Value-Free Abilities, Feelings, and Actions

Read on! The article is hiding below these short but important, announcements.

Welcome!

For those of you who are new to my blog, thank you for following me! I hope you will find it helpful.

Please use the comments section freely. You may comment on the article, ask for information, or connect with other survivors.

Fathers’ Day –

is the first in a series of Holiday Zoom Open Houses For Survivors of RA/MC.
On miserable, triggery days, like the solstices, equinoxes, Christmas, Easter, and “Hallmark Card” days, survivors often choose to be alone rather than be among people who just don’t understand. Now, thanks to ZOOM and joanies, you have a third choice. Bring a meal or a snack and eat together, or just hang out with other RA/MC survivors. No need to stay the whole time if you don’t want to.

Sunday, June 19, 2022, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM Pacific Time (Not a celebration of Father’s Day – it is a time to celebrate each other!)
Register here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holiday-zoom-gathering-for-ramc-survivors-tickets-361102716947

Poetry Reading

There will be another virtual poetry reading on Saturday, June 25, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM Pacific Time. That is Sunday, June 26, 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM Melbourne, AUS Time. The invitation to attend is open to survivors, therapists, support people, and allies.

This is an open event for any survivor of RA/MC to present a 1-3 minute poem about “Being Victimized, Surviving, and Living Fully.” The poem can be on all three topics or on only one or two of the topics. You may also pair visual art with your poem or perform through song.

The event will be in open-mic style, and presenters will sign up through the chat on the day of the event.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ritual-abuse-survivors-read-their-poems-of-suffering-and-healing-tickets-291878545587

Value-Free Abilities, Feelings, and Actions

This is a topic I have been mulling over for years now. I’ll tell you what started me off.

I realized that some of the qualities in myself that I value had also been valued by the cult. I can’t say they were exactly nurtured, for they were demanded on pain of lots and lots of pain if I fell short. Each year, each month, each week, more and more was expected of me. But they did develop in this harsh environment.

Early on, I recognized that my body healed rapidly. It wasn’t until 1999, when I read Judith Spencer’s book, “Suffer the Child,” that I learned that this is a trait that was highly prized by at least one other Satanic cult. I don’t remember hearing about it since, but I don’t need further validation. It makes perfect sense to me.

It is easy to see that the physical process of rapid healing works in both environments. So how could it be a “good” thing or a “bad” thing? It just was.

Intelligence was a more complex concept for me to deal with. I could tell that the grown-ups around me valued intelligence. However, I was very confused about the concept and believed I was stupid. I compared myself, not with ordinarey people, but with those with exceptionally high IQs. The degree of perfectionism was ridiculous – if I wasn’t the best in the world, I must be stupid.

It didn’t help that I didn’t fit in with the other kids. They all had friends, and I didn’t; therefore, I must be dumb because I couldn’t even figure out how to have a friend. Or carry a tune or throw and catch a ball, for that matter. I was so confused that, at one point, I thought maybe I didn’t have friends because I scored higher on tests than they did. I tried to get the answers wrong but failed because I got interested in the material and forgot what I had set out to do. Oh well.

I have a little scar on my forehead marking the destruction by radiation of a growing birthmark. I told the kids I suffered brain damage from this procedure when I was three months old. Brain damage! Little did I know!

In time, I realized I wasn’t stupid; I was just a misfit. And when I remembered my abuse, I could see that my intelligence was valued in the cult as well as at home and at school. How could it be valued both by evil people and by kind, ethical people? It must be outside the categories of good and evil, or above it, part but not part of both moral systems at the same time.

I started thinking of all the things that were accepted and valued in both the day-life and the night-life as value-free. Like stars, for example. Stars aren’t good or bad; they just are.

Before I started writing this post, I looked up the definitions of value-free and value-neutral.

According to the Oxford Learners’ Dictionaries, value-free means “not influenced by personal opinions.“ Not surprisingly, value-laden means “influenced by personal opinions.”

