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.

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. ūüôā 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.

A Trigger and a Flashback

I know that I’ve written often in the past on the blog about how hard it is to be kind and gentle to my body while doing self-care. I figured out a while ago why specifically that was an issue for me, but I needed a lot of time to process about it alone, so I haven’t written about it here until now.

I had noticed some time ago that I have difficulty handling my body gently and kindly. I tend to have a very utilitarian approach to it. I realized that what I was communicating and feeling was that I had little compassion or love to myself. I often try to do things very quickly and feel very frustrated at my body and at how much pain it is in and at how tight my whole body is.

I decided to try to be very gentle in the shower. I love very warm showers and water is my special element, so I thought this might be a good area of self-care for me to work at this gentleness issue.

I did it once and got a flashback immediately. This was very disturbing. I did it again and got another flashback. I’m sure that you can understand how upsetting this was for me. I stopped doing it and thought about this over some period of time.

What I figured out was that my mother, at times, would touch me gently,  and that was a trigger and when I did it to myself I was triggering flashbacks of her abusing me. I decided to slowly start treating myself and my body more gently when in the shower and see how that went. What I have discovered is that, a little less brisk and a little less disconnected from what I am doing and how it is feeling and how I am treating my body and what that is communicating to my body and my system is not triggering me. That is great news. I am treating myself better and avoiding a trigger and avoiding the accompanying flashbacks.

I wanted to share about this issue here because I want everyone to realize that we all have these issues where we are rushed and brisk with our bodies and where we blame our bodies or ourselves rather than understanding that even those of us with the best of childhoods can be programmed into being dismissive, insulting, devaluing, and disconnected from their bodies and that bringing that programming to conscious awareness is important and healing. What we do with that awareness can be life-changing. Even the little things. Even the little moments. Good and healing thoughts to you all.

Survivor Quotes 60

“Triggers never make us think of the truths about ourselves, only the lies.”

~ Kate

Kate is Rising

The Best Part of a Bad Trigger Date

The best part of a bad trigger date is when it is over. It’s almost over. I’m happy to say that it was not a horrible day. It just made for a stressful and tiring week.

As a special treat doggie and I went on the bike over to the Dairy Queen and we had some ice cream. She loved it. She gobbled it up off my fingers. She was so cute to watch.

Now I have some extra treats for myself when I am up for it, the buffet and another new movie. ūüôā

2 Boys

This post is about child abuse and neglect and a specific case that I have heard about recently. It might be triggering.

I was watching a news program and they were talking about two boys in Dexter, Minnesota and how they were taken away from their parents, the mother a nurse, because of neglect and abuse. Both boys were chained to their beds at night, with a lock and chain. The most recent video is not online, but here is a link to the beginning of the case.

The five year old’s bed was a stripped down crib, with no mattress, the little boy showing how he was chained, for twelve hours a day in his room with two inches of movement,¬†he would lift his leg for his parent to lock him in, saying he thought every child was chained up at night. The eight year old proudly stated he didn’t need to be chained at night any longer, because he obeyed his parents and did not go into the kitchen looking for food.

Yeah food. They were always hungry and their lives revolved around that, because they were¬†food deprived.¬†The five year old was 28 pounds and the 8 year old was 33 pounds, both severely underweight. They were not being properly fed and any time they had the opportunity to go foraging for food, they did, so the parents locked them to their “beds.”

Due to the wording in the law the parents were only charged with two misdemeanors rather than felonies, because the wording of the law, requiring substantial bodily harm instead of demonstratable bodily harm, only allowed for a felony to be used on an adult who chained a child who was not theirs. The boys have been taken away from them, but they will probably only serve six months of jail time each.

I did an online search for the boys and I was very upset to see that chaining a child in our country is not a rare freak abuse occurence.

It was very triggering. Being treated worse than most people treat their dogs when you are a child is something I can well relate to. But the food deprivation cases get me crying every time, been there myself and the impact may well resonate throughout my life. And then there is the outrage.

