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Archive for December, 2010

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Perhaps if I lived in a different time or a different place everyone around me would understand if I told them, “All I have left in me is one good story.”  That I cannot tell that story to the empty air would also be understood.  I can write and write and write and write, but for me writing is not the same thing as telling.

Where is a story when it’s not being told?  Is it, like our memories themselves lying around in shards and shreds, in pieces and parts within our minds — somewhere?  Or is a story a living thing that has no slumbering existence at all, existing only when it is falling from somebody’s activated lips?

Perhaps it is because so much of the body of my story as I imagine telling it, probably to my daughter, is so much about being alone in solitary confinement, in isolation and in silence (in between the terrors of traumatic abuse over those first 18 years of my life) that my story is frozen there, askew akimbo, in limbo, and cannot take on a life of its own if there is no caring listener to help it be born.

Perhaps my story– spoken (or written) into silence — would be worse than no story at all.  Perhaps, formed THAT way my story would be no story, just an ongoing pause, more of the same, a restless opera hanging around getting parts of itself stuck in cobwebs while the rest of it fades and fades and fades into silence like notes at the end of an echo.

Is a museum a museum if it’s empty?  Is an art gallery a gallery if it doesn’t contain a single piece of art?  Is a story a story if there’s nobody there to hear it but the teller?  I think not.  In all these cases I think not.

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+BLOGGING HISTORY – NEW WAYS FOR OUR SPECIES TO REMEMBER ITSELF

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Blogging our way through time — recording our histories — recording our histories in the making — reading histories in the moment — What I found at the end of one of Dr. Bruce Perry’s articles (link below) makes me think about how new and different our perspectives on the passage of time and our places in it are today as we participate with advances in technology to record ourselves as a species in a new way.

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“Learning the language of trauma and translating the verbal and non-verbal elements of this language will require many more years of investigation. Yet, as this investigation is underway, it is the task of all of us working with maltreated children [ME:  and adult survivors] to educate our peers and the rest of society that this language exists…. To educate our society that traumatic events, like other experience, change the brain. Further, that the brain stores elements of the traumatic events as cognitive memory, motor memory, emotional memory and state memory, altering the functional capacity of the traumatized individual. And, in the end, by robbing the individual potential of millions of children each year, childhood trauma and neglect robs the potential of our families, our communities and our societies. (page 16)”

Info above and below is from this article:  Memories of Fear: How the Brain Stores and Retrieves Physiologic States, Feelings, Behaviors and Thoughts from Traumatic Events by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

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Beginning at the end of page 16 Perry talks about trauma and history – and what is human history but what we remember of what happened?  I am copying this portion of the text found at this link into this post – in part because it reminds me so much of what all bloggers are doing today – recording our history and our perspectives on history-in-the-making in the ongoing moments of the present.

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“The memory of trauma is carried not only through the life of the individual by their neurobiology but it is carried in the life of a family through family myths, childrearing practices and belief systems. Major traumatic events in the history of a people or culture become memorialized, as well, and carried forward across generations in our literature, our laws and our very social structures.

“It is the unique property of living systems to carry forward elements of past experience – indeed, for all living systems, the present is contingent upon and a reflection of that past experience. In a very true sense, a body collective – a group – is a living, dynamic system. And, as the individual carries its own history forward using the apparatus of neurobiological mechanisms related to memory, each living group carries its memories forward in time. Yet living groups – families, clans, societies – carry this information forward using different mechanisms of recording and storage.

“Over the history of humankind, the methods for recording and storing the experiences of the group have evolved. In our distant past, humans living [in] groups passed experience from generation to generation using oral tradition – and sociocultural practices – language, arts, belief systems, rules, law – all were reflections of the past – and with each generation, modification, amendment, and alteration of the past ‘memory’ was modified by present experience. With the development of written language, information could be passed across generations more efficiently. Sociocultural advance occurred at an increased rate, made possible by more efficient ‘remembering’ of the lessons (good and bad) from the past. The ‘brain’ of humankind – the libraries of the world — kept ‘civilization’ alive through its darkest moments – and even if generation after generation during a given period in history did not take advantage of this ‘memory’ – the information was not lost to humankind.

