Childhood Abuse, Long COVID, and Adult Hypertension

There is a new issue of the GrassRoots newsletter coming out this week. Watch for it – it has information on new groups. If you don’t receive it, you can ask to subscribe at https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/contact-us/.

I am getting a cat tomorrow! He is half Turkish Van, just like Baker. Like Baker, he could pass as purebred. His owner lives about 30 miles away and is happy to stay in touch after he moves in with me. His name is Spicy, but I think I will call him Spencer. 

Oh, and there is a Turkish Van Facebook group. It’s been around for ten years and has 4323 members. I guess Vans aren’t as rare as they are made out to be! https://www.facebook.com/groups/274535075956887/

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Every day, I receive three articles from the Harvard University Gazette. Most aren’t of much interest to me, but this one infuriated me.

“Study Finds Distress Before COVID-19 Infection Increases Risk of Long COVID by 45%.”
By Nicole Rura for the Harvard Chan School of Public Health Communications Department
https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2022/09/depression-anxiety-may-escalate-chances-of-long-covid-says-study/ 
September 7, 2022

In this study, distress means psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, worry, perceived stress, and loneliness. How many of us RA/MC survivors have lived even one day of our lives without any of those conditions? I’d like to meet them and find out how they managed it!

I keep stumbling across articles correlating childhood abuse and adult illnesses of all sorts. They absolutely enrage me, and I vent by blogging about them. I’m angry that the abuse may end, but the physical and psychological effects are life-long. I’m angry that this isn’t widely known. If it were, there would be no need for more of these “ground-breaking” studies.

If you were a mess psychologically before you got COVID, you are far more likely to get long COVID. Physical health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, and current or past smoking are known risk factors for more severe COVID infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. This study showed that they barely contribute to the development of long COVID. 

Survivors have far more risk factors than other people – including autoimmune diseases. So we are more likely to catch COVID, more likely to be hospitalized, and more likely to die. And now they have found we are more likely to get long COVID. It’s not fair, and it’s not our fault.

Anyway, here are the highlights of the study.

From 4/1/2020 to 5/1/2020, 58,612 members of the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study II, Nurses’ Health Study 3, and the Growing Up Today Study were enrolled in a long COVID study and followed until 1/3/2021. During this time, 3,752 people (6%) reported testing positive for COVID, and 1403 (43.9%) reported post-COVID symptoms. Among these, 86.9% reported symptoms lasting two months or longer, and 55.8% reported at least occasional daily life impairment.

The most common symptoms were fatigue (56.0%), smell or taste problems (44.6%), shortness of breath (25.5%), confusion, disorientation, or brain fog (24.5%), and memory issues (21.8%).

All study members were first asked about their experience of psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, worry, perceived stress, and loneliness.

Psychological distress was associated with an increased risk of long COVID, independent of smoking, asthma, and other health behaviors or physical health conditions. Different kinds of distress were associated with a 32% to 46% increased risk of long COVID and a 15% to 51% greater risk of daily life impairment.

Psychological problems have been associated with a greater risk of more severe COVID (including hospitalization), which, in itself, is a risk factor for long COVID. Other studies show that mental health conditions are associated with greater severity and longer duration of flu and cold symptoms. Still other studies have suggested an association with chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia, which all have symptoms similar to those of long COVID.

The full article, available online, also discusses possible mechanisms by which psychological factors could contribute to physical illnesses. 

“Associations of Depression, Anxiety, Worry, Perceived Stress, and Loneliness Prior to Infection With Risk of Post–COVID-19 Conditions.”
Wang, Siwen; Quan, Luwei; Chavarro, Jorge E.; Slopen, Natalie; Kubzansky, Laura D.; Koenen, Karestan C.; Kang, Jae Hee; Weisskopf, Marc; Branch-Elliman, Westyn; and Roberts, Andrea L.
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online September 7, 2022

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And then, on September 9, this came into my inbox:

“Sensitization of Hypertension: The Impact of Earlier Life Challenges: Excellence Award for Hypertension Research 2021.”
Xue, Baojian and Johnson Alan. 
https://synopsi.medpagetoday.com/article/162441/sensitization-of-hypertension-the-impact-of-earlier-life-challenges?xid=nl_mpt_Cardiology_update_2022-09-09&mh=02623b6c09bbfe381410b8080fd99509&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Automated%20Specialty%20Update%20Cardiology%20BiWeekly%20FRIDAY%202022-09-09&utm_term=NL_Spec_Cardiology_Update_Active

Now, this really hits home. It’s validation that my crazy blood pressure behavior is a direct result of extreme childhood abuse. I’ll share the article with my doctors. Not that it will help them learn how to manage it, but at least it may be a little less of a mystery to them.

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My Trip Was Great!

I had a wonderful time and did all the things I wanted to.

