself to deal with it, despite my fear. But it’s normal for me to be all freaked out; there is nothing wrong with me.

And I am not the only one, by far. My life coach, Katherine North (https://declaredominion.com/), who I quote a lot, is pretty damned anxious. This Saturday she wrote about coming to her terms with her chronically high level of anxiety and how she copes with it.

She copes with it like I do, by talking kindly and gently to herself. No shaming, no, “Afraid of a telephone? How silly. It doesn’t bite, you know. What a sissy you are.”

I say, instead, “It’s totally normal to be afraid after what you lived through. This is a perfectly normal, healthy reaction. But I’m here now, and I am thinking of all the times that nothing bad happened. I am sure nothing bad is going to happen this time – it might even be good! And when it is done, it’s done, and we can go have some fun.”

Katherine has a wonderful way with words. This is how she described it:

“It turns out that scared people have a LOT of practice being brave. I’m not afraid of feelings and being vulnerable. I’m scared of spreadsheets and insurance and hospitals and paperwork and passports and basements and permits and offices and elevators and airplanes and bugs and the dark and receptionists. (For starters.)”

“…by talking gently to the scared parts of ourselves in our biggest kindest grownup voices. Because after a certain point, I learned that if I was really really gentle with myself, even if I couldn’t get up jauntily, I could almost always slide myself across the floor one inch at a time.”

“You can do it, sweetheart! Just one more inch! Yes! Just one thirty-second tiny brave thing, and then you can rest! Good, you did it! Yes, now you can cry all you need to! You did it!”

“I’m brave because I’m scared and I keep trying anyway.”

“And I have walked many miles myself through thorny thickets of fear, which means that I have some good maps.”

~~~~~~~~~~

At this point, I sat back and said, “What else do I want to write about?

I want to explain why this post is late. My computer froze when I was downloading a software update. It took me three calls to Apple, and the first person told me to leave it overnight to see if it finished up installing the software. It didn’t. I was a wreck! I was a little less of a wreck because I have a backup, but what if the backup is also frozen? My whole life is in that computer!!!

Well, on the third call they got it going again. I had a computer-less day, and it was very interesting to compare how that felt in contrast to my normal computer-filled days. I felt much freer and more spontaneous. But I also had so much anxiety that I was afraid that if I touched the computer I would break it for sure, and so I avoided it for a couple of days. Oh, well, stuff happens. I’m pretty much over it now.

Now my mind is turning to “Litany Against Fear,” from Frank Herbert’s book Dune.

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

There is a shorter version, which I think I like better. Both are from https://dune.fandom.com/wiki/Litany_Against_Fear.

“I will not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
I will face my fear.
I will let it pass through me.
When the fear has gone,
There shall be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

June
6/20 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 (?) St John’s Day
6/24 Full Moon

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

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

(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: 

 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/ 

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/

My Home as a Reflection of My Inner Self

* Two hard days in May have passed – Beltane and Mothers’ Day. There’s a full lunar eclipse coming up on the 26th (they always occur on a full moon) and then a long weekend, Memorial Day. I wrote a short little blog post on long weekends back in 2016. https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/long-weekends/

And then we have a break until Fathers’ Day on June 20 and the summer solstice on June 2.

* There are two announcements after the main part of this post.

~~~~~~~~~~

I follow declaredominion.com, which is the website of Katherine North, a life coach. I need a life coach because I learned a lot about death as a kid, but life? Not so much.

Katherine sends me a “missive” every Saturday. Her missives are long personal letters with a moral. This week it was about fixing a gaping hole in her kitchen wall left by electricians. I could relate, having recently had not one, but many holes left by electricians. Now that everything is all fixed up, the lighting is awesome – I can actually see really, really well! The memory of the mess is fading fast, covered by a later of dirty dishes and thirsty plants.

Anyway, this week Katherine said, among other things,

“Our homes are such powerful metaphors for what’s happening in our inner lives!”

