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Archive for August, 2010

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This is my 59th birthday post today.  I am deadly (life-ly) serious about this!  Learning how to read?  YES!  What is different about US and why-how it matters:  We severe infant-child abuse survivors, with our trauma-changed body-brain-mind-self, life in a different world because we were made in, by and for a different (malevolent rather than benign-benevolent) world.  I am going to present two very short articles from “O” – The Oprah Magazine that I pulled out while I was searching for little images to cut out for my daughter to use in her light switch collage project.

Because I am a severe, severe infant-child abuse survivor, and because I was FORCED to go searching for the truth nearly seven years ago when my youngest child left home (my serious disorganized-disoriented insecure attachment disorder trigger), I have LEARNED A LOT.  It is the purpose of my blog writing, and my greatest hope that somehow what I share in everything I write can benefit the suffering FEW (overall and in perspective) of us that are severe early abuse survivors.

Yet at the same time I mention and take seriously that ONLY a recognizable half of our current population is seen by researchers to have had a safe and secure enough early attachment environment (good-enough benevolent) to NOT have ended up with some degree-version of an insecure attachment disorder that affected every single aspect both of their early growth and development and therefore how they experience and live their life.

What I see happening — and what will continue to happen for the roughly 10% + of US – the severe early neglect and abuse survivors — is that not only did our early traumatic environment change our development, including the way our genetic code manifests and operates — we are DISSED (disrespected) in every possible way from that early point forward.

We NEED information.  We need to understand the platform that we stand on within our physiology — our body-nervous system-brain-immune system-mind-self AS IT TRULY EXISTS.  We need to STOP the disempowering (life force leakage) that continues to happen for us because we live in a society that has not yet recognized the power that early infant-childhood deprivation and abuse in a malevolent environment has to  CHANGE  development and create lifelong complications for us in everything we face.

These two little articles present me with an opportunity to elucidate what the ‘gibberish’ I am talking about!

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Without further explanation, please read these (right-click on image and choose ‘open in new tab or window’,  and on page it brings up, use ZOOM from your toolbar View button if you need to):

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Those of you readers who have followed this blog for a period of time can probably already know what I am going to say.  In the first article we are reading about how MOSTLY safe and securely attached people are likely to experience ’empty nest’.  Nobody ever tells us that we early abuse survivors are NEVER GOING TO HAVE A CHANCE to experience what is being touted here as not only POSSIBLE, but within the realm of NORMAL.

No, for the abuse survivors I am talking to and about, we fit into the ‘tainted’ category of “Oh well, what else can be expected of THESE PEOPLE?  They were already flawed, already depressed.  Let’s just ignore them (after we DISS them) and go on with our happy, well-adjusted lives!”

Yes, ‘already depressed’ people are going to experience MEGA difficulties when their primary attachments are disrupted, altered and perhaps nearly evaporated.  They are also the likely ones NOT to have good partner relationships that would help support then through these transitional passages in adult life.

We MUST begin to understand the insecure attachment ‘disorders’ and the changes they created in our genetic code expression (that’s how abuse activates most depression genes in the first place) so that we can all get on with the business of recognizing that if we choose to ACCEPT the existence of early infant-child abuse, we are choosing to punish those survivors with our societal arrogance and ignorance.

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The same pattern exists in this second article about “Smoking & the Blues.”

“Oh, those ‘mentally ill’ and those ‘depressed’ (flawed) individuals….”

MOST of so-called mental illness, and I would guess a whole lot of ‘depression’ is directly tied in its origin and its continued existence to early infant-child abuse, neglect, maltreatment and trauma that so changed the little one’s early growth and development that these ‘mental illnesses’ had no choice but to manifest.  Those ‘mental illnesses’ go hand-in-hand with what our body had to do to adjust enough within our malevolent early environment to survive at ALL!

Again and again and again I will mention — it is of HIGHEST value and importance to begin to KNOW the truth about subjects like these two high-in-the-sky-apple-pie articles are ACTUALLY — and in an undistorted REAL world talking about (in other words, in a word without childish denial and magical thinking).  What you will find when you do a Google search using just these three simple terms for your search means more to me than anything that has ever been discussed in connection with “O”:

CDC ACE STUDY

No kidding!  Take a look, a refresher if you have done so before and follow those links that show up there!  (And I would suggest a serious study of this information for all attached to the ‘O-Empire’.)  When I point the proverbial “GET REAL!” finger at Oprah and all she represents — as clearly demonstrated by the angle of these two articles and the slanted information they present — we have to KNOW OUR OWN TRUTH AND OUR OWN REALITY.

The CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study is ongoing and is finally carrying enough absolute WEIGHT to begin to displace the biases, the stereotypes, the prejudices, the ignorance and the PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE that our society continues to wrap around so-called ‘mental illnesses’ at the same time our society will not recognize with grateful appreciation, humility and even SHAME what the HAVES were given in their earliest infant-child caregiver interaction environments in CONTRAST to what the HAVE NOTS were not given!

The kinds of changes that we were forced to make in our physiological development to endure and survive within our deprived malevolent early world DO NOT GO AWAY.  The contribute to, exacerbate, and CAUSE the difficulties for us over the duration of our lifespan that the CDC ACE Study recognizes — and these ridiculous “O” – Oprah articles DO NOT!

WHO IS READING AND WEEPING NOW!  It’s our time to empower ourselves to know who we are and how we are in the world WAS NEVER OUR CHOICE!  We have long ago paid the price for our survival or we wouldn’t even be here with our complicated body and our complicated life.

At the same time, “Society around us — WAKE UP!  Get real!  And be grateful you never suffered as we have!  Get with it!  Blaming and shaming victim-survivors is so PASSE!”

(These are the same kinds of processes described regarding autism in my previous post.  We need to add early abuse and neglect to the array of possible toxins and realize that nearly ALL so-called ‘mental illnesses’ are included in the kinds of consequences that originate from interactions with ‘malevolent’ and toxic early environments during early human developmental stages from conception onward.)

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Is it abuse to pollute the growing and developing body-brain of our young?  This article on childhood autism increases came into my email box through a group I belong to — looks to me like one of the ‘classic’ windows for epigentic forces to alter genetic expression which may then possibly move forward through the generations affecting not only current offspring, but bringing the genetic responses and changes forward into the future.

What do we consider ‘acceptable risks’ and ‘acceptable losses’?  Take a look:

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-barrie-nd/child-autism-epidemic-fir_b_696179.html

Child Autism Epidemic Firmly Linked to Environment

Stephen Barrie, ND

Author, medical researcher, entrepreneur

Autism among U.S. children has reached epidemic proportion. And it’s getting worse by the year.

