More on Internal Communication

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

~~~~~~~~~~ 

In the previous post, I emphasized the attitude you should bring to talking to your alters, or parts, or inner people, or head-mates. It was pretty general, encouraging kindness and compassion.

Now I’ll get more practical and share some of the approaches I and others have found helpful.

1. Who is your audience?

Start by taking a moment to think of who you want to talk to. If it is a group, do they have different opinions, desires, needs? How long have you known them? How friendly are they to you? What is the age range? This is very important because you want to reach everybody.

Say there is a group of inner children ranging from five to eleven who have all had similar experiences. Tell them you want everybody to understand, and if somebody doesn’t know what a word means, they can interrupt you and ask, and you will explain. Then use fairly simple words. If you talk to the eight-year-olds, the older ones won’t feel talked down to, and the younger ones will understand most of it.

2. Set a time limit

It’s important to have some structure because lack of structure causes unnecessary anxiety. If you have a set amount of time, you can pace yourself and leave time at the end to summarize what you have talked about and thank everybody for participating. If you hope to meet again, say so, and set another time. 

3. Set some ground rules

Keep the rules few and simple. Include “do’s” with the “don’t’s.” Everybody takes turns.  No being mean to anybody else. It’s okay not to talk or to say you don’t understand something. It’s okay to swear and cry and laugh.

4. Make yourself comfortable

Choose a quiet place and bring some things that help make you calm. Bring supplies that the others might want – drawing equipment, stuffed animals, favorite objects. Turn the ringer on the phone off and put on some music, if you want.

5. Talk through to parts that you have not met or that are not available often.

“Talking through” means trusting that parts will hear you even if you cannot see or hear, or even sense them. They might be listening silently as you talk. Or one alter might be reporting what you are saying to them. 

Since this may be happening, whether you know it or not, it’s a good idea to give permission before you start. “It’s okay to just listen and not say anything. Later on, you may feel comfortable enough to speak directly to me.” “If you know of parts that aren’t here now that would benefit from knowing what I will tell you, please let them know what I said. Also, tell them they are welcome to come next time I talk to you-all.” Word the permission so that it is also an invitation.

6. Consider having a recurring meeting.

There are many advantages to having a meeting at the same time every week or every day.

Parts who are shy know that they can always join in when they feel braver. Parts who have gone to a different place internally understand that they are welcome to come back at any time.

If you design the meeting for parts to share memories, you may diminish the number of flashbacks you have during the day. Tell everybody that you have made a special time for them to share memories and feelings. This way, you can give them your full attention and not have to think about anything else. Give them the time and the ground rules. Whenever you feel a flashback coming on or feel triggered, remind them of that special time.

If you feel a lot of ambivalence or internal conflict, you can ask the two main alters who disagree – or everybody who has an opinion on the subject – to come to a meeting. Again, be careful to tell them about the ground rules you have prepared. They are coming to listen to the other person and learn where they are coming from. Tell them that they don’t need to make any decisions; it will just be information-gathering.

7. Meetings to share memories and make friends.

It’s interesting to see how exchanging information can lead to changes in belief and then changes in behavior. I can’t tell you a story about my internal process because my mind isn’t populated with full-fledged alters, so I’ll tell you about an experience I had with a cult-identified alter of one of my friends.

Since my friend was living on her own and did not go home for holidays, this alter had the job of celebrating the holidays on his own. He usually ended up in a psych ward in four-point restraints. He had no inside or outside friends. One day, he was quietly listening to me and my friend’s conversation and gathered I had been raised a Satanist. He came out, and we started talking. We were discussing the upcoming holiday (I forget which one it was), and I found out that his group read the words of the ritual. I was shocked because our group kept nothing in writing. Wasn’t he afraid it might get into the wrong hands?

Comparing our traditions opened up the possibility that there were options, other ways of doing things. We never tried to change the other; we just were curious about what the other thought and did. Gradually, we became friends.

It turned out that he was, or became, more than just his job. He was a poet, and he had tender feelings toward me. He once said that he dreamed of me lying in a bed of tulips. That still touches my heart today. He eventually decided to give up his job without anybody ordering him to or suggesting it, as far as I know. Shortly afterward, he integrated, and I missed him keenly.  

I am suggesting is that relationships, either internal or external, don’t always have to be filled with strife and pain. As parts get to understand each other, they may either agree to disagree or find common ground. Change can happen organically simply by opening up channels of communication. It is so gratifying to know that you have set the stage for growth to happen!

