Tag Archives: ptsd

The Bright side of PTSD: become a Body Guard?

Smells, noises or lights can suddenly awaken some of us, and refuse to let us sleep until identified. Long-lasting childhood traumas can leave your Inner Child reluctant to come out from under the coffee table. Some ideas, illustrated by examples from historical and fictional sages, may help your Inner Parent to teach safety and trust to that Frightened Inner Child so that your Inner Adult, your competent and ambitious self who’d rather ignore both Child and Parent, can get on with succeeding in life.

First, one possible intrepretation of Hillel’s famous pair of questions:
A. אם אין אני לי, מי לי (Im ein ani li, mi li: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me,”) is that each of us must parent and protect his or her own inner child, and

B. ? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני ; (Vekesh’ani le’atzmi, mah ani ? “And if I am only for myself, what am I?”), also stand with others who have been wounded.

Second, if, like Harry Potter, you’ve sustained significant losses in your life, even very early on, is there someone you can recall, or as Harry uses to conjure his first #Patronus, even some imaginary memory, showing love or kindness, even if from or to a stranger just for a moment? Your Inner Parent can use that image to show your Inner Child that there is hope for this world, and that is worth holding on to and fighting for, to motivate your ambitious Inner Adult to keep going. This is being for yourself in the most crucial way: parenting yourself through the panic and soothing those constantly jangled nerves until you learn to trust life. Then your ambitious and centered Inner Adult can take it from there to build the life you want to live.

Third, if, like Amelia, you see that it would be safer to give up than to fight, perhaps your Inner Adult can take the lead, having learned by watching your Inner Parent defend your own Inner Child, that sometimes an adult must sacrifice to create a better world for all Human Children. And like Feruze Hatun, healing all those around you may come at a high personal cost, but honesty and love, even shown to our enemies, as Gandhi and Dr. King proved, can indeed defeat hate, and bring you greater self-confidence and feelings of security.

So, warrior like Amelia or Intergenerational Community Parent to all, like Feruze Hatun, or just competent, capable, and knitting lots of hats for House Elves like Hermione, parenting yourself can lead to parenting others , for the good of All Humankind. Or you could still become a Body Guard.

Some more of my thoughts on how local government Policy such as accepting part of local taxes in local currencies/Time Dollars can help stimulate local community employment and inclusion for PTSD survivors are found in my related paper on Building Community and the crucial role of Intergenerational Participation in Community : Shavuot (Pentacost) as one of four Biblical pillars of building community.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest
My books on Economic and Social Policy: Shared Monetary Governance, and Stayed on Freedom’s Call…

September 10th, 12017 HE
Community4BiblicalPillarsShavuot

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Relating PTSD, homelessness and debt to lessons not learned in youth: do we need studies?

What we need our children to prove, for recognition of adulthood, is not their prowess in battle or the hunt, not their virility, not their adeptness at social maneuvering, but their ability to contribute meaningfully to society by teaching another person, from level 0, how to do something that is both difficult and absolutely neccessary in our society today. By requiring our pre-adults to teach some other person a needed life skill, over the course of at least a year, that pre-adult shows persistence, perseverence, discernment, and of course, the skill in question.

Thus we provide an esteem building excercise and respect building accomplishment which we then reward with full adult status, whatever the age of the pre-adult in question. This obviously assumes that the person has had opportunity to prove his or her good judgement in other ways as well, prior to seeking adulthood recognition. This might help as one step of a series of steps implemented by and through local communities which could lead to more long-term thinking in society at large, given a critical mass and good faith in the ability of humankind to rise above our instincts, and learn to cooperate.  Certain pre-requisites should apply: knowledge of emotional, financial and physical self-defense.

Tying into emotional challenges like PTSD, pre-adults must learn how to communicate non-violently, manage their own emotions and prevent emotional manipulation, which eases the recognition and treatment of difficult past traumatic disorders.   Homelessness and debt both relate to issues of financial self-defense, by which I mean the ability not only to balance a check book and write up a home budget, but also to avoid falling victim to scams of all sorts, as well as the ability to plan for long-range problems like job-loss, or illness, etc.
Hence the post I mentioned developing the idea of an Adulthood Rite of Passage:

First elaborated here: https://network23.org/communitycoop/2014/04/17/pre-adulthood-adults-and-rites-of-passage/ with an annoyingly trivializing comment, and then here:

http://adulthoodchallenge.dreamwidth.org/318.html , with more extensive conversations.

Then the prerequisites which are essentially being able to defend oneself physically, financially, and emotionally:

http://meowdate.dreamwidth.org/6177.html but more cleanly written (w/ref. to V. Frankl, also) here: https://network23.org/communitycoop/2014/06/27/am-i-an-adult-part-1-definition/

(A useful side effect of this idea is that it would effectively increase the number of available tutors, and also lead to every adult in our society coming away with an understanding of the challenges involved in teaching anyone anything non-trivial.)

