Ritual Abuse Things on My Mind This Week

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

* Additional information on the following holidays is available at:
 August Ritual Dates https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
 Fall Equinox https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/
Halloween: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween: (personal): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/halloween-2018/


An Infinite Mind’s “Healing Together” Conference on February 7 – 9, 2020

I attended last year and had a really good time. This year I got brave and submitted a proposal for a presentation I call “Ritual Abuse 101: Recognizing and Treating Survivors.” It’s for therapists, but all are welcome. Last year there was little opportunity for RA/MC people to connect, and I hope they will attend and network. I’ll also be leading a lunch-time support/networking group.

It’s been a long time since I have spoken at a conference, and my fears have had time to regroup. I know I may well be having flashbacks while talking, which is never fun. If that happens, I know I have handled it in the past and can manage again. It will just make things more exciting!

If any of you happen to be at the conference, come introduce yourself. It will make my day.

Some information is available now at https://www.aninfinitemind.com/healing-together.html The conference schedule will be posted in October.


Ritual Abuse Correlated with Ovarian Cancer

I got livid with rage when I saw a story about an article in the Harvard Gazette. It was titled “PTSD linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer: Trauma associated with the most aggressive types of ovarian cancers, even decades later.”

The abuse we went through as kids guaranteed that we were flooded with a steady stream of stress hormones. I have known for years that the extreme stress of ritual abuse sets us up to be at risk for a myriad of diseases as adults, but I thought that most of these diseases were autoimmune or cardiovascular diseases. Now it seems that cancer is on the list, too! Is there anything at all that is not an aftereffect of ritual abuse and just happens by chance? I was enraged!

I calmed down when I tracked down the original article, published in this month’s Cancer Research. “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer: a prospective and retrospective longitudinal cohort study.” by Andrea L. Roberts, Tianyi Huang, Karestan C. Koenen, Yongjoo Kim, Laura D. Kubzansky and Shelley S. Tworoger.

Only the abstract was available to me, but it was enough to give me some perspective. The methodology looked good. Data was obtained from the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed 4,710 nurses for 26 years. However, only 110 ovarian cancers were reported, and analysis showed that subjects with PTSD symptoms were only twice as likely to have ovarian cancer. I don’t think that is a large enough number of excess cancers to worry about. I’ll save my energy for worrying about excess eating disorders and other addictions, excess suicides, all those good things.

You can read the article that set me off at https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/09/ptsd-linked-to-increased-risk-of-ovarian-cancer/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Gazette%2020190906%20(1)   and the abstract at https://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2019/09/04/0008-5472.CAN-19-1222



I just discovered ZLibrary. It offers 4,836,367 free ebooks and 75,268184 articles. (That’s of today – it’s probably more by now.) Search for “ritual abuse” in books; the first page contains some excellent titles, and a few more interesting ones are scattered through the following pages. Haven’t yet explored the article section, but there must be many articles on ritual abuse. https://b-ok.org/

And there must be books on growing indestructible, six-foot-tall flowering houseplants, fairy tales of ancient Norway, crafts, including how to make a curtain from old CD’s and fishing wire, art of Pre-Columbian civilizations, and all sorts of other interesting things. In college, I allowed myself to rummage through random parts of the main library every Thursday afternoon. I better be careful with ZLibrary’s almost five million books, or it won’t just be Thursday afternoon!


Conference: European Society for Trauma and Dissociation

I wish I could drop everything and take a quick trip to Rome. Rome, of course, is beautiful, the food is great, the people wonderful. But the main draw is the ESTD Biennial Conference: “The Legacy of Trauma and Dissociation: Body and Mind in a New Perspective” on October 24 – 26, 2019. Every time I have heard a European presenter at the ISSTD conference, I have come away with fresh new insights. Just reading the titles makes me want to learn more. Check it out at http://www.estd2019.org/.