~~~~~~~~~~ 

* I had a brainstorm!

Would anybody be interested in participating in a virtual poetry reading? I’ve been to several in-person survivor poetry readings, and they were very moving and inspiring. 

I could host a ZOOM meeting, but I would need somebody to help me with the technical part.

Let me know if you are interested in helping me, reading your poetry, or attended the reading. Post in the comment section or write me at rahome@ra-info.org.

~~~~~~~~~~ 

* Bryn L. Kroto is a Physician’s Assistant who is writing a thesis at Arizona’s A.T. Still University in the School of Health Sciences. It will be on “…service gaps between Doctors/Physician’s Assistants/Nurse Practitioners and victims of ritual abuse and their families. How can the medical field help connect the dots identifying abuse and foster healing?”

If you would like to meet Bryn, she has made a podcast on “Remembering Truth: Time to Get Real on Ritual Abuse.” https://anchor.fm/bryn-kroto/episodes/Season-2-Episode-5-Time-to-Get-Real-on-Ritual-Abuse-eofq9r

If any survivors, family/friends, or therapists, are willing to be interviewed for this thesis, please write brynkroto23623@msn.com

~~~~~~~~~~ 

I have organized a ZOOM group of survivors whose systems are polyfragmented, or partially so. If you would like to join, contact me through the comments section or write rahome@ra-info.org

~~~~~~~~~~

* 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/ 

~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

February
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
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

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
2/26 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
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.)

Secure Communications, Outside and Inside

First, a little information about communicating with the outside world. Warning: nerd attack ahead, complete with geek-speak.

If you are feeling cautious (or even a little paranoid) about the safety of your communications over the Internet, here are some things I have learned.

1. Adblockers really work. Just turn the blocker on in your browser, and you will start getting next to zero new ads! So refreshing.

2. If you want to get rid of all the ads you are currently seeing, you have to clear your browser’s cache. This will free up a lot of storage space on your computer. It will also be annoying because your browser won’t remember any of your passwords. I think it’s worth one day of annoyance to restore what you want in trade for avoiding days and days of things you don’t want.

3. There is one browser that never, ever, tracks what you look for and never, ever, collects any data whatsoever about you. It’s DuckDuckGo (https://duckduckgo.com/) I suppose that means that, if they get subpoenaed, they have nothing to give the government.

4. Mozilla (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/) is now offering a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for US $4.99 a month.

5. Signal (https://www.signal.org/) offers free end-to-end encryption for totally private, untraceable voice and video calls. Also free text, voice messages, photos, videos, GIFs, and files transfer. Since they collect no data, they have nothing to sell. They are a non-profit living on donations.

6. Skype now offers “Private Conversations” and Facebook Messenger offers “Secret Conversations,” both though Signal. Why they do this, I do not know.

~~~~~~~~~~

On to the inside, which probably is of greater interest to everybody here.

Sometimes internal communication goes smoothly, and sometimes it stirs up all sorts of turmoil. I can’t guarantee you these hints are foolproof, but they have worked for me.

Actually, they aren’t hints. They are principles of good communication, both internal and external.

Politeness

The old saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” You will get much more cooperation if you remember to say “please” and “thank you” and lay off the swear words. (I had a friend who addressed his alters this way: “Listen up, assholes!” To which they replied, “Fuck off!” He was surprised; I wasn’t.)

If you speak to them politely, don’t call them names, and don’t try to boss them around, they will be less anxious around you, they will listen to you, and they will have an easier time understanding and remembering what you are saying. They will also be more willing to talk to you.

Compassion

You may find you dislike some alters and are afraid of others. You may even feel like screaming and running away or getting rid of them permanently. This is not unusual, and the situation is not hopeless.

