Tag Archives: c-ptsd

Smoking: still both a public health Menace and a private Inferno

One year later, it still holds true:

In an earlier blog article related to this global pandemic, the #coronavirus, also known as covid-19, I pointed out that allowing accurate news coverage of public health information is vital for public safety. This point is illustrated by season 2, episode 13 of Spanish Public Television series El Ministerio del Tiempo. But what is not mentioned in the episode is the danger posed by smokers to those who are either ill or recovering from a virus, particularly one like the current malady, which attacks the lungs, much like SARS. For anyone who has allergies, asthma, any sort of lung-based or respiratory illness, or even merely a common cold, cigar or cigarette smoke, or even marijuana for those who are also sensitive to it, creates further breathing difficulty, hampering recovery. Thus, a public health problem is aggravated by smoking anywhere within at least a 20 ft. But that does not take into account the other side of smoking: the personal side.

For many individuals, suffering from anything from emphysema to asthma, the hazards of smoking, both first and second-hand, are clear. But there is another side, which is not as often seen. For survivors of long term very early childhood abuse, cigarette or marijuana smoke can often trigger unwanted memories, flight/flight/freeze reactions, or even panic attacks. And to confuse the matter further, the very survivors may not even realize the source or the connection between smoke and their anxiety or panic reactions.

One survivor of very early and long-lasting childhood abuse explained it this way, when asked why the mere smell of cigarette smoke could make anyone panic:

“As long as I can remember, I have always flinched, or had the urge to run and hide (which we now call the fight, flight, or panic response), at the slightest smells of cigarette or marijuana smoke. As I sat in a place where there was strictly prohibited smoking, having been reassuring by a manager on the property that someone would find the source of the cigarette smoke right way, I relaxed for a moment and closed my eyes.

I suddenly found myself a 4-year old back in a place I never want to live again in a dark room sitting on the floor, hoping that the person with the cigarette would keep walking past the door. As the door opens can I come back to a memory of being asked for forgiveness many years later. Reasons for never given, but in my gut, I knew immediately.

What my gut knew, when I was in my late 20s, took me until I was 51 years old to come up to my conscious mind. It happened at 3 in the morning on a day when I finally feel reassured by someone that I would be protected. Not from the cigarette smoke, but from the person carrying the cigarette.”

So, please, for the good of those suffering with the novel Coronavirus, and also for the good of those suffering with buried memories triggered by smoke, please help all of us to be healthy, and stop smoking.

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our

#PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:, Vote (pref. using RankedChoiceVoting), Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!  

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.   Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

February, 2021 CE = February 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Free copies are available at https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…


Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Thoughtful Thursdays, Fruit trees, and libraries for kids

Today is January 28th, but starting last night on the 27th, the Birthday of the trees, aka Tu BiShvat began, on the Hebrew calendar.  This day celebrates all fruit-bearing trees, inclusively, just as our society must become more fully inclusive for all of us.  Especially public libraries: they need to be safer places, where kids can study quietly, sit in safety, and find the help they need, not just for homework, but for life, in peace and acceptance.

Children, especially abused children, need to be included even more intentionally, as so many fruits are included in the celebration of today’s Jewish holiday, for are we not all trees? 

(or, in the words of a certain film: “… we are all fruits.”)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: my review

Upon reading again, I see that she uses the omniscient story-tellers voice more than I thought, in the first book, to excellent effect.

I find it amazing that Rowling managed to include child neglect, child abuse or bullying, ptsd and drugs all in one book, without coming off as preachy, and even giving it a happy ending. Then, managing to get kids to read it!

I only hope that my WIP can accomplish half as much, one day.

So, it turns out that the sort of fruit that we bear may well depend on the sort of soil in which we were planted, and the kind of water we received when young, yet each year, we can bear new fruit, even be transplanted into new soil…

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to library funding and whether social workers are also stationed in public library branches in your area.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a calendar based on the Holocene Epoch might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses an alternate calendar, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 52/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 53/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Thoughtful Thursdays, Health Care, and review of Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence by Judith Lewis Herman

Part of the responsibility to protect oneself and to learn how to do that, aka Adulting, involves supplementing the available (or lack thereof) mental health care in ways that help, rather than hinder.  Not always easy.  This book, particularly in it’s updated edition, helped:

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political TerrorTrauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Lewis Herman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, for me, was a horrible read. Horribly accurate. Yet hopeful as well.

Horrible to see that I am not so different after all -I see myself in every comment she makes on adults who survived long-term trauma as children.
Horrible to see that my experience is not so different.
Yet hopeful to see that there are ways of solving the problem, living ‘normally’ -just that ignoring it is not one of those ways.
Most irritating.
Especially after burn-out has twice stopped me from working enough to distract myself from my distracting memories.

