+BLACKBIRD PIE – WHAT IS TRUE FOR US?

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Friday, February 28, 2014.  Last night, just after my daughter came to pick up the baby and I had begun to cook my supper the electricity went out.  I instantaneously thought the usual.  Did something dangerous happen in my apartment?  Do I need to check my circuit box?

I looked out my door into the hallway.  Only the dim illumination of the backup light.  The outage was wider spread than just my dark world.

Next I went to the only window in this room I spend my weekdays cooped up within caring for my 19-month-old grandson and looked out to “make sure” the outage was city wide.

It was not.

Of the 8 buildings I can see from my spot in this complex only three of them were dark while the rest were comfortably lit against the increasing subzero cold of nightfall.

What?  How could THAT happen?  I located my dim flashlight, stood in front of my refrigerator where I have the magnet with the apartment complex management number, and telephoned to report the darkness.  I was the first caller of the at least 90 apartments without power.  As I explained conditions to the woman in some other town who took my information background calls began to come in as others also found their management telephone numbers and began to complain.

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I know how to make-do in darkness.  I also suspect most of the other residents can do the same seeing as over 90% of the people who live in these apartments are refugees from locations across the globe.

I found my plastic bucket full of tea lights I have carried with me as emergency measures for many years.  Most of them were long ago transformed into glued-together stacks through the months of homelessness I went through before I found my Arizona house.  Locked within the confines of my traveling 1978 el Camino the heat of the sun had reshaped them.  I found a kitchen knife, pried their little wicks out of their waxed encasing, lit and placed 10 of them around my apartment.

Now what? 

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Sitting alone in the darkness is always a good time to think.  I thought about how for probably everyone who keeps a personal blog not much happens that isn’t filtered through a verbal process that evaluates the usefulness of experiences of ongoing life for the blog’s purpose.  I am never an exception to this process.

How like myself 30+ years ago it was for me last night to note that I operated for so many years – including the entire 18 years of my childhood – under the simple belief that everyone’s life was no different from mine.  This is a hairline distance away from thinking “Everyone’s life is like mine.”

I just had no way to determine a single thing DIFFERENT about my life from anyone else’s, not even the difference between my siblings who were cherished and adored by my parents and I who was hated and harmed at every turn.

Last night I had no way to know what the degrees of darkness were until I looked out my window and there the comparison was!  There was something different (special?) about my building and the other two randomly-placed dark buildings in this complex that matched my own.

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In the light of my little candles I found my crochet hook and continued my busy work of crocheting flowers from my handspun yarn.  The flowers did not arrive into the world in perfect shape but at least my productivity was matching pace with the passing of time.  I was reminded of living as a child on our Alaskan mountain homestead in our canvas hut with candles and kerosene lanterns to do my homework by.  (No water, no phone, no neighbor for over a mile of wilderness.)

I thought about my growing concern as I again reach across the distances of separation to try to find more current developmental neurobiological information than I currently possess.  (Yet as my list of references shows I spent hundreds of hours over five years accumulating enough information to know there was something VERY different about how I am in the world than is true for most other people.  Even without adding into this list what I have discovered in the past years I have had this blog this list is impressive —  see:  REFERENCES (main file).)

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I have been asking lately “What new information is available about how severe early trauma-changed survivors can improve their well-being?”

Last night in the quiet of the waiting darkness I reminded myself to be careful.  Not to sell myself or my readers short.

Siegel is by self-proclamation a kind of conciliation expert.  He will look for the newest and best information about what humans share together as far as how EVERYONE can work their brain to build new and helpful relational circuits and pathways.

Well, great.  It’s not that anything Siegel says is incorrect or even misleading.  At the same time finding the broadest possible common ground is NOT what ever helped me heal – or even to recognize what truly happened to me through 18 years of horrendous psychotic abuse from birth.

I had to go looking.  I had to search meticulously at the writings of neuroscientists themselves to find how I was DIFFERENT from nearly everyone else before I could find the first solace I had experienced in my life.  “AH-HA!!  So THAT is what happened to me!”

My very physiology changed through trauma exposure.

I found back in my researching days information about epigenetics before those articles even appeared online except as abstracts with up-coming publication dates included.  I knew the field was ripening and that the fruits would fall – and I knew I had to wait.

I found allusions to new research about the default resting state of the brain.  I found information that was also suggesting these states were connected to consciousness.  I also found I would have to wait for that research to be accomplished and published.

So I found other things to do.  I started this blog.  I wrote ten book manuscripts.  I changed all of the details of my life.

And now I look again through a magnifying glass starting with Dr. Siegel’s work about the underpinnings of attachment as it determines the course the river of our life steers off into.

WARNING!!!!!

I am not going to now let go of the vital knowledge that i searched hard to find and now know:  for all of the accurate descriptions of brain plasticity, etc. none of that information will ever give me – no matter how hard I work at applying it to improve my well-being – anything more than the equivalent of a few salvaged tea lights to live within a very dark world of history that contains enough darkness of trauma during my infancy and childhood to put out most ordinary people’s lamp-of-soul and of body in one big-bad-wolf’s PUFF!

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If we continue “only” to assuage ourselves into believing that what happens to infants and children doesn’t really matter – because science is telling us if they want to “get better” bad enough they can do what everyone can do!!!!  Change their brain ‘cause EVERYONE now knows that brain plasticity is the salvation of our species.

WRONG!!!!!

A greatest danger exists if we continue to use the insights gained through scientific research to support the status quo of our cultural thinking about infant and child abuse.  We cannot afford to be lulled by any snake charmer’s (and no, I am not speaking of individuals but rather of HOW our culture receives information within their own mental framework) melody that suggests that harm done to infant-child physiological development – nervous system/brain/stress-calm response system/immune system, etc. – not to mention the damage to SELF realization – “Can’t matter that much because anyone can FIX it” if they want to badly enough.

WRONG!!  We cannot deny ourselves as survivors of the LIGHT that true realization of the DARKNESS provides for us as we learn how evolutionarily-altered we are because of the early traumas we endured (again, see Dr. Martin Teicher’s work, which Siegel also highly values.  If I were Ivory Tower I would be able to freely access ALL of Teicher’s work – something I dream of in my disability income poverty!).

We must be careful when it comes to the GENOCIDE certainly of a healthy happy self that continued infant and child abuse and neglect accomplishes NOT TO FORGET the reality of the truth about the truth of its wrongness and of its harm.  This is like denying the holocaust – because harm to infants and children DOES create both a form of genocide AND a holocaust.

We will not work to stop infant-child abuse and neglect by simply making it disappear in our societal mind.

I was momentarily mesmerized by “the newer findings” from science as Dr. Siegel so charmingly presents them.  There are at least (my thoughts) 5-7% of us who were so harmed when we were little and young that NOTHING can ever restore us to the body we WOULD have had (including our brain) if we had been saved from harm by SOMEONE when we needed help most – and nobody was there to care or to act on our behalf.

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Yes, maybe feeling lulled feels good – a little like feeling soothed – which no abused infant ever feels.

Feeling lulled is attractive.  It give us a place/space within which we can rest – all survivors, my bet, are extremely TIRED on deep, deep levels by having to work so hard at being alive.

I know for myself I have to watch for that lulled state with extreme vigilance because being lulled serves me no good purpose if I am “buying into” information about “recovery” that no more applies to me than did all I was told by my therapists for the ten years I went to them for help, answers, hope and direction.

