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The FAQ for alt.sexual.abuse.recovery

This is a really old copy of the FAQ which has probably been updated several times since June '95.

Frequently Asked Questions List for Alt.Sexual.Abuse.Recovery

This is a list of regularly discussed topics on alt.sexual.abuse.recovery (hereafter ASAR), issues relating to healing from abuse and resources you can access on the internet and elsewhere. Suggested ways of posting and general behavior are outlined. ASAR is completely unmoderated and was concived of as a psychological support/recovery newsgroup before the alt.support.* hierarchy existed.

It is the compiled work of many contributors to ASAR. If you have comments, suggestions or new contributions please email them to the FAQ maintainer kws@teleport.com.

This is a long list, so the first thing you will find is an outline. You will find material that is of interest throughout. Remember, you can stop reading at any time!

Sections are marked as follows:

  • No mark means the section is complete
  • A "&" : Updates are already in the works for the next release.
  • A "*" : This section is being or has been updated recently.

This convention is used throughout the FAQ.

The outline

(originally compiled and organized by Hineni)

  1. Welcome & General Information about ASAR
    1. What is ASAR?
      1. Anonymous Posting Services and Anonymous Shell Access Services
      2. What is an APS?
      3. How secure is an APS?
    2. List of current APS/Anonymous Shell Access sites
    3. Common Acronyms, Abbreviations and Terms

  2. Who "belongs" here.
    1. Posting etiquette.
      1. Ground Rules.
      2. Spoiler Warnings.
      3. What's Great, What's OK, What's Unacceptable.
      4. "Meta" discussions.
      5. Cross Posting
      6. For skeptics: some comments on skepticism.

  3. Safety & Self Preservation
    1. Is it safe? (Nature of public posting place)
    2. What do I do if I feel attacked in the group?
    3. What does the group do when a person is abusive?
    4. Hints for partners of survivors.

  4. Frequently Discussed Issues
    1. What can/can't ASAR do for me?
    2. Can I start another thread on these topics?
    3. How can I tell if I've been abused if I have no memories?
    4. Sometimes I think I'm making it all up; am I crazy?
    5. How much of my childhood should I remember?
    6. Medication: To take or not to take?
    7. Cutting & self-mutilation: Why do I do it and how can I stop?
    8. What I have to say is not worth talking about; why should I post?
    9. Should I forgive the abuser(s)?

  5. Resources
    1. How do I report a suspected/known abuser?
    2. General support (doctors, rape crisis centers, hotlines, etcetera.)
    3. Specific support organizations (w/ contact for local support groups)
    4. World Wide Web sites (URLs) and Mailing Lists
    5. Printed Material
      1. Books
        1. General recovery books
        2. The difficulty of conviction
        3. Fraternities and Rape
        4. Gang Rape
        5. Multiplicity and Dissociation
        6. Ritual Abuse
      2. Journals, Magazines, and Newsletters
      3. Telephone numbers
      4. Self-Defense
      5. Religious Support
      6. Things You Might Want to Know
        1. List of famous survivors
        2. "If it helps," a pep talk.
        3. Stats on prevalence of abuse
        4. Medications (common ones listed with side effects, etcetera.)
        5. Common "symptoms" (nightmares, cutting, anorexia/bulimia, etcetera.)
        6. How can I tell if I have multiple personalities?
        7. Comments on rescue missions.
        8. Information on Hypnotism.
      7. Things some people find helpful.
        1. Child Within (Inner Child) stuff
        2. Ways of comforting yourself.
        3. When you're scared of a particular person
        4. Ways of empowering yourself.

1. Welcome & General Information about ASAR

1.1) What is ASAR? (by Matt Fields)

As the name suggests, ASAR is a public forum on recovery from all types of sexual abuse, including rape experienced by adults as well as by children. It is frequented by both males and females, and is accessible to everyone, including supporters, health care professionals, perpetrators, and the general public. The cast of readers and authors changes constantly. Recently discussed topics include self-inflicted violence, multiple personalities, confronting/naming perpetrators, dealing with the holidays, explaining oneself to prying members of the general public, self-defense, nightmares, etc.

1.2) Anonymous Posting Services. (by Jason Black)

For those who are not comfortable enough dealing with their abuse to post using their real name, there are anonymous posting services. These allow you to post to ASAR (or other newsgroups) and send mail to other anonymous people without ever revealing your real address or identity to them.

1.2.1) What is an APS?

An anonymous posting service (APS) is a special piece of software for processing mail sent to special addresses. In general, an APS receives a piece of mail, replaces any identifying information from the mail header with your anonymous identifier, and then posts the anonymized message to Usenet. Some APS's can also send anonymous mail to other users of that APS. Not all APS's work the same way. Most have at least minor operational differences from each other. But in general, the above things are true about them.

1.2.2) How secure is an APS?

A very valid question is "how secure is an APS?" The answer is, ultimately, not 100% secure. For even the best APS's, there is usually some way for the APS's administrator or the superuser of that system to find out what real address corresponds with what anonymous address. However, in general people not on the site that the APS runs on have no way of finding this out. Most APS's have to maintain a list of anonymous id's and real address pairs, so that when a message comes in, it knows what anonymous name to put in the header for the post to Usenet. All APS's which provide anonymous mail services have to have such a list because the APS ultimately needs to know what the address of the recipient is. The APS administrator has access to this list, and can read it. The superuser of the system the APS is on can also read this list.

E-mail itself isn't very secure, either. Anyone with superuser privileges on any machine the mail has to go through to get to the APS could theoretically read the temporary files created by the mail server on their machine while it processes your mail.

In general, one can never protect one's self from the superuser of a system. However, system administrators are generally honest and respectable people, who have a vested interest in the integrity of their systems. It is rare, although not unheard of, for system administrators to abuse their powers to read people's e-mail. Everyone must decide for themselves whether or not they can trust their local system administrators, and whether they can trust the people who run the APS they use.

The only way to protect yourself from the insecurities of e-mail is to use an APS which can process some form of encrypted mail. There is at least one APS which does this. Using this feature, however, requires more technical expertise on your end than using a non-encrypted APS.

So the answer is, no APS is completely secure. However, for a well built APS, the APS's administrator and the superuser of the system would have to go through a lot of trouble to find out what real address corresponds with a particular anonymous ID. So if you are having concerns like that about the people who run the APS you use, you can always switch to using another one.

1.2.3) List of current APS and Anonymous Services sites.

This is a list of currently running APS sites, and some information on how to use them.

The asarian.org anonymous accounts/shell access service:

asarian.org is a relatively new anonymous server. It is run by a fellow named Fuzzy in the United States. asarian.org is a full-service anonymous internet provider (UseNet news, irc, icb, telnet, ftp, WWW and etc.) whose primary focus is to serve the ASAR community.

To access information about asarian.org and various other home pages devoted to survivor oriented issues: WWW: http://www.asarian.org To request more information about asarian.org, send email to fuzzy@asarian.org

The twwells.com APS:

This is a fairly well established APS. It offers anonymous posting to ASAR, and anonymous e-mail services. It is a feature-rich APS, with lots of commands you can include in your mail messages. If you are interested in using this APS, you should probably mail the anon-help address and read the help file.

anon-admin@twwells.com aps
get help file.
administrator's address.
administrator's anonymous mail address.
admin's personal address.
get or verify an address.
post to alt.sexual.abuse.recovery
mail to an anon-id.

1.3) Common Acronyms, Abbreiviations and Terms

(by Jason Black, contributions from Matt Fields) (modified 6/2/95)

As you read ASAR (and other groups as well), you will run across a variety of different acronyms and symbols that are a bit difficult to figure out. However, since they are often used to stand for states of mind or tones of voice, not knowing what they mean can lead one to misinterpret someone's posting.

APS An Anonymous Posting Service as described above.
ASAR This newsgroup.
BTW By the way. A side remark or tangent. These often lead to new discussion threads.
DSM-III/DSM-IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 3rd and 4th edition. A document used in the psychiatric/psychological field in the classification of mental disorders.
e-hugs or ehugs Electronic hugs. "I'd hug you if you were within arm's reach"
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions list. This document is one.
Hir/Hmr Nonsexual identifier of a third person.
IMO/IMHO In My (Humble) Opinion. The poster wants to make sure you don't think s/he's lecturing you.
imVho In My Very Humble Opinion.
MP/DID Multiplicity/Multiple Personality, Dissociative Identity Disorder.
NMV No More Victims. Not all survivors feel comfortable reading posts from people who are recovering perps. Those people, out of courtesy and because they believe in the acronym, put NMV in front of all their subject lines so that people who never want to see anything written by a perp can skip those posts without ever seeing them.
PERP Perpetrator. Whomever it was that abused you. Avoids the need to use more emotionally charged words to reference those people, like "father," "sister," "priest," etc.
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A disorder originally applied to war veterans, now recognized as applying to abuse survivors as well.
Sie/sie Nonsexual identifier of a third person. This is not "sie" as it traditionally is in German, it can be singular.
SO/SSO (Semi) Significant Other. Someone romantically attached to the poster. This term is a good way to refer to such a person in a gender-neutral way, i.e. avoiding the terms "girlfriend" and "boyfriend."
*A All the "Anonymous" groups: Alcoholics Anonymous, Survivors of Incest Anonymous, etc. Generally these are self-help support groups.
:) A "smiley". Turn your head to the left to get the effect. There are countless varieties of these, including :( (the frownie), :-), :6 ("bleah" smiley with tongue out), etc. These are often used to indicate states of mind. The :) smiley is very frequently used to indicate sarcasm or other forms of humor. Don't get offended by something that has a :) after it. (: means that the poster is left-handed. Somtimes, that is. :)
*W* Warm Fuzzies. Like *hugs*, they indicate caring thoughts to someone.
&&& These are ducks. In most fonts, they look a little like ducks waddling to the left. Darkangel came up with these. They have come to be associated with friendliness and happiness.

2. Who We Are (by Jason Black)

2.1) Who "belongs" here.

More or less anyone belongs here. The group is ostensibly for survivors of sexual abuse. However, a great variety of other people find benefit from this group as well, and we don't turn them away. People like survivors of other forms of abuse, SO's of survivors, a few doctors and therapists who add their two cents, and by far the largest group, silent readers. People who read but do not post. By my estimation, there are about 1000 people who have posted to ASAR. The latest arbitron figures I heard said that around 19000 people worldwide read this group.

2.2) Posting Etiquette.

2.2.1) Ground Rules (by Bear Giles, Jason Black)

Everyone is welcome to read ASAR. However, since ASAR functions as a combination sexual-abuse survivor's support group and online rape crisis center, we must ask you to observe a few rules unique to Usenet. These rules exist to form a safe environment for the active participants; failure to observe these rules has been demonstrated to cause a negative impact on the functioning of this group.

To draw an analogy to the rules of conduct in group therapy sessions:

Perps should not post abusively. This is a group for survivors. However, many perps are themselves survivors, so this is a tricky issue. If you are a perp, you should exercise rather a great deal of caution as to how you post. As mentioned above, if you post abusively the members of ASAR will do something about it.

Disagreements and arguments will break out on ASAR. We would like to think they don't, but ASAR members are real people, and so they do. When they do, it is helpful to keep in mind that taking sides against one or more people on the other side doesn't help. It is divisive behavior, and hurts the overall atmosphere on ASAR. People have been known to stop reading ASAR when such incidents happen, which prevents ASAR from being the tool for healing that it is intended to be.

Survivor's stories should not be questioned. This reinforces "don't talk" rules of perps, making the cost to survivors far outweigh the potential benefits. Many survivors find it extremely difficult to discuss their abuse. Questioning the truth of what they say happened to them is a very cruel thing to do.

Judgements of sexual behavior should not be made. ASAR readers run the gamut from heterosexual to homosexual and everything in between. No matter what your orientation is, you have as much right as anyone to participate in ASAR, and as little right to criticize someone else's sexuality as you would give to them.

Religious aspects of healing should be dealt with carefully. While religion can be a powerful healing force, it was also a factor in many cases of sexual abuse. Treat religious opinions as you would sexual orientations: to each their own.

Survivor's stories, or summaries thereof, should not be reposted elsewhere without explicit permission of the author. To do so would be a rather gross violation of that person's trust in the newsgroup. For a lot of survivors, trust is hard to come by, so don't mess it up.

It will not always be possible for you to agree with everyone. There will be times when you feel that you have to say something to someone that isn't particularly nice, in order to be honest. For example, if someone posts asking for support for something you feel isn't right, it would be natural to tell them so. However, one should be careful in how one says this. Keep in mind that the person on the other end could well be in a vulnerable and not too strong frame of mind, and treat them gently. ASAR has seen several unpleasant flame wars break out because someone with the best of intentions and very valid points to make posted a response to someone else which was overly blunt. Remember that it can be hard to see the message behind the style if that style is too aggressive.

Care should be taken when posting excerpts from e-mail you have received. Keep in mind that the person sending you mail chose e-mail over posting in the first place. You may not know what their reasons were, but their choice of a private forum should still be respected. When posting e-mail, it is a good idea to make sure that you have explicit permission of the author to do so. And be sure in your post to let your readers know that. Of course, the flip side of this is that one should not take this assumption of a private forum and use it to harass someone via e-mail. That is the sort of thing that can get your local net administrator to remove your net access.

2.2.2) Spoiler Warnings (by John Light)

This newsgroup includes a wide range of individual experience, ranging from people who are just realizing that they may have been abused to people who have made significant steps toward recovery. People traumatized by abuse often feel unable to deal with graphic material related to abuse, yet some people want to share graphic material that relates to their own abuse and recovery.

Our challenge is to meet the needs of the entire range of sensibilities. This must be done in a way that requires no additional administration and doesn't impose censorship.

Following the lead of other newsgroups, readers of ASAR use "spoiler" warnings. The use of the word is that if you aren't in a safe personal space when you read the material, it may spoil your whole day.

Each submitter will decide for himself whether the material may cause distress for some readers.

The string "" should be included in the Subject line. If you don't realize you want to post something graphic until you're typing it in, don't sweat it. Just put the "spoiler" string on a line by itself, set off in some visually striking way so as to warn people. For example:


Even if you do have a spoiler warning in your subject line, it is still a good idea to have one of these lines anyway.

The first lines of text in the message should identify the sender and the nature of the material.

Just ahead of the graphic material, there should be a few blank lines and a ^L (control-L) character, which will terminate the page in many news programs.

The graphic material will follow the ^L. It should meet the same criteria as other submissions to ASAR., i.e., it should not be abusive to its readers in general or any individual, it should be be related to abuse recovery, etc.

If follow-ups are innocuous or of general interest, the "spoiler" string should be removed from the Subject line in follow-ups. This reduces the volume of "spoiler" warnings so we don't become desensitized to them.

In practice, most people will read the spoiler material. For them, it still provides an opportunity to prepare emotionally for the material.

2.2.3) What's Great, What's OK, What's Unacceptable (by Jason Black)

It's great to share your stories on ASAR. Writing them down can be very good for the soul. It's great to give encouragement to others for the courage and strength they show. In general, it's a good thing to present a positive and constructive attitude on the group. That's what helps people.

E-hugs are ok, so long as you don't try to force them on people. A lot of people are uncomfortable with such gestures of affection, so the appropriate thing to do is to offer "e-hugs if you want them." And be sensitive to other people's desires. If someone indicates that they would rather not be offered e-hugs, don't.

It's ok to disagree with people. In fact, disagreement can lead to very good and thought provoking discussions. However, one should make some effort to be tactful and considerate when disagreeing. It does no good to make a good point in a belligerent manner. People are easily turned off by abrasive presentation of an idea.

Criticizing people as opposed to their ideas is not helpful. Flaming others is not acceptable. Generally, any behavior that is deemed abusive, hurtful or counterproductive is unacceptable. If you post something which is unacceptable the odds are very good that someone will let you know, generally by posting in return. If what you posted was misunderstood, or you didn't know that you were being hurtful, simply posting an apology or clarification will suffice. ASAR readers are amazingly forgiving.

2.2.4) "Meta" discussions. (by Laurie Mann)

I would like to urge people to avoid meta-discussions in ASAR.

A meta-discussion is on which does not discuss the issue at hand (supporting abuse survivors), and, instead, gets all wrapped up in political agendas and personality bashing. I've seen some groups go completely down the tubes over this issue, and I don't want to see it happen here.

If someone's attitude bothers you, put them in your kill file. If they seems more than a little annoying, try writing them personal mail. (Warning- this rarely works) If they are genuinely abusive, forward their mail to their postmaster. (Do the last only as a last resort) This section, were it a post, is an example of a meta-discussion (or a meta-meta-discussion).

