The Poetry Reading Was AMAZING!

A first event is supposed to have lots of glitches, and then the second one goes much more smoothly. This one had only two glitches.

1. We promised a full hour for Q&A and didn’t have it, so we offered to go an extra 15 minutes

2. I kept forgetting to unmute. And a couple of times I forgot what I was saying. Nobody else had these problems, that I could tell.

Both no big deal!

What was truly amazing was how connected people felt, how grateful to be together. People, including some of the poets, cried together. Nobody wanted to leave. It was powerful, inspiring, and a total high, I think, for everybody.

There was so much feedback about how vulnerable the poets were, how the poems pulled no punches about the abuse. Some people said they had never heard a particular topic spoken of before. I think many were amazed that we weren’t all struck dead by lightning for saying and hearing such things. The rule of silence sure the hell was broken many times over in those 2 1/4 hours!

None of the attendees knew what was going to be shared when they signed up so, in my mind, it was a small experiment to see how many survivors lived through what. What surprised me was that several people said in the chat that they had experienced abuse by Nazi doctors. I think this is something that screams to be brought out in the open.

I remember the days when government mind control programming was never spoken of publicly. Why? Fear and denial. “If I even allude to this, they will find out and come and kill me.” “Our own government couldn’t have done anything like that, not in a million years.” I think we are in that same stage now regarding the Nazi mind control experts that were brought over during Project Paperclip.

The reasoning behind quietly bringing German war criminals to the US was that they were too dangerous to leave where they were – they probably would just go underground and keep doing what they had been doing all along. And that it was better to have them working for us than for Germany. I think that it would have been far better to have had them working for nobody at all and to have had them tried and brought to justice.

There were other things, of course, that elicited a “You, too? I thought I was the only one!” That was what brought such a sense of cohesion, of community, to the group.

The elation I felt was accompanied by a deep sadness. There is such a need for survivors to find each other, to talk, to meet over the Internet and on video conferences. And to meet in person, one on one, and in groups. There is practically nothing out there for us. What little exists is hard to find, and so people remain isolated.

The scarcity makes it seem like it is dangerous for survivors to connect, both because the abusers will find out and take revenge and because, in some way, contact with other survivors is intrinsically dangerous. They might be plants and lure you back into the cult. They might not have worked out their issues and you risk physical or psychological violence. Listening to their memories might contaminate your own; you might end up believing things about yourself that are not true.

Of course, it is only sensible to be cautious around survivors, just as you are cautious around other people. Test the waters before you trust. But the vast majority of survivors I have met are brave and kind people. They have made a deep commitment to being different from their abusers.

The environment of fear and isolation is especially sad to me because it hasn’t always been like this. When I first remembered, it was so easy to find others and to make friends with them! And it continued that way for several years until the False Memory Syndrome Foundation people won the media over and intimidated therapists and survivors alike with lawsuits.

It took me exactly three weeks from my first flashback to meet another RA survivor. There were several conferences a year in Massachusetts on ritual abuse. When I moved to San Francisco, there were daily “Nothing Too Heavy to Share” meetings (Survivors of Incest Anonymous meetings for RA survivors) within a half hour’s drive – sometimes two a day. Three Survivorship conferences a year. Poetry readings in bookstores. People having lunch and coffee together, forming their own non-12-step groups, sharing apartments.

All that has faded away. It’s time to do something about it and start bringing people together. We need connection and healing, not fear and isolation. Who can make it happen?

You! Me! Us! As Lily Tomlin said, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” Go for it!

~~~~~~~~~~

I sent out a follow-up questionnaire and learned that people wanted another poetry reading. Now that we know what we are doing (I think!) we can offer that. The three co-hosts and planners, River, Leni, and I, just need to get out our calendars and pick a date.

The other thing people were interested in were Webinars. I’ve had experience with Webinars from Survivorship, as I organized and hosted a Webinar series for them. That was a dozen years ago, and the apps weren’t nearly as good as they are today, so technically it was more difficult. It was a perpetual challenge with things breaking down, trying to work around problems, and explaining the software to the attendees. The other challenge came at the end of the series when I had trouble finding new people to present. It should be a lot easier this time around.

I case you can’t tell, I’m still a little high from the experience!

~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s a summary of the questionnaire. Rather than emailing me (though of course you can do that), let’s respond to it in the comments section.

I want to be on the mailing list!                     

     yes ___ no ___  

Would you like another poetry reading?

     yes ___ no ___

Are you interested in reading your poetry?

     yes ___ no ___

Would you like to have an art exhibit?

     yes ___ no ___

Are you interested in sharing your artwork?

     yes ___ no ___

Would you like a musical performance?

     yes ___ no ___

Are you interested in sharing your music?

     yes ___ no ___

Would you like some Webinars?

yes ___ no ___

Suggested topics?

Would you be willing to give a Webinar?

     yes ___ no ___

Can’t wait to learn what y’all want!

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Upcoming Holidays

July

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

7/29 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.)

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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/

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

May
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 
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: 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/ 
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/

A Couple of Tips on Communication

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

Guess we all made it through Candlemas, one of the eight major Satanic holidays. Next week there are two Christian holidays, which are often perverted by Satanic groups. Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is a feast, a celebration of the last day before the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a time of fasting to commemorate the forty days Jesus spent in the desert prior to being crucified. I hope your abusers skipped these days, and if they didn’t, I hope you stay safe and are granted healing.