Since the ’70’s, there has been a 60-fold increase in American children with autism. Currently one in every 100 U.S. children and one in every 58 boys are being diagnosed with autism. That’s over 2.6 percent of all male children in America. The number of autistic children expected to reach adulthood in the next 10 years along with their caregivers will exceed the population of Rhode Island and cost an estimated $27 billion in additional care beyond the almost $60 billion being spent on current autism-related costs. (1,2)

Under the specter of an autism epidemic sweeping America, Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) convened hearings last week on the “State of Research on Potential Environmental Health Factors with Autism.” (3)

The result?

Experts agree that the primary explanation for the dramatic increase in autism is toxic environmental exposure and gene-environment interactions. New research shows that even low-dose, multiple toxic and infectious exposures may be a key factor to the onset of autism.

One expert, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health, testified that “Research supported by NIEH has clearly shown that it is not just genetics that causes neuro-developmental disorders such as autism but rather the interplay of both genes and the environment”.

Dr. Birnbaum also stated that NIEH has uncovered information on the role that early environmental exposures play in the development of a broad spectrum of childhood disorders, including not only autism but also ADHD, and other learning disorders.

Another expert, Dr. Paul Anastas, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator, told the subcommittee that children are especially susceptible to the effects of chemicals in the environment because they eat, drink and breathe in more for their body weight than adults. They absorb a greater proportion of many chemicals in the environment than adults, and due to hand to mouth behaviors, young children tend to have higher exposures to contaminants, such as pollutants in the surrounding air and dust, deposited from lead paint, tobacco smoke, cleaning products, pesticides and other chemicals. (4,5)

We already know that prenatal and early childhood exposures to chemicals such as methyl mercury (commonly found in fish and some vaccines), lead (in paints), PCBs (in plastics such as baby bottles and food storage containers) and arsenic (in the air) can affect development of the nervous system and lead to developmental disability. (6,7,8)

Also, the developing brain and nervous system can be disrupted by much lower levels of environmental exposures than would affect adults. (9,10,11) You can read about the current levels of exposure in the just released CDC’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, a frightening document.

Dr. Isaac Pessah, Director of the UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health, testified that many of the molecular and cellular systems associated with autism are the same ones that are the target of environmental chemicals currently of concern to human health because of their widespread use. He spoke of a critical need to identify which chemicals in the environment influence the same biological pathways that are effected in autism. Dr. Pessah said that limiting exposure to these chemicals is the only way to mitigate or prevent autism in susceptible individuals.

Increasingly, evidence links even chronic, low-level exposure to industrial pollutants to many of the most prevalent and disabling learning and behavioral problems in children.

Professor Bruce Lanphear Ph.D, of the Child & Family Research Institute, Simon Fraser University, reported that some of the most widely dispersed environmental toxicants, even at very low levels are risk factors for the “new morbidities” of childhood — both intellectual and behavioral impairments such as autism. Indeed, there is often no apparent threshold — in some cases the effects appear to be greater at the lowest levels of exposure. (12) Emerging evidence shows that a whole host of new environmental chemicals such as Bisphenol A, (the protective inner lining in tin cans and baby bottles) PBDEs, pesticides, phthalates and airborne pollutants are all associated with intellectual deficits or behavioral problems in children. (13,14,15)

Just prior to the Senate hearing, several important research papers were published that further documented the relationship between environmental toxins and autism:

• A study in India correlated the increased body burdens of lead and mercury with the severity of children’s autism — the more severe the autism, the higher concentrations of heavy metals were found in their bodies. (16)
• An exhaustive scientific literature search just completed in August shows that the link between autism and toxic exposures in infants is supported by current published research. (17)

My own recent study of a large autistic clinical database shows that children with autism had elevated levels in their bodies of several chemicals known to be neurotoxic. The children have genetic variations, which interfere with the proper detoxification of those chemicals. With over 2,000 patients in the database, my paper is one of the largest studies to show that environmental factors interacting with associated genetic components may be contributing to the causation of autism.

Development of the human nervous system begins in the womb and extends throughout childhood. During these periods of rapid development, the brain is vulnerable to some environmental exposures, which may have the potential to disrupt the chemical signals that organize development. Even small changes can have potentially major consequences for brain structure and function. Thus, even brief adverse exposure at these vulnerable stages can have lasting effects on brain function throughout life.

My report showed on average the amount of lead and mercury in the children’s blood was 50 percent higher than normal. Their genetic changes (SNPs) were related to what is called Phase I and Phase II detoxification — specifically the CYP and GST family of genes. This defect reduced the children’s ability to remove excess toxins from their bodies.

These autistic children also had a several fold higher level of bad gut bacteria and reduced levels of beneficial gut bacteria. Bad gut bacteria can produce neurotoxic amines and cause a “leaky gut” which allows toxic substances to more easily enter the circulatory system (see my previous Huffington Post entry “The Keys to Maintaining a Healthy Gut“).

You may read the full clinical study here:http://personalizedmedicine.posterous.com/environmental-factors-contributing-to-the-ons#

We as a society have a toxic chemical addiction, which we need to kick now. We need to be better informed consumers — choosing chemically free foods, products and environments, affecting change with our wallets.

Here are some Toxic Exposure Avoidance Tips for All of Us — And Especially For Pregnant Women. Start taking them, right now:

  1. Avoid eating foods that may contain high levels of toxic chemicals
  2. While fish are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, some contain high levels of mercury. Tuna, Cod and Mahi Mahi are ones to avoid. Wild salmon is a good healthy choice.
  3. Consume organic foods and drinks as much as possible.
  4. Use glass containers instead of plastic to store left over foods and drinks.
  5. Reduce our purchase of foods in cans as the can lining contains high levels of Bisphenol A (an endocrine disrupter linked to increased rates of cancer and abnormal behavior in children).
  6. Limit exposure to toxic household chemicals, pesticides and cleaning supplies. Look for natural alternatives.
  7. Install HEPA and carbon filter air purifiers in bedrooms to insure a healthy toxin free nights rest.

Exposure to toxic chemicals by pregnant women, fetuses and children has a high probability of causing autism and other neuro-developmental disorders and learning disabilities in those whose genetic profile expresses in a reduced ability to detoxify these chemicals. This is not “fringe” science; it’s fact.

The time for action is now. We must reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals for ourselves, for our children’s sake and for future generations.