Upcoming Holidays

9/13 Full moon
9/13 Friday the 13th
9/23 Fall equinox
10/13 Full moon
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/14 (?) Columbus Day
10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year
11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/2 All Souls’ Day
11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day
11/12 Full moon
11/28 US Thanksgiving

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
9/29 – 10/1 Rosh Hashanah (New Year, Day of Judgement)
10/8 – 10/9 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/13 – 10/20 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, harvest festival)
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s actual half-birthday
10/21 Hitler’s alternative half-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.)
10/21 – 10/22 Simchat Torah (celebration of the annual complete cycle of reading of the Torah)
11/9 Kristallnacht State-ordered pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

Money Woes

I only know a very few ritual abuse survivors who don’t have problems with money. How they manage to have a healthy relationship with it, I have no idea.

There are about sixteen different reasons why I have messed up ideas about money. Probably the factor with the most profound influence is low self-esteem. I don’t think I’m worth very much; if I had been worth something, I would have been treated well by my parents. So therefore I’m not worth spending money on. (I know that doesn’t really make sense, but it seems to make sense to me.)

In the supermarket, I look for marked-down items. I don’t buy clothes if they aren’t on sale. Actually, I prefer to buy them at thrift stores, especially if they are on sale. I used to mend my socks and underwear, but I have gotten lazy in my old age. Now I just wear them with holes.

While I’m stingy with myself, I’m pretty generous with other people. Since others are worth more than I am, they would obviously make better use of money and things than I do. They get the cupcake with the most icing every time because they deserve it, while I barely deserve the air I breathe.

This attitude is reinforced by guilt from watching others get hurt by the cult and not being able to help them. Now, in an effort to re-enact that scenario and make a happy ending, I have the urge to help others almost compulsively. It’s usually not good for me and usually not good for the people I’m trying to help, who, after all, are perfectly competent grown-ups, not little kids being tortured by a cult.

Finances make me very anxious. I was taught that I would not be able to support myself as an adult and that I would always have to be dependent on the cult.  I never worked as a kid, not even baby sitting or pulling weeds. I didn’t have my first job until I was twenty!

Believing, deep down, that I never will be able to support myself has made me worry inordinately that I won’t ever have enough. At the same time, I feel money is nasty and dirty and I don’t want any part of it. I think anybody who has been prostituted as a child or has been used in pornography views money very, very negatively.

(Actually, money in itself has no moral value. It’s just a tool. It can be used for good purposes or bad purposes or just so-so purposes. It’s up to us to use it differently than those that abused us.)

Since I’m so anxious, I have a real hard time keeping track of things. How much is in the bank? What bills are due? Overdue? How much interest does the credit card company charge? All these practical things swim through my mind like fuzzy out-of-focus jellyfish. Now you see them, now you don’t. Each time I sit down to sort things out, I have to start from scratch because I just can’t retain anything.

Then there are survivors whose alters all think they can buy things. Each purchase is reasonable, but when you have twenty or thirty inner people spending a couple of dollars here and there, it sure can add up. Many of them are child parts, and don’t understand budgets or deferred gratification. Sometimes one alter will hide cash to prevent another from spending it, and then not let on where it is.  Or forget where it is. Cooperation, while leading to less chaos over the long haul, is bound to mean short-term deprivation.

Money can be used self-destructively, as anybody with several maxed out credit cards can tell you. Stealing is another self-destructive way to try and make up for childhood deprivation. How many of us have shoplifted, not because we needed something or wanted to fence it, but just to flirt with getting caught and punished? How many of us have done this as adults?

I have. I didn’t do it to get caught; I did it because I thought that was the only way I could get things I wanted. As a kid, I thought I didn’t have the money to buy those things and I knew better than to ask my parents to get them for me. Whenever I let on I wanted something, they made it a point not to let me have it. I stopped shoplifting in my twenties (hmm, that was right after I had my first real job.) I occasionally get tempted even today.

Lately, I’ve been trying to change my attitude. It’s not helpful to tell myself I am a mess and will never get it right. Far better to think, “Wow! With all I have going against me, look what I just did!” Each time I react with pride at my accomplishment it’s a little easier to do it the next time, whether it’s calculating taxes or buying a nice tomato. And I each time I react with pride I kick a little hole in my negative self-image. With this attitude, there’s no reason to procrastinate – I’ll just catch up on the bills and feel great.

Although I admit that’s easier said than done.