+TAKING “COMPLAINERS” SERIOUSLY — AND THEIR WORDS TO HEART

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014,  I live within a society and a culture that touts a belief in free speech.  Unless one “complains.”  Then out come the big guns of mass social pressure to shame into silence any individual within that society who issues forth words that speak honestly of that person’s reality in the world.

Basically the pressure is to shut up.  Just shut up.  Shut up about what hurts.  Shut up about what’s wrong in your personal life let alone what might be wrong in anyone else’s life.  Nobody wants to listen to “a complainer.”  After all, wasn’t my psychotically mentally ill insanely abusive Boston-raised mother correct?  “Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Cry and you cry alone.”

Who wants to be alone?  Left all alone?

Maybe if we were not members of a mammalian social species alone wouldn’t matter to us.  But we ARE a social species.  We are supposed to be designed with empathetic compassion — with an altruistic response-ability — built into us.  We are supposed to CARE.  And we cannot care if we cannot speak our own truth and listen to others speak their’s.

What spurs others to take appropriate compassionate social action if they would rather silence any concerns that there are genuine troubles that greatly affect and very often terribly hurt people?  (Not to mention the earth itself and much of natural life upon and within in it.)  There is great prejudice in this culture against those who DARE to complain.  About anything.  Ever.

“Never complain” leaves a wide open field for rampant ignorance to flourish with its accompanying deterioration in the quality of life for the masses.  Where there are complaints there are problems.  It is very easy (and convenient) for the enfranchised to negate and diminish the importance and the reality of “complaints” made by the powerless, the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the suffering.

As an example, the simple perusal of statistics provided within the yearly Incentti Report Cards provided by the United Nations on the quality of life for children in the world’s richest nations clearly shows the huge and growing disparity between conditions of life for the haves versus the have-nots in America.  Are we shamed or embarrassed or remotely motivated to FIX this disgusting and morally WRONG condition within our nation?  Do we care that the adults in our disenfranchised children’s lives are disenfranchised as well?

Evidently not.  Not remotely.  All we evidently want is for those who suffer to SHUT UP!  After all, America WANTS to remain at the bottom of the heap just above Romania in caring for our children (or for anyone else?).  Everyone knows, after all, that if you are suffering in America it’s your own damn fault.

These are dangerous grounds, folks.  Dangerous waters.  We are polluting our “thought pool” every time we judge rather than honor, respect, care about and compassionately listen to those among us who are in pain.  I don’t care WHAT kind of complaint another person makes within my range of notice.  If someone is suffering enough to say so, ESPECIALLY given the courage it takes to stand up against the insane pressure in this culture to SHUT UP if you happen to notice something wrong, I owe it to everyone to LISTEN.

Listen with an open mind and an open heart.  How are we ever going to solve our social problems and concerns if we refuse to accept that they even exist?

I will not bow to damaging social pressure or control.  I want to be a better person than that.  I have suffered.  I had no voice.  I didn’t even have words for what happened to me.  I could not even THINK about it.

I will never allow myself to be lulled or forced into mental oblivion again.  If someone suffers I want to know about it the best that I can.  Listening may well be all I have to offer, but at least I care enough to offer that.

I would rather be a part of our nation’s wisdom than a part of its ignorance.  What we ignore — hurts us all.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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.

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+IGNORANCE IS NOT OUR FRIEND

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014.  I used to have a lot of tolerance for the truthful stuff about what early abuse and neglect does to change the physiological development of infants and children.  There are thousands and thousands of background pages on this blog about this kind of Trauma Altered Development processes.  Yet during the years I spent post 2004 studying neuroscientific development along these lines not one of the experts’ writings I pored through ever had the emotional impact on me that Dr. Bruce Perry’s does.  (see previous post)

There are dry scientific facts.  Then there are damp, moist, earthy facts that belong to the body itself.  To its emotions.  To its storehouses of memories.  To its blood and to its tears.  These kinds of facts, the kind that Perry works with and writes about, lie at the heart of matters of infant and child neglect and abuse and cannot be denied although they can be ignored.

