Boundaries

I Really Need Help with This

GrassRoots is growing and it is getting too much for three people to handle. I know we can do anything we set our minds to, but we can’t do everything!!! Especially everything all at once. We are stretched very thin right now.

We badly need somebody to add material to the webpage – events, articles, etc.

I know some of you have the skills because I know you have your own blogs, your own Webpages. I also know that you may have the skills but not the time.

First of all, what I am asking for is to let me know I am heard. Just a quick note in the comments: “I would love to help, but I can’t now.” Or “I don’t have the time, or am not in a good space, or have so many computer problems that I never want to see another computer in my whole life.” or “I hear you, but I don’t know how to do that.”

And, if you can’t help – think for a moment – do you know a survivor friend who might be interested? If so, tell them it’s a low-key way to help survivors all over the world – and we are a fun group of people to work with, besides.

Contact me on the comments  section or at https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/contact-us/

Thank you so very much!

Boundaries

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but other things were more pressing.

I used to think of a good boundary as a well-built stone wall, about ten feet tall, with lots of barbed wire at the top. Ain’t nobody gonna get in there!

And a poor one was a few short sticks in the ground joined by pretty ribbons. So easy to breach! Just step over it; you don’t even have to knock the sticks down.

Like most things, boundaries are in-between. Not black, not white, but some shade of grey.

What’s more, they are fluid. They shift depending on the circumstances. An offer of a kiss from a stranger on the street merits a ten-foot tall stone wall, while an offer of a kiss from a dearly beloved Significant Other is protected by invisible ink.

Even with the same person, boundaries shift depending on the circumstances. For example, I wouldn’t allow a long passionate kiss with my SO when one of us was driving. Or in front of my grandmother. Or in the middle of a supermarket, for that matter.

Different people set their boundaries at different points and defend them more or less fiercely. Somebody who is socially anxious and self-conscious will be quite different in this respect from somebody happy and self-confident.

Then there is the matter of culture. Things that are okay in one culture are taboo in another. How much miscommunication and hurt can result from a breach of a personal boundary through ignorance! Imagine an Italian man and a Japanese man meeting for the first time, knowing nothing of the other’s nation’s culture. In ten minutes, both would be bewildered and frustrated and confused!

Anyway, that’s just the nature of boundaries. Everybody has the task of learning where they should be set in hundreds of different situations. On top of that, they have to decide if they want to follow their parent’s example or figure out something on their own.

But we, dear readers, are different from folks that are just like everybody else. A goodly number of us have many inner parts with many different needs and many different fears. When they are out, they will set boundaries the best they can for themselves, and their choice may not look like what other parts who come to the front would choose.

The solution, of course, is inner communication. Which can take decades to achieve, as many of us know and the rest suspect at times.

But Oh! Even with perfect inner communication, the process of setting boundaries is not easy. For one, it often takes forever to reach a decision. Consensus? Majority vote? Loudest voice wins? And by the time the decision is made, the opportunity to choose may have disappeared.

Let’s say somebody just insulted me. Loud inner uproar ensures. Do I punch them in the nose? Walk away? Stare in blank amazement? Threaten to sue? Say, “I am so sorry you feel that way. You must be having a really bad day. Is there anything I can do to help?” Meanwhile, the other person is long gone – say three days gone.

I think that working with boundaries is a life-long process, like working with your hair. Right now, my hair is longer than usual and not colored, and my boundaries are tighter than usual. I’m much better at saying, “No.” But on occasion, I still blow it.

I noticed that those occasions often involve men. Men in authority (or who aren’t, but act like they are.) Men who are tall. Men with loud voices. Men who seem to know what they are talking about. Men who seem dangerous. It’s pretty obvious to me that these men trigger fear caused by childhood perpetrators – a good many of them, I would say.

I get all flustered and become unsure of myself. Am I right? Doesn’t matter right now – what’s important is how can I calm myself and get out of the situation. I have worked on some responses that will give me that distance. My current favorite is, “I will have to think about that. I’ll get back to you on it.”

