Lost in Time

I don’t lose time in the usual sense, or, if I do, I am not aware of it. I imagine it would be like going under anesthesia — the moment before going under, the moment after coming to, and absolutely nothing in between. Scary!

Instead, time — or memory? — fades away gradually, like an aging Polaroid picture. Some things fade rapidly, others take months or years. It’s not as spectacular as losing whole chunks of time, but it is inconvenient, annoying, and embarrassing.

I often am not sure if I did something or just thought about doing it. Did I pay the bills? Mail the envelopes? Turn off the stove? Who knows! It’s easy enough to check the stove and look for checks written in my checkbook, but it’s difficult to figure out if I have mailed something or not. The envelope could be anywhere in the apartment or in the car. I suppose I could wait a few days and phone to see if it had arrived, but that would be really embarrassing.

Then there are the things that softly fade away. I may know I had a doctor’s appointment, but not be sure if it was last month, the month before, or the month before that. Soon it will merge with all the other doctor’s appointments I’ve had in my life and of course I can’t tell one from the other and have no idea when any of them occurred.

If somebody asks me when one of my children graduated from high school, I have to count on my fingers. And if they ask how long I have lived in San Francisco, they get a blank stare. I know that events happened, but they rattle around in time and have no fixed home.

In the past, I would smoothly change the subject or talk around the question. It was so second nature that I must have learned how to do this as a child. Now I have developed more functional ways of dealing with the problem of shifting time.

In the short run, I keep a detailed “to do” list and when I have checked something off, I add the next step. “Paid bills: check — mail mail.” I also write down where things are: “the envelopes are in my purse.” This is really helpful. One I checked off “unpack” and then didn’t note where the suitcase was. Gone. My favorite suitcase, totally gone. I am not kidding you.

For events further in the past, I designed a time-line. I listed regular holidays, satanic holidays, and family birthdays for each year. At the beginning of the year I wrote down my age and my children’s ages. Then I added anything I remembered, or believe I remembered. If anything popped up in my mind later I added it.

In a more systematic way, I transfer information from medical records, old cancelled checks, old date books, dates on the backs of photos, etc. onto the time-line. Often it will jog my memory and I can fill in more information. Some years are nicely filled in, while others are completely empty.

I imagine that both of these techniques would be useful for multiples. They could be jazzed up a little, too. The “to do” list can be expanded by inviting all alters to use a notebook. Explain that it is for everyday things. Write down something that needs doing and ask the person who actually did it to write about their experience. If there are any problems, ask if people have ideas how it could go more smoothly in the future. You could engage the littles by having them write marketing lists and tell them that each time you go shopping you will buy something on the list, taking turns so that each person will get what they want sooner or later.

Time-lines, too, could be expanded. Each alter could have their own time-line if they wished and eventually they could be merged into one “system” time-line. Or you could note when you first met an alter and what they shared with you.

For people who are worried that they may be losing time, you can set a timer for short intervals, say twenty minutes, and when the timer goes off write down where you are and what you are doing. A long gap with no notations suggests you might have lost time.

A lot of people have resistance to doing this; they are frightened that they might discover that they really are losing time. Remember that losing time doesn’t necessarily mean anything terrible happened. It simply means another alter was out and the two of you aren’t co-conscious. In any event, it’s better to know than not know.

Do any of you do any of these things? If you have other ways of keeping yourself anchored in time, can you please share them in the comments section? Many heads are better than one! Thanks in advance.

A Brilliant Idea

My good friend Anon wrote this a few years ago and gave me permission to share it with all of you. Maybe it can help you as much as it helped her. You have plenty of time to work on it if you want to and I’ll refer back to it at the end of August.

I am a satanic ritual abuse survivor, and September 7 – 8 has long been one of the hardest times of year for me and for many of my inner people. Fifteen years ago on this same date, a call-back telephone call caused a psychic eruption and my memories of life before seventeen and eighteen came flooding back to me. I am only now beginning to remember a few positive things from those same years.

September of 2006 found me devastated, dissociative in ways I had not experienced in awhile, and I spent more than a month in a trauma hospital. Something very important happened then and my healing work has seemed to flow with more determination and clarity since. It all sort of pulled together. This year? I truly did not want to be “down there” any more. It wasn’t going to happen. My therapist, S, and I began preparing and working on the Sept 7 – 8 memories and issues early, like in July. We knew she was going to be gone for that particular week, took even more care, and did a lot of hard fucking work.

At the end of most therapy sessions, I lie down and cuddle up in the big pillows and S talks to “everyone inside.”  August 24 was particularly hard, with some heavy sobbing. During the week before there had been many, many body memories and an intense tiredness. In the session we got to that real feeling of back then – the having to give up/the ultimate despair/the never being able to ask for help/ the utter submission – when we were five this was their primary purpose – the ultimate submission and despair.

For the “wedding” on the 7th/8th, they set it up so it was the mom who gave us away. There was nowhere else to turn. They won, right then. There was no hope. We could never, ever, truly get away. Getting “married” to the devil/cult just cemented it. While I was feeling all of this intensely, sobbing, we finally got a few words out, quietly, “I don’t want to be down here any more.” (more sobbing.)  S asked us to say it again . . . it was so hard. It took a long time. We finally kind of spit it out – and with that came another voice from inside. . . “I WANT OUT!!!”   I was remembering being in so intensely – in closets, in boxes – and I had never have out of a closet or box or ropes or chains or . . . any of it. It will come.

