Chronic Pain – My Constant Companion


Upcoming Satanic and Nazi holidays  
Please note that Satanic sects build the year around pagan holidays, adding Christian holidays and major secular holidays. It is the Neo-Nazi groups that defile Jewish holidays.
9/1 (Nazi) Start of WW2:  9/5 (Satanic) Labor Day (US and Canada):  9/5 – 9/7 (Satanic) Marriage to the Beast:  9/7 (Satanic) Feast of the Beast:  9/16 (Satanic) Full Moon:  9/17 (Nazi) Hitler’s alternate half-birthday:  9/20 – 9/21 (Satanic) Midnight Host:  9/22 (Satanic and Nazi) Fall Equinox
Fall Equinox
Labor Day

The last post was about the probable connection of brain and body through inflammation. I was enraged, if you didn’t guess. I’ve calmed down quite a bit since then, at least on the surface. This post is about my feelings about stuff I have had to contend with throughout most of my adult life.

A few years ago, I tried to calculate how many years since the age of twenty I had been in chronic pain. I picked twenty because by then I was pretty much free of the cult and I didn’t want to count the childhood years of abuse. I wanted an estimate of how many years some physical condition created my pain, a condition that was not dependent on another human being to cause it or maintain it. In other words, the after-effects of the abuse. Does that make sense?

I recalculated it today and it came to fifty-five, allowing for a few pain-free years when I was in my low fifties. There were twenty-four years of fibromyalgic-type pain, then a break, then arthritis, first in my knees, then my back, and now also my hands and maybe my neck, too.

And all that time, I was either depressed or on antidepressants. So there was a lot of inflammation in my body, and in my brain, too, until I discovered Wellbutrin about ten years ago. I can just see the body and brain passing inflammation back and forth, like children playing hot potato. “It’s yours.” No, it’s yours. It’s your turn.” “You take it, my turn has been longer than yours.” On and on, for year after year.

The unidentified illness started shortly after I had my second child, followed by a bad case of the flu. I thought (hoped?) for many months that it was a late symptom of the flu and it would clear up rapidly. It came and went in waves, so I often thought I was done with it. The waves gradually got less intense and further apart until I realized, after twenty-five years, that they had disappeared. It was during this time that I was either coping with my depression without medications or using antidepressants that took away my suicidal thoughts but had horrible side effects.

The mystery disease caused what felt like aching pain in my arm, leg, and finger bones. Nothing in my torso, thank goodness. The pain in my hands gave me the worst problems. I had to buy an electric can opener. I had to ask people to open store doors for me — they were too heavy. And I could not type or hold a pen. I mean I could, but I would be crying after a few minutes. Made it hard to be a grownup.

It forced me to ask for help, which was mortifying. I felt exposed, vulnerable, incompetent. And afraid that the people I asked for help would mock me before walking away, leaving me in tears.

I had a few years between the end of that episode in my life and being diagnosed with arthritis. But, looking back, it had started five or ten years earlier, overlapping with the mystery disease. I remember being stiff, so stiff that I had to take a hot shower before going downstairs to have coffee. I remember doing back exercises during that period, too. There wasn’t a lot of pain, just the first warnings. I blossomed: started jogging and swimming – and dancing, too! It was a pretty happy period for me.

The arthritis pain stays steady for a while until there is a flare-up. The flare-up eventually dies down but the pain is more intense than before. I did have a knee replacement, which was a miracle until I tripped and fell on my walker. Still, that knee is not at all bad. The real problem is my back: paraphrasing the latest X-ray report: “Her back is a mess and it is going to get worse.” It is all steadily down-hill from here.

I cannot walk a half block without sitting down. I cannot stand more than a couple of minutes. It is painful to lie down, which makes sleep problematic. Thank goodness sitting is still comfortable.  I can sit all day in front of my computer and not feel a bit of pain. I can see sometime in the future having to sleep sitting up; it won’t be fun, but it will be manageable.

So I have lived for all those years with chronic pain. It’s been a constant companion, like depression, my oldest friend. I no longer have to use an electric can opener but there are days when I think of buying one. I can see it coming, as my fingers get bent and my knuckles enlarge so that I can no long wear my favorite rings.

I think many of us were trained to endure pain stoically. If you aren’t allowed to express it externally, you have to bear it internally. Sometimes alters take turns enduring the pain, sometimes there is a further split for the trainer to take advantage of.

For me, there is a “religious” component to living with pain. I was taught that Satan liked pain, and that my pain was a gift to him. If I tried to avoid the pain or complained, it was like a slap in Satan’s face. You absolutely do not ever want to do that.

I am long past believing that, but the habit is deeply ingrained. It is very, very difficult to ask for help and to take care of my body.  Making a doctor’s appointment means I am admitting there is something wrong . . . and asking for help. It took forever to use the walker in public and to allow people to open doors for me and let me to go first. I waited years before I got a handicap placard for my car. I know these behaviors are silly and counterproductive but I am bucking the habits of a lifetime. Each year I am getting a little better at not being so rigidly independent.

There are so many, many losses involved with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. I am very grateful that I have not been deprived of a sense of purpose, of being of use to my community. I think of this every day while writing blog posts, updating my web page, moderating support groups, or laughing and crying with friends. I am grateful, too, for discovering ideas that might be helpful to me personally and for learning of exciting work around the world that others in the field of ritual abuse are doing. I feel blessed that these connections have not been taken away from me.

PS Something else that I am wildly grateful for is that chronic pain still grants me some joy, unlike depression, which sucked all the color, pleasure, and meaning out of life.