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !
ShiraDest
May 7th, 12017 HE

Under Stress? Remember your Dreams!

My personal dream has always been to save lives, and  I hold on to my dream: to become a Volunteer Firefighter.
(My dream for the world is to see a Tiny House or at least a small well-insulated room with kitchenette and bathroom, with potable water, green vegetables, brown rice and dried beans and solar/windpower with backup pedal power for every man, woman and child over maybe, the age of 10, world wide, free for that person’s use from birth to his/her death with no charge, no questions, and no way to lose that right.)

Then I journal, walk, run or plan (esp. for my training for the fire-fighter’s test:  41MarathonVert2016 ) and work some more.

Peace,

 

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
7 February, 12016 HE

updated with my Dream for the World:
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
22 February, 12016 HE

(update:  after 3 weeks off for the start of an intensified job search, I am bumping down to a Half-Marathon…)
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
23 March, 12016 HE

Rain+Tendonitis = Nightmares??

The night before, I dreamt I was a consultant on a ship w/an insane captain somewhere in the North Atlantic, with giant waves that froze around us like a white out.  I ordered and got a shovel, dying digging while the sailors around me gaped as if I were the crazy one.  No, digging did not help, but at least I think I died on my feet.

Last night, it was me being attacked by a crocodile : not sure if it was Sacred or not, but at least I died warm!

Ok, I will admit that trippling the number of km Power Walked (Fr, but accessible) (in compensation for km not run, trying to reach 45km/week by mid-March (English, log in needed) ) may not have been the best idea I’ve had lately, but why the renewed ‘My Life is in Serious Danger’ dreams now that I’ve stopped running/walking for the last 4 days?

While I know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aka la Dépression Hivernal, is linked to light, but also to excercise levels (which is why I always take my walks and runs early in the morning), I wonder if the feeling of a cold or flu coming on, combined with having to rest the ankle tendon due to my own stupidity, makes me feel powerless?  Obviously the answer is Yes!  But it remains irritating, and a bit scary, to see how quickly those fears and despair of just a short while ago can come screaming back, threatening to overwhelm you, just after a few days of darker than usual weather (weekends I generally do not write, so do not sit with my SunLamp), and enforced ‘rest’ (which is making me more restless by the day, but with a tendon still aching for no apparent reason…).

So, dear friends, my reason for writing this post is as follows:  if you feel down, do not give in to despair.  Drink a spicy hot chocolate (soy milk and Fair Trade chocolate with cayenne if possible, but if you feel rotten, just a hot choc. may help), and then turn on the lights for a few minutes, and bask in them.  Then, get out a pad of paper, and write.  Preferably while you wriggle your toes and think of Frodo Baggins!

Then, plan to change your life.  Taking risks is scary, but sometimes the only way to make life better, for you and for someone else.  Don’t let those dreams that tell you your life is in danger go unheeded:  especially if the one putting you life in danger might be You.

Human Love,

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
31 January, 12016 HE

Running, Writing, Relaxing, and Belonging?

I find that anger can often be useful, if I follow it back to the source and then look to see how I can fix the problem.  This week, I was feeling frustrated for a variety of reasons, and wanting to do more running than my current running plan seems to allow, since I lost 9 weeks due to illness.  I had assumed that that blew my GreenMarathon plans out the window.

In a fit of pique, and irritation with myself for being unable to finish the detailed planning for my short story, I searched and found, Lo and Behold, a 41 Week walk-run Marathon Plan shown on PBS (that looks safe enough to jump 41MarathonVert2016 into) after losing my running base!   🙂

So now I can relax, if I could only figure out how to do that.  My usual way of relaxing is to read something interesting (or watch an episode of Sihirli Annem (My Magical Mother) and share it with someone who might enjoy it, but that hasn’t worked lately.   So I go back to the question of how to relax if one feels alone?  Feeling lonely can make it difficult to smile.

Which brings me to the sense of belonging, or the lack thereof.  How does one develop a sense of belonging (without joining a cult or accepting the first marriage offer) when one lacks family and does not have a strong sense of cultural identity?  You can try borrowing other people’s stories, but that doesn’t always work.

Any suggestions, friends?

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
12th of December, 12015 HE

Neville Longbottom and Harry as kids with PTSD?

It is interesting to see how different cultures hide the mistreatment of kids.  The Brits seem to be a bit more up front about it, but also more harsh than say, Turks, who adore children.

I am being lazy and re-reading HP2 to work on my Turkish reading, instead of continuing to slog through something by Orhan Pamuk, because I am just too tired (and I am starting to hit words like bequeath while watching my favorite family TV show of all time: My Magical Mother! (Sihirli Annem!) so it really is time to get back to some reading to keep up my Turkish.

