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Posts Tagged ‘ritual abuse programming’

Soon after this trip, I received a letter from momster. My reaction to seeing the envelope in the mailbox was very different from any reaction I have ever had – I was not bothered by it at all. I remembered my positive experience in reading the last letter and thought that I don’t need anyone else to screen it for me this time. I must be healing enough that momster no longer has the power to trigger me. It’s OK that she wrote me. I’ll just read it.

This letter was again very different from prior letters, and I felt so peaceful reading it. I noted where she referred to herself as an elderly woman who needs to keep her mind active. I thought that if she was smart enough and a manipulative person, that comment would have been the perfect thing to say because I saw that she is no longer a threat. I could see her as this safe, old woman who could no longer hurt me. She is no longer a threat. I don’t need to stay away from her.

I wasn’t even bothered by her asking me for my email address so we could stay in touch through email. I thought, “I could do that,” and wanted to email her immediately as well as write her back. However, I did not. I thought that this was such a 180 in my reaction to momster – there is no rush in taking action. Let me sit on it. If I still want to send her my email address or a letter, I can do it in a week or two. She has waited over nine years for a reconciliation. I don’t have to do it today.

I don’t have the dates written down, but the timing is consistent with when the insomnia started. Out of seemingly nowhere, I could not fall asleep. I would awaken in the middle of the night with my heart pounding, and I could not get back to sleep. I took various sleep aids that have always worked (at least some of the time) to no avail. I used my many tools for combatting insomnia, but nothing has worked. This has been a sleepless summer for me.

Another very important point – this letter was my secret. I felt very strongly that I wanted to reconnect with momster and did not want anyone else talking me out of it because they would not understand. So, I told NO ONE. I did not blog about it, and I did not tell my closest friends. I did not mention the letter to ANYONE until I told a friend while we were across the country, and it was a “by the way” light mention along with me believing my different reaction was a sign of healing. I was in tears when I got back to my hometown. I thought it was for a different reason. Now I wonder if it was because I “told” about the letter.

More next week…

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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In early June, my sister and I took our kids to the beach for a long weekend. While we were together, we talked about momster. My sister has chosen to maintain contact with momster. She says this is how she stays true to herself – she does not believe that a mother should EVER be shut out by her child no matter what she has done. My sister also sees staying in contact as being compassionate – that nobody deserves to be alone.

My sister says she respects and understands my position with momster, and she does not ever pressure me to change my position. She also takes on a lot of responsibility with momster that could cause her to resent me (by my choice not to do it), but she does not seem to hold this against me. As an example, momster has had two surgeries in the past month with a third on the way, and my sister, as next of kin, keeps driving five hours each way to be at the hospital during the surgeries.

My sister does not tell my mother when she and I are seeing each other. Her children love their grandmother (although they get that she is “crazy”) while their cousin (my son) does not know her, and my son has told them that I won’t let him see her because she is mentally ill. My sister’s life would be less complicated if I could tolerate being around momster.

In the course of our conversations, I told my sister I thought it was weird that momster did not seem to be triggering me much anymore. I had received a letter that was pleasant and did not trigger me, and I would have been OK if she had shown up at the graduation. My sister said that I need to remember that I have done a lot of healing work since I last saw momster and that I am not the same person now that I was then. I might not need to keep my distance any longer.

A part of myself has always been in conflict over the separation from momster. Momster is clearly mentally ill and of below average intelligence, and it hurts me to know that I hurt and embarrass her by refusing to have contact with her. If she truly does not know the reason I have cut off contact (at a conscious level – I know that she knows subconsciously), I hate that I am hurting her, but I have to protect myself first.

I have also had various people who I respect tell me that being able to heal myself enough to put this all behind me and then help heal my abuser is a higher calling. My abuser, just like me, was an abused child and knows similar pain. I thought that perhaps I was reaching this place of healing myself enough to then help heal her. Perhaps that was why I felt this pull to consider reconnecting with momster. For some reason, I did not want to discuss that I was mulling this over on the blog or with any of my friends.

More tomorrow…

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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I do not blame my friend for not knowing that the letter was encoded with programming. She has no history of ritual abuse, and the wording that was woven in seemed innocuous. I saw no red flags at the time. However, in retrospect, I recognize that programming was included in the letter based upon my reaction to it.

My first reaction was that the letter was different because it stayed within the boundaries I set, which rarely happens. I told momster that if she wanted to maintain contact with me, she must contact me no more frequently than once a month, must not address anything in the past, and may not talk about increasing contact. Her letter complied with all of the above.

That’s not the red flag, though. For 9-1/2 years, my reaction to reading a letter from momster is to get triggered. I feel dizzy and sick to my stomach and generally feel “off” for days. I blog about it to work through my triggers, and I talk about it with my friends to help me process the triggers, and they tell me AGAIN that I don’t have to read the letters.

My reaction to this letter was very different. I noticed that the letter was different from the others but could not pinpoint why (beyond staying within the boundaries). I felt peaceful and “good” about it. I did not get triggered by it, and I did not blog or tell anyone about it. Only the one friend who screened the letter even knew I had received it.