NONE of them EVER told me what I have found out for myself – the info I continue to place within the pages and posts of this blog.

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“Snap out of your trance, Linda.  Do not be entranced by scientifically-suggested name changes and super-solutions that hide the truth of the conditions you KNOW you live with.”

No light is going to come flood me with the truth but my own.  It is my response-ability to filter every piece of trauma-related information through my own sense of what resonates with my own truth – what rings true – what increases the light I have to live with in this world, not dims it.

I did not read that material, hunt it out, do everything in my power to digest it simply to have fun in my life.  I did it to SAVE my life.

I will give you an example.  I spend 50-55 hours a week caring for my toddler grandson.  I KNOW I love him with all of my being.  I KNOW I am giving him every safe and secure attachment relationship benefit that can be given to a new human being growing into the world.  He gets laughter and limits, he gets snuggles and cute whispered secrets in his little ears, he gets soul-filled lullabies as he gets rocked with a bottle for naptime, he has a WONDER-FULL life here with me and I firmly believe with my entire being that I am GIVING him his life – SAVING his life by keeping him out of a “day orphanage” during these most critically important stages of his physiological and self development.

All fine and good?

NO and there is NO NO loud enough, strong enough, clear enough to express what I say next.  Due to the consequences of the severe abuse and neglect and its trauma from the time of my birth and for the next 18 years of my life – I CANNOT FEEL – AND I MEAN FEEEEEEEEEL – what any of this interaction with my grandson (or with anyone else) FEELS LIKE!!

Could I “gain awareness” and change my nervous system, my brain, my SOMETHING and have given to me in consequence the ability to FEEL LOVE as I KNOW most other humans can feel it?

NO!

Is anyone in that great Titanic of science research bothering to look at the states of someone like me?

NO!

Why – I ask you and would ask them if they had ears to hear – WHY NOT?

I trust my inner voice which immediately responded to the question I just wrote as I wrote it with the word SMUG!!!  Science is TOO SMUG to truly give enough of a damn to find what really matters to those of us who suffer most.

I don’t believe that our right brain ever lies but our left brain sure does!  Watch out for the 4-and-20 blackbirds baked in the scientific pie.  Others can afford to be lulled – evidently – by “false security” that a view of new research findings provides.  We as survivors – and those little people currently enduring what we know so well – cannot afford the luxury of pretending all is and will be well. 

We have to know what we know inside of our self first and listen for the ring of resonating truth.  We WILL have that response.  We need to trust it.  A half-truth is not the truth.  Beware be-aware – our truth does not match much of THE truth from that “other” world.  We KNOW this. I know that we do. 

Our truth is our light that will never go out and cannot be stolen from us.  By knowing our own truth we are indomitable.  That is why we are still here.

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NOTE:  In example of what I know I can say that for all the well-intentioned and supposedly thorough research that was accomplished to build an attachment theory no one bothered to notice that NO MOTHER such as mine was could have possibly been accessed for any of those studies.  No such mother as mine was and so such baby as I was ever found their way into anyone’s research lab. 

By leaving THOSE findings out of research on attachment processes no finding of any of that research ACTUALLY applies to my truth.  I know THIS to be true.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!  Click here to view or purchase: 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+WELL, THE BLUE-NOSED-GOPHER STRIKES AGAIN! (SEE END OF POST)

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Thursday, February 27, 2014.  There is a link here to a talk Dr. Daniel Siegel gave on Identifying Your Child’s Attachment Style that is transcribed on the PsychAlive website.  My computer won’t bring up the pictures on the page, but in spite of those big blank areas on my screen I found the text very helpful.  Complicated attachment concepts are given here in clear words that are grounded in everyday life examples.

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I just signed up for this free webinar listed on the PsychAlive site:

June 3: Is Your Attachment Style Shaping Your Life?

Presenter: Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

Attachment refers the particular way in which you relate to other people. Your style of attachment was formed in childhood, however, once established, it has a heavy influence on how you relate in everything from your intimate relationships to how you parent your children. Understanding your style of attachment is helpful, because it offers you insight into how you felt and developed in childhood, while revealing ways that you may be emotionally limited as an adult. By learning your early attachment style, you gain insight into actions you can take to improve your close relationships. You can learn techniques to challenge areas in which you may feel limited and even form an “earned secure attachment” as an adult. In this Webinar, you will gain a better understanding of how your own attachment style influences your life, while learning tools to enhance your adult attachment style and develop yourself in ways that will bring you more success in life.”

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Now I am taking my first look at – Patricia M. Crittenden’s Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment theory

I see there is a heavyweight and very legitimate book written by this clinician published in 2011 by Norton:

Assessing Adult Attachment: A Dynamic-Maturational Approach to Discourse Analysis

Book Description on Amazon.com

A method for identifying the psychological and interpersonal self-protective attachment strategies of adults.

This book focuses upon new methods of analysis for adult attachment texts. The authors’ introduce a highly nuanced model—the Dynamic-Maturational Model (DMM)—providing clinicians with a finely-tuned tool for helping patients examine past relationships, in addition to gauging the potential effectiveness of various treatment options. The authors offer a fascinating explanation of the neurobiological underpinnings of DMM, grounded in findings from the cognitive neurosciences about information processing. In this volume, readers have an eminently practical, theoretically-grounded work that is sure to transform many types of therapy.

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Here are the five reviews of the book on Amazon

I am thinking that this book is probably a MUST for any professional who wants to use the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) as either a client assessment tool or for anyone using this powerful tool for research.

It does not sound like a treatment-based book.  I would wonder, however, if the use of this tool and the classification system presented is without bias in terms of a particular treatment style.  I would have to look further into the book to tell.

I am concerned that now that the AAI has been released to the public that it’s integrity as a tool will be compromised by shoddy applications.  How can such a useful tool – a true gift to humanity from my point of vie – be protected and preserved in its usefulness and accuracy so that it will be used for what it was designed to be used for?

In looking at the contents of this book it seems that the use of the AAI and its classifications is presented with integrity.  The possible use of the resulting information in a treatment setting would be biased by the author’s theoretical approach.  SEE CONTENTS HERE

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HERE is a 2005 article:  Attachment Theory, Psychopathology, and Psychotherapy:

The Dynamic-Maturational Approach

By Patricia M. Crittenden

Family Relations Institute, Inc.

In this article Crittenden’s dynamic-maturational model (DMM) of attachment theory is comprehensively presented and discussed.  It is a “heady” article and not easy to read.  However, it is an important, valid model that describes “adult pathology” in terms of early attachment failures and complications and is therefore immensely helpful for anyone trying to assist a human being to find increased well-being in their life. 

This theory and its application appear to me to be specific to a very skilled, high quality and long-term therapist-client relationship which is – I believe – in all but a very few cases impossible to access for most insecurely attached people.  A thorough reading of the article at the above link will provide a comprehensive view of Crittenden’s model and its implications.

In a simplistic and off-handed way I would say that it seems likely that only on the level of training in psychiatry would a clinician actually attend to the detailed study both of this model and of its implications and applications.  To my knowledge psychiatry is today nearly always concerned with giving formal diagnosis for the prescription of drugs and NOT with the kind of deep, careful and thorough rebuilding and healing work that Crittenden promotes.

This is a tragedy of life in today’s modern world.

This is not to say that we as individuals can’t pursue a serious study of her model so that we can work toward our own healing by integrating what we learn about attachment through Crittenden with what we know about ourselves.  Who among us is that motivated – and that hopeful?

