Beltane 2023

Beltane is the worst day of the year for me. It’s more than just an excuse for an orgy; it is a cruel parody of the beauty of spring, a negation of abundant life force. Old guys raped little kids as well as any women that caught their eye. And the young guys followed suit. There were always a couple who looked miserable, and I hope they got out, remembered, and started their healing journey.

Actually, I wish they all could have remembered and come to their senses. It would have meant the end of this insanity.

I always wonder what happens to babies born on May Eve or Beltane. I have known one survivor born on Beltane, so they didn’t all get killed, as I fear. 

I don’t remember any babies at the ritual. That is because, in our cult, children were not allowed at rituals until they could “behave.” Instead, they were trained to be obedient, to be amnesic, to be sexual, and to kill. Those who trained the children – both men and women – did not have high status, but they were good at what they did and seemed to enjoy the work.

Some cults call children conceived on Beltane “spawn of Satan.” In our cult, they were considered special – it would make sense that any child of Satan would be pretty special. Just a few days ago, I put two and two together and realized my father could well have been conceived on Beltane. He was born a bit less than nine months later, a couple of days before Candlemas. He didn’t look at all like my grandfather, although his brother did. Well, I shall never know, for there is no way I can ask my grandmother, is there?

So here I am, feeling sad, angry, and afraid. Those feelings are absolutely appropriate for a Satanic cult survivor on May Eve but at odds with a sunny spring day. Flowers are blooming all over, and the wind is rustling through trees that are starting to leaf out. I look out the window at the gorgeous big street trees, wishing I had taken a picture of them every spring to track their growth. There is still so much beauty in the world, despite a surplus of ugliness.

I hope all of you are safe today and will stay safe through Beltane, through the rest of summer, and through the rest of your lives. I wish for your pain to ease and for you to find your place in your own post-cult world. 

Life may still be hard and painful, but it will never be as bad as when you were a powerless little kid surrounded by huge violent grown-ups constantly lying to you, tricking you, deceiving you, and hurting your body, mind, heart, and soul in every conceivable way. You have survived your childhood. You are resilient, strong, and creative. 

May you come through this Beltane with renewed hope and strength.


Did I tell you he has thrown away his winter coat and is wearing his beautiful soft new summer coat? So pretty!

He has also learned how to drink from a water faucet. I let the faucet in the bathroom sink drip slowly, and he contorts himself to get every last drop. When he straightens out for a moment, the water falls on the top of his head and surprises him. He shakes himself and goes back for seconds.

I’m tempted to get him a drinking fountain of his own, but all the ones I have found are ugly plastic things that you have to clean all the time and keep supplied with filters to keep mold from growing. Why bother? He seems pleased enough with this free, low-tech set-up.


Sunlight Lives. I love this blog, especially the gentle healing story. 

The videos of the RA/MC panel presented at last year’s Social Justice and Human Trafficking Conference are at: Part 1 – and Part 2 –

The GrassRoots’ April Newsletter is ready. To be added to the mailing list, send your request to: 

Survivorship 2023 Online Conference

Clinician’s Conference – Friday, May 19 – Survivors’ Conference – Saturday and Sunday, May 20 – 21    

Researching Ritual Abuse and Mind Control in Art and Literature: One Art Historian’s Journey – Lynn Brunet PhD

The Effects of Social Movements on Survivor Support Systems and Survivor Recover– Neil Brick

The History of Ritual Abuse and the Effects of Social Trends on the Therapeutic Profession – Neil Brick

How to Create a Successful Recovery Path for Disassociated Survival Skills and DID – Shelby Rising Eagle

The Enmeshment of the British False Memory Society and the British Psychological Society. – Dr. Rainer Hermann Kurz 

Child Trafficking through Family Court Proceedings: A UK Case Study – Dr. Rainer Hermann Kurz

Some Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines and Standards Relevant to the Psychological Care of Extreme Abuse Survivors– Dr. Randall Noblitt 

Creating Calm – Patricia Quinn

Programmed and Internal Psychological Mechanisms that Perpetuate the Cycle of Extreme Abuse – Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D.

Of Mice, Memories, and Ritual Abuse

My New Blog Is Coming in April!

We are in the checklist/troubleshooting phase. Yeehaw! You know what I love best about SquareSpace? They have a helpful customer service/tech service department! And they hire real, live, intelligent, trained people. No pawing through message boards of customer problems to find our problem and its (possible) solution.

This blog will stay up for reference for a long, long time. It may live forever through the WayBack Machine at

The new blog will be online sometime in April. As soon as we go live, I will let you know!

Spencer and the Dentist

My dentist, not his. Once again, I asked the assistant to talk to me as much as possible about anything at all. She chose to talk about her cats. Thanks to Annie, I didn’t have a flashback the whole time.