She mentions The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma in her 2015 epilogue, and that book seems to recommend both movement and writing -both of which helped me until I had to get back to sitting in a chair looking for a job all day long.

I seem to be stuck in Stage 2, and worst of all, I read over and over again that either in writing or in talking therapy, I must now stop “living in my head” and move back into my body. I have always found it easier to forget to eat then to bother about my body. Work has always been a useful form of escape, until now. Ok, not so much -once I get to about the intermediate level of just about anything, it seems no longer to hold my interest, and I find myself assaulted by unwanted memories that refuse to go back into their Blankety-Blank-Blank!!! boxes.
Irritatingly enough, this is the first place I have seen such a thing predicted.
She even has the gall to predict and counter my ‘unique’ perspective on my right to choose when to die, and how. Apparently this too is normal for folks like me. Huh. So much for being misunderstood. I guess she has us pegged, finally, Thank the non-existent God!! Finally someone actually documents what we go through, and tells us it is a normal response to a hideous start in life. Ok, now, on to how to fix the problem: start with saftey (years of martial arts did help some), get a good therapist, talk, write, and move your body. And remember that faking functionality will not work forever.

Later update:  NaNoWriMo 2015 novel  Hubris and Hemlock came out of this…

Peace,
Shira
27.10.12015 HE

View all my reviews

 

 

So, it turns out that keeping a journal does help.

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of healing and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources on how to help healing trauma.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses them, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Thoughtful Thursdays: emotional self-defense as both ‘adulting’ education and health care

While irresponsible landlords exploiting vulnerable adults and thus leaving them prey to false allies certainly falls under my definition taking advantage of of emotional and mental health vulnerabilities, which universal health care with extended mental health care provisions would prevent (to some extent), it is also an issue of legal and financial self-education, which is part of so-called Adulting, I think.

Adults can be abused by other adults in a variety of ways, especially when they are in need of friends or allies, and want to believe that the hand of friendship being extended is a true friend, rather than an abuser in disguise.  But childhood trauma, even ‘treated’ via superficial therapy, the kind designed to get people out of acute crisis and back into any job available as quickly as possible, deprives many of the tools needed to defend themselves against this type of predator. This is especially true for adults dealing with PTSD or C-PTSD, which has various stages and can be cyclical, with anniversaries being especially difficult periods.

I attempted to give voice to one woman’s cry for help a few years ago in a post that read:

Another reason we need a Universal Basic Income is that when one is desperately trying to use one’s savings to write and publish, and has rented an expensive apartment using one’s Life Savings as collateral, telling the management up front about smoke allergies and PTSD with need for quiet, then when the management refuses to respond to multiple documented noise and smoke issues in the apartment, that is effectively
renting an unlivable apartment
which is unethical:

exploitative landlords

So that they then get exploited by unscrupulous or simply narcissistic “allies” offering solutions that they use to abuse the vulnerable even further.

If you explain the problem, ask for help to find therapy and work, and then you are told “I will be your doctor,” and “All I want is your trust,” never believe them.
You may learn the hard way, in three miserable abused years.

And later write a NaNoWriMo novel if you marry when under duress about it.

 

So, it turns out that writing is both expressive and healing, and when used to learn from past mistakes, can also be self-educational, but the tools for that self-care and education still need to be provided, along with a safety net.  More on my continuing striving for justice next time, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of  hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to provide tools for women being abused.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

Preptober for NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

October, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

How a missed trash can led to Formation Tortue, but learning languages can help treating childhood trauma

Why did that paper ball flying over my head make me dive for the floor?

Shortly after I turned 51 years of age, a young coworker launched a simple balled up bit of paper at the trash can in front of me. It missed. What I saw was not a mere bit of paper becoming litter, however. Out of the corner of my eye, something came flying at me from behind. I reacted instinctively: by ducking. Since this was not the normally appropriate behavior for a 51 year old woman in an office environment, you can well imagine my embarrassment. My coworker apologized profusely: the poor thing had simply missed a trash can with a tiny bit of paper. What he saw was a reaction out of an earthquake drill. I also apologized profusely, but the damage was already done. For the rest of the day, coworkers eyed me suspiciously and slowly walked over to place their trash in the bin. The awkwardness was palpable, and I was grateful when some of my Mexican coworkers began talking and joking in Spanish, drawing attention away from the incident.