“Later in history, again, with the introduction of the printing press, the past was more efficiently stored and passed on. Books became available for everyone. More people became literate. Information of all sorts – arts, science, social studies– was stored in books. Again, a tremendous advancement in human sociocultural evolution can be traced to this process – to literacy and widespread education. Information from the past – primarily cognitive information – enriched the present. The rate of creativity was accelerated; invention and innovation – new ideas, machines, products, processes – were facilitated by the more efficient sociocultural ‘memory’ allowed by books and literacy. Now, in the span of a lifetime, the accumulated and distilled experience of thousands of generations could be absorbed – and acted upon to create sociocultural advances.

And now, we are in the first generations of a new era of recording, storing and transmitting information – electronic media – tapes, photographs, videos, films – all immortalize the experiences of humankind. The electronic media allow a unique and

different form for the memory of an individual, family, community and society to pass from generation to generation.

“There is great hope for humankind in these advances. In the past, the inefficient methods of recording, storing and passing on the horror of war, rape, neglect, abuse, starvation, misogyny, slavery – allowed these lessons of living to be edited, modified, distorted and, with tragic consequences, forgotten. Only elements of the experience of war were passed across generations – the heroism of an individual, the success of the nation — and the emotional ‘memory’ of war – the hate, rage, death, loss – has been transformed, altered and, all too often, forgotten.

“Creative artists have always played the role of ‘emotional’ memory for a culture. In ways that standard recording of simple facts and figures cannot convey, a painting, poem, novel, or film can capture the emotional ‘memory’ of an experience. But in a society where access to and ‘artistic’ literacy is low, the emotional lessons of the past are easily lost. And when the last veteran of each distant war died, an element of the emotional ‘memory’ of that horror died as well. Unable to carry the emotional memory of war to the next generation – history could much more easily repeat itself – or more honestly, we could much more easily repeat history. But with documentary and creative film and video, which can convey both the fact and the emotion, maybe it will be harder for us to forget the past – and we, therefore, will be not so doomed to repeat it.

“Yet the ever present danger of recording, storing and passing on false images, false stories, false history can be equally destructive. The responsible use of film, video, electronic storage may allow us to use these advances to promote and pass on those qualities which create, sustain and grow our humanity and, over many generations, to leave behind those qualities which rob our humanity (racism, misogyny, factionalism).

Can we change our world to create fewer traumatic memories to carry into the next generations – fewer traumatic events to shape our children who will create our future social structures?

“How can we heal the scars of individual and group trauma that haunt us today? Can we ever make racism, misogyny, maltreatment of children – distant memories? There are solutions. These conditions are not the inevitable legacy of our past. When an individual becomes self-aware, there is the potential for insight. With insight comes the potential for altered behavior. With altered behavior comes the potential to diminish the transgenerational passage of dysfunctional or destructive ideas and practices.

“And so it must be for groups. As a society, we cannot develop true insight without self-awareness. Enduring socio-cultural changes in racism, misogyny and maltreatment of children cannot occur without institutional and cultural insight and the resulting altered institutional and cultural behavior. The challenge for our generation is to understand the dynamics and realities of our human living groups in a way that can result in group insight – which, inevitably, will lead to the understanding that we must change our institutionalized ignorance and maltreatment of children. (pages 16 – 18)”

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I have an honest yet disheartened post in me today.  I might as well write it so I can move on.  I am spending time working to digest the information presented in visual form on a PowerPoint page I posted the link to recently that comes from the work of Dr. Bruce Perry.

Neurodevelopmental Impact of Childhood Trauma:  Adaptive Responses to Childhood Trauma – Focus on Dissociation

A ChildTrauma Academy Presentation

I haven’t yet gone to look for any text that might accompany the diagrams, graphs and images that this site presents.  Nor can I tolerate considering the facts on this webpage for very long at a time.  Because this information concerns me so personally as a severe infant-child abuse survivor who suffered Trauma Altered Development, it all just plain hurts too much.