The point being that it is counter-productive to fill the discussion on ASAR with posts about how someone else is posting. Such discussions are better off conducted in e-mail, or avoided altogether.

2.2.5) Cross Posting (by Dave Toland)

Crossposting to ASAR

Experience has shown us that articles crossposted to ASAR tend to get out of hand very quickly and end up upsetting survivors. The reason for this is that the style of conversation on ASAR tends to take special care not to upset survivors, whereas conversation on other groups does not generally keep in mind survivors' sensitivities. Since follow-ups are by default copied to all groups listed in the Newsgroups line, respondents on other groups are usually not even particularly aware that their audience includes survivors, so they innocently write what would be major gaffes on ASAR. Once a cross-posted thread gets started, it is next to impossible to squash it on any one group, so it just has to die a natural, often protracted death.

If you feel a topic you are posting to other groups is also relevant and appropriate for ASAR, please post it separately rather than as a crossposted message, so the follow-ups do not cross group boundaries, and so the thread can be more readily closed down should it prove uncomfortable or even offensive to survivors.

Also, it is considered to be extremely bad form to crosspost someone else's post without their consent. If you think something someone else said is relevant to another group, ask that person to post it there (the best thing) or if you can do it for them (the next best thing). If they don't want their post showing up on another newsgroup, then you should do no more than post a note on that group saying that there may be a relevant discussion over on ASAR.

2.3) For skeptics: some thoughts on skepticism (by Dave Nelson)

Why Perpetrators Lie
Why Survivors Aren't Believed

Most of us were told one, or both, of two lies after we were abused:
(1) It never happened.
(2) You made it up.

The implication of this was that we were:
(a) Delusional (i.e., crazy), or
(b) Liars.

Silence benefits only the abuser. Secrecy enables a perp to escape justice. But if a victim *does* happen to speak up, the abuser will usually try to avoid facing the consequences of his/her actions by discrediting the victim's testimony.

Such invalidation of a victim's testimony is really not much of a challenge. At the start of the healing process, most survivors are emotional wrecks - usually displaying extremely neurotic behavior and often multiply addicted to various substances and/or behaviors. Who wants to believe the ramblings of someone who appears to be falling apart at the seams? Many survivors are their own worst enemy when it comes to credibility - and this is *not* an accident from the perp's point of view.

Plus, the first time that most survivors try to speak up about the abuse, they are children; at such an age, it is quite easy for adults to dismiss their words as fantasy or play. Children gain clues about the nature of life and reality from the adults around them. Having an experience invalidated by the adults in their lives is extremely damaging to their psychological development, to say nothing of what the abuse itself does to them. This experience underlies the aforementioned neurotic behavior.

By his/her actions (calling the victim crazy or a liar), the perp is implying that the victim is not respectable, that the victim is an unreliable participant in life. The further implication is that the victim is somehow less than human. These subtleties are *not* lost on the victim!

In the first place, the perp denied the the victim's humanity by using her/him as a sex object. The perp then compounds the injury by placing his own need to escape punishment above the victim's need for validation and healing. This is a gross injustice and anger is an appropriate response to it.

Why Survivors Tend to Overreact To Skeptics

When people say that abuse survivors are "making it up to get attention," "lying," "deluded by their therapists," etc., then those who contend that the abuse didn't happen (because there's no "hard evidence") appear to survivors to be siding with the perpetrators.

This may well not be the case from *your* point of view as a skeptic, but many survivors will *perceive* you as siding with the perps because your statements are identical to things that perps say.

Aside from how inane it is to ignore the "soft evidence" made up of the plethora of defense mechanisms extant in the life of most survivors, rejecting such symptoms is, at best, a denial of psychology as a valid scholarly field and, at worst, a self-serving kind of intellectual myopia. Quite simply, people do not spontaneously develop defense mechanisms; something happened!

You are extremely naive or, at best, uninformed if you think that we, as survivors, haven't heard your arguments before. Believe me, we have heard what you say - we've heard it repeatedly - from child rapers. Are you surprised, now, that survivors greet your skeptical remarks with hostility?

Even though, to *you*, you are speaking the truth (or seeking the truth). From a survivor's point of view, you sound like a child raper who has a vested interest in invalidating our testimony.

One of the purposes of a self-help or support group is to *validate* each others' experiences and to fight the lies of perpetrators. The deepest wounds that a survivor carries are connected to this implication from the perp that says "you are less than human."

The lies told by perps are ingrained in the victims at the deepest possible emotional level - at the level where "normal" people have an unquestioning belief in their own right to be alive and to be happy.

Unrecovered survivors do *not* feel that they have a right to live and be happy. Survivors don't talk about suicide because they "want attention" (although a few might as they cry out for their pain to be validated), but because they sincerely doubt their right to live, and even doubt that it's possible to have a life of joy. Most would settle for life with less ongoing pain.

From many survivors' point of view, when you challenge the validity of their testimony about the abuse, you are indirectly challenging their right to live. As mentioned above, it was the PERP who created this (illogical) connection in the hearts and minds of survivors.

Please do not think of survivors as having inferior intellects, as they don't; but please *do* recognize that part of this process called recovery entails discovering and working through the irrationalities implanted in us by our brainwashing rapists (perps). We, as survivors, usually are keenly aware of when we're being irrational.

Why Skepticism Is Inappropriate On alt.sexual.abuse.recovery

Every newsgroup is for the transmission of information. Most of that information is factual, intellectual. But there *are* newsgroups whose primary intent is to fulfill the emotional needs of the Net community. Examples of such groups are alt.personals, soc.motss, alt.sex.stories, and (as if you couldn't see it coming) alt.sexual.abuse.recovery.

Because its purpose is weighted more toward fulfilling emotional needs than the intellectual ones (we can all obtain recovery books - what we can't always do is connect with other survivors), in a milieu such as asar, it is inappropriate to shout down or invalidate a survivor's story - such actions retard or even impede the survivor's recovery.

A survivor who lives daily with nightmares, inexplicable panic attacks, suicidal urges, auditory and visual hallucinations, and even multiple personalities does *not* need "hard evidence" to be convinced of the reality that abuse happened - s/he lives daily with the "proof."

Skeptics are the one who need "hard evidence." Probably because *our* experience, as survivors, has made the likelihood of all forms of abuse far too credible, survivors appear to be gullible or even eager to believe the worst about human nature. And on the other hand, skeptics often come off to survivors as "not being in touch with reality," "in denial," or naive in the extreme.

In any case, the quest for that most evanescent of items, the truth, is more appropriately carried out in another news group, not in asar.

There is no harm done by emotionally validating a survivor's experiences, especially when the perps are clearly beyond punishment.

  • This is not a witchhunt, it is personal validation
  • There is *no* hope of bringing the perps to justice
  • No one is naming names, there are no legal ramifications such as libel
But there *is* a great deal of harm done to the victim when (in their own perceptions) their very humanity is further invalidated at the expense of a skeptic's search for the "truth." I know that invalidation per se is not the skeptic's intent - but I am explaining where many survivors are coming from.

Skeptical posts have the following negative effects:

  • divert from recovery issues by allocating bandwidth to controversy
  • reiterate many all-too-familiar statements of invalidation
  • frighten (recovery) neophytes into silence (because similar statements have already been heard from their perps) THUS delaying the support process for them
  • bore the hell out of those of us who have already examined all sides of the issue (if we must reiterate topics, we would rather it be done for the sake of neophytes)
  • insult survivors as though they were of inferior intellect and couldn't think of your (to you) dazzling insights
There are literally thousands of other news groups in which skeptics can exercise their need to find the "truth." The most compassionate, if not tactful, thing to do with asar, is to take a "hands off" approach to letting survivors pursue their own goals for the group. Declarations of skepticism do more harm than good when they are made on asar. Survivors are *not* stupid and incapable of critical thinking; most have had their faces repeatedly rubbed in the fact that no hard evidence exists to verify their assertions.

The most helpful thing to do is to believe survivors and not to question their stories no matter how incredible or heinous is the abuse that they report.

3. Safety (by Jason Black)

3.1) Is posting to a public place safe?

By and large, yes. If it weren't, ASAR wouldn't be thriving like it is. It is true that anyone with net access can potentially read this group. And with the sensitive nature of the topic material, it is understandable if you don't want to post using your real name, or in any other traceable way. That's what the APS is for. Most people feel that the benefits of participating in ASAR far outweigh any risks.

3.2) What do I do if I feel attacked in the group? (by Jason Black and m&m)

Don't stand by and let it happen! Stick up for yourself, and marvel at the number of people who stick up for you too. I have not seen a case yet where someone felt attacked and wasn't supported by others in the group. Of course, there are two sides to everything, and unless the person disagreeing with you is extremely blatant in their attack, expect other people to support that person also. Don't take it personally; different people think different things. Keep in mind that all types read ASAR. Not everyone who reads has the best of intentions. Everything you read should be taken with a grain of salt, since the people responding to you don't actually *know* you. They're reading your posts, and extrapolating a lot more about your situation than they probably should. But that's human nature. If you feel that someone is attacking you, or has said something that doesn't apply to you, you are free to brush it off. Every newsreader I've seen provides the ability to filter out posts that you don't want to see. If someone is constantly getting on your nerves, you can have your newsreader filter out posts by that person. Presto, no more problem.

When I feel attacked by SA my first reaction is to retreat and I am very disoriented. Almost physically disoriented. Its about as close as I come to what I have heard others describe as dissociating.

The thing that diffuses our anger quicker than just about anything else is for me to tell SA how I *felt* when I *judged* she was attacking me. And concentrate on *my* feelings. It is very difficult to do and usually I will write her a letter rather than try to do it 'off the cuff'. Its not a cure-all, and is a little scary since I often think I am making myself vulnerable after I have just been attacked. But actually I am not making myself vulnerable if I don't have this complete expectation she will fall all over herself apologizing to me. By verbalizing my feelings I am really just accepting those feelings in myself. I am sharing them with her from a position of strength, they are a way of defining my boundaries.

One other minor point is that it is very useful for me to make sure I go beyond expressing feelings of anger. Usually anger for me is result of my feeling hurt. I have an extremely difficult time experiencing feelings of hurt and pain so I quickly convert these & hide them with anger. When I can get to the feelings underlying the anger I understand much clearer what is going on within me.

3.3) What does the group do when a person is abusive?

Generally, the response is pretty amazing. We have had two glaring cases where abusive personalities have intruded into our carefully constructed healing place. In both cases, we sent mail to those people asking that they stop their abusive behavior. In both cases, they didn't, so we then started sending mail to their postmasters and local system administrators. In one case, the local postmaster didn't really care, but the person realized they weren't wanted and weren't bothering us as much as he thought, so he got bored and left. In the other, the local system administrator had a talk with the person about net etiquette and rights versus privileges, and the person stopped. Generally, we do not put up with abuse from anywhere. It's part of our healing. If you want to be abusive, go somewhere else because we won't let you abuse us.

3.4) Hints for partners of survivors (by JASO)

1: Make sure you are getting the help *you* need to deal with the strain of being an SO, *especially* during the rough period when your loved one is becoming aware of what has been done to them and by whom. You can't be any good to somebody else if you're all wrapped up in your own issues. This doesn't mean you should treat your loved one like an idiot, and never bring up things that bother you; it means that you need to remember that your loved one has been grievously injured in the past, and this injury is scattered through their psyche like a minefield. Some of things that you need to sort out with *somebody* should not be brought up with *them* because the topic, or the fact that you are angry, or the fact that you are being assertive, or some other weird intersection with the circumstances of their injury is going to hurt them even worse. So consult a professional; you'll learn a lot.

2: Your relationship with your loved one is probably going to be a bit unconventional :-) If you are the same gender as the perp then some suppressed anger may pop out and land on you when you did nothing to deserve it. Or you may come home after a hard day at the whatever, start unburdening yourself about how miserable your life is, and then in the middle of this discover that your loved one has been thinking about suicide all day. So now you feel like a jerk, and your day was still bad. Or your loved one will need hugs and holding but will be in a seriously non-sexual mood. And in the course of holding and hugging you will start to feel sexual, and now the two of you are *seriously* crosswise. Reread Rule 1.

3: Work at encouraging your loved one to get professional help. You can't be their therapist: you aren't trained for it, you haven't got the time, and you're too involved. I always recommend starting out with, or having therapy supervised by, a psychiatrist instead of a psychologist because there are medications that help and things like depression can influence, and be influenced by, other illnesses in really weird ways.

4: Do your best to be there when you're needed. Any survivor has, especially in the case of incest, been subject to an unimaginable breach of trust. They need to rebuild the ability to connect with another human being and rely on them. During the tough times the relationship may seem awfully one-sided. Try not to blame your loved one, and work out your annoyance/anger with whoever is helping you (Aha! Rule 1 again!).

5: Your loved one may have serious flashbacks or psychological episodes triggered by scenes in movies; they may have what appear to be extremely irrational fears of crowds, the indoors, the outdoors, nightfall, other dumb stuff. They may wake up in the middle of the night with big-time anxiety attacks. Try to be sensitive to these concerns and learn what to avoid (and, less paternalistically, discuss beforehand). Check on the movie before you go; leave in the middle if it's getting to be too much for your loved one. Work out your feelings about the ruined night out/date/dinner/trip with whoever is helping you (good old Rule 1 again). Try not blame yourself when you screw up; some things you just can't predict.

6: (This is tough, but could be important.) Think hard in advance about how you would handle an emergency. Under what circumstances would you call 911? Do you know the therapist's name? Do you have the phone number handy? What medications is your loved one taking? If you're not a legal spouse, who's going to vouch for your status in your loved one's life? Is there somebody else (parent, ex-SO, the perp) who is liable to wade in and make things worse? If so, what might you be able to do about it? Think about all this ugly stuff, get mad about it, and talk about it with whoever is helping you (Surprise! Rule 1!). Then file it away in the back of your mind and get on with your lives together.

And finally, a rough rule taught me by a wise old shrink: you can gauge how depressed somebody else is by how depressed *you* feel when you're around them.

4. Frequently Discussed Issues

Having dealt with the administrative issues, on to the real stuff. What follows are the results of some good discussions we've had on some topics that apply to a lot of ASAR readers.

4.1) What can/can't ASAR do for me? (by Matt Fields)

If you are a bit unclear as to the actual usefulness of ASAR, then you may find interest in this list. This is what people commonly see as the benefits and shortcomings of ASAR.

ASAR can:

  • Let you know that sexual abuse is common.
  • Let you know you are not alone in your despair or recovery.
  • Give you a basis for evaluating your own (possible) abuse.
  • Support you when you are otherwise isolated.
  • Show others' struggles for recovery.
  • Provide resource lists for help and information.
  • Encourage you to seek help locally.
  • Provide guidelines for selecting help locally, including
  • Provide guidelines for selecting a therapist.
  • Provide support while you are recovering.
  • Provide a place to talk about abuse issues nobody else
  • wants to hear.
  • Encourage you to protect yourself from sources of abuse.
  • Provide feedback about what you are thinking or doing.
  • Allow you to share your sorrows and triumphs.
  • Make known to the general community (whoever bothers to
  • read this group, possibly including abusers) the positions
  • of a number of sexual abuse survivors.
  • Act as a form of self-therapy
ASAR can't:
  • Decide you were sexually abused.
  • Clear you of sexual abuse.
  • Protect you from your abusers.
  • Protect you from abusive net posters.
  • Take the place of a professional therapist

4.2) Can I start another thread on these topics?

Generally, yes. If you feel that a topic is relevant to your healing, then by all means bring it up. Odds are that there are others out there who agree with you or have the same concerns and would like to talk about it. Starting a thread about the latest Mets' baseball scores would be a bit inappropriate, but starting a thread about how the charges of rape against three major league baseball players make you feel would be quite appropriate. If you're not sure, go ahead and post. If no one wants to discuss it, the thread won't take off. It's sort of a self-resolving issue.

4.3) How can I tell if I've been abused if I have no memories? (by Kara J Keeter)

Not everyone remembers their abuse. A lot of survivors of abuse first start the healing process while still wondering whether or not they had really been abused. The important thing is to ease your pain and begin healing. Begin applying the principles of healing, and the memories will come when and if you are ready for them.

If you are experiencing symptoms common to people who have been abused (see list below), then it would probably be in your best interests to try some of the methods that have been suggested for healing from abuse. If you have a suspicion that maybe you were abused but you aren't quite sure, then maybe it would be helpful for you to work on healing techniques. Better safe than sorry. Absolutely the most important thing is your own healing from the pain you are feeling. You may find something of use to you, even if you never remember any specific abuse.

