+HEY! YOUR HISTORY OR MINE?

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Monday, March 31, 2014. (#2) It comes to me as I inadvertently consider the implications contained in the first post I wrote today that severe early trauma survivors carry within us both the toxins of that trauma and the cure for those toxins. We are living paradox. How could we, how did we, how do with LIVE with what defies life?

We are not mediocre people and perhaps in a society that denies the fact that it more than welcomes mediocrity we threaten just by the fact that we are PEOPLE OF POWER. There could not be anything mediocre about us or we would not be here – as in, we would be long gone DEAD.

We are not status quo people, either. We were not formed in a status quo environment. Trauma is anything BUT status quo. Trauma exists at the same time it is the epitome of a challenge to what ordinary is. Trauma is an EXTRAORDINARY experience. If it was ordinary it would not be traumatic.

We are EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE. We found ways to endure what could not be endured, many of us from the time we were born.

How do people who were not trauma-challenged during their most formative developmental stages of life ever come to KNOW that they are capable of greatness? We as survivors know we are capable of greatness because if we weren’t we would be – well, you know – DEAD.

Are we celebrated as the heroic warriors against the darkness of pervasive evil that we are, for that is what we survived?

I am just wondering, are there times (plenty of times) when nonsurvivors are not willing to know they are fully capable of listening to us tell of our reality simply because if they DID listen to us they would have to (1) recognize our greatness at the same time they would also have to (2) recognize that they have never grown as individuals so strong, so resilient or so powerful as we have?

Now. Make no mistake about it. “Shooting the messenger” is a pattern that exists all around us. Did we CHOOSE to be terrorized when we were little people, without solace, comfort, safety, protection or even love to sustain us?

We most certainly did NOT make this choice. But once in the broiler of early trauma that would have left us cinders and smoke if we had not been able to find what we needed inside of our self to endure and fight back we obviously made the right choice.

What of people who have never been put into any situation that would have required of them such choices, such actions?

What do people of trauma awaken in those without such horrible early histories of abuse and neglect?

I’ll let you know if I ever find such a person willing and able to tell 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).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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+AN AWKWARD CONVEYANCE IN WORDS: surreptitiously

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Monday, March 31, 2014. I was talking on the telephone to a good friend last week when the word surreptitiously popped into my thoughts. I admit. I didn’t really know what it meant. Not specifically enough to know why it came to me in connection to how I feel – have always felt – when walking through ‘regular’ city housing neighborhoods.

I remember all the way back to how I felt at 18 shortly after I got out of Naval boot camp and into computer training school in San Diego. (Computers? What a horrible mismatch that field was for me!) I used to walk very late at night to and fro from Ocean Beach to the training center through such neighborhoods. What was always mirrored within me was a nearly devastating loneliness. “I don’t belong here. I’ve never fit in here. All those people. Secure in their solid cozy homes. Sharing their lives with each other, with their neighbors.”

Me? Having spent so many years of my abusive childhood living in a curved canvas Jamesway hut on the side of an Alaskan wilderness mountain. Fit in? Nowhere. I didn’t know what that feeling was then. I could only guess. I still have those same feelings walking down city sidewalks past ranch homes and ramblers and split-levels but I no longer have to guess why I have them.  I no longer wonder what I long for.

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SURREPTITIOUS

1: done, made, or acquired by stealth :  clandestine

2:  acting or doing something clandestinely :  stealthy <a surreptitious glance>

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That’s me. Me living a clandestine secret life as a trauma-changed severe early abuse and neglect survivor among ‘the regulars’, the ones who create and own the civilization I reside within.

Walking – invisible to all – down any street at any time. An unknown entity. But what I am grateful for is that now after all these years I know why.

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I mention this word as it appears to me again in connection to a pleasant and informative telephone conversation I had last night with my ex, Joe. We were talking about events that transpired in connection with the lives of his friends over 40 years ago. All his friends.

He was born and raised in this area. Of course he would have had a circle of old friends. He fit in. He was (seemed to me) most appreciated, valued, loved, respected and welcome. Me? Living surreptitiously undercover in stealth mode as Joe’s wife? I went along but I felt inadequate. An outsider. Painfully excluded and not through any fault of my husband or his friends.

I was telling Joe about my feelings back then at the same time I told him where they originated, how and why.

“STOP IT!” he said to me right in the middle of one of my sentences. “JUST STOP IT!”

I did what I have done as a surreptitious individual all of my adult life. I shut up. Instantly. As if a barrier wall stronger than any metal on earth slammed down with me on the inside and everyone else on the outside.

We went on talking. About other things. Things acceptable to Joe. Things familiar. Things comfortable. Tolerable.

Meanwhile shut-up-me within this wall pounded and SHOUTED, “Wait one minute! I have something to say! I have a right to say it.”

After about ten minutes I was able to allow myself to bring up the “STOP IT” to talk about it.

I learned something.

Joe is not alone in needing to keep the truth of early abuse and neglect survivors silent. If our truth is NOT heard it does not really exist. Not in ‘their’ world. My truth could not be tolerated my Joe now. I can take that fact all the way back in my thinking past 40 years to realize NO possible way could we have maintained a marriage because who I am, what I know, how I feel, what happened to me, how that affected me, changed me, affects me for my lifetime had to be kept on the surreptitious side of a world of comfort for others that I cannot LIVE IN.

Living a lie in silence to keep other people comfortable in their reality is so not my thing. That’s what I was forced to do during those long 18 years when my life was hell within hell. I was forced by the circumstances of my life to live that way, even being surreptitious to myself. Surreptitious came natural to me when I was married to Joe because I knew no other way to live.

I had no friends in my childhood. Never. I didn’t know what a friend even was except as I watched other people being friends within circles of friendship. In order to have a relationship – something I define by the honest sharing with caring within it – I HAVE to be fully me. Not that I have to ‘burden’ other people with any projection that they have to cure or heal me. But anyone I would call a friend today knows exactly who I am and is not afraid of me or of my reality.

I AM a person, not a shadow/wraith/ghost of an un-dimensional being. Skittering, tramping, lying on my belly desperately trying to move forward in my life. Always in hiding, hidden, living surreptitiously behind a phony front designed to keep my reality apart from the reality of nontraumatized people so they do not have to feel uncomfortable.

I appreciate the opportunity I has last night to see these kinds of patterns in actions. I tested what I saw by bringing the conversation back to the “STOP IT” point. Why did Joe say that? What was he saying?

I know. He doesn’t and probably never will. In his reality – he can’t. WHY this is so is really none of my business. Not anymore.

Survivors tolerated trauma because it was a MUST. We had no choice. We had to in order to live.

It is not surprising that most ‘regular’ people cannot tolerate ANY PART of our trauma reality. They don’t have to. Yes, that leaves us in one world and them in another one. Yes, that mostly leaves us alone and lonely. Yes, that gives them the advantage. They can set the social rules.

When they say STOP IT to us – they mean it. Past that point we cannot go with them nor can they go with us.

