Posts Tagged ‘ritual abuse’

The Courage to Heal

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I feel quite fortunate to have had the resources available to me at the time to continue my  recovery  journey for core issues.  Locally,  nothing was available to survivors of very  severe trauma on an in-patient basis.

With the assistance of a great therapist and studying the resources section of the original, ” Courage to Heal” by Laura Bass and Ellen Davis.  I made great headway in locating  a specialized treatment program in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I took a flying leap and went there via Greyhound  Bus.

            It was an incredible program and I can honestly say that it saved me.

It was there I met people , like myself who had survived the most  atrocious  things from all over the  Country and including ,  Canada.

 Other people who also had family members involved in the  Klan of the 60’s, survivors of  Human Trafficking,  Survivors of  Catholic Orphanage abuse by priests and Nuns,  Ritual Abuse by Off-shoot sects of the Mormon Church,  Ritual Abuse by  Jewish Hasidic  Groups,  people who had family members  from the Military.

   I could look into the face of a man whose  Mother tied him up into a chair and left him for hours  because my brothers friends had tied me up and left me on the floor of his bedroom. Alone.   Words didn’t have to be spoken.  I understood.

          The site of the Program was set up as a  Campus.

Mornings started with a walk to the Meeting House and then to the main building for Breakfast and then to Break-up Groups for the Morning, etc

They were big on experiential learning and had a huge  Ropes Course at the back.   They did  workshops on  coping with extreme flashbacks, etc. It was incredible.

Everything was holistic. No Coffee. No Caffeinated Beverages.  vegetarian Meals,  No T.V

It was the opportunity of a life-time and I was so fortunate to have gone there .

   I had  gone to CottonWood de Albquerque  for its programs for surviviors of extreme abuse  but it went under in 1992, however  another facility in Tuscon remained.  I noticed that  there is a Post traumatic stress program but don’t know if it is the same as the one that i attended.

CottonWood De Tuscon




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…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.


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Image by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi via Flickr

As I write Nashville is getting ready for a dusting of snow-  at least it will be a dusting… Zoey my Star Fleet Academy Kitty is quietly sitting next to my left  leg and Max -cat is munching on an evening snack.   Some of the themes that interest me is that of Resilience. On this idea   I ordered a book of poetry of American poet  June Jordan and found the one poem that I’d been searching for, ” Poem for South African Women”.

Poem for South African Women

Our own shadows disappear as the feet of thousands
by the tens of thousands pound the fallow land
into new dust that
rising like a marvelous pollen will be
even as the first woman whispering
imagination to the trees around her made
for righteous fruit
from such deliberate defense of life
as no other still
will claim inferior to any other safety
in the world
The whispers too they
intimate to the inmost ear of every spirit
now aroused they
carousing in ferocious affirmation
of all peaceable and loving amplitude
sound a certainly unbounded heat
from a baptismal smoke where yes
there will be fire
And the babies cease alarm as mothers
raising arms
and heart high as the stars so far unseen
nevertheless hurl into the universe
a moving force
irreversible as light years
traveling to the open eye
And who will join this standing up
and the ones who stood without sweet company
will sing and sing
back into the mountains and
if necessary
even under the sea:
we are the ones we have been waiting for.

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