Feeling “Less Than”

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

* Looking for people who have been impregnated in a cult setting and lost their child through forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption for submissions for an anthology I hope to put together. Even if you have not been abused this way, could you spread the word and tell all your survivor friends and therapists or pastors about the project? They can write me at rahome@ra-info.org for more information. Thank you so much!


I’m near the end of a two-week trip to visit my kids and attend my high school reunion, which was earlier this week. I felt a little awkward at the reunion because every one seemed to remember me and I didn’t recognize some people. When I learned their names, I didn’t remember them from high school, either.

Outside of that, I was pretty comfortable because at the last reunion I had told everybody (in one of those tell us-what-have-you-been-doing meetings) about my RA background. It went pretty well. Some women were sort of clueless, but nobody thought I was making things up or was crazy or evil. This time, although I didn’t refer to it often, I felt okay mentioning it when it was appropriate and didn’t have butterflies in my stomach, not even once.

The catch-up group was the last meeting of the day. I was next to last to talk. All those women were doing so much, accomplishing so much! They seemed to have so much energy, such great organizational skills, and so much creativity. I began to feel more and more inferior. I thought about the number of projects I have on the back burner and how little I get done. I felt myself getting smaller and smaller as each woman described her life.

Finally I pulled myself together and thought, “Taking care of my body is a half-time job in itself. Besides, it is natural to slow down as you age. It is unrealistic to think you can do all you did even ten years ago.” Of course we all were the same age, so that didn’t explain much.

Then I thought, “Anything I do takes a lot of effort because it always brings up my own history and issues. I am wounded. Whatever I do, I must fight the old tapes that I will fail, I will never do anything right, I am helpless, and the situation is hopeless.” I know these things are not true now but I still have to spend precious energy dealing with them.

“And everybody else with a ritual abuse history is wounded. That’s why there are so few organizations, so few grass-roots movements. It takes so much courage to fight the lies and threats we were made to believe and to actually do anything for ourselves and for our community.” I felt a little better.

I realized that our need is great and our resources are few. Our perpetrators and oppressors are so very powerful. But you know, I, and thousands of other survivors, keep on doing things for ourselves and others. We may not do as much as we would like to, but we do what we can…over and over again.

Then I was honest and said what I had been thinking, even though it was scary to be so vulnerable. I had some perspective and no longer felt less than all the others in that room. I felt I was real and that I was sharing the real me. No more hiding behind a curtain of silence!

In writing this, I realize that I see people, today, who are moving mountains, and they make my heart sing. I think they are amazing and I cheer them on. In turn, there are people who think I do amazing things. Maybe they are deluded or maybe it’s just that I was trained to have no confidence in myself. Practically speaking, it doesn’t matter. I am just going to continue doing as much as I can. And that is enough.




10/13 Backwards Halloween
10/24 Full Moon
10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve/ Hallomas/ All Souls Day/Start of the Celtic new year.

11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/22 US Thanksgiving
11/23 Full Moon
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/22 Full Moon
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/25 Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups

10/12 Hitler’s half birthday
10/15 Death of Goering
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
11/9 Kristallnacht
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)