As I sat on my afternoon break with a cup of hot water, I suddenly recalled a time I haven’t thought of in over 40 years. Another object was flying over my head from behind me, but it was not a simple bit of paper.
It was a belt buckle.
Pandemonium had broken loose as an old man bellowed his wrath, and swung his belt. I was the only person in the room not running away. For some reason, I could see the old man, the belt, and the other kids in the room. All looked either furious or frightened. But it all seemed to be happening somewhere else, with me simply frozen in place. The sounds were there, but muted as if in an old fashioned film.

It suddenly hit me that this event was from a time that I had worked very hard to forget. I’d been 9 years old, in the house overnight of a babysitter who was rather negligent. I told my mother, yet she did nothing. So, I forgot. But I never knew why objects flying over my head made me panic; until today.

Spanish, in particular Mexican Spanish, has always been my favorite language to switch into when I need to move my thoughts out of English. As a child, I’d always wished that I had magical powers to allow me to fight, or that I had a fairy sister to defend me, but the reality was that I was thrown back upon my own resources, so hiding or being ready to run usually seemed to be my best option. Hiding from my own thoughts was fairly easily accomplished, even in my dreams at times, by singing or thinking in Spanish.

It turned out that I could not hide from myself indefinitely. Things we’d rather not remember have a way of springing up, in the end. As I began to get therapy for events from my childhood it turned out that hiding and forgetting was not an effective way of dealing with those events. I had to relive them, again. This was probably more frustrating for my therapists than it even was for me, as I was told again and again that pushing away the memories would only make my #C-PTSD worse. But the focus on just being functional made it easy to ignore, once I was back in a job where I could pour my time and attention into something complex. (This 13-26 week cap that Medicaid puts on the number of sessions is yet another reason that we need full #UniversalHealthCare for everyone. Complex cases of many illnesses require long-term therapy that, when covered, will make for a healthier work force and population, not just the functional-to-panic-back-to-functionality roller coaster that kills so much time and so many people, in the end…)

The final straw arrived when the regional economy took a dive, sending myself and the vast majority of people I knew out of work. Some went to California, and I went overseas for work. In a new country and environment, stress flared up, and so did my panic anxiety. But this time I had to talk to a therapist in a language I was only just beginning to learn. As it turned out, I was finally able to access a good bit of the emotional content, while remaining present and able to stem the tide of anxiety during each session. As we began to unpack more of the childhood memories I’d been avoiding, being forced to express myself in a language I was still learning appeared to keep me emotionally distanced enough to prevent being pulled completely into the pain of the original event. When I came back to the USA, I found in California that having a Mexican therapist allowed us to switch from my native English, which was required to access the full emotion of the memory, into Spanish. So when she needed to lower the intensity level of the session, but keep me in the memory, she would switch into Spanish, distancing me just enough from the experience to process it. Who would have thought that #learning a #language could help in this case? But, it did.

So, what would Astérix do? He’d ask the Druid Panoramix, who would say: Il faut #ArreterdeFumer tout de suite !!

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness ,& #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport )
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure & #‎StopSmoking for COVID-19
ShiraDest

April, 12020 HE

Smoking: a public health Menace and a private Inferno

In an earlier blog article related to this global pandemic, the #coronavirus, also known as covid-19, I pointed out that allowing accurate news coverage of public health information is vital for public safety. This point is illustrated by season 2, episode 13 of Spanish Public Television series El Ministerio del Tiempo. But what is not mentioned in the episode is the danger posed by smokers to those who are either ill or recovering from a virus, particularly one like the current malady, which attacks the lungs, much like SARS. For anyone who has allergies, asthma, any sort of lung-based or respiratory illness, or even merely a common cold, cigar or cigarette smoke, or even marijuana for those who are also sensitive to it, creates further breathing difficulty, hampering recovery. Thus, a public health problem is aggravated by smoking anywhere within at least a 20 ft. But that does not take into account the other side of smoking: the personal side.

For many individuals, suffering from anything from emphysema to asthma, the hazards of smoking, both first and second-hand, are clear. But there is another side, which is not as often seen. For survivors of long term very early childhood abuse, cigarette or marijuana smoke can often trigger unwanted memories, flight/flight/freeze reactions, or even panic attacks. And to confuse the matter further, the very survivors may not even realize the source or the connection between smoke and their anxiety or panic reactions.

One survivor of very early and long-lasting childhood abuse explained it this way, when asked why the mere smell of cigarette smoke could make anyone panic:

“As long as I can remember, I have always flinched, or had the urge to run and hide (which we now call the fight, flight, or panic response), at the slightest smells of cigarette or marijuana smoke. As I sat in a place where there was strictly prohibited smoking, having been reassuring by a manager on the property that someone would find the source of the cigarette smoke right way, I relaxed for a moment and closed my eyes.