Often, people who have been abused as children were told that the abuse didn't really happen, that the child was making it up or was crazy. It is very common for survivors of childhood abuse to have times when they doubt if the abuse occurred. Thoughts of "It didn't really happen, I must have been dreaming" or "What if I'm making it all up" are normal, but if you think you were abused, it is safer to assume you were abused. Think of it this way: your subconscious would not *choose* to inflict on you the pain you are going through. It is much more pleasant to be happy and healthy; if you can't be happy and healthy, and you suspect childhood sexual abuse, then do the things that help promote healing, even if you don't have specific memories yet.

If you are experiencing both suspicions of abuse and doubts of your suspicions, trust your suspicions for the time being. Intuition is frequently right about this sort of thing. If you have symptoms of abuse and still can't remember being abused, just work on your healing. Memories will come when you are ready for them.

Another common reaction of survivors is to minimize their abuse; to say, "Well something happened but nothing that really qualifies as serious abuse" or "What happened to me isn't as bad as what some people experience, and it doesn't affect me now anyway". If what happened to you was significant enough for you to be questioning and reading this, then it was significant enough for you to work on healing. If you were harmed in any way, it was significant, and you deserve healing. You are worth it.

In section VI of the FAQ is a list of some common "symptoms" of having been abused. Having one or more of these does not categorically mean that you *were* abused, but it is a strong indicator. It does almost surely mean that there is something in your past that should be worked on, even if it's not sexual abuse. If you wonder whether or not you've been abused, you should probably have a look at this list.

4.4) Sometimes I think I'm making it all up; am I crazy? (by Matt Fields)

Unfortunately, we can't tell you whether you're making it all up. However, it is not crazy to feel this way, even if bodily scars remind you of what has happened to you, but most especially if there aren't any that you can see. Also, it is statistically very unlikely that you are making this up. Cases where people (children mostly) make up stories about being abused are almost always the result of being coaxed into it by someone else (eg, a bitter parent during divorce proceedings). The great majority of people who have stories of being abused really were abused.

One of the most common traits of abusers is that they demand control over double-think reality---by this, I mean that they create networks of alibis for themselves and stories implicating their victims as guilty or unworthy or stupid or deluded...You may have to ask yourself what part of your incredulity about your own memory is based on shame which has been placed on you unfairly by an abuser, and which part deals with conflicting facts. For some people, this web of lies is a basic part of the foundation of their lives, and it can be scary to even contemplate that it needs to be removed. However, when these people do tear down the crumbly foundation, they almost invariably end up re-building something better, stronger, and cleaner than was there before.

For me, an important early strategy was one of wait-and-see: I gradually made available for testing and reevaluation basic "facts" that had been ground into me, such as the idea that parents are always motivated by their kids' best interest...Over time, it became possible for me to congeal a knowledge of reality rooted in my own experience rather than in the attitudes of my abusers towards me.

An important part of coming to feel not crazy was for me to go beyond recognizing the facts of what had happened to me to realize that they constituted abuse. I will not repeat the biographical details here, but suffice it to say that everyone acknowledged that these acts constituted abuse except me; when I began to see them that way, getting feedback from others was especially helpful. Now, I don't recommend just going and asking a random co-worker or dorm-mate whether they think action X constitutes abuse...You're likely to get a weird reaction. Trusted friends, carefully picked therapists who have earned your trust, etc.--- these are relatively safe people to confide in, for most people; existing circles of survivors, like this newsgroup, are also good.

You may ask this question when feeling severely distressed at the denial techniques of your abusers or at your current condition; in that case, I would refer you to the rest of the FAQ for resources which you may find immediately helpful.

4.5) How much of my childhood *should* I remember? (by Mary Riley and Jason Black)

A lot of abuse survivors, myself included, have gaps in their memories. Some people shut out specific events, and leave the rest alone. People who were chronically abused often shut out whole chunks of time. Sometimes years worth. This is normal. If your world view includes "parents don't have sex with their kids" and yet your parents were doing that to you, then the memory is incompatible with your belief system. Putting it into the attic, so to speak, is a common way of resolving the inconsistency.

There isn't really any set amount that you *should* remember. As much as you feel comfortable remembering or need to remember is a good guideline. Sometimes new memories wait until your belief system can accommodate them before they show up. Sometimes memories will show up that help you to understand more truthfully what reality is or was for you. So the short form answer is: whatever you need to know, You will. You may remember nothing, you may remember everything, but chances are you'll be somewhere in between most of the time. My experience -- with myself and survivor friends -- is that the subconscious mind is kind and considerate, and won't drop a brick on your head unless it knows you're already looking up to see the brick fall. When you're ready to remember, you will. If you're not, don't sweat it.

4.6) Medication: to take or not to take?

If your therapist has suggested taking medications to control your depression, mood swings, etc, you very probably have questions as to whether or not you should take it. There are two rather vocal schools of thought on this issue.

One is that just because the medication is for a mental affliction is no reason not to take it. If your body was sick, and a doctor prescribed penicillin, for example, you would probably take it. It helps you get better. How are mood altering medications different? If it helps you get better, why should you not use it?

The other school of thought says that they would no way, no how take into their body some sort of foreign substance that's going to alter the way they interact with the world. Sure they may make you *feel* better, but it's a drug induced better. That's somehow artificial, and less real than really healing. These people see mood altering drugs as a crutch, and they are determined to be strong enough to not use the crutch.

There are good points in both of these positions. On the one hand, this recovery stuff is hard! Why make it harder by not taking something that will help? On the other hand, drugs would seem to take some of the control out of one's life. For survivors for whom control is a serious issue, there is reason not to take these medications.

There is much more to this issue than is presented here. Talk with your therapist or doctor about the effects of these drugs, and do some serious thinking as to why you would want to/not want to take them. You should probably also read the section below on common medications prescribed to survivors (section 6.4).

4.7) Cutting and self-mutilation: Why do I do it and how can I stop? (by Jason Black)

What is cutting (am I a cutter)?

Sadly, it is fairly common for survivors of sexual abuse (and other types of power abuse) to indulge in self-destructive behaviors such as cutting. Cutting is willful injury to one's self using something sharp. Obviously, the motivations for cutting can lead to other forms of self-mutilation (I used to pull out eyelashes and locks of hair, for instance) besides actual bloodletting. The key point is that all of them hurt, and all of them cause some sort of damage to one's body. On ASAR, the phenomenon has become known in general as "cutting" because more people seem to have specifically cut themselves than hurt themselves in other ways. This is not to invalidate anyone else's experiences, it's just that "cutting" has become a convenient label.

Why do I do it?

There are several theories as to why people indulge in self-mutilation. One is that it's a control issue. When children are abused, they are in a situation of no control. Their abuser(s) can hurt them any time, and the children are largely (if not completely) powerless to stop it. When the child grows older and is faced with stressful situations, there is often a strong desire/expectation for some sort of pain, since pain is associated with stress in that person's mind. People who have had these associations forced on them frequently cut themselves because this is a pain that satisfies the psycho- logical desire for pain, and is *also* a pain that the victim can stop. At last the person is in control. And while the cutting itself is harmful and can cause shame and guilt later, I can tell you that the control feels good.

Another theory is that people who were abused as children often have been taught (by their abusers, or by others who have denied the child's experiences as being valid) that they are bad people, who should by all rights be punished. Sometimes people like this turn to behaviors like sado-masochism, or bondage-and-dominance in order to get the punishment that they want. Others can't ask others to punish them, so they punish themselves with cutting.

A third theory is that cutting is a manifestation of a desire to become physically unattractive. This is often true of girls who are constantly bombarded with messages (overt and subtle) that they are beautiful and therefore desirable. They naturally reason that if they make themselves unattractive, no one will rape them because they will be undesirable. This chain of reasoning can also lead to compulsive eating behaviors that leave the abuse victim overweight and thus outside of what this society calls attractive.

Of course, every person is different, and there are many less common theories as to why people are cutters. If you are a cutter and don't fit any of the above models, so what? That doesn't mean your situation is fundamentally different or less valid. Also, it is common for more than one of these thought patterns acting in concert to produce some very complicated rationales for self-mutilation. These desires can be quite strong, and often a cutter will not know why s/he indulges in such behavior. I didn't know why I cut myself for a long time; all I knew was that it hurt but I really couldn't stop myself. I liked the pain, because it meant that I was strong. Strong enough to overcome my own natural instinct to avoid pain, and strong enough to endure the pain without crying out. For me, there was something about seeing real red blood coming out of lines in my skin that made me feel very alive (a powerful thing during a time in my life when I felt/wished otherwise that I was dead).

What are the results of cutting?

Cutting is a mixed bag, but most people agree that in the balance it's a bad thing. Cutting can make you feel powerful. It can make you feel in control. It hurts, and that can make you feel alive. But it also can make you feel guilty for "being some kind of a sicko," and feel shame for having done it. Those are the sort of things that take away from one's self-esteem. And of course, a lack of self-esteem can lead people into bad relationships and other non-healthy situations. Mental concerns aside, cutting causes real physical damage to your body. There is also the possibility for infection and/or tetanus (especially if unclean steel implements are used for the cutting).

How do I stop?

If you are a cutter, you probably want to stop. The following are some of the arguments against cutting. Reading them should give you some good clues as to how to stop. At the end of this section is my story of cutting and how I stopped.

Cutting is damage. By cutting you injure your body. This is not a good thing. Your body is important. It's the only one you've got and it should be taken care of. It would be harder to live a fully happy life with a damaged body, especially if part of that damage you did yourself.

Cutting is abuse. As a sexual abuse survivor, you've already been subjected to more abuse than anyone should be. Your abusers hurt you, why should you heap more abuse on yourself? You don't deserve that kind of crap.

By cutting yourself, you're buying into an unhealthy behavior pattern that was taught to you when you were a child. What happened to you then was wrong, and perpetuating that behavior pattern now isn't healthy for you either. There may be some security in familiarity, but most people agree that it's not worth the heartache.

Cutting often stems from a desire for control. Take real control of your life and yourself and stop.

I was a cutter. Here is what made me stop. First, I *wanted* to stop. That's important, because I believe that you can't change your own behavior unless you want to. I knew that it wasn't healthy. I would get stressed out, cut myself, feel better, and then feel shameful and guilty. Finally, a good friend of mine talked some sense into me and made me realize that I was just giving myself more abuse. Until then, I hadn't realized that's what I was doing. I decided that I would just not let myself do it any more. I simply and stubbornly refused. I've always had problems with self control, and breaking promises to myself, so this was a good test for me, one which I'm proud to say I passed. One thing that helped me not relapse into cutting was finding alternate methods of releasing stress. Running up and down the stairs in my dorm worked pretty well for me. There were times after I decided to stop when I wanted to cut myself, and had I not had established alternate things to do to relieve stress, I probably would have given in. Don't get the idea that merely deciding not to cut myself anymore was all it took to remove the impulses and desire to do so; far from it. It took a few months of doing other things when faced with that impulse to change my behavior pattern.

That's my story. I hope it and the other information helps you or someone you know to become a healthier and happier person.

4.8) What I have to say isn't worth talking about. Why should I post? (by Lisa Nofzinger)

This is a very common fear. Frequently those of us who were abused were taught that what we have to say is invalid and not worth anything to other people. We were taught that we were stupid and that others' opinions were worth more than our own. In this group, all have an equal voice and everyone can learn from everyone else. This is a good place to unlearn harmful rules that we learned as children.

Perhaps something that you say may seem stupid or irrelevant to you but might help someone else. Frequently in the group people will say, "Thanks for sharing--this really helped me" or "It's good to know I'm not alone." You never know until you post! Even if it does not help someone else, many of us have found that writing about our feelings and experiences on the net is very therapeutic. We come to validate ourselves and what we've gone through. We grow in self-understanding. Others may write and give us support, and we do the same for them. It's OK to talk here. We'll listen.

4.9) Should I forgive my abuser(s)? (by Mary Riley and Jason Black)

Forgiveness is a difficult issue for a lot of survivors, because we are frequently pushed by others to forgive the abusers. Either because it's the "christian thing to do" or "you don't want to break up the family, do you?" or any other number of reasons.

It is important to realize that you are not obligated to forgive anyone for anything, ever. If someone hurts you, it is completely up to you to decide whether or not to forgive them. A lot of the time people will want you to forgive so they can absolve themselves of responsibility for what they did. If you forgive them, they don't have to feel bad about it.

If forgiving them is something you want to do, then do it. If you think it is something that will, for whatever reason, help *you* then by all means forgive. But if you are being pressured from outside sources, or you just don't want to forgive that person, then don't. You don't have to. Forgiving is in some sense a way of saying "what you did to me was alright." There's nothing wrong with not wanting to send that message to your abuser.

So *should* you forgive your abuser? No. Can you? Sure, if it's what you want.

5. Resources (organized by Krikket)(Last updated 1/26/93)

Just a general word of "warning". Unfortunately, due to the nature of resource lists, they become out-of-date, and occasionally carry incorrect or out-of-date information. I try to keep the following information as current and up-to-date as possible, hence the dates were added to portions of this section. If you know of any corrections, additions, revisions, etc. for the following information, please send any information to me at: `krikket@meltdown.chi.il.us'. Thanks in advance.

5.1) How do I report a known or suspected abuser? (by Krikket)

There are several ways to report a known or suspected abuser. This section of the FAQ is going to deal with reporting an abuser that is inside the United States, because I don't know the contacts outside this country. A quick anonymous call to DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) is a good place to start. They are required by law to investigate all reports of child abuse and molestation.

Another contact that would probably provide a quicker response, would be the local police department. The problem here is that unless you have immediate proof of abuse (IE: Bruises, scratches, hospital records, etc) the local police probably will have their hands tied, and attempt to put you off onto another service and let them deal with the matter. On the other hand, the local police are the people you want to call in case of an emergency and the victim of the abuse needs to be removed from a situation IMMEDIATELY. The police will respond extremely quickly if someone is in immediate danger.

The initial reporting of the incident doesn't have to be that complicated, and either DCFS or the local police will direct you to further people you can and may wish to contact. After working at a public High School in Illinois, I can assure you that this is the procedure that all teachers in Illinois are required to follow *BY LAW*, although they also have the option of calling another anonymous agency that collects information of this nature for further investigation.

5.2) General support

5.3) Specific support (This section last updated 6/08/95.)

Maintainers note: I've called all of the numbers listed here and to the best of my knowledge they are correct. If you find that there is an incorrect entry, please send a message via email to me. Add to the list if you'd like, I am certain there are many organizations not listed! Codependents Anonymous(CoDA)
PO Box 33577
Phoenix, AZ 85067-3577

Codependents of Sexual Addicts (COSA)
PO Box 14537
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414

Incest Survivors Anonymous
(310) 428-5599
P.O. Box 17245
Long Beach, CA 90807-7245

National Victim Center
2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, Virginia 222201
(703) 276-2880
There is also a toll-free number:
1 - 800 - FYI - CALL (1-800-394-2255)

The National Victim Center offers networking, information, referrals, a newsletter, and a manual for starting self-help programs. They work extensively with the way the media deals with victims of violent crimes and they are currently collecting information on ritualistic child abuse.

POB 111242
Nashville Tenn. 37222-1242
(615) 833-3152

Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
PO Box 70949
Huston, Texas 77270
(713) 869-4902

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
PO Box 111910
Nashville, Tenn. 37222
(615) 833-3152

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA)
Augustine Fellowship
PO Box 119
New Town Branch
Boston, Massachusetts 02258
(617) 332-1845

Survivors of Incest Anonymous, Inc.
For information, send a self addressed stampted envelope with
.55 cents (US funds) postage to:
World Service Office
PO Box 21817
Baltimore, MD 21222-6817

Parents United, International
Daughters and Sons United
Adults Molested As Children United
(408) 453-7616 (phone will be answer as "Giaretto Institute")

3232 East Gish Road, 1st floor
San Jose, CA 95112

* PARTNERS OF (INCEST) SURVIVORS ANONYMOUS GROUP. Women-only 12 step group based on Ken Graber's book GHOSTS IN THE BEDROOM. For partners/spouses of incest and sex abuse survivors, and for their close friends. Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m., Women's Information Center, 601 Allen Street, Syracuse, N.Y. Any further questions send e-mail to "kjcater@mailbox.syr.edu" or call (315)-451-7123.

