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!

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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.

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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!!!!!

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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.)

Fantasies of Killing People

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Fantasies of Killing People

I was pretty sure that my last post on school shootings would bring up a lot. I was right. First I had a few nights with pretty bad dreams. Then things started to bubble to the surface during the day.

The first thing that came up was remembering sitting in the back seat of the car as my father took us on a road trip, eight hours a days for two days. It was pretty boring. I amused myself by pretending I had a rifle and shooting each adult we passed. I had to be really alert, as most of our driving was through countryside and I didn’t want to miss a single one. I never shot kids or animals, though. Or windows of houses we passed, either. Just men or women spotted along the road.

When I was older, through my teens and twenties, I would imagine killing somebody at random and covering my tracks so I would not be discovered. Again, never a child or an animal. (It’s not as easy to figure out how not to be caught in these days of surveillance cameras and DNA analysis.)

I felt no guilt or shame about these fantasies st the time, and I felt no anger, either. I did feel pride at my skill at killing and at never being discovered. I felt no pull to act on my fantasy; I just wanted to float in a daydream of killing people. These are my feelings, or lack of them, today, too. I feel no desire to have those fantasies again except perhaps to get more information about what was going on in my head back then.

I told my therapist all this, and she sat up straighter and said, “I have heard that before from other survivors.” The targets were always adults and sometimes her clients fantasizing felt anger at what adults had done to her as a child. Sometimes the anger was split off, as it was, apparently, with me. It made total sense, but, so far nobody has shared fantasies like this with me, so I felt it was just me being peculiar.

I have heard fantasies from adult male survivors of coming across a man hurting a child and either killing him, beating him up, or getting him arrested. These fantasies seem to be an escape valve for their anger and a way of compensating for their childhood helplessness. I didn’t make the connection with my fantasies because their violence had an easily identified motive, to protect an innocent child. Mine had no conscious motive. I had a mild interest in what these fantasies were all about but it wasn’t strong enough for me to start digging for meaning.

When I first remembered, I was bathed in guilt for not having suicided instead of hurting another child. I knew that child would just be hurt by somebody else but at least they couldn’t force ME to do it. And yet in reality they could, and I did. So during that period I had many, many fantasies of suiciding as a child. My favorite was coming into a ritual with dynamite, or having hidden dynamite at the site beforehand, and setting it off, taking all the adults out along with me. I made sure that the kids hadn’t been brought to the scene yet and so they all managed to live.

I took a break from writing this and played with the cats, letting one of them type. He said, “w34rer4,” for what it’s worth. But the writing spell was broken. Now I wonder why anybody would be interested in this – surely all of you have parts that are furious at what was done to them and want revenge on their abusers. Surely all of you have had vivid fantasies of revenge and connected the dots year ago.

You’re probably a bit bewildered as to why I am figuring it out this late in life and why it all seems bright and new and important. But that’s the way it goes for me. There are so many childhood mysteries and not all of them are fully understood, even if they are remembered.

Upcoming Holidays


August

8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh

8/26 Full moon

September

9/5 Labor Day

9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)

9/7 Feast of the Beast

9/22 Fall Equinox
9/24 Full Moon
October

10/13 Backwards Halloween

10/24 Full Moon

10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve/ Hallomas/ All Souls Day/Start of the Celtic new year.
November

11/1 All Saints’ Day

11/22 US Thanksgiving

11/23 Full Moon
December

12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice

12/22 Full Moon

12/24 Christmas Eve

12/25 Christmas Day

12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups

9/1 N Start of WW2
10/12 Hitler’s half birthday
10/15 Death of Goering

10/16 Death of Rosenburg
11/9 Kristallnacht

(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)

Oh No! I Have to Deal with Money Again – and Again and Again and Again

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* If you are concerned about being tracked through your search engine, here is one that, unlike even duckduckgo.com , is encrypted https://www.searchencrypt.com/.

It’s really hard for me to do anything related to money. I guess it is getting easier because I no longer have full-fledged panic attacks but it still makes my stomach churn and tempts me to procrastinate for a year or two. Although I know I have to do certain things each month, I forget how to do a lot of them and have to figure it out all over again.

I wish I never had to deal with money, like the Queen of England. She doesn’t carry any, ever. What a lucky duck! But perhaps she feels inadequate because she doesn’t know how to buy eggs or veggies or take a taxi. If so, I hope she has come to terms with her neurotic attitude toward money in the last seventy years. I know I haven’t by any means.

One of the major reasons I have such trouble is that my cult role was supposed to be managing the group’s finances. From an early age I was taught each of the functions of a well-run office and later I was taught to supervise others, to be an office manager. It’s not very glamorous but it’s important. Somebody has to do the grunt work and keep things running smoothly.

In a cult, nobody can do anything right, of course, which engenders tremendous anxiety. If there was no animal for a sacrifice, if the books didn’t balance, if somebody got short changed, there was hell to pay. Every now and then I was rewarded, which kept me doggedly pushing through the anxiety, hoping they would notice what a good job I was doing.

I was used in child porn, but I didn’t realize right away that people were getting paid for my performances. I remember my father showing me a thousand dollar bill (in the late forties!) and telling me to look at it closely, as I would never see another one. For once, he was right. Earning money this way, even if it went to others, made money seem shameful and dirty, something I wanted nothing to do with. There’s no pleasure in paying bills or buying something nice for myself with that attitude.

Another thing that influenced me profoundly was that I was taught that I could not take care of myself, and that I would always need my parents to support me and the cult to guide me. So there is a strange mixture of feeling both competent and incompetent. I was a great office manager, but I could only use it in service of the cult. I was not given the opportunity to work, and my very first job, baby sitting, was in my twenties, when I was three thousand miles away from my parents. A couple of times in college I lined something up and then cancelled at the last minute.

They didn’t mind if I worked, they just minded terribly if I worked for money. This explains all the volunteering I do. I get challenged and I get the pleasure of doing something well, but I don’t get a dime. It’s nice being retired now, knowing that I have a reason for not having a job that is acceptable both to society and to myself

Well, obviously, I managed despite all this. My husband did well and there were a few years when I actually supported myself. For a while, my paid job actually entailed keeping the company books. I used what they taught me for good, and, if they knew, I bet they were pissed. Their problem, not mine.

So here I am after all these years, still dreading paying the bills. Still scared to learn my credit rating. Scared of the checkbook, even though I decorated it with puffy animal stickers, still scared of envelops and stamps, still scared of the post office box. Still terrified of doing my taxes. But most important, still acting responsibly, paying my bills, month after month, still handling money almost every week for gas and groceries and other things.

And that’s reason to stand tall.

 

Upcoming Holidays

July
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Full Moon
August
8/1 Lammas/Lughnasadh
8/26 Full moon
September
9/3 Labor Day
9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)
9/7 Feast of the Beast
9/22 Fall Equinox

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
9/1 N Start of WW2
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)