Except I didn’t totally detox from the Internet. I used it to read maps, find places to eat, and play music. I felt refreshed, though, as I didn’t check my email once, nor did I look up any RA/MC-associated websites. I did not feel I was cheating and so came home calm, rejuvenated, and free of guilt.

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Next-To-Last Reminder – RA/MC Panel at the International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference
I will be part of a 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. We have the whole afternoon 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! Survivors should choose the “Free Attendee Registration” option and remember to write for the registration code number. Register at https://www.traffickingconference.com/register

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Upcoming Holidays
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 November 11/1 All Saints’ Day 11/2 All Souls’ Day 11/4 Satanic Revels 11/7 – 8 Total lunar eclipse visible in North and East Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, much of South America, and Antarctica. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2022-november-8 11/ 8 Full Moon (Blood Moon) 11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day 11/24 Thanksgiving Day (United States) 11/27 First Sunday of Advent 11/30 St Andrew’s Day 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. 9/2  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 11/9 Beer Hall Putsch rebellion, the date Hitler declared the Nazi party the leaders of Germany. A few years later, in 1938, Krystalnacht, (the “Night of Broken Glass”) happened on this date.

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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://ritua

Memorial Day Tribute to All Survivors

There are announcements after this letter.

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I received this email from a dear friend of mine. It touched me deeply, and I asked her if I could share it more widely on my blog. The answer was, “yes.”

Dear Friends,

On this day in the United States, Memorial Day is a National Holiday where many families and friends come together to BBQ. Celebrating a long weekend. An extra day off work. It is often considered the start of summer and camping season. Part of its history was (and is) to honor all soldiers who have died during their service to the nation.

For survivors like us, this holiday may have also brought extended abuse (as is the case for most holidays).

So on this Memorial Day, I open my heart to a deep, deep place of love, sorrow, and honor as I am remembering each one of you who are all so dear to me. (To those of you I do not know, to all those I may never meet, and  to those who didn’t survive, this is for you, too)

We are soldiers in our own rights. Warriors of a war we survived with only the weapons of our minds. A war not of our own choosing but forced on each of us.

We were child soldiers of this underground battle that was hidden in plain view. We were warriors who died again and again and again. Many of us with parts who are still dead, buried deep inside. We have been prisoners of this hidden war (POWs). This war of insidious, horrific abuse. We may still have parts that are internally imprisoned. Parts of ourselves may still be missing in action (MIA). Yet here we are. We survived.

We are soldiers. We are warriors. We are heroes. Yet the eyes of the world do not see us. They do not want to see us.

So on this day of remembering, I want to say – I see you. I honor each of you. You are not forgotten. You are my heroes today and every day. Thank you for being a part of my life, our lives, and sharing your hero’s journey with us.

With love and compassion,

River and Tribe
(Wounded Healer Warrior Woman Child – A Tribal Community)

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A New RA/MC Drop-in Group

A new ZOOM drop-in group has just been formed!
Starting on June 13, it will meet on:
Mondays 5:00–6:30 PM Pacific Time/
Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 AM Melbourne, AUS Time.

Check https://grassroots-ra-mc-collective.org/events/ to see if registration is open.

The other drop-in group meets on Wednesdays at 5:00–6:30 PM Pacific Time. Both are free.

This type of group is very, very needed. Ongoing groups are truly wonderful, but they can’t accommodate more than a few people, and a member is torn if they have a scheduling problem. Drop-in groups, which do not require weekly attendance, are more flexible. They are ideal for people in crisis, people who have been healing for a long time and want to support others, those who just want to touch base with other survivors, and those with irregular work schedules or other commitments that can’t be easily scheduled.

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Would Anybody Here Like to Lead a Group?

Speaking from experience, leading any group is very rewarding. And it’s a hundred-fold times more rewarding if it is a RA/MC group!

If you have never led a group before, it’s best to pair with a co-leader. If you will be the only leader, you probably will want to have somebody to act as a consultant, if needed. GrassRoots can help you search for either a co-leader or a consultant.

Please don’t assume you aren’t capable of leading a group. You don’t have to be 99% healed or have a license or degree – remember, this is a peer group we are talking about. You don’t have to be an extrovert, and a streak of social anxiety is okay. Of course, if you are in crisis or have tons of other commitments, better wait until life shifts for you. If you are unsure, I’d be happy to talk to you about the possibility.

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Upcoming Holidays

June
6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

 

July
7/4 Independence Day
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

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

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

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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-
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/ 

Thoughts on Past Depression

May Eve and Beltane

Beltane is absolutely the worst holiday for me. It’s a perversion of a lovely Pagan celebration of spring and the promise of new birth in plants, animals and humans. It’s yin to Halloween’s yang, fecundity to death. You can imagine how easy it would be to pervert.

