Battle Scars

There was a period when I wasn’t sure how much to tell people about my past, so I tried to dodge their questions. I didn’t want to freak them out, but, more importantly, I didn’t want to embarrass myself. When I was asked about a physical problem, like a bad back or chronic pain, I would say, “Oh, it’s an old sports injury.” Since for many years I had an undiagnosed condition that, in retrospect, seemed very much like fibromyalgia, I blamed a lot on my non-existent sports injuries.

These days I am over being embarrassed about my past. What in the world do I have to be embarrassed, or ashamed, or guilty about? I did nothing wrong, and I was helpless to prevent being hurt. The shame and guilt and embarrassment belong to the people who hurt me, not to me.

Now I say, “I had a shitty childhood, and these are my battle scars.” And that is the fucking truth.

I was a fighter all through my childhood. I hated being abused, and I hated being forced to be cruel to animals or other people. I wanted nothing to do with living that way. Since I wasn’t treated well, I didn’t know what other ways of life looked like. I didn’t know what I was fighting for, just what I was fighting against.

Luckily I learned how to read. Does anybody remember the “Dick and Jane” books? They were first-grade readers, mostly phonetic, but with common sight words like “a” and “the” and a few less common ones like “mother” and “father.” Dick and Jane and their little sister Sally were not beaten or torn to pieces verbally. Their dog, Spot, was never hit, either. The message snuck in under the cult radar. “There really is another way of life.”

Those books did not promise that I could ever have that kind of life or that I could be rescued. They simply described it. They gave me something to daydream about, something to fight for, a reason to live, and something to look for in the outside world.

And guess what? There were kind people out there! Not just kind for two minutes, but reliably kind, day after day after day. I wanted to be like that when I grew up.

As I became better and better at reading, I had access to a wider range of books. Most all of them were about kind, decent people. Many, though, were mixed. Mogli was abandoned twice, once when he was left in the forest and adopted by a wolf pack, and once when the wolves rejected him for wanting to live with humans. But when he lived with the wolves, he was given food and shelter and surrounded with kindness and care. Some books struck me as being bleak through and through; “Oliver Twist,” for example. Those books suggested I was not a total freak.

Books spoke to my conscious self, as well as to the unconscious self/selves living under the cloak of amnesia. My family life was not as awful as the cult life, but it was pretty damned barren emotionally. My parents raised children by controlling them tightly and by delegating the day-to-day work to paid caretakers. There was precious little love, criticism instead of praise, almost no privacy, no independence, and very little fun and laughter. Whatever fun we managed to create was generally frowned upon. Guess we did it wrong.

Raising emotionally deprived kids leaves its own kind of battle scars. I think that it is more a question of psychic deficits than the terror of trauma-induced PTSD. It’s harder to see something that isn’t there than something that is. Since I didn’t have a rich emotional life, I couldn’t contrast that experience with my own experience, except through the lens of books. Thank goodness for books. Thank goodness for the fantasy of growing up and becoming a librarian.

Back to my battle scars. I know I have them, and I know from whence they came. They no longer embarrass me. I have accepted them and I live with them without trying to wish them away. These scars are testimony to what I went through in order to win, and I am starting to feel really proud of them.

I’m coming into a new phase these days. I am starting to recognize that I fought a good fight from a very early age, that I was brave and tenacious. AND THAT I WON! I no longer have to attend rituals or be a “sex worker.” I no longer am forced to hurt others physically or emotionally. I am free to be kind, to be loyal, to love other living things, whether plant, animal, or human. I am free of control by others; I am independent. Sometimes the scars constrict me, but that’s to be expected. I am happy in my skin.

I have everything I wanted as a child – except being a librarian.


We are going to have a poetry reading!!

We have a technical person, a ZOOM account, and four or five poets lined up. If we go for ninety minutes, there is room for a few more people. 

Post in the comment section or write me at if you would like to read your work. I’m asking everybody to read aloud the poems they want to share, time themselves, and let me know how long it took. (The maximum allotted time is ten minutes. If you need less time, we can have more participants.) There will be a place to sign up if you want to be part of the audience.

We haven’t picked a date yet, but it will be on a Saturday. Here are the various time zones so you can figure out if you can make it or not.

7 AM Melbourne Time (Sunday)
12 noon Pacific Time
1 PM Mountain Time
2 PM Central Time
3 PM Eastern Time
8 PM London Time
9 PM Amsterdam Time


Upcoming Holidays

2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/27 Full Moon
3/1 St David’s Day (patron saint of Wales)
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day (patron saint of Ireland)
3/21 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/28 Full Moon
3/28 Palm Sunday
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/1 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/2 Good Friday
4/3 Holy Saturday
4/4 Easter Sunday
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
2/26 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
3/28 – 4/4  Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/4 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. This year Easter falls on 4/4.)
4/8 Yom HaShoah  (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

You can find more information on the following holidays at

Valentine’s Day
Spring Equinox
Easter: personal. (for background, see Spring Equinox)
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve:
Mothers’ Day:
Fathers’ Day:
Summer Solstice (corrected text)
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2
Fall Equinox
Halloween {personal) 
Halloween (background)

Yule/Winter Solstice