Yet Perry himself did not live through the levels of life-changing early traumas he writes about.  I did.  Truth is, I hate that fact.  I hate harm to defenseless little ones.  Does hate ever heal?

My guess?  No, not by itself.  I have previously written about denial as a kind of immature childish magical thinking that allows humans to bypass the truth of circumstances they are not ready to face.  And certainly not ready to change.  Not ready to accept response-ability for.  “Somebody else’s problem.  Too messy for me.”  These patterns allow the taboos cultures hold about harming little ones to find their way into higher-level taboos against KNOWING the truths that tear apart the heart once they find their way — home.

Some things are too painful to contemplate.  So culturally we maintain taboos against accepting upon ourselves what adults need to care about because little ones are totally powerless to change what needs to be changed.  By vastly ignoring the truth about terrible harms done to the youngest among us we are showing our ignorance by ignoring what we don’t want to face.

I am finding that process operating within myself as I struggle to read Perry’s words.  The difference for me and for many of this blog’s readers is that I/we already know about this subject from the inside out.  Perry’s words hot-wire my reality between traumatic past and current “better” present.  Any hope of a buffer against the pain of abuse and neglect evaporates.

That kind of pain little ones being harmed feel is too big for them.  That kind of trauma is supposed to be healed by a whole society that HATES harm to young ones and stops it.  We don’t live in that kind of world.

Not yet.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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.

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+THE LIFE LOST

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014.  I am trying yet again to read The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing (2007)by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz.  I again fell into the depths of my sadness while reading page 25 just as I did when I stopped reading Perry’s book in 2007.  My slide again began while reading forward from page 22.  Why am I trying again?

Dr. Perry will be speaking here in Fargo, North Dakota in a little over two weeks.  My daughter will be there to hear him.  I have continued to think that the one person I would want to read our book, Story Without Words, and to write a “blurb” for it would be Perry.

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I am grieving for my life.  Obviously not for the one I have as a survivor of 18 years of severe (psychotic) abuse from the moment I was born.  I grieve for my OTHER life.  The one I was robbed of.  I also grieve for my mother.  For her suffering.  For the life she lived and for the life she lost.

I cannot read Perry’s work without being swallowed by this grief.

How productive is THAT?

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Or, how tolerable?

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I don’t think there is an early neglect and abuse survivor reading this post who will not resonate with what Perry writes beginning on page 22.  (If that link becomes inactive Google search for “perry boy who was raised as a dog they would unravel and forget” and begin reading on that page by clicking on the first link the search provides.)

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I asked my published brother who is also a highly successful used bookstore owner about how to approach Perry for a book “blurb.”  He immediately responded with his humorous suggestions which included the following example:

Dear Mr. _______

I have followed with great interest your research on delectable shrimp recipes for wild-caught Alaska prawns. Your book 101 Ways to Boil Shrimp has been an inspiration to me in my own work on the subject of making healthy, tasty meals for my family. I was privileged to hear you speak last year at the National Crustacean Symposium, and your responses to audience questions at the Q&A that followed your presentation highlighted your unique and innovative approach to the field of seafood preparation.

I am a former vegetarian and recovering vegan, whose journey to preparing shrimp has carried me through many years of cooking classes, cookbook study, and first-hand research upon the oceans of the Pacific Northwest. I have written a book (complete in manuscript form) that I feel addresses a need among home chefs who are struggling with their own feelings of prawn apprehension. Life Lived Backwards: My Journey Across the Ocean Floor tells the story of my own travels through the culinary world of scallops, crabs, oysters, shrimp, and other delectable members of the crustacean nation that your own work has made so accessible. It would be an honor for me if you would consent to previewing a copy of my book and, if you like it, contribute a few short words that I could use on the cover of the book, and on my web site and other promotional venues marketing this important work.

May I sent you a copy of Life Lived Backwards?

Please contact me via email at ____ or by phone at ____ with your postal address, and I will send a copy out promptly to your attention. Thank you in advance for your kindness, and thanks again for your outstanding work in this field!