I noticed my different reaction but never suspected that programming was being uncorked. I thought this was a sign of my degree of healing. I thought about how I had been adamant that I would not see my mother again after what I went through when I saw her at my sister’s college graduation, but then I had an about-face in January, decided to attend my sister’s graduation for her master’s degree (even though my mother planned to attend), and thought I had just had this big leap in healing.

Now that I write this, I wonder if the programming activation started before January because I did not really think through seeing my mother at the graduation. I just decided impulsively that I was OK with it – and even hoped she would be there – and bought plane tickets after saying for 2-1/2 years that I would not put myself through that again. This would have been right after Christmas, and she did send me a letter at Christmas, so the process might have even started sooner. (Side note – My sister is earning two master’s degrees and wound up completing one before the other. So, I went to the first graduation and momster will go to the second – sister did not tell momster I was coming to the first graduation.) That could explain why I have been battling reflux all year – My first bout of reflux coincides with me buying the plane tickets to my sister’s graduation. Interesting…

More tomorrow…

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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In early April, I became very triggered by a message over at isurvive (a message board for child abuse survivors) in which a member shared a story about someone with dissociative identity disorder (DID) who was manipulated and harmed when an abuser triggered a dormant programmed alter part. Also earlier this year (I think it was around the same time, but I do not remember which happened first), I received a letter from my mother/abuser (momster). My reaction to momster’s letter was different from my typical reaction to contact from her.

I can’t remember if I blogged about my reaction to the isurvive story or not, and I want to get this out now, so I am not going to take the time out to do the research. Short version – Someone wrote about a situation in which someone with DID was in a place that she thought was safe. An abuser took advantage of her guard being down and triggered dormant programming, causing the person with DID to enter into an abusive situation. Long story short, the re-abuse triggered this person so badly that she committed suicide. I was very shaken by reading this story.

I did not record the date that I received this first letter from momster, but it was around the same time. I can place the date of the isurvive triggering based upon something else that happened right before it, and that was around the first week of April. The letter from momster came in the March/April timeframe, so I do wonder if I received it before reading that post and if that was the cause of the triggering.

Regardless, my reaction to receiving a letter from momster was the same as always. I get triggered when I see her handwriting on the letter. I feel like I have to open and read it, but I also fear how I will react to it. While I logically know it is an option not to open the letter, in the moment of unexpected contact from her, I do not feel like I have a choice, so I have built in the safeguard of telling a friend first.

I used to tell my ex-friend about the letter and give it to her. She would tear it up in front of me and then take it home and burn it. She is no longer in my life, so when I received the letter, I asked a different friend to screen it for me. She read through it (about a one-page letter) and said there was nothing concerning in it to her – that it was positive and pleasant. So, I read the letter.

To be continued…

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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Fire (c) Rosanne MooneyMany people who suffered ritual abuse were “programmed” to self-destruct if they ever revealed their abusers’ secrets. While people who never suffered from ritual abuse might believe this sounds like a bad plot in a science fiction movie, numerous survivors of childhood ritual abuse share the same story.

When somebody’s behavior arises out of programming, that behavior feels compulsive and seems to come out of left field. For example, when I was a teenager, I struggled with deep depression and contemplated suicide. I thought about the various ways to die, and I settled upon swallowing a jar of pills to be my “method of choice.” I fought off and overcame my suicidal urges in high school and never revisited that deep dark place.

In my mid-thirties, I entered into therapy after I began having flashbacks. As the flashbacks moved from “regular” abuse to ritual abuse, I suddenly started having strong urges to slash my wrists with a knife. When these thoughts would come into my head, I would “think” the phrase, “Watch the lifeblood flow out of me.” I came to realize that this was programming. At no point did I ever “choose” the method of suicide through using a knife: This was chosen for me.

I also experienced programming in self-injury, and I later recovered the memory of the programming. As a teenager, my father died suddenly, and my mother began abusing me again. I never self-injured. I endured years of fertility treatments in which I desperately wanted to become pregnant. Despite very heavy emotions, I never self-injured. It never even crossed my mind to do so. I never self-injured as I recovered memories of my mother’s abuse or abuse by several other abusers.

As soon as I started to recover memories of the ritual abuse, I had very strong compulsions to bang my head rhythmically against a brick wall. It wasn’t just any brick wall but a specific one with mortar than was not smoothed out. I resisted the urge to bang my head into walls and forced myself to use a pillow, but I was powerless to stop the compulsions. When they hit, I had a very short window to reach a pillow.

Chrystine Oksana’s book Safe Passage to Healing is a wonderful resource for anyone who has suffered from ritual abuse. In this book, she talks about ritual abuse programming and how to dismantle it. The good news is that, because programming is “foreign,” it is much easier to dismantle than many of the negative feelings that a person develops in reaction to the abuse. One of the biggest hurdles is recognizing the programming for what it is.

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Photo credit: Rosanne Mooney

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