We have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We cannot afford to be incurious, indifferent or uninformed when the price of inattention is disability and heartache — an overwhelming emotional and financial burden to families and society.

Ask for help: Tell your government that we must lessen our exposure to these chemicals. For the future of all Americans. Email or call your own representatives. Senator Boxer can be reached at: senator@boxer.senate.gov.
References

(1) Autism Society of America (ASA). 2003. Facts and statistics. Available: http://www.autism-society.org/

(2) Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfate. 2005 PA Autism Census Project: Final Report; Oct 2009

(3) US Senate Subcommittee on Environment and Public Works. Aug 2010

(4) National Research Council. 1993. Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. National Academy of Sciences Press, Washington, DC.

(5) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2005 Guidance on selecting age groups for monitoring and assessing childhood exposures to environmental contaminants. National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC; EPA/630/P-03/003F

(6) Wasserman GA, Liu X, Parvez F, Ahsan H, Factor-Litvak P, Kline J, van Geen A, Slavkovich V, Loiacono NJ, Levy D, Cheng Z, Graziano JH. 2007. Water arsenic exposure and intellectual function in 6-year-old children in Araihazar, Bangladesh. Environ Health Perspect. 115(2):285-9

(7) Landrigan PJ, Whitworth RH, Baloh RW, Barthel WF, Staehling NW, Rosenblum BF. 1975. Neuropsychological dysfunction in children with chronic low-level lead absorption. Lancet 1:708-712

(8) Rogan WJ, Ware JH. 2003. Exposure to lead in children – how low is low enough? N Engl J Med. 348:1515-1516

(9)(ATSDR). 2007. Toxicological profile for Lead. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp13-c3.pdf

(10) Grandjean P, and Landrigan PJ. 2006. Developmental neurotoxicity of industrial chemicals. Lancet.;368(9553):2167-78.

(11) Jett DA, Kuhlmann AC, Farmer SJ, Guilarte TR.1997. Age-dependent effects of developmental lead exposure on performance in the Morris water maze. Pharmacol Biochem Behav.57(1-2):271-9

(12) Canfield RL, Henderson CR, Cory-Slechta DA, Cox C, Jusko TA, Lanphear BP. Intellectual impairment in children with blood lead concentrations below 10 micrograms per deciliter. N Engl J Med 2003;348:1517-1526

(13) Eskenazi B, Marks AR, Bradman A, et al. Organophosphate pesticide exposure and neurodevelopment in young Mexican-American children. Environ Health Perspect 2007;115:792-798

(14) Herbstman JB, Sjödin A, Kurzon M, et al. Prenatal exposure to PBDEs and neuro-development. Environ Health Perspect 2010;118:712-719

(15) Braun JM, Froehlich TE, Daniels JL, et al. Association of environmental toxicants and conduct disorder in U.S. children: NHANES 2001-2004. Environ Health Perspect 2008;116:956-962

(16) Priya MD. Level of Trace Elements (Copper, Zinc, Magnesium
and Selenium) and Toxic Elements (Lead and Mercury)
in the Hair and Nail of Children with Autism. Biol Trace Elem Res
DOI 10.1007/s12011-010-8766-2

(17) DeSoto MC. Sorting out the spinning of autism: heavy metals and the
question of incidence. Acta Neurobiol Exp 2010, 70: 165-176

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My admin page keeps track of search term combinations that land people on this blog.  Please — all of you readers who pray — please pray for this person.  Of course we will never know the needs in these search words, but they so touched my heart I post them here with this request:

“will a infints brain heal with holes at birth”

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There is probably little else so disturbing, disorienting and disorganizing to a turtle or a tortoise than being flipped over onto its back.  It struggles and struggles to turn itself back over because if it stays on its back it dies.

It has taken me many disoriented and disorganized days to at last have this helpful image appear to me.  I have been feeling badly, on my way down from worse to ‘more worse’ and today realized that I absolutely had to figure out how to right myself because this downhill slide — well — SUCKS!

My anxiety level escalated right along with my disorientation and disorganization, and trying to understand what started all of this has taken some time.  Of course I know it all REALLY STARTED when I was born to my insane Borderline mother who knew nothing else to do with me than to batter and abuse me.

Thinking about this upside-down turtle image, I see how its disorientation and disorganization happens at the same time its anxiety level skyrockets as it tries everything in its power to right itself to save its own life.  I have been in some version of that state since the time I was born.  Every time my mother attacked me she in effect flipped me upside-down, creating within my growing body-nervous system-brain-mind-self a state of extreme anxiety (which actually never had time to leave me between attacks, either, because they were so frequent).

I don’t believe there is a way anyone can come out of their earliest childhood with a disoriented-disorganized insecure attachment to the world (and self) without the corresponding massive alteration to their nervous system-brain-body that is later named a so-called ‘anxiety disorder.  My dissociation, my major depression, my complex posttraumatic stress disorder are ALL anxiety-related complications from the severe and long-term infant-child abuse I suffered for 18 years.

What does this all mean to me RIGHT NOW?

I spent two weeks doing my friend a favor and babysitting the very quiet little office that she cares for otherwise.  There should have been nothing to upset me to the degree it did.  Yet at the end of those two weeks which ended last Thursday I could not find any place within myself that wasn’t fully anxious, disoriented and disorganized.  I am still not wholly ‘repaired’ inside from that experience — and the whole (vibrating) mess that is inside of me can also so upset me that everything just continues to get worse and worse until I find a way to stop this spinning while remaining right-side-up.

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While I was in art therapy graduate school 20 years ago I had a series of thoughts come to me — and these thoughts returned to me today.  Back then I drew a circle, like a compass, and in each of the four directions I placed a word:

East – MAKE

South – USE

West – FIX

North – BREAK

As I thought about it, it seemed that at any given time all of us are ‘doing’ one of those four things.  Then I thought about some people seem to be more oriented in their approach to the world in one of those four directions.

Because I have felt so flipped-on-my-back disoriented, disorganized and anxious lately I had to find something that could help me feel BETTER.  My body-self was created in, by and for such traumatic conditions that GOOD or BEST are almost foreign concepts to me.  When I am really off-kilter, just finding ways to feel BETTER rather than WORSE is about all I can manage.

Today I began to simply concentrate and focus on choices I can make right now while being very conscious about which of these four directions my actions are a part of.

We have had lots and lots of rain during our monsoon season this summer, such a blessing.  The weeds are unable to offer resistance no matter how big they have grown so I went out and pulled bunches of them up by their roots this morning — fixing my yard.

