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Wednesday, May 18, 2016.  NOTE:  This list was deleted from the newer 2010 edition of this book.  I found it incredibly helpful to me in “nailing down” what was wrong with my abusive, psychotic mentally ill mother.

Here is the link to my first post on this list – and my Mother.  It took me another year for the reality of the terrible PSYCHOTIC nature of her illness to crystallize in my thinking, especially as it created her insane abuse of me (see my book’s link at bottom of this post for more info):

+DID MY MOTHER SUFFER FROM BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD)? (this is eerie)  October 6, 2012

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43 characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder

From:  Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason MS and Randi Kreger (Jan 2, 2010)

Thoughts That May Indicate BPD

Does this person:

 (1) — Alternate between seeing people as either flawless or evil?  Have difficulty remembering the good things about a person they’re casting in the role of villain?  Find it impossible to recall anything negative about this person when they become the hero?

(2) — Alternate between seeing others as completely for them or against them?

(3) — Alternate between seeing situations as either disastrous or ideal?

(4) — Alternate between seeing themselves as either worthless of flawless?

 (5) — Have a hard time recalling someone’s love for them when they’re not around?

(6) — Believe that others are either completely right or totally wrong?

(7) — Change their opinions depending upon who they’re with?

(8) — Alternate between idealizing people and devaluing them?

(9) — Remember situations very differently than other people, or find themselves unable to recall them at all?

(10) — Believe that others are responsible for their actions — or take too much responsibility for the actions of others?

(11) — Seem unwilling to admit a mistake — or feel that everything that they do is a mistake?

(12) — Based their beliefs on feelings rather than facts?

(13) — Not realize the effects of their behavior on others?

++

Feelings That May Indicate BPD

Does this person:

(14) — Feel abandoned at the slightest provocation?

 (15) — Have extreme moodiness that cycles very quickly (in minutes or hours?)

(16) — Have difficulty managing their emotions?

(17) — Feel emotions so intensely that it’s difficult to put others’ needs — even those of their own children — ahead of their own?

(18) — Feel distrustful and suspicious a great deal of the time?

(19) — Feel anxious or irritable a great deal of the time?

(20) — Feel empty or like they have no self a great deal of the time?

(21) — Feel ignored when they are not the focus of attention?

(22) — Express anger inappropriately or have difficulty in expressing anger at all?

(23) —  Feel that they never can get enough love, affection, or attention?

(24) — Frequently feel spacey, unreal, or out of it?

Behaviors That May Indicate BPD

Does this person

 (25) — Have trouble observing others’ personal limits?

(26) — Have trouble defining their own personal limits?

(27) — Act impulsively in ways that are potentially self-damaging, such as spending too much, engaging in dangerous sex, fighting, gambling, abusing drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, shoplifting, or disordered eating?

(28) — Mutilate themselves — for example, purposely cutting or burning their skin?

(29) — Threaten to kill themselves — or make actual suicide attempts?

(30) — Rush into relationships based on idealized fantasies of what they would like the other person or the relationship to be?

(31) — Change their expectations in such a way that the other person feels they can never do anything right?

(32) — Have frightening, unpredictable rages that make no logical sense — or have trouble expressing anger at all?

(33) — Physically abuse others, such as slapping, kicking, and scratching them?

(34) — Needlessly create crises or live a chaotic lifestyle?

(35) — Act inconsistently or unpredictably?

(36) — Alternately want to be close to others, then distance themselves?  (Examples include picking fights when things are going well or alternately ending relationships and then trying to get back together.)

(37) — Cut people out of their life over issues that seem trivial or overblown?

(38) — Act competent and controlled in some situations but extremely out of control in others?

(39) — Verbally abuse others, criticizing and blaming them to the point where it feels brutal?

(40) — Act verbally abusive toward people they know very well, while putting on a charming front for others?  Can they switch from one mode to the other in seconds?

(41) — Act in what seems like extreme or controlling ways to get their own needs met?

(42) — Do or say something inappropriate to focus the attention on them when they feel ignored?

(43) — Accuse others of doing things they did not do, having feelings they do not feel, or believing things they do not believe?

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

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Monday, May 16, 2016.  Good day today.  Nice to be able to jump over that dead uncle triggering heap so quickly (yes, turns out, writing a blog post DID help).  Rest in peace, Uncle.  I mean that.  “Let the dead bury the dead.”

And I moved on….

My daughter fulfilled my wish list today when she bought me a 2’ x 3’ white dry erase board for my music composing!  It’s even magnetic!

Very sweet gift – which will do away with my sheets of paper taped to my walls all around my keyboard.

Today I nudged this song I am working on ALL the way out of its original interesting melding of Middle Eastern musical scale with Western diatonic scale so that it now lies squarely within a useful (flatfooted) plain old Key of C.  That’s OK.  I had great fun with it today!

Later I might play around with this “East meets West” thing.  At first this song appeared as IF it SHOULD have been in the Key of A – which it clearly was not.  There were no sharps or flats to be found anywhere!

But they WERE there – so I went online searching and quickly found that in Persian Middle Eastern music sharps and flats abound – differently from over here on our side of the ocean.

But this is part of the fun of these musical adventures.  With internet assistance I can instantly find musical facts that fit my need-to-know (which is vast).  At the moment I have a kind of “PS” piece to this bigger song that is just meant for kids of all ages to have fun with!

Kneading its beat led me to take a gaze at the beautiful Bach piece HERE – and then to a site that showed me that the graph paper I decided to use today for writing this ‘beat ditty’ makes perfect sense!!  HERE are some visual examples of the musical notation of RAP!

How FASCINATING!  Both of the styles of writing and of music displayed at these links are beautiful to me, indicative not only of the beauty of music itself, but also of the ‘turning into matter’ something invisible.  Giving patterns visual form that is – but it not – the music itself.

(I like to surround myself with books of piano music scrounged from rummage sales and thrift stores.  Not that I think about training myself to play those songs.  I think written music is a display of beauty of form and marking all by itself. I want them on my walls!)

Music is miraculous to me, although I listen to less and less of it the older I get.  I think in part that’s because if I give myself the time to LISTEN – there are other songs waiting for me to find them.

+

Other than what little bit I have managed to figure out on my own, I have no musical training.  That’s OK.  There’s joy in this for me and that is a very great thing!  Of course it helps that today was actually SUNNY without wind!

About time.

Speaking of time….

