Jade Miller on Helping Inner Kids Tolerate Wearing Masks, Plus an Update on My Depression,  

* This is really positive news! Makes my heart smile. I hope some of you would like to participate, either as presenters or as part of the audience.

The Plural Positivity World Conference:
sponsored by Power to the Plurals https://powertotheplurals.com/
Five days of Inclusive, Online, Free, Recorded Sessions
July 13 – 19, 2020

Call for Presentations
Due dates: May 15, panel presenters’ recorded answers to questions
May 31, recorded sessions
Information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hcMkNWcTNbpajqbzVr79QmSBgDZRGKafyCFumjrp2bs/edit?fbclid=IwAR0EXoOd4o3gif-GiSQEA2EWWhd66CeZ6bhcVY7-9FbpkMF85BXTdN42mgA#

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:
Summer Solstice (corrected text): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
August Ritual Dates: 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/

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An amazing thing happened to me. The Feelings Fairy did indeed swoop down from the treetops and said. “Oh, Jean, you don’t need this depression anymore. Let me take it away and leave acceptance and satisfaction in its stead.” I watched her slowly fly off into the horizon, She flew slowly because the depression was heavy, but that tiny wee thing sure was strong enough to take it far away.

This is the first time in my life, as far as I know, that a depression lifted after only a few weeks. I am very happy. The only symptom I miss is being able to sleep a full night without a bout of insomnia at two in the morning or upsetting dreams. Interestingly, those problems are back! However, I am not flat emotionally, I have more energy ((altho not as much as I would like), I am once again interested in the outside world, and the suicidal thoughts are gone.

My therapist and I are entertaining the hypothesis that it was a situational depression thanks to being housebound, not a real, nasty, dark, black, clinical depression. Isn’t that weird?

I am very sad, though, at the thought that I may not see people I love ever again in person. I believe that this nasty bug is going to be around for a looong time, and it will not be safe for me to consider flying unless they develop a really, really effective vaccine. And no more snorkeling, either. <sniff>

Thank goodness for <ehugs> and Zoom and email.

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 I want to share with you a piece that my friend Jade Miller wrote about helping younger parts adapt to wearing a mask. As an introduction to the article, I’ll share a bit about my style of communicating with both outer and inner kids.

I am very anxious around babies and young children. I am always terrified that I won’t be able to understand what they are trying to communicate. Now granted, most people find trying to communicate with kids frustrating at times but my level of anxiety is ridiculous. I am quite sure that it’s because, when I was young, I tried to communicate and failed. Or rather, I did fine, given my age, but the adults failed to understand.

Here’s a sad little example. My mother wrote, I think in my baby book, that when I was two going on three, I walked down a path saying, “no” at each step. She found it very cute. It never occurred to her to wonder, “no to what?”

And here is a happier little story. When I brought my firstborn home, I thought, “I don’t have a baby to raise. I have a new roommate.” I considered kids fully formed people and always treated them with respect. This approach soon translated into teaching them rather than ordering them around and correcting or punishing them.

So if you (an adult part) is trying to communicate something to a younger part, you will get further by teaching and explaining rather than by throwing your weight around. You will have the authority that comes from wisdom and experience rather than the authority that comes with size, strength, and power. And your kids, inner or outer, will respect you rather than fear you.

On to Jade’s writing about wearing masks and helping inner kids avoid freaking out.

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If Wearing a Mask is Difficult…

I’ve been thinking a lot about those who – for reasons related to trauma – find wearing a mask very difficult. Of course, the safest/easiest thing to do is stay home, but that’s not always an option. Some people have to work. Some people have to do their own shopping. Etc.

So I’ve come up with some suggestions in hopes that one or some of them may help. These are unprecedented times, and these may end up being useless. But it’s worth a shot.

• Try cute, calming, or meaningful patterns – if you have littles, they might find mild comfort in wearing some of my own designs (if you have a request for a pattern I don’t currently have, send me a message and I’ll make one!)

• Try 1-2 drops of essential oil under your nose before you put it on; I’ve had some success in re-training my brain to stay grounded by using essential oils. My own personal favorite is marjoram, but you could try anything that you find pleasant. (Peppermint oil is strong and kind of in-your-face but not usually in a bad way.) Note: some of the oils should not be applied directly to your skin; you may need a drop or two of an oil mixed with it.

• Perhaps gum, candy, or a sucker — another idea with the littles in mind. Especially if these things might be considered fun, or a treat… maybe try having something yummy in your mouth while you have to wear the mask? Gummy bears, Sour Patch Kids, a gobstopper or something that will (hopefully) last a little while. See if you can make it through whatever the task is without biting down. Make it a game.

My thought process is that maybe it will help the littles realize that something good is happening (they get candy!) and that their mouth and nose are NOT – in fact – blocked…at least not in the way they’re worried about. They are in “now time,” where even though it might not seem like it, you are trying to protect them and keep them safe by complying with the current health guidelines.

These are the only things I’ve thought of so far. Maybe you could try doing any of them that appeal to you, but only wearing the mask around the house for 5-10 minutes at a time, while doing something extremely relaxing or fun. “Practice” doing it for short periods of time and then take it off. It’s my hope that any positive association that you can build in your mind with wearing the mask and then taking it off ASAP can help create a tolerance that will hopefully be able to last the length of a trip to the store or for an essential errand, etc.

