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.

~~~~~~~~~~ 

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/

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!

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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.

~~~~~~~~~~

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/

 

Oh, Now I Get It!

Announcements are at the end of this entry.

I was rummaging through old files and found an interesting article I wrote around 1995. Of course, now I can’t find it to get the exact date.

I am amazed that I saw myself as polyfragmented back then. At that time, I was trying to fit into a model that included alters. I was imagining that there was a whole bunch of alters inside, without names or ages or genders or voices .and if I talked to them, I could teach them things. However, I wouldn’t know if they learned anything until I saw a change in the external, real world.

Now I think it’s not a question of alters but a wave of fragments that comes together, like sand blown off a dune. And the next time, the sand comes from a different part of the dune. 

Never mind. I still talk to them or it, or whatever it’s called, and I talk to my feet and to myself, and I talk out loud. Why brood about “who” is doing something?. The important thing is to put the vacuum cleaner back where it belongs.

Here’s the article I found.

Oh, Now I Get It!

My friend Sonya calls and learns I am having trouble getting out of the house and to the copy center. She says she will come with me to make things easier. Sonya and I are both polyfragmented, and we both have a series of alters who slide to the front to do different tasks. We talk about this in the car.

S: “I always think of you as high-functioning and am surprised when you get stuck and can’t do something. Happens to me all the time, but I don’t expect it to happen to you.”

J: “Ha! I see you the same way. I try to work around it. I assume some alters are frightened so I try to explain to them that it isn’t dangerous to do these things today.”

S: “Yes, and the more you get in touch with those alters, you the more you feel the resistance. But it isn’t always resistance.”

J: “What do you mean?”

S: “Some alters just don’t come out very often, so I have to teach those that are out to do jobs for the ones who don’t come out. For example, the one who opens doors is out a lot, but the one who closes them hardly ever is. So I come home and find every cabinet door, every dresser drawer, wide open. Makes the apartment look terrible.”

I have a very enthusiastic vacuuming alter. I vacuum when the cat hairs show. I vacuum when I am upset and need to calm down or think. Unlike other housework jobs, I enjoy vacuuming. Most days, the vacuum cleaner can be found in the middle of the floor, ready to be tripped over.

J: “Oh now I get it! I need to teach more inner folks how to put away the vacuum cleaner.”

S: “Right. It isn’t that you are lazy or messy, it’s just that they don’t know how to do it. I felt so much better about myself when I figured this out.”

J: “I always thought that it was inability to finish a job. A strange form of perfectionism – I can pretend that if I had finished it, it would have turned out wonderfully. But if I actually do finish it, I’ll surely be disappointed.

Or else procrastination. If things are half done, I can fret about that instead of the things that are really bothering me.”

S: “Well, those things are true, too. It’s always multi-layered.”

Initially, I’m excited. I have a new way to work around my hang-ups! Then I think of what a pain it is to teach children to tie their shoes or put away their toys. It’s far simpler to do it myself. I start spiraling into confusion. If there is a “me” who can teach, why can’t that “me” just put away the vacuum cleaner? These thoughts could drive me bats. I’ll save them for therapy – if I remember.

Bingo! An insight! This explains why I have such a long learning curve. Say I want to use a new piece of software. It’s a bright but frightened, anxious, and insecure child learning, not a poised, self-confident woman. And the poor thing has to go it alone, without a teacher or mentor.

Sonya explains that what worked best for her was to write out the steps involved in a task in excruciating detail. She pretends she is writing an instruction manual for a Martian on how to make a cup of tea. That way, if she switches, she only has to remember how to read, not how to make tea or close cabinet doors.

She then invites alters to listen as she reads the instructions. “Would some of you like to learn how to make a cup of tea?” Sometimes somebody wants to, sometimes nobody does.

In time, lots of alters learn all about making tea. The process speeds up as it goes along because there are more and more internal teachers. One fine day, the instructions are no longer necessary.

I’ve found it’s more effective to say things to myself out loud than to think them. “First you pull gently on the vacuum cleaner cord to unplug it. That’s right. Then hold the plug in your left hand. Bend your elbow. Wind the cord around your arm between your hand and elbow. Very good.” I’m so glad I live alone and don’t have to explain anything to anybody.

My guess is that this approach might also be helpful to people who aren’t polyfragmented. I can’t imagine any harm that could come of trying it a couple of times. It certainly is a gentler way of approaching yourself than scolding or putting yourself down for what you can’t do at the moment. You might feel silly at first (I know I will), but you might also get results

~~~~~~~~~~

Cat Update

It’s been a long ten days. Baker stopped eating and pooping, so I took him to the vet. They did an X-ray to make sure he didn’t have an obstruction and were alarmed to see a thickening of the intestine wall. They also saw advanced kidney disease and kidney stones. They recommended an ultrasound to get more detailed information and a “cell aspiration.” This entails taking cells with a needle – sort of like a biopsy, but with far fewer cells. I will know the results next week. It’s hard waiting.

On the bright side, he was given an appetite stimulant which I rub on his ear (easy-peasy!), and it works. He now is eating tuna in lots of water, not enough, but it’s a start. And for the first time, he spent most of the night in bed with me.

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We Need Some Help!

GrassRoots is starting to grow, and we can’t keep up with everything. What we really need help with is the website. We have material waiting to be added, but nobody has the time to do it.

So we need somebody to take text that has been edited and proofed and add it to the appropriate page. We would tell you where it belongs, and you would follow the same format as other entries on that page. It’s a WordPress template, so it should be pretty easy. 

We have a graphic designer who chooses fonts and colors, places images, etc. If you are interested, write us at https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/contact-us/.

~~~~~~~~~~

Two new RA/MC drop-in groups

A new drop-in group joins the CUPP of Hope Wednesday night group! It meets on Mondays 5:00–6:30 PM Pacific Time

Register at https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/events/ 

Holiday Zoom Open Houses 

It’s hard to get through holidays of all kinds – those you find on a ritual calendar or plain old “Hallmark” holidays. They aren’t quite so awful when you can share them with others who “get it.” Watch the GrassRoots web page for the date of the next one – I’m guessing it will be around the solstice.

For all questions, please contact joanies at cuppofhope@gmail.com.

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An Infinite Mind is accepting proposals for their 13th annual Healing Together Hybrid conference. Deadline is August 31. The conference will take place on February 17 – 19, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. Information: https://www.aninfinitemind.org/healing-together-conference

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RA/MC Panel at the International Human Trafficking Conference

I will be part of a four-person panel of RA/MC survivors of child sex trafficking. The title of the presentation is “The Interface between Sex Trafficking, Ritual Abuse, and Mind Control Programming.” It will be in two parts. Each part will consist of a recording of the panel discussion followed by live questions and answers. There will be a fifteen-minute break between the two sections. 

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

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

~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

July
7/13 Full Moon
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 Day – https://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/