* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”
* Remember that two anthologies are seeking submissions:
1. Jade Miller is working on an anthology about the difficulty of finding a therapist who can work with DID or other forms of dissociation. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. I am seeking submissions of accounts of forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption of babies in a cult setting. Contact me through the comments section, email@example.com or RA Projects, PO Box 14276, 4304 18th St., San Francisco CA 94114.
I told you that I was making a huge commitment to myself in hopes of slowing down the progression of my arthritis. The decision is made! I’m committed.
There are already some changes. I can stand longer without pain, and I can walk further without being forced to sit down by the pain in my lower back. So I am happy. However, my knee, the one that is original equipment, has flared up and so it is still painful to walk. I am hoping that the knee is reacting to the positive change in my back and as soon as it gets used to them it will stop hurting so much.
What did I give up? Some housework, definitely. So what!
I’m getting more and more behind on email. I’ve unsubscribed to some nonessential mailing lists and, I need to do more on that front. I also need to write shorter answers and to stop agreeing to do so many things. That will make me sad, as I like doing all the things I sign up for. But it is only a temporary deprivation.
I’ve also stopped going to the pool as often, and that isn’t acceptable to me. I need to go regularly and reestablishing my routine has been very difficult this year. It’s been one legitimate thing after another; several sicknesses, a conference, a death in the family, my kids visiting me, and I forget what else. It looks like making one big commitment is leading to making another medium-sized one!
There’s no pool commitment yet. I don’t know how to throw the switch and make a decision whenever I want. I’m in the phase of wanting to do something but not doing it and not knowing how to make the jump.
What a familiar place that is! It reminds me of the zillion times I tried to stop smoking and fell flat on my face. I know it finally clicked in, but I don’t remember it happening. Somehow, instead of starting again after a short time of not smoking, the time when I abstained just got longer and longer. Now and then I would bum a cigarette from somebody on the street and enjoy it immensely. I haven’t done that in a couple of years, but the smell of smoke still makes me want to.
I don’t think wanting to make a decision and being stuck, being unable to, is unique to ritual abuse survivors. From time to time it happens to everybody lucky enough to be free to make choices. Even people who seem to have no trouble making decisions often have trouble following through. Easy in, easy out, eh?
However, for me, everything is flavored, so to speak, with the residuals of ritual abuse. I am living my present life in the shadow of the past. It goes more smoothly when I remember the shadow is there and pay attention to the adjustments I need to make in order to compensate.
I like the metaphor of the shadow! When I started remembering, flashbacks were almost constant, and the shadow was so large it almost obscured every ray of light. I had to squint to see the vague outline of the present. One day it would be huge and black, the next day a little smaller and tiny bit fainter. Over the years, it got smaller and fainter, but there still were times when it appeared full force. It hasn’t been full force for several years, but it still can get mighty big and dark.
So, looking at what that shadow might be obscuring, the idea of rejecting pain being taboo comes to mind. Doing things to make myself feel better is immensely difficult. I remember trying to hide being sick when I was a child and being afraid to go to the doctor because he might discover there was something wrong and it was my fault. But these are just derivatives of desperately not wanting to displease Satan by rejecting pain. Since my parents were involved, they, too, had the same belief – that Satan got furious when you took back your sacrifice and tried to diminish the amount of pain you were suffering. So if I did that, they would get it, as well as me. Proof they had not raised me right.
Well, I said fuck it and made a huge commitment. I’ll say fuck it again and make a commitment to the pool. And fuck you to Satan and the horse he rode in on. And I will get away scot-free!
4/20 Holy Saturday
4/21 Easter Sunday
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
5/12 Mothers’ Day
5/18 Full moon
5/27 Memorial Day
6/9 – 6/10 Pentecost
6/16 Father’s Day
6/17 Full moon
6/20 Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St John’s Day
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 his actual birthday and half-birthday on Easter of the current year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/1 – 5/2 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
5/7 – 5/8 Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day, Day of Remembrance)
5/8 – 5/9 Yom HaAtzma´ut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/18 Armed Forces Day (?)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)