She likes cats, has four cats, fosters other cats, takes care of feral cats…and has a Turkish Angora. She was happy to talk about them for an hour, non-stop. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Except I did ask for something even better, something I really need.

I told her I was 85 and planned to live forever, but was prudently making arrangements for other contingencies. One of the things that I want to have in place is a foster home for Spencer should I become unable to take care of him. I described Spencer’s personality in detail, and she said, “Sure, I’d be glad to! I am used to timid cats and that should be no problem.” That was my lucky day!

As for Spencer’s dentist, his regular vet will see to his teeth. However, I thought it would be good idea to give him preventative care. I am pretty sure I would fail miserably if I tried to brush his teeth because I have more than enough trouble brushing my own.

Mr. Google told me that there were treats called Greenies that keep cats’ teeth clean, preventing the build-up of tartar. So I ordered some. I am supposed to give him eight treats in the morning and eight at night. Of course, since he’s a cat, there was no guarantee he would eat them. 

He LOVES them! But he doesn’t want to stop at eight. He wants the whole bag. And he doesn’t want it twice a day, he wants it available all day long. Plus which, he remembers exactly where he was given them and haunts those places seeking more. 

Sometimes, even a reasonably-priced product from a legitimate company with good customer ratings is so popular with the end users that nobody wants to buy it.

Of Mice, Memories, and Ritual Abuse

I get a lot of medical news – announcements of newly-approved drugs, articles, research findings, social and economic issues. Recently, a research article on mice memories caught my attention. Here is the abstract of the article. Scroll down to see the figures and captions, which are also interesting. “Activating positive memory engrams suppresses depression-like behaviour.”

(Sorry folks – I can’t make this link work. You will have to copy and paste.)

I have no idea how they did this because it was described in other papers. Apparently, they could isolate the tiny part of the brain that contained a memory. They could even obtain an image of the shape of the configuration that corresponded to the neural network that held the memory. They then injected a substance that made the image of that particular memory glow when exposed to laser light. Green for memories of fear and pain, red for memories of pleasure.

Now here comes the fun part. They triggered the fear memory, then triggered a pleasant memory. Lo and behold, the green dots became fainter and started to disappear. The pleasant memory was taking the fear out of the unpleasant one!

Just think! No more flashbacks. Constantly diminishing anxiety. No psych meds. No payments to therapists or psychopharmacologists. Just remember to think happy thoughts. Easy peasy!

I can’t remember how many nights I have lain awake at 3 AM thinking, “What’s the matter with you? Can’t you think of anything pleasant? Just one little happy memory? Or you can make up a happy little story. Come on, you can do it.”

But the dark thoughts flowed back in and usurped my mind. I could not think of anything even remotely pleasant. I probably was making each unpleasant memory worse by remembering other unhappy and frightening things and thus reinforcing the fear.

I am split between cynicism and hope. Cheer up! Don’t be so negative! Just think of happy things, and the fear will melt away. Say affirmations daily, and you will no longer feel you are the lowest of the low. Buy a book on cognitive behavior therapy. Make a cheery playlist of uplifting songs.

I believe that these things work. I conceptualize the process in terms of brain plasticity. If you repeat something often enough, that thought becomes readily available. A new neural pathway has been created and strengthened by use. The image that comes to mind is one of a rutted dirt road. Each time a car passes over the road, the ruts become deeper and more visible. Instead of looking like a long-abandoned road, it looks well-traveled.

This is why cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectic behavioral therapy works. Positive thoughts weaken negative ones. It’s not instantaneous by any means, though. You have to be persistent and keep repeating positive thoughts and acting positively.

This was true in the mouse study. If a memory of a negative experience was triggered, and then, before it had faded, a positive memory was triggered, the amount of fear diminished. But the next time, the fear was just as strong. It took many repetitions of pairing memories of negative and positive experiences to extinguish the fear.

I know that mice aren’t people and that not all the discoveries using mice as research subjects apply to humans. Still, this paper has chipped away at my cynicism. So next time I think badly of myself or ruminate on past actions I regret, I will try my hardest to counter these thoughts with positive ones.

I think the positive thoughts don’t have to be on the same subject. Any thought that engenders a sense of well-being will do.

If I can’t think of anything positive in the whole wide world, I can try doing something engrossing. Move furniture? Timed writing prompts? I’ll make a list of activities that require focus and concentration so that I don’t have to remember them in the middle of a negativity storm.

Thank you, little mice!

Types of Flashbacks

My New Blog Is Coming in April!

Well, it is almost done, and I am very excited! The site itself is 99% done. The last big job is teaching me how to post. I have already learned a lot and have actually written and formatted the first post. But I don’t know how to post a photo or arrange things on a page.