Oxford Reference defines value-neutral as
adjective
• Not presupposing the acceptance of any particular values.
•  ‘Morality involves value judgments, and I want my intelligences to be value-neutral.” 
“The situation in which a participant in a controversial situation is impartial and not influenced by personal beliefs, attitudes, or values, a situation that may often be more theoretical than real. Philosophers of science have long debated the question of whether science can ever be truly value neutral, starting from the premise that the scientific approach to problem solving in itself requires values that accept the importance and relevance of so doing, in addition to the values implied in the search itself, such as the definition of truth. Beyond this, the ethical and moral choices that biological and health scientists must frequently make will always require them to hold certain values.”

Interesting.

Perhaps because I am dissociated, I imagine something that is value-free or value-neutral floating above whatever is going on at the moment. Sort of like my consciousness, except it isn’t conscious. My understanding of the concept is visual; I can see it clearly but have to scramble for words.

Do you know those little glass pendents that contain mustard seeds or open so you can use them as lockets and put a tiny photograph in them? There are all sorts of beads that size, some very fancy. I have a black enamel bead with an elaborate flower pattern and a white bead, again with a flower pattern. I wear them together to symbolize value-neutrality. The little flowers exist in both dark and light settings.

When I feel shame or guilt about something, they remind me that I am in a feeling-flashback. For example, there is no reason to feel shame about sex or guilt about anger. These things just are, like the stars and flowers just are, although they can be used for good or for evil. This belief allows me to think more calmly and more clearly.

Now I understand, with relief and gratitude, that as soon as I got free, I consistently tried my best to use my intelligence and the skills I learned in the cult to help people, not to harm them.

Upcoming Holidays

June
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

 

July
7/4 Independence Day
7/13 Full Moon
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Grand Climax/Da Meur

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

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

(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:

Candlemas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-
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/ 

Thoughts on Past Depression

May Eve and Beltane

Beltane is absolutely the worst holiday for me. It’s a perversion of a lovely Pagan celebration of spring and the promise of new birth in plants, animals and humans. It’s yin to Halloween’s yang, fecundity to death. You can imagine how easy it would be to pervert.

I went back and read an article about the origins of Beltane that I posted in 2004. It’s still worth a read.  https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

I hope you can all do something, however small, to counter the messages from the past that you may receive tonight and tomorrow. Try and be kind to yourself, to your body, to the parts of you that were forced to live through those things. The survival of the child that was you is a miracle that is worth celebrating.

~~~~~~~~~~
So Excited!

I am really happy to tell you all that both our proposals were accepted by the International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference. We will be presenting sometime on Wednesday, September 21, Thursday ,September 22, or Friday,September 22. I’ll let you know when we are assigned days and times.

Anybody who would like to hear about “The Interface between Sex Trafficking, Ritual Abuse, and Mind Control Programming” or see what Donna, River, Mary (sparrow), Anneka, and I look like, here is your chance! 

And I am also happy to tell you that fees are waived for all survivors! 

~~~~~~~~~~

Thoughts on Past Depression

I walked into my bedroom this morning and stood looking at the sunlight on the sheets and pillows of my unmade bed. Just stood still, admiring it. I thought about how beautiful it was and how I was so happy that I could now see beauty in everyday things. I remembered the days when everything looked drab and dreary. Sometimes I could recognize beauty, but it was so painful I could hardly stand it. Anything beautiful contrasted vividly with the pain and hopelessness inside – bleak, ugly despair. 

I wonder if anybody has been able to forget a deep depression. I’m glad I don’t have flashbacks to feeling like that!

For several years I was clinically depressed. I had plenty of suicidal thoughts, and I knew how to kill myself. I didn’t want to, though. I didn’t want to hurt my kids that way, to abandon them so violently. And I didn’t want to miss the rest of my life if, by some miracle, the depression ever lifted.

Nothing could distract me from my despair. Not people, not food, not music, not dancing, not reading, not animals, not plants, nothing that I remembered I had once enjoyed. I couldn’t soothe or console myself. I just gritted my teeth and slogged through the endless days. It was like walking in waist-high molasses.