Treating Eating Disorders

Upcoming Satanic and Nazi holidays – sundown 6/11 to sundown 6/13 (Nazi) Shavuos (commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai): 6/19 Fathers’ Day (US, Canada, UK, and South Africa): 6/20 is both a full moon and the summer solstice: 7/19 S Full Moon: 7/29 (Nazi) Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party: 8/1 S N Lamas: 8/18 S Full Moon: 8/15 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: sundown 8/13 to sundown 8/14 (Nazi) Tisha B’Av: (Day of Mourning)

Prior posts on eating disorders – 4/10 Eating Disorders (Introduction): 4/20 Over-Eating: 5/10 Ritual Abuse Issues and Eating Disorders: 5/20 Anorexia and Bulimia

Resources: The Eating Disorders Catalog site has a list of workbooks at Something Fishy at has helpful articles but some pages are under construction and other have mostly broken links.

Researched eating disorders, I found that there were two approaches to treating them. One is based on a blend of behavior modification and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The other is psychodynamically oriented and trauma-informed; it considers the eating disorder a result of and/or defense against dangerous feelings or memories.

CBT is based on the premise that our thoughts determine our emotions and behavior and that thoughts can be consciously changed.  If I think I am ugly, I slouch, dress without care, avoid mirrors and people. But we can think of a thought as a hypothesis and test it with facts. The new thought, or hypothesis, can then be the basis for our feelings and behavior until it is time for another reality check. If I think I am normal, I come out of my shell. If I look around and look at others my age, I may revise normal to pretty damn good-looking.

CBT is educative: the therapist teaches the client how to apply the techniques and assigns homework in the form of workbooks, journals, etc. The client sets the goal, and therapist and client together agree on a time frame for the therapy. Once learned, clients can apply those techniques by themselves for the rest of their life.

There are lots of variations on CBT; for example, DBT is Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and incorporates mindfulness and meditation. They all stem from Aaron Beck’s work in the late 60’s and early ’70’s. I remember reading “Cognitive Therapy of Depression” and “Depression, Causes and Treatment” and being very disappointed. Guess I wasn’t ready back then!

Behavior modification is based on B. F. Skinner’s work with animals and also with patients in a Massachusetts State hospital. Desired behaviors are reinforced with rewards and undesired behaviors are extinguished with punishments or lack of rewards (ignoring them). You can find examples of behavior modification in popular literature: every time you behave in the desired way, put money in a piggy bank and, after a set period of time, reward yourself with a movie or a piece of clothing – not a pizza.

Neither of these approaches takes into consideration where the behavior come from and what function it serves. When you look at it with complex trauma in mind, eating disorders can be seen as a protective mechanism, just like any other symptom.

The trust and stability of the therapist-client relationship is the basis for forming alliances with alters as well as the “apparently normal person” who came into therapy. In time, the alters will describe the meaning of the eating disorder. It can be an attempt to control one aspect of life, an attempt to disappear, or an attempt to become unattractive to avoid abuse, among other things. These beliefs can be challenged by teaching the alters about the passage of time and that there is no longer a need to use the eating disorder in this way.

It can also be a way of suppressing memories. “Don’t remember, don’t tell” programming is very powerful. Creating a serious present-day problem that takes up all one’s energy is a great distraction and all other goals and problems fade into the background.

If you have a therapist who is skilled with working with ritual abuse survivors, you will probably go back and forth between working on internal issues and attending to the eating disorder. If your therapist does not have this knowledge, see if they are willing to learn. If not, you might consider finding another therapist more tuned into the effects of trauma.

There are some things you can do outside of therapy. Probably the most helpful thing I did was accept the excess weight I had gained from antidepressants. Rather than feeling shame, I started to see my weight as battle scars – scars from wounds I never would have had if I had been born into a healthy family. Once I felt this in every part of my mind and heart, I could start changing my behavior. I am still working on it, and I am sorry I couldn’t have started sooner, but they were deep wounds and I believe they could have killed me without the antidepressants.

Trying to force yourself to give up a protective behavior before your system is ready will create internal chaos or lead to the substitution of another protective behavior. It’s not such a great idea to trade an eating disorder for an addiction to heroin or crystal meth. Communication and trust between alters has to come before an agreement to work on the eating disorder or you won’t get very far.

Journaling to increase internal communication can be extremely helpful. Alters can get to know and trust each other and learn to decide on mutual goals and co-operate in working towards them. Once everybody is on the same page you can turn to the techniques that non-dissociative eating disordered people use; CBT, nutritional programs, the Twelve-Step programs Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous or Eating Disorders Anonymous.

It’s possible to give up a small part of the eating disorder temporarily, as an experiment, so that all alters involved can see what happens. If you don’t die and the abuse doesn’t escalate, everybody inside may be reassured. (This is assuming you are not still being abused.) A different approach is called for, though, when alters react to the experiment by flooding everybody with memories or threats because they are petrified that, without the eating disorder, the system will be destroyed. You need to calm those alters, strengthen communication, search for still unknown alters, and find out what everybody thinks will happen without that protective shield.

This post seems quite abstract to me. I think I was hoping to find something spectacular that will work tomorrow no matter what is going on internally. Instant relief! Of course it doesn’t exist. Dealing with eating disorders requires time, dedication, and a lot of hard work and courage. There is no magic wand and not a lot of helpful short cuts, either. It does help to know it isn’t your fault and that you aren’t the only one. If I do come across a magic wand, you guys will be the first to know!