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Archive for February, 2011

…And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds, they are immune to your consultations, they’re quite aware of what they’re going through…” – David Bowie

 

Lets get this  Conversation  started.

This has been on my mind for sometime now .  Ritual Abuse. Why isn’t anyone openly talking about it anymore? ? Stigma?  Fear and Misconceptions?  Or is new  terminology being used?  I have often wondered why is it that when I identify myself as a sexual abuse survivor,  incest survivor, rape survivor, etc –  I receive very different reactions than if i simply say , ” I am a ritual abuse survivor”.

I find it perplexing.  I wonder how the  Mental Health System/ Rape and Sexual Abuse Centers are meeting the needs of clients who have been severely abused in Ritualistic contexts without naming it as such.

I am not proposing to write about the ” Ritual Abuse Backlash” in the early 1990’s as there is enuf information on the internet , including literature on the topic. Or for that matter the ” False memory Movement” that followed.

I would however, like to hypothesize about the backlash.

First and foremost is sensationalized portrayal   by the Media in the early 1990’s. Talk shows,  television movies and Books.  I do remember the McMartin  Daycare Case in the news and listening to a talk show interview with an R.A survivor. Upon looking back on those survivors I think they were in early recovery and  jumped on the talk show circuit way too soon.

When I started to remember my brothers Cult Activity , I had previously done significant work on issues related to Family Violence and Sexual Abuse issues.  Which is to say,, that R.A related therapeutic  work doesn’t  start out of a vacuum.  Typically, I think survivors work thru lessor traumas first and if there is anything of a ritualistic nature, it comes after good solid ground work.

I have met R.A survivors  from all across the board : survivors of Pedophile and Human trafficking rings,  Family Ritualistic Abuse, R.A abuse within the Catholic Church ,  K.K.K,  Ritualistic Abuse from Cults that are self-styled off-shoots of the Mormon Church,  Ritual abuse from Hasidic groups,  Cults that are Satanic in  Nature,  Ritual abuse that is  Christian in Nature.  The list goes on.

My brother was involved in a  Cult that used a Satanic ideological base  to cover up Drug abuse, sexual abuse and juvenile crime.  In my opinion there is  not much difference between Juvenile Cult activity and  Juvenile Gang activity.  There are similarities.

Not all of my abuse was  Cult like in nature – most of it was of a  Christian Religious Nature related to Catholicism but not perpetrated by  Priests.

I was ritualisticly  abused by my Father and i am I am a survivor of the Child trafficking/ porn ring of the 1960’s etc.

All these terms that I have used: Ritual Abuse, Ritualistic Abuse  don’t seem to be in the vocabulary anymore. I have read of the terms: Systematic Abuse ,Severe Systematic Abuse , Ritual Abuse, Cults and Organized Crime.

I have decided that I am not waiting for anyone to define my experiences for me .   It is Ritual Abuse  and at this time,  I  identify myself  as  such.

D.

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Faces of Survivors has created powerful and moving photo exhibits of survivors.

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It's Superman!

Image by Dude Crush via Flickr

I was reading late one night upstairs in bed with my super pink reading glasses on- thinking….  – I grew up. I am alive today to tell the story/to sing/ dance/ write and make beautiful art.

I could have titled this one ” When my Brother thought he could fly ” because he thought he could.

My brother and I are 7 yrs apart. For example,  When he was 17 yrs

I was 10 and so on. By the time my brother was a teen, he was addicted to cocaine, speed, heroin and acid.  On this particular day my parents had gone out and my brother was in charge to be my baby-sitter.

but on that day – I baby sat  my big brother brother.

I was sitting  with N. in his room/ as he’d already taken drugs and was starting to hallucinate.  He stood straight and firm , facing the win

dow with wide wonderous  eyes/ full of excitement/ flooded  with ectasy.

N said, ” I can fly like  Superman.”  He babbled. He really could . REALEEE  especially when drugs can assist you in uncovering your new super powers.

If he could fly-

I could sit up on his back/ like riding the magic carpet/  and look safely down from from soft puffy clouds.

but that wasn’t real.  I knew he couldn’t really fly  and my fear drove my anxieties higher

when i considered N. jumping from the 2nd floor of the house onto  the cement pavement of the driveway.  My parents would discover him splat on the ground and punish me for letting this happen.

As my anxiety rises,  My Memory

disapears into darkness and When it  reappears ,  N. has decided that we will slowly climb up onto  the the house ledge and climb up onto the side of the roof .  Thankfully,  he decided not to climb around the house and instead we came in thru the other bedroom window.

Oh this Winged World’

Not all Your Creatures

Can

Fly ”

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Determination/ Hope/ Despair ?   What is it that exists in  the mind of a sexually trafficked child that clings to the  light instead being swallowed into the  darkness of organized child prostitution.

My mother once made me read , ” The Dairy of Anne Frank“,  whose words of hope in humankind while living hidden during the Nazi invasion of Holland was profound.  Perhaps Anne Frank’s Ghost held my hand as I walked the streets of late 1960’s New York City.

I remember a moment of decision. A decision to stay Alive.  I had to wear  purple hot pants and a blonde wig. One night it was cold and raining and I felt so full of despair & made a decision.   My decision  was to simply to  Grow up and get big and tall.

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Peace is like a River.

Coffee Prep Area

Image by Thrift Store Addict via Flickr

I am sitting with my morning coffee recuperating from Stomach flue . It feels so good to be feeling so much better !
Memories are like a river. They don’t go away or disappear, but each time they re-cycle thru they become softer and less intrusive  . Today Memories trickle through .

My Father was a Doctor and  on one occasion my Mother and I joined  him
at  the conference in  Sweden. It was about 1969 or 197o and  so I was about 9  or 10 yrs old.  One day My Mother and i were in the Ladies Room ( Bathroom) and my mother stopped and told me that there was a woman who was a Concentration Camp Survivor and told me to go over to her and pay my respects.  I being a child look at her and thought she was beautiful/ she looked down at me and smiled, then she said, ” Shalom”.

( shalom)


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The Road Not Taken

My Healing Journey began in earnest in the 1990’s . In the early 1990’s a number of off shoot 12-step support groups modeled on  Ala-non came into existence.  In the Nashville area these were , Co-dependency Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics ( ACOA) , Sexual Abuse Survivors Anonymous ( SASA) and Incest Survivors Anonymous ( ISA)  and  Ritual Abuse Survivors Anonymous ( RASA) and  in addition to these groups,  SNAP Nashville  (Survivors Sexually Abused by Priests)  and a short-lived non-profit for Ritual Abuse Survivors , ”  Hope House'”.  I also attended a faciltated  therapy group for female survivors of Ritual Abuse  here in Nashville.   These groups did not arrive on the scene all at the same time.  RASA and Hope House  were  the last ones to appear in the late 1990’s.  All of these groups were helpful and informative and very  supportive.  To my knowledge SNAP Nashville is still meeting in Nashville,  RASA is not and  I am not sure about ACOA, SASA or ISA.

As a result of an in-patient hospitalization I began working on my Sexual Abuse Issues and was linked  up with a Therapist who specialized in Sexual Abuse and to my good fortune also with Ritual Abuse.  I was now on the road to recovery.

Matsuo Basho writes,

I am awe-struck

to hear a cricket singing

underneath the dark cavity

of an old Helmet.

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