News About My Depression

*This is really positive news! Makes my heart smile. I hope some of you would like to participate, either as presenters or as part of the audience.

The Plural Positivity World Conference:
sponsored by Power to the Plurals https://powertotheplurals.com/
Five days of Inclusive, Online, Free, Recorded Sessions
July 13 – 19, 2020

Call for Presentations
Due dates: May 15, panel presenters’ recorded answers to questions
May 31, recorded sessions
Information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hcMkNWcTNbpajqbzVr79QmSBgDZRGKafyCFumjrp2bs/edit?fbclid=IwAR0EXoOd4o3gif-GiSQEA2EWWhd66CeZ6bhcVY7-9FbpkMF85BXTdN42mgA#

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht
Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/
Summer Solstice (corrected text): https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
August Ritual Dates: 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/
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/
Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/
Easter: (personal): (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/

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I’m disappointed because it looks like I cannot use medication to treat break-through depression this time. All the SSRI’s interact with an anticoagulant I must take, making the drug much more effective. It would be very dangerous for me to start bleeding internally.

The only antidepressants I could safely take are tricyclics. Years ago, when I turned to them, they hit me like a rhinoceros tranquilizer. I slept fourteen hours a night and, when I finally heard the alarm, I fell asleep sitting up. I also gained a pound a day for thirty days each time!!! I watched what I ate, and it never was more than 200-500 calories more than usual and often less than usual. How could that be possible? Nobody has ever been able to explain it to me. It took me years to drop that weight. I’m not going there again.

So it’s back to relying on self-talk, behavioral management, and upping the frequency of therapy to once a week from every two weeks. It’s a struggle.

I hate how self-absorbed depression makes me. It’s “me me me” all the time.

I am still able to remember what it was like to look outward for much of the day. Without trying, I would notice the temperature, what the clouds looked like, what people on the street were wearing. When I talked to people, I concentrated on what they were saying without trying. I wasn’t checking my feelings every moment. I was in and of the world.

I wish it wasn’t so hard to turn my attention away from emotional pain. I wish I knew how to get engrossed in something other than myself on purpose. The best I can do is make a list of things I lost myself in when I wasn’t depressed and see what happens when I do those things now.

Another thing I dislike about this depression is that I am irritable. Beyond crabby! I was filling my meds box for the week and got mad at the pills because it was hard to cram them into the little boxes. Then I got mad at myself for being so impatient and getting angry at those innocent little pills that didn’t even have a brain. No wonder they couldn’t cooperate! I ended up being angry at myself for not being understanding and compassionate, first toward the pills, then towards myself.

I noticed that I am not in as much emotional pain as I was with most of my previous deep depressions. Perhaps part of the pain comes from holding anger in? Perhaps anger is an efficient distraction? Perhaps a bit of both?

Anger is one reason that I have trouble being around people when I am this depressed. I don’t want to direct my anger at them, say something hurtful, or just be unpleasant to be around. And if a brainless little pill can make me mad, think how irritating a real person with a huge brain might be!

Connecting with people I care about is push/pull. I want to see them and talk to them and feel close. At the same time, I want to stay far away and have nothing to do with anybody. Can’t do both at once, can I?

This, by the way, is a regression to childhood. I was a sad little girl yearning for love and seething with anger at the people who were hurting me instead of loving me. Those moments when I was totally alone, without a person in sight, were precious beyond words. Today, I feel relieved and safe when alone, just like I did in childhood.

One of the ways I said I would handle this depression is by continuing to do the things I would do if I weren’t depressed. Part of the plan is to stay in contact with people, even if it is uncomfortable. They have seen me through other bouts of depression, and they won’t ditch me this time, either. I’ll spend more time apologizing, but that’s okay.

Keeping my body, clothes, and house clean are other things I did without not much effort before. So now I am doing them and cutting myself some slack if I do them more slowly, less often, or imperfectly. Taking care of the cat is easy because he is so insistent when he wants something, but the plants sit there silently, wilting if I don’t water them. I like them, I just don’t like to water them. I water them anyway and give myself a gold star.

I don’t get out in the garden as often as I mean to. And although it would be helpful, I have not managed to exercise or meditate. That’s okay, though. Each day I can try again. And maybe one day the Feelings Fairy will swoop down from the treetops and say. “Oh, Jean, you don’t need this depression anymore. Let me take it away and leave acceptance and satisfaction in its stead.” I will watch her fly off into the horizon. She flies slowly because the depression is so heavy, but that tiny wee thing is strong enough to take it far, far away.

Can’t wait!

~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

May
5/10 Mothers’ Day
5/12 Armed Forces Day
5/25 Memorial Day
5/31 Pentecost
June
6/5 Full moon
6/5-6 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-5
6/19 Summer solstice
6/21 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Annular solar eclipse. Visible from parts of Africa (including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia), south of Pakistan, northern India, and China. Partial eclipse is visible in south/east Europe, much of Asia, the north of Australia, and much of Africa, Pacific, Indian Ocean. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-june-21
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/24 St. John’s Day
July
7/4 Independence Day
7/4 Full moon
7/4-5 Penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will turn a shade darker during the maximum phase, visible in North and South America, and Africa. Most penumbral lunar eclipses cannot be easily distinguished from a usual full moon. See https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/map/2020-july-5
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/30 Tisha B’Av (Day of Mourning)
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party

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


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/


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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

 

ZLibrary

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/.