I then realized that if I want to go have pizza tomorrow evening for my birthday (59th) I HAD to finally fix my headlamps.  I had tried before and couldn’t budge the screws.  No doubt the passenger side light is the original on my ’78 El Camino.  But someone told me to get a can of PB Blaster to loosen the screws and it worked.  I did it.  I can drive in the dark now for the first time in four months.  Only problem now is I dropped one of those rusty little screws in the dirt and for the life of me can’t find it.  I hope it stays away from my tire and vice verso.

Then I began to clean my freezer and my refrigerator, fixing those too.  I repotted a little houseplant someone me gave last week, fixing that.  In spite of how crappy I might feel, I know that I can find little things, little tiny things that I can do that I can consciously connect to one of these four aspects of LIVING — as it contrasts to spinning down into a destructive cycle that has been familiar to me all of my life and can easily overwhelm my present if I am not very, very careful.

As I make my choices, direct my attention and energy, and accomplish even the smallest of tasks, if I connect what I am doing to one of the four directions of human activities I feel like I am turning these terrible BLUES around in a better direction.  And as I do this I can recognize that I am orienting myself and organizing myself around the things that I do to help things be better — both in my environment and within myself — one little action at a time.

(All of this is about the history of RUPTURES with or without REPAIR — and is what makes the difference between safe and secure attachment or unsafe and insecure attachment to and in the world.)

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Today’s response to this part of a comment made to this post, +THE JOY OF SAYING ‘NOPE’ TO OPRAH

‘We do have much in common, and I don’t feel understood…ever.’

Replies:

Morning! Even for those with known childhood sexual abuse histories (I don’t have), I believe much of ‘what’s wrong’ happened way, way earlier — and is not recognized as contributing to so much of ‘what’s wrong’.

Those earlier ‘troubles’ underlie all of the later ‘troubles’ but in looking at our whole life, our whole story, our whole set of traumas, our whole resultant difficulties, we aren’t ‘taught’ how to pick all this mess apart so that we can begin to more clearly identify all the separate ‘parts’ that contribute to this ‘whole’.

We are left trying to remain intact and ‘functional’, trying to remain on our own two feet while STILL in the midst of the ongoing tornado-storm that is in our body because it was put there, built right into it, as we grew and developed.

Part of why I mention this in response to your comment is that from birth our early caregivers build our body-brain (including our emotional and social brain-self) through a process related to ‘feeling understood’. MIRRORING, REFLECTING BACK, and RESONATING are three extremely important processes that must happen — in safe and secure earliest attachment relationship-interactions — so that we can grow up with what we need.

When those three things don’t happen for us from the time we are born, and especially in our first year of life, we don’t even end up with a body-brain-mind-self that has a real CLUE what it feels like for someone to understand us — to mirror, reflect, and resonate with us so that we can FEEL FELT.

Feeling felt is actually a ‘technical term’ for what we experience when we feel understood. Add onto these complications the fact that all infant-child abuse survivors have had things happen to them that are far, far, far past what most safe and securely attached (and nonabused) people can imagine, let alone empathize with!!

As I begin to UNDERSTAND all of what I am describing I also begin to understand that the most important person who I need to UNDERSTAND me is — ME! Yes, that can be a lonely, lonely ‘place’ to be in, but all that went so wrong in our early life REALLY does to hurt us is prevent our own strong, clear, happy, safe, securely attached individual, autonomous OWN SELF from forming. We are robbed of our own self, and that, to me, is the biggest hurt, the deepest wound, and the most important one for us to heal.

As we begin to more clearly understand the nature of our hurts, we are fine tuning our own reception abilities in terms of being able to look around us and visually begin to SEE these same early abuse survivor patterns in other people. We begin to recognize them not only in our self, but in others. Then we begin to see how MANY people did not have what they needed in safe, safe, SAFE — and secure attachment environments. These people are changed just as we are, to different degrees — and it is the quality and nature of the SAFE AND SECURE attachments that any of us have with ANYONE in our earliest years that fights back against any and all harm that was done to us THEN so that we have stronger inner resources NOW.

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There are two pieces of information I need to add to my previous reply. Dissociation that was built into us through early trauma and abuse most often includes ‘depersonalization’ and ‘derealization’. Part of what makes this happen is that our early brain didn’t form patterns of ‘repair’ to go along in a reasonable and healthy way with the overwhelming patterns of ‘RUPTURE’ that the deprivations and traumas of our early lives created.

This means that dissociation — or patterns of all these ruptures without corresponding (and necessary) repair just leaves us with lots of holes in the fabric of our social-emotional brain processing — all the way through our nervous system. When we feel ‘depersonalization’ and ‘derealization’ as parts of dissociation, we are feeling those holes. Anything we can learn about recognizing these patterns when we feel them — and recognizing how TODAY to help ourselves gain REPAIR for the ruptures (triggers) that send us off on the dissociation pathway, the better off we will be.

The second point I need to mention is that ALL RELATIONSHIPS in our present life that are safe and secure attachments are important to our well-being. But along with this comes the fact that not even we, our self, have what it takes to REALLY be able to experience true empathy. We are not as good as we might think we are at mirroring other people back to their self, reflecting back to them or with resonating with ANYONE else as we COULD have been if someone had done that repairing-of-ruptures for us as our body-brain grew early in our lives.

I think of it as a ‘numb zone’ that pops right in between me and other people — and it is tied to these two arms of dissociation I mentioned (depersonalization and derealization). Our intentions can be the best in the world, but as Dr. Allan Schore says, everyone with an insecure attachment disorder has an empathy disorder, as well.

So if we are surrounded by people even as well intentioned to empathize as we are, yet they also have an insecure attachment disorder, they (as are we) are prevented RIGHT WITHIN OUR PHYSIOLOGY from being able to truly offer back ‘understanding’.

I will also say that many people are motivated toward the helping professions that also come from similar backgrounds as their clients do. If a therapist does not understand patterns of secure and insecure attachment chances are not good that they have made REAL progress in healing themselves in the ways that really matter. That means that they also have empathy disorders — and are probably least likely of all to know or admit this fact.

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It strikes me as I think about these words I just wrote that I am describing a PARADOX!

Being able to truly understand another person, IF it involves the process of empathy, does not require that the listener have a history of any kind of early caregiver-infant relationship trauma.  In fact, it is the fact that those of us who DID experience unsafe and insecure very early trauma had our empathy abilities tampered with that means we are the LAST people to really be good at empathy!