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Attachment theory is about identifying what attachment is, what it does, how to prevent problems and how to identify problems when they exist.  It is not about fixing those problems except that it is increasingly operationalizing the underpinnings of this entire process.

Crittenden’s work takes what I have just stated and INCLUDES the fixing aspect.

I searched in Google Books and found that Dr. Daniel Siegel does mention Crittenden in his book The Developing Mind but I cannot access that reference online.

Both professionals are mentioned side-by-side HERE

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I did uncover this very informative page today and highly suggest readers take a few moments to scan through the comment section HERE.  Many illuminating points of view are presented in response to a talk Dr. Siegel was a part of.  Many sources of material about attachment are also mentioned in these comments.

From this link I just found this – which fascinates me!  Those of you who have read my book,

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

written with my daughter Ramona – may have questioned my conclusion that all my psychotic abusive BPD mother did to me was inspired by HOPE that originated in her child mind in reaction to the traumas of her childhood.

Comment and reply:

Laurence Drell 04.23.2011 13:54 

I find listening to Dan like rereading Shakespeare… there is always a slight new nuance of emphasis on something important that comes out of his discussions.

I have always felt that in therapy as patient or therapist that the sense of being “known” was somehow therapeutic in itself. How that occurred varied. And each patient speaks a different language so what is said and how it is said makes all the difference… but it always seemed crucial to growth to have this experience. And Dan describes this so clearly on an energetic level of two minds resonating and feeling that connection.

I was impressed by the current work and research on the neurogenesis of the integrative fibers in the brain when one person feels known by the other (or one part of the mind is connected to another as in meditation)

And it made so much sense when it was mentioned that the development of these new pathways enable us (and patients) to make greater use of the abilities and strengths we always have but don’t always use… especially when in the midst of emotional turmoil.

I found Dan’s clear description and explanation to a patient of how therapy can help the patient develop and grow parts of the brain that have not had the opportunity to develop (yet) incredibly useful.

Personally I have found that clearly (and with honesty) offering hope to a patient is therapeutic in itself. I am not sure where in the brain or the mind that the change actually occurs and perhaps it is just in a space in the middle of that triangle that Dan describes, but I know that it is an essential ingredient for growth.

And it is reassuring on some level to be reminded that what we do in therapy (and in every relationship) has actual neurobiologic mechanisms that can be understood and that understanding these mechanisms can then be used to teach better ways (parenting skills etc) to interact with one another and ourselves. It is all so hopeful.

Thanks again for a wonderful lecture.

Laurence Drell, MD

Washington, DC

drdrell.com

Reply

Dan [Siegel] 04.23.2011 14:10 

Hi Laurence: Thanks for your reflections! The “ingredient” of that hopefulness is important, and fascinating. I wonder how you feel about the notion that intention is at the heart of hope, and that intention in many ways is the coherence push of emotion, that process which assembles elements together, often in an integrative way with positive intention. There is some fascinating writing about intention, and it is woven with in-depth explorations of a hard look at emotion, opening our minds up to the pathway from intention to connection. Anyway, when we imagine the intention of hope, we can sense some way in which the emotion (an integrative process, inside and interpersonally) created links us to our patient/client, with the “yes state” of receptivity that invites both the social engagement system to become activated (ala Porges’ Polyvagal Theory) and perhaps even neuroplasticity conditions to be primed…Lots to reflect on, and much synthesis to soak in! Thanks again for your reflections and see you soon I hope. Dan

OH MY HEAVENS!

I just wrote this and it posted – nearly three years after Siegel’s above words were written:

Dr. Siegel – I am a grass root in-the-trenches student of your work. Reading this comment today inspired hope in me that you might read the little book I wrote with my daughter about the terrible tragedy of my abusive, psychotically mentally ill mother and what she did to me. “Story Without Words” is available in kindle format on amazon.com and concludes with my statement that the entire saga of Mother’s story as she entrapped me within it was essentially about the process of HOPE as Mother portrayed it within a story she wrote as a child.

At the same time I have little hope that if I hit ‘send comment’ that my words will actually reach you! But what is life without hope!

thank you! Linda

How will I know if Siegel replies to me?  I hope (!!) I receive notification via email! 

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!  Click here to view or purchase: 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment

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+IF I KNEW WHERE I WAS GOING I WOULD BE THERE BY NOW!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014.  I tried a Google search a while ago for the terms ‘daniel siegel planet earth’ – and my computer crashed.  True, this old beater is – well – old.  I rebooted and began again this time narrowing my search through a Google Books search to this book:

The Developing Mind

By Daniel J. Siegel, 2nd edition, 2012.  (I see on amazon.com you can RENT this book.  I’ve never before heard of such a thing!)

I am especially interested in what is in the beginning of the first chapter of this book.  You can read it HERE although the yellow highlighting might be a little distracting at first.  Those of you who FOLLOW THIS LINK are in for a treat (assuming this link remains active for any length of time).  If not, just Google Book search for my initial terms that led me to this chapter – ‘daniel siegel relationship planet’.

I read, no devoured the 2001 first edition of this book.  I don’t have the energy or motivation to start over again with this updated edition.  What I want to know is evidently not in this book, anyway – as stated in this chapter one.

And the mind is also relational, not a product created in isolation.  These relationships include the communication an individual has with other entities in the world, especially people.  This book focuses especially on the important ways in which interpersonal relationships shape how the mind emerges in our human lives.  But we also have a relationship with nature, with this planet, with the Earth upon which we live, that shapes our mental (and physical) lives as well.  This is a vital form of relationship that sustains us in the air we breathe and the water we drink.  But this book is focused primarily on the person-to-person aspect of our relationships.”  Page 5

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Earlier on page 3 Siegel notes:  “Energy and information flow is what is shared among people within a culture….”

I know something else, as I noted in my last post.  It is a fact that “energy and information flow” is also shared between humans and all of life, NOT just “among people within a culture.”  If Siegel knows this – he did not state it here.

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Siegel displays the history of the definition he created for MIND — and I think this is the first/ONLY scientific definition of mind on the planet — in these early pages of his book in chapter one.  This is his definition of mind:

The mind is an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow of energy and information.”  (from the top of page 3)

Siegel also talks at the beginning of this chapter on page 3 about “interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB)” as he states:

IPNB embraces everything from our deepest relational connections with one another to the synaptic connections we have within our extended nervous systems.  It encompasses the interpersonal power of cultures and families, as well as insights into molecular mechanisms; each contributes to the reality of our subjective mental lives.  IPNB is not a branch of neuroscience, but a broad field drawing on the findings from a wide range of disciplines that explore the nature of what it means to be human.  Based on science, IPNB seeks to create an understanding of the interconnections among the brain, the mind, and our interpersonal relationships.  IPNB can also be used to understand our relatedness beyond the interpersonal, to other living creatures and to our whole planet.  With this approach, new strategies for both understanding and promoting well-being are possible.  We can both define the mind and outline practical steps for how to cultivate a healthy mind as it develops across the lifespan.”

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This is specifically what I want to know more about:  “our relatedness beyond the interpersonal, to other living creatures and to our whole planet.” 

I am tantalized with these words – and then left with absolutely NOTHING more.  Scanning the index of the book leaves me nowhere to go for the information I seek  (I do see fascinating new additions to the book under ‘epigenetic factors’.)

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The other wing of the bird of my current interest and investigation relates to how someone with a severe abuse and insecure/unsafe attachment history might become secure enough in adulthood to provide secure attachment to their children and not to pass the trauma of their own early life on to their offspring.

