Another Round of Flashbacks

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

* Beltane, is, of course, tomorrow. And Walpurgisnacht is tonight. I’ve written about both in prior posts.

https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/

https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

I hope you all can stay safe over these hard, hard days, and that you can find ways to comfort yourselves. None of this was your fault. By the very fact of your reading this blog, you are working to heal yourself from the wounds they inflicted on you. And, in healing yourself, you are part of the growing movement to fight ritual abuse throughout the world. Perhaps this realization will be an additional comfort to you.

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Last Saturday I shared at my support group that I felt very spacey, like I was not myself. Like I didn’t really have a self. And that I felt ineffective and inferior. It is really annoying to try to do much of anything feeling that way.

It was suggested that I was dissociating and that maybe a memory was trying to come up. Then they gave me some loving reminders that I had, indeed, done a fair amount in my life, and that I was not sitting alone in the house watching TV or staring out the window all day. I still was doing things, maybe not as many as twenty years ago, but still a fair amount.

Lo and behold, a memory did surface. It was prompted by this chiropractic journey I am on. The brain is part of the body. and the mind seems to be part of the brain (most days!)  It is therefore no surprise that bodywork of any kind can bring up all sorts of things.

I’ll share some examples. Be aware that they are a little more graphic than usual.

Once a bodyworker commented on rigidity in my neck. I asked what caused it. She replied, “Trauma. Trauma usually before the age of two.” And I, who at the moment believed that everything started when I was four, sobbed for the rest of the session.

Another time I was taking a Feldenkrais class. and we were working on one large mat. Some movement, I forget exactly what it was, triggered me. I had an image of myself, naked, with other naked children, lying on the floor in a grid pattern. Somebody made the sign of the cross on my stomach and said the words to the effect of, “In the name of Satan, we offer this child to you.” I was sure they were going to stab me and kill me. Again, I sobbed and shook through the rest of the class.

Once again, healing bodywork reminds me that the mind and the body are one and that they can trigger each other. The movement of my body triggers a memory stored in my mind. Other times, the mind triggers body memories – it works both ways.

We are given exercises to do at home every day. Thirty repetitions, which I consider a lot. One of the ones I am working on now consists of sitting up tall in a chair, raising my hands in a T-position (hands in the air as if I were signaling “I surrender,”) opening my chest, and tipping my head back until I can feel the skin on the front of my neck stretch. It’s a very vulnerable position.

I saw myself naked in that same position. I felt a knife at my throat. A man said, “If you talk about this, we will kill you.” And then I felt something warm, the way blood is warm and sticky, along the length of the knife. I don’t know how old I was, but my thinking was sophisticated enough to realize after a few minutes that I was not bleeding to death. I assumed they had made a superficial cut. I expected a scar, but there wasn’t one.

Later I got a second image of me in that position. This time my eyes were shut. The man said, “If you tell, we will stab your eyes.” And the tip of the knife gently touched first one and then the other eyelid.

These flashbacks don’t consume me like the early ones did. I know through and through that they are flashbacks, and I am firmly in the present once the image has surfaced. I take care of myself by telling myself that I am at home, nobody else is there, that my home is beautiful and filled with things I have chosen. I am flooded with feelings of gratitude for being able to choose whatever I want, anything and everything. Food, reading material, projects, friends, furniture, clothes, everything. This is true freedom!

I am reminded of the end of a poem (Out of the Cult) I wrote and posted here.

then oh!
on the horizon
sunflowers, rivers. green hills, sun and sand, soaring gulls, deer,
rabbits, suburbs and suburbs of warm homes, laughter, dancing,
song, beds and food and drink
a plentitude, a plentitude

It was a long road, but I got here.

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Upcoming Holidays

April
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
May
5/1 Beltane
5/12 Mothers’ Day
5/18 Full moon
5/27 Memorial Day
June
6/9 – 6/10 Pentecost
6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/20 Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St John’s Day
July
7/2 Total solar eclipse. Visible in parts of South America
7/4 Fourth of July/ US Independence Day
7/16 Full moon
July 16 – 17 Partial lunar eclipse. Visible in South America, Africa, most of Europe and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/18 Armed Forces Day (?)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

School Shootings

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”


* If you are concerned about being tracked through your search engine, here is one that, unlike even duckduckgo.com, is encrypted https://www.searchencrypt.com/.

There are some topics that I never feel ready to write about but are always in the back of my mind. This is one of them. I still am not ready, but I’m doing it anyway.

There are many reasons why am I not ready. I’m too upset to spend all the time it takes to write a post that stirs up such intense feelings. It feels like an invitation for several nights of dreaming about the topic. I don’t know enough about it to say anything interesting. It has nothing to do with ritual abuse. I just plain don’t want to, not today.

Anyway…

When I was in grade school, we had fire drills and also air raid drills. (This was during Word War Two.) We had to hide under our desks, which, even in second grade, seemed pretty useless to me. Surely, if a bomb came through the roof, it would come through our desks, too. I was too busy thinking how dumb it was to be scared.