++

I feel a surprising and unfamiliar sense of freedom this morning as a result of the part of last night’s conversation I am describing here. I somehow dissolved a wall of “surreptitiousosity” last night. I pulled myself BACK from that part of my past, from those patterns that operated for so long within me in my life when I so desperately wanted to be a part of some social group without knowing how much I wanted that. I set myself free by accepting my feelings AND the feelings of Joe.

Back then, how desperately I wanted to be liked. I wanted to have value to other people. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted people to want me in their life. I wanted to mean something to someone. I wanted to MATTER to others as if mattering to them meant I could BE BORN into that other world – as if I could become one of them.

What a joke.

I see that now.

Couldn’t happen.

No fault of mine. No fault in others. This is “a no fault state.” But as long as other people will not tolerate our full being with all we have been through TRAUMA will not be healed. As I have said so many times on this blog the BIG traumas we survived did not belong to us. They belonged to the bigger society that let those traumas happen.

Society has to hear the lessons within trauma, LEARN from what they hear and then CHANGE conditions so those traumas STOP!! As it is, trauma and those who survive it are forced to live a surreptitious life – hidden invisibly in silence. And the traumas go on….

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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).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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+SWEET DESIRES

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Saturday, March 29, 2014. Above my head. Blue sky this morning. And an eagle circling. So high above me. One solace taking me away, for a few moments, from this ugly, foreign city. I was comforted. The eagle has long since left this place where I could watch it. I won’t forget its visit.

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Stricken with a surprise – of course unexpected – unanticipated in any way. My new computer arrived at a friend of mine’s office, delivered there to avoid any possibility of loss as I am not sure what happens in this apartment complex when something arrives here that does not fit in a small mailbox. I was grateful for this help and looking forward, finally, to this new computer’s arrival in my life.

A “not really but yes really” kind of dreaded hopefulness. I am not technosavvy. I hate change. My current slow laptop runs Windows XP which will not be supported by Microsoft after April 8th. I really didn’t have a choice. I needed a new one.

Intimidating. At my son’s recommendation I bought a Dell 17 with a processor upgrade running Windows 8.1. Everyone I know runs Windows 7, but I figured that I would try to get a little bit ahead of the curve knowing in the future 7 will drop off of Microsoft’s radar before 8 will.

I ordered David Pogue’s, “The Missing Manual” for 8.1. In my own way I have been mentally and emotionally preparing for my “new baby” knowing I know next to NOTHING about all-this-jazz. But I’ve been PLANNING for this (unwanted but necessary) change, creating the most positive attitude I could manage. Last night my friend called, had the computer up, running, online – NOT at my house!?!?!

I could not explain my reaction. My friend was instantly enraged that I could possibly object to their assistance in “setting the computer up.” That rage shut me down so completely I have been leaking emotion out the soles of my feet ever since.

A BIG DEAL?

I had internally arranged to meet-n-greet this intimidating new technopartner-of-mind right out of the virgin box. MY hands taking the computer out. Nobody else’s.

I find now that I WANTED to “do this” my way. I WANT very little as I have written about on this blog before. WANTING anything during the 18 years of my childhood was TOXIC to me because psychotic abusive Mother USED any wanting/wishing/hoping I managed to touch inside of myself against me in VICIOUS ways.

Over and over again she set me up to want/wish/hope KNOWING somewhere in her deranged mind EXACTLY what she was going to do to crush me next. It always worked, too. In my innocence I never saw her evil attacks coming. NEVER. (Dissociation was handy that way.)

++

Nobody’s perfect. “Everyone has glitches,” as someone said to me last week.

It’s not my business what contributed to my friend’s explosion last night over the phone as I “dared” to have FEELINGS about – especially – not being ASKED if I wanted “help.”

Blah blah blah – fast forward through my emotional mined-quicksand to this moment nearly 24 hours later. Yes. The computer is here, delivered sweetly by a third party. I took it out of its box (but not FIRST and without the joy I had “planned for”) and it sits on my kitchen table like a lump of dead, broken toy.

Am I overreacting? From an outsider’s view, I suppose so. But not from mine.

I KNOW my history. And I know that this is the first new computer I have ever scraped the money together to buy for myself. I know how hard this move has been for me. How hard living in this cramped dark gardenless cage of an apartment through the horror of a frigid North Dakota winter has been for me. More fast-forwarding through blah blah blah.

How fragile any state of well-being — real and hoped for — is for severe infant-child abuse survivors.

I have been blessed with two long calls with a friend who lives far away from me but is very close in my heart that have helped me process the crushedness that arose for me over this teensy miscommunication and the explosion that followed. He is a survivor like I am. His kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding and wisdom helped me stop the inward craters from opening within me any further.

I don’t believe humans evolved to process information at the pace required in today’s frenetic world. My friend, meaning good, not harm, is evidently moving far too fast through life to be able to slow down far enough to HEAR ME. Truly hear me.

That is OK. It has to be.

But I am reminded yet again about how hard it is for me to make peace inside of myself and when I find any way to do that, how terribly delicate that peace really is.

Not a lasting peace. I have to come up with an entirely different plan about how I am going to cross the chasm that exists between my comfort and dexterity with this old computer and the entirely new, intimidating, downright scary transition I will have to do to make peace with a new computer which will, eventually, give me so much more of what I need than this old one does.

Peace again with my well-intentioned friend? I trust our relationship. We will of course “get past this.” At the same time – having been built through trauma the way that I was – I have yet another strange wound ricocheting down the corridors of time within which I have more wounds than I can barely bear as it is. So – something has now CHANGED inside of me regarding my relationship with this person. I learned something the hard way. I don’t forget these things.

Not even if I want to.

++

While all the sweetness I had worked to put in to the computer change in my life has gone away, I did manage to hold onto the precious sweetness of happiness about my decision to invest in professional drumming lessons for myself.

A friend took me to my first lesson today and I could not be more tickled. Gently, sweetly tickled. Brett spent this first 30 minutes carefully – and I mean CARE-FULL-ly arranging my shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers into precise shape as he dictated precise motion. I felt like an awkward mannequin assemblage, clumsy and lost – but also feeling delighted in being on that little stool in that tiny (I have claustrophobia) room with that amazingly gifted musician-teacher.

Lucky!

I was not scared. I was not crushed. Nothing big like a mammoth trampled my joy or my hopes that I can ACTUALLY learn to play DRUMS!

Not a note. Not a tap of sound today. Hey! This is the RIGHT way to learn an instrument! I am SO Happy!

And happy has such precious value to me. I was formed to be nearly constitutionally incapable of feeling safe enough in the world to feel joy – or to play! All three are intimately connected — safety, joy and play are inextricably intertwined.

So while any possibility of playfulness has at least currently been removed from my interactions with this new computer in my kitchen, I DO have hope at least I can plow forward, trudge along forward, live through whatever it takes next to get my computer-plan back online in some sort of fashion.

And I most certainly have drumming hopes! Next weekend is the all-day percussion event at a local college I mentioned here recently, so no lesson again for two weeks. By then I hope to be a much-skilled mannequin moving my elbows this way while my wrists don’t swivel as my drumsticks go that way – and then reverse. I will PRACTICE as if my life depends on it, you can bet!!!