    Yours Sincerely,

 

    Wanda B. Anauthor

Me again. I haven’t tried it, but I bet with some creative Googling you can find lots of tips about this from online writing/author/publishing web sites that will further describe approaches you might consider.

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I thanked my brother and decided that in order for me to write anything like a genuine request letter to Perry I better read the two books of his I have here.  My plan has gone as far astray as my OWN REAL life has gone due to the severe trauma and its changes to my physiology that I experience.  I am “land locked” in my frozen Silence.

This grief has no words.

Obviously.

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I am trying.  I have now read to page 37.  Will I be able to finish Perry’s book?  Time will tell….

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I am thinking about being this blunt with a subtitle for this book – Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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.

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+2-D PARENTS

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Friday, September 12, 2014.  Sent to me by a dear friend this morning (hope this posts OK) —–

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“BTW, Psychotherapy Networker’s email to me today included a VERY interesting article:
I’m excited about it because is shows that the writer (Ron Taffel, whom I’ve seen in some of PN’s previous webinars) has realized that something is really screwed-up with our culture, attachment-wise. Nice to know that Gordon Neufeld is getting some company and isn’t going to remain virtually the only voice in the wilderness crying out about this!”

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Take a look.  Print FREE!  Dr. Daniel Siegel’s rebuttal to “Attachment theory is dead.”

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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.

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Leave a Comment

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+FOUR DAYS OF MUSING ON THE NATURE OF ….

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014.  Today is Day 4 of a collection of thoughts as I will post them here in the order they were handwritten:

DAY ONE

I think a lot about depression, both my own and that of those around me who are “medicating” theirs.  I know mine has been a part of me since I was a very young child.  The only way I could survive the trauma of Mother’s continual abuse was to do nothing else but — survive it.  Now I know she was psychotically mentally ill.  This made her insanely unpredictable and insanely violent and dangerous to me.

From birth any response I could have had to utilize the energy of any “fight” reaction to her was forced into inactivity or else she would have killed me.  Of that fact I have no doubt.  I was alone in a hopeless, horrible situation — helpless in my own defense — for the first 18 years of my life from birth.

My depression has always been directly due to the situation of trauma that built itself into my developing physiology.

Yesterday the term “situational depression” appeared in my thoughts as if it were a massive tree planted in the center of my reality.  My response was, “Yes.  That’s what this is that I live and breath nearly all of the time.”

Most of my current “situation” amplifies the depression I already lived with before I left Arizona to move back to Fargo, North Dakota last October.  Poverty.  Tiny cramped apartment with completely inadequate windows and light.  City which has never been good for me.  Noise.  Light pollution.  Lack of privacy and of natural beauty.  Not to mention the horrible long winters and the cumulative, disabling consequences of the severe early trauma.  None of these things HELP me feel better about anything.

DAY TWO

One can only step forward into each day making choices care-full-ly with good intent and then try one’s best to carry through.

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I also think a lot about anxiety.  (Depression itself is an anxiety disorder.)  One can certainly be born with a body that contains more than enough anxiety within it, even so much so that the best safe and secure, loving attachment from birth cannot create a calm, tranquil, peaceful reality for such a young one.  Attachments cannot, then, necessarily provide the safety necessary for the entire progression of “best possible” emotional regulation or social interplay to develop in such a child.

I am just now learning this.  Such a child would end up with all of the “symptoms” of an insecure attachment disorder because the body can never bypass that super-built-in anxiety.  Nor could the best attachment ever alleviate the anxiety.  Attachment systems would essentially fail as surely as if there was trauma in early relationships themselves.  This “trauma in the body” would leave such a little one perpetually living in a dangerous world because the anxiety “says” this is so.  There would never be any safety or security.

What then?

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Patterns in the nervous system and in the stress response system:  Underactivation.  Overactivation.  Meet in the middle?  Where is the true peaceful calm?  Without this, where is there ever an opportunity for true playfulness?

DAY THREE

Failed attachment is failed attachment, no matter the source or cause.  There is too much we don’t currently know about causes and consequences of alterations in how our attachment systems and all their related physiology form and operate.