Melody takes nothing of effort it seems to me.  It’s the RHYTHM that I am working with (shovel, hoe and plow!).  I need to SEE “time” in order to “get this” the way I want it – the way I FEEL it – which is as difficult to capture for me as an invisible butterfly.

No different, I suppose, from trying to name any complex emotional configuration from within that does not ACTUALLY have a name.

We find these things, it seems.  Shifts in perceptions.  Focusing thought.  Yes, I have clocks.  I can tell time.

Or CAN I?

+

I wonder what music will be like 500 years from now.  I think we will invent instruments not imagined yet.  I don’t mean purely digital ones, either.  REAL instruments, ones that have body – like a glorious grand piano has body.  Real drums have body.  Shake the room vibrating sound waves kind of body.

Tomorrow I will think some more about how I can play my melody along with its bass notes – together at the same time – within the same middle 2.5 octaves.  High notes are too high.  Low notes are to low.  Hummmm…..

+

I am also wondering about this free MuseScore software – I asked my computer savvy son to look over this for me.  Hope he gets back to me on this so I don’t have to bug him!

+

Michael Jackson (did not read music, did not feel it was necessary (he recorded versions of his songs) – his music came out entirely whole, or “appeared” to him over time) – amazing – tribute link – you might need to copy and paste this into your browser –

http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/the-incredible-way-michael-jackson-wrote-music/

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Click here to read or to

Leave a Comment »

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016.  My art therapy training sessions with a “service provider” I will call Abby here in Fargo are going refreshingly well!  Many aspects of the practice are coming up for us to describe through a very natural process of art production and discussion.

It is fascinating to be working with a very healthy woman!  At the same time she is experiencing the process of creating images, many important aspects of “being a therapist” are appearing in her images.

I wanted to mention two linked and intertwined aspects of “being a therapist” (“being a healer”) that showed up in Abby’s art work today – 1) transference and countertransference, and 2) “the healer” archetypes.

Patterns and dynamics of therapy processes are about communication.  When limited only to verbalization processes the details of the nuances in the processes are much harder to track than they are through art work expressions.  Importantly, all aspects of the transference process work best for a HEALED  healer.  Art processes enable these patterns to become very clear and nearly tangible in image work.

For an art therapist countertransference will appear through doing one’s own artwork outside of sessions while focus is on session work, on the client and on the internal experience of the therapist.  This is an “evoking-evocative” process which allows “awakenings” within the therapist that will in-form the therapy work.

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In a healed healer those images can be trusted to be “echoes” of the processes a client is moving through.  They can clarify for the therapist deeper levels of meaning, connections and movement of the work going on in sessions.

Art therapy, when done near its peak maximum potential, is a kind of poetry (poesis).  This is a highly constructive and re-creational way of being in the world.  Every second in a session matters.  Every part of the session is a “telling” part of the image and speaks of the poetry of the work.  All words and related non-spoken exchange signals are also part of the wholeness of the image being expressed in an ongoing manner.  Every part is valued – and is OF value.

Transference (client to therapist) is an expected aspect of a therapy relationship.  Countertransference (therapist to client) also needs to be welcomed, appreciated, valued – AND understood.  These processes MUST be operating on the conscious level for the therapist, and art image making is a powerful way to bring this consciousness into focus.

Because art therapy (done correctly) is a superb medium of communication exchanges it WILL expose to light all that can be known of what is happening in therapy processes.  Not all at once, of course!  No therapy works that way­.  The art work is a specific record of the details of such a process along with whatever words are recorded in the poetic process of interacting verbally with the images.

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Probably up to and into the 1980s the term “wounded healer” was still accepted in reference to people who suffered in their own lives but could use all of their experiences of suffering and healing processes to help others heal.

At about the middle of that decade a shift began to appear which demonstrated that being wounded as a healer was no longer enough — or acceptable.

As time moves forward in the evolution of the maturation process of the human race we will eventually reach a point where civilization no longer will tolerate anywhere on the planet what so harms people today (and all life here on earth).

I anticipate this to be a many centuries-long process, but we ARE moving in this direction.

A part of this process is a paradigm shift reflected in the healed healer archetype.  We are ALL now able to work toward healing our own wounds COMPLETELY.  It is now the obligation, the moral and ethical responsibility of those working in any arena of “being a healer” to accelerate their own healing as they ALWAYS remain as consciously aware as they possibly can where their wounds still exist.

++

My own pathway through these processes led me to step away from any role connected to “being a healer” because I now understand too much about what the kind of horrific trauma of abuse and neglect did to harm me.

I have NO problem at all with being in the educator role for healers who have healed themselves such as Abby has done.  She will no doubt keep continual track of the state of her own health for the rest of her life to keep herself healthy.

Because I believe in God I believe it has been His Will in motion that has caused my and Abby’s paths to connect at this time.

The techniques and “theory” I am sharing through the art making and training process will inform Abby’s life and work in any way she chooses to use them.  Meanwhile I am freed from ANY worry that I am teaching someone who I would not see as healed-enough to call herself “a healer.”

I KNOW that Abby will only do good for other people.  I KNOW she will never harm anyone.  She is too healthy and whole to do so.

Such a delight!

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Click here to read or to

Leave a Comment »

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

Story Without Words is a forensic biography/autobiography in which the author, Linda Danielson, explores three generations of her family history to help understand the horrific abuse she was subjected to from birth at her mother’s hands. Her mother Mildred had a psychotic break while delivering Linda, her second of six children and the only one of whom she targeted directly for abuse. The delivery culminated in Mildred being convinced that Linda had been sent by the devil to kill her, and until Linda left home at age 18 for boot camp, she was subjected to unrelenting abuse.

Story Without Words is a creative and compassionate exploration of early factors that may have contributed to Mildred’s abusive trajectory. The author seeks to give words to her experiences as a child abuse survivor; Story Without Words is unique in providing the words of the abuser and the abused in one volume. The author seeks to provide insight for others who were themselves abused, professionals who wish to learn more about the inner world of survivors, and concerned individuals who wish to help stop the storm of child abuse in our society.

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

+ANXIETY

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Anxiety

anxiety comes creeping

black shadow like ink

over snow

or it comes like a blast

shocking

everything in its way

—-

maybe it wouldn’t matter

if I were a bird or a squirrel

or a frog

all such a creature is built to do

is react

moment to moment

as if there is

no tomorrow

—-

but I do notice

I notice in one instant I am

no longer feeling OK

as I was an instant ago

no warning

no notice

nothing I can determine in

this current life of mine

that brought this ink upon me

—-

and nothing I can think or

do

makes it go away

———————————

disturbed

a pair of wild geese

on high alert

honking

fly away together

—-

they feel what they feel

they deeply know to get away

there are no  questions

—-

only I ask

why?