My most brilliant response, one that confirmed I could actually deflect the attack, feel safe, and not lose my self-esteem, was, “Oh, I have learned to never argue with men about cars.” I was thrilled!

I was too much in the present at that moment to realize how far I had come. Not long before, I would have become suicidal. (As if killing myself would have won the argument. I don’t think so.)

In summary, boundaries have to be tinkered with all your life. That’s not a failure; that’s just the way things are. Success is learning to make those adjustments so that you may stay safe, both physically and emotionally. With practice, you get a better sense of where the boundary should fall to achieve your goal. With time, you can do this more rapidly.

And with time, you will learn that you don’t know everything there is to know, and you never will, and you can forgive yourself for making a mistake.

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Upcoming Holidays

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

September
9/5 – 9/7 Feast of the Beast/Marriage to the Beast
9/5 Labor Day (United States)
9/10 Full Moon
9/22 Fall Equinox
9/29 (?) Michaelmas/Feast of Archangel Michael and of all Angels

October
10/9 Full Moon
10/10 Columbus Day
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/25 Partial solar eclipse visible in Europe, the Urals, Western Siberia, the Middle East, India, Western Asia, and northeast Africa. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2022-october-25
10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year 

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups 

10/1: Lammas
Early August through October: Various preparations are done in readiness for October, the month with the largest number of celebrations. 
9/22:  autumnal equinox, “Fall Festival.”
10/16: Death of Rosenburg, a Nazi leader in World War II. (Many Nazi leaders were captured and scheduled for trial in late September and early October. Most of them killed themselves prior to trial.) 
10/17 Hitler’s alternate half birthday (6 months from Easter, 2022)
10/19: Death of Hermann Goering, a Nazi leader in World War II. 
10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday
10/31 – 11/1 Halloween

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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/
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/

A Really Emotional Week

Can You, or Do You Know Anybody Who Might Be Able to … ?

Survivors all over the world need:

More drop-in groups
A men’s group
A group meeting in European time
A 12-Step group

Techies, or almost-techies needed:
A person to add items to the GrassRoots website. Ready-to-go text – no editing, typing, etc. required
Somebody who can coach people who want to use ZOOM, make podcasts, make videos, create slides
Somebody to handle Q&A periods for Webinars
Or somebody who can write directions for these things, so that people can do it themselves.

If all of that sounds too hard, write a comment giving:
Your favorite kid’s book and/or
Your favorite healing book and/or
Your favorite healing song and/or
Your favorite something else.

Write and let us know if you are interested in any of these requests. If you have other ideas, great! We want to hear about them, too. Use the comment section or write https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/contact-us/

Thank you!!!!

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RA/MC Panel at the International Trafficking and Social Justice Conference

We did it! We taped our panels, both of them. Now we can relax until September 22, when we meet again for live questions and answers.

Our time-slots are 1:45 and 3:15 on Thursday, September 22. 2022. Read more about our presentations, plus descriptions of all the other presentations at: https://app.traffickingconference.com/schedule

Please come see us in (virtual) person!  Survivors should choose the “Free Attendee Registration” option and remember to write for the registration code number. Register at    https://www.traffickingconference.com/register

Also, once you have registered for the conference, you must register for each event you want to attend.

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Pornhub News

In January 2020, Pornhub was the largest and most popular porn website, the 10th most visited website across the Internet (more than Netflix, Amazon, or Yahoo), and the third most influential tech company on society-at-large, only surpassed by Facebook and Google.

On June 20, the New Yorker published “The Fight to Hold Pornhub Accountable.” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/06/20/the-fight-to-hold-pornhub-accountable I haven’t read it yet, but it must be really damning. A couple of days later, the Chief Executive Officer, Feras Antoon, and the Chief Operating Officer, David Tassillo, left without naming their successors. The same day,  about 30% of its employees were fired with no notice. Their computers were immediately shut down, and all methods of communication were disabled.