The voice of, “I WANT OUT” had anger. It wanted to demand. It wanted out. This was new, to remember something besides the despair of being stuck in. So in that session, when I rolled into the pillows and S was talking to “everyone inside” about work we had just done, I heard another little voice. Oh what a voice! Purely a little five year old. She started clamoring, like tugging on my shirt and asking several times, “Can five year olds get a divorce????”

I stood up and listened, jaw dropped. Of course . .  . what a simple idea . . . what a SMART idea!!!! S and I both saw the vision in it, the long-term possibilities. She said it gave her goose bumps. We talked about divorce and then about annulment.  (I’ve been through both as an adult). An annulment means it was never really real from the beginning. How perfect. How simple. How smart. Out of the mouth of one of my “babes” inside. I was going to see S again that week before she left, so we set it up. We would do it on Friday, the 31st.

I went home enthralled, calm and yet so excited. I just KNEW it was right. I immediately emailed S with the request that she make up a professional looking form, an annulment certificate. And don’t forget the gold seal! and I suggested a lot of the wording. She did it for us. It’s beautiful.

Friday, August 31, 2007, the five year old who endured the “marriage to the beast” signed the annulment. Then S signed it. Then a whole lot of others inside signed it (and more since then). And S put the seal on – a golden butterfly. Then she read it out loud to us, in a formal kind of voice. She finished and said…”It’s over.”

It is over. It worked. We really believe inside that we’re free. It wasn’t ever real. It was all based on lies. But it’s official. It’s over.  Life just changed – completely.

We literally have never known what it was like to NOT be imbedded in that relationship – with him, the cult leader, the porn king, the idiot who raped the mother, who brought us up as his sex slave, his dog, his lover, his protégé, his prostitute, his anger pillow, the dirt on his feet – his. From the rape on, we were in that relationship. But he wasn’t the devil that day. He wasn’t the whole cult. He wasn’t even evil. He was just a stupid man fooling himself too. (I keep suddenly feeling the difference, deep inside, and just feel it with, like, a big-eyed, “wow”).

One of the most important benefits of this freedom? (So far) We can truly connect to someone else. There is no rope pulling us backwards all the time, holding us back from full connections and aliveness. There’s no little devil over my shoulder just waiting for me. There’s no big shadow watching me, keeping me. I don’t have a little black heart. His seed did not become part of me. I don’t belong to him.

Connection. We can have it. We can risk it. We can want it. We can do it. For now, it’s mainly our connection to S. my little insiders believe in with their whole heart. Their absolute sureness makes me laugh.

It’s odd. This freedom is not huge emotionally. It’s not overwhelming, ecstatic, there’s no “high.” This freedom brings me a peace and a sense of myself I have not ever been allowed. It’s just me here – not Him and me – not me and Evil, not me and my past even – just me. It’s a kind of confidence, an assurance. It’s absolute confidence – even expectation in a five-year-old irritated kind of way – that we are here. You better see us. We have things to do, places to go. We’re going. You will love us.

Many tears and new issues have come about since then, only because of the new-found freedom. And it’s good. It’s very, very good.  Hope has arrived and settled in, I believe.  For the rest of the hard fucking work we still have to do? This will be the difference.

Here is the text of the certificate that Anon and S wrote. You may want to change the words some and you are  probably going to want to print it out and put it in a real frame with real official seals.



The original marriage between _______________________(the young female
bride) and the one known as “the beast” is hereby determined to be officially and
legally null and void.

The alleged wedding was both illegal and wrong in the eyes of the law and god and
goddess and all life. The alleged marriage was at all times based solely on lies and
deception, mind and body control, and abuse. It was never real.

Any rules, programs, titles of claim, or judgments of any kind associated with this
wedding are ALL completely powerless and null and void as of this date.

Furthermore, said groom and all associates shall have no further contact with the
said bride at any time for any purpose whatsoever from this time forward forever.

The bride is hereby proclaimed completely free —
physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

Date Signed and Sealed: ___________________

Alleged Bride’s Signature:

Witness One:

Other Witnesses:






Alters Who Morph

It’s hard to explain what multiplicity looks like to people who aren’t multiple and don’t have friends who are multiple. I think many people imagine that all multiples are like Eve in “Three Faces of Eve” or Tara in “The United States of Tara.”

Some are, of course. Kim Noble, who I blogged about at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/kim-noble-activist-artist/, is an example. Her alters have very different personalities, she has no co-consciousness, and the switches are very obvious.  But there are many who are not cut from the same cookie cutter. Actually, there probably are hundreds and hundreds of cookie cutters!

It is hard to explain when alters are not that different in their demeanor and when they switch seamlessly. Or when there is one alter who is usually out and others speak and act through the “host.”  Or when there are a group of alters all the same age, or alters who are identical twins or triplets.

Most of the time people don’t even notice the subtle shifts and may believe you are just pretending to be multiple. Perhaps they suspect you are seeking attention, or believe you have been persuaded that you have DID by an unscrupulous therapist. If they are kinder, they may think that  you are now totally integrated.

A few years ago I came across a beautiful short video on Youtube called “500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art.” Women’s faces morph into each other every two or three seconds. In just under three minutes, the video shows portraits by artists ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso.

I thought it was a great metaphor for subtle switching. I’ve shown it to several people who said, “Oh, now I get it!” And it is so lovely that I enjoy watching it over and over.

“500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art” is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUDIoN-_Hxs. The music is Bach’s Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major performed by Yo Yo Ma. You can see a list of the artwork at http://www.maysstuff.com/womenid.htm.