I would simply say that all experiences in our environment forward from conception are forming the physiological selfhood of everyone prior to the conscious autobiographical remembering self’s appearance.  By the time we can consciously trace our self in our life the physiology that does this experiencing and its remembrance has been created.

At the same time it is critical to realize that every change from what is an optimal safe and secure attachment of the growing self impacts all development as an ongoing process.  We do not escape the forces that form us even though the most important ones are owned in and by our body out of range from consciousness UNTIL WE LEARN as much as we possibly can about those forces as they probably existed for us from the earliest moments of our life.  It may then be possible to mitigate some of the attachment failure physiological influences as they profoundly complicate our lives.

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The kicker, I suppose, is how we respond to stressors.  That includes how we detect them in the first place.  Life is about change.  Change ques systems in our body to attend and assess.  How much of what kind of attention is in our response?  I suspect this information passes for most of us as emotional reaction.

What do we notice and how?  What then happens to any equilibrium we may have achieved before a detected change occurred?

Then what?

As I age as a long-term early severe trauma survivor my thinking becomes simpler.  Serious insecure attachment repercussions for me are so intimately connected in my physiology to PTSD I have begun to wonder if there is any earthly part of me that is ever NOT under the seemingly identical discomfort of a reaction from both of them to all change I experience.  I therefore have to be very, very careful of what influences me.

My life simply is this continual battle to try to find some kind of equilibrium as I live in a world of constant change.  Very little in my physiology except for basic operations ever finds rest.  True rest is about safety in the world.  I never had enough of that as my body formed to even really know what it is.

I have a trauma formed body.  My self does not have any other body to experience life with.

I live with chronic, continual anxiety.  It interferes with every aspect of my life.

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A chronically “ON” attachment system operates in a kind of infinity loop with a chronically “ON” stress response system.  Some combination of survival emotions of anger>fear>sadness are nearly always in motion.  There is so little rest.  Little peace.  Little playfulness.  Little true joy.

We are enslaved to our body as it has been created, changed through severe early trauma, as it knows one thing and one thing only:  DANGER threatens SURVIVAL.

Continual application of the powers of the mind in attempt to counteract this “mess” are TIRING!  Always the other signals compete for our attention.  And always some version of survival emotions and their demands upon us are present.

This all combines to make our being alive — WORK!!

DAY FOUR

What keeps a seed alive?  They don’t LOOK alive.  Take any dried bean you can buy from a bin or in a bag.  There it is.

Pass the bean down through the generations.  Five hundred years from now if the bean has been stored properly it could be planted and up will rise another crop, same as the last.

I don’t know scientifically what the secret is inside a seed.  Inside something as simple as a plain old bean.  But whatever lies encased in mystery and miracle must be inside of me.  No claim to fame.  Humble of origin.  Yet here I am.  And I am viable.

Every day I have to remember this.  No matter what storms of feeling or thought swirl and tumble me along through life I hold within me something intangible.  Some kind of hope.  Some kind of miracle.

And it keeps me going because I trust that.  I AM that.  I am so much more than what I appear to myself or to others.  I am a part of something so much bigger.

To ask why any of this matters is to ask why I matter. I guess right here is where, for me, the line of faith lies.  It’s where I have no answers.  My faith is that there ARE answers.  Gone ones, too.  Ones that would make perfect sense to me if I knew them.

And then my faith — which must be very elastic — stretches further as I stand across from myself and say, “Just be patient.  More will be revealed.  If not in this lifetime then in the next one.  Hang on.”

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There are those of us who have lived through hell and beyond it.  Even with what Dr. Martin Teicher says — formed in a malevolent world for life in the same — we DID find our way into a more benevolent world.

And yes, we are a mismatch as Teicher states, for this “other” world.

But what world, I ask, is a seed’s best world?  Once it sprouts — where is its “seed self?”

Dead and gone?  Or transformed?

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This article contains the most important information that survivors especially of INFANT-TODDLER maltreatment need to know:

The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment.

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 27 (2003) 33-44

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

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

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  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.

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