This is a very complex issue and one I do not expect to understand in its fullness, by any means.  At this point I am simply examining language being used in attachment studies to identify some of these kinds of patterns.

The index of this book shows

“Earned” secure autonomous status in three areas of the text:

(1) pages 119-120

(2) pages 142-143  (Very important information about the essence of attachment styles is presented on these pages – use of the side scroll bar might allow you to access these pages from any other place in the book.  If not, just Google for Google Books and put in ““Earned” secure autonomous status” and you will find it.  I think a search inside the book on amazon is too limiting to get to these pages.  I may be wrong!)

3) page 324 (I don’t see that this page on “earned secure attachment” can be accessed online.)

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Of particular interest to me in my search for understanding the difference between Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (which Siegel states as I mention in THIS POST is not an insecure attachment disorder) and “disorganized/disoriented insecure attachment are the following two paragraphs from page 142.

It is amazing that such a complex process as interpersonal communication and parent-child relationships can actually be understood in a fairly simple manner:  Attachment at its core is based on parental sensitivity and responsivity to the child’s signals, which allow for collaborative parent-child communication.  Contingent communication gives rise to secure attachment and is characterized by a collaborative give-and-take of signals between the members of the pair.  Contingent communication relies on the alignment of internal experiences, or states of mind, between child and caregiver.  This mutually sharing, mutually influencing set of interactions – this emotional attunement or mental state resonance – is the essence of healthy, secure attachment.

Suboptimal attachments arise with repeated patterns of noncontingent communication.  A parent’s communication and own internal states may be oblivious to the child’s [in essence the parent does not SEE the child], as in avoidant attachment.  In contrast, an ambivalently attached child experiences the parent’s communication as inconsistently contingent; at times it is intrusive, and yet at other times there is an alignment of their internal states.  If the parent is a source of disorientation or terror, the child will develop a disorganized/disoriented attachment.  In such a dyad, not only is communication noncontingent, but the messages sent by the parent create an internal state of chaos and overwhelming fear of the parent within the child.”

In my case I had no relationship of any kind with my father.  Mother did not allow one and father was not one to ever stand against her.

This would be THE BEST I could say of Mother’s relationship with me (as different from her relationship with my five siblings):  “If the parent is a source of disorientation or terror, the child will develop a disorganized/disoriented attachment.  In such a dyad, not only is communication noncontingent, but the messages sent by the parent create an internal state of chaos and overwhelming fear of the parent within the child.”

My problem in “working with” Siegel’s statement is that I cannot see that this pattern constitutes any kind of an attachment relationship at all!  I intimately know what I am talking about.  I was NEVER SEEN by her – and NEVER was I ‘safe and secure’ as her daughter in any way.  Mother was so psychotic regarding me that I did not exist AT ALL separate from being her projected own bad, evil self (that she had to create a permanent hell for and trap me within).

This is NOT attachment, and if this is the case than I DO fit the Reactive Attachment Disorder pattern rather than any named “insecure attachment” category.

What difference does any of this thinking make to me?  I am not sure – yet.  I do not see how a scientific rule can be a rule if there is even ONE exception, and I may well be that one exception.

If I do in fact “have” RAD – which is NOT an insecure attachment disorder according to Siegel – then everything about my relationships with my children would therefore apparently be excluded from any discussion related to “earned secure attachment” by default.  As I think my way through all of this I may find that my own term for what I experienced (and still do) with my children, BORROWED SECURE ATTACHMENT is exactly correct.  (Where are my peers, then?)

(Siegel goes on past the above paragraphs to talk about “earned secure attachment”.)

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The AAI = the Adult Attachment Interview.  CLICK HERE and scroll down to page three for a description of this protocol which is used to assess adult attachment styles.

This is completely out of my budget, but Dr. Siegel has published a seminar recording (2012) titled

Applications of the Adult Attachment Interview

I wish I could hear what he says about this because I suspect he is illuminating the release, finally, of the AAI for public use.  I also want to know where to access information about this release and of the current standing of the AAI in its public use.

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I am making a note here where I can find it to investigate this — Patricia M. Crittenden’s Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment theory

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!  Click here to view or purchase: 

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

 

+ABUSED BY A PSYCHOTIC? WHAT SENSE IS THERE IN THAT KIND OF UNIVERSE?

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014.  This post is directly linked to the previous post just published

+EARNING SECURE ATTACHMENT BY HEALING OUR TRAUMA LIFE STORY?

I just found this page posted on the blog in 2006, a quote from Siegel’s book The Developing Mind:

+SIEGEL – EARNED SECURE ATTACHMENT

I was evidently questioning Siegel’s statements those 8 years ago.

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The whole idea of mine about “borrowed secure attachment” versus the standardized (scientifically qualified) category of “earned secure attachment” is being awakened and revisited now due to my encountering a statement in a video talk I listened to and posted about with some transcribed notes of that talk last weekend:

+LINK TO NOTES I JUST TRANSCRIBED FROM DR. SIEGEL’S MINDSIGHT TALK AT THE DALAI LAMA CENTER

In this talk Siegel basically alludes to the fact that relationship with “the planet” is as real as relationships with self, pets and humans, and he is describing this in terms of attachment and the necessary “integration” attachments provide.  Unfortunately he did NOT go into detail about his ideas in this regard in this talk.

I am therefore on the hunt to find more of Siegel’s thoughts about how he sees MIND as including mind of self connected to mind of other – with OTHER including our relationship with “the planet” as well as to human beings.

This greatly matters to me because while at the same time I experienced 18 years of terrible abuse by my psychotic mother I was also not allowed to form any attachment relationship with HUMANS.

I was NOT prevented from forming attachment relationship with the Alaskan mountain wilderness where we homesteaded in my childhood.  It is this relationship with ‘nature’ itself that I believe saved me – AND – allowed me to form “borrowed secure attachment” relationships with my children.

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All of this is also swirling around in my mind in connection to Siegel’s assertions that “the open plane of possibilities” is a positive ‘place’ to aim for!!  I mentioned this plane as I first discovered it in Siegel’s thinking in this post

+EARLY TRAUMA, DISSOCIATION AND DR. DANIEL SIEGEL’S “PLANE OF POSSIBILITY”

I am also on the hunt for more information about this plane as I am suspecting that its existence in Siegel’s thoughts as he describes it relates in extremely important ways to the PLANE severely traumatized infants and children not only know very well – but also are not allowed to leave by way of anything like a normal, ordinary developmental process as nontraumatized children do.

This same plane may be the state we reached (and reach now)  in between our ongoing experiences of being a self in our own self-world as a sort of “given place” that enables enduring trauma and its survival possible.  While ‘dissociation’ is most often the term used to describe our experience that term, too, is probably best relegated to the old vernacular as the new ‘lingo’ vernacular that more accurately describes the OPERATION of attachment processes finds its way into awareness and thusly to consciousness within our culture.

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I see a kind of confusing dichotomy if not an actual paradox in what little I have encountered thus far of Siegel’s thinking.  If reaching the “open plane of possibility” is so advantageous then how is “awareness” such an attractive alternative to being on this plane?

I would think that awareness might be the greased slide we can use to access this plane – but based on what I know of how my mind operated during the 18 years of my abusive childhood (coupled with horrendous periods of forced isolation and solitary confinement without attachment with another human being during those years) – THINKING in ‘thoughts’ that would even detect this so-called level of awareness in operation are NOT what I suspect “the open plane of possibility” has to offer or is about.