It helps to remind yourself that they went through horrible, horrible things to protect you and all the others inside. Plus, they may have been ordered to be like they are, and, given the torture they were enduring, they had no choice but to obey. If you think about this when they are not in your presence, you will find yourself softening toward them when you meet them. In turn, they will learn to react to you differently.

You are encouraging yourself to meet these alters with compassion and an open heart. You can always explain this to them even when you don’t think they are around. They may be listening silently, or others may tell them what you said. News is often shared inside.

When you do interact with them, you’ll find yourself feeling sad for what they went through, even in the midst of your fear or annoyance. 

Honesty

If you lie to an alter, you will build distrust, not respect and trust. If you try and sugar coat things, they will think you are clueless. If you try to fake knowing something you don’t, you will make a fool of yourself. Dishonesty is counterproductive.

We are all used to lying, keeping secrets, not talking about certain things. It was the way we were raised, and it takes hard work to change. It takes courage to say, “I don’t know.” It feels very, very vulnerable.

It’s great if you are brave enough to put it right out on the table. “I learned as a kid to lie and hide things in order to protect myself. I am trying very hard to learn how to be honest. I don’t want to lie to you, but I may forget sometimes. You can help me by asking if something is true or not if you are not sure.”

Humility

You are not perfect. You are guaranteed to make mistakes, many of them. This is not because you are flawed, but simply because all human beings make mistakes. 

I promise you that you will be happier and more self-confident if you stop chasing perfection. I have a couple of mottos that have helped me over the years in the quest for the acceptance of imperfection.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be different.”

“If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing a half-assed job of it.”

These little phrases have given me the courage to try new things, to fool around and just see what comes from it. After all, trying is better than sitting around putting all my energy into scolding myself for not doing anything.

Admitting you made a mistake builds trust. This is just as true of internal relationships as it is outside ones. 

If you put these principles into practice with outside people, you will find that it is easier to get to know somebody and that your relationships will improve. What works with inside people works with 3-D people.

~~~~~~~~~~

I plan to write more about internal communication in the next few weeks. I may refer back to these principles, but I probably won’t elaborate. I’m going to focus more on practical stuff, like crayons and taking turns and remembering things. I hope it will prove useful! 

~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

January
1/20 (?) St. Agnes’ Eve
1/28 Full moon

February
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
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

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
1/12 Birth of both Rosenberg and Goering, Nazi Leaders in WWII
1/28 Tu Bishvat/Tu B’Shevat (Jewish celebration of spring)
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
2/26 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
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.)

~~~~~~~~~~

I have organized a ZOOM group of survivors whose systems are polyfragmented, or partially so. If you would like to join, contact me through the comments section or write rahome@ra-info.org

~~~~~~~~~~

* 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/ 

 ~~~~~~~~~~

* How to add a comment after a postThis blog’s design makes it hard to figure out how to comment. Go down to the bottom of the post. You will see in light grey type: “RATE THIS,” tagged (a list of the tags), and (the number of) comments.” Click on the word “comments” to open all posted comments.

At the very bottom of the page, you will see “LEAVE A REPLY.” That’s where you make a new comment. You can reply to a posted comment by clicking “Reply” under that comment. In each case, make sure to click “POST COMMENT” when you are finished. It’s a good idea to write out your comment first and then paste it in so that you don’t risk losing what you wrote.“The Facade Is Part of the Building”