Figuring Out Triggers

About four months ago I started getting triggered a lot.

I remember long ago when I first started being triggered a lot and was dealing with a lot of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. I didn’t even really know what triggers were and didn’t have the foggiest idea what kind of things were triggering me into flashbacks.

I was going to therapy, but that was often not very helpful with the everyday struggles of being a child sexual abuse survivor. I guess that topic is a book in itself. I soon started looking for other information elsewhere.

I started reading a lot of books about being a survivor of child sexual abuse. Sometimes reading about other survivors could be one long trigger. I slowly started understanding about triggers. They were sometimes seemingly inocuous words, topics, pictures, sounds, smells, etc that packed an imposing negative punch upon my psyche, life, and functioning.

Sometimes they were things that were obviously triggers.They always related back to incidents of abuse and my childhood. Many of those incidents were still repressed, so it was often a challenge to see and perceive the connections. Slowly I started getting better and better at that. You can’t always limit your exposure to triggers, but you learn new coping skills and you keep working on healing, and it started getting better as I continued to heal.

Sometimes being with other survivors can cause triggers. They share about what they are going through, stories about their abuse, and how they are feeling, coping, and not coping. It can also be tremendously healing being with other survivors.

Sometimes you are so frozen inside and so repressed that a group can be triggering. You can go home exhausted, frightened, anxious, and phobic about everything. It’s only been years later where all the triggers from those times become apparent.

I’ve gotten better at identifying triggers and learning what I can do to manage that and what things I need to avoid because they are just too triggering. The more flashbacks that I have the more my triggers are explained. But also the more flashbacks I have the more potential triggers seem to emerge.

Being a multiple brings a lot of added layers to life and when we are being triggered. It is an odd thing for me to try to explain what a multiple system trigger feels like for us. The easiest way for me to describe it is that it is like you feel triggered by something and then you feel a tunnel going deep inside you, into the system, and you feel the emotions of a bunch of them as they are being triggered.

Figuring it out can be hard. Sometimes you get a delayed reaction from a trigger object and sometimes you get an immediate reaction. Sometimes it’s obvious what is the trigger, but you just don’t want to admit it.

So I had to limit my exposure to some things until I figured out what was really going on. It took me months to figure out what was going on. But really the system told me what was triggering them right away. I just didn’t want to admit it. I thought it couldn’t be that simple. It seemed to spread and spread, so much so that I wasn’t able to read some blogs and some posts, for a time,¬†like I used to be able to. Everything ¬†seemed to become one giant trigger. I thought the inners¬†didn’t really understand or know about these things. But they did. They understood right away what they were going through, and the reasons they were being triggered.

I’m doing so much better now. I learned a really important thing through this process. It is okay to be a survivor who gets triggered and it is okay to admit you have limitations and to take steps to make your life safer by limiting exposure to some¬†triggers. It is okay if some people understand and some people don’t. And it’s okay to take the best care of yourself(ves) as you can.

Survivor Resource Pages (Forty pages of resources, non-profit organizations, articles, and healing support for survivors of child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and dealing with the aftermath of child sexual abuse.)

Triggers and Flashbacks

Child Abuse and Triggers

Child Abuse Triggers and Dissociation Part 1

Child Abuse Triggers and Dissociation Part 2

A New Problem, Or the Same Problem Coming Back at Me a Different Way

I used to be bossed around a lot by people and their bodies. I mean this in a certain way. Well actually in every way, but for the purposes of this post, I mean it in a certain way. I would be on my bike, or walking, or in a store and someone would want to push me along, out of their way, move, quick, quick, quick. I think this is a survivor issue.

So many times when I have been on the bus I have had people trying to lean or rest against me, repeatedly bump into me,¬†or plop their fat up against me and with my chronic back issues and chronic pain, it is excruciating. I am not a Barcolounger! I spend most of my bus time trying to avoid others and sit in the couple of spots on the bus where I don’t go through this. With the smaller more energy-efficient buses that is a hard thing to do.