VOICES In Action, Inc.
P.O. Box 148309
Chicago, IL 60614

5.4) World Wide Web sites (URLs) and Mailing List(s) (6/95 - kws)

Al-Anon & Alateen WWW Page (Alcoholics Anonymous)
astraeasweb.net has a number of VERY interesting links (this FAQ, their own FAQ, books on multiple personality, links to personal pages, a number of others).


Discord's home page (MANY links, DID material, also goes to asarian.org). http://www.tezcat.com/~tina/psych.html

False Memory Syndrome Foundation. *** WARNING *** This site may be upsetting in the EXTREME to any sexual abuse survivor. I do NOT endorse their views. http://iquest.com/~fitz/fmsf

Sidran Foundation has a great collection of survivor's books, focusing on trauma and treatment facilities.
also book reviews at

Ritual Abuse home page has a great deal of useful RA material.

The Courage Mailing List is based around the workbook part of the Courage To Heal book series. To join the list, send email to courage@asarian.org. The List is down for the month of June, 1995 and should return in July, 1995.
Al-Anon Listserv Mailing List (Alcoholics Anonymous). To subscribe, email listproc@solar.rtd.utk.edu without a Subject. The body of the message should read:
SUBSCRIBE Al-Anon firstname lastname
Replace 'firstname' and 'lastname' with your first and last name or last initial. You will receive an automated reply with further instructions and information. For further information, email odat@ccnet.com.

A Sexual Abuse mailing list is available at the following address:

It is a ListServ run list that uses something like the AA-12 step program (see above for more info on 12-step). See above for instructions on how to subscribe to this list.

If you have URLs/Mailing Lists that you'd like to popularize, let me know and I will add them.

5.5.1) Books (Last Updated 3/10/93) (Working on it... - kws 6/95)

These first few entries are highly recommended for anyone dealing with survivors issues, and are constantly in high-demand. Any bookstore that carries books on these topics is almost guaranteed to have the following books in stock.

Bass, Ellen and Laura Davis:
"The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse"

"The Courage to Heal Work Book" For women and men.

"Allies in Healing" A courage to heal book for the SO's or support people of survivors.

I would recommend this book because it has little or no ax to grind, is non- judgmental, is written by survivors and has lots of survivor stuff in it and, most important for me, shows me what surviving is. I finally admitted my abuse after reading it and got into therapy, until then I was "Perfect". I recommend this book to anyone who even thinks that they, or some one they know may have been abused. (IMHO-- PANDA)

Maltz, Wendy. "The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide For Survivors Of Sexual Abuse"

Bradshaw, John. "Healing The Shame That Binds You" and "The Family, and Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child"

Mellody, Pia. "Facing Codependence" and "Breaking Free: A Workbook For Facing Codependence"

Allen, Charlotte Vale. "Daddy's Girl", Berkeley, 1980.

Bagley, Cristopher & King, Kathleen. "Child Sexual Abuse -- The Search for Healing" Publisher Tavistock Routledge ISBN 0-415-00606-6 Beattie, Melody. "Co-Dependent No More," Hazelden, 1987.

Brady, Katherine. "Father's Days," Dell, 1981.

Black, Claudia. "It Will Never Happen to Me: Children of Alcoholics," MAC Publishing, 1981.

Blume, Sue. "Secret Survivors," 1990. Butler, Sandra. "Conspiracy of Silence: The Trauma of Incest," Volcano Press, 1978; updated 1985. Calhoun, Mary. "Ownself" Courtois, Christine A. "Healing the Incest Wound" W.W.Norton & Co., New York, New York, 1988.

Crewdson, John. "By Silence Betrayed: Sexual Abuse of Children in America," Little Brown, 1988.

Crosson-Tower, Cynthia. "Secret Scars: A Guide for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse," Viking, 1988.

Daugherty, Lynn. "Why Me?" Mother Courage Press, 1984.

Engel, Beverly. "The Right to Innocence: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse,"

Finkelhor, David. "Child Sexual Abuse," The Free Press, 1984.

Forward, Susan and Buck, Craig. "Betrayal of Innocence: Incest and Its Devastation," Penguin Books, 1979.

Fraser, Sylvia. "My Father's House: A Memoir of Incest and of Healing," Ticknor & Fields.

Gil, Eliana. "Outgrowing the Pain," Launch Press, 1984.

Grahn, Judy. "Another Mother Tongue : Gay Words Gay Worlds"

Grubman-Black, Stephen D. "Broken Boys/Mending Men" Ivy Books, $4.99 (us) Copyright 1990 Hancock, Maxine and Mains, Karen Burton. "Child Sexual Abuse: A Hope for Healing," Harold Shaw Publishers, 1987.

Hartmann, Ernest. "The nightmare: the psychology and biology of terrifying dreams"

Herman, Judith Lewis. "Father-Daughter Incest," Harvard University Press, 1982.

Kaufman, Gershen. "Shame, The Power of Caring," Schenkman Books, 1980.

Kempe, Ruth S. and Kempe, C. Henry. "Child Abuse," Harvard University Press, 1978. *Lackey, Mercedes. "Last Herald Mage Trilogy"; "Magic's Pawn" UK: 0-140-16751-X, "Magic's Promise" 0-886-77401-2, UK: 0-140-16752-8, "Magic's Price" UK: 0-140-16753-6. Also the "Vows & Honor" series "The Oathbound" 0-88677-414-4, "Oathbreakers" 0-88677-454-3. Also the "Heralds of Valdemar" series; "Arrows of the Queen" 0-88677-378-4, "Arrow's Flight" 0-88677-377-6, "Arrow's Fall" 0-88677-400-4 All of these books feature characters who are survivors of abuse.

The SERRAted Edge series, cowritten with various authors, deals with abuse issues in places. "Born to Run" (Larry Dixon) 0-671-72110-0, "Wheels of Fire" (Mark Sheperd) 0-671-72138-0, "When the Bough Breaks" (Holly Lisle) 0-671-72154-2. The other books in this series touch on abuse, but do not focus on it; "Chrome Circle" (Larry Dixon) 0-671-87615-5, "Tempus Fugit" (Larry Dixon) (1995). Also in this series, "Elvendude" (Mark Sheperd) 0-671-87630-9.

Thanks to Discord for pointing out "SERRAted Edge" and the maintainer of the Alt.Books.M-Lackey FAQ (Melissa Tabbifli ) for compiling the list and entering the ISBN numbers in that FAQ (and giving permission for them to be used here). (Fiction / Fantasy) - kws 5/30/95

Lerner, Harriet Goldhor. "The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patters of Intimate Relationships," Harper & Row, 1986.

Lew, Mike. "Victims No Longer" This is a survivors book aimed at male survivors.

Mendelson, Wallace B. "Human sleep: research and clinical care"

Morris, Michele. "If I Should Die Before I Wake," Dell, 1982.

Murray, Kathleen & Gough, David A. (Eds). "Intervening in Child Sexual Abuse" Scottish Academic Press ISBN 0 7073 0565 9
Napier, Nancy J. Recreating Your Self: Help for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, New York, 1990.

Norwood, Robin and Tarcher, Jeremy. "Women Who Love Too Much," 1985.

Poston, Carol and Lison, Karen. "Reclaiming Our Lives: Hope for Adult Survivors of Incest," Little Brown, 1989.

Peck, M. Scott. "The Road Less Travelled," Simon & Schuster, 1978. Pellauer, Mary, et al., eds. "Sexual assault and abuse : a handbook for clergy and religious professionals" San Francisco, Harper, c1987.

Renvoize, Jean. "Incest: A Family Pattern," Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.

Subby, Robert. "Healing the Family Within." Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 1990.

Walsh, Barent W. & Rosen, Paul M. "Self-Mutilation: Theory, Research, & Treatment" The Guilford Press, New York, New York, 1988.

Charles, Whitfield. "Healing the Child Within" Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 1987, 1989.

Wholey, Dennis. "Becoming Your Own Parent" New York: Doubleday, 1988 and Bantam Books, 1990.

Willams, Robert L.; Karacan, Ismet; and Moore, Constance A. "Sleep disorders: diagnosis and treatment"

Wilson, Paul. "Instant Calm: Over 100 easy-to-use techniques for relaxing mind and body" Plume/Penguin. ISBN 0-452-27433-8

"Incest-related syndromes of adult psychopathology", (copyright 1990) Americian Psychiatric Association

"I Never Told Anyone: A collection of Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse," Harper&Row, 1983.

"Adults Molested As Children: A Survivor's Manual For Women and Men" Safer Society Press, 1988. On Difficulty of Conviction (Last Updated 3/10/93)

Estrich. "Real Rape" Harvard U Press, 1987.

G.S. Goodman, E. P. Taub, D. P. H. Jones, P. England, L. K. Port, L. Rudy, and L. Prado, with commentaries by J. E. B. Myers and G. B. Milton "Testifying in Criminal Court: Emotional Effects of Criminal Court Testimony on Child Sexual Assault Victims" This monograph can be ordered at: (Order Department; 11030 S. Langley Ave. Chicago, IL 60628). It is monograph #227 (Vol. 57, no. 5), 1992. ISBN:0-226-30323-3.

Rowland. "The Ultimate Violation" Doubleday, 1985. Fraternities and Rape (by Ted Frank) (Last Updated 5/95) Bausell and Maloy, "The links among drugs, alcohol, and campus crime: A research report," Paper presented at the Fourth National Conference on Campus Violence, Towson, MD.

Erhart and Sandler "Campus gang rape: Party Games?" Association of American Colleges, 1985.

Garrett-Gooding and Senter, "Attitudes and acts of sexual aggression on a university campus," Sociological Inquiry (1987) 59:348-71.

Hughes and Sandler, "Friends raping friends: Could it happen to you?" Association of American Colleges, 1987.

Kanin, "Reference groups and sex conduct norm violations," Sociological Quarterly (1967), 8:495-504.

Parrot and Bechhofer "Acquaintance Rape: The Hidden Crime" Wiley, 1991. [This anthology of papers has several articles mentioning the link between fraternities and rape. See especially Chris O'Sullivan's paper.]

Sanday "Fraternity Gang Rape" NYU Press, 1990. [This book somehow seems to have mysteriously disappeared off the shelves of nearly every college library. Case study of a number of fraternities at the University of Pennsylvania. Also details relationship between male bonding and female objectification.]

Warshaw "I Never Called It Rape" Harper & Row, 1988. Gang Rape (By Ted Frank) (Last Updated 5/95)

Blakely, "The New Bedford verdict," Ms. (July 1984), 116.

Geis, "Group sexual assaults," Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality (May 1971), 101-13.

Medea and Thompson "Against Rape" Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (1974).

See also Erhart and Sandler, supra, and O'Sullivan in Parrot and Bechhofer, supra. Multiplicity and Dissociation (Compiled by Jeannie)

(List updated 1/25/93) (AllMeOfUs's MP book list added 5/95. Please also see the Alt.Support.Dissociation FAQ for more on MP/DI.)

In no particular order:

"Living with Your Selves" by Sandra Hocking

"The Three Faces of Eve" by Corbett Thigpen and Harvey Cleckley

"I'm Eve" by Chris Costner Sizemore and Elen Sain Patillo

"A Mind of My Own" by Chris Costner Sizemore

"The Flock" by Joan Frances Casey

"Prism, Andrea's World" by Jonathan Bliss and Eugene Bliss

"The Obsidian Mirror" by Louise Wisechild

"Jennifer and Her Selves" by Gerald Schoenewolf

"The Fractured Mirror" by C. W. Duncan

"Uncovering the Mystery of MPD" by James Friesen

"More Than Survivors" by James Friesen

"My Lives" by Roseanne Arnold

"The Family Inside" by Doris Bryant, Judy Kessler, and Lynda Shirar

"The Infinite Boundary" by D. Scott Rogo

"Through Divided Minds" by Robert Mayer

"Satan's Children" by Robert Mayer

"Suffer the Child" by Judith Spencer

"Katherine, It's Time" by Kit Castel and Stefan Bechtel

"Voices" by Trula Michaels LaCalle


"Not the End of the World" by Rebecca Stowe

"All Around the Town" by Mary Higgins Clark

"When the Bough Breaks" by Mercedes Lackey and Holly Lisle

(original list begins here. -v)

Braun, B.G. "Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder" American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC, 1986.

Chase, Truddi. "When Rabbit Howls" E. P. Dutton, New York, New York, 1987.

Cohen, Barry M.; Giller, Esther; and W., Lynn. "Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out" The Sidran Press, Baltimore, Maryland, l991.

Crabtree, Adam "Multiple Man: Explorations in Possession & Multiple Personality" Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, New York, 1985.

Gil, Eliana. "United We Stand: A Book for People with Multiple Personalities" Launch Press, California, 1990.

Hilgard, Ernest R. "Divided Consciousness: Multiple Controls in Human Thought and Action" John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1987.

Keyes, D. "The Minds of Billy Milligan" Random House, New York, New York, 1981.

Kluft, Richard P. "Childhood Antecedents of Multiple Personality"

Mayer, Robert. "Through Divided Minds: Probing the Mysteries of Multiple Personalities -- A Doctor's Story" Doubleday, New York, New York, 1988.

Putnam, Frank W. "Diagnosis and Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder" Guilford Press, New York, New York, 1989.

Ross, Colin A. "Multiple Personality Disorder: Diagnosis, Clinical Features, and Treatment" John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York, 1989.

Schreiber, Flora Rheta "Sybil" Warner Books, New York, New York, l973. Ritual Abuse

(Last modified 6/09/95. Jean's RA FAQ included with permission.)

The following is written from a survivor's point of view and is completely unmodified. I can neither confirm nor deny the reality of RA and SRA.

What is a ritual?

A ritual is an action that has symbolic meaning. It may be private, like taking a good luck charm to an exam, or public (socially shared), like saluting the flag.

Rituals may be reserved for rare occasions --- births, unions, deaths, changes of social status --- or may be used daily --- saying grace or gesundheit, kissing a child goodnight.

What is ritual abuse? (Broad definition)

Ritual abuse is the abuse of a child, weaker adult, or animal in a ritual setting or manner.

In a broad sense, many of our overtly or covertly socially sanctioned actions can be seen as ritual abuse, such as army boot military basic training, hazing, racism, spanking children, and partner-battering.

Some abuse is private (Jeffrey Dahmer, for example), some public. Public ritual abuse may be either open or secret.

What is ritual abuse? (Narrow definition)

The term ritual abuse is generally used to mean prolonged, extreme, sadistic abuse, especially of children, within a group setting.

The group's ideology is used to justify the abuse, and abuse is used to teach the group's ideology. The activities are kept secret from society at large, as they violate norms and laws.

What ideologies are used to justify ritual abuse?

Any ideology can be twisted or adapted to abusive ends. In the United States, Canada, and Europe, people have reported being ritually abused under the banner of satanism, christianity, various pagan and pantheistic belief systems, white supremacy movements, nazism, Santeria, voodoo, etc. At the present time, satanism is either the most common ideology under which ritual abuse is practiced, or it is receiving the most attention.

Who perpetrates ritual abuse?

Ritual abuse is perpetrated by men and women from all walks of life and geographical areas, both rural and urban. The percent of the population that perpetrates or that is victimized is unknown.

Perpetrators have been classified as:

(1) Family or Transgenerational: Adults, who were abused as children, in turn abuse and indoctrinate their own children. The tradition can go back for generations.

(2) Extra-familiar: Adults abuse non-related children. Children can be accessed at day care, schools, church, or through social groups.

(3) Ad hoc groups: Adults, who may or may not have had abusive childhoods, come together and form a new group with its own ideology and rituals. Teens are thought to comprise many such ad hoc groups.

What kinds of abuse occur?

Physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse can all occur. Physical abuse can occur as beatings, electroshock, torture, confinement, forced ingestion of drugs, blood, and feces. Emotional abuse involves trickery, deceit, and blaming the victim. Sadistic sex with children and non-consenting adults and forced perpetration of sexual abuse are forms that sexual abuse can take. Spiritual abuse can manifest as perversion of good and evil, a destruction-based morality, and the denial of freedom of thought.

What are the main 'holidays' when ritual abuse occurs?

Christian-derived groups observe the major Christian holidays:

Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc. The Jewish holidays may also be observed.

Pagan-derived groups observe the pagan holidays. Groups originating in northern and western Europe observe the winter and summer solstice (12/21 and 6/21) and the spring and fall equinox (3/21 and 9/21). Four holidays fall between each solstice and equinox. They are: Candlemas (2/2), Beltane (5/1), Lammas (8/2) and Samhain, or Halloween (10/31).

(The solstices and equinoxes do not always fall exactly on the 21st of the month. Some holidays, especially Beltane and Samhain, are often observed for more than one day.)