But back to Nevile -I identified with him immediately: I was the one walking into walls in Middle School, forgetting everything, and being told to come down out of the clouds.  Now I know (and we see in later books with Neville) that these are symptoms of childhood PTSD, which presents differently than with adults.

So please, for the love of God, Humanity, Children and the Human Race, or at least for the love of the planet and the potential creativity of the human race, please look out for such signs in kids and try to understand and help them rather than yelling at them.  Don’t let them turn into Invisible Children, or worse.

 

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
5th of December, 12015  HE

What I learned from NaNoWriMo about Writing and Depression

My second practice novel actually started on Wattpad , but much easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website, has taught me several things about managing Depression (or PTSD -> anger->depression, sort of…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This makes me feel like less of a waste of oxygen, provided I can find a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.

(Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and you will feel annoyed if try to write stream-of-consciousness just because you have 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and the real

Writing 7.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

🙂

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
29 November 12015 HE

Shira

Does this Climactic Chapter Work?

Dear Readers,

This is my 2nd draft of Hubris and Hemlock, a very short novel (40k words or 150 pages), which is Women’s Fiction, so: 1. Relationships are Key, and 2. The Heroine saves Herself.  But my question, before I go to polishing the prose, is: Does the plot hold your interest?    Especially Chapter 17, the climactic chapter.

I plan to post the last chapter shortly, but it is just a wrap-up, so if chapter 17 doesn’t work, neither will chapter 18.

Thank you for any feedback,

 

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
23 March, 12016 HE

review of Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence by Judith Lewis Herman

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.

Peace,
Shira
27.10.12015 HE

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What is spirituality, and why do I care? Four reasons….

A woman came up to me, after a Zembekiko at a Greek festival in the Boston area, and asked me
‘What do you feel when you dance?’ -I had to ask her what she meant; she explained that I seemed to be in another world, as if I were having a spiritual experience, when I danced.
Upon reflection, I had to admit that she was right -the beautiful music of the Mediterranean, the Balkans, even of those wild places where men danced with swords in hand, or like Zorba, gone mad with grief -those mournful yet insistent strains pulled me into some place where life existed. A place, maybe the only place, where I felt alive.

For me, spirituality seems to be that thing that gives meaning to life, a reason to keep going day after day, eating, breathing. Why bother? Because there is beauty in this world, and each person has a particular way of looking at it -a distinctive way of seeing the world.

For me, writing makes me understand and remember how it felt to be alive, throwing myself into the air, reaching into the clouds, stretching into the breeze. When the words overwhelm me, refusing to leave me alone, writing them down is the only escape.
But then, they demand to be pondered.
The emotional work always follows the meaning -is it possible to be happy, and why does that matter? Action matters. But thoughts and feelings affect actions.

So I use four criteria to order my days:

1. An action that gives meaning to my life: either dance or write each day,
2. A thought that adds to my emotional stability each day, either comprehending my reasons for feeling/behaving a certain way, or meditation on some feeling and the causes behind that feeling, leading to a decision on how to classify and use that feeling in the future.
3. A physical action that furthers my goals for reaching my body’s fullest potential (running a marathon, for example), and
4. An action that furthers my goals for developing my fullest personal intelectual potential (reading a certain number of pages in Turkish, for example).

For me, these four things represent my personal responsibility to reach my fullest potential as a human being, spiritually (if that exists), emotionally, physically and intellectually. Now, I wonder if and how I can help others do the same?
Shira “Holocene/Human Era” Destinie
20 August, 12015 HE
Bretagne

Current Mood: calm
Current Location: A world that should be safe for ALL
Current Music: Imagine -John Lennon

Tags:

abuse, adultriteofpassage, health, jogging, marathon, meowvision, novel, survivors, tools, writing

( Cut: Semaine 11, jour 3; jeudi = session dur pour la semaine

4 km marche/course ‘J’ selon le plan, donc j’aurais du marcher/courrir, mais je trottins si lente que je me suis permets de trottiner tout les 4 km…)

J’ai commencé ventre vide et très fatiguée à cause du temps gris:
marché 5 minutes pour m’échauffer,
km 1: 12:34
km 2: 10:07
km 3: 10:10
km 4: 9:16
Totale de 4 km: 42:07 en trottinant si lentement possible sauf le dernier km.
12 minutes de marche en refroidisant.

Je remarques (mon Bescherelle, il est où ?) que j’ai senti meilleure le dernier km, quand je me suis permis de trottiner plus vite. Par contre, j’ai commencé à sentir mes gennoux aussi après quelques minutes de trot plus vite. 😦 aufff…
20.8.12015 èH )