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Upcoming Holidays

September
9/13 Full moon
9/13 Friday the 13th
9/23 Fall equinox
October
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
November
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)

Dissociation Was a Real Friend on Christmas

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

* Background on pagan winter holidays is at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/

* And here is a post on how I handled Christmas through the years. https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/ephemeral-equilibrium-another-christmas/

* Don’t forget that I’m putting together an anthology of accounts of survivors’ loss of babies through forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption. I am also looking for submissions from husbands, partners, close friends, therapists, or pastors.

You can ask me questions or send your submission through this blog’s comment section, rahome@ra-info.org, or PO Box 14276, 4304 18th Street, San Francisco CA 94114. And tell your friends!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Before I start talking about myself, I want to wish all of you a safe Christmas. For those of you who are afraid you might be accessed, it’s not too late to work out a safety plan. It’s always a good idea to have a plan B just in case something goes wrong with plan A. Give yourself lots of credit for doing this because it is hard to think through the options and it takes a great deal of courage to face the possibility of present-day accessing.

For everybody, I wish you, not an absence of triggers, but the wisdom to handle them well so that they may contribute to your knowledge of yourself and your past and bring some resolution and peace to all inside. And may you get some joy in the day, whether it is from a Christmas tradition, being with people you care about, or something else entirely.

I used to send cards with a lion walking hand in hand with a lamb. It said, “Peace on Earth – may it begin with us.” May it begin with all our inner selves.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ve been thinking about my childhood Christmases, wondering how I could ever have gotten through them after what happened on Christmas Eve. In my family’s tradition, holidays began at midnight. Sometimes they ended before dawn, sometimes they went through the next day, or even a couple of days, especially if they occurred on a Friday.

So the “night” Christmas was on Christmas Eve. The next day, exhausted and traumatized, we woke up to the regular “day” Christmas, which, in my opinion, was really over the top. My brother and I opened our stockings before breakfast and then, later in the day, were showered with expensive presents that we really didn’t want. Although I asked for books almost every year, I cannot remember getting any. Of course, we pretended to be delighted.

How did I get through Christmas? Dissociation. What had happened the night before was a thousand miles away, a thousand years away, tucked away in a corner of my mind that would not be visited for forty years. Looking back over old photographs, I can spot when I needed dissociation so much to protect myself that I was totally tranced out.

I have a picture of me on Christmas Day, in my pajamas, hair neatly combed. I am looking…at what? At nothing, because nothing had happened. There was no shadow to glimpse, no half-remembered bad dream. I call that tranced-out look “the thousand miles stare” because I am looking at what didn’t happen, what never existed, except perhaps a thousand years ago, a thousand miles away.

Looking closely at the photo, I can see lots of wrapping paper but no toys. It’s as if they, too, had never existed or as if they had disappeared, like magic. The only thing that brings a little smile to my face are the icicles on the tree. They were made of long slender strips of lead and they made the Christmas tree lights dance and reflect out into the room. The tinsel sold today is far safer for pets and babies but not nearly as pretty. The lead tinsel must have been expensive for we picked every strand off the tree and saved it for the next year.

Amnesia for the Satanic Christmas spread out into the real Christmas. I cannot remember what we ate that day. I only remember a few things I received – soap in my stocking, a doll that wet itself after you fed it, complete with a trunk full of clothes. This was when I was three. I remember a Lego set with directions on how to build a brick house. I must have been ten or twelve then. And chocolates in my stocking, although I was overweight. I asked my mother why she had given me candy, and she said that they had fewer calories because they contained nuts. That made no sense to me at all.

It was just one of an infinite number of double messages. Do this, but don’t do it. Don’t do this unless I tell you to and then it is your fault because you did it. Our regular life was filled with such contradictions. And, of course, I could not see the contradictions between my “day” life and my “night” life, because I couldn’t remember the “night” life. (Who knows what presents were given to children the night before Christmas?) My parents, who were also amnesic for all that, were just as dissociated as I was and just as full of contradictory messages. All of us were stumbling along in a sea of things that didn’t make sense, trying our hardest to keep our heads above water.

I could not have handled it if I had remembered and so, when things got rough, I dissociated. Not just from the horrors of the Satanic life I led, but from everything that was around me. In the moment this photo was taken, I was not aware of the tree or the presents or of my parents and brother in the room. All I was aware of was nothing, and that was a blessing.

I still dissociate at times when things get tough. But now I am in control and I can plan around triggers and can build new, healthier traditions. This year I am spending Christmas at home and a much-loved niece is visiting. We are going to have Dungeness crab and lobster on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We are going to plan the days as we go, doing what we feel like when we feel like it. We will probably go out into the woods unless it rains all the time she is here. No presents will be exchanged. There will be no need to fake being pleased or to push the memories out of my mind because they were so awful.

It’s so much better this way!!!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Upcoming Holidays

December
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/22 Full Moon
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/25 Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve
January
1/1 New Year’s Day
1/13 Satanic New Year
1/17 Feast of Fools/Old Twelfth Night/Satanic and demon revels
1/20 Full moon
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
February
2/2 S Candlemas/Imbolc
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/19 Full moon

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons. Christian and Jewish holidays are often desecrated.)