The couple of times I tried to edit a page with both text and photos, I learned that the page I am working on does not necessarily look the same as the one shown in the preview. That will take some getting used to! And there is tons to learn about photos – how to place them on the page, how to enlarge or shrink them, how to add captions, and more.

I have so much to learn because SquareSpace works with blocks of copy that can be moved around the page. WordPress did, indeed, introduce “Blocks” as an editing option some time back. I was used to using the “Classic” system, which is similar to working in Text Edit, my go-to word processor app. Not wanting to use the limited time my brain allots me to learn technical things, I kept on using Classic.

Until, it seems, WordPress stopped supporting Classic. It became harder to work with, and strange glitches started to appear. For example, the page I was working on would suddenly disappear without leaving a trace, even if I had saved a draft. That’s when I made the decision to move to a better platform, even if I did have to learn new things.

This blog will stay up for reference for a long, long time. It may live forever through the WayBack Machine at

The new blog will be online sometime in April. As soon as we go live, I will let you know!


The shedding season is rapidly turning into the summer-coat season. Each week, there is less fur all over the house and my clothes. His coat looks a little scruffy, and his tail is in winter mode near his body and summer mode on the last six inches. As there has been no noticeable change in temperature, I assume his circadian rhythm is running the show. Otherwise, nothing more to report.

Types of Flashbacks

New parts have been appearing in my system recently. They are different from my fragments, and they fascinate me. They seem complex, like nothing I have ever seen before, and almost exotic. This has led me to reexamine some basic concepts of trauma and dissociation.

Flashbacks – the idea of what a flashback is, not a real flashback – has been a current theme. I’d like to share with you some of these thoughts.

When you are terrified, your brain registers what is happening in trauma-memory mode. What is stored is not a story but rather a record of what our senses were experiencing at the time. So when the memory surfaces, it is in the form of fragments of sensations,  not as a coherent story.

Bennet Braun identified four types of flashbacks: behavior, emotion, sensory, and cognition. He used the mnemonic BASK. (B for behavior; A for affect, which means emotion; S for sensation: and K for knowledge.) Sensation includes sight, sound, smell, taste, pain, pressure, heat and cold, and muscle memories. I wrote more at length about BASK flashbacks at

I see that flashbacks can be categorized in other ways. For me, some have been very vivid, but most are not. They feel split off from me, far away and faint. I think this is because the vivid ones took me by surprise, while the faint ones were at times when I was already very dissociated. The vivid ones are usually much shorter than the foggy ones.

You can arrange them by how long they last. Some are “flicks,” little pieces of something. Then there are flashbacks that go on and on. I’ve had a flashback last over three months with hardly any breaks. The latest long one was thanks to a clueless dentist. It lasted on and off for two weeks and is now triggered by any kind of dental work. Each time, I am triggered, I get a little more information about what happened. These flow-on flashbacks are not as incapacitating as the original one.

I use the phrase “keep one foot in the present” to remind me how to get distance from an overwhelming flashback. With part of me in the present, I know I am in a flashback. If I am totally in the past, it feels just as if it is happening right now, and I am confused and disoriented, as well as terrified. If I have both feet in the present, the flashback disappears, to wait for a better day. After years of reminding myself, I automatically accept the flashback at the moment, knowing that I will not be flooded.

I also rank flashbacks by how deeply they affect me. Some lead me back to events that bring up/explain lies designed to form a new core negative belief to replace my natural positive belief. The younger I was when this occurred, the more intense and long-lasting the flashback. Since the training was reinforced over a span of years, many different things can cause a flashback. The core negative belief (core lie) that I keep going back to is that I am evil through and through, poisonous and destructive, and that I can do nothing to prevent myself from harming others.

Which brings me to one last thing I would like to share – flashbacks within flashbacks.

Something horrible happens. When I encounter a detail that reminds me of that event, I go into flashback. Let’s say that the original horrible event was stepping on the cat’s tail at age 4. The cat was white with black spots, I was wearing a yellow dress, and the floor was hexagonal tiles. The next time I wear that dress, I am reminded of the poor cat and go into flashback.

The second time I wear that dress, I go back to two points in time: the moment I stepped on the cat’s tail and the first time I went into flashback – a flashback to a flashback – a flashback within a flashback. If I see a cat with similar markings or a hexagonal tile floor, I may also be triggered into a flashback. I don’t know whether each new trigger creates a new series of flashbacks or whether it is all one series. In any event, it’s all pretty complex, to say the least.

There’s no need to struggle to remember all this. If you relate strongly to part of what I described, you will have little trouble remembering it. If you don’t relate but are curious, you can always reread this post.

If you only remember one thing, choose the BASK model. It’s worth reading about time and time again.