Being good at empathy, really healthily good at it requires that the listener did not have their empathy abilities tampered with (and changed as a result of early relationship trauma).  True, we survivors can learn what empathy actually IS and can learn to practice true empathy — but we will always be like immigrants, never natural empathy-ability citizens.

There’s lots more I can say about this — but it is saved for some other day…..

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Before I remove myself from my writing again for this upcoming week during which I will again go sit in the office of my friend to cover for her while she is on vacation, I want to say a few more things.

First, as I wrote my previous post I hit the ‘level of truth’ for myself for the first time in my life where I could make the connection inside of myself that allowed me to honestly and truthfully say, “I love my mother.”  That is not an insignificant step for me, and is one I will be able to appreciate as a useful tool when it is time for me to go ‘back there’ to retrieve my childhood abuse story.

The next comment I want to make has to do with my childhood stories as I have already written them (available here with some digging around through the links:  +DEVIL’S CHILD – My Childhood.)  As I just told my daughter in our telephone conversation, my ‘stories’ are nothing more than dissociated, discontinuous vignettes that exist not unlike letters of the alphabet or individual musical notes that have yet to be composed into a cohesive whole.

My mother’s insecure attachment disorder showed up in her incoherent life.  She could not tell a coherent life narrative, and she gave this disability to me.  My main motivation for spending the years that I did transcribing and ordering my mother’s papers was to create a linear time line that I needed to begin to place my own childhood experiences in a linear line, also.

The other comment I wanted to write concerns my father.  At least NOW I know I have hit the point within my own self where I am clear how I love my mother.  I love her as I described in my previous post.  But I have not reached that level with my father.

When it comes to thinking about, describing and feeling emotions, I always have a sideline running in the background concerning my father.  I think about the dismissive-avoidant insecure attachment disorder patterns as researchers are now being able to actually see them operate through visually watching the brains of such people.

Researchers can watch how some brains create in effect a firewall that leaves actual emotions as they ARE triggered in the body completely out of conscious awareness.  Researchers can see the emotion being experienced in the brain AND at the same time be screened from a person so that they do not know they are even there — AT ALL.  The brain is consuming massive amounts of energy during this screening process, and these ‘brain-holders’ never know it.

There are specific early caregiver-to-infant interactions that create these brains from birth to age one.  These changed brains are intimately connected to the changed nervous system and body of their ‘holders’.  Being cared for by unresponsive, unemotional, cold, depressed and ‘blank-faced’ caregivers are some of the ways these dismissive-avoidant brains are created in infants from the beginning.

These same infants, had they been interacted with by securely attached and appropriate-adequate early caregivers would have developed entirely different brains.  My father was an unwanted infant born to an unwilling and depressed mother, raised by his teenage sister primarily who was not caring or nurturing.  In the end, my father’s dismissive-avoidant insecurely attached brain worked very well on his behalf as he could NOT FEEL — did not HAVE to feel — and hence could ignore what he NEEDED to pay attention to and react to appropriately.

I have an important person I care deeply about who I believe also has a dismissive-avoidant insecure attachment disorder, and I can see how easily this pattern fits with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Very nicely indeed.  The fact is that people who fit into this range can most often manage to get along just fine — but have extremely limited (if any) ability to FEEL and therefore to CARE how others feel, either.  It would be easy to call them ‘intimacy disabled’.

Sometimes given the intensity of my emotions and my difficulties with them, I find myself tempted to envy these people for their cool, unemotional detachment.  I then remind myself that to miss out on FEELING is to miss out on the entire color range of being alive.  I also remind myself of the dangers of living without feelings — they have a purpose just as our physical body needs to feel its way through life, and to NOT be able to feel puts a person dangerously close (in my mind) to being ‘sociopathic’ — and therefore dangerous!  It is not a good thing to NEED anything from these people.

And it is a sure thing that any infant born to its earliest caregiver with a dismissive-avoidant insecure attachment is going to have that same brain downloaded into their own forming brain — UNLESS there is another strong influence by another early caregiver who is safely and securely attached and therefore has a brain that operates with feelings included.

*Note:  People with the other insecure attachment disorders of preoccupied and disorganized-disoriented tend to be attracted to those with dismissive-avoidant because they know these people will not overwhelm them emotionally.

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The first thought I have as I turn around and begin to look back over the span of my adulthood (which covers 40 years now) is, “If I had only known THEN what I know now……”  I don’t say this about anything trivial, ordinary or mundane.  I say this about something I see as being so important that if I HAD somehow had the information I have now, the entire course of my adult life would have gone differently.

There are two brilliantly lit spots in my adult history, and they both appeared within months of each other when I was nearing 30 years old.  The first one happened when my 4-year-younger sister took a bus from Edmonton, Canada to visit me in Minnesota.  She was hugely pregnant, and I can still see her resting on my humble living room couch, her head tipped back a little as I came through the doorway into the room.

“You know, Linda,” she said to me, “if you aren’t very very angry for the things Mother did to you while you were growing up there’s something very very wrong with you.”

Talk about a dead-stopper, that was it.  I’m sure my eyes popped wide open, my mouth too.  I had not one single word to speak back to her.  I just stared.  Yet on the inside something happened to me.  She opened a crack in my carefully crafted adult reality that had never been there before.  I didn’t recognize what happened at the time, but her simple statement itself changed the course of my life.

Those changes have been gradual, but I can name that moment as the one that moved something inside of me I didn’t even know was there.

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The second brilliantly lit moment in my adulthood happened about a month after my sister’s comment.  An older Native American friend of our family named Larry had stopped in for dinner with his wife.  After we had eaten, after everyone else had left the table and he and I were sitting there alone together,  Larry looked straight into my eyes across the plate cluttered table and simply said, “Linda, you aren’t the person you want everyone to think you are, are you?”

Again I was absolutely stunned.  To tell you the truth, I had no conscious idea what he was talking about, and nearly 30 years later I STILL don’t!  Did I ask him what he meant?  No.  But here again he stuck some kind of a gigantic crowbar into the crack my sister had opened up inside of me and pried that crack wide open — somehow.

I have never forgotten his words.  I remember them exactly, and I remember myself receiving his words in stunned silence, just as I had received the words my baby sister had spoken to me just as simply.

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I would say right now that both of these statements were straight ones, perhaps the most-straight statements I have ever heard in my lifetime.  These were words of truth and accuracy that shot straight into the center of ME, and never in my lifetime will I lose my appreciation and awe for the power these words had to help straighten out the course of ME in my lifetime.

