Happy December

Well hello ya’all and happy December. 🙂 November sucked, bigtime. It was a bizarre Autumn and now I suspect it is going to be a very bizarre Winter. Well, good and healing thoughts to us all.

The presidential election was particularly hateful, racist, and decisive. We found it very disheartening and triggering, from the beginning of the Trumpster fire to the end result and since. I debated for about a minute whether or not to write about that here, and quickly decided that since it directly affected/effected my life, my triggering, and my healing work and healing life that it was a part of this blog.

On the other hand, I had to conclude that since I am disabled, part American Indian, a feminist, and being a human being who is also female, that, if any of you had an issue with me writing about hate speech and the triggering effects of the dumpster fire admitting to sexual assault, you wouldn’t be a reader here in the past or right now.

So yes he is triggering to us and we find hate speech very difficult to hear, read, process, or tolerate and it has always been a big issue for us, since we are a ritual abuse survivor and hate speech, racism, and ritual abuse go hand in hand.

We’ll be writing more about how we are coping and how we have been comforting and helping ourselves through all of this, rather than dwelling much on the politics of what has been going on.

We just consider this all a part of coping and dealing with daily life now, so I guess that shows some progress in how we see our life, we don’t see coping and comforting as parts of healing, or our healing work or healing life, but rather life. Not that we aren’t working on those issues as much, but rather that we see and feel this process integrated deep into our existence and daily life now. I suppose that is what happens when you work on healing for a long time, it becomes more and more an ingrained and integrated part of your life, and an essential part of your life. We think that is good.

A part of this process has been finding some great quotes to share for this month. Usually we purposely save and use quotes about Christmas most of the month of December, but we want and need to focus more on coping methods as an artist and a healer. So expect to see quotes on those areas of focus this month. At least I hope that we can gather enough to fill up the month.

I Wish This Would Get Easier

Do not re-blog this.

about ritual abuse and ritual abuse triggers

There are some things that are triggering for survivors. That’s just the way it is. In time some triggers lessen, and some don’t, and some seem to get worse.

Ritual abuse survivor are triggered by things and ways that they were abused, it is a lot like triggers for child sexual abuse, only there are a lot of extra add-on triggers. One of the ways that a ritual abuse survivor is triggered is through anniversary dates. It is common for ritual abusers to use the calendar year-round to abuse. They use Christian and pagan, as well as satanic dates and celebrations and pervert them into celebrations of abuse, dominance, control, and power.

Imbolic and Candelmas, at the beginning of February, are ritual abuse anniversary dates to me that have a lot of power and triggers in my life. This has been going on for many years and this date is more triggering for me than many other anniversary trigger dates. Actually I would like to celebrate both holidays in my own way, if only I wasn’t going through such a bad time before, during, and after.

The triggers this time of year have gotten much worse in the last few years. Or perhaps I just feel the damage and triggers more because more of the system are active in our life and they are out and about and their feelings and reactions are so tied to me that I can’t separate them. In the end, we are one person so it isn’t really that important who in the system is or is not upset and being triggered by this time of year, just that we are and it’s really really bad.

Or it was always this bad and I didn’t notice it so much for a long time, just attributed it to winter and having to be inside so much, but now I see that it is much more than just that. The last few years have been really hard around these holidays. This year I got spacey about ten days before the dates, and that is usually a sign of how serious our reactions and triggers will be around an anniversary date. And unfortunately the reactions and triggers have been bothering me for three weeks still. It’s not that much better, making it hard to really engage on the blog and write about many of the things that I wanted to start writing about.

There are lots of contributing factors for my issues at this time of year, but I think that the main underlying factor is that I am a ritual abuse survivor. Each February I notice it seems to be getting worse and realize that I probably need to do more memory work and healing in this area of my survivorhood, but then forget later cause this is too difficult a time of year to be doing that and it’s so easy to put this crap aside and not bring it up again, not look at the scariness a lot of the time. So I need to start doing that.

Other contributing factors are the winter, the cold, further limited mobility in the last two years, health issues, my back disability, lack of activities and friendships, lack of money, pain levels, less capability to bike ride, difficulty getting to the grocery store and everywhere else and all the stress that puts on me, lack of sunshine and ability to be out in nature. I hate being alone and this time of year take being alone to new heights for me.