I am STARVED for the experience of inner personal joy (is there some other kind?) that I imagine non-abused people can at least some of the time simply take for granted.

++

PS. Personally, I don’t think anything about being alive is simple for early severe abuse and neglect survivors. EVERYTHING has a cost – good or bad. Trauma survivorship requires HUGE outputs of resources that we have ALWAYS had great difficulty in providing for ourselves. We simply pay our entire life for the shortages of goodness we did not receive and the abundance of harm we did receive.

Yet sometimes I just marvel at the SWEETNESS inside of me. It was there in me as a child. It has always been there, always been a part of who I am. I am extremely tender – and yes, that does mean I am extremely sensitive.

I am done apologizing for that fact.

++++

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).  Click here to view or purchase — 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment

++++

 

+ARE THERE BOUNDARIES THAT HELP AND BOUNDARIES THAT HARM?

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Thursday, March 27, 2014. I began this morning in between interruptions from 20-month-old baby scrawling down on paper a few of my thoughts:

Why would I be surprised if I discover as my truth the fact that PLACE is more real to me than people are?

Mother had no boundary between herself and her projected-bad-self-into-me.

I have no boundary between place and myself.

I have too much of a boundary between myself and people.

I have no boundary (except an intellectual one) between myself and physical environments.

—- Weather is directly tied to place.

—- Geography of place. Of self. Of others.

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Baby is down for his morning nap. I can continue….

I am unable to separate myself from the environment I am exposed to. I react – super react – to sounds, scenery, weather, light, etc. I have become increasingly unable as I age to calm myself when I am interaction with – and therefore in reaction to – all of the stimulating factors of environment.

The reactions I have here in this northern climate and in this city, as I have been reporting on this blog, have not been pleasant ones for me. I spoke recently to a southern friend who told me that due to the unusual warmth of the winter season in the high desert and to the lack of moisture there is a great deal of dust in the air down there. That dirt in the air DID bother me while I lived there. But in a weight-to-weight ratio of what bothers me MORE – I would take the dust.

No, no place is perfect. But for someone like me who is nearly – or entirely incapable – of erecting workable boundaries between place and self the milder the climate, the more scenic the view, the better off I am.

When it comes to people….

It strikes me this morning that when an infant is born to an incapable mother and does not receive any or anything like enough resonating-mirroring of self from this early caregiver NOT ONLY is the definition of self hampered but so, also, is the growth of a definition of OTHER.

When Dr. Daniel Siegel and others speak of increasing one’s “mindsight” abilities in adulthood so that the other can be more clearly recognized and distinguished-differentiated – I am pressed into my critical areas of thinking enough to report that for some people, myself included, any later stage endeavor to “understand other people” will NEVER bring us even close to knowing what we should have learned from birth about what another person IS.

Popular self-help for “co-dependency” and for “adult children” “recovery” talks about such survivors “guessing at what normal is.”

Much, MUCH more serious and pervasively problematic for some of us is the fact that we will GUESS at what being HUMAN is – for the rest of our lives.

++

Because Mother’s psychosis and her psychotic abuse and neglect of me did not involve any recognition of BOUNDARIES I was coincidentally also left with NO BOUNDARIES to cross.

If there was no boundary, say, between Mexico and the United States (I say this after having lived for years with that boundary fence in my backyard) there would be no boundary – duh! – to protect, to cross, to violate illegally, to define, to respect, to understand, to assess, to value, to work with or to work against.

But this morning I am realizing that in my case there IS a great and seemingly uncrossable and nonnegotiable boundary between myself and other people! Because nobody ever negotiated ME as a person and never negotiated themselves as people with me, either – I was left with an UNCROSSABLE boundary.

This thinking about boundaries, although very hard for me to articulate in words, lets me know that there is a kind of focus-shifting I might be able to do when it comes to the struggles I have on many levels.

My reacting to environment, to place including geography and climate, is likely as extreme as it is because I never formed my HUMAN-self boundary that would have excluded me from place.

On the other hand, my reacting to humans, also an extreme and not pleasant (most of the time) involvement , probably happens the way that it does to a large extent because the boundaries are so fixed that I cannot cross them OUTWARDLY and others cannot cross them to get in to me, either.

++

As I wrote that sentence it dawned on me how necessary it was for me to keep a boundary – an impenetrable, unbreachable boundary between myself and my mother. My boundary was that I was born sane and I kept my sanity. My sanity was always in direct conflict with Mother’s insanity.

It has been only within this past year as I continued writing books that it became clear to me that although I was oblivious of my sanity it WAS my sanity that allowed me to survive Mother.

But the fact that I had no other person with whom I could negotiate self-and-other with I was left growing far into my adulthood before any power of reflective awareness of myself in my life ever reached me.

By then, it seems, it was far, far too late for me to begin to negotiate on any kind of real or feeling level what humans are – let alone WHO they are.

++

In this case there really is not “sharing” of anything. “You are on your side of the uncrossable boundary. I am on my side. I cannot reach you and you cannot reach me.”

That is a very simple way to state a nearly incomprehensible reality that I believe is the uncommon one shared by people who survived severe abuse and neglect from birth. One blog reader uses the term “The Great Divide” to describe this non-negotiable distance between survivors and others.

++

I cannot find awareness of asking this morning for these thoughts to arrive, but now that they are here I am thinking “This is how resolving trauma means we have to continuously reinvent ourselves by taking repeating looks back over our life story in continuously changing ways.”

This lens in my thoughts this morning brings many parts of my life story into view. I think about the death of my black rabbit pet Peter when I was seven. I was CONSCIOUS after that death happened (as it included Mother’s insane abusive response to me) that I was bearing unbearable sadness. I was not ONLY sad. I KNEW I was sad.

In my memory that is a clear example to me of one time I came face-to-face with my SELF experiencing my own life.

Yet as I write this I realize I would have to go back and revisit (I am not going to do that now but I know I might in the future) every one of my memories in which I know I was NOT doing what psychotic Mother saw me doing and then horrifically abused me for doing (not doing). I WAS aware in myself of my own reality. I simply knew that reality of mine as it differed from Mother’s version.

Did my definition of myself evolve through a process of knowing I was NOT someone else? If so, how could have that process allowed me to form any kind of bridge ever between myself and any other person?

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I also have known for a long, long time that my relationship with the wilderness of Alaska during my childhood saved me from extinction. I NEVER thought of myself as being separate in any way from that PLACE – including all life that made up that place (including stones, the rock of the mountains, the sky and all that lived there including the wind, etc).

(Some places giving me solace, other places giving me absolute dismay at the same time I have no boundary-making ability to separate myself and how I “feel” from any place.)

++

There is another segment of my childhood story when I was around age 11 that I remember clearly looking inside of myself, considering the facts of my situation as I understood them, and making my informed decision that led to disastrous abuse consequences. I see this morning how important it is for me as I include that “story” in my lifeline that I realize the significance of my having been INSIDE of my own SELF in some kind of state of awareness of my own existence. I am not sure I could track any other memory of such an event prior to my age 16.

