For First Time Visitors

If you are a first time visitor to this blog, I invite you to start from the beginning, especially if you are unfamiliar with the potential emotional impact of long-term child abuse.

Trigger caution to unhealed survivors!

Understanding the Incomprehensible

Children of incest or long-term sexual abuse grow up to be wounded adults with complicated emotional issues. Unfortunately, some symptoms are misinterpreted or often dismissed as "crazy", only serving to maintain a tormented victim status. We, as a society, have the power to change this dynamic. Each of us can make a difference.

Dec 7, 2008

Bracing for the holiday


For survivors of organized pedophilia, Thanksgiving is the foreboding of Christmas. While it may be joyful to give presents and share with friends at a certain point in healing, Christmas is a very difficult day for survivors on many levels. If you are a friend or support person of a survivor, it's good to understand. You needn't change your own traditions, but a few modifications could help ease anxiety. Survivors are invited to add comments to more fully expand this message.

What might appear to be a peaceful holiday scene in the photo might be viewed from a survivor's perspective as: scary fire, boxes that hold scary things, Santa (who is someone who sexually abused them as a child), or even feelings of shame instilled for wanting presents. Christmas is never about religion (except for a very warped version) or joy. It's singled out as one of the more abusive times for a pedophile gathering to instill deep trauma into victims while the pedophiles engage in their perversions.

I recall feeling sickened after my first memory of father abuse when my sister told me that my father (who was born and raised Jewish) was going to be Santa at the area shopping mall. Any Santa with little kids is terrifying to me even though I logically know not all who play Santa are pedophiles. Recently a very distasteful ad appeared on television for erectile dysfunction. The spokesperson was a man dressed as Santa with a long line of adult woman waiting to sit in his lap. You can't imagine the revulsion survivors have to such images.

How to help
Wrapped packages/boxes were used to disguise disgusting and terrifying items. Use gift bags for survivor gifts. The openness feels safer.

If you are comfortable asking the survivor if anything in the environment is causing distress and you are willing to remove any object during the visit, by all means do so. Just offering may be sufficient to put the survivor more at ease.

If there is a gathering where Santa is to appear in costume, make sure the survivor knows that in advance. Perhaps s/he would be willing to move to another room to feel more comfortable.

Changing the tradition
As with any holiday, survivors can create their own traditions or changes as they progress through healing. Those in the early stages of healing may elect to avoid holiday gatherings. My SO and I now exchange gifts on Christmas Eve and enjoy his family gathering of watching them open gifts on Christmas Day. We eased into it because I was always trying to get him to allow me to open presents the night before. Now he understands that it feels safe for me and I appreciate that it is okay with him now too.

Christmas is known as a depressing time of year for many. The economy this year alone could create an even greater impact. However, survivors wrestle constantly with wishing they could enjoy some of the holiday while staving off the depression that surrounds the many Christmases that were made horrendous days of abuse in the past.

Other typically benign objects may be triggers. Do you know what to do if your friend or SO has a panic attack or a frightened little takes over? If not, ask. Lacking an answer from the survivor, reassurance of current safety and offer of helping move her to a comforting room with a quilt and possibly a stuffed animal may help to calm the little as well as ease the panic attack. The survivor may be frightened to be left alone once separated. Coping skills are breathing slowly, calming words, calming music. Does the person need to call her therapist? What does she need if isolation from the trigger and reassurance of safety don't work? Asking is good.

I recall a party I attended in my early years of healing where I walked into the kitchen where several men had gathered and bottles of liquor were strewn about. I got so dizzy I nearly passed out. I made it back to my SO in a little's state asking to go home. A memory surfaced later about the trigger of men and alcohol for me.

Surprises and gags
Surprises and gags are not only not funny, the panic of even a good surprise could trigger a memory. You don't want to give a survivor a surprise party. In looking for an appropriate photo for this post, I came across one showing Santa from the back as he was flashing the people in front of him. That's not funny to us. It's sick. So, if you know a survivor will be visiting your home, you might want to avoid the anatomically correct Santa cookies or gingerbread men.

Yes, we have a lot of emotional baggage and holiday trauma. It takes a long time to diffuse. You can also be a part of the healing journey by being a good friend and understanding ally.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace,
You have such good and helpful points as usual....Much was done on this topic.
****Poss Triggers*************

High Priest perp even worked at a company which had "star" and "lumber" in the name. This was supposed to be code for "tannenbaum".

Trees were worshipped as a type of male part, according to memories. Perp would say that he had "lots of balls" on HIS tree. Right:( Green trees were important for some reason.