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This webpage is visually clarifying the difference between an infant-child who responds to trauma with HYPERAROUSAL compared to one who responds to trauma with DISSOCIATION (as a HYPO- rather than a HYPERarousal state).

As I have been outside working on building my garden today I have found myself thinking that having patterns of HYPERAROUSAL built into one’s body from birth might be far more useful in the long run that DISSOCIATION can ever be.

It seems that hyperarousal would give one a fighting chance.

Then I think about my mother and HER fighting chance!  Oh my GAWD the harm she was able to do, particularly to little tiny ME!  (Considering the link between shame-dissociation as an opposite physiological response to trauma than hyperarousal is, maybe I don’t have to wander very far at all in my wondering about why-how my mother never had a shame reaction for what she did to me — as her FIGHT over-arousal escalated for my entire 18-year infant-childhood into violence against me.)

Dissociation, even as it is contrasted to hyperarousal on this webpage seems to be directly connected not only to the vagus nerve system, but in the bigger picture to the calm end of the stress response system — the “STOP” arm of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) that halts the overwhelming experience of TOO MUCH “GO!”  When I am dissociating my body is regulating the physiology of my body back to CALM in the way that was built into it from birth.

(“Rest in peace.”  Death must be the ultimate calm!  I find it interesting that in online Google searching there does not appear to be the same direct line of thoughts appearing that connect DISSOCIATION with suicide like there are connecting DEPRESSION to suicide.  Someone is missing a very BIG BOAT!)

(By the way:  The neurological-physiological dissociation response pattern that the above webpage describes appears to be nearly indistinguishable from the neurological-physiological reaction of SHAME that developmental neuroscientist Dr. Allan Shore describes as a one-year-old infant experiences it as soon as their body has developed far enough to have the physical capacity to feel its first shame reaction. See also:  The Shame Transaction and PTSD AS A SHAME DISORDER)

Also see:

Childhood abuse, household dysfunction, and the risk of attempted suicide throughout the life span: findings from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.

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Because I have an appointment with and oncologist on the 6th of January I find myself thinking a lot about what I want and what I need.  I have suffered increasing stress complications most definitely escalating my preexisting PTSD, depression and dissociation I suffer as a consequence of being a survivor of sever infant-child abuse after having the doctor who treated my advanced and aggressive breast cancer (there were two cancers) tell me on my last session 2 ½ years ago, “By the way, I wouldn’t bother having breast reconstruction if I were you.  You aren’t going to live long enough to enjoy them anyway.  Besides, we’d just have to cut them off again when the cancer comes back.”

I am going to request a body scan that will show whether or not I have cancer NOW or NOT.

Then I think about the fact that I have no desire or intention of fighting the cancer if I do get it back.  (Knowing I felt this way when the first diagnosis came around created a profound conflict of emotions within me during the grueling chemo-surgery treatment regime I went through so that I can be alive today.)

Then I think about how the dissociation reaction described visually in the webpage I am referring to MUST be tied to both ‘passive’ and ‘active’ suicide.  Dissociation as a ‘going away’?  Death as the ultimate ‘going away’?

Then I think about my mother’s mother who gave up and died.  I think about my father who gave up and died.  I think about my mother who gave up and died.

The deaths of both of my parents was directly tied to a lack of desire to seek and receive appropriate medical care for conditions that were treatable.

That’s exactly the same thing I see myself doing if cancer returns in my body.

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Hyperarousal?  It looks for this webpage as if this is a reaction that older children and adults utilize, not helpless tiny infant-toddlers who are overwhelmed by abuse and trauma from the time of their birth.  I don’t HAVE a useful hyperarousal reaction.  I believe I experience all the ‘symptoms’ of it listed on page 2 on this webpage (keep track of page numbers in the gray bar at the top of the pages).  But all that hyperarousal response does to me is open my dissociation floodgate – and I am DISSOCIATED again.