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On and on it goes as if I think I can someday, if I just think the right thoughts, resolve the whole mess and “just be OK.”

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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 by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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+SOMETIMES THERE IS NOTHING BUT THE STRUGGLE

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014. In many ways I feel like a stranger, a foreigner to myself right now. It wasn’t until late this afternoon that I realized I didn’t even have the day of the week correct. I just went back and changed the day I put on my post last night. I was wrong about the day even then.

When and how does one stop fighting something that doesn’t fit, doesn’t suit, yet must be – because – obviously – it IS? Acceptance gained like a free pass to somewhere beneficial. Who cares if it’s fun? I talked with a good friend down in the high desert last night. I can walk that place. So familiar. All the people. The terrain. The climate. Those changes of those seasons.

But I am – obviously again – right plain here. Another big wind coming. Blocked by cityscape from seeing any view worth seeing except for bits of sky, bits of grass yet to turn green with this change of season in this place.

A sort of giving up. A giving in. Something I seem to NEVER do without balking. Giving in never seems safe to me. Yet it happened down south. It took years living in a place that felt like home, but it did happen. Am I a visitor here? How long until a visit, if this is a visit, becomes something else again – and I am gone?

++

I lived a kind of controlled poverty. My basic needs are met. Wishing gives way to wanting only what I need to get by. Dreams? True dreams, it seems, in this cultural climate, most often come with price tags. I am watching the price of gasoline at the pump going up and up again. Knowing that down south those prices are significantly higher. Moving around? Moving home again? Being able to return here for reasonable visits instead of having to uproot everything known to sacrifice home for some time, for some chance, to spend time with the family up here that I love?

Such a small person am I. With such small desires, such small worries, such small concerns coincidentally coincidal (No, this is not a word) with SO MUCH of such import belonging to so many other people. How do I not feel guilt for being myself?

Perhaps because for the first 18 years of my life I survived by always letting go and never holding on I am so cautiously scared to admit that there IS A ME – that is defined. Has a definition. Has something going on within boundaries (that are OK?) – that makes me an individual separate, distinguishable, differentiated from ANYONE else – and THAT IS OK?

When it comes to issues of safety versus lack of safety. I fight as if it is true that if I stop fighting I cease to exist as my own self. Giving in? Giving up? Float along like a cork in a stream. That’s the best I can come up with for a life?

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Living on the outside always looking in. Outsiders. Not fitting in with the mainstream? Is that a bad thing? Not if one is strong enough within to know nobody else is worth more. Nobody. Others can seem to “have it all,” but do they?

I just don’t want to disappear to myself. It’s a fine line. When I wrote last night about a certain kind of inner freedom I knew as a child (certainly until age 18 when I escaped that abusive hell hole of a family home) I did not know then (a part of that freedom) that I was SUPPOSED to be a person inside. I DO NOT want to let go of that person.

Infants are supposed to find themselves mirrored back to them by the people who take care of them. I never had that mirroring. (I had the reverse where my psychotic mother saw the horridness of herself in me.) Having to create the mirror myself so that only THEN can I look into that mirror to find myself is – well – tiring. It takes a fight. A certain kind of fight. Not only to stay afloat but to STAY one’s self at all. Stay present to the person-within.

As if with a certain kind of tiredness one could give up/give into the pressure to conform to a culture – yes, cultures can certainly be localized geographically even within fairly narrow ranges – and then disappear to who they are. I’ve lived here before. A long time ago. But here nonetheless. And I felt this disappearing thing back then. I FELT it but I did not know what it was.

I AM an outsider. I AM a foreigner. I cannot be seen by people here. They do not see me. That is a fact. And if I am not seen – do I give up caring? Trying? Is it my rightful place – here – to only become invisible as myself? To pretend that I am somebody else, a different kind of person so that I can be “recognized” at all?

This is a danger here. I needed to write this post so that I can see in the mirror of these words this reality of what it is I fear. The reality of what I am feeling. Because IT DID HAPPEN TO ME BEFORE – here. I need to be inwardly wary.

I am poor. I live a small life. But at least in that high desert people could SEE me. I was not entirely invisible. Not that they understood me – but at least they were open-minded. Often gently curious. Some call that easygoing. There were many characters in that place. I could be one of those many.

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PS. From a developmental neuroscience point of view I believe that over 80% of my adult life or more has been determined for me by the brain changes that happened to me in response to terrible traumatic abuse during my first 18 years of life that – among so many other things – removed from my body the ability to build an ordinarily-functioning “higher cortex” region.

I never had and still do not have – although at least now I have the comfort of having identified “what’s wrong” – the ability for what’s called FUTURETHINK. I COULD not plan my future. I could barely see past the end of my nose when it comes to making decisions about myself in my life.

As a result I have felt lost more than not lost. Scared nearly all of the time because I cannot PLAN for my own best well-being. I take the best information I can understand and make the best decisions I can. But I am always aware of what I am lacking.

I believe the ‘normal’ ability to practice futurethink involves a sense of FEELING one’s self in the future as much as it does being able to ‘see’ one’s self in one’s future in any kind of practical, tangible, material-based way.

Because I finally understand how psychotic Mother was – and I mean that absolutely literally – I understand that the patterns of her psychotic abuse of me denied me the ability to create anything within myself that resembled an ability to predict or control any part of my reality. I was formed, then, from the inside out from birth with a special kind of blindsightedness that replaced – in the literal physiology of my brain – an ability to use mindsightedness (as it is called today) to PLAN my life based on a true understanding of the ramifications of decisions I make as those decisions are going to affect me on a moment-to-moment basis.

I am therefore nearly always “at sway” as if I am being tossed around in a massively moving sea I cannot understand – because I CANNOT! I do not believe I have the ability to take certain kinds of information ‘ordinary’ people are privy to — nor can I use the information I do gather in my own ‘special’ way — in order to create an inner (or even much of an outer) place of sanctuary from the neverending storm.

I am always in flux.

I have been blessed with an ability to do pretty darn well with whatever is at hand to keep myself going. To keep myself afloat. But the motion never stops.

This means that the emotion never stops. All through my childhood I never had one person I could depend upon to care about me ONE SINGLE BIT. It was that lack of ANY safe and secure attachment relationship that made sure I would remain for the rest of my life essentially alone in this great sea of life. This is true in important ways even now that I am in the physical proximity of my loving daughters and grandsons.

As I have said so many times I lack the ability to FEEL their connection with me or my connection to them. This is a form of hell. I am quite clear, quite certain of this as fact. I know there are readers of this blog who know exactly what I am trying to describe. In this particular kind of aloneness we are together.

I would not wish this on ANYONE. Of course not! But neither am I going to pretend it this state doesn’t exist for me and for others like me. And I believe because of this essential aloneness my soul will be restless until I leave this world.

Is my struggle worse for me in some places than others? What circumstances in my environment make it worse? What make it better?  (A better struggle!?)  Was I presented with a set of problems from my childhood for which there is no solution? Yes. I was.

