Safety and Reaccessing Tips
- as shared by ritual abuse survivors
These ideas have helped others. Some of them may be of benefit to you. They are suggestions only. No one knows your circumstances as well as you do. Safety planning is vital to survivors. Your safety is important.
Accessing is the deliberate act of communicating with an alter state and causing it to emerge without the cooperation or consent of the host. Accessing is accomplished by utilizing a "trigger" or "cue" established at the time the alter state was created. The trigger acts as a key to unlock the alter state.
A survivor who is healing, who is in therapy, will be safest from accessing by getting to know their inside people, talking to them. Most survivors of ritual abuse are accessed by their own families, closest friends, and other people they have had close ties with all their lives. Most people are reaccessed because someone INSIDE of them picked up the phone and called their "contact person."
Try to see if you have recontact alters inside. They will usually contact people that they are amnesic to being abused by, such as parents, siblings or friends. When I lived in another state, all of my close friends, my spouse, my entire family were cult active and I was completely amnesic about this. I had to be willing to examine all relationships in my life and give them up for a while. This is the #1 way perps get hold of people: recontact programming inside.
Good therapy is essential, especially when a person is first making the break. Create a safety plan and put it in place, then begin the trauma work.
Develop a support team of safe people who understand your circumstances enough to help you. Start with your therapist, significant other, clergy, and/or a few friends. It's hard to reach out and stop isolating, but a good support team can make all the difference.
Be aware of what your triggers are. If you are working actively with a therapist, hopefully you will explore as many of your triggers as possible: colors, numbers, door knocks, telephone rings, beeps of the horn or other devices, fans, symbols, etc. Work with your therapist actively to deprogram these triggers. Do a trigger assessment for each alter or part.
Take the phone off the hook so they can't leave accessing messages. Get caller ID so you can screen your calls.
Although you must limit contact with loved ones who are still involved in the cult, you can still love them. In order to protect yourself, you must exercise certain precautions, but you may find that your loved ones are in the same boat that you are. They are also victims waiting for change. Show your loved ones that it's not hopeless. There is a way out.
Allow your personalities to remember information about the current ritual abuse memories without the physical sensations or emotions. From these memories, you must make decisions about how to protect yourself from further victimization.
Don't alienate your personalities who seem to be willing participants in the cult. It is important to remember your own victimization. If you befriend these cult personalities, they can help you break free. If you alienate them or disbelieve them, they will turn to the cult for support.
You don't always have to be aware of the behaviors of these cult personalities in order for them to help you. If you have their respect, they can slowly manipulate their abusers, loosening their ties to the cult. They can plan their escape, while you learn to protect yourself from victimization.
As you are breaking free, if you have personalities that are still returning to the cult, they will be reprogrammed and tortured. This will make you especially fearful and confused. At this point, make the break as soon as possible. Keep control of your fear. Manipulate your abusers however you feel you must in order to make yourself safe.
Don't let fear consume you. Tell your personalities that you must control your fear, until you are safe. If you become overwhelmed with your fear, you won't be able to effectively protect yourself. You might become paralyzed and give up. In other words, feel the fear and do it anyway.
I always had a protector blockade out in front when I had to go back to my previous location and had any dealing with cult members. Protectors are wonderful. They can become your best helpers in keeping you safe. I also took an outside, safe accountable person with me.
The cult rarely, if ever, wants to be noticed by those who could expose it. Therefore, they do not ever, 99.9% of the time, harass the therapists of SRA/MC/DID survivors and hardly ever their significant others.
If the cult is going to harass therapists, significant others and friends of the survivor, they will do it in covert ways. They may send people into their lives to distract them from helping the survivor. They will do things obscurely so that their involvement won't be detected, ways that won't or can't be reported to the police.
I have safe people stay with me, especially at night on trigger dates that my alters have told me about. I have a very supportive friend to whom I am accountable for my time. I give her a schedule of my activities outside of work time. If I start to lose time, she'll notice.
Have a couple of trusted friends or your therapist who can take turns as check-in people. When you leave to go somewhere, let these folks know where you are going. Be sure to give them the route you are taking. When you arrive, call again. Never go out alone at night.
Document, Document, Document. Get copies of everything. Police reports, medical files and social service case files can disappear. Also list all visits, dates, times and people. Make a set of copies and keep the originals in a very safe place. Keep a camera and/or tape recorder close by.
Cults don't usually kill members who were ritually abused as children. In their eyes, such people are an investment, and they will wait indefinitely to collect on their investment.
In time they will stop pursuing you because it reminds them that they are losing. In an arrogant stance, they will leave you alone, still believing you will come back eventually.
You don't have to punish yourself for freedom.
Each day your mind will become clearer and you will find they have less control over your life. Someday you will truly know the meaning of the word freedom.
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If you are going to work with ritual abuse survivors, you must also get educated if you want to be effective. And you must learn to be humble. Trauma survivors do not need to be around ignorant, modern-day Pharisees. Survivors in pain need people who will connect with them on an emotional level, get right down in there where they are, and listen. --Kathleen Sullivan