— Anonymous

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Click here to read or

Leave a Comment »

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

Story Without Words is a forensic biography/autobiography in which the author, Linda Danielson, explores three generations of her family history to help understand the horrific abuse she was subjected to from birth at her mother’s hands. Her mother Mildred had a psychotic break while delivering Linda, her second of six children and the only one of whom she targeted directly for abuse. The delivery culminated in Mildred being convinced that Linda had been sent by the devil to kill her, and until Linda left home at age 18 for boot camp, she was subjected to unrelenting abuse.

Story Without Words is a creative and compassionate exploration of early factors that may have contributed to Mildred’s abusive trajectory. The author seeks to give words to her experiences as a child abuse survivor; Story Without Words is unique in providing the words of the abuser and the abused in one volume. The author seeks to provide insight for others who were themselves abused, professionals who wish to learn more about the inner world of survivors, and concerned individuals who wish to help stop the storm of child abuse in our society.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

 

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Monday, May 2, 2016.  This is an excellent beginning read on a topic that is extremely important to me:

Infant-parent attachment: Definition, types, antecedents, measurement and outcome

By Diane Benoit, MD FRCPC – FULL TEXT free

Paediatrics and Child Health. 2004 Oct; 9(8): 541–545.

PMCID: PMC2724160

Abstract

Attachment theory is one of the most popular and empirically grounded theories relating to parenting. The purpose of the present article is to review some pertinent aspects of attachment theory and findings from attachment research. Attachment is one specific aspect of the relationship between a child and a parent with its purpose being to make a child safe, secure and protected. Attachment is distinguished from other aspects of parenting, such as disciplining, entertaining and teaching. Common misconceptions about what attachment is and what it is not are discussed. The distinction between attachment and bonding is provided. The recognized method to assess infant-parent attachment, the Strange Situation procedure, is described. In addition, a description is provided for the four major types of infant-parent attachment, ie, secure, insecure-avoidant, insecure-resistant and insecure-disorganized. The antecedents and consequences of each of the four types of infant-parent attachment are discussed. A special emphasis is placed on the description of disorganized attachment because of its association with significant emotional and behavioural problems, and poor social and emotional outcomes in high-risk groups and in the majority of children who have disorganized attachment with their primary caregiver. Practical applications of attachment theory and research are presented.”

Keywords: Attachment, Attachment relationships, Infant-parent attachment

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A quick scan through the list of references at the end of this important article will show you a very simplified yet fairly clear idea of where my biases stem from.  It is very common among researchers and practionners of all sorts to leave out any mention or consideration of what you WILL see among those references – Disorganized-Disoriented Insecure Attachment.

Is this the worst, most hurtful of the insecure attachments?  No.  But except for the use of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) there is, to my knowledge, only one more inconsistently referred to and problematic type sometimes referred to as “Cannot Classify.”

All of these “lower” insecure attachment categories involve Disorganized-Disoriented patterns which are created around early abuse and neglect in infancy that forces a developing nervous system/brain to form dissociation within it.

An ACEs measurement in no possible way identifies ANY early attachment problems which, when they exist, have created a PRIOR condition long before any other ACE-related problem could come into play.  We ALL have to understand that early attachment FIRST forms the nervous system-brain, immune system, stress response system, etc. that is the BODY of the person whose processes DO experience a person’s life.

There is nothing I see in ACEs measurement that would let us know who is living from birth in an insecure attachment (0 through age 3) built body and who is not because at LEAST their mother-infant attachment was “good enough” birth to age ONE!

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See also:  The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI): Mary Main in a Strange Situation

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Does current ACEs “mania” further antagonize our cultural split between “body” and “brain” — as if such is possible?  As I see it, if the formative processes of early attachment relationships are not considered in our ACEs thinking we might as well pretend that we have no body at all!  Take a look at this very short video!!

Dr. Daniel Siegel Defines Mind

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I am increasingly concerned that not only does the ACE Questionnaire not have the ability to identify the MOST damaging aspects of troubled early life, but the risk of eliminating the most important sources of these problems cannot be identified, either.  That source is specifically the insecure attachment patterns built into MOTHERS who are likely to pass those patterns to her offspring.

In any case, I believe ACE findings will not have true power to inform if the most important section of time within which human critical development occurs (conception to age 4) cannot be targeted for assessment.  At the very least it must be made clear that this missing information greatly reduces the usefulness of ACEs.

Ignoring what we cannot easily measure or SEE (including in our memory) is going to continue to leave us in the dark.

(Also see comments to my last post — +IS THERE ROOM FOR AN ACEs DEBATE? (Long post) – April 29, 2016 – for some highlights of my thinking on this matter.)

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I have been searching around online to see what exists for an adult attachment scale.  So far I have settled on this article for the most helpful information about what’s available:

A Reliability Generalization Meta-Analysis of SelfReport Measures of Adult Attachment

By James M. Grahama, Marta S. Unterschutea

Department of Psychology, Western Washington University

Published online: 25 Jun 2014 — Journal of Personality Assessment

This article was downloaded by: [Northwestern University] On: 04 July 2014, At: 08:26 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

FULL TEXT FREE

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It appears that this might be the most valid and reliable adult attachment measurement tool available:

The Experiences in Close Relationship Scale (ECR)-Short Form: Reliability, Validity, and Factor Structure

The article at this link gives the questions on the scale as they went through revisions from a 36- to a 12- question scale.

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As my daughter prepares to consider her doctoral dissertation topic I am naturally presenting to her my concerns about the failure of the ACE process to identify the so-important elements of early attachment as they ALONE can determine much of the well-being of a person’s life without EVER considering the other difficulties that are considered with ACEs.

I believe an important step that needs to happen before ACEs information can be made maximally useful is some research using at minimum a qualified adult attachment scale in combination with the ACEs questionnaire.  My daughter has the ability to figure out such a plan and to implement it should she do this NOW or sometime after her doctoral work is completed.

++

Part of what also concerns me is that “attachment” seems to be very loosely translated to being “social support.”  (When it comes to today’s world and what is happening to “attachment,” take a look at what these search terms will produce:  social media may serve attachment functions because)

Infants and very young children are most definitely NOT looking for or reliant upon “social support” unless we are willing to make such an absurd mis-connection between the two!  I would also not consider mate relationships parental relationships at any point on the age spectrum as being “social support,” either.  They  are attachment relationships, as are many true friendships and relationships with family members of all ages.