Who says we can’t fight back????

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A Really Emotional Week

On Thursday, we taped our presentation for the International Trafficking and Social Justice Conference.

I had spent the better part of each day of the week trying to find the latest version of my talk. This was no small task, as my computer filing system resembles my paper filing system, which consists of large piles of stuff all over the floor. Next time I write something that requires many revisions, I shall consider keeping a running list of the names of the drafts and where they are to be found.

Special thanks to River, Mary, and j., who read the text numerous times, gave really helpful suggestions, and listened to me read it aloud. I used their words verbatim in many places. Not only did they help make it a better presentation, but they also calmed me down.

Being a perfectionist, of course, I am dissatisfied. With the text. With my voice. With my gestures (or lack of them.) With my appearance. Actually, it’s not perfectionism, it is a resurgence of the lies they told me throughout my childhood. There is nothing like videotaping oneself giving the short version of one’s RA/MC/OA experiences to stir up old messages, old feelings.

Anyway, it is done. It is a big weight off my shoulders, and the last part, the live questions and answers on the actual day, will be easy in comparison. One cannot prepare for that!

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Something else really hard happened this week. I don’t want to write about it because I don’t want it to be true. I also don’t want to make anybody else sad. But it is sad, and it is true. If you have been reading the “Update on Baker”, you may be somewhat prepared.

Anyway, Baker never started eating – he ate less and less each day. The medication his vet gave him may have made him more comfortable, but it didn’t do anything to combat the disease. That told us that irritable bowel was not the problem and that it was cancer. We had chosen to treat the most common feline bowel cancer, and it turned out to be one of the less common ones. We made sensible decisions, but we guessed wrong. It’s okay (no it’s not!) If we had guessed right, and he had gone into remission, he would only have lived a couple of extra months.

So Baker died yesterday, and I have been crying non-stop.

The wonderful thing is that this was an open adoption, and his previous person and I have become friends. We made treatment decisions together, and we were always on the same page. She is a wonderfully kind person, and I love that her name is Katt.

This week, Katt’s daughter and her daughter’s significant other came to visit Baker. They spent hours petting him and reminiscing. I spent time with them, then back to ZOOM, then more time. We shared vegan pizza. They sent me his baby pictures – he was such a cute little kitten.

Thursday, right after the taping, I spoke to the vet, and she said the kindest thing to do would be to help him die peacefully. I immediately called Katt, we discussed the options one more time, and she agreed that was the best choice.

A couple of days ago, I learned I had been exposed to COVID. So I was in isolation and could not bring him to the vet to be with him in his last moments. The three of them gladly took him in. My vet arranged for a ZOOM call, so I could sort of be there. I really, really appreciated her thoughtfulness, and it was great to see how gentle she was with everybody

For one last time, I saw how beautiful Baker was and how terribly thin and lethargic he had become. I knew he was surrounded by familiar people who loved him. It was all okay. I cried my eyes out.

They brought his body back, and we buried him in my garden, between Dakota (my previous cat) and where the sweet peas are in early summer. The header shows me covering him with flowers and then dirt.

Now all that there is left to do is grieve.

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Upcoming Holidays

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

September
9/5 – 9/7 Feast of the Beast/Marriage to the Beast
9/5 Labor Day (United States)
9/10 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