So many times I cannot count I have had drivers in cars get in my way, get too close, cut me off, honk at me, all at times when I am legally walking or driving my bike. Often it is very scary and I feel as though they are trying to kill me, because they are so self-obsessed and so uncaring for others. Let me say I have such road rage and routinely swear out drivers. I am trying to stop doing that. The best I can say that I have stopped yelling I hate drivers, I hate you all, over and over.

I have often speeded up to get through an intersection and sprained¬†or pulled a muscle. It has happened to easily. My health issues are such that it can happen. I still worry about it, though¬†I don’t get injured so much now that I am gluten free. After the last injury, biking fast¬†through an intersection while a car was trying to turn where¬†my bike was, caused me to decide not to ever go fast again in order take better care of myself. ¬†

I’ve been in stores when I was shopping for groceries and been told to move by staff and customers. This has really gotten to me lately. There were two incidents that were the end of my patience in this area.

One memorable incident was at a Target store by a staff teenage boy with some apples in his hands who insisted that I move so that he could put the apples down at the apple area where I was standing. Well if you have ever been in an apple area in a store you know there is usually plenty of room to get at things without making a customer move. There was. I went to find a store manager and let them know that I was not going to buy apples and why.

Another¬†was when I was downtown at the Target store, with a store cart, near the milk section trying to find the 2% milk so I could grab a gallon of it and put it into my cart. In that store they have pillars in the way and only one cart can go by at a time. This man, who acted like he did not know English very well, gestured for me to move. I thought he wanted to get through and since I have moved for everyone all my life, out of courtesy, even though I was trying not to move for others anymore, I moved. He didn’t want to get by me, he wanted milk, stopped where I had been, looked over the milk and picked out his choice, while I had to wait, fuming. I said to myself never again.

Since then, I refused to move. I am in a space, I am taking up that space, I refuse to be more kind to someone else than I am going to be kind to myself. I wait many times at the grocery store for others, they can wait for me as well, or go somewhere else, or shop another aisle or walk all the way around. I know that I have done all the above many times.

One incident was at a used store and a guy trying to get by the used cds where I was looking, a space of about six feet long. He wanted me to move my cart, so he could look at the cds as well. I moved it a bit, but he soon wanted me to move again. I told him no. He grabbed my cart and tried to move it out of the way. I held onto it and said no. He said surely you don’t need it there. I said yes I am disabled and I need to lean onto it. I told him he could go or wait.

Then there was this grocery store incident here.

That is when I started to notice that I was often at the grocery store between six and seven pm and deciding not to go there at that time anymore. I believe that people are angry, tired, and hungry and that comes out with some of the rudest behavior I have seen in the last two years.

I was  at Target again recently and a staff person was walking towards me very fast. I was standing still in an aisle looking at things. She got behind me and I hate that. She leaned over and pressed her body against my back. Being touched by people is a big trigger, especially when they come up behind me, touch my back or butt, and especially when they are staff.

I got really mad and told her I had a back disability and did not want to be touched. She did not say she was sorry, she did not act like she cared. I swore twice at her and was very very upset. It is not okay for staff to act like this. I was so mad and really I am still mad. I am going to call and complain.   

I shouldn’t have to say that I have a back disability to get people to back off. It is none of their business and I don’t want to share anything with people with no boundaries. They should know to have better behavior in public.

So I don’t move quickly or jump out of the way for others.But that seems to be provoking even worse behavior from them. I want to figure out what to do about this. Because I know that others do not treat everyone like this. What this has all taught me is that so many people have no personal boundaries and have no respect for others. Sad, they are so sad.

Having a back disability makes it hard for me to look strong and empowered. I want this to get better. I want others to give me my body space. I would walk pulling the cart behind me, but with my back injury I need to push the cart and rest some of my weight on the cart handle. I need to review what Cesare Millan, the Dog Whisperer, says about personal space and try to implement that more in my life.