Many groups blend traditions. Santeria is a blend of African traditions and Catholicism. Satanism is a blend of paganism and Christian traditions. Groups with blended traditions often celebrate two or three sets of holidays.

In addition, secular holidays, such as members' birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, and Independence Day (in the United States) are often marked. Some groups mark dates that are symbolically significant to that particular group, such as, a leader's birthday, the anniversary of some achievement, or a particular year with numerical significance to the group. There is a fair amount of variation among similar groups.

Why do so few people believe ritual abuse survivors?

First, abusive groups have a very large stake in remaining undetected, and they keep their secrets well. Second, abusive groups terrorize their victims into silence. And third, society as a whole does not want to believe that its norms and laws have been so blatantly and extremely violated, so society turns its back in denial.

Are there any laws against ritual abuse?

In all states and Canadian provinces, there are laws against particular physical acts committed during ritual abuse. These include murder, rape, sexual contact with children, kidnapping, assault and battery, cruelty to animals, vandalism, and defilement of corpses. Other countries have laws against most, if not all, of these actions. In some states, additional penalties can be imposed if it can be proved that the criminal act was motivated by hate of a particular group.

Ritual abuse can also lead to peripheral crimes, such as income tax evasion, crossing state boundaries or using the mail to commit a crime, money laundering, prostitution, pimping and pandering, creation, distribution and possession of child pornography, selling and possession of illegal drugs, and conspiracy to commit crimes.

In addition, four states have passed laws against the ritual abuse of children, specifying particular acts or simulations of acts that are common in ritual abuse. They are written in such a way that no group's freedom of religion is attacked. These states are: Illinois, Idaho, Texas, and Louisiana. Massachusetts and Florida are working on legislation against ritual child abuse. California and Utah are establishing ritual abuse task forces.

With these laws, why aren't there more convictions?

The problem is not one of lack of laws, it is one of credibility. Police and prosecutors often believe that these cases cannot be successfully prosecuted, because juries will discount all evidence once any testimony about religion, ideology, or conspiracy has been introduced. In fact, many juries have found defendants not guilty on the basis of witnesses not being credible.

Many people believe that there have been no convictions for abuse involving rituals This is not true: convictions have been obtained in many states (OR, NC, TX, NV, FL, IA, NJ, [Reaching Out, 4/93]) and foreign countries. Statements that no convictions have been obtained, or that convictions are based on hysteria and a 'witch hunt mentality' are disinformation tactics.

What are the symptoms of ritual abuse in children and adults?

Most symptoms are non-specific to ritual abuse. Trauma is trauma, and physical and sexual abuse are physical and sexual abuse.

Because the abuse is so severe, the symptoms may also be severe and recalcitrant.

Symptoms that are suggestive of ritual abuse are either a fascination with or a phobia of objects, events, or symbols specific to ritual abuse and not generally encountered in other types of physical and sexual abuse. Examples of symbols include crosses, crucifixes, pentagrams (stars), eyes, "magick" and "occult" symbols, certain numbers, and certain colors. Objects provoking fascination or phobia can include blood, knives, electricity, coffins, dolls, babies, and certain animals. Events similar to abusive events may also provoke extreme reactions. These include the holidays observed by the cult, medical and dental procedures, and child birth or abortion.

Could you say something about recovery from ritual abuse?

I (just one idiosyncratic survivor) do not like the words recovery and healing. They imply to me that things can be repaired, and thus minimize the experience of ritual abuse. If I can be fixed, it wasn't all that bad.

Instead, I prefer to think about how I can live with my past in a different way. I prefer to examine my relationship with extreme evil, the concepts of free will and coercion, the structure of the mind, the nature of connectedness with life and with other humans. My goals are increased knowledge of my past and of my internal structure, increased flexibility of thought, and increased control over my own behavior.

Many RA survivors passionately declare that they have an individual path that they must follow. Others are able to grasp the guidance of religion, twelve-step movements, or therapy, and adopt these concepts as their own. Every person's path is unique, just as every person is unique. In general, I think that there are several factors that aid in living with the reality of this extreme kind of abuse. First is a willingness, conscious or unconscious, to break the ties that bind us to violence. Second is the strength and luck to get away, physically. And then there are imprecise terms, such as soul or love or guiding spirit, that cannot be defined, but which shape our stance to ourselves and to the world.

Do you have any advice for other survivors trying to heal?

Trust yourself, whether you think you exist or not. Learn all you can, at your own pace. Discard ideas and people that feel demeaning or violent. Try and remember that, given your past experiences, every day that you do not kill, rape, or maim another person (and that includes yourself!) or animal is a triumph. And your triumph, added to others, is the only hope we have of stopping the carnage.

How can I be sure my memories are of real events?

If you have outside confirmation, like photographs or somebody else's diary, or if another survivor independently remembers the same event, you can be pretty sure the events actually happened. It's harder to decide without outside evidence.

What you remember is a terrified child's best guess at what was happening at the time. The accuracy of your assessment of the situation at the time depended on how frightened you were, how old you were, how drugged, how deeply hypnotized, how sleep deprived. It also depended on whether the perpetrators were trying to trick you, and how skillful they were at deception.

While any one particular feature of a memory may not be historically accurate, you would not be having ritual abuse memories unless something really did happen to you. Non-abused people do not have flashbacks or memories of ritual abuse events. They may have a nightmare after a horror film, or an image they read about or saw may haunt them for a while, but they do not suffer from persistent images with ritual abuse content.

If you have a specific item you would like to see in the RA FAQ, write rahome@xroads.com

Original book list compiled by Jeannie on 5/01/93, additions 6/95. - kws

Angebert, Jean Michel "The Occult and the Third Reich" Macmillan, 1984.

Appel, Willa "Cults in America: Programmed for Paradise" Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, New York, 1983.

Baskin, Wade "Satanism" Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1972.

Brown, Dee "The Treatment of Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivors: A Therapist's Handbook" Privately published, 800 Grant St., Suite 510, Denver CO, 1991.

Brown, Rebecca "He Came To Set the Captives Free" Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1986.

Bubeck, Mark I. "The Adversary" Moody Press, 1975.

Bubeck, Mark I. "Overcoming the Adversary" Moody Press, 1984.

Carr, Joseph "The Twisted Cross" Huntington House, 1985.

Cavendish, Richard "The Black Arts" Wideview/Perigree (The Putnam Publishing Group), New York, New York, l967.

* The Church of All World's booklet, "Witchcraft, Satanism and Occult Crime: Who's Who and What's What" (4th Edition 1994, $5 from Green Egg, Box 1542, Ukiah, CA 95482)

Cirlot, J.E. "A Dictionary of Symbols" Philosophical Press, 1962.

Conde, Nicholas "The Believers" Signet Books, 1982.

Cook, Caren "Understanding Ritual Abuse: Through a Study of Thirty-Three Ritual Abuse Survivors from Thirteen Different States" Privately printed, Ritual Abuse Project, Sacramento CA, 1991.

Crewdson, John "By Silence Betrayed" Little Brown & Co., Boston, MA.,1988.

Crowther, P. "Lid off the Cauldron" Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1985.

Davis, Wade "The Serpent and the Rainbow" Simon and Schuster, New York, New York, 1985.

Finklehor, David "Nursery Crimes" Sage Press, Newbury Park, CA, 1988.

Hassan, Steven "Combatting Cult Mind Control" Park Street Press, Rochester, Vermont, 1988.

Hollingsworth, Jan "Unspeakable Acts" Congdon & Weed, 1986.

Hudson, Pamela S. "Ritual Chld Abuse: Discovery, Diagnosis and Treatment" R&E Publishers, Saratoga, CA, 1991.

Kahner, Larry "Cults That Kill: Probing the World of Occult Crime" Random House, 1988.

Kendrick, Martyn "Anatomy of a Nightmare: The Failure of Society in Dealing with Child Abuse" Macmillan, 1988.

Marks, Isaac M. "Fears, Phobias, and Rituals" Oxford University Press, 1987.

Marron, Kevin. "Ritual Abuse: Canada's Most Infamous Trial on Child Abuse" Seal Press, 1988.

Michaelson, Johanna "Like Lambs to the Slaughter" Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1989.

Nugent, Christopher "Masks of Satan" Sheed & Ward., 1983.

Parkin, David "The Anthropology of Evil" Oxford, 1985.

Peck, M. Scott "People of the Lie" Simon & Schuster, 1983.

Raschke, Carl A. "Painted Black: From Drug Killings to Heavy Metal -- the Alarming True Story of How Satanism is Terrorizing Our Communities" Harper & Row, San Francisco, California, 1990.

Reynolds, M. "The Reality - The Truths About Satanic/Ritualistic Abuse and Multiple Personality Disorder" Privately printed, P.O.Box 68l83, Portland Oregon, 97268.

Ridgeway, James "Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture" Thunder's Mouth Press, New York, New York, l990.

Russell, Jeffrey Burton "Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World" Cornell University Press, 1986.

Ryder, David "Breaking the Circle of Ritual Satanic Abuse: Recognizing and Recovering from the Hidden Trauma" CompCare Publishers, Minneapolis, MI 55441,

Sakheim, David K., & Devine, Susan E. "Out of Darkness: Exploring Satanism & Ritual Abuse" Lexington Books (Maxwell MacMillan International), New York, New York, l992.

Seth, Ronald "In the Name of the Devil" Harrolds Publishers, 1977.

Sklar, Dusty "The Nazis and the Occult" Dorset Press, New York, New York, l977.

Smith, Michelle, & Pazder, Lawrence "Michelle Remembers" Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), New York, New York, 1980.

Spencer, Judith "Suffer the Child" Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), New York, New York, 1989.

Stratford, Lauren "Satan's Underground" Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988.

Symonds, John "The Great Beast" Rider & Co., 1951.

Terry, Maury "The Ultimate Evil: An Investigation into a Dangerous Satanic Cult" Bantam Books, New York, New York, 1987.

* Victor, Jeffrey S. "Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend" Open Court, 1993

Warnke, Mike "The Satan Seller" Bridge Publishing, Inc., South Plainsfield, New Jersey, 1972.

Warnke, Rose Hall "The Great Pretender" Starburst, 1985.

Wedge, Thomas W. "The Satan Hunter" Daring Books, Canton, Ohio, 1988.

5.5.2) Journals, Magazines, and Newsletters (Last updated 12/18/92) (5/95 kws)


"Sexual Abuse, Disordered Personality and Eating Disorders" McClelland, L., Mynors-Wallis, L., Fahy, T. The British Journal Of Psychiatry. MAY 01 1991 v 158 sup10, page 63

"Relation of Sexual Abuse and Bulimia in College Women" Beckman, K.A., Burns, G.L. The International Journal of Eating Disorders. SEP 01 1990 v 9 n 5, page 487

"Health Risk Behaviors and Attempted Suicide in Adolescents Who Report Prior Maltreatment" Riggs, S., Aario, A.J., McHorney, C. The Journal of Pediatrics. MAY 01 1990 v 116 n 5, page 815

"Childhood Sexual Experiences With Adults by Women With Eating Disorders" Palmer, R.L., Oppenheimer, R., Dignon, A. The British Journal Of Psychiatry. MAY 01 1990 v 156, page 699

"Are Child Sexual Experiences Related to Eating-disordered Attitudes and Behaviors in a College Sample?" Smolak, L., Levine, M.P., Sullins, E. The International Journal of Eating Disorders. MAR 01 1990 v 9 n 2, page 167

"Sexual Experience and Eating Problems in Female Undergraduates" Calam, R.M., Slade, P.D. The International Journal of Eating Disorders. JUL 01 1989 v 8 n 4, page 391

"Group treatment of sexual abuse among women with eating disorders" Kearney-Cooke, Ann Women & Therapy. 1988 v 7 n 1, page 5

"Sexual Problems Are Linked To Eating Disorders In Men" American Family Physician, 31:120, Apr. 1985,

"Sexual Conflict and Eating Disorders In 27 Males" Herzog, David B, D. Norman, C. Gordon, American Journal of Psychiatry, 141:989-90, Aug. 1984


"Control-Related Beliefs and Sleep Characteristics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Patients" Mikulincer, M., Glaubman, H., Wasserman, O. Psychological Reports. OCT 01 1989 v 65 n 2, page 567

"Hypnotic Treatment of Sleep Terror Disorder" Koe, G. Gerald American Journal Of Clinical Hypnosis. JUL 01 1989 v 32 n 1, page 36

"Sleep Studies and Neurochemical Correlates In Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia" Pecknold, J.C., Luthe, L. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological. 1990 v 14 n 5, page 753

"Electroencephalographic Sleep in Panic Disorder" Mellman, Thomas A., Unde, Thomas W. Archives Of General Psychiatry. FEB 01 1989 v 46 n 2, page 178

The Cutting Edge A newsletter for women living with self-inflicted violence. POB 20819 Cleveland, OH 44120

A magazine mailed throughout the world, for women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Above A Whisper P.O.Box 2588 Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Many Voices P.O.Box 2639 Cincinnati, OH 45201-2639 A bi-monthly self-help publication for people with multiple personality and dissociative disorders.

Kids USA P.O.Box 25 Walled Lake, MI 48390 Ph. 1-800-KIDS-025 Group addresses child sexual abuse by monitoring courts, judges, politicians, ...and offering community education.

Sexual Assault Services Resource Directory and Guide, Third Edition Free to ORGANIZATIONS (I don't know how an individual gets one, if at all) Includes a bibliography, a section on the rights of survivors, and a list of service providers throughout the state (presumably Michigan). Send name of organization, address, and telephone number to: Sexual Assault Information Network of Michigan, P.O.Box 20122, Lansing, MI 48901

Research Study on female survivors of incest, focusing on their relationships with other women, e.g. friends and mothers... Amy Newman, M.A., (313)459-5815

5.6) Telephone Numbers (added to by many people) (Last Updated 12/18/93) (Added to 5/95 - kws)

All of the following phone numbers exist within the USA unless otherwise indicated.

Ann Arbor Center for the Family (313) 995-5181
Center For Independent Living (mostly wheelchair life) (313) 971-0277
Legal Aid Services Southeast Michigan (313) 763-9920
Parenting Classes (313) 971-3993
RAINN Rape/Abuse/Incest (National network 24 hrs.) 800-656-HOPE / 800-656-4673
Univ. of Mich. Center for the Child and Family (313) 764-9466
Washtenaw Area Council for Children (313) 761-7071


Alcoholism Help Line 1-800-332-5525
Survivors Monthly (313) 485-2379
Survivors of Incest Anonymous (313) 971-9685
Michigan SIA (313) 675-0156
Ann Arbor SIA, Contact Linda @ (313) 242-1540 7-9pm "new format that allows unrestricted discussion, including ritual abuse"
Touchstone (a set of support groups) (313) 483-7942
The Center for Mental Health and Chemical Dependency: A Survivor's Program (313) 572-5873 or (313) 572-5678

24-hour lines

Assault Crisis Center (313) 483-7273
Cocaine National Hotline 1-800-COCAINE
Domestic Violence Project (313) 995-5444
National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-4453
Sexual Abuse Recovery Assistance (SARA) (313) 227-7100
National Runaway Switchboard 1-800-462-6642
Nurse Line (313) 971-3993
Parent Helpline 1-800-942-4357
Protective Services, Dept. of Social Services (313) 994-1882
RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) 1 - 8 0 0 - 6 5 6 - 4 6 7 3
* Note: RAINN is not accessable in the Hartford Conn. area. Sorry...
S.O.S. Community Crisis Center (313) 485-3222
Safe House (313) 995-5444
Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) (313) 763-5865
Suicide Prevention Emergency Service (313) 966-4747
Washenaw County Mental Health (313) 996-4747
Ask A Nurse 1-800-472-9696 (Inside Ann Arbor, MI (313) 572-5555)


A-Step Self Defense (313) 663-0873
Catholic Social Services (313) 662-4534
Cocaine Baby Hotline 1-800-327-BABE (In Chicago, IL (312) 908-0867)
Drug Abuse Information and Referral Line National Institute On Drug Abuse 1-800-662-4347
Kids 1-800-KIDS-025
Michigan Self-Help Clearing House 1-800-752-5858
National Self-Help Clearing House (212) 542-2944
Parent Aide Program (313) 668-8300

5.7) Self-Protection (Written 1/5/93) (Modified 5/95 by Veritas)

There are several organizations within the U.S. that teach self-defence to people, specifically to prevent a rape from occurring. These classes are specialized to deal with the issues survivors have, and have been modified in many ways that many martial arts classes aren't.