Not only is the problem unsolvable but I was prevented from forming a brain that COULD have found a solution – should there have been one! And I wonder why I struggle?

Giving up just does not seem to be a good plan.

(I think I better practice some drumming now.)

++++

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 by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

+EMPTY-HEADED DAYS and PARADOX

++++

Tuesday, March 25, 2014.  I am not used to having nothing to say.  At the same time this frame of mind bothers me I also recognize it as something I am aiming for.  How can that paradox be me?

PARADOX

: something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible

: someone who does two things that seem to be opposite to each other or who has qualities that are opposite

: a statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true

I don’t know.  How could I?  If I knew wouldn’t the paradox be resolved?

++

Yesterday I could swear I was 85% a different person than is the person I am today.  How is that possible?  Is there such a thing as paying too much attention to HOW a person is in the world?  What is this awareness for that Dr. Daniel Siegel and so many others propose to be one of the super-sized panaceas of modern humanity?

Origin of PANACEA

Latin, from Greek panakeia, from panakēs all-healing, from pan- + akos remedy

First Known Use: 1548
++
I find myself being aware of my thoughts and feelings in very rapid order.  At the same time I reject the whole mass (mess) of nearly everything that reaches my awareness within.  Nearly everything comes into my mind with a costly price tag attached:  I question!  I question nearly every single event that I experience – and I mean EXPERIENCE – as in “I am the person experiencing this experience.”
The cost to me of what I experienced of severe trauma and abuse during the first 18 years of my life left me without any awareness of myself having an experience of having experiences of being myself having experiences.  In other words, I was inwardly moonless:  I lacked the ability to self-reflect.
When youngest child was 4 he asked me from the backseat of the car one afternoon as we crossed through Albeuquerque, New Mexico when I was attending art therapy graduate school there.  “What is infinity times infinity?”
I didn’t know he knew anything about infinity.  What was I to say?  “Infinity is infinity.  Infinity times infinity is still infinity.  Nothing is changed by multiplying it times itself.  (How did he know what “times” was, anyway?)  Nothing changes infinity.”
What changes my experience — my experience of myself having experience of having experiences?  Where does it all stop?
Questions. 
In a world such as I seem to be presently residing in everything is relative.  (Yes, I am up here because of relatives but that’s not what I mean — or do I?)
If everything is relative then there are no answers for any question at the same time there are an infinite number of answers.
++
I found myself thinking this afternoon of two people known well to our family.  In both cases I now see that neither of these two people can “handle” being out in the world — certainly not working (both are supported, fortunately, by their spouses).  Neither seem to be able to handle the hum-drum run-dom of life any better than I can.  And yet neither one of these people suffered from trauma in their early life.
HUH???
My daughter mentioned back to me as I reflected on this “condition,” “Chances are neither one of them could have possibly survived what you have lived through.”
++
Oh.  Great.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Whoopie Do???
If I had not survived I wouldn’t be around to miss myself not being here.
My kids and grandkids wouldn’t miss me.  They wouldn’t be here either.
My point?
I don’t have one.
That’s my point.
Except for the thoughts that soon became tangled up in my paradoxical mind:  The surviving didn’t just happen ‘back then’ when I was entrapped in an extremely insane abusive hell during the first 18 years of my life.  I have been surviving THAT every moment of my life!  I will be doing THAT as long as I live on this planet.
So……
Although there are obviously, evidently, people who don’t “fit in” much better than I do — people who do not have histories of trauma — I often feel FURIOUS because I KNOW I would NOT BE the way I am now if I had NOT suffered the trauma I suffered — and hence still suffer from today.
I KNOW that.  I know I would have had a very different life.  I would not be lost, which I almost always am.  I would not be sunk into poverty I do not have the means to escape.  I would not have to struggle to understand so much of what it must mean to be human.
On the other hand……….
++
What I do know is that I actually did something today that inspired me to feel TRULY HAPPY — a kind of FREEDOM-IN-HAPPINESS that is so rare for me I bet I’ve maybe felt it 20 times in my life — and even that is probably a reach.
Today I registered for DRUMMING lessons at the very impressive music strore in Fargo (with a million dollars of pianos in it, a million dollars of guitars in it….) that is about a mile from where I live.  The teacher has his doctorate in percussion.  I walked out with a lesson set for this coming Saturday at 4:30 in the afternoon feeling not only like I was SIX YEARS’ OLD — but like I was one HAPPY six year old!
I was NEVER truly happy at any point in my abusive childhood.  I was always under threat.  Always in danger.  The books I am working on describe the vastness of the UNHAPPINESS of my childhood.  I cannot speak the words now to describe that.
Nor can I adequately express what it feels like to me to have felt that HAPPY knowing that I gave myself permission to take these lessons, that they are available, and there will never in my lifetime be anything about percussion that I want to learn that this teacher man, his name is Brett, cannot teach me!
$20 per half hour.  I feel I am healing — TRULY healing — a part of myself in doing this.  THIS is one thing I can do for myself living in this place that I am very not fond of that I could not do living in Arizona where I was before last October.
THIS I DO FOR ME!  For nobody else in the UNIVERSE but ME!!
I am realizing there is very little I have ever done for myself that hasn’t in some way been FOR someone else. 
THIS I DO FOR ME!!!!
I do this for a HAPPY ME!!
++
In my paradoxical current state of being I know that I not only WANT to drum expertly (at 62 I will have to work hard to catch up!), I WANT to be able to DRUM THE PARADOX OUT OF MY LIFE WHENEVER I WANT TO!!
ALL OF IT!!
EVERY TINY SNIPPET OF PARADOX.  To me there is a purity in rhythm unmatched by any other experience I have ever had.  In these past few days as I considered taking money from my meager budget each month to pay for lessons I subtracted rhythm from music as I experience music and came up with only one thing left over:  TIME.
Not that I can reach that perfect goal, but if I could drum perfectly, be in perfect time, I would BE IN TIME in a way that would let me simply BE. 
Will there be passion in that experience?
Yes.
I am not passionate about the paradox of being human.  I am tired of it.  Sick of it.  I want it all to stop.  No words.  No thoughts.  No reflections.  No awarenesses.  Nojudgments or assessments.  No questions or comparisons or wonderings.
In some vital way I essentially want to return to the purity of my inner states of childhood (actually it lasted into my 30s).  Back then I had no choice. 
I am choosing now to “go back there” for that part of myself who could live in the moment in such a way that I was oblivious of trouble.  AMAZING feat that was?
(No, I was not HAPPY in childhood (except for two experiences I remember) but I WAS in important ways inwardly free as I have never again been able to be as an adult.)
I guess it came naturally to me.  I am certainly hoping the more complex states of drumming — the status of being ‘in time’ that I seek — comes equally as naturally to me.
I aim to find out.
++++

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 by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+ON THE OTHER SIDE OF WORDS or LOOKING FOR THE POWER DRUMMER WITHIN

++++

Saturday, March 22, 2014.  It sure does not feel like my version of spring outside, but at least progress in this northern clime is happening in the right direction although the temps are still frigid.  As I work on some finishing work for some handspun, hand woven wool items I am adding to my hoped-for sales inventory I crave what I have done for the past 14 years in the high desert.  I want to take myself and my work OUTSIDE into the glorious sunshine to work!!