July 29: Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party.
August 1: Lammas
Early August through October: Various preparations are done in readiness for October, the month with the largest number of celebrations.

~~~~~~~~~~

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/
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/

Loss and Grief

More Great Good News!

I have blogged about the fight to shut down PornHub and its parent company, MikeGeek. Here’s the latest.

The New Yorker published an investigative article on the case on June 20, 2022. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/06/20/the-fight-to-hold-pornhub-accountable

The next day, the Chief Executive Officer, Feras Antoon, and the Chief Operating Officer, David Tassillo, resigned without naming successors.

Update on Baker

My cat has been very sick. X-rays and a sonogram showed signs of irritable bowel or intestinal cancer. The recommendation was an endoscopy to take biopsies and see if they found cancer and, if so, what kind. Only four vets in a 20-mile radius do this procedure, and I was on my own to make an appointment, probably for several weeks in the future. My appointment with a regular vet was still two weeks away, and Baker was rapidly losing weight.

Then his luck changed. I reached out to my previous vet, and, lo and behold, she was practicing only a couple of miles from me. She gave me an appointment for the next day. Miracle! I had the ER send the records to her

She told me that the two likeliest diagnoses were a severe case of irritable bowel disease or large cell lymphoma, the most common intestinal cancer in cats. Luckily, they both respond to the same drug. I figured we would go with this option, as we can’t afford to wait for an endoscopy. Even if we could get an appointment in the next couple of days, the procedure would be risky given how depleted he is.

The meds carrive tomorrow. I am not expecting a wonderful response – rapid weight gain, wanting to run around and play in a week or two, that sort of thing. But I am hoping he will feel better and his quality of life will improve.

However long he may have, he is still my beautiful, sweet, loving Baker, and I am so glad he entered my life.

Update on Me

How am I? In a word, sad. He is such a nice cat, and it doesn’t seem that he will be with us for very long.

But I am also excited about the upcoming recording of our panel presentation and happy about getting better lighting for my computer room. It’s great to be able to feel more than one thing at a time!

~~~~~~~~~~

Loss and Grief

Long ago, I found that one loss stirs up memories and feelings of other losses. All of them, but especially those that have not been deeply grieved.

The most soul-wracking loss was that of my husband. Consciously, I was not aware of feeling the loss of anybody or anything else. Now, I wonder if the feelings about all my childhood losses and betrayals were trying to surface and that I was feeling the emotions connected to losses I was not yet aware of.

At first, I was simply stunned. First, I called our children and told them. I then called a friend and got a ride to the hospital where he had been taken. I wanted to touch him, to speak to him in private. I wanted to kiss him one last time. But they told me the morgue was closed, and they did not let me see his body. I did sign papers allowing organ donation. All this I did relatively calmly.

Still stunned, I managed to sleep that night. I woke up confused, sensing that something terrible had happened. Then I remembered he was dead and that I would never see him again, never hear his voice again. A strange howl came out of my mouth, and the tears started.

Later, I learned that noise is called “keening.” It’s the sound of deep, deep grief. I was to hear it often during the next few weeks. Not from anybody else, only from me. I had b=never, that I know of, heard it before and have never heard it since, but I have read about it in books.

The grief came over me in waves, like ocean waves crashing upon a rocky shore. At first, they were continual – it was grief, then a wave of more intense grief, then lesser grief, then another intense wave. Over time, the waves became further apart until there were little grief-free spaces between them. They also became less intense. But they have never gone away entirely.

I have tears in my eyes even as I am writing this.

The process is the same for every subsequent loss. The feelings aren’t as intense, but they are certainly recognizable.

I understand the process better, too. Part is practice. (Losses have a habit of continuing to mount up over the years.) Another part is learning how to build an intellectual framework to contain the emotions. The framework enables me to say, “This is grief. The rest is something else. Some of it is like grief in some ways, most of it is very different.”

Putting words to emotions helps enormously, too. Just saying that grief comes in waves helps me understand what is going on inside and realize that it will not always be this overwhelming.

I can see that I am much better equipped to understand and deal with loss and grief than I was even thirty years ago. Can’t say I am looking forward to the next loss, but at least I know what to expect.

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Upcoming Holidays

July
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

September
9/5 – 9/7 Feast of the Beast/Marriage to the Beast
9/5 Labor Day (United States)
9/10 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

July 29: Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party.
August 1: Lammas
Early August through October: Various preparations are done in readiness for October, the month with the largest number of celebrated dates.
September 22: autumnal equinox, “Fall Festival.
9/25 – 9/27: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)

~~~~~~~~~~

You can find more information on the following holidays at:Candlemas – https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Dayhttps://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/