I am sort of feeling better mentally, though really not back to normal operating conditions. I”m so glad that I didn’t get a sinus infection lately, that helps a lot, and so glad that I am doing so much better than last winter, when I re-injured myself, at the nerve endings near my tailbone area.

I’ve been doing some things that are helping make me feel better and I’m hoping to post on each of them soon. For us, it really is the small, wonderful things that bring us a lot of joy and make our life better.

2nd Advent Sunday

I’m pretty late in posting about my 2nd Advent Sunday. Sorry about that. I kept meaning to get to it. But having a sinus infection has seriously derailed the timeliness of my planned blog posts.

I was feeling better from my sinus infection, since I got my anti-biotic medication and Flonase three days beforehand. I’m glad to report that I am continuing to heal and feel much better, day by day.

On my second Advent Sunday I did much the same things as I had done on the first Sunday of Advent. I made a wonderful meal and had a great time. I had one of my artificial candles lit while I ate. I listened to some wonderful Christmas music. I watched a couple of Christmas themed shows and movies. I had my Christmas tree lights on and that brings me so much joy. That was all great.

An unfortunate thing happened, I cried. I wished that hadn’t happened, but sometimes when I am thinking about God I get all wrapped up in shame and humiliation and that is something that I have not overcome yet in my healing process. I still don’t think that I deserve God.

I still blame myself, in some way, and carry the shame of those who abused me. I decided to write about this because I think it is a common affliction for survivors of child sexual abuse, child abuse, bullying, emotional abuse, ritual abuse, the whole gamut of types of abuse.

For me, as a Christian, I have never been able to believe that God could feel the same way about me that I believe that they feel and think and love towards others. It is a huge part of Christianity to believe that God loves us all, each one of us, and that Jesus lived and died for us all, for all of our sins. For me, I think, it is particularly horrible, because ritual abuse is spiritual abuse. I’m only writing about this to highlight how this applies to me and, I believe, to survivors. I believe that many survivors think that they are the exception and that God doesn’t love them or want them, internalized deep inside of them.

I know theoretically that the shame and guilt that I feel are based on being abused by others, and that I was a child and was abused, and therefore not sins and not something that I should feel shame or guilt about. I know that I should not feel that I am the only person that God should feel that way about, because I  certainly don’t believe that God should feel badly towards survivors of child sexual abuse. But I still do. So I had a boatload of that come up last Sunday and that was not fun or good, but it is a part of my life and something that I am trying to heal from.

Bizarrely I alternate between feeling ashamed, guilty, and bad and having just a ton of rage at God. I think this is all a by-product of abuse and none of it is my responsibility, though I still feel it, believe it, and have to deal with it and try to heal from it all. I think it is good that I have finally been able to feel anger at God, after so many years of not being able to. I blame God for giving me to my mother, a sexual offender and child beater.

I realize that I wouldn’t exist without being born into my family of origin. For a very long time, most of my life, I have believed that it would be better not to have ever existed and have wished for that, to take back time and to have been wiped out of existence. I wished that I had never known my family. It has been the fondest wish of my life to be someone else than who I am, anyone else. A few years ago I stopped wishing that as well.

I was sorry when my online friends said to me that they valued me and that I had made a positive and healing impact on my life, because I still wished that I hadn’t existed.

For the last couple of years I am finally glad that I exist. I am glad that I am alive.

All that I/we have endured does not get wiped away and I believe that I would have been just as wonderful and kind of a person if I had not been abused. Actually I believe that I have been a more wonderful and kind person at times in my life and I see how certain abuses have negatively impacted me and altered me, especially with my abusive boyfriend. So I don’t think that abuse has shaped me or altered me in a way that can redeem having to endure it all. I don’t get that type of lesson from my life and I accept that others might get that from their life.

The first quote that I found on Advent to include in my Christmas quotes for this year was

Healing Quotes, Christmas 1

“Advent creates people, new people.”

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

So I guess this is a great time of year and a great day to celebrate God in the manger, Jesus in the manger, Jesus growing up, loving us all, sacrificing his life for us all, and triumphing over death and evil. Advent and celebrating really is a good time to heal and when things come up, I am learning, it is a good time to think about them and to feel about them, even if you only wanted a little happy time and a little happy meal, Advent is a time for healing, to be changed, to be a new person in some way.