~~~~~~~~~~ 

Because I wandered through childhood in a daze, I never picked up the social skills that the other kids did. I knew that if you said things in one way, you got good results, but if you said them slightly differently, people would have no idea what you were talking about, or they would take it the wrong way. It was like wanting either hot water or cold water and knowing that water came out of faucets but having no idea which one was for hot water and which one was for cold water. And not knowing you could mix them!

When I was four or five, my mother told me to ask a woman for the time. She added, “Remember to say please and thank you.” So I walked up to the woman and politely said, “Please and thank you, can you tell me the time?” I expected her to smile and tell me what time it was. Instead, she burst out laughing. Why? No idea. I had done exactly what I had been told to do and had gotten a totally unexpected result.

Here I am almost eighty years later, still trying to earn the little rules and tricks of communication that other people seem to use so effortlessly. 

Here is something I learned a few years ago. It’s good to remind myself occasionally.

If you use “but” in a sentence, whatever you are talking about seems difficult or wrong. If you use “and,” though, it seems easy and inviting

“If you are wearing a mask and want to be friendly, make eye contact but don’t hold it too long or you will appear hostile.”
“If you are wearing a mask and want to be friendly, make eye contact and then look away after a couple of seconds.”

“It’s fine to wear a plaid skirt but don’t wear a patterned top.”
‘It’s fine to wear a plaid skirt and a plain top.”

When I hear the sentences with “but” in them, it feels like a threat. If you do this, something terrible will happen. It also sounds bossy, and I don’t like to be told what to do. The “and” sentences seem neutral and informative.

And here is something I learned just a week ago. It’s a little more complicated and will be harder for me to remember, but I think it will be extremely useful.

This approach is for a situation when somebody is doing something you don’t like, and you want them to change their behavior. It doesn’t criticize or confront the other person in any way, and you come across as reasonable and self-confident. You may not get what you want all the time, but I bet you will have a lot more success than if you outright asked the other person for what you wanted. Here is the formula:

I noticed…
I feel…
I need…
Would you consider…?

Let’s see if I can make up something. 

“I noticed that you told a joke that appeared to put down Hispanic people. I felt hurt because I have Mexican relatives. In order to feel comfortable, I need to know that no group will be dissed. Would you consider not telling jokes or using language that seems disrespectful in front of me?”

I doubt if I could figure out how to say this without taking time to work out the steps. I think it would be just as effective if a day or a week elapsed between the incident and my request. I haven’t had time to experiment with this approach since I just learned about it. If I have an occasion to try it out, I’ll let you know the results. 

It’s true. You can teach an old dog new tricks. And the old dog is thrilled!

 ~~~~~~~~~~ 

We are going to have a poetry reading!!

We have a technical person, a ZOOM account, and four or five poets lined up. If we go for ninety minutes, there is room for a few more people. 

Post in the comment section or write me at rahome@ra-info.org if you would like to read your work. I’m asking everybody to read aloud the poems they want to share, time themselves, and let me know how long it took. (The maximum allotted time is ten minutes. If you need less time, we can have more participants.) There will be a place to sign up if you want to be part of the audience.

We haven’t picked a date yet, but it will be on a Saturday. Here are the various time zones so you can figure out if you can make it or not.

7 AM Melbourne Time (Sunday)
12 noon Pacific Time
1 PM Mountain Time
2 PM Central Time
3 PM Eastern Time
8 PM London Time
9 PM Amsterdam Time

 ~~~~~~~~~~ 

An opportunity to participate in a study of children’s religious rights

Cindy Owre is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History, Classics, and Religion at the University of Alberta. 

She is conducting research on how children’s religious rights and spiritual needs are or are not being met. The goal of this study is to generate ideas for creating policies that will help faith communities and religiously run schools to develop safe spaces where these rights and needs can be nurtured and to provide training so that children can learn how to form healthy relationships with religious leaders and staff. 

She is seeking people over 18 years old who are living in Canada and who have been affected in some way by child sexual abuse or CSA in a religious context. 

For more information, contact Cindy at cowre@ualberta.ca or by phone at 1-825-512-3116. 

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Upcoming Holidays

February
2/12 (?) Lincoln’s Birthday
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/15 (?) Presidents’ Day/Washington’s birthday
2/16 Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras
2/17 Ash Wednesday/beginning of Lent
2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/27 Full Moon

March
3/1 St David’s Day (patron saint of Wales)
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day (patron saint of Ireland)
3/21 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/28 Full Moon
3/28 Palm Sunday

April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/1 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/2 Good Friday
4/3 Holy Saturday
4/4 Easter Sunday
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon
4 /30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/28 – 4/4 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
(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

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/ 
Candlemas https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/