And what if the link between hypoarousal-dissociation means that sometimes people simply cannot find the hyperarousal energy continuum necessary for them to continue using their will-life force to FIGHT for their own continued life?  This seems especially likely if dissociation was formed into a person’s body due to extreme abuse and trauma during infant-toddlerhood so that a person has been forced to dissociate all of their lives due to overwhelming pain.

See: +SUBSTANCE P – IT’S OUR BODY’S BIOLOGICAL LINK TO FEELING EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL PAIN

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I found this post online today.  I believe it’s critical to realize that people like me (and my parents) who suffered ENOUGH ALREADY do not want a LONG LIFE.  Some do not want their suffering to continue and continue and continue.  I believe I am one of those people.

What I do know is that refusing medical care must be related to dissociation in some way — dissociation from pain?  Dissociation from a future?  I will be spending much more time on the site I mention above — it has certainly gotten me thinking about connections with me that go all the way back to how my body-brain was made in/by nearly continual trauma and abuse from my mother from the time I was born.

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Suicide and Mental Health: They’re Cooking the Books

— Thought provoking post on a healthyplaces.com blog

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New York Times columnist David Brooks on the human mind

Aspen Ideas Festival 2010

Minnesota Public Radio broadcast

Listen HERE

Brooks tells a story that expands a view of the human mind based on scientific research about being in social connections with others in ways that stem mostly from emotional unconscious information that we are only just beginning to describe and understand.

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I took my professional sociologist daughter’s advice that she gives to her students regarding ‘social problems’:  “No matter what, don’t disconnect from society.”

DANG!  Emotionally I’d probably rather eat bugs, but…….

I reinstated my Facebook account so I could post this link:

Trauma: How We’ve Created a Nation Addicted to Shopping, Work, Drugs and Sex

Post-industrial capitalism has completely destroyed the conditions required for healthy childhood development.

December 26, 2010 by AMY GOODMAN

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Following my post yesterday:  +BOYCOTTING FACEBOOK – A COMMUNITY OF NON-CARERS ABOUT INFANT-CHILD ABUSE?

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Be sure to catch this important article on infant-child attachment difficulties, altered physiological development and addictions of all kinds that a commenter just posted the link to – and remember, we are born with a fully functioning opioid-feel good/feel bad neurochemistry in operation.  When an infant feels good its own internal opioid brain receptors are filled up.  When an infant feels bad they are empty and the caregivers of the infant are SUPPOSED to respond to the infant appropriately and take care of it so its opioid receptors can fill back up again.

Insecure attachment relations, abuse, neglect, trauma, maltreatment?  These patterns DO NOT WORK RIGHT and what ISN’T RIGHT builds the developing body-brain with the trauma at its core of operation.

We also must not forget the role of oxytocin as a brain-body chemical that modulates attachment – connection to others – and the calm arm of our stress response system!

Please follow this active link to read this article – and thank you very much to the commenter on this blog who sent it over here:

Trauma: How We’ve Created a Nation Addicted to Shopping, Work, Drugs and Sex

Post-industrial capitalism has completely destroyed the conditions required for healthy childhood development.

December 26, 2010 by AMY GOODMAN

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I rewatched the movie “Antwone Fisher” yesterday.  This movie is about an adult working to heal from terrible child abuse inspired by a true story and marks Denzel Washington’s directorial debut.

From my point of view, what the movie never describes is what probably makes the biggest difference in the outcome of this story.  What were Antwone’s first foster parents like?  Did they love that parentless infant RIGHT?  Did they form a safe and secure attachment with the baby?

According to the story Antwone was removed at age two from his first foster home he had been placed in when he was two months old.  For all concerns about interfering with early bonding-attachment relationships, I do not believe that age two is a permanently damaging age to change primary early attachments.  In this case the child was moved to a horribly abusive home, but nothing in the story addresses the nature and the quality of the earliest, most critically important caregiver attachment patterns BEFORE the age of two that impact the direction that all fundamental physiological development follows.  (See update in comment section to this post.)