When it comes to this issue, or to the concerns I have about how ludicrous it seems to me to think the ACEs “movement” can account for those so-critical stages of early attachment growth and development by IGNORING them – I think our society is quite simply OFF ITS ROCKER!

++

Note:  It probably remains true that the Adult Attachment Interview  (AAI) is the ONLY accurate assessment tool.  It is impossible to use this as a general public instrument.  It was designed ONLY for research purposes.  There are ways, probably impractical, through which some combination of research using an adult attachment tool in combination with the ACE questionnaire could be “run through” a research filter accomplished by those trained and credentialed in administration and assessment of the AAI.

Given enough motivation, and enough money, SOMEONE could come up with a combination that would be able to test the validity of an adult attachment-ACEs interaction.  The AAI would have to be the way to do this at some point in an excellent research pipeline.

++

While assessing adult attachment is not a direct indicator of earliest attachment there is no doubt a strong correlation, and this connection cannot be ignored.

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Read comments  at this link –

Leave a Comment »

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

Story Without Words is a forensic biography/autobiography in which the author, Linda Danielson, explores three generations of her family history to help understand the horrific abuse she was subjected to from birth at her mother’s hands. Her mother Mildred had a psychotic break while delivering Linda, her second of six children and the only one of whom she targeted directly for abuse. The delivery culminated in Mildred being convinced that Linda had been sent by the devil to kill her, and until Linda left home at age 18 for boot camp, she was subjected to unrelenting abuse.

Story Without Words is a creative and compassionate exploration of early factors that may have contributed to Mildred’s abusive trajectory. The author seeks to give words to her experiences as a child abuse survivor; Story Without Words is unique in providing the words of the abuser and the abused in one volume. The author seeks to provide insight for others who were themselves abused, professionals who wish to learn more about the inner world of survivors, and concerned individuals who wish to help stop the storm of child abuse in our society.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

 

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Friday, April 29, 2016.  Well, it’s been nearly 24 hours since I wrote the post below.  I am not saying it’s a wise one to post live!  I’ve thought quite about the Devil’s Advocate stance much of what I put down is taking.  Do I agree with myself?

I doubt it.  Not 100%, that’s for sure!  The topic of ACEs is too new and too vast for me to comprehend!  Are any of my voiced concerns valid?  I have no idea.

What I long for is an ACEs Think Tank!

So the only real reason I am posting what I wrote last night is to preserve my own words for my own considerations at some later date.  Otherwise I will lose these thoughts.  Would losing them be preferable to posting them?  Very possibly so!

What all of this leads me to realize is that just as surviving early severe trauma is itself a paradox – in that we have survived the unsurvivable – so, too, does any serious effort to comprehend what healing AND stopping severe trauma entails is a face-on exercise in diving into such a paradox whether one can swim or not.

Are we talking about a paradox that might exist in that we are trying to consider healing WHAT CANNOT TRULY BE HEALED?  After all, altered physiological development in response to severe early trauma CANNOT all be undone – or redone – once early critical stages of body-brain development have passed.  This isn’t doleful thinking.  This is fact.

Many of us developed to endure and survive within, as Dr. Martin Teicher reports, a malevolent world and in many important ways we will NEVER truly be able to adapt to a more benign world.

Anyway – please feel free to express any response you might have to what I have written lower down in this post in a comment!  I have a LOT of questions and I claim no answers!

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Thursday, April 28, 2016.  I have a dear friend I first met in 1971 when I arrived in Fargo for the first time that comes faithfully to fetch me once a week (I remain unable to drive in this city) and spends three hours helping me with errands as we visit.  Today we were fortunately able to locate an essential oil that has been recommended to me for the increasing problems I am having with anxiety especially as it is devastating my digestive system.

This is, I see tonight as I read more about it, quite the healing agent!  I had never heard of Vetimer Essential Oil before.  I believe it is already helping my (traumatized) nervous system calm down.  If this helps me, I doubt I will be without it for the rest of my life.

++

I have been thinking of my father’s mother lately as I struggle with ‘my stuff’.  I met her very few times in my childhood.  My mother hated her (no surprise there) and ‘made’ my father disown her and all the rest of his family.

After nearly 40 years of horrific marriage to Mother, my father divorced her and then so regretted that he had let his family go.  His father and only brother had died of alcoholism by that time and his sister was dying of it.  His mother and father were long dead – and it was all these years later that my dad finally grieved.

We have known always that there were “sensitives” on Mother’s side of the family; one of my brothers believes all the way back to Druids.  Yet I am remembering that after his divorce Dad came to visit me and among the things he told me was the fact that, as he put it, “My mother never left the house unless she HAD to shop for food.”

I have since thought (he told me this in 1985) that his mother was probably depressed.  This week it has struck me that, yes, she may well have been depressed but it is also very possible she suffered from anxiety and “tummy problems” herself.  This is AWFUL (IBS) to cope with – and to live with – if one ever wants to leave home!

This train of thinking has led me to understand that the super sensitive nature of my existence has very probably come from BOTH sides of my family tree!  Yes, I would no doubt have had this super sensitive nature even if I had been provided with a civilized adequate infancy and childhood.

Given the fact that my experience was HELL for the first 18 years of my life, leading to all kinds of trauma altered changes to my developing physiology, my super sensitive DNA has taken epigenetic detours into problemville.

Making this two-sides-of-the-family connection seems important to me.  One of my sisters has the only pictures of my paternal grandmother.  I am going to ask her to scan them for me.  SOON!

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Now, I want to mention again the book — The ACEs Revolution!: The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (Jan 25, 2016) by John Richard Trayser.

Because there is little ease about my life right now I cannot actually dive in and devour the text of this book.  However, I can chip away at it bit by bit.

I am not intending to TRASH the author or his book.  But I AM going to note my reactions which are entirely valid (and important) TO ME!

On page 6 of the book’s introduction, after a brief description of the CDC ACE study and its findings, the author moves on to “The Impact of ACEs” where he writes words that are NOT comforting to me as an informed severe early trauma survivor.  I cannot say I DISAGREE with what Trayser is saying.  But neither can I ignore that very familiar sort of twinge-within that always acts as a warning signal to alert me to the very strong possibility that there is a HUGE part of MY reality missing in this author’s perspective – and therefore it will be missing in connection to most other early severe abuse and neglect trauma survivors.