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I had one similar experience during the long 18 year course of my severely abusive childhood, only this time the words came from an unknown source and I heard them inside of my own self.  I must have been about 13 or 14 when I heard them spoken.  I had been punished severely, beaten, berated, and banished — for what THAT time I do not remember.

What I do remember was lying in bed in the middle of the day.  Being put to bed was a punishment even worse than being put into a corner, both of which consumed massive segments of my childhood.  I know I had been crying, and looking back I know my pain was so deep it consumed me.  My eyes were open, and I was staring at my mother’s carefully varnished plywood wall.  I remember the wandering, curving grain of the wood and the curved ‘eye’ and ‘lip’ shapes embedded here and there.  (I had no idea as a child what these were for, and only found out as an adult that they were ‘plugs’ put into plywood to repair spots where twigs had grown into the tree.)

All of a sudden I heard a voice like none I had ever heard before.  It spoke clearly, but seemed to come from far, far away as it calmly stated, “Linda, it is not humanly possible for anyone to be as bad as your mother says you are.”

That was it.

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Many Indigenous People use a term for The Great Mystery to describe all things deeply spiritual that cannot be talked about in any other way.  I would include all three of these statements in that category, even though I know two of them crossed the lips of real human beings.  But the source of these words, the meaning of these words, the timing of when these words reached me, and what they all touched deep inside of me belongs in my mind to The Great Mystery.

As I consider the words that appeared to me in that tear stained, sorrow-filled bed when I was still a child, I think about my mad, mean mother.  I think about some invisible ‘line’ that divided her from me and me from her, as I ask a question that has no answer in this lifetime.

“Why was I gifted with those words that saved me from becoming like my mother?  Why did it happen that no words were given to my mother anywhere along the span of her lifetime that could have just as equally saved her?”

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I feel like I am standing at the edge of a great, horror-filled and very dark abyss as I write now.  I am going to take a step off of firm ground out into thin air, trusting there is something solid I can trust will hold me up even though I can’t see it.  As I take this step, I look down, and I see two people falling into that inky blackness.  One is my mother, the other is myself as a child.

I hear again that voice and those words that came to me that day in my bed of despair, and I see that they caught me and stopped my fall as surely as if they had spun a net to catch me.  I see that there were no words to break my mother’s fall, none that she could possibly have heard anyway, and she continues to fall.  Fall, fall, fall, to the moment of her death.

What I heard in those words as a child is not what I now see as their full meaning.  As a child I needed to be told that I could not possibly be as bad as my mother said I was.  I now see the other part, the ‘humanly possible’ part.  To be told in this way at this particular time that I was HUMAN at all is what MOST saved me, though back then it was having the limit set on how bad I could NOT be that I somehow heard.

Back then I must have instinctively swallowed the whole spoonful of saving elixir contained in the whole statement.  If I had stopped to say to whomever spoke those words, “They are meaningless to me because I am not even human, therefore there is no limit to how bad I am,” I do not believe I would be alive today — and certainly not alive without the madness that consumed my mother.

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As strange as it might be to think this way, I believe the hardest part of letting go of my perpetrator, my terrible and terrifying abuser, my mother, is not that I hate her.  It is not that I don’t forgive her.  The hardest part is coming to terms with the fact that I could not then, cannot now, can NEVER save her.  I cannot save her from her falling.  And more than anything else I can possibly think of, this lets me know that in my heart of hearts — if I ever question this, and I do — I loved my mother then — and I still do.

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Now, getting back to firm ground I turn away from the edge of that wicked abyss and walk away, walk away, walk away, walk away.  I do not run because the pull of it, the gravity of it echoes, echoes, echoes.  Which leads me to the point I wanted to make at the beginning of this post.

What I know now that I didn’t know as a child, didn’t know through the first 40 years of my adulthood is that this abyss exists.  It is very real.  It is at the center of my natural life because its existence was at the center of my mother’s life when she brought me into this world, and every interaction I ever had with her, most clearly all of them for the first 18 years of my life, happened as SHE was falling through the horrible blackness of that pit and as she did everything in her power to take me down there with her.

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I can come up now from this writing so far and take a gulp of sweet fresh air, gaze out my window at the clear blue sky, listen to my parakeet chirp away at some foreign bird it hears perched on a tree branch.  And as I come back to this present world I bring back three words like they are the plug at the end of a long electric power cord of truth — and insert these three words into the history of my past as I know it.

The three words:  Insecure Attachment Disorder.

Not having some way to anchor ourselves safely and securely in the world our body lives in means that we are falling, falling, falling  into an inner world of terror and darkness without end.  Those are the words I now have to describe what I did not know even existed — as an essence of my life — as a child or as an adult person who heard the three statements I mention here.

As I look back on my entire life, including my adulthood past, I now know that this dark bottomless pit has always been with me.  It’s force, its gravity, its existence?  I have felt it, felt it in my body, and never knew its name.

As I look back on my adulthood I can see the patterns.  Over and over and over again — for every major decision I have made in my life, I was FEELING that great open pit, and I ran from it.  I didn’t walk, I RAN as fast and as hard as I could not knowing I could not escape its pull even though I seemed to be able to avoid it.

I did not.

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I met men.  I had sex.  I fell in and out of love.  I did drugs.  I drank heavily.  I had babies and cared for them.  I married and divorced and married and divorced.  I traveled.  I moved from one end of this great country to the other.  I wandered.  I found homes, made homes, took them apart and moved on.  I wandered by the crashing ocean side, I wandered by the lakes and through the forests and over fields.  I planted, I reaped, I preserved food.  I bought things and sold them and gave them away.  I tried studies, read books, went through treatments.  I tried jobs, a career, did art, made things — and gave them away as well.

Now?  I mostly sit still, and I write, and I learn to read and play music.  And now?  I am naming that hole, that inky dark pit that I live with — right here, right now.

I am beginning to comprehend that the more I struggle the more powerful the pull that black pit has upon me — because it has its tendrils built right into every cell in my body.  I can’t change that, but I can change what I know and what I do.

I no longer wish to fly off in one direction or another every time some dissociated fragment of myself is triggered by some event in life that blindsides me and makes me lose my poise and balance as I have during the days of my past.

I am intent on learning what this black pit is and how it operates.  I will run from it no more, nor will I let its influence determine my reactions within my own life.  At present I believe I am making some progress.  I can hear its tone — its single roaring tone.  I believe when all is said and done it only has ONE TONE, one main feeling that it sets to resonating within my body.

That tone?  I call it inconsolable despair.

There.  That’s not so hard!  I can learn to recognize that tone when it starts resonating within all the cells of my body, and begins to crawl around within the neurons of my brain.  Inconsolable despair.