I would say by looking at the story as it is presented in this movie that Antwone’s first two years HAD to have taken place within an adequately non-malevolent caregiver-attachment environment.  The remarkable recovery that occurs post-terrible LATER abuse would NOT have followed the same course it did if Antwone’s physiological body-brain development had been changed by severe trauma during his infancy.

When looking at our own recovery from our own severe child abuse it remains MOST IMPORTANT that we understand how profoundly our physiological development is impacted by our earliest experiences in our environment.  If we continually struggle to overcome the horrors of severe abuse experiences that we KNOW about, and can never manage to ‘get our wings’ and soar out of the ugly mire of abuse we know we experienced, I would ALWAYS say that it’s most likely that our body-brain development was changed by trauma in profound ways during the earliest months of our life.

I personally know that if the first two years of my life had been perfectly FINE I would not be in the same body NOW that I am in – no matter how severely I had been abused post-two-years-old.  It is the Trauma Altered Development that happened to me before that age because I was BORN into a malevolent, abusive and traumatic malevolent environment that has created these lifelong difficulties that I (along with all infant-toddler severe trauma-abuse survivors) continue to struggle with.

Because the presentation of Antwone’s story in this film completely ignores those first two MOST CRITICAL years of the child’s life we are left guessing that all infant-child abuse survivors could recover by following a pathway such as this survivor did.  Not so.  Not so.  Not so!

It is not ‘getting lucky enough’ to benefit from high quality therapy that makes the biggest difference.  It is not ‘being willing enough’ to face our traumatic childhood memories of experience that makes the biggest difference, either.  It is not ‘being genetically superior’ or even ‘being resilient enough’ that matters most.

As Dr. Bruce Perry clearly states, children are not born resilient.  They are born MALLEABLE.  When the earliest environment deprives a rapidly growing and developing infant-toddler of what it needs for its body-brain to follow an optimal pathway, Trauma Altered Development will occur – BECAUSE of this malleability.  The resilience a little person needs in order to develop a body most able to ‘deal with’ severe traumas anytime after the age of two comes in ONE WAY and ONE WAY only – FROM THE PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR THAT BABY from the time it is conceived UNTIL it has ESPECIALLY reached the developmental milestones a body has built into it by two years of age.

As far as I can tell a description of these first critical months of experience are complete missing from the Antwone Fisher story.

Is this same time-frame description missing from your child abuse story?  If you continue a struggle to heal from early traumas you DO know about in a body that does not seem to be operating ‘quite right’, my guess is that whatever description of your first months of life that you GUESS happened to you needs to be closely examined in the bright light of reality.

None of us just happened to end up in a Trauma Altered Development body through bad luck.  We were built this way because we grew from (conception) birth in a caregiving environment that did NOT do exactly that:  Give us the care we needed prior to age two so that we could have a body healthy and resilient enough to fully process and recover from our later abuse.

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For any human being to care about infant-child abuse SHOULD be, in my thinking, a part of BEING HUMAN — a part of one’s life, and NOT merely a ’cause’ that some people choose to be concerned about while everyone else ignores it.

Today for some reason this topic flashed into a raging inferno for me, and in response to my Facebook friend community’s complete non-reponse to even ONE of my occasional postings about the topic of infant-child abuse, I have canceled my membership in that community.

The suffering of any infant-child under the terrible burden of maltreatment HAS to be the concern of EVERY MEMBER of a healthy human community.  Those of us who are survivors of the kinds of trauma I write about on this blog know absolutely that what happened to all of us happened because NOBODY cared enough to notice, to prevent it, to intervene, to protect us, or to STOP IT.

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I am not talking about a trivial matter.  I am talking about CRIMES against helpless, powerless infants and children.  From what I see around me — on Facebook included — “If it didn’t happen to me and it isn’t happening to my children, WHO CARES?”