13550 Roscor Blvd, Suite 7
Van Nuys, Ca 91402

1-800-345-KICK (In California 1-818-997-3306)

Specializing in children and family workshops for self-defence is:

P.O. Box 1212
Santa Cruz, Ca 95061-1212
(408) 426-4407

Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense for Women and Children (soon to become men, women, and children) offering self-defense and martial arts training in an atmosphere supportive to survivors. Chicago. (312) 549-0700

Chimera women's self-defense

5.8) Religious Support

For regular postal mail support, please write to or contact:
The Samaritans of Cheltenham and District
3 Clarence Road

Emergency phone: +44 242 515777
Press enquiries: +44 452 854017
E-mail: jo@samaritans.org (samaritans@cix.compulink.co.uk retained)
Anonymous E-mail: samaritans@anon.penet.fi (Extremely Slow!)
The Samaritans are non-denominational Christian in outlook I understand, and can help.

This is a new section, there will be other entries here within the next few months. Feel free to contribute! - kws 6/95

6. Things You Might Want to Know

6.1) List of famous survivors (by Shimon Walner, Jason Black, and others) revised 6/95 - kws

* Marylin VanDerber Atler (Miss America 1958) was sexually abused by her father, and speaks publicly about her violent and almost fatal abuse.

* Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), beaten by his drunk father, who coerced him to practice his music and excel at it. Sexual abuse of the young Beethoven has also been suggested. Some feel that Beethoven's music expresses anger at his abuse and against hypocrisy in the upper class which financially supported him. His music is also admired for the joy, compassion, sorrow, tenderness, courage and love it expresses - all human emotions essential to life.

* Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) - famous German composer, sexually abused by prostitutes in a bar, which his parents used as his "child care" facility. He performed piano in the bar and was molested there in a years-long pattern of abuse. Late in life he confessed his inability to relate to women or to perform sexually. In the book THE UNKNOWN BRAHMS, he suggested that his general hostility towards women (he had very few female friends and never married, though he was evidently heterosexual) was from the abuse he endured from women when he was a child.

Franz Kafka - nailed his perp in "The Trial;" there is a courtroom in every attic, and we have to climb on the bed to get there, because that's the *only* way out of the attic. In the end, we die of shame.

* Anne Sexton - famous and prolific American poet, sexually abused in childhood. She committed suicide in early adulthood, years before the existence of any support groups or recovery-oriented therapies for survivors of child sexual abuse. She discussed her abuse in psychoanalysis and some of the tapes have been published in a book.

* Sylvia Plath - famous American poet, sexually abused in childhood. She committed suicide in early adulthood, years before any support groups or recovery-oriented therapies were available for survivors of child sexual abuse.

* Anais Nin - French-American surrealist author, best known for her published diaries. Physically abused and sexually harrassed by her father from infancy, she dealt with her issues in a variety of unusual, creative ways. As a young woman she had an affair with her father for several months. Always striving after idealistic beauty and artistic fulfillment, Nin's fiction is nonetheless filled with realistic descriptions of physical and sexual child abuse--her own, and that experienced by her husband and friends.

* Virginia Woolf - famous and brilliant American author, sexually abused as a young girl. She committed suicide in middle age.

Oprah Winfrey - Talk show host. Came forward with her brother's (and father's?) abuse of her on her network television show.

Sybil - Famous multiple personality case.

Roseanne Barr Arnold - Comedienne, star of the TV show _Roseanne_, also a multiple personality as shown in her book _My Lives_.

Tom Arnold (Roseanne's husband) - Both Tom and Roseanne have talked about their abuse on national television. Tom has also discussed confronting his perp.

LaToya Jackson - Singer in the famous "Jackson Five" musical group, and independent pop singer. She, and allegedly the whole Jackson crew, was abused by her father Joe Jackson.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - American author, 1804-1864, famed for writing "The Scarlet Letter," a novel about adultery (the real scarlet letter was "I" for incest), and "The Minister's Black Veil," a novel about a minister's sexual indiscretions with a lady.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning - English poet, 1806-1861. Author of "How do I love thee, Let me count the ways..."

Alexander Pushkin - Russian Poet, 1799-1837.

Henry Miller - American writer, 1891-1980.

Virginia Woolf - Playwright and author.

Erin Moran - Actress. Played Joni from the sit-com "Happy Days." Now it turns out that they weren't so happy after all.

Patty Davis - Daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Nancy beat her almost daily from when she was a little girl till she was in college. Her father (then governor of California) refused to believe her when she told him.

Alison Anders - Movie producer, recently of "Gas Food Lodging". Gang raped when she was 12 by a group of age-peers, she has gone on to use her experiences to create characters for her movies, and has used them as a form of self-therapy.

Robert Blake - Played the role of "Baretta" on the tv show of the same name, and has starred in movies such as _In Cold Blood_. Has recently taken time off from acting to heal from childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Patty Duke Astin - Famous child star of "The Patty Duke Show" and adult actor. Has starred in an autobiographical movie of her life and abuse.

Toni Childs - Alternative musician. Artist of the two albums _Union_ and _House of Hope_. Wrote the survivor-oriented _Daddy's Song_.

Susan Cowsill - Female vocalist in the 1960s family pop group "The Cowsills." Like LaToya Jackson, was abused by her father. Sinead O'Connor - Irish singer/songwriter, was physically, sexually and emotionally abused by her parents. In her songs she's always expressing the pain she feels and more recently has been talking about her abuse on almost every occasion.

Tori Amos - American singer/songwriter, was very brutally raped and wrote a graphic song about it, entitled "Me And A Gun." She also talks about her abuse in interviews. Tori was granted an award from the Washington D.C. Rape Crisis Center recently for her work in recovery and in her establishment of a nationwide toll-free rape hotline. In the United States, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline number is 800 656-HOPE (800-656-4673). (See also: rec.music.tori-amos and Really-Deep-Thoughts mailing list )

Queen Elizabeth I of England - The daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth was abused by her stepfather Robert Seymour when she was 14-16 years old. Afterwards, Elizabeth became very puritanical, both to protect her reputation and out of fear that she would be executed for being Seymour's victim. Robert Seymour was himself later executed (yay!) although for political reasons rather than over what he had done to Elizabeth.

Please add to this list if you can, and/or supply more info on the people already listed here.

* Entries were all contributed 6/95 by an anonymous contributor.

6.2) If it helps -- a pep talk (by Simon Travaglia)

Don't judge your progress, especially compared to somebody else. (i.e. "NNN has been through this, and they're alright now, and I'm not yet; what's wrong with me?") Different people have different recovery times, personal strengths and motivations. You are unique, so you can expect that your recovery time (or method) may not be the same as someone else's. (Isn't it funny how we sometimes compare ourselves to the optimum and highlight what we consider to be our shortcomings? - Weird!) Any progress is progress. Simply joining this group is progress. Reading messages is progress. Posting a message is progress, etc. Congratulations on your progress.

Don't do anything that you feel too uncomfortable with. If someone posts a message saying "You should immediately do ..." and it goes against your grain, DON'T do it. (Similarly, you may choose to ignore this.) There is a certain amount of discomfort involved in progress anyway, but you are in the best position to judge what you can and can't take. You may feel that a certain course of action is too big a step. That's fine, take it in smaller steps, as you feel up to it.

Anyone who attempts a recovery deserves respect and support for what they are attempting. You have my personal best wishes.

If you feel you should give support to someone, but "can't think of the right words" - just email them a message (or post if they are an anonymous poster) saying "You have my support," "My thoughts are with you," or "I wish you well," etc. Sure, it's not THE ANSWER to their problems, but it is an affirmation that they are not alone in their troubles and that you do care.

Sometimes we all fall. Sometimes it's just a slip, sometimes it's face first into the pavement. It's always important to get up, even if you hurt, BECAUSE you hurt. BUT, you can take your time in getting up, just keep fighting.

Lastly,Take it easy. That's so easy to say, but with it comes it's meaning. Take it easy on yourself, congratulate yourself, don't try and force yourself into something you're not ready for, accept yourself as being here and now and wanting full recovery.

6.3) Statistics on the prevalence of abuse (by Jason Black)

[Editors Caveat -- The statistics I have are from a U.S. study, and one Canadian study. If you can submit to me statistics for your nation with sources, I would be most appreciative. I don't mean to be geocentric; I just have no other data to play with.]

Rape is shockingly common. A study recently completed by the National Victim Center and the Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina reports that there are more than six times the number of rapes in America than the federal government reports. This study found that there were more than 683,000 rapes of adult women in 1990. The FBI's uniform crime report listed only 102,560 for that same period. The U.S. Department of Justice reported 130,000.

This study did not include those under 18, which account for 61% of all rapes. Had those been included, the total number of rapes would approach 1.75 million. In a single year. Scary stuff. Scarier still when you consider that these figures do not include male abuse victims. The study reported that girls under age 11 account for 29.3% of sexual abuse victims. Those between 11 and 17 constitute 32.2.

Under-reportage of rapes is a problem with the government's statistics. The data in the National Women's Study was taken from 370 rape crisis centers across the country. Only 16 percent of the rapes reported to them were also reported to the police. Dr. Dean Kilpatrick, who directed the study reported that this low percentage is because victims are concerned about people inside or outside of their families learning of their experience, or of the media releasing their names.

Dr. Kilpatrick also stated that the media strongly affects how often rape and sexual abuse in general are reported. Rape reporting fell off sharply after the acquittal verdict in the William Kennedy-Smith trial. However, the conviction in the Mike Tyson case had the reverse effect. Said Dr. Kilpatrick, "If there had not been a conviction in the Tyson case, there would probably be very few victims willing to come forward afterwards,"

The consequences of not reporting a rapist to the authorities is high, however. If the victim maintains silence, it makes it easier for the rapist to sexually abuse others. The study showed that the average rapist who is not in jail rapes at least seven women, and that many rapists are serial rapists. This includes family members who rape their relatives again and again. The study included data which invalidates the commonly-held belief that rapists are psychotic strangers who hide in bushes. The study reported that 78% of perpetrators are people the victim knew well.

The study showed that the personal consequences of rape are also high. 31% of the women in the study also had post traumatic stress disorder, resulting in major depression, increased likelihood of suicide attempts increased drug and alcohol use, difficulty forming relationships, and a host of other problems.

Canadian statistics are similar. Health and Welfare Canada and the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottowa-Carleton report the following statistics from the period 1982-1986: One in three males experience some form of sexual assault or abuse. 75-85% of child sexual molestations involve a relative. One of every two females are victims of sexual assault or abuse. 70-80% of incest cases are between father and daughter (although there is suspicion that this number is too high, because of the homosexuality stigma associated with father-son or mother-daughter abuse).

6.4) Medications (common ones, listed with side effects, etc.) (by Lydia Uribe)

*Important* This information was not written by a person I know. I am sorry, but no claims are made as to its accuracy. The FAQ mantainer is not a medical doctor and cannot vouch for the accuracy of this information. -

The following is a listing of medications sometimes prescribed for survivors. The listing is by no means complete. Many of these medications have uses in addition to those listed, and I have included only the most common and/or most important side effects.

This posting is intended for general informational purposes only. Proper selection of medication must be done by the physician and the patient, taking into account the needs of each individual patient. If you have specific questions about your medication, consult your physician or pharmacist.

If you are taking a medication which is not on this listing and you would like to see it added, email me at uribe@jarthur.claremont.edu with the name of the medication and what you are taking it for, and I'll try to include it in future versions.

(Reference: _Facts and Comparisons_, J.B. Lippincott Co., St. Louis, Missouri)


Class: benzodiazepines
Usage: management of anxiety disorders; short-term relief of anxiety
Side effects: drowsiness (usually transient); dizziness; blurred vision
Precautions: avoid alcohol and other depressants; patients on long-term or high-dose therapy may experience withdrawal symptoms with abrupt stoppage of medication - do not stop medication or change dosage without consulting physician; notify physician if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding

Generic Name: oxazepam
Brand Name: Serax
Additional Usage: relief of anxiety associated with depression

Generic Name: prazepam
Brand Name: Centrax

Generic Name: lorazepam
Brand Name: Ativan
Additional Usage: relief of anxiety associated with depression; chronic insomnia

Generic Name: alprazolam
Brand Name: Xanax
Additional Usage: relief of anxiety associated with depression; agoraphobia; panic attacks

Generic Name: chlordiazepoxide
Brand Name: Librium; Libritabs
Additional Usage: management of acute alcohol withdrawal
Additional Precautions: do not take with antacids

Generic Name: diazepam
Brand Name: Valium; Valrelease
Additional Usage: panic attacks; symptomatic relief of acute alcohol withdrawal
Additional Precautions: do not take with antacids

Generic Name: halazepam
Brand Name: Paxipam

Generic Name: chlorazepate
Brand Name: Tranxene; Tranxene SD
Additional Usage: symptomatic relief of acute alcohol withdrawal

Class: miscellaneous agents
Usage: short-term relief of anxiety symptoms

Generic Name: buspirone
Brand Name: Buspar
Additional usage: management of anxiety disorders
Side effects: dizziness; nausea; headache; nervousness; lightheadedness; excitement; may occasionally cause drowsiness
Precautions: avoid alcohol; notify physician if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
Other: some improvement of symptoms seen in 7 to 10 days; optimal results usually seen after 3 to 4 weeks

Generic Name: hydroxyzine
Brand Name: Atarax; Vistaril
Side effects: dry mouth; drowsiness (usually transient)
Precautions: avoid alcohol; do not use if pregnant or breast-feeding

Generic Name: meprobamate
Brand Name: Miltown, Equanil
Additional Usage: short-term sleeping aid
Side effects: drowsiness, dizziness; blurred vision
Precautions: avoid alcohol and other depressants; possibly physically/psychologically addictive with long-term use


Class: tricyclic antidepressants
Usage: management of depression
Side effects: drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, blurred vision (all decrease with continued usage)
Precautions: avoid alcohol; notify physician if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding; stop taking medication and get *emergency* medical help if any of the following occur: seizures, difficult or rapid breathing, fever with increased sweating, high or low blood pressure, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusual tiredness or weakness
Other: before using medication, notify physician of any other medical conditions you may have, any other medications you are taking and if you have had any allergic or unusual reaction to any tricyclic antidepressant

Generic Name: amitriptyline
Brand Name: Elavil; Endep
Additional Usage: eating disorders (bulimia)
Other: may see sedative effect before antidepressant effect is
noted; full effectiveness may take up to 30 days to occur

Generic Name: nortriptyline
Brand Name: Aventyl; Pamelor
Additional Usage: panic disorder; premenstrual depression
Other: not recommended for use in children

Generic Name: imipramine
Brand Name: Janimine; Tofranil; Tofranil-PM
Additional Usage: panic disorder; eating disorders (bulimia);
bedwetting in children over 6

Generic Name: doxepin
Brand Name: Adapin; Sinequan
Additional Usage: anxiety
Other: relief of anxiety occurs rapidly; optimal antidepressant activity may take 2 to 3 weeks to occur

Generic Name: trimipramine
Brand Name: Surmontil

Generic Name: amoxapine
Brand Name: Asendin
Other: not recommended for patients under 16

Generic Name: desipramine
Brand Name: Norpramin; Pertofrane
Additional Usage: panic disorder; eating disorders (bulimia)

Generic Name: protriptyline
Brand Name: Vivactil

Generic Name: clomipramine
Brand Name: Anafranil
Usage: treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder
Additional side effect: high incidence of sexual dysfunction in males
Additional usage: depression associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Generic Name: maprotiline
Brand Name: Ludiomil
Additional Usage: management of anxiety associated with depression
Other: not recommended in patients under 18

Class: other antidepressants

Generic Name: trazodone
Brand Name: Desyrel
Usage: management of depression; panic disorder; agoraphobia with panic attacks
Side effects: drowsiness; dizziness; blurred vision; dry mouth; nausea; vomiting; irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath
Precautions: avoid alcohol and other depressants; take with food; notify physician if dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or blood in the urine occurs; male patients should stop medication and notify physician if prolonged, inappropriate and/or painful erections occur

Generic Name: fluoxetine
Brand Name: Prozac
Usage: management of depression; may be used in bulimia and obsessive-compulsive disorders
Side effects: headache; nervousness; insomnia; drowsiness; anxiety; tremor; dizziness; fatigue; nausea; diarrhea; dry mouth; loss of appetite
Precautions: avoid alcohol and other depressants; notify physician if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding; notify physician if rash or hives occur
Other: improvement may take several days to a few weeks to occur