This is a very subtle kind of detection system within.  It began for me a decade ago when I was reading books written by Dr. Alan N. Schore and others who – at the end of very few chapters – now and then referred to ABUSED and TERRORIZED infants within the Disorganized-Disoriented Insecure category.  Almost ALWAYS the prognosis for these victims was inevitable lifelong pathology.  (I encourage serious students of trauma altered development to read the books that will appear when you click on Schore’s name here.  They have sure gone down in price, I note!)

I came up with a very simple image that described the discrepancies I encountered:  People could have all kinds of rotten childhoods, even some pretty scary infancies (I described them as at least being “on the table”) and at least they would be given considered page-space.  But when it came to those who, like me, had lived through HELL ITSELF from birth, we fall to the floor and NOBODY sees us there.  There was barely even a mention of a possibility that true INFANT ABUSE DOES EXIST in these scientific WRITING even among the most influential of developmental neurobiologists.

Then I at least discovered Dr. Martin Teicher’s work (this article is a must read – CLICK HERE), but I STILL did not feel that he understood the totally different kind of experience a truly harmed infant-child has or the full seriousness of the physiological changes that result.  (Dr. Bruce Perry at least does!)

I in no way ever diminish anyone’s suffering!!  What I do know is that there is another level of MORE harm than most people can ever imagine.  And it is to this possibility of realness that I KNOW for a fact and also KNOW is true for many who have visited this blog that my inner caution mechanism responds when I sense in somebody’s writing that they have no real idea what this other level of reality could possibly be like.

And, even given THIS concern, beginning with what I am going to present below, I am already wondering why this author and so many others start right off with MONETARY-related social concerns rather than concerns of the heart, as I would call them.

What of the SUFFERING and BROKEN HEARTS of the children Trayser is alluding to?  Doesn’t that COME FIRST above ALL OTHER CONSIDERATIONS – that these children are being HARMED AND HURT?  They are HURTING people!!  That matters a whole lot more to me than if they are “ready to learn” for HEAVEN’S SAKE!

I bet most authors would say in their own defense, “Of course I care about their personal pain and suffering!”  Well then, SAY THAT FROM YOUR HEART!

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As in:  So, you had Cherrios for breakfast!  OK.  Count that as a yes.  But did this you eat two little Os – a box of little Os – or 42 SEMIS full of little Os?  How many days, weeks, months, years did you eat (how many of) these little Os?

Degrees of harm DO matter and I am concerned they get left out of consideration within ACEs discussions as if they DO NOT matter because they cannot be easily measured statistically in ACEs research.

This is a very important and valid concern.  The more “press” ACEs get the more danger there is in inadvertently and ignorantly harming those who have already suffered the most and are most likely do so for the duration of their lifetime.  Innocently harming anyone for any reason does NOT invalidate responsibility – even when accountability is absent.

We cannot afford to depersonalize the EXPERIENCES of those with high ACE scores by ignoring the context and specificity of harm to individuals (which includes degrees of brutality, duration of threat, terror and torture, age of victim, etc.) if we wish to move forward to change the world for the better with related findings.

As this positive ACEs related work continues we cannot leave out anyone.  We must include in ALL of our thinking the worst of the worst possible scenarios we don’t WANT to imagine.  They are real.  They happen.  And COSTS MUST include all matters of HEART and not only what conveniently can be recognized by distanced minds.

Everyone matters.  EVERYONE!  Because we are all HUMAN BEINGS, not statistics to be measured, generalized about, categorized or summed up as being “ready to learn” – or as anything else.  We cannot be measured by dollar signs on any level – ever.

Now, let’s see if I stick to my own words by the time I finish including this small segment from Trayser’s book written (pages 6-7) under a subheading “Healthcare” — (The period-dot sequences in text are the author’s, not mine.)

Here is where I need to use the word REVOLUTION.  I believe the greatest possible impact for using the ACE Study to improve the lives of our entire world today lies in the Pediatric segment.  There have been some breakthroughs in this arena…but to my way of thinking…not quick enough.  And no, it’s not the ACE score of the children I am referencing, but the use of the ACE questionnaire with the parents…ALL parents!

The only way to change the direction of our society that continues to pass on dysfunction and simply throw more resources at future social services is to suck up our courage and find the understanding to give every incoming pediatric parent the ACE test.  Then and only then will we pierce the veil of shame and vulnerability that prevents us from facing the rising epidemic of lost and lonely children that are dropped off at our schools…not ready to learn because of their ACE issues.  I reference the Children’s Clinic of Portland, Oregon as the test case for the new wave of caring put into Healthcare.  Doctors Teri Pettersen and RJ Gillespie initially used ACE testing on parents and now all 37 doctors follow their regimen.  Their practice is not just about sore throats and fevers…they are there to support families!  They found that instead of feeling a sense of invasion of privacy with the parents, they found a sense of relief.  There are few parents who have a child with the sole intention of harming that child physically or emotionally.  But if that is the only childhood that you knew, who, how and where are you supposed to go for help in changing that behavior?  The caring manner that is used in this approach is the most important issue in parenting and healthcare in our country today.  I challenge every single pediatric practice to look into the success of the children’s Clinic of Portland.  There are lives in the balance today of our newborn children who are in need of proper guidance, love and support.  Once we find a way to let each child grow up comfortable in their own skin, we will find that the teachers of our country will have the opportunity to teach children who are ready to learn.

Secondarily, as the original ACE Study found, it is imperative to have a full view of the patient sitting in front of you.  Only seeing the physical person leaves a great deal of emotional data out of the picture.  I believe that every single phase of healthcare, from pediatrics to cancer to dietary counseling needs to utilize the holistic approach that the ACE Study allows.  It is no different than buying a new laptop computer, having it get a virus and expecting it to perform well.  I see in the near future that the ACEs REVOLUTION will become a standard in our world and healthcare can benefit from it in the most significant ways.  There is no denying the data is helping to treat the whole patient and not just the symptoms that get treated without knowing the whole picture of the patient’s life.

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OK – where do I stand with my own thoughts now?

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PLEASE take the time to read this article about the ACEs work being done at Portland’s Children’s Clinic, which includes the following:

Pediatricians screen parents for ACEs to improve health of babies

The most important question, of course, is: Has asking these questions…does having this conversation…make a difference in children’s health?

It’s too soon to have any quantifiable data, but all the pediatricians have been able to offer parents guidance and resources that the parents would not have received if the ACE questions had not been asked.”