Learning to Ask for Help


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

* Additional information on the following holidays is available at:
Halloween: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween: (personal): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/halloween-2018/


~~~~~

I read a self-help article on how to be more productive – that is, how to get more done in the same amount of time. It said to choose your three most important projects and work on them first when you are fresh. If a project is big, break it down into smaller parts.

I chose two projects that will appear on my list every day: doing the exercises for the chiropractic work I have committed myself to and working on the anthology of stories of people who have lost babies in the cult. I broke the book project into smaller parts. The first part I chose was to get the “permission to publish form” written and sent out to people who have submitted their work or requested the form.

I will be so excited when people receive them, sign them, and return them! The book will have started to take shape and will seem to have a life of its own. I can even start the Table of Contents!

Now there is a project I have been working on for decades it seems, and that is learning to ask for help and not feeling diminished by relying on others. It’s the kind of thing you work on at random times during the day – you can’t easily sit down and work without distraction on it for a half-hour, so it won’t go on my list. This seems like an ideal time to practice being graciously dependent. <smile>

So….these are some things I would like some help with:

1. If any of you have a permission to publish form (with the author retaining the copyright), please send it to me! And tell me if you needed any other type of form.

2. If anybody has had experience in self-publishing, tell me what you know about:
choosing a self-publishing company
doing the layout (including artwork)
making the book itself

3. If anybody has ideas for the title, please share on the blog! It will inspire others to come up with ideas, too. My working title is “Pregnancy and Loss in Ritual Abuse: Stories of Survivors Who Have Lost a Baby through Forced Abortion, Sacrifice, or Forced Adoption.” It’s descriptive, but not very catchy. Also, it doesn’t indicate that I plan to include some accounts by therapists and allies.

In case nobody has trouble asking for help <snork> I’ll let you in on some of the obstacles I have encountered along this particular branch of my healing path.

In the cult, there was nobody to turn to for help. I was on my own, and I quickly learned that crying out for help brought swift retaliation. They wanted me to be small, frightened, and helpless. I don’t remember them doing this to me, but some survivors report that they would set up a situation where the person the child turned to for help actually did help for a while. But it was a trick; that person turned on you, punishing you for asking for help, or betrayed you to the cult. Or else the cult taught you not to try that again by hurting the person you had come to rely on and love and telling you it was your fault for being so needy.

No wonder survivors don’t trust others to be there for them. No wonder they feel that it is up to them to take care of themselves and that dependency is dangerous. And since we grew up believing everybody was untrustworthy, we did not learn how to find trustworthy people. We didn’t know what red flags to look for or how to test the waters by asking for something small and observing how the person reacted. That’s the way you build trust – small tests over time until you are secure that the person will stay in character and not turn on you.

Some cult survivors had families who were not part of the cult. Or if they were cult, they behaved lovingly in the “day life.” This must be really confusing. My family did not torture me outside of cult settings, but they weren’t particularly trustworthy. If I asked for something, it was more likely or not that I wouldn’t get it because it was not what they wanted for me.

For example, I remember asking for books for my birthday and even giving them the titles. Did I get those books? No. Did I get any books at all? No. Why? “Because you read too much.” I didn’t get it. I had just spent four whole years learning to read, and now I was not supposed to? Why had I I bothered?

Sometimes my parents would say they would do something I asked of them and then change their minds without explaining. This was just as disappointing as having my wishes ignored. What happened at home reinforced what I was taught in the cult. You can’t count on anybody but yourself.

But you can learn to trust later on in life. All you have to do is make yourself believe that some people are trustworthy, learn how to identify them, and then take a giant leap of faith and just do it! Easy-peasy! (Not.) That’s why I am still working on it after all these decades.

~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

October
10/13 Full moon
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/14 (?) Columbus Day
10/31 Halloween/start of the Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year
November
11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/2 All Souls’ Day
11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day
11/12 Full moon
11/28 US Thanksgiving
December
12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22 Sundays of Advent
12/11 Full moon
12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/26 Annular solar eclipse. Totality visible in Saudi Arabia, southern India, Sri Lanka, parts of Indonesia, Singapore, and parts of the Philippines.
12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
9/29 – 10/1 Rosh Hashanah (New Year, Day of Judgement)
10/8 – 10/9 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/13 – 10/20 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, harvest festival)
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s actual half-birthday
10/21 Hitler’s alternative half-birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and 10/20. His alternate birthday is celebrated on Easter of the current year and his alternate half-birthday six months later.)
10/21 – 10/22 Simchat Torah (celebration of the complete annual cycle of reading of the Torah)
11/9 Kristallnacht State-ordered pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria)
12/22 – 12/30 Chanukah
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)