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It’s good for me to see it and good for me to remind myself that Jesus is in all the good things that happen to me, Jesus is in all the good things in the world, Jesus is in the friends who love me, and the kindnesses and goodness of others.
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I’ve seen lots of evil and abuse and the goodness doesn’t negate that or eliminate that or heal that. But I’m well on my healing path.
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A few years ago I realized that I was happy that I existed and that I did not want to wish my life away anymore. I realize now that the goodness in my life makes my life worth living. It makes me want to live. And it makes me glad that I exist. I’m glad that I exist. And I’m glad that yous exist, some beautiful beings with goodness in their hearts and in your actions. And I’m so glad and so thankful that our lives have intersected like this. So during Advent I celebrated that, all of you.
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Good and healing thoughts to you all.

A Thanksgiving Time Memory

A Thanksgiving Time Memory (one of the ugly ones)

mentions child sexual abuse

I had decided to write about this specific incident, but am having trouble because when I try to type out a sentence I can’t find the words, I don’t want to share it all in detail, which I don’t have to words for at all, but also I don’t know how to write about it in an abbreviated way either.

I was sexually abused for a long time by a male. He was the man who took me away from the ritual abuse cult I was being abused in. He could do that because he took over the group and was the leader there, for a time, until he disbanded the group. He saved my life, parented me, and loved me, so understandably our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and memories of him are complex. I knew him for twenty years, until his death. I’m writing about him only as an introduction, for context of why young men were in my life and why that made me more vulnerable to being abused by them.

A few times other men, who worked for him, sexually abused me or tried to sexually abuse me, as well, over the years. When I was eleven, and my primary male abuser was very sick, I was raped a series of times by two men together, in their early twenties. I contracted some kind of reaction on my outer privates that was very obvious and excruciatingly painful.

What made this worst of all, for me, was that I had to tell my mother, who had been my primary female sexual abuser, that I had to go to the doctor and why. My parents never asked me if something had happened to me. They discussed it alone and had decided that my adult sister would go with me to the doctor and stay in the room with me. My sister never asked me if someone had touched me or hurt me.

(Neither did the young doctor, when he showed up. He kept repeating instructions for the proper way to wipe yourself after toileting and insisting that I take very hot baths, as hot as you can stand, every evening, because apparently what obviously looks like a sexually transmitted issue is a refusal to wipe and keep her privates clean. Which incidentally baths can cause infections, so he actually told me all the wrong stuff. He inserted some cream and gave me a prescription for another cream, which worked.)

So here we had been sitting in this cold doctor’s office waiting, after me being told to remove all my clothes and sitting on the table with two thin and tiny paper cover ups, one for above and one for across my thighs. My sister sitting in a straight back chair. We waiting like that for about 45 minutes. It was late November and cold outside and in. I always recall it was November because of our interactions while we waited.

We talked for a while and she was asking about school and how that was. This was the school year where we had moved and there was a  lot of girl bullying. We talked about several things until I started telling her about a music lesson.

I was telling her about a new song that I had learned in school for Thanksgiving. It is called We Gather Together. And to keep my mind occupied and distracted she let me teach her the song. So there we were, for almost an hour, me cold and getting colder by the minute, her ignoring what we were there for and yet there for me, and us singing We Gather Together.

A Trigger Holiday

Halloween is often a trigger holiday for survivors of ritual abuse. As a survivor of ritual abuse myself, there were many years that I was very triggered around this time of year. Over the years I’ve dealt with lots and lots of ritual abuse survivor triggers. It’s not something I post about very often on the blog, but it is a part of my daily life, daily coping, and daily healing. It’s hard to find the words.

I’ve been very blocked for over a year about many things that I want to write about on this blog. I think that I used to write better, more thoughtfully crafted blog posts. Admitting to these issues here are a part of healing from it, slowly making it better through sharing and in sharing finding a measure of healing just from the sharing.

In trying to overcome these blockages I’ve decided that writing is more important than always crafting a good sentence, though I’m sure that I haven’t always written perfectly. Perfectionism is an issue that has plagued me all my life. Since it can never be achieved, though it always convinces it’s victim that it should be achieved, it is a real double-bind, Catch-22, and blockage to achieving almost everything in life.