I absolutely DO believe that the work being done at this clinic is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT!  I do not believe that this work is harming anyone.  Dare I add “Not yet?”

Good information is being offered to these parents.  How will the impact of these efforts be measured?  Is this more than a tiny drop in Dear Liza’s proverbial bucket when it comes to improving very many infants’ and children’s lives?

We have to start somewhere!

And we have to keep the dialogues completely open to include and consider every point of view.  We are redefining Quality of Life as the ACEs Study gives us new ways to look at who gets what kind of life based on the basics of ACE questions.

For the first time these kinds of discussions are going widely public.  It’s an important place we can start to widen the fields of change.

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Is it the same thing to say “We have to be realistic” as it is to say “We have to face reality” when it comes to making sense of ACEs?

Take this information, for example:

How do we heal trauma suffered by Native communities?

by GABOR MATE’

How does ANYONE who is not a community described in this article begin to comprehend THAT reality?  How does someone such as Trayser is with ZERO ACEs begin to comprehend such a reality?

I do wonder….

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I also want to draw attention to this short posting by Trayser:

The ACEs Revolution!

Which states:

My new book “The ACEs Revolution” was just published here in Nashville. It is up on CreateSpace and Amazon and is available as a Kindle as well.  Would love your opinion…

Given that there is so much about The ACE Study as science, I have focused more on the impact on ALL of our lives…even those who are ZEROs, and predominately on HOPE and what a Caring family looks like, feels like, talks about and does their children.

Without HOPE for the future…ACE scores are simply a scorecard of sadness.  My adopted 18 year old granddaughter has made this VERY PERSONAL for me.  She is a 7…but says she feels like a ZERO since my son adopted her and her brother 9 years ago.  Fact not Fate is a reality for her.

Hearing so much about resilience these days, as she and I talked about coming out of the shadows, we decided to create a website called NoACEs.CLUB. It is a very secure site where people can tell their story…and make the first step toward Resilience.  I guide students there when I speak and JohnTrayser.com gives them connections to the state of Tennessee ACE report and also a link to take the ACE test.

We posted a song I wrote for her to sing on NoACEs.CLUB…after my wife told me what they talked about at lunch one day. As a junior in High School she was trying to decide how badly she needed to be with the “cool kids” who were starting to drink and smoke.  The song is called Right is Right!  The words are something every middle school thru College student should hear.  Her voice will knock your heart for a loop…still makes me cry.  It is free.  She wants to start a club at the University of Illinois call NoACES.CLUB to reach out to those who have not found someone to care…YET. The site also has a link to take the ACE Test.  Any thoughts about that?  Would love to start NoACEs.CLUB at ALL schools so students wouldn’t feel so alone….

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(There are comments to read at this link, also.)

Leave a Comment »

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

Story Without Words is a forensic biography/autobiography in which the author, Linda Danielson, explores three generations of her family history to help understand the horrific abuse she was subjected to from birth at her mother’s hands. Her mother Mildred had a psychotic break while delivering Linda, her second of six children and the only one of whom she targeted directly for abuse. The delivery culminated in Mildred being convinced that Linda had been sent by the devil to kill her, and until Linda left home at age 18 for boot camp, she was subjected to unrelenting abuse.

Story Without Words is a creative and compassionate exploration of early factors that may have contributed to Mildred’s abusive trajectory. The author seeks to give words to her experiences as a child abuse survivor; Story Without Words is unique in providing the words of the abuser and the abused in one volume. The author seeks to provide insight for others who were themselves abused, professionals who wish to learn more about the inner world of survivors, and concerned individuals who wish to help stop the storm of child abuse in our society.

++++

Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016.  I can look back and remember the YEARS when a thought would come to me for a post and then I simply sat down and wrote that post out without effort.  I hope that process returns to me once my move this fall is complete and I am home again at last.

In my life right now thoughts tumble, stumble, swarm and bifurcate into tangential ideas that seemingly have no end.  I see in my mind the image of a great old tree complete with probably millions of twigs reaching out in new growth every year.  How to pick out important twigs?  How to separate them exactly from the branches they are growing from?

Part of my writing problems stems from the fact that I have written so many posts over the years that I KNOW contain information connected to any thought I might have for a post today.  Here are a few past posts (links at the bottom of this post ) that fit this bill right now as connected to something I discovered today – which I connect to body-brain developmental changes caused by early severe neglect and abuse trauma –

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A friend sent me a link to this video today – ASTOUNDING!

Autistic Girl Expresses Unimaginable Intelligence

This incredible child’s name is Carly – and here is her blog:

Carly’s Voice

And here’s the site for her book:

Carly’s Voice:  Breaking Through Autism

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The video is, I believe, a MUST WATCH for anyone who has experienced severe early trauma who has come to understand that there is much in their trauma-altered experience of living that is connected to a Reactive Attachment Disorder pattern of insecure attachment.

What is the ability to communicate?   What is Carly finally able to say about the truth of HER experience on the autism spectrum?  What can we SAY about the truth of what happened to us?

I pause here to include links to posts on this blog related, also, to Disorganized-Disoriented Insecure Attachment – all connected to the great branches of what happened to so many of us:

+A COLLECTION OF THIS BLOG’S LINKS ON DISSOCIATION AND DISORGANIZED-DISORIENTED INSECURE ATTACHMENT

+DISORGANIZED-DISORIENTED INSECURE ATTACHMENT – 2 ARTICLE LINKS

*Attachment Simplified – Disorganized Insecure Attachment – Disorganized-Disoriented

+INFANT-CHILD ABUSE AND FRANTIC PANIC (dissociation, disorganized-disoriented insecure attachment)

+DISOGANIZED-DISORIENTED INSECURE ATTACHMENT – AT THE CORE OF ‘BORDERLINE’

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Also:

+ADULT REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER: LIVING WITH IT

+WHAT EARLY ABUSE/NEGLECT SURVIVORS MOST NEED TO KNOW (AND ARE LEAST LIKELY TO BE TOLD)

+CLEAR ARTICLE ON LIFELONG INFANT-CHILD TRAUMA CONSEQUENCES

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When it comes to thinking about the spectrum that exists between people who are super sensitive on one end and those who are far less sensitive on the other – true also for autism — here are some posts talking about this continuum in connection to Trauma Altered development:

*Allostasis and Allostatic Load — April 12, 2009 This page contains my own working notes written while studying the research of the authors noted below.  Please go to my sectionhttps://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/references/ to locate the citation for their work.  Be patient, the reference page is a bit slow to load because it contains about 200 text pages of reference material.