Generic Name: bupropion
Brand Name: Wellbutrin
Usage: management of depression
Side effects: agitation; dry mouth; insomnia; headache; nausea; vomiting; constipation; tremor; seizures
Precautions: avoid alcohol; take medication in 3 or 4 equally-divided doses daily to minimize risk of seizures; use caution when driving or operating hazardous machinery until you are certain that the drug does not impair your ability to do so

Class: monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
Usage: management of depression that is unresponsive to other medications; bulimia; panic disorder with agoraphobia
Side effects: drowsiness; blurred vision; dizziness, weakness or fainting when standing up from a sitting or horizontal position; nausea; diarrhea; constipation; abdominal pain; hypertensive crisis (sudden life-threatening rise in blood pressure -- see Precautions)
Precautions: avoid foods containing tyramine (aged/fermented cheeses, aged/fermented meat or fish, undistilled alcoholic beverages, some fruits and vegetables - consult your physician or pharmacist for a complete listing), caffeine and tryptophan during treatment and for 2 weeks following discontinuation -- may trigger hypertensive crisis; do not discontinue or adjust dosage of medication without consulting physician; consult physician before taking any other non-prescription or prescription medication; notify physician if severe headache, skin rash, darkening of urine, pale stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin) or other unusual symptoms occur; avoid alcohol; several weeks may be necessary before improvement is noted

Generic Name: isocarboxazid
Brand Name: Marplan

Generic Name: phenelzine
Brand Name: Nardil

Generic Name: tranylcypromine
Brand Name: Parnate


Class: benzodiazepines
Usage: insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakening, or early-morning awakening)
Side effects: dizziness; drowsiness (the following morning); blurred vision
Precautions: avoid alcohol and other depressants; do not exceed prescribed dosage; do not stop medication suddenly after long-term usage; may notice disturbed sleep for 1 or 2 nights after stopping medication; notify physician if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding

Generic Name: estazolam
Brand Name: ProSom
Additional side effects: somnolence (sleepiness), weakness, hangover

Generic Name: flurazepam
Brand Name: Dalmane

Generic Name: temazepam
Brand Name: Restoril

Generic Name: triazolam
Brand Name: Halcion

Generic Name: quazepam
Brand Name: Doral

Class: other hypnotics

Generic Name: chloral hydrate
Brand Name: Noctec
Usage: short-term (less than 2 weeks) management of insomnia
Side effects: gastrointestinal upset; drowsiness
Precautions: take medication with a full glass of water or fruit juice to avoid gastrointestinal upset; avoid alcohol and other depressants; may be habit-forming; do not stop medication suddenly

Generic Name: phenobarbital
Brand Name: Luminal
Usage: short-term (less than 2 weeks) management of insomnia
Side effects: somnolence (sleepiness); hangover
Precautions: do not increase dosage without consulting physician; use caution when driving or operating hazardous machinery until you are certain that the drug does not impair your ability to do so; avoid alcohol and other depressants; may be habit-forming; notify physician if any of the following occur: fever, sore throat, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding, nosebleeds

6.5) Common Symptoms. ( by Jason Black ) [bad self image, anorexia/bulimia and other eating problems, self-abuse, co-dependancy, obsessive behaviors, nightmares, flashbacks, body memories, suicide, sexual dysfunction, memory loss, dissociation, etcetera.] There are a number of common symptoms that people who have been sexually abused tend to have. If you don't know whether or not you were abused, this list may help. Please be aware that having some or all of the things on this list apply to you doesn't mean 100% that you were abused. This is a guideline. If you remain unsure, you should probably talk with a therapist who is sensitive to abuse issues.

Bad self image. Abuse victims frequently had the blame for the abuse laid at their feet. Abuse can be guised as punishment, which leads the child to conclude that they are bad so they must have deserved it. Sexual abuse can also give people the impression that all they are good for is sex, which can ruin their self-esteem.

Anorexia, Bulimia, and other eating problems. Bad self image can lead people (especially women and adolescent girls) to have all sorts of eating problems. Bad self image plus society's insistence on "skinny is beautiful" can lead to anorexia. Other people come to the conclusion that "if I were unattractive I wouldn't get abused," which can lead to being overweight. Sometimes people get caught in the middle with bulimia. They binge on food to make themselves unattractive, and then social pressure makes them feel guilty for trying to not fit the mold so they purge afterwards.

Self abuse. There is a whole section in this FAQ list devoted to self- inflicted abuse. You should probably read it if this is something you do.

Co-dependency. This is when one member of a relationship is dependant on something (drugs, alcohol, anger, sex, whatever) and the other member tries to be loving and supportive but just ends up making it easier for the dependant person to be dependant. The co-dependant person ends up getting the short end of the stick all the time, spending their energy being supportive. In the end, neither person is happy. Abuse survivors often fall into co-dependant roles in relationships later in life.

Obsessive behaviors. Some abuse victims take refuge against their lack of control over what happens to their bodies by becoming obsessive about some other aspect of their life. Some people become obsessive organizers, work-aholics. Some turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of controlling their moods and emotions.

Nightmares. Nightmares are frequently associated with sexual abuse. They're not always dreams about abuse, but an abnormally large number of nightmares can be significant. Certainly if they get in the way of getting enough sleep, then you have cause to be suspicious. Many people who haven't had nightmares in the past will begin having them when they start the recovery process. This is normal and doesn't mean you're going insane or anything. In fact, paying attention to your nightmares can give you clues as to which directions you need to take your healing.

Flashbacks. This is one of the nastiest symptoms there are. Flashbacks can come in response to a situation that is similar to when you were abused. In the extreme, during a flashback you re-live the abuse situation in full color stereo surround sound. The whole bit. These can be extremely scary. People in the real world can take on the roles in your memories. A flashback is in some sense the ultimate nightmare.

Body memories. These can be described as flashbacks limited to a single sense. Some examples that have been posted on the asar include feeling like someone behind you is pushing you down. While driving, feeling like there's semen in your hair, so much so that you have to stop the car. Your lover's touch feeling like that of your abuser. Body memories can give you clues as to what's happened to you if you are lacking specific memories of your abuse.

Depression. Abuse victims often suffer through nearly unbearable bouts of depression, the cause of which is frequently unknown if the person has not yet begun recovery. Mood swings are also common, but more bearable if the person is aware of the cause and is working to heal.

Suicide attempts. Sometimes the depression, guilt, and/or shame gets to be too much. Data collected on abuse survivors shows a marked increase in suicide attempts.

Drug use/abuse. Understandably, when life is difficult, some people choose to escape via drugs and alcohol use. This relates back to some of the self-image and control problems mentioned above.

Sexual dysfunction. For fairly self evident reasons, sexual abuse victims often have trouble forming healthy adult sexual relationships. An irrational fear of sex is common. Forming relationships based on sex is common too, because as children, the idea "you're only good for sex" was impressed upon them.

Memory loss. People who were abused once or twice may have shut out those particular memories, but otherwise know what's happened in their lives. People who were chronically abused are often missing months or years from their memories.

Dissociation. Often described as "losing time", dissociation is when your conscious mind stops controlling your body, and some other part takes over. Behaviors vary during dissociative episodes. Some people become catatonic, others walk and talk in an apparently normal fashion, yet others act quite differently from their normal. When the event is over, the person typically doesn't remember what happened during it, and often doesn't remember some amount of time (usually a few months, sometimes much longer) before the event. Their mental state is reset to some earlier time in their life. The person will come out of the event believing that it is a different season, or that they're in a different place, etc. Almost always the memories come back, over a period of hours or maybe a couple of days. (See the Alt.Support.Dissociation FAQ for more information on this. - Veritas) Multiple Personalties. It is also the case that abuse survivors can split into multiple personalities in order to deal with the abuse. The worse the abuse, the more likely someone is to have developed multiple personalities. Different personas will split off to handle the memories, the anger, and various other facets of the abuse situation. Alters, as they're known, can be all different ages, different sexes, etc. Being a multiple doesn't mean that you are crazy, it is just the means you ended up using to survive extremely stressful situations. (See the Alt.Support.Dissociation FAQ for more on this. - Veritas) 6.6) How can I tell if I have multiple personalities? (Dennis R. Conley) This is by no means an absolute guide, but here are some of the signs commonly used in diagnosing MPD/DID:

- three or more (incorrect) past diagnoses (often schizophrenia) - failure of previous treatments - rapidly changing symptoms severe anxiety attacks dizziness, trembling nausea, fear of choking or dying depressions, mood swings, suicidal feelings or actions visual or auditory hallucinations feeling dazed, disoriented, in a trance racing thoughts, speaking words you did not think of - severe headaches - time lapses (e.g. waking up somewhere strange and not knowing how you got there) - finding clothes, objects or writing that you don't recognize - hearing voices (very common, "inside" or "outside" voices) - the appearance of alters, as witnessed by others, either spontaneously or via hypnosis Researchers seem to be leaning toward thinking of MPD as the extreme on a continuum of "dissociation ability". One researcher puts borderline disorder on this continuum, and at the "mild" end puts daydreaming.

Remember, everyone is different, and having some or none of the symptoms on this list does not mean that you do or do not conclusively have MPD. If you think you may, the best thing to do would be to discuss the matter with a trained psychologist who has experience in this area.

* The psychiatric definition of Multiple Personality Disorder no longer exists. The new term is _Dissociative Identity Disorder_. It seems to be being viewed more as a coping mechanism than a true disorder in DSM-IV. - kws 6/2/95 6.7) Comments on rescue missions (by Wednesday Addams) Once in a very blue moon, someone will happen upon the net who is still being sexually abused. Your impulse might be to rescue that person from their abuser. This isn't generally a good idea. The person may well not be ready to leave yet, and there may be a whole host of legal ramifications if you try to get the person to leave.

The chances are good that the person you want to rescue isn't ready to leave yet, and the legality of such action is suspect at best, especially if the person isn't of legally adult age. Laws vary from state to state, so if you are convinced that attempting a rescue is something you must do, you should research this a little beforehand. If what you do happens to be illegal, you should be aware that you're asking for a whole mess of trouble when the authorities inevitably find out about it. If you try to help a child run away from home, you can (and likely will) be arrested for kidnapping. This is a felony.

In general, if the abusee is under the age of sixteen (not inclusive), if you know of abuse in the family, the general rule is that you report it to Child Protective Services (Social Services) and they will promptly begin an investigation. If it's just the one parent being abusive, s/he will be removed from the home. If it's both parents being abusive, the children can be placed in the foster care system. Now then, if you have the means to take in the child, you can apply to the authorities to be a foster parent, and you too will be checked out. The older the kid, the more likely you'll probably be to get him or her. This is the proper way to help someone out of an abusive situation. Everything is legal, proper, and above the table -- no room for sneaking about and engaging in activities which could be seen in a very bad light whatever their motivations happen to be.

If the person is legally an adult (or nearly so, anyway) things get fuzzy. Often the rules for what Child Protective Services can do change. Again, research the laws and regulations in your area to see what you can do. Be prepared to do nothing other than offer emotional support, hard as that may be. Rushing in to take charge of someone else's life is not likely to help them in the long run.

If you see someone on ASAR who is still being abused, here's what they need to know:

They're not alone. It happened to others, too. It is possible to get out. It is possible to get better. What they DON'T need is to have a plane ticket secretly waiting at the airport.

Running away isn't a good idea. If the laws of the state allow for prosecution on the basis of the child's story, then encourage that child to come forward. If you live in their area (please don't come in from too far away---it'll look strange), offer to go with them to Child Protection or Social Services, or even the police. Be emotional support, but don't play Calgon. Don't take them away. Remember, only they know what's best for themselves.

If you take them, you are setting yourself up for some serious criminal charges depending on the circumstances. Where did that sixteen-year-old girl come from?

And if it should happen that there's nothing concrete, then help the child find therapy at least, but don't do anything extreme. What the child needs from you is emotional support.

If the parents end up being charged, then something good will come out of it. But it's more than likely that all you'll end up with is a bad name and a child who found out the hard way that they were not going to be believed. PARENTS DON'T WANT TO GO TO JAIL! They will likely do or say anything to prevent this from happening, so be prepared.

What I am describing here is a situation where the abuse is not life threatening. If the child is a victim of incest, or is being beaten, or stands a good chance of being hurt badly now or in the near future, go directly to the child's local authorities. Ideally, the child should come forward on their own. But this isn't always possible. We all need food, water, shelter, and clothing.

Teenagers, get help. Get counseling. But don't run away. Adult ASARians, don't play God. It will be more traumatic for the children than you know.

6.8) Information on Hypnotism. (by Taylor Mohrle and Ed Carp) Hypnosis is really just a guided introduction to an altered state of awareness. The state most resembles a "runner's high" or when you are just dozing off to sleep. Most people pass through the state twice a day, once going to sleep and once waking up. The most common statement made by people when they finish their first hypnosis session is "but I wasn't really hypnotized".

Well, contrary to what television and movies would like you to think, hypnosis is not an awe inspiring, mystical, magical thing that causes you to do unbelievable things. The fact is that you are really not likely to do anything in a hypnotic state that you wouldn't really do anyway (sorry to shatter what may have been a myth). If this were really the case then the hypnotic weight-loss and stop smoking programs would have a success rate near 100% (they do NOT).

Things that hypnosis (with a good hypnotist, more on that later) CAN do to assist you are to allow you to be in a guided, relaxed state that may allow you to slip by a barrier or two that you mind has set up in the past. However, PLEASE, PLEASE, *PLEASE* use this with caution and hopefully under the guidance of an experienced professional.

If you are considering hypnosis I would like to suggest that you find a professional that has experience with either survivors or with people that have had traumatic incidents in general. The reason is that as you explore events you may react in a very REAL manner to the memory and it would not be a good time to find out that the hypnotist was timid and confused about what to do. One point to remember that while you should be able to be VERY comfortable with your hypnotist, if you are reacting to a bad memory then the hypnotist may have to become very assertive in their instructions for you to move away from the memory.

It would be good for you to set a goal for each session (with the hypnotist) so that while you are in the relaxed state the hypnotist can guide you to deal with the specific issue that was agreed upon for this session. Please try and resist the temptation to "do it all at once". After one or two successful sessions some people tend to try to get more and more done each time, I would like to suggest that this would be the time to be gentle with yourself. You may want to agree with the hypnotist beforehand at what point you want to be removed from a bad memory.

You may want to have your session tape recorded. I suggest that you think carefully about this, it is a good protection for both you and the hypnotist, but it can have a drawback. The major drawback is that you may well uncover memories (or fragments of memories, remember this is not magic) that you are not fully "ready" to remember (your mind blocked them for a reason). My experience, and those that I have talked with, is that you remember what happens right after the session ends, but like a dream when you wake up the memory fades FAST. So you may want to use caution if you listen to those tapes!

The amount of information that can be retrieved by you and a skilled hypnotist in a session is amazing. But, you must realize that you do not defeat ALL of your minds defenses. You may extract a memory one time and the next you get the same memory, but the details are different. Does this invalidate the first memory? NO, it does not. Just like the memories that you have now they come out in stages. Hypnosis can relax you so that you and the hypnotist can get at them sooner than you would otherwise, but it is not magic so you can not go right to the end (gee, not magic, where have I read that before :)) You may want to ask your hypnotist for a "post-hypnotic" suggestion to help you relax when a particularly bad time happens. What a "post-hypnotic" suggestion does is allow a word or phrase (called a trigger word) to activate conditioning to help you relax. The suggestion is given during the session that when you deliberately use this word (the trigger) that you will feel your body relaxing, etc (or whatever is appropriate). This is one of the more useful aspects of hypnosis and can help a lot.


1. Check with your therapist (if you are seeing one) BEFORE trying hypnosis, PLEASE! If you are working on something specific, you may harm your progress by "forcing" something before you are "ready" and then there will be more trauma for you to deal with. 2. Search for a good, experienced hypnotist that you will be comfortable with 3. Consider taping each session (talk with the hypnotist about this) 4. Ask for a post hypnotic suggestion for helping in a specific area (again, please resist the possible temptation to try and help ALL situations, only one or maybe two at most). 5. Try and limit your expectations. If you try hypnosis you will most likely get an idea of what can and can not be accomplished in a session and the sessions themselves may vary! Hypnosis is a way to quiet the conscious mind enough for the sub-conscious mind to come through. In this way, a skilled hypnotist can gain access to information that has been forgotten or suppressed. It's a common fallacy that "you can't lie under hypnosis"; if your self thinks it's important enough to keep hidden, it will. Usually, though, there are very good reasons why you haven't allowed yourself to remember childhood memories. A lot of times, memories of abuse are very painful (though there are exceptions) and you might be in a place where you couldn't handle remembering, so the conscious mind blocks the recall. If you are considering seeking a hypnotist to help you uncover childhood memories, remember, "be careful what you wish for-- you might get it!" Talk it over with your regular therapist (if any); you want to make *sure* that you are in a place emotionally where you can handle those kinds of memories.