At night, the whole city was blacked out. No street lights, no headlights, and heavy black shades throughout the city were taped to the wall so that no light could get through the windows. My mother went out with flashcards to identify planes – were they ours or theirs? I’m not sure what she could have done if it were one of theirs, except scream. She felt useful, while I lay in bed terrified. To this day I like at least some light to come into my bedroom and I getting anxious when planes fly overhead, especially if they are low.

Today schools have lockdown drills and active shooter drills as well as fire drills. In lockdown drills the school doors are locked, the classroom doors locked, the blinds all pulled, and the kids hide in a closet or other sheltered place and stay silent for the duration of the drill, which can be up to ten minutes. I think this happens all across the country, in all grades. Active shooter drills vary more: some are lockdowns, except the school itself remains open for SWAT teams and first responders. Some have all or some of the kids evacuate, sometimes with instructions to bring thing to throw at the shooter if they can.

These drills really scare students. They don’t know whether it is real or a drill. And it reminds them, just as vividly as TV coverage, that the adults no longer consider schools safe. One woman recently told me that her daughter said she wasn’t going to college. “What’s the point? I’ll just get shot.” It’s an ever-present possibility in their minds.

It really upsets me that the kids feel so endangered. They feel helpless in the face of attack, and they feel their teachers and parents are helpless, too. There is no one person or group that they can direct their fear toward – the attacker could be anybody, even somebody they know. And when anybody can be the attacker, everybody is feared.

And then there are the shootings in churches. And clubs and malls and offices. Trucks being driven into groups of pedestrians. Car bombs and bombs in backpacks. The world certainly is dangerous in a way it wasn’t when I was a child.

Of course there are parts of the world where this kind of attack is a normal everyday occurrence. Parts of our country, too, where there are gang wars and drug deals gone bad. And so many parts of the world where violence is far, far worse, and is accompanied by rape, torture, murder, burning of villages and cities, disease, and famine. In comparison, most of us are living in a bubble of safety.

Few people, though, believe they live in a safe place. They see the increase in mass shootings and their sense of safety is shattered. They don’t know how to handle it, and they don’t know what to say when their kids ask questions like,

“Why do the bad guys want to shoot little kids?” Actually, the only honest answer I have for that question is, “I don’t know.”

I believe that none of this, or very little, has anything to do with cults. For one thing, there is no money in it. Cults like money and so have better things to do, like traffic kids, make hard-core porn, run guns, or sell drugs. Cults are not responsible for every bad thing that happens in the world, even though they brag to the kids that all these things are their doing. They have no monopoly on evil – there is plenty to go around, unfortunately.

I have a double dose of fear and confusion. Part is caused by the events that are happening today, and my emotions are appropriate and warranted. Part is a resurgence of feelings about threats they made to me as a kid and things I saw or experienced, both in the ordinary world and the cult world. At least I know that I am triggered and I can sort out how much is from the past and how much from the present. And at least I know that the chances of being shot or having somebody I know be shot are very slim.

But I am still frightened and confused, and that sucks.

 

Upcoming Holidays

July
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Full Moon
August
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/26 Full moon
September
9/3 Labor Day
9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)
9/7 Feast of the Beast
9/22 Fall Equinox

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
9/1 N Start of WW2
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons

Upcoming Holidays
July

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

7/27 Full Moon

August

8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh

8/26 Full moon

September

9/3 Labor Day

9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)

9/7 Feast of the Beast

9/22 Fall Equinox

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups

9/1 N Start of WW2

(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)

A Ritual Abuse Survivor Writes Her Dentist

Another survivor has sent me an account of her experiences as a breeder and given me permission to share it on the blog. I’ll post it next time. And there is a third person who is also interested in sharing.

I think it would be wonderful – and possible – to put together an anthology. I can do the editing and set up, but I need your help to let people know that a book is in the works. It would mean posting a notice on your blog, if you have one, and letting all your RA/MC contacts, therapists as well as survivors, know about the project. Ask them to spread the word. And, if this is in their background, ask them to consider writing something – an account of what happened and how it affected them, a rant, a poem, whatever moves them.

There are 300-plus people following my blog at this point, and if, say, half of them helped out this way, I am sure it would come together quite quickly. And I would feel SOOOO supported!!

 

Once again, Forsaken Phoenix has written a marvelous article and given me permission to reblog it.

 

Dear Dr. ***

I know you have a much bigger work load right now and I know that means it’s tougher for you to spend the amount of time with each patient that you’d prefer. So I hope this letter will help both of us prepare for my upcoming fillings.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you worked hard to earn my trust and respect. It’s not easy for me to be at the dentist’s office and it’s even more difficult for me to actually *trust* a dentist. However, believe it or not, you’re one of my most trusted medical professionals and that’s the only reason I have the courage to even attempt this. So thank you, for being the person you are and patiently allowing me to trust you in my own time.

When you first met me, you told me that we were going to work together and fix my mouth so that it wouldn’t hurt and that it would no longer put me at risk medically. You never once fought *me* but instead, you fought *for* me and *with* me. You never once belittled, invalidated, or ridiculed me and you always told me that my comfort level was important to you. You respected my needs and requests.