I also remain entirely unconvinced that it is necessary to access the greased slide of awareness to find one’s way to this plane of possibility.  I am quite certain that I lived nearly entirely on that plane for the first 18 years of my life, as I have mentioned.

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In my thinking that plane may be simply the natural state of our existence if it is not tampered with through our experience.  Interestingly unlike any peer I have ever met I know that plane because my experience WAS completely tampered with through horrendous abuse the likes of which I have never heard of, either.

That abuse left me entirely to myself – in my natural state – because nobody ‘let me out of the cage of my mother’s mad-hell’ for more than a very few moments so that ‘regular experiences’ could contaminate my access to that state/plane of possibility.  I simply lived there.

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This fact left me wide open to being able to borrow the attachment circuitry my children simply naturally possessed because they were born human.  I did not interfere with their process.  They led the way – very clearly – I simply followed their lead.  I did not contaminate (or thwart) their natural (innate) attachment process which I recognized because ordinary attachment also is generated within (I suspect) that same “open plane of possibility.”  (I doubt there is more than one of these planes on this planet!  That is very handy!  Lol)

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In my mind having my menarche come to me in the middle of the 2nd strongest (and longest) earthquake recorded in history is just a part of the picture of what I know.  That experience was just another one from my Alaska years that seemed designed (i.e., the white butterflies, my vision, etc.) to not let me forget – or undervalue – what I know inside me as it also highlighted the power of connection with the earth itself.

There is another way for someone abused nearly beyond belief in their early years to achieve secure attachment with offspring other than through the recognized channels of “earned secure” attachment.  It can come directly through the powers of this “open plane of possibility” that Seigel describes in the same way that surviving that kind of abuse happens.

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Again in the chapter-article Siegel wrote:

This is such a crucial point that I’ll repeat it: When it comes to how our children will be attached to us, having difficult experiences early in life is less important than whether we’ve found a way to make sense of how those experiences have affected us. Making sense is a source of strength and resilience. In my twenty- five years as a therapist, I’ve also come to believe that making sense is essential to our well- being and happiness.”

From my own experience I would say that it has taken me over 30 years to BEGIN to make sense out of what happened to me – and that making sense is not enough.  I have written before on this blog that the minimum jail sentence Mother would have well deserved would have been 15,000 years.  I have only figured out in this past year that it was Mother’s PSYCHOTIC mind that caused so much trouble. 

What does ANYONE really know or understand of such a psychosis and the harm it can create?  What sense of this could even the most accomplished “professional” make of Mother’s mind?

Nada.

A simple-minded suggestion that “making sense” is even possible for those of us at the bottom of the human attachment heap certainly does nothing to give credence to such a speaker.  Yet I also recognize that it takes a certain kind of humility forced upon us survivors that is not likely to be found among “the experts” that lets us know in many ways we are up against the impossible when we try to make any sense of what happened to us.

(I can accept that working toward healing our story, making it and ourselves “more coherent” is vital — but I am not convinced that “making sense” applies in my case where the chaotic mayhem of absolute psychotic mental illness created the whole mess.)

SENSE is a HUGE word – as it is given over to the family of meaning from which it derives.  Those of us in what I estimate to be the bottom 5-7% of infant-child abuse survivors have the sense in every cell of our body that let us #1 SURVIVE what happened to us and then #2 allows us to carry along with us the rest of our lives the HUGE sense of a story that does not belong to us as individuals but that was forced upon us.

It belongs to the SENSELESS (at present) culture and society that ever allowed what happened to us to happen at all.

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Meanwhile – back to the drawing board I go in search of new INFORMATION that can help me to make more sense out of my story.  Making sense is a PROCESS, not a destination – in my mind.  Especially in my case where my entire reality was intertwined with the senseless insanity of my abusive mother I have to look toward understanding what happened to HER mind to cause her to create the world she created for me — and then to my mind for what saved me.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!  Click here to view or purchase: 

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+EARNING SECURE ATTACHMENT BY HEALING OUR TRAUMA LIFE STORY?

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014.  I once read an art history book that attributed a sentiment to Henri Matisse regarding the amount of time very nearly all people are willing to spend in the presence of a great work of art.  My paraphrase:  How sad it is that so few people are willing to spend even as much time looking at a great painting as it takes to peel and eat an orange.

This thought comes to mind as I continue to investigate the thinking of Dr. Daniel Siegel about attachment especially in regard to the new lingo that seems to be appearing about this essential characteristic of life.

We NEED new lingo about attachment.  We are passing the stage of our evolution that allowed us to leave scientific research-based thinking out of our relationships.  Yet the neuroscientific lingo is too foreign to most people to make sense out of.  In listening to Siegel talk on videos I detect that at least his efforts, and perhaps efforts of MANY expert attachment specialists the globe over are doing what I call OPERATIONALIZING attachment.

We are increasingly being given language to talk about the essential processes of how we are human!!  I am not going to begin to understand what this new language is and what it is describing if I only devote the “orange peeling and eating” span of time to its study.

So with my pledge to myself to learn as much as I can about what happened to me through early trauma as it matters most alive and well in my mental pocket – I continue forward in finding, contemplating and digesting what I can discover of Siegel’s mind as he shares it with our mind.

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This morning I am over on the PsychAlive – Psychology for Everyday Life website where I found an illuminating article by Dr. Siegel.                                                                                                             

This topic is of HIGHEST importance and significance to severe early trauma survivors:

Making Sense of Your Past by Daniel Siegel, M.D.

This link takes you to

Creating a Cohesive Life Story: An Excerpt from Dr. Daniel Siegel’s New Book Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation.

(There is a list of other very important links on the sidebar of this page.)

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It is not hard for me to think as I listen to the wisdom of Siegel that those of us with severe early trauma history have FAR TOO MUCH INFORMATION within us to make sense of or to integrate.  INTEGRATE seems to be one of the new operationalizing lingo words on attachment that is of highest importance.  The fact that Siegel as perhaps THE most informed attachment expert on earth now says “You can reinterpret the entire field of attachment through this lens of integration and you make deep sense of the neural implications of attachment as well as the relational implications.”  (This quote can be found around 1:23 on the slider bar by clicking HERE.)

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I have said two related things repeatedly on this blog over the years: 

(1) Trauma remains unresolved because nobody has yet LEARNED THE LESSON contained in the trauma experience that would pave the way for such a trauma to never happen again.  The more horrendous the traumatic experience and the younger the age at which it was experience the more likely it will be that trauma overwhelms the individual because it contains TOO MUCH INFORMATION. 

We are a COLLECTIVE species.  Who helps us process, learn from and integrate the horrors of our traumas?  I did not cause the trauma that happened to me during the first 18 years of my life.  It had NOTHING whatsoever to do with me!  That trauma came from my parents’ history and inner workings and from within those outside our family who did absolutely NOTHING to recognize the trauma going on in our family.

(2)  I have also repeatedly said that as we heal from trauma we are healing our life story.  It is then correspondingly true that as we heal our life story – the narrative of our self in our life – we are also healing ourselves – and in a larger way, I believe, our entire family line (those alive, those yet to be born AND very possibly healing those living in the next world, as well) and our species.

As I stated on the blurb about this blog the day I started it years ago, it is the HEALING of traumas NOW that will prevent them from being passed to the next generations.  Healing our self by healing our trauma story, healing our story as we heal our self – is at the center of this work.  But I DO NOT believe we ever do this work alone.