Sure, it would be nice if I didn’t know what that tone was, and didn’t know what it feels like.  But I believe every mammal is born with it, and perhaps other kinds of species as well.  It is this, the existence of this inconsolable despair that motivates life to seek all that it needs to continue its existence.

I can thank my daughter who is such a fantastic mother for describing to me how her newly born (now five months old) son wakes from deep and peaceful slumber EXPRESSING this feeling.  There is nothing that has happened to him in his present lifetime that would explain where this feeling state comes from for him — except that he was born with it.

Most appropriately, everyone around that new little person rushes to his rescue when he wakes up crying, sobbing his sounds for his feeling of inconsolable despair.  That is as nature intends.  His needs are always met through safe and secure attachment patterns and my hope is that over time as his body grows, his nervous system and brain grows, his mind and his self that maybe he can gain so many good ways to solve that eternal problem that he will never have to feel it again.

But for those of us who DO still feel it, I think it’s helpful, no, downright empowering to know what this feeling is and where it comes from so that we can find the best ways possible to offer our own self healthy consolation that can dim — even though it might never be able to extinguish — our deeply felt feelings of inconsolable despair when they threaten to overwhelm us.

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So in response to my old friend Larry’s comment about the person I am, if I can keep from running off into some dissociated life pattern, if I can remain here true to my present task of learning not only WHO I am but most importantly HOW I am in my body in this lifetime, perhaps someday I will understand what he was telling me that day because I still have to say his words simply still remain a part of The Great Mystery.

Larry left this world a long time ago, and perhaps at this moment he is looking at me and smiling — or — shaking his head in puzzlement that I still don’t know what he meant.

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Since I began my break (perhaps strike) from writing a few days ago, I have been spending lots of time learning to read music and to play ‘piano’ on my amazing 88-key keyboard I bought a few months ago.  What an education!  My admiration for piano players is increasing with every moment I spend engrossed in my pleasurable task!

What joy there must be in actually being able to PLAY this instrument!  I can only begin to imagine what that would be like.  I learned the ditty for naming the lines on the treble clef when I was in third grade – and that was IT for my musical education.  So I am at the beginning.

What I was thinking about today as I begin to combine notes for some of the pieces of music I am trying to understand and play is how hard it is for me to decipher the individual sound of notes once two keys are played simultaneously.  I imagine people with trained ears can pick the two separate notes out easily, but I sure can’t.  What I hear is a brand new THIRD NOTE!

It made me think about feelings, and about how hard it is to decipher them when we are actually experiencing more than one of them at the same time!  Then we have the equivalent of the THIRD NOTE — something new and different that vibrates our body in a way we might not be able to describe.  How can we  pick the feelings apart when they happen this way?

I don’t have an answer to my own question.  I am having way too much fun healing my body-brain with sound at this point.  I love the waltzes and the lullabies!  Oh, how wonderful and amazing this is!  And learning to play these notes off the page, I feel like I am touching the fingertips, the hearts and the minds of the people who had these songs come to them and who wrote them down — a direct communication like nothing I have ever experienced before.

So as I went back to the blog here to look for the verbal abuse and music related posts I found what follows here – lots!  Perhaps there’s something useful among all these words — but for now, I’d rather do the music!!!

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+VERBAL ABUSE – CAN I HEAL MY INFANT MUSICAL BRAIN?

+POWER OF SOUND FOR HEALING OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM-BRAIN

+SOME MORE INFO ON MUSIC, VOICE AND THE BRAIN

+THE ‘TERROR-ABLE’ CONSEQUENCES OF INFANT-CHILDHOOD VERBAL ABUSE

+THE TOPIC OF TEASING: TOO HARD TO CONSIDER?

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

+SECURE AND INSECURE ATTACHMENT AND THE CHILDHOOD NARRATIVE

+CHILD ABUSE: IN THE ABSENCE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOODNESS

+LINKS TO TODAY’S PAGES ON DISSOCIATION AND DISCLOSURE

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As long as I am rolling along through the topic of roads today, I might as well write about another experience with ‘road problems’.  Because I seem to be rapidly getting older, I have to say “many years ago” I was working as an art therapist with a caseload of severely traumatized children.  On this winter’s day I had to travel a long way to reach a home-based session with a foster child.  Getting there on time was my greatest concern.

At that time I was driving a monster 3/4 ton Chevy van.  Not a lot of weight for traction in that beast.  I headed across a flat land wide dirt road, and I must add, a wash-boarded one.  Any readers with experience in country living will know what that means.  Somehow very mysterious physics comes into play when enough round tires travel down certain dirt roads so that entire long series of patterns appear on the surface that look exactly like what they are named after — a wash board.

“Oh, great,” I was thinking to myself as I looked at my watch and realized that the time I had taken just to FIND this road had bitten a considerable chunk out of the remaining time I had to get to my appointment on time.  The wind had swept all the snow off of the road and into the ditches, hence providing me with a dry straight-of-way — and I took off down it flying.

Well, ALMOST flying.  Before I felt myself heading into a full blown spin off the road I noticed the cut-off trunks of some poor dead trees sticking their weathered tips out of the vast snowbanks I was now going to meet up with up close and personal.  Off we went (van and I), landing with a serious tilt in deep snow with the passenger side wheels nearly in the air.  Stopped with the van’s underside gas tank directly poised to land squarely on top of those tree tips.

Not a comely position for professional-lady me in my stockings and nicely pleated wool skirt.  “How exactly am I supposed to climb out of this beast?”  I didn’t have time to answer my own question when I felt the van beginning to move.  Gravity was having its pull, and down on top of those sharpened stakes my poor gas tank was headed.

Of course I pulled a “Linda.”  Nobody there to hear me but the van I was speaking to, I didn’t empty my verbal arsenal politely.  “Don’t you F—– DARE!” I commanded of that van firmly.  The tilting stopped.  “Good van!  Very good van!”

I managed to push the driver’s door nearly straight into the air to open it, climbed out stocking legs akimbo, plowed my way out of the snowbanked ditch onto the dry dirt road, and took off marching in the direction of my client’s house my heels clapping along with each stride as if I had planned my arrival to go like that.

Yes, a wisely slow driving farmer stopped and picked me up, delivering me to his neighbor’s house where my appointment waited.  I must have looked a riotous sight, me and my blaze red half sunk van.