Not being able to do so means to me that my health-enhancing medicine of the NOT-pharmaceutical variety is unavailable to me – and what a price I pay for being up here with my family by its absence.

Oh WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I spend a lot of my time trying to keep my thoughts empty of WORDS and my body free of EMOTION!!

There was a time in my life when this state came completely naturally to me.  That time existed during all the 18 years of the horrific abuse I suffered in my ‘first life’ and during the following decade-plus of my ‘second life’ as an adult.  Then I went into my ‘third life’ into therapy and ‘what-nots’.  NOW?  Oh MY!!!!!  I have so lost track of what ‘life’ I am in today!

Calm. 

Hard to get to.

Not impossible.

Takes WORK and literal self-direction of all of my energies.

++

After my 4-5 days of online research related to a project my daughter is working on as I mentioned recently I concentrated (after some serious prayers for guidance) on letting LIFE – my life with me in it – show me if I had any reason whatsoever to pursue any of the over-600 research sources I found regarding American Indian/Native American/Indigenous/First Nations health and lack thereof.

My answer was nearly immediate post-prayers.  A friend of mine delivered me and my low budget debit card for a short visit at our local terrific music store.  I left with my first gorgeous set of DRUMSTICKS (under $10) and a “drumming pad” (under $30)!!!!

Now HERE is my JOY!!

No doubt about it.

Living in an apartment building (SO DARN DARN!!!!!) I can’t make any DARN noise!!!  No conga drumming!  No spirit to whatever music I am listening to online!  BUMMMMMMMERRRR to use a term from MY generation!!

So????

I can do what I can do.  True for everything.  No matter what.

I have to MUTE myself in my life.  OK.

I also want to learn how to take the fantasia of rhythm that comes through my hands and then through the conga drum and channel it through the (distancing) tool of a drumstick.  Four measures = hands on conga drumhead.  Four measures, same beat = STICKS on a nearly silent pad.

Well.  It’s a start.  I know now from all my living and trauma-healing research that early severe abuse changed the way my right and left brain hemispheres developed.  It changed the relationship my ‘two brains’ have with one another, the way they communicate with one another, the way they process information, the way they gather information, etc…….

I can feel that now that I am 62 distorting the way my left hand plays rhythm versus the way my right hand does.  (I am lateralized right!!)  As my ‘left body’ is driven by my right brain – my super dominant brain hemisphere for nearly everything in my life except detailed writing, etc. – I need to foster my left rhythms.

I do NOT find myself altering my left rhythms one tiny bit on the conga drum.  My two halves dance together like all the tomorrows in the universe are passing right through them.  All fun, all fine and good – except – that process is severely altered and interrupted and made massively (ugly!!) once the ‘mechanical’ objects of the drumsticks enter the communication linkage stream.

As I engage in this process I am remembering nearly 30 years ago when my delighted soul worked on clay sculpture.  I watched my creativity interact THROUGH TOOLS in interaction with the clay knowing I was experiencing a process so very ancient to our species.  We use tools because we WANT TO!!  Yet the kind of tools we use greatly determine output as that output cannot avoid being SHAPED into its shape by the shape of the tool that touched it in its creation.

Hands versus drumsticks?  Each shape sound differently.  And to ME as a super-sound-sensitive-sensitized person sound is alive to me AND physically tangible.  Sound HAS a shape to me and no more so than with RHYTHM!  Sound is physical to me – how could it not be so?

I also know as the research tells us that little people raised in environments rife with verbal abuse have their brain development changed…..  This is part of what I know about my musical process.

++

There is an all-day percussion free event at a local college on April 5th (I mentioned in a recent post).  My daughter is not going to let me weasel out of going to this.   (24th annual)

I seem to have lost track of many, many parts of myself – as I see things – that were active in my adult life.  Where am I?  This is not so much a sense of WHO am I?  as a sense of having literally LOST important parts of myself through stress/anxiety/literally fear reactions to the stresses of my life especially in the past 10 years.  Left to myself I would talk myself out of going to this event (alone) exactly out of fear.

A friend just reminded me, “It’s not the things you have done in your life that you end up most regretting.  It’s the things YOU HAVE NOT DONE.”

So.  Perhaps in time I can take percussion lessons at this local music store.  The gentleman who teaches them has a doctorate in percussion.  I couldn’t find that kind of teacher in the high desert little town I just moved from.  Nor could I find a free event locally with some top-name drummers performing as I can hear April 5th.

So.  I am not currently in an inner space where words are much of a delight to me at all.  They occasionally become reduced in my reality to a level of purely necessary tools and not methods of delight.  I am in one of those times, as my blog neglect is demonstrating!  However – I am not far away!

Overall I am working at finding Ms. JOY within me.  Never my easiest task.  (Why are females not represented among the big POWER DRUMMERS?  I want to know!)

I LOVE THIS!  “That’s OK, Linda.  You CAN LOVE THIS!”

++

I will also mention that I met the woman who lives in the apartment on the other side of my north wall.  Her sister is expecting a daughter in May.  The newborn will be plopped into a daycare setting shortly after birth.  I am thinking about talking to my neighbor – if I make this decision – about my caring for the teensy person for some weeks once her mother returns to work.  My 20-month-old grandson should do fine with this.  The weather will be warm enough we will not be trapped in the prison cell of an apartment.  (I am an OUTSIDE person and this climate DOES me no good!)

I could also earn $$ this way toward purchase of the $899 electronic drum set I would love to have so I can practice in this place silently to my neighbors.  Keeping yet another little person out of a “day orphanage” even for a few short weeks post-birth would make me very happy.  This is a very small apartment so not sure about any of this.  Just saying.  While words are with me for this short period of time today.

++++

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 by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

++++

+MISSING

++++

Friday, March 21, 2014.  I don’t watch TV.  My source of news is the people in my life.  One of my sisters called last night with love and interest about my life.  She mentioned the 2-week missing plane and evident fears and speculations that terrorists have stolen it for some horrible purpose.  That info was enough to severely disturb my sleep last night.

++

Malaysia Airlines MH370 suspected debris may have sunk, Australia says

Indian Ocean search continues for objects picked out by satellite images 5 days ago

Thomson Reuters Posted: Mar 21, 2014

The international team hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean has not turned up anything so far, and Australia’s deputy prime minister said the suspected debris may have sunk.

Aircraft and ships have renewed a search in the Andaman Sea between India and Thailand, going over areas that have already been exhaustively swept to find some clue to unlock one of the most inexplicable mysteries in modern aviation.

“It’s about the most inaccessible spot that you can imagine on the face of the Earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Papua New Guineau, where he is on a visit.”