As Dr. Carl Jung pointed out, humans share a collective mind.  Siegel reiterates this fact in the latest attachment lingo.  None of us are in this lifetime on this planet alone.  Our stories are part of the largest story that can be told.  What does that MEAN?

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Here’s the first part of the chapter-article I mention above by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel:

Why do we parent as we do? When researchers asked this question, they hypothesized— as many of us would— that it is the childhood experience of parents that predicts how they behave with their own children. This sounds plausible, but it turns out not to be quite right.

When I first heard about what the researchers actually found, it changed my life and my understanding of the life of the mind. The best predictor of a child’s security of attachment is not what happened to his parents as children, but rather how his parents made sense of those childhood experiences. And it turns out that by simply asking certain kinds of autobiographical questions, we can discover how people have made sense of their past— how their minds have shaped their memories of the past to explain who they are in the present. The way we feel about the past, our understanding of why people behaved as they did, the impact of those events on our development into adulthood— these are all the stuff of our life stories. The answers people give to these fundamental questions also reveal how this internal narrative— the story they tell themselves— may be limiting them in the present and may also be causing them to pass down to their children the same painful legacy that marred their own early days. If, for example, your parent had a rough childhood and was unable to make sense of what happened, he or she would be likely to pass on that harshness to you— and you, in turn, would be at risk for passing it along to your children. Yet parents who had a tough time in childhood but did make sense of those experiences were found to have children who were securely attached to them. They had stopped handing down the family legacy of nonsecure attachment.

I was excited by these ideas, but I also had questions: What does “making sense” really mean? How can we accomplish it, and how does it occur in the brain?”  — CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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As I continue to read this article I soon reach a point where things start to feel very intense inside of me.  I HEAT UP!  I know something deep inside of me that I doubt ANYONE else knows about what Siegel said here:

They could give a coherent account of their past and how they came to be who they are as adults. In contrast, people who had challenging childhood experiences often had a life narrative that was incoherent in the various ways I’ll describe in the following pages. The exceptions were people like Rebecca. Based on the facts of their early childhood, they would be expected to have an avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganized attachment as children and an incoherent life narrative as adults. But if they had a relationship with a person who was genuinely attuned to them— a relative, a neighbor, a teacher, a counselor— something about that connection helped them build an inner experience of wholeness or gave them the space to reflect on their lives in ways that helped them make sense of their journey. They had what the researchers called an “earned secure” life narrative. Such a secure narrative has a certain profile; we can describe its features. Even more important, like Rebecca we can change our lives by developing a “coherent” narrative even if we did not start out with one.”

(I very much wish Siegel had place a live link at the point where he says there is “a certain profile” of “earned secure” attachment.  But that would make it too easy to untangle and therefore realize what Siegel KNOWS (and describes in the current, advancing operationalizing vernacular of the field of attachment studies) about this line of thinking so I could compare it to what I know about what I call “borrowed secure” attachment.  I have some work to do to dig out the material I need for the workings of my own mind, so more about this later….)

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I had NOBODY to help me.  Coupled with the truly PSYCHOTIC mental obsessions that spawned Mother’s terrible abuse of me was the part of her psychosis that forced her to keep me in isolation and solitary confinement at all times when she could throughout all 18 years of my childhood from birth.

I did not EVER exist as a person in Mother’s psychotic mind and she did everything in her impressive power to make sure I existed in nobody else’s mind as my own person, either.  I was to be EVERYONE’S BAD CHILD – everyone’s.  That is how her severe mental illness with her psychosis operated.  (Long story begins here.)

I am, I know, a version of a cross between a closet and a wild child.  My story is complex (I did go to school – Mother interfered with my relationships there.  I did have siblings.  She interfered with those relationships.  She moved us to Alaska from Los Angeles when I was five to separate me from Grandmother, etc.)

I had NO ONE on my side, but I did have the Alaskan wilderness.  I do not believe I fit the profile of “earned secure” attachment.  I believe I operated as I raised my three children from a “profile” of BORROWED SECURE attachment.  I have written elsewhere on the blog about this – but mention it here because as I pursue a broader understanding of Siegel’s thoughts and concepts I am looking for his statements regarding the shared MIND in relationship between humans and “the planet.”

I may know more about that connection than anyone could imagine.  But I am looking for the attachment lingo that might let me communicate with others about what I know.

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I see that I have reached a point in my thinking where I am running into the “having too much information” segment of my trauma-based personal information.  I am tempted to begin the writing of another blog post that would run concurrently to this one rather than sequentially so I will now END this post and begin another entirely separate post that will link to this one.

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I posted this note in 2006 from Siegel’s The Developing Mind book:

+SIEGEL – EARNED SECURE ATTACHMENT

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!o Click here to view or purchase: 

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment

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+MY INNER CLIMATE – DO TELL! (AND LINK TO A GREAT POSITIVE VIDEO)

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014I found something that focuses on the positive that I need to hear right now.  This is “big wigs speaking to big wigs” – about how to create change not by focusing on what is NOT happening toward accomplishing a goal but rather how to “honor the intention” to move in a positive direction.  Their employment is in areas connected to working toward getting humanity to change actions that are contributing to climate change.

I live in earth’s climate.  I also live in the climate I create within my own being on a moment-to-moment basis.  I am taking a look at my own climate!!

“Go where the energy is moving.  You don’t need to create it.  It’s already there.”

VIDEO:  Peter Senge:  Systems Thinking and the Gap Between Aspirations and Performance

This is an unlikely source for me to access in order to find new thinking about my old problems.  I know what my problems are.  Do I equally know what amazing positive steps I have taken and continue to take to live the best I can in my life WITH not only my difficulties but more importantly with the assets I have been using all of my life to get this far?

There are some amazingly wonderful statements made by the speaker in this talk.  I especially liked the first part before the question and answer segment begins.  But there are also many interesting and very helpful insights presented in response to the questions, as well.

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I did listen to The Wheel of Awareness practice video today.  Twice.  I did nothing special to change the flow of my day as I listened.  My little grandson was doing his thing.  I was doing my thing.  AND I was listening to this meditation.

I LOVED IT!  

It’s not about changing anything, not about judging anything or controlling anything.  This is my first foray into awareness of awareness itself.  Very nice!  Very gentle.  Simply affirming of ME as I AM – not as I should be or could be.  Nothing like that.  But it fascinated me!

I especially found the section on paying attention to how thoughts come into my mind and what the do when they are there and how they leave and how other thoughts show up to be – well – FUN!!!  Truth is – I have NO IDEA!!

So it seems I will benefit from listening to that meditation in that video again!! 

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I have reached enough of a crisis point in my life that I wish to find some way to expand my present experience of myself in my life PAST how I have been feeling.  I am not finding anything that tells me to CHANGE how I am now, what I feel, what I think.  This is a kind of honoring tradition it seems to me.  What exactly IS this state I am in right now?

I am not going to worry a bit about “how I got this way.”  That’s like asking a plant, “Gee, how exactly did you get to be a plant?”

I know a very great deal ABOUT how I struggle in life.  I want to learn a bit about how NOT to struggle quite so much.  This is sort of what the video is about I mention at the start of this post.  Find what’s working and go with THAT energy.

Do I know what’s working for me?  Not so much!  I must admit.  I have become a bit curious about that aspect of me in my life!