Beside the obvious moral of this story, the hidden one for me today is that there are times when we are intent on ‘learning’ from our abusive past that it is not wise to barrel our way through our journey along that road as if there is no possible danger.  I had thought on that day if I just drove fast enough I could skip right over all the millions of tiny ruts, taking the high road over the washboard safely.  Not so.

What all of this means to me in real terms today, at this moment, is that I am approaching a return to my traumatic infant-childhood to retrieve my story very slowly and cautiously.  I find that to move in that direction means that I have to first traverse backward through my adulthood.  Along that road I can already see patterns that I never noticed before.

That is what growing means, I guess.  As I continue to grow in my own way, my perspective is continually changing with new added insights.  Things are not looking the same on my backward journey as I thought they might.  This is like I am playing my life backward toward the moment I will walk back into my home of origin in reverse of when I walked out of it at age 18.

What amazes me most about my adult life is that I have stayed as safe as I have.  That doesn’t mean my journey has been easy, but I did not fall for abusive men — at least I never saw that side of them.  I did not fall for anyone who abused my children, either.  I am extremely grateful for this miracle!

Beyond that, I have a little brightly colored kerchief filled with yummy snacks tied to a stick balanced upon my shoulder as I whistle some version of ‘Dixie’ as I pace myself for my long journey of return back to my childhood so I can see what I can see and learn what I can learn — and feel what I can feel — and. . . . . .

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“Well, tickle me pink!”  I have no idea what the history of that cliche is, but it comes to mind as I entertain myself with a little humor, Linda style.  I give myself full permission to access anything that I can use to prepare for my next task — and to accomplish it — with great success!

I have (literally) a hell of a story to tell.  I am not alone in this.  Anyone who has suffered abuse in life has the same kind of story to tell, but it is those of us who were raised from birth (and perhaps from conception) within the earliest possible truly malevolent environments that have the worst stories to tell.

Not that there is some sort of new-fangled “GONG” show especially for people who want to march up to some television stage and compete for “Who has the very worst infant-child abuse story to tell” kind of prize.  But there ARE critical differences in the long term consequences of differing kinds of early abuse.

A week or so ago during my conversation with my friend I was having lunch with the topic of Oprah came up.  “Oh,” my friend said.  “I heard that now Oprah passed 50 she has decided to let her abusers go.”

“Well, I’ll be horn swaggled,” I think to myself.  Not THE great and powerful Oprah?  Such a public example of the “should do” for all other infant-child abuse survivors.

I’ve never been an Oprah fan.  That could be because I am not a personal fan of either television or magazines.  But in the last week that I have been sitting in an office taking care of its business so my friend could take her vacation I have honed my anti-Oprah insights.

Now, I can in part thank my daughter for this.  She is a very busy professional woman with a marriage and new baby to tend to.  She hasn’t much time left over for one of her simple pleasures:  Making gorgeous, creative, stunningly artistic switchplate covers out of collage.  So I am taking advantage of the quiet time I have at the office to cut apart magazines and prepare a delicious palette of tiny images for my daughter to work with should she ever find the time to sit down and make some of her designs.

In this process I found a pile of ‘used’ Oprah magazines at our local thrift store.  This is the first time I have ever opened one of those magazines — and quite frankly what I found inside appalled me though it did not surprise me.  For all the rumors in the wind I have heard about the ‘do good’ doings of this most-rich woman in America’s spotlight I found nothing in that magazine but continued promotion of the ‘be gorgeous’ make believe woman image in VERY expensive advertising.

Putting aside what I might think about anyone who devotes an entire magazine to their self, and putting aside what I think of anyone with that kind of money who doesn’t avidly reinvest it on the level of ‘who truly needs what for a better life’ down at the bottom of America’s society, I have to be honest and tell you that my motivation for writing a hell of a book with my hell of a childhood story of abuse in it is entirely (self) motivated by my not being responded to on Oprah’s website when I left two separate emails mentioning my story.

No response then, no response ever as far as I am concerned.  I can’t think of anything more delightful than for me to actually write a bestseller that attracts someone of Oprah’s staff, who then invites me onto the Oprah show — so that I can utter back one word and one word only:  Nope.

Now maybe if they were holding my grandson hostage I MIGHT not say “Nope,” but as that’s unlikely I am quite certain there is nothing, absolutely nothing on this blue and green earth of ours that could drag me anywhere near that woman.

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My point being — I can guarantee that no matter what abuse of what kind Oprah experienced during her childhood years, someone loved her — and someone from the instant she was born provided her with safe and secure attachment.

And I WILL be the one to say this:  That is all that really matters.

Without having safe and secure earliest caregiver interactions nobody’s body-nervous system-brain can grow a safe and secure attachment pattern in it.  Without these patterns, there is nothing EVER to be done about truly leaving one’s abuser(s) in the past.  The changes (the damage) is IN THE BODY of early abuse survivors because it was built in during development.

Now, I honestly don’t care one bit what Oprah’s abuse history is.  But I will bet everything I own (inventory sight unseen for any takers) that someone was there to help Oprah’s body-brain-mind-self form correctly during the first year (ESPECIALLY!) of her life.  Once that happens, every other trauma a person experiences for the rest of their lifetime will be processed in a different way than it will be by those whose earliest experiences were not safe and secure — with SOMEBODY.

On top of conception to birth, birth to age one, we have to consider next what happens to age two, and then through age five.  All of these experiences are building the body-nervous system-brain — step by step, foundation stone upon foundation stone.  I am not saying that childhood sexual abuse is not devastating, but processing the experience (any and ALL experience) is very different between those who had safe and secure earliest caregiver interactions and those who did not.

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Out of curiosity I did try to locate the cost of placing an advertisement in “O” for my book.  As far as I can tell the least expensive ad placement is well over $50,000.  Signed.  Sealed.  Delivered.  The answer to O-Oprah is “Nope.”

My ‘bone to pick’ with the O-Oprah Empire has to do with my concerns that NOT acknowledging the existence of resiliency factors of all kinds during early infant-child development depletes the truth of any claims for so-called ‘recovery’ – no matter who makes them.  All RISK factors are always balanced by RESILIENCY factors — not by magic, not by magical thinking, and not by the power of persuasion or suggestion by anyone who is a member of the Magic Kingdom — and I don’t mean Disney’s.

As long as our society does not acknowledge risk and resiliency factors equally, we will not come to the truth about how early infant-child abuse changes physiological development so that early abuse can create very different kinds of body-brains.  The HAVES don’t have to be grateful for what they DID receive on the resiliency side of their existence at the same time they can maintain and perpetrate the MYTH that ‘everyone can be as I am, do as I do’.

NOPE!

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