A HORRIBLE attitude in my thinking that makes those who refuse to place the well-being of ALL infants and children at the top of our personal and societal pile of concerns as guilty as the perpetrators!

The body-brain that severely abused, neglected, traumatized and maltreated infant-children develop is NOT maladaptive in the bigger picture because it suited a specific environment surrounding the infant-child that REQUIRED that these adaptations happen so that the victim could survive – PERIOD.  Most often perpetrators of the abuse I write about are among trauma-altered survivors themselves — and the abuse they cause is merely a symptom of that fact.

+’SUPER INFANT-CHILD ABUSE’, WORSE THAN WAR CRIMES, IN THE REALM OF GENOCIDE-INFANTICIDE

EVERY responsible and humane adult in our society needs to take infant-child abuse most seriously.  EVERYONE needs to educate themselves about what it IS, what it does to its survivors for a lifetime, how to notice, how to intervene, how to help prevent — and evidently HOW AND WHY TO CARE.

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The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment.

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 27 (2003) 33-44

Martin H. Teicher, Susan L. Andersen, Ann Polcari, Carl M. Anderson, Carryl P. Navalta, Dennis M. Kim

“In our hypothesis, postnatal neglect or other maltreatment serves to elicit a cascade of stress responses that organizes the brain to develop along a specific pathway selected to facilitate reproductive success and survival in a world of deprivation and strife.  This pathway, however, is costly as it is associated with an increased risk of developing serious medical and psychiatric disorders and is unnecessary and maladaptive in a more benign environment.  [page 39 – found by clicking on article title above]

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The same super-materialistic, spiritually deprived, selfish, object-oriented society that allows infant-child abuse to exist at all is the same one that DOESN’T care.  Facebook appears to me simply a mirror of that society and I want no part of it.

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+REPAIRED YESTERDAY’S LINKS – CRITICAL INFO FOR EARLY ABUSE-TRAUMA SURVIVORS

+EARLY ABUSE AND TRAUMA SURVIVORS NEVER GET A HOLIDAY

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My apologies for the trouble with the links in yesterday’s important post

+EARLY ABUSE AND TRAUMA SURVIVORS NEVER GET A HOLIDAY

I think I have them all straightened out now.  As I Googled myself around regarding the titles and topics represented by those links I found myself being awed for those of us severe infant-child abuse and trauma survivors who actually MOSTLY are able to function!

What a menu of terrible difficulties this area of study contains!  I don’t believe there is ANYTHING more important for us as survivors to understand than the information is you will find at the end of these links.

That no  professional EVER even MENTIONED how early severe trauma and neglect can change an infant-child’s physiological development is, to me, CRIMINAL!!!

There is NO, and I MEAN NO psychological or psychiatric ‘theory’ that can begin to remotely help us if it does not address the neurobiological CHANGES that happened to our growing and developing BODY on all of our levels as we survived our traumas!

The kinds of changes that are described in these articles presented in yesterday’s post are what happened to my mother, to my father — and most definitely happened to ME!

We CANNOT consider our healing as severe early abuse and trauma survivors without understanding the FACTS as these articles present them.  THEORIES are of no use to us WHATSOEVER!

We have to educate ourselves with this critically important information.  Any survivor who is seeing a therapist must determine if that person KNOWS this information.  If they don’t, give them this actual link to my post of yesterday,

+EARLY ABUSE AND TRAUMA SURVIVORS NEVER GET A HOLIDAY

https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/early-trauma-survivors-never-get-a-holiday/

If your therapist will not listen to you about this critically important information, I would suggest that you find one that WILL!  So-called ‘mental health treatment’ that does not operate for survivors from this informed foundation of information is no better than BLOODLETTING treatments for disease.

The Trauma Altered Development we endured changed our PHYSICAL body — the same one we have to live within for the rest of our life.  Any treatment for a ‘physical problem’ that is not based on facts is useless!!