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Part of what is motivating me right now is a statement that Dr. Siegel makes in the first part of this video which I also referenced in my post yesterday.  The first part is his succinct expert presentation of attachment and of attachment disorders.  I suppose it’s right around “18” on the slider bar where he states that (my paraphrase) the best someone with disorganized attachment insecure attachment disorder can probably hope for is to “move on up” to the less severe insecure disorders of either avoidant or ambivalent (preoccupied). 

That is not good enough for me.  I find that statement to be a negative one that belies the tremendous amount of work we who were most traumatized from birth continue to make toward healing.  As much as I appreciate the work of Seigel – I certainly beg to differ with him on that prognosis for us!  How DARE he limit his thoughts about our possibilities for improvement in such a way?

At the same time I recognize that I know most of what happened to change my physiological development in response to trauma is permanent.  At the same time Dr. Siegel seems to be extremely hopeful and positive in MANY ways that the new neurobiological information is indicating that we can change the way our brain is working in significant ways.

I don’t think anyone knows enough at this juncture in our scientific discovery to make a statement as fact about what is or is not possible in the line of healing for severe early abuse, neglect and trauma survivors.  On a personal level?

I am taking inventory.  When I make my grocery shopping list for the week I do it based on what I HAVE in my kitchen because that’s the only way I will know what I need.  I HAVE much positive in me and I forget to recognize that!

So – I am on THAT road right now!  Most curious, too, about what I am discovering!

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!o Click here to view or purchase: 

A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+”ISLANDS OF ATTACHMENT” – DID I HAVE ANY AS A CHILD?

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Monday, February 24, 2014.  While I cannot find a publication date for this article The Verdict Is In – by Alan Sroufe and Daniel Siegel a scan of the references shows me that it was published at some time later than 2010.  I also see there are some formatting errors in this text as it is posted on Dr. Daniel J. Siegel’s website.

This article again includes a brief accurate history of attachment theory and of some of the major research that back up findings in this field.  I am particularly interested in finding information about what attachment experts have to say about healing for people who suffered from extreme abuse, neglect and trauma during their earliest developmental stages of life.  I continue to suspect that for those in the bottom ranges of early relationship traumatization that research findings don’t necessarily apply to us as a specific group.

Generalizations must be made from research that does not isolate it’s study cohort to include ONLY those with “disorganized” insecure attachment disorders.

I also found it most enlightening that Dr. Siegel, one of the topmost attachment experts in the world, clearly states in the first part of THIS TALK as I mentioned it in this post – +EARLY TRAUMA, DISSOCIATION AND DR. DANIEL SIEGEL’S “PLANE OF POSSIBILITY” CLEARLY states that Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) IS NOT an insecure attachment disorder.  (See 19:40 on the video — THIS TALK — for this statement.)  RAD is NOT among the categories of attachment technically described – and evidently is not among and RELATED category, either.  It is its own “problem.”  I what is being said by that statement is that “only” “orphanage kids” without any attachment at all “have” RAD.  I will transcribe this part of Siegel’s talk in a later post.  I first want to search around his work to find more of what he says on the topic.

(What happens to those who did not have an attachment – with the person they should have been able to attach with – when that person tortured them?)

While I cannot in any way argue with a global expert on attachment I do want to search around online to find what ELSE Siegel has to say about RAD which he says in the talk I mention here happens to children raised in orphanages.  I imagine he is suggesting that it comes only to human beings raised during their earliest developmental stages without ANY attachments.

Yet as I read the words of this article I include next in this post I search my entire childhood to try to figure out if I had any attachments or not!  Did I have the “islands” mentioned below?  Even though I concluded in one recent post that I must have had an attachment with my psychotically abusive mother – from what I am continuing to search out about attachment with Siegel’s knowledge base such as I can access it – I did NOT have any kind of attachment with Mother.

Because she interfered with any other potential relationship I could have had – I do not rule out the very real possibility that I DID NOT have an attachment as a child with anyone.

What I do know is that I am very much REACTING to the new attachment-related facts I am searching out and trying to understand.  Again – I think people who are like me, people who find their way to the pages of this blog and feel CONNECTED to the information I present here – are among the group of traumatized infant-child abuse survivors who have NOT been studied as our own cohort regarding what happened to us in what should have been our earliest attachment environments.

Meanwhile I continue to work to “integrate” – to use Siegel’s top term – this information I am finding.  I must go slowly and give myself plenty of time and room to react as I AM reacting.  I never assume that I am LEARNING anything new until I digest what rings true for me IN MY OWN MIND.

Meanwhile, here are some passages from this article I found today.

 “There’s now overwhelming empirical support for the fact that early experience is a powerful force in development. But what can clinicians draw from this work, beyond feeling reassured that their clinical intuition isn’t simply an “article of faith”? For one thing, this extensive work can bring perspective to questions such as why change is so difficult and why emotional closeness can be so scary to some people. Long before children have the language and conceptual tools to process experience, negative or even traumatic patterns of interaction are incorporated in the brain, the functioning of their psyche, and even in the molecules that control the expression of their genes. Therefore, people can get “lost in familiar places” as they continually recreate their earliest patterns of interactions across the lifespan. One role of a therapist is to bring awareness to such patterns and then intentionally create new pathways for clients to take as they unlearn their long-established habits.

“Another important implication of attachment research is that it’s possible to develop a secure state of mind as an adult, even in the face of a difficult childhood. Early experience influences later development, but it isn’t fate: therapeutic experiences can profoundly alter an individual’s life course. Further, therapists can learn from attachment researchers’ hard-earned insights into human development which features of relational experience are the most effective at optimizing well-being. When parents are sensitive to a child—when they pay attention to and tune in to the signals sent by the child, make sense of these signals and get a glimpse of the child’s inner experience, and then respond in a timely and effective manner—children are likelier to thrive. The essential features of a therapeutic relationship mirror this process in many ways.

“The brain continues to remodel itself in response to experience throughout our lives, and our emerging understanding of neuroplasticity is showing us how relationships can stimulate neuronal activation and even remove the synaptic legacy of early social experience.  Developmental trajectories are complex, often having “islands” of positive relational experience, even within largely negative histories. Through therapeutic relationships and reflective practice, one can make contact with these islands—the “angels” in the nursery, to quote developmental psychologist Alicia Lieberman—and cultivate their growth to the benefit of parents, children, and adults alike. In this way, clinical practice can use the power of our attachment relationships to cultivate deep and lasting change throughout the lifespan and even stop the transmission of disabling early experiences across the generations.”  Above article pages 12-13 – read article here – The Verdict Is In

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!o Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+FASCINATING DR. SIEGEL TALKS ON CONNECTING TO OTHERS – AND THE BRAIN

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Sunday, February 23, 2014.  I must admit it has been a LONG time since I have felt excited by and hopeful about much of anything.  Because all experience is very intense to me, my current discovery of the knowledge online via YouTube videos of Dr. Daniel Siegel’s thinking is not even a comfortable one for me.  It’s scary in ways I can’t really even define – nor do I need to define it.

This morning I am taking a look through some of the videos shown at the sidebar of the Siegel link I put in my previous post.  I watched the excellent one on the shy child.  I am watching one right now called

“Being” Versus “Doing” With Your Child

I am thrilled by what I am hearing and I am filled with hope.  Rather than taking time at this moment to fill in the blanks on this blog post I will simply encourage readers to spend a few moments watching/listening to some of these videos.