+

+

How horrible for the families of the 239 people missing with that plane.  How telling about this juncture in the evolution of the human race that fears of malevolent capture of this plane should arise to trouble even a single soul on this planet.  How true, “We are our own worst enemy.”

And how fortunate I feel to have been given the ability to believe in an all-loving Creator Who has given us the great gift of the ability to pray.  I awoke today knowing yet again what came so clear to me yesterday:  I cannot find my way through life without accessing this power for guidance.  When I am most troubled I rely upon a long prayer for healing and another prayer I believe has great power to assist.

But this one is one of my absolute favorites, so gentle, uplifting and comforting:

Blessed is the spot, and the house,
and the place, and the city,
and the heart, and the mountain,
and the refuge, and the cave,
and the valley, and the land,
and the sea, and the island,
and the meadow where mention
of God hath been made,
and His praise glorified.

++++

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 by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are WELCOME and appreciated!

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

 ++++

+SOME NOTES ON MY CURRENT ONLINE SEARCHES RELATED TO AMERICAN INDIAN HEALTH DISPARITIES

++++

Monday, March 17, 2014.  Here is a small part of what I have accumulated during my online studies that began last Friday and continued today.  I am not finished by any means.  The bulk of what I have on file now would not be of interest to many readers but I did think perhaps what follows might interest some.

“Medical Sociology” is not a combination of words I have ever thought about until this afternoon when I encountered this article during an online research investigation I am working on to assist my daughter as she prepares to write papers and do several presentations around the country on the topic of health disparities and American Indian people.

Social Conditions As Fundamental Causes of Disease

Bruce G. Link; Jo Phelan

Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 35, Extra Issue: Forty Years of Medical Sociology:

The State of the Art and Directions for the Future. (1995), pp. 80-94.

Stable URL:

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-1465%281995%2935%3C80%3ASCAFCO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S

Journal of Health and Social Behavior is currently published by American Sociological Association.

++

This is the bio information on Link & Phelan from the 1995 article:

Bruce G. Link is associate professor of public health at Columbia University and research scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute. His interests lie in understanding the sources of particular types of inequality, its legitimation, and its consequences as these bear on the social patterning of health and illness. This interest is reflected in his work on the association between socioeconomic status and major mental disorders and the possible role that occupational conditions may play in this association, research on the health and well-being of homeless people, and research on the social and economic adversities engendered by the stigma of mental illness.

Jo Phelan is assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include homelessness, social stigma, the impact of social conditions on health and illness, and attitudes concerning inequality and its legitimacy.

CONCLUSION to the 1995 article

The dominant focus in epidemiology and perhaps the American culture in general is on individually-based risk factors that lie relatively close to disease in a causal chain. But this focus overlooks important sociological processes and, as a result, could lead us to actions that limit our ability to improve the nation’s health. We have focused on two concepts — contextualizing risk factors and fundamental causes — that direct our attention to precisely those factors that are left unexamined in the currently dominant orientation to research on risk factors for disease. If future research by medical sociologists and social epidemiologists increases our understanding of the processes implied by these concepts, we will be better positioned as a society to further improve the nation’s health.”  – page 90

++

I also located this book chapter of more recent writing by the authors Link & Phelan:

Fundamental sources of health inequalities

BG Link, JC Phelan – Policy challenges in modern health care, 2005 – books.google.com

 argued that new mechanisms arise because persons higher in socioeconomic status enjoy
a wide range of resources—including money, knowledge, prestige, power, and beneficial social
connections—that they can utilize to their health advantage (Link and Phelan 1995).

Link to their chapter is also here:  http://homeoint.ru/pdfs/socialconditions.pdf in the book Policy Challenges in Modern Health Care edited by Lynn B. Rogut, James R. Knickman, David Mechanic, David Colby – 2005

++++

This is the most important main body of statistical information currently available in the United States on this topic:

CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report — United States, 2013

+

This is the most current information specific to American Indian health:

Trends in Indian Health and Regional Differences in Indian Health

…. Part 5: Patient Care Statistics (PDF – 1.9MB)

…. Brochure (PDF – 667KB)

+

And this from the Office of minority health – US dep’t of health and human services

http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/

Also on this site

Cultural Competency

15 National StandardsWhat’s Cultural Competency?

Training Tools | Continuing Education

There is also HHS disparities action plan at this site

+

American Indian health profiles are at this link per 12 regional divisions for data collection nationwide outside of Alaska:

http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlID=52

  1. Aberdeen Area
  2. Alaska Area
  3. Albuquerque Area
  4. Bemidji Area
  5. Billings Area
  6. California Area
  1. Nashville Area
  2. Navajo Area
  3. Oklahoma Area
  4. Phoenix Area
  5. Portland Area
  6. Tucson Area

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

I also found these two concepts intriguing although more work to ferret out the meaning and significance of these terms will be required:

Social resistance framework” (3/17/14) and “nondominant minorities

++

Roni  Factor, David R.  Williams, Ichiro  Kawachi. (2013) Social Resistance Framework for Understanding High-Risk Behavior Among Nondominant Minorities: Preliminary Evidence. American Journal of Public Health 103:12, 2245-2251
Online publication date: 1-Dec-2013.

 

ABSTRACT HERE

Objectives. The recently developed social resistance framework addresses a widespread pattern in which members of some nondominant minorities tend to engage in various risky and unhealthy behaviors more than the majority group. This pilot study tested the core hypotheses derived from this innovative framework.

Methods. We conducted in 2011 a nationally representative Web-based survey of 200 members of a nondominant minority group (African Americans) and 200 members of a majority group (Whites).

Results. The preliminary findings supported the main premises of the framework and suggested that nondominant minorities who felt discriminated and alienated from society tended also to have higher levels of social resistance. Those with higher levels of social resistance also engaged more in risky and unhealthy behaviors—smoking, drinking, and nonuse of seat belts—than did those with lower levels of social resistance. These associations were not found in the majority group.

Conclusions. These preliminary results supported the framework and suggested that social resistance might play a meaningful role in risky and unhealthy behaviors of nondominant minorities, and should be taken into account when trying to reduce health disparities.

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

Understanding high-risk behavior among non-dominant minorities: A social resistance framework

R Factor, I Kawachi, DR Williams – Social Science & Medicine, 2011 – Elsevier

Across different societies, non-dominant minority groups, compared to the dominant group,
often exhibit higher rates of involvement in high-risk behaviors, such as smoking, drug and
alcohol use, sexual risk behaviors, overeating, and unsafe driving habits. In turn, these

HARVARD EDU – PDFharvard.edu [PDF]

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

I have also located and sent to my daughter all the United Nations links to current reports and centers that collect information about and work to serve the needs of Indigenous People the globe over.

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

I can simply state that severe infant and child abuse survivors are, in my thinking, members of a “nondominant minority.”  We survivors, as the CDC-ACE study has shown, thoroughly live with risk factors for low health standards often because of the risky behaviors we are most likely to engage in.  We are probably very similar to the groups that could be identified as fitting within a “social resistance framework” for many reasons.  (I suggest doing a Google Scholar search for the term “cdc ace pyramid” – the results that will come up are incredible indicators of the lifelong serious consequences of severe trauma in the early years of life for ANYONE.)