“If your home was a metaphor, is there anywhere your energy is draining out?“

“And if so, what is the GENTLEST possible way you could begin attending to it? Not with panic, not with shame, but with love and care, as a way of honoring your sacred energies?”

Our physical worlds are reflections of our inner ones, and we can shift the way we feel by shifting the spaces around us.”

And, just a reminder, “It usually gets worse to get better.”

Do I ever relate!

Inside, I am piles and piles of dust particles. Or sand particles. Or tiny shards of broken china. Teeny things, without form or function.

But somehow, who knows how, they come together to make a sort-of-me. Then they have a form and a function. The cook. The cat feeder. The blog writer. And when they have finished the task, they separate and collapse back into piles of tiny pieces.

I know it isn’t always the same little pieces that form the “self” that is needed at the time. The cook who is dropping things on the floor isn’t the same cook as the one who always manages to gently put plates on a flat surface. Then there is the cook who cannot remember how long it takes to boil an egg, the one who seasons things to perfection, the one who prepares five servings of fruit and vegetables, and the one who says, “Fuck this! I am having pizza and ice cream tonight.”

I do not know what holds these pieces together long enough to get food on the table. And I don’t know how the pieces are selected and assembled. I’ve never seen a me-part that was in charge of creating other parts of me.

Looking around my house, I see piles of tiny things. I also see piles of larger things waiting to be organized into something even larger. That makes me wonder if pre-assembled parts of my selves are lying around inside waiting to be used. It would be efficient, wouldn’t it? A chunk of knowledge, a chunk of competence, a piece of panic, and always two ready-formed left feet and one perfect right one.

It’s too bad there are no piles of physical things to use as spare parts. I’d like a brand-new heart with all its innate functions intact, a lot of new teeth, and, best of all, a lumbar spine in working order. When I think what a miracle that would be, I realize that the system I have inside with the intangible parts of myself is also a miracle. Imagine! At a moment’s notice, all sorts of people can appear – a mother, a copy editor, a reader of French newspapers, somebody who, oddly enough, enjoys math jokes. What a diverse bunch of interests and abilities lurk inside me!

So if Katherine is right, and we can change our insides by changing the outside, it would make sense to organize little piles into bigger, more coherent piles. I’m not sure she is, because an artist part of me may be making a mess to communicate that I am a mess inside. Tidying up would be shutting down that path of communication, silencing me as I was consistently silenced in childhood. Not helpful.

But tidying things up might just as well be an artist part trying to tell other inside parts, “Hey, look what’s possible! We can all become bigger and better and more competent and happier without giving up anything. We can become more ourselves, if we want, and we can do it in our way, not in obedience to anybody else!”

I think I will try this approach and see what happens.

PS Math nerds can enjoy fractal elephants at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK5Z709J2eo and other “Doodling in Math Class” videos.

~~~~~~~~~~ 

Upcoming Holidays

May

5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day

5/23 Pentecost

5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse

5/26 Full Moon

5/31 Memorial Day

June

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

July

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

5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

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: 

 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/ 

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/

 ~~~~~~~~~~

* Survivorship Regular Conference – Saturday and Sunday, May 22 – 23, 2021

Clinician’s Conference – Friday, May 21, 2021

Information on the speakers, topics, and registration is at https://survivorship.org/the-survivorship-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-2021-conference/

The May 2021 issue of SMART’s newsletter summarizes these articles about Elizabeth Loftus. https://ritualabuse.us/2021/04/issue-158-may-2021/ You can also find them at https://ritualabuse.us/smart/elizabeth-loftus/

 – A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus

 – Ethics Complaints Filed Against FMSF Board Member Elizabeth Loftus

 – “Lost in a Shopping Mall” A Breach of Professional Ethics

 – Quotes: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.

 – The Alleged Ethical Violations of Elizabeth Loftus in the Case of Jane Doe