+ARE YOU A ‘SENSITIVE?’

+FASCINATING NOTES ON LIVING WITH TRAUMA

+TRAUMA SURVIVORS: OUR TENSILE STRENGTH

*OVERWHELMING TRAUMA CHANGES

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I guess I believe that it is often the task of a writer to “think for” our readers.  The more there is to know about how the toxic stress caused by early infant and child trauma alters physiological development and causes problems for a lifetime, the more complex the array of combinations of relevant information becomes.  I really cannot think of any simple way to explain today how I know there are undoubtedly powerful connections between the experience of being on the autism spectrum and being “on the trauma altered development spectrum.”

So all I can manage to do right now is to encourage a watching of the video I mention above and a scan through one or more of the earlier posts on this blog whose I include here today.

I don’t believe there is anyone out there who will tell us the information we most need to know as trauma altered people.  This is true because they really CAN’T tell us.  Nobody can process this information for us, really.  We have to search for the truths to our own experience for ourselves.

These following blog posts represent only a small few of the many on this topic to be discovered on this blog.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

+SAFE? UNSAFE? HOW DO OUR STATES OF BEING RELATE TO ANCIENT JAWLESS FISH?

+PORGES’ IMPORTANT NEW BOOK TO HELP INFANT-CHILD ABUSE SURVIVORS

+MOVIE – TEMPLE GRANDIN: RELATES TO SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL BRAIN CHANGES FROM INFANT ABUSE

+JUST AGAIN RECOMMENDING THE MOVIE, ‘TEMPLE GRANDIN’

+THINKING ABOUT THINKING (PART FOUR): SEVERE INFANT ABUSE SURVIVORS’ UNIQUE WORLDVIEW

+WORDS DO NOT MEAN SOCIAL CONNECTION TO ME – THEY ARE OBJECT-TOOLS-WEAPONS

+THINKING ABOUT ANIMALS, PEOPLE, COMPASSION

+SOME MORE INFO ON MUSIC, VOICE AND THE BRAIN

+POWER OF SOUND FOR HEALING OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM-BRAIN

+A LONG, THOUGHTFUL LOOK AT VERBAL ABUSE AS MALIGNANT TEASING

+LEARNING STYLES AND LONELINESS

+GENDER AND THE BRAIN — DIFFERENCES AND EARLY TRAUMA

**Buck on Symbolic Communication and Emotions

++LIMBIC SYSTEM

+IS MENTAL ILLNESS THE COST OF OUR SPECIES’ GREATEST GIFTS?

**Dr. Allan Schore on Emotional Regulation – Notes

*Notes on emotion and meaning

++HIPPOCAMPUS

*Notes on Hippocampus

++AMYGDALA

++ DR. SCHORE ON SHAME

++User’s Guide – notes on Ratey’s writings

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

Story Without Words is a forensic biography/autobiography in which the author, Linda Danielson, explores three generations of her family history to help understand the horrific abuse she was subjected to from birth at her mother’s hands. Her mother Mildred had a psychotic break while delivering Linda, her second of six children and the only one of whom she targeted directly for abuse. The delivery culminated in Mildred being convinced that Linda had been sent by the devil to kill her, and until Linda left home at age 18 for boot camp, she was subjected to unrelenting abuse.

Story Without Words is a creative and compassionate exploration of early factors that may have contributed to Mildred’s abusive trajectory. The author seeks to give words to her experiences as a child abuse survivor; Story Without Words is unique in providing the words of the abuser and the abused in one volume. The author seeks to provide insight for others who were themselves abused, professionals who wish to learn more about the inner world of survivors, and concerned individuals who wish to help stop the storm of child abuse in our society.

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016.  Here it is yet another heavily overcast gray day in Fargo, ND – again.  Forty two degrees.  Yes, the air is CLEAN!  I told myself before I left my high desert Arizona home nearly three years ago to be sure to pay attention to HOW CLEAN THE AIR IS here!  Yep!

I am listening to my cloudy very damp day restoration sound track on YouTube – 3 Hours of Nightingale Singing!  It is helping me to be surrounded by songs of a bird I will probably never see in person!

A friend of mine also (re)posted something today I thought maybe readers here might like to know about –

How to Release the Stress stored in our Bodies by Jacob Devaney

It includes

“The best doctor is already within you. There is no replacement for cultivating a practice that heals, replenishes, and relaxes you from the in-side, out. There are numerous yoga poses that can help you on your journey of releasing this stress, anxiety, and fear stored within your psoas. Yoga calls this “the muscle of the soul” so any focus here is sure to give great results to your overall well-being. Yoga International seems to have a comprehensive list of photos and descriptions of poses that can start you on your journey.”

I admit that I have never practiced yoga.  Will I begin today?  Not sure.  But reading this article helps me understand I DO have some untried options to help me   I do not quite know why even ATTEMPTING yoga feels so intimidating to me?

Probably because it’s an unknown.  It’s something I would rather begin in the company of other people – very SAFE and super friendly and encouraging other people!

Maybe if I had a printer and could print the yoga instructions so I had them next to me way down there on the FLOOR (of all places) I would at least TRY this pose for the betterment of my Psoas muscle.  Meanwhile – what I really want to do is listen to nightingales singing while I take a very cool and cloudy day nap!

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If you haven’t seem this – take a browse!  This is MY style of “working out” and I SO MISS THIS!”

LINDA’S ADOBE PEACE GARDEN

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

Story Without Words is a forensic biography/autobiography in which the author, Linda Danielson, explores three generations of her family history to help understand the horrific abuse she was subjected to from birth at her mother’s hands. Her mother Mildred had a psychotic break while delivering Linda, her second of six children and the only one of whom she targeted directly for abuse. The delivery culminated in Mildred being convinced that Linda had been sent by the devil to kill her, and until Linda left home at age 18 for boot camp, she was subjected to unrelenting abuse.

Story Without Words is a creative and compassionate exploration of early factors that may have contributed to Mildred’s abusive trajectory. The author seeks to give words to her experiences as a child abuse survivor; Story Without Words is unique in providing the words of the abuser and the abused in one volume. The author seeks to provide insight for others who were themselves abused, professionals who wish to learn more about the inner world of survivors, and concerned individuals who wish to help stop the storm of child abuse in our society.”