I was in therapy at the time and my therapist directed me to talk about my childhood. Of course, the childhood I remembered was plenty bleak, so there was a fair amount to talk about. But it didn’t help. I kept saying, “There’s something more.” And he kept reassuring me that the early losses I was describing were enough to explain my depression. So I kept working on childhood, but it never helped. Once, he lost his patience and told me of a Peanuts cartoon where Lucy tells Charley Brown, “You like being depressed.” 

That was cruel. Did he think I would have stayed depressed had I known how to get out of it? I hope he was ashamed of blurting that out.

Tricyclics had been invented by then, but he did not discuss them with me. Later, after I had terminated with him, I was put on imipramine. It worked. It stopped the suicidal thoughts, and I no longer felt the pain that had been my 24/7 companion for so long. However, I no longer felt much of anything. It was like I had been given a rhinoceros tranquilizer.

I tolerated the side effects because they were better than the depression. However, I stopped taking it in a panic when I suddenly started gaining weight – at the rate of a pound a day. That went on every day for thirty straight days even though I wasn’t eating more. How is that physically possible??? I remained undepressed for a couple of years, then went back on imipramine. This time I stopped after 3-4 days of a-pound-a-day weight gain, but it continued for the whole month.

I am so glad those days are over. I finally know what caused the depression, and lo and behold, talking about it and seeing my childhood from a different angle really does help. 

I think what helps even more is being understood. I have surrounded myself with people who have experienced severe trauma and are kind, not critical.

Yes, it takes courage to disclose, not knowing what response you will get. It takes perseverance to break the habit of thinking you are at fault.

I rushed rashly ahead, disclosing right and left without thought for the consequences. Luckily nobody came after me to shut me up. The other responses were, for the most part, supportive and loving.

These days, the person who sees beauty in an unmade bed is standing up for herself, full of ideas for projects, and bursting with energy. I think I am getting a glimpse of what I would have been like all along if I had not been born into a Satanic cult and not been used in child pornography.

I like that person.

~~~~~~~~~~

upcoming holidays

April
4/30 Partial solar eclipse visible in west South America and Antarctica.  https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2022-april-30
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May
5/1 Beltane
5/8 Mothers’ Day
5/15 Full Moon
5/15 – 5/16 Total lunar eclipse visible in south and west Europe, south and west Asia, Africa, much North America, South America, and Antarctica. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2022-may-16
5/21 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/26 (?) Ascension Day
5/30 Memorial Day

June
6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

 

July
7/4 Independence Day

7/13 Full Moon

7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God


7/27 Grand Climax

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

4/15-4/23 Passover/Pesach (Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

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

~~~~~~~~~~

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-
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/ 

Chronic Pain and Chronic Frustration

In my support group yesterday, I said, “Chronic frustration is as bad as chronic pain.” I was told I should blog about it. So I am.

Chronic pain wears you down. It’s relentless, appearing day after day after day. Sometimes it’s a little weaker, sometimes a little stronger, but it is always there. You go to bed with it, you wake up with it.

Chances are you have tried lots of things to alleviate the pain. Many have not worked, or have worked for only a short time. Some dampen the pain but don’t eliminate it. Some work fine but have really bad side effects. Some are addictive. You did the very best you could, and you deserve the utmost respect

Nobody can see another’s pain. Crutches, wheelchairs, or slings may suggest that a person is – or recently was – in pain. But often the only outward sign of pain is a drawn expression – half-closed eyes, a pinched mouth, few facial movements. Another hint is slow body movements. Nobody with a bad back is going to walk briskly, let alone run.

All too often people dismiss another’s pain, figuring it can’t be all that bad. They assume the hurting person is lazy and is exaggerating the pain to use it as as excuse for not doing something they don’t want to. Or they are sissies, whiners, ingrates. Suck it up and get on with your life.

It would help if pain wasn’t invisible. Imagine having a green discoloration on your upper arms. Pale green from a little pain, forest green from excruciating pain. Perhaps it could appear as dots, one dot forming every week. The density of the dots would show how long you have been suffering. (I chose upper arms because they are easily concealed and easily shown if desired.)