Try to make it a “mission” for the littles, or turn it into a fun challenge. This isn’t mask-specific but I’ve flat-out used bribery in the past when I’ve been facing something difficult and needed to help motivate my system to do something really hard. Plan to take home ice cream later, or order a movie you’ve been wanting to see for a while, after the errand that requires a mask. Be creative.

We are smart, folks. We didn’t survive all the shit we’ve been through just to be defeated by this stupid COVID19 thing. We can do this. I believe in us!

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Upcoming Holidays

May
5/25 Memorial Day
5/31 Pentecost
June
6/5 Full moon
6/5-6 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-5
6/19 Summer solstice
6/21 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Annular solar eclipse. Visible from parts of Africa (including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia), south of Pakistan, northern India, and China. Partial eclipse is visible in south/east Europe, much of Asia, the north of Australia, and much of Africa, Pacific, Indian Ocean. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-21
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St. John’s Day
July
7/4 Independence Day
7/4 Full moon
7/4-5 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in North and South America, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-july-5
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/30 Tisha B’Av (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.)

Book Review: Dear Little Ones

Dear Little Ones: Dissociative Identity Disorder for Young Alters. Written by Jade Miller and illustrated by Germán Zaninetti. CreateSpace, 2015. Available from Createspace and Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

Jade is a blogger and an artist. She is a polyfragmented Satanic ritual abuse survivor who wrote this book to help all inner children who are lonely and scared.

Germán Zaninetti is an illustrator living in Argentina. He prefers to work on mythological themes (mostly Greek and Egyptian), but also feels comfortable with child themes.

It’s hard for me to review this book. I would rather just quote the whole thing so that you can see how gentle and loving it is. Frankly, it brings tears to my eyes.

What I like best about the book is that it empowers child alters. Often decisions are made for them by more powerful alters, by the part currently in charge, or by a therapist or other helper. Hopefully those decisions are made with love and caring, so that the child alters can experience some healthy reparenting. But their lack of power when other people are telling them what to do can’t help but be a repetition of a large part of the cult experience.

Jade takes a really different approach. She starts by telling the child alters that it wasn’t their fault. “No matter what happened, no matter what anyone told you, it was not your fault.” And she tells them how wonderful they are.

She then explains the creation of alters. “But because of those things that happened, other people needed to be born on the inside in order to help the body stay alive.”  Some stayed young, others grew older. She tells the child alters they get to choose whether they grow older or stay the same.

Jade suggests that they explore inside and see if they can find other children to be friends with, older people to help them and explain things to them. She tells them she might find scary people inside, too. They are trying to help in their own way. She suggests that the children be kind to them because they are hurting, too. “In time, as people are nice to them, they will feel better and learn other ways to help and how to be friends.”

That’s true. If inside people are nice to parts that frighten them, those parts change. But I have never heard (that I remember) anyone telling child alters that they can do this, even without a PhD. Talk about empowerment!

After explaining outside people who are helpers and giving the child alters suggestions on how to stay grounded when they feel overwhelmed, Jade comes back to the theme of choice. They get to choose things that make them feel better.

The ending is like a blessing: “I wish all and only good things for you as you continue to take steps that will bring you into a life of truth and joy and peace.

I am with you in my heart, and I am cheering for you.

Love, Jade”

Jade and friends
Jade and friends

You can get to know Jade at her blog: www.thoughtsfromj8.com  and her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thoughtsfromj8  If you want to write her, her address is talktoj8@gmail.com

You can email Germán at harryzon88@gmail.com

Explaining Flashbacks to Littles.

t’s always hard to explain sophisticated psychological concepts to children, whether they are inner or outer children. It’s hard enough to explain them to adults, but with kids you have to match your words to their age and keep things really simple.

Kids do much better, however, when they know what is happening. They may hate it, but they don’t feel wild and crazy and totally panicked.

Here’s something I wrote in, I believe, 2002.

“This is what grown-ups call a flashback. It feels yucky. It’s something we are remembering. Once long ago we forgot it, and now we are remembering. It isn’t happening now. It just feels like it is because the memory is so strong. But that’s okay. It’s like the mind is burping up a memory. Burp! It feels better after you burp.”

burp

It’s not quite right for little kids. It needs elaboration, and needs breaks for questions. Here’s a rewrite:

“I’m going to explain something to the littles. Anybody can listen if they want to. Nobody has to listen.”

“You are having what grown-ups call a flashback. I can explain it to you. Do you want to hear about them?”

“Okay, fine. You are remembering something that happened to you. Once long ago you forgot it, and now you are remembering. It’s pretty terrible, isn’t it? Do you have any questions?”

“It isn’t happening now, it’s a memory. The memory is so strong that it feels like it is happening right now. That’s why it is called a flashback — the memory is coming back in a flash. After you have had some more flashbacks of this memory, you will understand that it is a memory like any other memory and you won’t be so scared.”

“Here’s a funny way of thinking about it — it’s like a burp. Your mind is burping up a memory. It feels better after you burp.”

If older inner kids are listening, they won’t feel talked down to because they know it’s in language the littles can easily understand. And, of course, both older kids and adults can understand it, too.

Since kids don’t get things right away, it’s a good idea to repeat it each time you recognize a flashback.