The Next Entry Will Be Late

I had planned to tell you all about the wonderful conference I went to but I just kearned that there has been a death in the family. Depending how I feel afterwards, I will either post it late or skip the 2/10 post entirely.

Meanwhile, here are two reminders of antholgies that are seeking submissions.

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Anthology of Accounts of Difficulty Finding a Therapist

Jade Miller writes:

American friends: I’m working on a new project and wanted to see if anyone is interested in taking part.

What I’d like to do is highlight the need for trauma-informed care in America. I’d like all who are willing, to email me the story of their search to find a therapist that can help them with dissociation, DID, personality disorder in general, or (C-) PTSD. If you did eventually find one, please tell me how long it took. If you haven’t been able to, please tell me that.

I’m setting up a site where I will post those stories – with permission, (because that’s the point of this project) so please don’t send me a story you don’t want me to share. I can withhold your name if you prefer to be anonymous…make sure you tell me that.

I haven’t (in 4 years of trying) figured out yet how to change the education requirements in America for those who want to become therapists/ psychologists… but I have an email and I’m not afraid to use it. 😉 I will send a story a week to someone in a position of authority, asking if they know how to change this situation. Sometimes it might be the dean of a major college. Sometimes it might be someone on one of the licensing boards. SURELY if I throw enough rocks I’ll hit something good!

If you’re interested, I set up a separate email for this so that they don’t get lost in my “Talk to J8” email. It’s  thetraumasurvivorstale@gmail.com
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You can read Jade’s post “Pregnancy and Loss in Ritual Abuse” at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/pregnancy-and-loss-in-ritual-abuse/ and a review of her first “Dear Little Ones” book at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/book-review-dear-little-ones/

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Anthology of Accounts of Forced Abortion, Sacrifice, or Forced Adoption of Babies

This project was inspired by people writing in the comments section expressing their sense of isolation, of feeling all alone and unheard, and of deep grief after being robbed of their baby.

I am therefore trying to put together an anthology of prose, poetry, and artwork by women who have been impregnated in a cult setting and lost their child through forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption. Submissions by partners, friends, therapists and another allies are also welcome.

Except for very minor edits, the accounts will be written just as submitted. I want everything to be in your words, not in mine. I’ll let you know if I make any changes.

Please use a pen name. I, as the editor, will use one, too. Please make sure you, your perpetrator, and the group which abused you cannot be identified. If you have trouble being true to your truth without identifying the group, I will be glad to help you work around the problem.

Even if you have not been abused this way, could you spread the word and tell all your survivor friends, therapists, pastors, etc. about the project? Thank you so much!

You can contact me through the comments section or at rahome@ra-info.org for more information. I also have a post office box now if you would rather write me. If you are submitting a piece, remember to give me a way to get back to you, as there is paperwork to allow me to use your writing.

Thank you!

RA Projects
PO Box 14276
4304 18th St.
San Francisco CA 94114

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Upcoming Holidays

February
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/18 President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday
2/19 Full moon
2/25 Walpurgis Day

March
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/5 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
3/6 Ash Wednesday/Beginning of Lent
3/17 Str Patrick’s Day
3/20 Full moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan

April
4/1 April Fool´s Day
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/14 Palm Sunday
4/19 Full moon
4/19 Good Friday
4/20 Holy Saturday
4/21 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
4/19 – 4/27 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/20 Hitler´s actual birthday
4/21 Hitler’s alternative 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.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

Diagnosing Dissociation

Doctors and therapists have been trained to believe that DID (multiplicity) is very rare. They have also been trained that “when you hear hoof beats, look for horses, not zebras.” In other words, look first for the most common explanation of a set of symptoms. Once you have ruled out common diseases or conditions, start looking for the rarer ones. That’s common sense, but multiples are hardly zebras — they are far too numerous.

In the past, the most common misdiagnosis of multiplicity was schizophrenia. Why? Because both multiples and schizophrenics often hear voices. For multiples, it’s the voices of their alters or an auditory memory and the voices are usually heard inside the head. For schizophrenics, it’s auditory hallucinations and the voices usually seem to come from outside the head. This is not a hard and fast rule, because multiples sometimes hear the voices of their alters outside themselves, but it’s a good guideline.

Other things besides hallucinations – autism, flat affect and loose associations –  characterize schizophrenia and are not commonly associated with multiplicity (except if one particular alter has been made to be schizophrenic.) Autism in this context means extreme self-absorption, an inability to take other people into account, or not using words in the way other people do. Flat affect means that emotions are toned down to the point of seeming non-existent a lot of the time. And loose associations means being all over the place in one’s speech; rhyming, making up words, jumping from one thing to another. A description slang term is “word salad.”

Multiples are not misdiagnosed as schizophrenic as often these days, but it still happens. I believe that, today, the more common misdiagnoses are bipolar disorder, cyclothymic disorder (rapidly cycling mood changes), and borderline personality disorder. This is just my opinion and is not based on studies that I have read.

In this case, the therapist is not focusing on whether the client hears voices or not, but on mood changes. The main characteristic of bipolar and cyclothymic disorders is mood swings from elation, often to the point of mania, to depression. In borderline personality disorder, the mood changes are secondary to changes in perception and/or beliefs. Another person may be seen as all-good for a while and then suddenly seen as all-bad, with the emotions changing accordingly. (Look for a blog entry on borderlines on July, 2011.)

If somebody has DID, mood changes can be traced to switching alters.  Naturally, alters have different moods. Some are even created to ”hold” one emotion or another. Those that experienced the abuse tend to be depressed, hopeless, grieving, while those that dealt with the non-abusive world are more competent, social, and optimistic. So it makes sense that therapists, if they missed the multiplicity, would make these mood-based diagnoses.

PS. Andreas Laddis published “Dissociation and Psychosis in Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia” in the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp.397-413. I don’t have a citation for mood disorders and dissociation.