After our last appointment, I was terrified. But not for the reasons one might expect. I was terrified because I thought you were mad at me. I felt like I let you down. My abuse history says you *should* be mad at me. It says that because I now have cavities, I’ve let you down and you no longer have a responsibility to care about me or my comfort levels – much less my well being. My past says you now have the right, to quite literally, kill me.

But that’s only what *my past* says and not what you’ve ever said or implied. It’s not fair to you, for me to treat you as though you’re one of them.

You only want to save my smile. To help me stay happy and healthy – and for me to assume that you would now torture me or kill me is not fair to you.

So far, you’ve given me no indication that you are giving up on me – so for now, I promise not to give up on fighting for you either.
I recently found out that sedation is not a possibility with my insurance for the fillings. Now, my only option is nitrous oxide. You were also willing to let me try getting them done without Novocaine. I’ve been thinking hard lately and I believe I’ve found a way to at least attempt this. I also think the risk of attempting without Novocaine is too high. My concern is that it might be more painful than I expect and then be processed as torture.

If we could use both nitrous oxide, and a topical anesthetic before the Novocaine injection(s), I think we might be able to make it work. But I would also need your help to get through it.

I would need you to tell me to close my eyes before I have the chance to see the needle. Not seeing the needle will help me to remain calm.

If you could say “1, 2, 3, poke” when doing the injection(s) it would help me feel more like a team player and less like a victim. Having the nitrous oxide and the topical anesthetic would help me as well as I fight to cope.

When you do the injection(s), hearing your voice telling me calmly that I’m doing good, that you’re proud of me – that would help as well, as it would remind me that I’m in the office with *you* and not being tortured by one of my abusers from the past who used to enjoy drugging me.

Before the procedure, having you look me in the eyes and *promise* me sincerely that you *will not* kill me that day would be inexplicably helpful. It may sound silly, but the abusers could never make that promise because the threat of death was part of their fun.

During the drilling, I’m terrified that I will switch or get triggered. My biggest fear there is the fear that you will then be perceived as a threat and I will either attempt to physically attack anyone nearby – or I will dissociate, be unable to move, and end up being retraumatized. Aside from the obvious reasons, I also don’t want that happening because I don’t want my current understanding of your role in my life to be undermined by my past.

One of the biggest ways I know to avoid such worst case scenarios involves your help as well as the hygienist’s. I need to hear your voices talking to me. Reassuring me. Not really telling me what you’re doing – but telling me *how I’m* doing. Telling me I’m doing a good job, that you’re proud of me, and that we’re in this together. That you’re not going anywhere. The abusers from my past enjoyed telling what they were about to do and how they would do it as a shock/threat tactic. So keeping me up to speed on what you’re doing would not be helpful – but updates like “we’re almost done, just X minutes left” are helpful as they show me ‘this *will* end.’

If one of you gets up to leave, please let me know that. Please reassure me that you will be coming back. Please remind me that together, we will get through this, and that you’re proud of me. Knowing you’re proud of me before you step away will remind me that you’re not leaving because I’ve done something to displease you and cause retaliation of some sort. It will remind me that I don’t need to be scared of what will happen when you come back. It will remind me that you are you and not ‘them.’

The ability to bring a blanket and or a stress ball will help me as I will have a comfort item to help remain grounded and something to squeeze so that I’m not digging my nails into my hands.

I mentioned that the sound of the drill will trigger me and I feel as though you’ve earned the trust level to know why. The sound (for me) is close enough to that of a bone saw. A tool my abusers used to threaten me with to force my cooperation. I don’t tell you this to upset you or incite pity – but to help you better understand the severity of my past abuse and how real and difficult coping with the sound will be. I’ve considered bringing headphones to either block out some of the sound or play music – but I feel that would only cause more confusion for me as I fight to understand where I am and who you are throughout the procedure.

Something you’ve never once said to me but I feel you should be aware of is to not say, “Breathe.” Saying that word alone is part of my past programming and will cause me to immediately *stop* breathing. I will then pass out on you. Instead, simply reminding me “you’re safe, we’re all right here” will cause me to instinctively take a deep breath.

I hope this is helpful. I’ve also signed a release for my therapist to communicate with you. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask him. There may be things he can help clarify or things he sees as helpful for you to be aware of that I haven’t thought of. He is my *most trusted* medical professional and he has my explicit permission to share any and all relevant information with you as he sees fit for the interests of collaboration.

Forsaken Phoenix

 

Upcoming Holidays

March  
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/25 Palm Sunday
3/30 Good Friday/Death of Jesus Christ
3/31 Full Moon (Blue Moon)
April
4/1 Easter Sunday
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/10 Full Moon
4/16 – 4/23 Grand Climax/Da Meur/ (Preparation for sacrifice in some Satanic sects}
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
May
  
5/1 Beltane/May Day/ Labour Day in Europe
5/13 Mothers’ Day
5/28 Memorial Day
5/29 Full moon

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
4/20 Hitler’s birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. His alternate birthday is 4/1 this year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)