I went back and read an article about the origins of Beltane that I posted in 2004. It’s still worth a read.  https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

I hope you can all do something, however small, to counter the messages from the past that you may receive tonight and tomorrow. Try and be kind to yourself, to your body, to the parts of you that were forced to live through those things. The survival of the child that was you is a miracle that is worth celebrating.

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So Excited!

I am really happy to tell you all that both our proposals were accepted by the International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference. We will be presenting sometime on Wednesday, September 21, Thursday ,September 22, or Friday,September 22. I’ll let you know when we are assigned days and times.

Anybody who would like to hear about “The Interface between Sex Trafficking, Ritual Abuse, and Mind Control Programming” or see what Donna, River, Mary (sparrow), Anneka, and I look like, here is your chance! 

And I am also happy to tell you that fees are waived for all survivors! 

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Thoughts on Past Depression

I walked into my bedroom this morning and stood looking at the sunlight on the sheets and pillows of my unmade bed. Just stood still, admiring it. I thought about how beautiful it was and how I was so happy that I could now see beauty in everyday things. I remembered the days when everything looked drab and dreary. Sometimes I could recognize beauty, but it was so painful I could hardly stand it. Anything beautiful contrasted vividly with the pain and hopelessness inside – bleak, ugly despair. 

I wonder if anybody has been able to forget a deep depression. I’m glad I don’t have flashbacks to feeling like that!

For several years I was clinically depressed. I had plenty of suicidal thoughts, and I knew how to kill myself. I didn’t want to, though. I didn’t want to hurt my kids that way, to abandon them so violently. And I didn’t want to miss the rest of my life if, by some miracle, the depression ever lifted.

Nothing could distract me from my despair. Not people, not food, not music, not dancing, not reading, not animals, not plants, nothing that I remembered I had once enjoyed. I couldn’t soothe or console myself. I just gritted my teeth and slogged through the endless days. It was like walking in waist-high molasses.

I was in therapy at the time and my therapist directed me to talk about my childhood. Of course, the childhood I remembered was plenty bleak, so there was a fair amount to talk about. But it didn’t help. I kept saying, “There’s something more.” And he kept reassuring me that the early losses I was describing were enough to explain my depression. So I kept working on childhood, but it never helped. Once, he lost his patience and told me of a Peanuts cartoon where Lucy tells Charley Brown, “You like being depressed.” 

That was cruel. Did he think I would have stayed depressed had I known how to get out of it? I hope he was ashamed of blurting that out.

Tricyclics had been invented by then, but he did not discuss them with me. Later, after I had terminated with him, I was put on imipramine. It worked. It stopped the suicidal thoughts, and I no longer felt the pain that had been my 24/7 companion for so long. However, I no longer felt much of anything. It was like I had been given a rhinoceros tranquilizer.

I tolerated the side effects because they were better than the depression. However, I stopped taking it in a panic when I suddenly started gaining weight – at the rate of a pound a day. That went on every day for thirty straight days even though I wasn’t eating more. How is that physically possible??? I remained undepressed for a couple of years, then went back on imipramine. This time I stopped after 3-4 days of a-pound-a-day weight gain, but it continued for the whole month.

I am so glad those days are over. I finally know what caused the depression, and lo and behold, talking about it and seeing my childhood from a different angle really does help. 

I think what helps even more is being understood. I have surrounded myself with people who have experienced severe trauma and are kind, not critical.

Yes, it takes courage to disclose, not knowing what response you will get. It takes perseverance to break the habit of thinking you are at fault.

I rushed rashly ahead, disclosing right and left without thought for the consequences. Luckily nobody came after me to shut me up. The other responses were, for the most part, supportive and loving.

These days, the person who sees beauty in an unmade bed is standing up for herself, full of ideas for projects, and bursting with energy. I think I am getting a glimpse of what I would have been like all along if I had not been born into a Satanic cult and not been used in child pornography.

I like that person.

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upcoming holidays

April
4/30 Partial solar eclipse visible in west South America and Antarctica.  https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2022-april-30
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May
5/1 Beltane
5/8 Mothers’ Day
5/15 Full Moon
5/15 – 5/16 Total lunar eclipse visible in south and west Europe, south and west Asia, Africa, much North America, South America, and Antarctica. https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2022-may-16
5/21 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/26 (?) Ascension Day
5/30 Memorial Day

June
6/5 Pentecost
6/6 (?) Whit Monday
6/12 (?) Trinity Sunday
6/14 Full Moon
6/16 (?) Corpus Christi/Feast of the Body of Christ
6/19 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve

6/24 (?) St John’s Day

 

July
7/4 Independence Day

7/13 Full Moon

7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God


7/27 Grand Climax

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

4/15-4/23 Passover/Pesach (Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
6/4 – 6/6  Shavuot (Harvest Festival, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)

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

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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-
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/