Self-Care in December

Upcoming Holidays

December
12/21 St. Thomas’ Day/Fire Festival
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice (Search for Yule on this blog. The information there also applies to the Pagan background of Christmas.)
12/24  Christmas Eve/Satanic and demon revels/Da Meur/Grand High Climax
12/15  Christmas Day (Search for Christmas on this blog. These posts are personal rather than on the historical background of Christmas.)
12/31 New Year’s Eve

January
1/1 New Year’s Day
1/1 Full Moon
1/7 St Winebald’s Day
1/13 Satanic New Year
1/17 Feast of Fools/Old Twelfth Night/Satanic and demon revels 
1/31 Full Moon

February
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc
2/13 Mardi Gras
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/14 Ash Wednesday (beginning of Lent)

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
1/12 Birth of both Rosenberg and Goering, Nazi leaders in WWII
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany

Self-Care in December

Glancing at the ritual dates above, it’s clear that the ten days between the solstice and New Year’s are going to be rough. I usually remind people that not all cults observe all the holidays listed, but for these four days (12/21, 12/24, 12/25, and 12/31), all Satanic cults surely celebrate all of them. Satanic and demon revels, Da Meur, and the Grand High Climax are not part of the Christmas Eve rituals for most cults, but that is the only consolation.

I hope all of you can stay safe and keep your courage up. Try to remember that you have survived many other Decembers and that you have more experience in coping with hard times than you did last year.

This is a good time to plan ahead. If you start the project today and then review it every day, adding things and making changes as you think of them, you should have a pretty solid plan by the time the shit hits the fan.

Do you by any chance have a copy of a survival plan you have made for other holidays? If so, it would be a great starting point. You know which things were helpful and which missed the mark. You can go through it point by point, copying some, changing some, and omitting some. If you don’t have an old one, make sure to keep a copy of this plan for future use.

Here are some issues I suggest you consider.

1. External safety. Do dangerous people know how to reach you? Is there some way to minimize the chances they could access you? They probably will use words or objects to trigger you into attending rituals. You are adult now, even if not all of you believes this, and they can no longer just pick you up and take you away. That’s called kidnapping and they would far rather rely on triggers than do something that could be dangerous for them.

If you are worried that somebody may break in, buy an inexpensive alarm that you can hook over the door. Or arrangement to be with somebody safe, either at their place or yours.

2. Internal safety. Even if nobody triggers you, the time of year in itself is a trigger. Chances are parts of you will yearn to be with your family. Perhaps, just perhaps, there will be a perfect Norman Rockwell-type Christmas this year, with presents and good food and good feelings all around. It’s hard to talk yourself out of giving them just one more chance to respect you and love you and be proud of you.

That’s not too hard to understand. What may seem strange is that you are attached to your abusers, attached to the pain, disappointment and degradation. As a child you thought that if you could please them they would not hurt you; they were punishing you because you were bad and, if you were good, they would reward you. So you kept trying. It gave you a sense of control, no matter how small or how delusional.

Also, they were there and they were the source of attention and the basics of life, like food and water. A child is born a need for others as strong as the very life force, and if all you have is people that abuse you, those are the people you will become attached to.

3. Both these issues point to the need to talk to your inner parts, especially to the little ones. They need to know that you will protect them the very best you can and that they do not have to obey the cult any longer. Their desire to return must be acknowledged as natural and understandable and then soothed. They are very brave to try something different and to trust you.

4. Self-harm. What has helped in the past? Make a list of the people you can call if you need to. Hotlines. Your therapist if you have one. Friends you have been able to count on in the past. Also list any groups you have found helpful, like Twelve-Step groups or on-line support groups, or message boards.

If, despite all the precautions you have taken, you are afraid you might hurt yourself badly, please, please, call 911. You need to live for yourself, for me, for every RA survivor. Here is a poem written and illustrated for ritual abuse survivors by a ritual abuse survivor. I can’t tell you how many times I have read it. http://dadig123.ca/reasons_not_to_kill_yourself.html

5. Self-soothing. You might find that people or activities that can distract you are helpful, too, especially for your littles. Taking a break and having fun can be just as healing as a long serious conversation or having the chance to cry without being judged.

Make a list of things you can do alone that will please your littles (and don’t forget your older parts!) and get together any materials you might want. Coloring books, crayons, magic markers, colored paper, your journal. A musical instrument if you know how to play one, a playlist of favorite music. Videos to dance to – whatever you think might appeal to you and would be more fun than rushing around trying to find things at the very last minute.

6. Prepare a special place for yourself. You could stock it with tea and snacks and stuffies. Cozy blankets, soft pillows, your favorite pj’s would all be welcome. You could decorate it ahead of time with drawings, real or paper flowers, encouraging affirmations. Let your imagination go wild!

These are just suggestions. If you have found something to be especially helpful, it would be a great gift to share with others in the comment sections.

So my wish to all is to stay safe, keep your misery to a minimum, and remember that December is almost over.