It's also another fallacy that you can be made to do "anything" while under hypnosis. You don't lose consciousness, and you can't be made to do anything that is against your ego or against your principles.

A skilled hypnotist can extract an amazing amount of information from your subconscious under the right circumstances, but you want to make sure the one you choose is reputable, accredited, and has regressed sexual abuse survivors before, because the memories that can come up can be *very* emotionally charged, and you don't want someone regressing you unless they *know* what they are doing. Hypnotic regression isn't a parlor game, and it's not for amateurs; every now and then someone gets seriously freaked out under hypnosis, and it takes a skilled professional to bring them out of it safely. When done by someone who knows what they're doing, hypnosis is 100% safe.

A typical hypnosis session will run like this: the hypnotist will either have you lying down or in a comfortable chair (the key here is your comfort), perhaps have some soothing music playing in the background to help you relax, and will talk to you for a few minutes, explaining what he/she will be doing, and making sure you understand hypnosis and what it can and cannot do. It *can* help you uncover childhood memories, possible of abuse - it *cannot* tell you what to do with those memories once they're uncovered. Hypnosis isn't a "cure-all", nor is it for everyone. It isn't "black magic" or "satanic" - it's a process whereby you gain access to other parts of your mind.

When you are comfortable and relaxed, the hypnotist will then start to relax you, either by verbally talking you "down", or using taped instructions. You may go through a "white light" protection ritual (this assures you that you are safe and in control) then you will be instructed to visualize you body relaxing, part by part (usually starting at the feet and working up), muscle group by muscle group. You may be instructed to visualize numbers, counting down from 10, to 1, and this may happen several times. This is to focus your concentration and to help you ease into the hypnotic state. You may also be given suggestions that you are at peace, you are relaxed, and at ease.

After you are totally relaxed and are into the hypnotic state, the hypnotist will usually give you instructions that "you will remember everything that happens during this session". You may also be instructed that you will be emotionally detached from any scenes or images that you may see or feel; you will be as an observer in what you are about to see. This, of course, is for your protection.

At this point, the hypnotist will start to regress you, or may ask your subconscious mind to show you a memory or scene from your childhood that is relevant, then ask you to describe what you are seeing. This exploration may go on for some time, as the hypnotist sees fit or as time permits.

At the end of the session, the hypnotist will bring you back up to full consciousness, possibly with suggestions that "you feel good, you are relaxed and at peace", etc.

The session may be taped. If not, you might want to ask permission to tape it yourself - if this is refused, you might want to consider looking for another hypnotist.

Remember that the memories you uncover may change from session to session, especially in the minor details. This does *not* mean that your memories are invalid! The mind is a very tricky thing to deal with, and has very sophisticated protection mechanisms. What is real and true and set in concrete from one perspective might be seen differently at another point in time. The mind at times forms associative memories in unusual ways - say, for example, that your SO and you are having problems. You are regressed, and a memory fragment comes up that has your SO molesting you as a child. This is obviously impossible! What happened? Well, your mind associated the sexual abuse with what you may feel is emotional abuse with your SO, and put the two together. What *is* important is the pattern of memories, not the specific details, even though you may have strong reactions to specific details of abuse memories. The more emotionally charged a memory is, the more likely your mind will try and protect you from the specific details. That's why it's very important for you to get your therapist's OK before starting in on regressive hypnosis.

7. Things some people find helpful.

7.1) Child Within (Inner Child) stuff. (by Robert Ankeney, Matt Fields & Lisa Nofzinger)

The term "Inner Child" is difficult to describe as it has been used rather broadly and generally. Some see the inner child as simply a metaphor, others as a real thing. For some, it's a little of both. Under hypnosis, and sometimes when dissociating, people can regress to an early age where they function as a child. In one instance the person can regress to the time of the abuse, where they ended up rather developmentally stuck. The abuse was so difficult to deal with, to reconcile with their view of the world, that they split their memories of the abuse off. Not only were the memories split off, but a lot of what that child was had also been split off. Lost are the childlike ways of viewing the world, the awe and spontaneity. Some people believe that the origin of the inner child comes from abuse; that we have inner children who are the same age we were when we were abused. Others believe that inner children exist for every age we've ever been.

One's set of belief systems can be viewed as something like a pyramid, built on the foundation stones of their earliest beliefs. These core beliefs are developed during childhood, using a child's primitive way of viewing the world. As an abused child, their view of reality is severely distorted. They often come to see themselves as being bad, as having something inherently wrong with them that brought about the abuse they received. They may even feel they deserved the abuse. How else can a child, so completely dependent on others, comprehend it? Thus trust is often an important issue.

Many of the foundations stones of their belief systems are based on lies, and are built of pretty poor material. From then on, each successive belief the child develops is built on those foundation stones. Their reality is filtered through these stones, so what they perceive is pretty distorted. Going back and discovering the lies, rebuilding those belief systems requires going back to the foundation stones. To best do this, they need to access that inner child, the one who created the stones. If the person as a young child can perceive the truth, they can rebuild their foundation. A lot of that foundation is based on what they believed about themselves, which in turn developed their self-esteem. Imagine what happens to someone's self-esteem, believing they deserved the abuse?

A lot of gaining access to one's inner child is in building a trusting relationship with that child. For some, it was like splitting off a hurt child, abandoning the child and ignoring the needs and the pain so that they could survive. And in part they blame that child for causing the pain. So to that "child" part, the "adult" part became an abuser. The "child" doesn't trust the "adult" because the "adult" refused to give the "child" voice. So reclaiming the child, accepting the child as a part of the adult, rebuilding that trust can be difficult. Going back and listening, giving voice to that pain, accepting the pain as one's own pain, not "the child's" pain, undoing that split is much of what healing is all about. With trust, the lost trust can be slowly regained and that "inner child" can begin to be integrated. If you are having trouble connecting with a possible inner child, it can help to have a picture of yourself at a young age and visualize that child at a familiar place. Sometimes mementos from childhood, like pictures you drew or souvenirs from a vacation, can also help.

One possible problem about talking about the "inner child" and the "adult" is that this is like looking at two different people, not just one. It is difficult to own the abuse and the pain. There is shame involved, which can be a very touchy issue. Who wants to own having been sexually abused? It's often easier to pretend it never happened, or to lay the blame elsewhere, like on that "inner child". That's a trap that can keep one from owning *their* abuse. There's a lot to own and a lot to reclaim.

But envisioning that hurt child can prove very useful. Is that child real? Is that child simply a metaphor? Does it really matter? Either way, the concept can prove useful. The original clinical idea of the inner child was approximately how you remember yourself as a child---how much power, responsibility, playfulness, etc. you assign to who you were when you were young. This idea at least theoretically has consequences for how you feel about events when you were young, and how you, as an adult, respond to children now. If, e.g., you see yourself as having been basically a miniature adult, you might blame yourself for things which were outside of your actual realm of comprehension then, and theoretically, you might then expect unreasonable levels of responsibility from your own offspring. Part of overcoming childhood trauma for you would then be to bring your image of yourself as a child more in line with reality, and realize how blameless you actually were.

To complicate matters, the term used to express this concept, "inner child", is very evocative, especially to students of mythology, archetypes, and spirituality; by itself, undefined, it carries a lot of other possible meanings, many of which are quite useful. Lay literature has grabbed up this term to mean, among other things, an externally-perceived sense of one's-self as perpetually young (somewhat akin to the child archetype in post-Jungian mythos); a perpetually young personality among the fragmented minds of persons with multiple personalities; and a variety of things along and near a spectrum between these latter two ideas.

Context is needed to decide exactly what a person means when they use the term. By searching for that inner child portion, by hearing and communicating, by filling the needs that were never met, by reparenting that child, one can go a long way toward healing the abuse.

7.2) Ways of comforting self (by Lisa Nofzinger) Here are some suggestions about comforting yourself when you're hurting or memories come up: Sit in a safe place with a stuffed animal or blanket or Koosh ball or another object which comforts you.

Call or meet with a safe person and talk. Write about your feelings. Take a walk. Take naps. Drink a soothing beverage like hot cocoa or milk. Speak gently to yourself. Take a long soothing bath. Read meditation books aloud or silently. Reaffirm that you are OK, that you will survive, that it's healing to feel feelings, that you're safe and the abuser will not hurt you again. Exercise to relieve stress and express anger or grief. Listen to soft, soothing music. Post on the net. Pray or meditate or get in touch with a Higher Power. Feel the love and support and comfort which is available from a power stronger than yourself.

7.3) When you're scared of a particular person ( By Brian O'Byrne) Being scared, whether it feels like it or not, may be an excellent indicator of how far you have come in your recovery. Survivors of abuse, particularly child abuse, learn at a very early age to block out their feelings, particularly the feelings which lead to safety and protection, because they have been so brutally violated. Fear is a feeling which leads to protection.

It is vitally important to realise the source of the fear: is it the person, the feelings that person brings up in you, their actions, or reactions, or maybe something completely different? If it is the person, then it would be my experience that the person is probably not good for you, and you should find a way to reduce--if not eliminate--contact between you. However, if it is the feelings that person invokes in you, then it is time to take a look at yourself, and decide why you feel scared or threatened. It may be that the person is helping you (or pushing you into) areas of recovery which are new to you. This is a time for caution, not rash action. Consider carefully what you are doing with this person, what you are thinking about this person which makes you sacred, and discuss it, preferably with them, but you can always bring it to ASAR. It may be a key to a new area of healing.

I have to say at this stage that I have often found that fear is closely related to the abuse we experienced, so you have to decide whether the fear is coming from the abuse from which you are recovering, or from ongoing abuse. If it is the former, explore it carefully, with someone you trust. If it is the latter, it is vitally important that you get out of the abusive situation. You are worth more than to be victimized again.

To summarise, find the source of your fear. Remember that fear protects us, and often warns us of dangerous situations which should be avoided. But also remember that fear is generated by the abuse in our past, and such fear must be understood to be conquered.

7.4) Ways of empowering yourself (by Judith Reed) We as incest and abuse survivors were taught that we were powerless. Now, we must find ways to take back our power, to conquer our fears, and to live the strong, powerful lives we deserve. The following ideas were submitted by asar posters as ways to gain power over various aspects of our life. They are offered in the spirit they were given - if it helps you, use it, if not, let it go.

Personal myth - In order to deal with night terrors, create a tale of the monster that haunts you, where it lives, the spells you put on it to keep it in check, how you do battle with it, not killing it but weakening it! Or, adopt a MAGIC DRAGON who lives in your bedroom and is very loving and gentle, but also very brave and powerful, and watches over you. Or, picture a 7 foot sexless giant guardian. This guardian is there to protect you and ONLY you from any "dangers" in the night. It won't hurt you, only protect you. These techniques could also be adapted to deal with body memories, flashbacks, other things that make you afraid and come from inside.

Children's books, stuffed animals - It is very comforting to have a soft "lovey" to hug when you are scared or sad. Also, books like "Where the Wild Things Are", by Maurice Sendak, that address night fears for children can make good bedtime reading. Another asar person says: "I have found the "Carl" series to be good (it is several stories about a rottwieler named Carl, who baby-sits a little baby (Carl's Day in the Park, Carl's Christmas, Good Dog Carl, etc....I think Alexandra Day wrote them), also the stories are a about trust and safety (there is no text, just wonderful pictures). and of COURSE there are bears, and green dinosaurs named Naomi..."

Maintaining your personal space - ELBOWS can be placed out to subtly bloc people from getting too close. If they still don't get the hint, don't be afraid to _USE_ them, a quick "accidental" jab can get the message across that the person is TOO CLOSE - BACK OFF!!!

Night terrors - Teach yourself to wake up and rewrite the script - "If you wake up and can remember the scenario of your dream, then lay back down, and make up a new ending to your dream. For example. I had a dream one time where I was in the middle of this field and there were a group of men killing another group of men one by one. As the slaughter continued, something woke me up right in the middle. So I would have this dream for many nights in a row ALWAYS waking up. I learned that I could make up a new ending to this dream by recreating the dream in my head RIGHT after waking up (when it is still fresh in my head!) SO I envisioned being back in this field, watching this slaughter and saying to myself, I'm not comfortable with what is going on here, so I will change this dream. And I went on to envision that I had a gun and I shot it up in the air getting the intention of the killers and started screaming at them to go away and leave the people alone. Then I walked into town and told the police and they came out and took care of the people. What happened, I found is that when I *practiced* this, I noticed that during dreams, in the dreams when things started getting bad, I dreamt that I would say something like "I don't like what is going on here" and the dream would end. What a weird experience to be able to KEEP bad dreams from happening."

Change your speech patterns - "Take responsibility for those things in your life over which you have power. One simple exercise to help work towards this is to be conscious of your speech patterns; English often sabotages our self-empowerment. ** Replace "I have to" with "I choose to". ** It's a simple exercise that makes us consciously hear ourselves describing the choices we're making, and perhaps weren't aware of under the old patterns. See how it sounds; if it doesn't sound too great, then perhaps it will cue you to make a different choice.

"She/He made me mad" is another speech pattern that abdicates responsibility for our own feelings, and gives the empowerment to somebody else. "I chose to get mad at her/him" is a self-empowering substitute.

I believe that victims say "I have to", and people who are on their way to becoming empowered say "I choose to" or "I choose not to." The very good news is that you do have lots and lots of choices about things. The bad news is that with choice comes the responsibility for living with the choice. "I have to live at home" simultaneously robs you of choice but also makes the abuse you're getting there not your fault. "I choose to live at home" gives you the power NOT to live at home -- pretty neat, yes? -- but also makes it clear that if you do, you have to take a share of the responsibility for getting dumped on, and if you don't, you have to take responsibility for changing the situation. "

A Bill Of Assertive Rights -

"I recently completed a stress-management clinic, and one of the things that was discussed at length was the necessity of being more assertive: when you quit being a doormat, life tends to become a little less stressful. One of the handouts we were given was the following, which I pass along to you all in the hope that somebody might find it helpful.

1. You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts and emotions and to take the responsibility for their initiations and consequences upon yourself. 2. You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior. 3. You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people's problems. 4. You have the right to change your mind. 5. You have the right to make mistakes - and be responsible for them. 6. You have the right to say "I don't know". 7. You have the right to be independent of the good will of others before coping with them. 8. You have the right to be illogical in making decisions. 9. You have the right to say "I don't understand". 10. You have the right to say "I don't care". 11. You have the right to say "NO", without feeling guilty."
Scripture memory - "Well, this may not be what you are looking for, but. I use scripture memory. I consciously and I believe supernaturally (i.e. empowered by God) try to block old thought progressions and replace them with new ones. I.E. Isaiah 41:10 says "...I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you...". "

Relive the event in your mind - << SPOILER - STRONG STUFF, USE WITH CARE >> "Painful feelings are real. But these feelings are reactions to events long dead, events that have not received a proper burial. We all know that pretending they didn't occur is not a proper burial. So what is? These feelings seem to be running around in endless loops, making your life miserable. How do you drive a stake through their heart and put them to rest for good?

I've said this before, but I'll try it again. This is what works for painful memories of my own. Imagine the scene in full detail. Go for total recall. This is a movie, about you, and you don't want to miss a thing. You'll feel pain, but ignore it. This pain is triggered by a memory, not by an event which can damage you. The damage has already been done, and now you need to re-experience the pain to undo the damage. Turn each scene over in your mind.

Step through the movie frame by frame if necessary. Most importantly, understand what happened. Look at each event from every side, until you know what happened, and why. You probably will never be able to fully understand the mind of a perp, so at some point you may just say that the perp is a crazy son of a bitch, but don't worry about that. You need to know how these events have impacted you, how you have reacted, and then accept that knowledge. You may feel more unpleasant emotions as a result - asking why you didn't do this, or do that, shame, rage - don't beat yourself up. You've had other people do that to you, don't do it yourself. The point of this exercise is not to gratuitously wallow in pain, but to reclaim your past - to take control, to assume responsibility. You are responsible for your actions, and your actions alone. Your perp is responsible for his/hers.

Your past belongs to you - claim it, understand it. I find that reliving a memory drains it of power. After stepping through it and accepting the feelings that come with it, the memory will have lost it's charge, it will no longer carry an autonomous emotional energy. Everyday events will no longer tap into this reservoir of feeling running around the circuits of your mind. Like I say, it works for me."

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