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders, borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse, depression, derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder, dissociation, dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

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Monday, April 18, 2016.  How strange, yet I guess I am not surprised.  Thoughts and feelings about my “art therapist self-hood” are reawakened by having heard yesterday from the “play therapist” contacting me for some training I offered to share with her (as I mentioned in my previous post).

There could not have been a profession I could have chosen and worked for my master’s degree in that could possibly have been any closer to my heart-of-hearts, to who I am in my essence.  In fact, it is even the one my grandmother – a career psychologist specializing in helping people choose their correct careers (my mother’s mother) – gave me the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory text when I was 11 or 12 and from those results predicted that I would be most successful and happiest as – an art therapist!!

The career field did not exist when Grandmother gave me that test with her recommendations.  I had not read that report for over 20 years until I found it again while I was IN my art therapy graduate program (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1989-1991).  Yes, this was more than a little eerie of a discovery to me at that time!

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So, what really happens to us over the loss of something like this that means so much to us?  My hopes did not really work out over the long haul for myself with art therapy as a profession – for many, many reasons, none of which I could really control.  (The Serenity Prayer comes to mind here.)

At this moment I am greatly wishing I had someone in my life to have an actual conversation with about these matters.  But I don’t.  So I am writing here….

Although I have retained my national Art Therapist registration, which is a credential that can only be obtained by pursuing such a master’s degree along with meeting all the supervision requirements, this certification is for the most part truly “useless” and “worthless” in American society today.  VERY few states have gone through a process to get approval for licensure specifically for art therapists, so ANYONE, literally, can claim to “do art therapy” or to “be an art therapist.”

There is NO protection for the profession.

To me this is no different from a situation where someone who has a pair of pliers handy can claim to be a dentist.

Is this a dangerous situation for the public?  I would say yes – with a but….

I am SO good at what I do I completely understand and accept the responsibility that goes along with the incredible POWER that art therapy, accomplished by a trained, skilled and gifted Art Therapist can have.

BUT!  Given that so few people actually HAVE these qualifications, I would say that the danger to the public is greatly lessened simply because without the qualifications the power is all but gone.  I am not sure there is any more risk than there would be with a teacher “doing art work” with kindergartners.

Sad to me, really, in so many, many ways.  No wonder this feels like a longing has been tapped, touched, reawakened!

BUT!  This is reality.  Just as my grandmother was decades ahead of her time even in her recognition of my aptitude for such a profession, and in her actually NAMING a profession that did not yet exist (and so barely even does now over 50 years later), the entire field of art therapy is so far ahead of the curve it is well over an invisible horizon and may not actually appear until hundreds of years from now.

I have known for many years that given the chance to do four “evaluative” art therapy sessions would provide such depth, breadth and truth of a client’s life that a regular therapist could spend a year working through the information I could provide them about their client.

I would NEVER have the patience to do the “working through” with a client that ongoing therapy actually requires, although I know there are some art therapists who CAN do that.

That’s not my niche.  Oh well………  Off I would go in that “missing conversation with nobody out there” that I am longing to have right now about these things!

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So why would I agree to “train” someone in any aspect of art therapy?  How do I do so fairly given these reservations that I obviously so strongly hold in my mind and heart?

Good question!

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I believe in spiritual guidance and I strongly suspect that there is nothing accidental in what is going to happen soon with this “play therapist” as we talk and work together.  I am completely aware that the Creator I am completely comfortable with calling God has plans in this world that I do not – and probably cannot possibly – understand.

It is not my place to question these kinds of situations when they show up.  It is my place to listen to my own heart and to act according to its guidance.

Of course I was quite sure that’s what I was doing 1989-1991 when I got this degree in the first place.  As I look back into my life as a child, to MY LIFE, my OWN (yes, completely-hidden-from-my-abusive-mother) life I see art therapy me all the way back to when I was two years old.  My training was for my soul.  Nobody can ever take that away from me.

Yet I do struggle not to take this part of who I am away from myself!  This is me!  All these abilities along with everything that honed them, belongs to me!  To do with as I choose.

No, I cannot make ART matter in this so-sick and getting sicker materialistic, nonorganic culture I live within.  I cannot change that drugging hurting people is so much more of a popular solution that actually helping them to heal is.  I can’t change these things.

But when I encounter a “play therapist” whose path has crossed my own, who expresses interest and desire to add “art therapy” skills into her bag of tricks….

I am not going to say no.  And, just possibly, some of this woman’s clients may benefit in very special ways from this woman’s administrations of healing as they will carry some part of what I can so capably teach her.

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Do all the words I just wrote take away or diminish this very special ache in my art therapist heart?

Nope.

Oh well.  Life goes on.  I do what I have always done.  My part.  In the best way that I can manage to do it.

I expect that there will be some joy for me in this teaching opportunity.  I LOVE this work!  “Play therapist” lady will get a mega dose of training if she is sincerely up for it.  I am hoping we will be able to record the audio of our sessions, or classes, or whatever these will be.

For my part, there is an art therapist part of me that lies dormant –  quietly – not asserting anything about what cannot be changed.  I don’t know how I used to think about the process of “letting go” but I am very clear what image (ah, images, the life of life) I have now when such times come to me.

My hand held nearly open, palm upward, with a flower bud in the center.  I slowly and without any stress in my fingers spread my fingertips apart as I imagine this flower bud slowly opening to the fullness of its beauty.

Often the image of the flower is of a lotus blossom, but sometimes it is of a waterlily.  Whatever gorgeous flower is there upon my palm, I do not crush it.  I let it open to its own life, as I try yet again to set whatever troubles me — free.

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Leave a Comment »

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.

Story Without Words is a forensic biography/autobiography in which the author, Linda Danielson, explores three generations of her family history to help understand the horrific abuse she was subjected to from birth at her mother’s hands. Her mother Mildred had a psychotic break while delivering Linda, her second of six children and the only one of whom she targeted directly for abuse. The delivery culminated in Mildred being convinced that Linda had been sent by the devil to kill her, and until Linda left home at age 18 for boot camp, she was subjected to unrelenting abuse.

Story Without Words is a creative and compassionate exploration of early factors that may have contributed to Mildred’s abusive trajectory. The author seeks to give words to her experiences as a child abuse survivor; Story Without Words is unique in providing the words of the abuser and the abused in one volume. The author seeks to provide insight for others who were themselves abused, professionals who wish to learn more about the inner world of survivors, and concerned individuals who wish to help stop the storm of child abuse in our society….”

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

 

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