I’ve found some success in fighting the grip of perfectionism. I have given myself permission to be imperfect. 🙂 Some areas of my life, I’ve found, are easier to be imperfect in. I’ll try to post more about that process in the near future.

I am trying to find the words, the sentences, the paragraphs. If the words and sentences are at times stilted I believe that others will understand, the topics are so difficult for me and I am buried underneath a mountain of blockages. I am trying to overcome that by just writing. I believe that I will find the words, as I struggle, as I continue to post more often. I will write the words.

Being a ritual abuse survivor is difficult and problematic most of the time. Ritual abuse creates a lot of hyper phobias, ones that most people cannot relate to and cannot understand or think are normal aversions or phobias or choose not to understand. There is a lot of stigma, denial, and disbelief around the reality of ritual abuse. I hope that in some small way, by being a ritual abuse survivor and blogger, who acknowledges my history of abuse and healing, can help battle back the stigma, denial, and disbelief.

We all deserve to have a life that is our own. We all deserve to be safe and free from abuse. We all deserve the help, love, and support necessary in order to heal. We all deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. We all deserve to be believed.

I wanted to do a post for today with some healing links:

Ritual Abuse Healing Resources

Healing Resources Pages

Grounding/Coping Skills

Self-Soothe/Comfort Skills

Good and healing thoughts to us all this holiday and through the coming year.

Summer Solstice

As a survivor of ritual abuse there are yearly anniversary trigger dates that are particularly hard for me. It’s always amazing to me that no matter how much I don’t pay attention to the calendar, my body and our system seems to keep track of it very well.

Ritual Abuse Resources

I know from past experiences that I get a little spacey, more dissociative. Still the dissociation is usually strong enough for it not to click into my mind, oh yeah here comes another date that is difficult for us.

It usually starts about ten days before the date. I will have trouble remembering what day it is of the month and it keeps happening day after day, no matter how much effort I put into knowing the date the day before. I think it was somewhat worse this time, because I had recently done several health appointments that were stressful and exhausting, coupled with a cold. I think the cold was brought on by the anniversary trigger date. That’s fairly common for me as well, for the stress to make me sick.

Finally I’ll put it together in my mind a few days beforehand. Then I just plan on taking that day easy, getting as much sleep as I can, and taking as gentle care as possible. I read as much as I wanted to, saw one of my favorite movies, took bike rides, spent fun time with doggie, and ate chocolate mug cake with chocolate ice cream. I’d really like to be able to celebrate the changing of the seasons on these dates, but in the meantime I am happy that I am able to celebrate myself by taking good and gentle care of us.

As a wonderful bonus I get to go to a parade on Friday and fireworks on Saturday, unless there is rain. I am looking forward to both.

Connectedness to Holidays

We love holidays. To us, they are the ultimate affirmation of life. They are about joy and family, and connection and love. They are about celebration. And we love them.

My last post on the connectedness series will be next Monday at noon, on Halloween. I’m having trouble getting this post written, so I have continued to put it off until the end of the month. I have a few days left, so hopefully I will find some articulate way of trying to say something that I have not found a way to say by Monday.  

For my first post of Halloween, we decided, we were going to post two Halloween light shows that are posted at youtube. For years and years after recovering memories of being a Ritual Abuse survivor we did not like to even think about Halloween. It was triggering. It was unpleasant. It was repugnant. I would try to ignore it and just hide.

As I have learned to manage things better and have healed and learned a great deal, things have changed. I realize that The Littles want to celebrate. They want to have fun. They want to have decorations at home. And they want candy.

They wanted me to post the two videos to the blog and so I will be. I don’t think that they will be triggering to anybody, but wanted everyone to get some advance notice, if you are a ritual abuse survivor, basically they are two videos with Halloween lights and pumpkin outlines singing and blinking to songs.  

So we do have decorations. More than we have ever had before. We found some great stuff at one discount store and at one used store that was reasonably priced. We put decorations up in several rooms. We are going to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. We love that tv special. And a new special Scared Shrekless. We are going to buy lots of chocolate candy for us to eat. We are going to hand out candy and look at all the little ones dressed up. And we are going to enjoy ourselves and have some fun.