Words like “malingering,” and “secondary gain”are used to shame the person with chronic pain. Don’t get me wrong, some people are malingering. They are faking pain to get worker’s compensation or lots of attention. It’s easier to fake whiplash, which doesn’t show up on an Xray than to fake a broken leg. However, if you spend a good deal time with such a person, you will see their act slip. It’s hard to be in pain, but it is hard to consistently  fake it, too.

I don’t remember constant pain as a child, but I may have dissociated it. As an adult though, I’ve had many a long year of relentless pain. First was what felt like aching in the bones of my arms and legs. It was so bad that I could neither write nor type for more than a few minutes. I couldn’t open doors and I had to get rid of my car, which was a stick shift, and get an automatic. The closest I came to a diagnosis was, “Sometimes middle aged women get that.” Thanks, doc.

I still don’t know what it was, although I suspect fibromyalgia. If I am right, I am one of the very few lucky ones that has achieved permanent remission. The flares got further apart and, over time, the pain lessened. I had a handful of pain-free years and then, bingo! osteoarthritis. And that is a life-long condition. I just have to manage it as best I can and live with it as gracefully as possible.

Interesting – I had meant to write about chronic frustration and I have gone on and on about chronic pain. It’s because I have been in a flare for about five days now and it was on my mind. Now that it put into words, I can turn my mind to frustration.

~~~~~~~~~

I have recently been trying to learn some new applications. I haven’t been very successful. As a matter of fact, I have had zero success all week. I try very hard – I also try to stop before I burst into tears.

Computers think in mysterious ways – even more so than cats. They cause a lot more melt-downs than cats, too. They don’t snuggle very well, although they do purr if you ask them nicely. I’m not kidding, go see for yourself: https://purrli.com/

I have been in a state of chronic frustration for an entire week. It’s not quite reached the point of becoming my baseline emotion 24/7, but it’s getting there. It’s not in my awareness when I sleep, except for the occasional dream. During the day, it’s constantly there, although I am often not aware of what is actually frustrating me. Little mannerisms of people I love seem to serve as triggers. and I find myself holding my breath and clenching my teeth. Trying to open jars serves as a trigger, as does mislaying my glasses, along with a zillion other little things. I figured out they were triggers when I remembered that normally I either don’t notice them or I shrug them off

My attention span has shrunk and my anger control skills are fraying at the edges. Plus which I have been EVEN more forgetful than usual. I worry that I have a resting bitch face, although I can’t tell because I manage a nice fake smile whenever I look in the mirror.

Pretty soon I shall either master one of those damn apps or give up. No guilt – if at first I don’t succeed, try, try again, and then delegate. This round of frustration is controllable.

There have been periods in my adult life when it hasn’t been so easy to end frustration. There were some things I simply would not allow myself to walk away from.

Take parenting. When my placid, smiley babies learned to walk and discovered independence, I ran around after them shrieking,” No! Don’t! Doooon’t!!!!!!” for what seemed like all day, every day, for ten years. Exhausting. Then things calmed down until the return of the terrible twos in their low teens. I understood that these were healthy reactions to emotional growth spurts, but it didn’t stop my frustration.

There were also long periods of frustration with important relationships and with things at work that drove me up the wall, like pressure to do something against my morals, discrimination against myself and others, or being taken for granted.

Long-term frustrations were like chronic pain, short-term ones like flare-ups. Now that I have figured this out, I will be more gentle with myself. I’ll also try some of my self-soothing techniques for pain and see what they do for frustration.

~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

April
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Partial solar eclipse visible in west South America and Antarctica.  https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2022-april-30
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May
5/1 Beltane
5/8 Mothers’ Day
5/15 Full Moon
5/15 – 5/16 Total lunar eclipse visible in south and west Europe, south and west Asia, Africa, much North America, South America, and Antarctica. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2022-may-16
5/21 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/26 (?) Ascension Day
5/30 Memorial Day

June
 
6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
 
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

  
6/24 (?) St John’s Day

 

July

  
7/4 Independence Day

  
7/13 Full Moon

  
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God


  
7/27 Grand Climax

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

4/15-4/23 Passover/Pesach (Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

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

~~~~~~~~~~

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/
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/
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/