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I know that I am not alone on this 2010 Christmas Day in my awareness that nothing special about this cultural holiday is going to alter who I am or how I am in the world as a severe infant-child abuse and trauma survivor.  Forty three people have come to my Stop the Storm blog already this morning – and it for them that I offer this post because considering the lifelong forced physiological adaptations an abused-traumatized little body makes leaves us on EVERY day of our life to face its consequences.

For all of us who on this Christmas Day find ourselves having to think about this topic, I say that what follows is the tip of the iceberg of what truly happened to us as a consequence of the early infant-child severe abuse and trauma that we have survived — and that changed our physiological development.

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Although this article isn’t the newest one on the block (1995), I absolutely trust its foremost author, Dr. Bruce Perry, and therefore know that it is an important one for what I am thinking about today.  This entire article can be read online by clicking on the following link:

Childhood Trauma, the Neurobiology of Adaptation, and “Use-Dependent” Development of the Brain:  How “States” Become “Traits”

Abstract

“Childhood trauma has profound impact on the emotional, Behavioral, cognitive, social, and physical functioning of children.  Developmental experiences determine the organization and functional status of the mature brain.  The impact of traumatic experiences on the development and function of the brain are discussed in context of the basic principles of neurodevelopment.  There are various adaptive mental and physical responses to trauma, including physiological hyperarousal and dissociation.  Because the developing brain organizes and internalizes new information in a use-dependent fashion, the more a child is in a state of hyperarousal or dissociation, the more likely they are to have neuropsychiatric symptoms following trauma.  The acute adaptive states, when they persist, can become maladaptive traits.”

Conclusions

“Children and infants use a variety of adaptive response patterns in the face of threat, and, in a use-dependent fashion, internalize aspects of these responses, organizing the developing brain.  There are a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms that result when these patterns of neural activation persist.  This has implications for research, clinical assessment, intervention, and prevention.

“More important, however, is that understanding the impact of experience on the developing child by using a neurodevelopmental conceptualization offers certain directions for our culture….  Profound sociocultural and public policy implications arise from understanding the critical role of early experience in determining the functional capacity of the mature adult – and therefore our society.  Persistence of the destructive myth that “children are resilient” will prevent millions of children, and our society, from meeting their true potential.  Persistence of the pervasive maltreatment of children in the face of decreasing global and national resources will lead, inevitably, to sociocultural devolution.

“It need not be so.”

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In other words, these patterns not only BUILD the brain, they are BUILT INTO the brain (and nervous system, stress-calm response system, immune system).  This is the same process that Dr. Perry is describing is the one Dr. Martin Teicher concludes leads to “an evolutionarily altered brain.”

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Maltreatment and Its Effects on Early Brain Development

Language Development and Reactive Attachment Disorder in Children

Attachment Disorders

The post-traumatic response in children and adolescents

Aggression and Violence: The Neurobiology of Experience Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Altered brain development following global neglect in early childhood by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD and Ronnie Pollard, MD

Biological Relativity: Time and the Developing Child by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Brain Structure and Function I: Basics of Organization by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Brain Structure and Function II: Special Topics Informing Work with Maltreated Children by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Child Development And Post-traumatic Stress Disorder After Hurricane Exposure by Alan M. Delamater, PhD, and E. Brooks Applegate, PhD

Childhood Experience and the Expression of Genetic Potential: What Childhood Neglect Tells Us About Nature and Nurture by BRUCE D. PERRY, MD, PhD

Childhood Trauma, the Neurobiology of Adaptation and Use-dependent Development of the Brain: How States become Traits by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, Ronnie A. Pollard, MD, Toi L. Blakley, MD, William L. Baker, MS, Domenico Vigilante

Curiosity, Pleasure and Play: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, Lea Hogan, MEd, and Sarah J. Marlin

Curiosity: The Fuel of Development by Bruce Duncan Perry, MD, PhD

Decoding Traumatic Memory Patterns at the Cellular Level by Thomas R. McClaskey, DC, CHT, BCETS

Dysregulation of the Right Brain: A Fundamental Mechanism of Traumatic Attachment and the Psychopathogenesis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by Allan N. Schore