At the same time I would mention – BE CAREFUL OF YOURSELF!  As trauma survivors we have SO MUCH INFORMATION built into our body from the overwhelmingly harmful experiences of our early lives that nothing is simple for us.  When I listen to this kind of information I am keenly aware of what my body knows about THE OTHER KIND OF LIFE that I experienced that was opposite of the benevolent, healthy, kind, compassionate (etc.) Siegel talks about.

But this information is IMPORTANT to us!!  Little bit by little bit I believe we can make mountains of good use from this information!  We might have to take this slowly.  I have to pause and silence many times as I try to make it through these videos.  I find I have to make space within myself to take in this new information – I am so full of trauma-acquired information that it can be hard for me to take in ANY new information at all, even if it is good and helpful and even necessary info!!

But I AM going to continue to learn about what Dr. Siegel has to say!  I hope some readers will be inspired to follow this journey with me.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!o Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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+LINK TO NOTES I JUST TRANSCRIBED FROM DR. SIEGEL’S MINDSIGHT TALK AT THE DALAI LAMA CENTER

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Saturday, February 22, 2014.  I just finished listening to a YouTube recording of Dr. Daniel Siegel Discussing Mindsight at the Dalai Lama Center in May 2011. 

Because I am entirely new to the latest information Siegel gives on mindsight and the brain I transcribed much of this talk (4000+ words) and posted it here:

*SIEGEL – MINDSIGHT VIDEO NOTES Feb. 2014

So far I am very impresssed at what I am hearing – which says a lot because I am a highly defensive reader when it comes to what might or might not help severe early neglect, abuse and trauma survivors.  Siegel knows his stuff!!

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There are many powerful points made in this talk including a more detailed description of what I posted about earlier today – There is also a description of the meditation I will try out tomorrow – I am WAY too tired tonight!!  I am also too tired to say anything intelligent here – other than this is important info and —

Please also take a look at this from Dr. Siegel’s work:

HERE is the Wheel of Awareness Practice meditation video on YouTube

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!o Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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+EARLY TRAUMA, DISSOCIATION AND DR. DANIEL SIEGEL’S “PLANE OF POSSIBILITY”

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Saturday, February 22, 2014.  II find it hard for me who has always lived in the trench where the grass roots and the wonderful red wiggler worms grow to wrestle with the mental experts such as Dr. Daniel J. Siegel is.  His bio reads as a Numero Uno in the world on the neurobiology of human attachment and the mind.  I could probably achieve a doctorate in something impressive if I were to study and learn even one-hundredth of what this man knows.

So why can’t I just listen to him speak as I did yesterday on YouTube and feel grateful to him for imparting his knowledge to me through a long, complex and circuitous route known to me in the vernacular as THE INTERNET?

Why do I struggle so hard to let in information that is new and foreign to me – in WORDS only?  After all, do I question whether or not Dr. Siegel knows what he’s talking about?

Yes I do.  From my perspective he is at the very TOP of the knowledge heap about attachment, the brain and the mind while I am very near the absolute bottom.  This much I am certain of.

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In between the continual ongoing interruptions to my trains of thought yesterday as I cared for my 19-month-old grandson in my small one room I listened – and I admit, avidly so – to two videos of Dr. Siegel speaking that I found at the link I posted on this blog yesterday.

His words were spoken at “A groundbreaking conference at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA, March 31st – April 2nd, 2011” called

Conversations on Attachment – Integrating the Science of Love and Spirituality

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This link is to Part One of Dr. Siegel’s speech titled “Mindsight, Mindfulness and the Journey from Me to We

This link is to Part Two of that speech – HERE

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I am not saying that Siegel’s talk wasn’t as loaded with hope and life as was the primordial ooze from which this life we are all a part of today.  Oh, yes.  Truth is in his words.  BUT!

BUT I find within myself that I believe I know a whole lot of OTHER related and important information Siegel did not directly address.  How does this matter to me?

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I plan to listen again to these two parts of his speech – and again – until I am far more clear than I am at this moment about what Siegel SAID so that I can become clear about what I know about what he did not say. 

I will also spend the time to read everything I can find online about what Siegel refers to as “the plane of possibility.”  (HERE is a basic review of that thinking.)

If you go find the second part of the speech and then listen to the first part of what he says in that after lunch talk you will hear the most accurate and succinct presentation about attachment that can be found in the world.  Next Siegel took his audience of 1500 people through a meditation exercise that in the end was designed for one purpose:  To introduce to those people the concept of “the plane of possibility.”  Sigel then (you can find this using the scroll bar under the video by jumping to the end of this meditation exercise) gives a graphic picture of this plane along with a brief description of it.

It is IMPORTANT that readers who might follow the posts yet to come on this blog about this topic find that graphic image and discussion about “the plane of possibility” because I know one thing:  I spent the first 30 years of my life nearly entirely LIVING on that plane because I had never been given any choice not to.

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I have not yet had the inner stamina to re-listen to that talk.  I sense that Siegel has given me the words – the plane of possibility – to describe the state I lived in during the first 18 years of my life in a psychotically abusive childhood.  Because it never COULD dawn on me until I reached the age of 30 that I had been abused at all I consider that I lived on “that plane” all of those years.

THAT is what dissociation does to us – just my suspicion, my belief.  Unlike probably all of those 1500 people who followed that meditation exercise – who were being encouraged by Siegel to FIND that plane – I believe those of us who suffered horrendously traumatic infancies and childhoods have ALWAYS know what that plane IS.  THOSE people had a choice.

I do not.

Do I have a choice to LEAVE that “plane of possibility?”

HUGE question!

Every time I receive a trauma trigger I lose my ability NOT to be on that plane.

And even when I am not experiencing direct trauma triggers my body was MADE to live on that plane through the trauma I endured and survived.  This is likely the description of the “depersonalization-derealization” sense all of us who live with dissociation can recognize.

Does Siegel recognize what I am saying?  I don’t know.  I won’t even have a clue until I do my investigation as I mentioned of everything I can find on “the plane of possibility.” 

I am also ordering The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician’s Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration  by Dr. Siegel.

 

What are the implications of what I am suspecting about my own experience?  What are the ramifications of being told to LEARN to do something/go “somewhere” that most severe early trauma survivors need to be shown how to highly value as a part of an inescapable survival legacy we were FORCED to experience?

What if we WANT to escape “the plane of possibility?”  WANT to feel alive and real in a REAL world of “feeling felt” that was the world we were SUPPOSED to find ourselves living within – and did not?

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If we want to talk possibility – I am here now, I survived my infancy and childhood then – ONLY BECAUSE it was POSSIBLE to do so.  I know what that felt like – surviving what should not have been survivable.  I lived on that plane because THAT WAS THE ONLY WAY I COULD LIVE AT ALL.

And Siegel is teaching others to GET THERE?

Can he teach the rest of us how NOT to be there?

Are we supposed to just learn how to “be there” and like it?

Is there anything we survivors know about “the plane of possibility” that anyone else wants to hear about?  (Not very likely, seems to me.)

Those of us who live in a body that was formed by trauma do not have the same range of possibilities that nonsurvivors have.  For example, we cannot go back and get a non-trauma-formed body so that we can experience our life in anything like an “ordinary” body — because it is NOT POSSIBLE! 

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I recognize a lot of my own truth in the visual image of “the plane of possibility” that Siegel gives at the end of the second part of his talk.  What I know is powerful but it is NOT pretty.  I will be pursuing my thinking on this matter.

 

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!o Click here to view or purchase:  A STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read free for Amazon Prime customers.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

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