I fortunately do not have to think my way through any of the resources I am accumulating.  That is my daughter’s professional job as she works with 200 responses to a local survey with American Indian and Non-American Indian respondents.

I have taken on a simple but complex part of the job to find resources embedded within resources about disparities in health between minorities and non-minorities.  A very clear pattern is emerging in America as the data shows.  At present 50% of all girls age 15 and under in the United States are “minorities.”  It is suspected that by 2050 50% of the population in America will be “minorities” while 50% will be what many consider to be “white.”

Times are changing.

I have come across valid research articles that suggest that the widening gap in all forms of health disparities between the “dominant majority” and the minorities in America may well never be closed.  I cannot imagine the tragedy of such a continuing pattern. 

I don’t have to do anything more right now than to voluntarily accumulate resources that will help light my daughter’s pathway as she pursues this important current research work – which in actuality is a sideline to her main employment tasks.  I LIKE doing the internet research part.  I would NOT LIKE to have to integrate this information into a coherent whole!  That is my daughter’s gift.

I send her related articles and reports, each individually notated in emails that will be printed on her end to be used in an index for the emails themselves – and some collected documentation in WORD – that contain live links.  When I do this kind of study I am reminded of what a miracle the internet is!!  Awesome in ways that probably only later generations will recognize.

Let us all make the very best use possible of all helpful information OUT THERE.  We need one another’s help.  Of that much I am certain.

Meanwhile I realize that as I do this kind of online research I feel as close to flying as I ever will in my lifetime.  I get lost to real time for hours and hours.  I absolutely love it!

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

HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING FINDINGS from my flying.  I haven’t yet gone to see if I can access whole articles or even abstracts for these but the titles intrigue me!

Braveman PA, Cubbin C, Egerter S, Williams DR, Pamuk E. Socioeconomic disparities in health in the United States: what the patterns tell us. Am J Public Health 2010;100(Suppl 1):S186–96. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.2009.166082.   Sent to ramona

ABSTRACT

Objectives. We aimed to describe socioeconomic disparities in the United States across multiple health indicators and socioeconomic groups.

Methods. Using recent national data on 5 child (infant mortality, health status, activity limitation, healthy eating, sedentary adolescents) and 6 adult (life expectancy, health status, activity limitation, heart disease, diabetes, obesity) health indicators, we examined indicator rates across multiple income or education categories, overall and within racial/ethnic groups.

Results. Those with the lowest income and who were least educated were consistently least healthy, but for most indicators, even groups with intermediate income and education levels were less healthy than the wealthiest and most educated. Gradient patterns were seen often among non-Hispanic Blacks and Whites but less consistently among Hispanics.

Conclusions. Health in the United States is often, though not invariably, patterned strongly along both socioeconomic and racial/ethnic lines, suggesting links between hierarchies of social advantage and health. Worse health among the most socially disadvantaged argues for policies prioritizing those groups, but pervasive gradient patterns also indicate a need to address a wider socioeconomic spectrum—which may help garner political support. Routine health reporting should examine socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparity patterns, jointly and separately.

Read More: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2009.166082http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2009.166082

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Adler NE, Stewart J. Health disparities across the lifespan: meaning, methods, and mechanisms. In: Adler NE, Stewart J, eds. The biology of disadvantage. New York, NY: New York Academy of Sciences; 2010;1186:5–23. 

Ohlshansky SJ, Antonucci T, Berkman L, et al. Differences in life expectancy due to race and educational differences are widening, and may not catch up. Health Aff 2012;31:1803–13. 

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Independent research supporting the CDC-ACE study findings —

Cathy Spatz  Widom, Sally J.  Czaja, Tyrone  Bentley, Mark S.  Johnson. (2012) A Prospective Investigation of Physical Health Outcomes in Abused and Neglected Children: New Findings From a 30-Year Follow-Up. American Journal of Public Health 102:6, 1135-1144
Online publication date: 1-Jun-2012.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated whether abused and neglected children are at risk for negative physical health outcomes in adulthood.

METHODS:

Using a prospective cohort design, we matched children (aged 0-11 years) with documented cases of physical and sexual abuse and neglect from a US Midwestern county during 1967 through 1971 with nonmaltreated children. Both groups completed a medical status examination (measured health outcomes and blood tests) and interview during 2003 through 2005 (mean age=41.2 years).

RESULTS:

After adjusting for age, gender, and race, child maltreatment predicted above normal hemoglobin, lower albumin levels, poor peak airflow, and vision problems in adulthood. Physical abuse predicted malnutrition, albumin, blood urea nitrogen, and hemoglobin A1C. Neglect predicted hemoglobin A1C, albumin, poor peak airflow, and oral health and vision problems, Sexual abuse predicted hepatitis C and oral health problems. Additional controls for childhood socioeconomic status, adult socioeconomic status, unhealthy behaviors, smoking, and mental health problems play varying roles in attenuating or intensifying these relationships.

CONCLUSIONS:

Child abuse and neglect affect long-term health status-increasing risk for diabetes, lung disease, malnutrition, and vision problems-and support the need for early health care prevention.

Read More: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2009.166082

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Rosenthal L, Caroll-Scott A, Earnshaw VA, et al. The importance of full-time work for urban adults’ mental and physical health. Soc Sci Med 2012;75:1692–6. 

Leach LS, Butterworth  P, Strazdins L, et al. The limitations of employment as a tool for social inclusion. BMC Public Health 2010;10:621

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Woolf SH, Johnson RE, Phillips RL, Philipsen M. Giving everyone the health of the educated: an examination of whether social change would save more lives than medical advances. Am J Public Health 2007;97:679–83

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Now I am going to sit down and read more of my junk mystery crime thriller!  VEG TIME!

NOTE:  I am running Windows XP on this old slow laptop which is threatening me with a major crash even as I work to get this posted first!  I am a techno phobe who is being forced to upgrade to a new computer – hopefully it can be ordered soon so I don’t loose online time as I learn to manage Windows 8.1 (with the handy help of my new nearly 1000 page help manual!)

OOPS!  It crashed first.  Big time.  Good thing I put this in Word and saved it in time!  It’s just not up to the work I’m loading on it.  I will be glad once I have a new computer.  Just have to learn how to manage in Tile World as they call Windows 8.1!  I learn do it.  I can do it……

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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 by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  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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+WRONG GIG?

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Sunday, March 16, 2014.  I have been listening to the drummers all in a line here at YouTube all day long!  I luckily found out there is an all-day free percussion extravaganza Saturday, April 5 at a local college – I gotta get ready!

Wrong color, wrong sex, wrong age — DRUMMER AM I?  I’d fit in anywhere about like this dude – and boy this makes me GIGGLE!  I can so relate!!

TOO FUNNY!!

LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH!!

Drumming Man

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This is REALLY great!

STREET DRUMMER

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Another CRAZY Drummer

(Just stay on site an there’s MORE!)

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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 by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  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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