Emotion: An Evolutionary By-Product of the Neural Regulation of the Autonomic Nervous System by Stephen W. Porges

Homeostasis, Stress, Trauma and Adaptation: A Neurodevelopmental View of Childhood Trauma by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD and Ronnie Pollard, MD

Incubated in Terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the ‘Cycle of Violence’ by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Memories of Fear: How the Brain Stores and Retrieves Physiologic States, Feelings, Behaviors and Thoughts from Traumatic Events by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

NEUROBIOLOGICAL SEQUELAE OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA: Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in Children by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Neurodevelopmental Adaptations to Violence: How Children Survive the Intragenerational Vortex of Violence by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Neurodevelopment and the Psychobiological Roots of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Texas Youth Commission Prevention Summary

NEURODEVELOPMENT AND THE PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY OF TRAUMA I: Conceptual Considerations for Clinical Work with Maltreated Children by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

NEURODEVELOPMENT AND THE PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY OF TRAUMA II: Clinical Work Along the Alarm-Fear-Terror Continuum by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Neurodevelopmental aspects of childhood anxiety disorders: Neurobiological responses to threat by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

The posttraumatic response in children and adolescents by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Neuroscience Tutorial The Washington University School of Medicine

Neurodevelopmental Impact of Childhood Trauma: Adaptive Responses to Childhood Trauma: Focus on Dissociation (A ChildTrauma Academy Presentation) by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Neurodevelopmental Impact of Child Maltreatment: Implications for Practice, Programs and Policy (A ChildTrauma Academy Presentation) by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

The Meaning in Words by Dr. Bruce Perry

Noradrenergic and Serotonergic Function in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by Steven M. Southwick, MD, John H. Krystal, MD, J. Douglas Bremner, MD, C. A. Morgan III, MD, Andreas L. Nicolaou, PhD, Linda M. Nagy, MD, David R. Johnson, PhD, George R. Heninger, MD, and Dennis S. Charney, MD

Persisting Psychophysiological Effects of Traumatic Stress: The Memory of ‘States’[DOC] Download by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, Leslie Conroy, MD, & Al Ravitz, MD

Phenomenology and Psychobiology of the Intergenerational Response to Trauma by Rachel Yehuda, PhD, Jim Schmeidler, PhD, Abbie Elkin, BA, Elizabeth Houshmand, BA, Larry Siever, MD, Karen Binder-Brynes, PhD, Milton Wainberg, MD, Dan Aferiot, MSW, Alan Lehman, MSW, Ling Song Guo, MD, Ren Kwei Yang, MD (1997)

The Effects of a Secure Attachment Relationship on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health by Allan N. Schore

Smaller Hippocampal Volume Predicts Pathologic Vulnerability to Psychological Trauma by Mark W. Gilbertson, Martha E. Shenton, Aleksandra Ciszewski, Kiyoto Kasai, Natasha B. Lasko, Scott P. Orr, and Roger K. Pitman

The Effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health by Allan N. Schore

The Impact of Abuse and Neglect on the Developing Brain by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD and John Marcellus, MD

The Neurophysiology of Dissociation and Chronic Disease by Robert C. Scaer

The Neuropsychological Basis of Potential Co-occurrence of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by Robert B. Sica, PhD, BCETS

The Contribution of Early Traumatic Events to Schizophrenia in Some Patients: A Traumagenic Neurodevelopmental Model by JOHN READ, BRUCE D. PERRY, ANDREW MOSKOWITZ, AND JAN CONNOLLY

Effects of Traumatic Events in Childhood by Bruce Perry

Surviving Childhood by Bruce Perry

Traumatized Children: How Childhood Trauma Influences Brain Development by Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Violence and Childhood: How Persisting Fear Can Alter the Developing Child’s Brain Special ChildTrauma Academy Web Site version of: The Neurodevelopmental Impact of Violence in Childhood  Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

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May we find increasing peace and calm -- photograph "Quinault Waterfall" by Robert Kraft from publicdomainpictures.net

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