I suddenly found myself a 4-year old back in a place I never want to live again in a dark room sitting on the floor, hoping that the person with the cigarette would keep walking past the door. As the door opens can I come back to a memory of being asked for forgiveness many years later. Reasons for never given, but in my gut, I knew immediately.

What my gut knew, when I was in my late 20s, took me until I was 51 years old to come up to my conscious mind. It happened at 3 in the morning on a day when I finally feel reassured by someone that I would be protected. Not from the cigarette smoke, but from the person carrying the cigarette.”

So, please, for the good of those suffering with the novel Coronavirus, and also for the good of those suffering with buried memories triggered by smoke, please help all of us to be healthy, and stop smoking.

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness ,& #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare , and
4. good #publictransport )
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

March, 12020 HE

More old feelings, moral famines, and trigger warnings…

The common good, or the general welfare, absolutely requires a more fully inclusive society for all of us.  And learning to sit with the pain of another, and ask what is underneath it all…

Self-Discipline and the importance of mastering ones feelings

I am saddened and surprised at how old a person can become and still not have learned how to see from another one’s perspective. How crucial it is to give what that person needs rather than what you want to give, what that person really wants rather than to simply give what you wish to be given. We all do it, but time should teach us to better discipline our feelings and learn to put our actions in line with our principles rather than our base desires.

But discipline -self discipline, restraint, and working for a cause seem to be little cherished values in the world today.

So many friends lost because they wished to gossip, prefered to snicker about the past rather than learn from it, or refused to uphold their promises of brotherhood over the gossip of relationships long gone.

Another unable to listen, unable to consider, to subordinate cravings for intention, to walk the truths spoken lets fellowship crumble to indulge base fears.

None of them could understand, perhaps, how important their promises to me were, and how painful was their betrayal. We promised to be family, ended in anger.

Why does it always fall to me, the gadfly, to tell the truth, and be disowned for it?

To your gossips and your bottles, then, go, and there remain,
but pledge me no more your brotherhood
offer me not again your solace
abuse me not for your gain
I am tired nearly to death
can stomach none of it
my wounds grievious
rage smouldering
yet discipline
ever consoles
and true so
I remain
working
for
Peace

So, it turns out that a week later, I wrote this, which explains the gossip :

“2008-03-07 13:33:00
how out of touch ‘nice middle-class people’ can be

As I look back over Senn’s 1981 ‘Poverty and Famines’ after yet another argument with my nice Thai officemate on why America is not in fact the Land of Opportunity if you start off poor, I see again what hit me when I first arrived at this university.

Middle class people really don’t get it. My office mate keeps saying ‘just work hard adn you’ll get a job’ but can’t fathom the lack of opportunities for people who have no connections and no home or family on which to fall back.

Senn likewise documents the lack of resources and opportunities that play in with the system of entitlments in famines to ensure that the wealthy and middle classes tend not to suffer much, but the poor suffer by falling further into destitution or even starving to death. This is something I found myself thinking as I read ‘well, duh’ -it’s obvious to someone who lives among poor people because it’s all around the poor and the working classes. But to someone living in a house the next block over, with an office or a shop to tend to daily, it may not be so obvious. Just like an academic presenting ‘findings’ showing that the poor in England (lone mothers in that seminar) were better off if they had both a job and child care support. Well, duh. Why is this not immediately obvious to begin with? Because people with connections can’t imagine not having them. Or something. I’m not sure. It looks clear to me that people who’ve never missed a meal (as my older Chinese former roommate pointed out about the younger students, saying “they can’t understand because they haven’t suffered”), like my officemate, can’t understand the difficulties of people who weren’t blessed with such luck.

Let’s make more luck for all of us, together.”

and the poem that got me banned from the survivor’s group (Triggerssuicidality…):

“Sliding into the hot water
perfume so strong in her nose
memory of his scent, his touch
driving her into the reeking inferno
heat is not as hard as a thrust
pushing into the watery bed of nails
“It won’t feel warm for long”
the perfume will cover his smell
awful fragrance of blood and lust
“I will wash it away…”

The blade feels clean down her arm
carrying away guilt, the blood flows
another thrust, another blow
another vein to sate the lust
like the smell of his semen
the smell of blood permeates
over the perfumed bath oils
carrying away the pain
into the baptismal water
‘love’ and blood.”

 

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to the Holocene Epoch and to the Holocene Calendar.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a calendar based on the Holocene Epoch might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses an alternate calendar, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.   Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

February, 2021 CE = February 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 57/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 58/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.