My children were forced to act in a film made around a sick "christmas theme", in which they were supposed be Santa's reindeer. (Their High Priest uncle fancied himself a real movie producer, and was prolific.) This was a pedophile movie, just one of many such films and movies we were forced to perform in and/or watch.

One "christmas" group-produced movie had men following a "star" to a barn where there was a baby. This little baby was supposed to be Jesus, and the rest of the movie was more than awful. I don't remember details of it, just know how it was.

There were things said about "santa coming down the chimney". This had a pornographic meaning, with chimney being code for a penis on the "house" body. Lots of twisting to the topic.

We talk Penn dutch, and "gift" is the actual word for "poison", so perp used this extensively. When he gave a wrapped package, you could know for a surety that there was something "poisonous" inside. Even regular boxes from him could hold terrifying things.

Perp loved taking our children out to "see the Christmas lights" with him and my sister. Yeah, right....It was all about abuse and programming.
Love & thank you,
LJ

Grace said...

LJ, I so appreciate your comments although am always saddened by hearing of another who was subjected to this world.

For those where organized pedophilia (under the guise of ritual abuse) is new, terms like "High Priest" tend to shut down believability. Am glad you used the term so I could point out that these terms are so entrenched in our minds. If those wanting to learn about this crime could please hear that "High Priest" is the leader of a subsect of organized crime. Quite the honor for the pedophile.

An excellent book called Satan's High Priest by Judith Spencer describes how a normal appearing family and community members can turn to a cult entity at night. It addresses how children are made to dissociate. Yet I think the title of the book scares people away. I highly recommend it for anyone just wanting to understand how these two worlds exist simultaneously while one is invisible.

Anonymous said...

Grace,
Yes, i know what you mean about people not understanding terms/names used. I well remember when our children had been talking for several months. It was as though the memories got deeper and darker, and this was very frightening on many levels. Where were these memories going??? What was coming next?? (Deep down i knew, but not consciously.)

I had been communicating with a lady from the sexual assault center for support. She was a tremendous help. After she heard about the perp forcing our children to eat.....
**********Triggers*********

the worst things such as f*ces, vomit, etc., she told me that she suspected the uncle perp may be mixed up in witchcraft and/or satanism. I said, no way in the world~ i mean, that kind of thing didn't exist! She told me this a couple of different times, but i always passed it off. I never told the children anything of her suspicions.

The day came shortly when our son walked up to me with a shocked surprised expression on his face. He said, "T** was a High Priest. He was in witchcraft." Our son was 11 yrs old then, and we didn't even have a TV or any books around on the subject. I didn't even consciously know this term existed! Talk about an amnesic cover....

My daughter began screaming and running through the house, hammering her feet under her bed when she heard her brother say this, so i knew she also remembered. However i actually told him, "Oh, no! He can't be mixed up in something like that!" Not that i *ever* thought my son was lying, but just that my mind found it too unbelievable.

Later on, the court appointed psychologist stated in his written report that our children both had the equivalent of a "graduate degree in satanism". Well, we know where that came from.

In our case, our children were used as "prostitutes" by their uncle, along with other money-making illegal activities. Once our daughter was taken to an actual child auction by him.

But the beliefs of my ex brother in law were actually of satanism/witchcraft. He lived it, breathed it, and preached it. (My son recorded half an hour at a time of nonstop "preaching" memories in his uncle's words, as though his mind had been a tape-recorder turned on and off for years. Despite his child's voice, our son sounded just like his abuser as he remembered.)

Perp was on a mission to join the "rings" together like a "chain" across the country, as he put it. I believe this hidden part of his life was as genuine as the part that was addicted to molesting children.

In fact, abuser told our children that he and some "buddies" came into our church years earlier in order to destroy it. They came in with the sole purpose of molesting children and seeing victory over the church. It was a deliberate act.

This is just *our* experience however, and each abuser and occult group would be different. I feel a burden to warn churches and families to watch for fakes coming in, and what to be alert for.

That book sounds excellent, and i will be looking into purchasing it....
I appreciate your work so very much!

LJ

Grace said...

It is true that there are some cults that do believe/worship Satan and may not be connected to the greater world of organized pedophilia. However it appears to objectives are the same: child porn, exploitation, inducing dissociation, etc.

Organized pedophilia uses the satanic cult as a cover for its activities since so many tend to dismiss the existence of satanic cults. There are also cults who work hand in hand with the objectives of organized pedophilia...as in training their long proven techniques to induce dissociation in children.

As made very clear on one of the Oprah shows on child predators, a pedophile can be anyone...your best friend, neighbor, your child's teacher or coach. There's no simply "spotting" someone with an evil mind :-(