+CHILD ABUSE STORIES – HOW TO WRITE WITHOUT WORDS?

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

Dare I say I am due for a special miracle, one I can state and define — and request?  I want to be able to write my part of the book about my childhood — with my daughter.  I am completely stuck, so it seems.  I ran out of words for experiences that had no words in the first place — and so it seems, have no words now.  It is really tough to write stories and a book without words.

I fear I lack the writing talent I need to tell my own story.  I am disappointed.  Perhaps I am too impatient.  Perhaps this is as an organic process just like growing up was inside of my body during all those 18 years of hellish abuse.

My goal was to have my rough draft part of this writing about my childhood done by October.  It is October.  I am half way through it.  That’s all.  I ran out of steam.  My writing motor broke.  I am stalled.  I am resistant.  Stubbornly so.  How well do I really want to know myself?  I fear not well enough to accomplish this task.

Yet in this ‘stopping’ I wrote about in my last post (+MYSTERY OF THE SELF-OBLIVIOUS-SELF) there would be a natural slowing down state.  I don’t have air bags on my heart.  Perhaps I am moving ahead this slow because there are great dangers in even going near my own self — my own memory — my own experiences — to look for my own story.  I felt this the other night, lying in bed that night.  “I remember this body when it was small.  I remember living in this body when I was young.  This body remembers.”

I fear I have left that young body abandoned with what it knows, what I know, alone.  Perhaps I parked it in some foreign airport lot, lost the ticket, never having gone back to find out what my story was and is all about.  “Who the hell cares?”

That’s the same voice I hear as I continue to battle my way to a new freedom with my fingers on my keyboard.  Continually I hear that voice, and that voice has all kinds of words — none of them helpful.  None of them nice.  All of them scathing and condemning, shaming, humiliating.  Now, THOSE words are life-stopping words!  I push past them in my learning to read music and to play keyboard.

Mostly I can do that because the gift of the perfect piano teacher showed up in my life.  On a piece of paper, on a bulletin board at our local food co-op, there was his name and number.  $12 per hour.  Comes to my house.  One of the sweetest souls I have ever met — full of music, full of kindness, full of hope, full of a perfect willingness to allow me to follow my own pathway at 60 years old into this new fountain of play.

Fingers dripping with the magic from that fountain of learning, invisible nectar, my fingers are getting faster.  On both hands.  Important with keyboard!

I am waiting for the magic moment that will come along with my magic fingers — the moment when my physical ears and the ears of who I truly am — the ears of my soul self can BOTH hear the sounds coming out of this instrument.  Verbal abuse, terrible verbal abuse from the moment I was born washed away from me my ability to hear with both of my sets of ears.

My brain did not form itself with kindnesses attached to sound.

That is also a very long story, and I am not going to worry about finding any words to tell it.  THIS story is in the music.  This music, note upon note — coming into the light of making sense to me on the page and making sound for me on the keyboard.  I am thrilled.

Perhaps there is some special kind of healing going on with the music that is unlocking a door inside of me.  Maybe this music will show me where that door even is, for I do not know that I have ever seen it — that door, to my own Secret Garden.  Maybe I am getting ready to let myself find that door, to stand in front of it — at a full stop — before I begin to open it.

There are secrets in the music.  There are secrets inside of me.  What happened to me might not YET have words for the telling — but it would be MY way to tell it first in sound.  A writer without words is a butterfly without wings.  I will let you know how I grow some.

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

+MYSTERY OF THE SELF-OBLIVIOUS-SELF

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

Maybe it’s an ‘aging’ thing now that I am 60 that such a thought as I just had would enter my mind.  “I hate writing so much about myself.  I sound so self-centered!  But the truth is that I always hope something I write will mean exactly the same thing — and a good thing at that — after I am dead and gone.”

Dead and gone.  Yet have I yet truly lived?  Have I spent my entire adulthood trying to ‘be something’ or to ‘be someone’ in somebody else’s eyes (including, perhaps strangely, even in my own eyes)?

Do I have a clue who I really am?  How can I be 60 and not?  Is such a thing possible, that I could walk around on this earth for my lifetime, sleeping in between, and NOT know who I am?

Because early relationship trauma so changed the way I formed during my most formative first 18 years of life (especially 0-2), I truthfully just barely know what a human being is.  I will never have the ‘inside scoop’ on being a social member of my social species.  I am more closely autistic in my right-social-emotional brain regarding ‘all things social’ than I am to ordinary-normal.

So if I simply objectively include myself inside the circle of ‘human’ I could see my overall disadvantages looming over me.  I have far more reasons NOT to know who I am than the other way around.

But I am also thinking about getting stopped on the road in this little town a week ago for ‘sliding’ through a stop sign I consciously THOUGHT I had stopped at — good enough!  Only a deputy was parked right in front of me on the roadside.  I saw him.  So I made EXTRA sure I ALMOST stopped!

I am thinking about that now.  What if I have to COMPLETELY STOP ‘trying’ to be myself before I can begin to know who I truly am?

Completely stopped, like I need to do as I slide around this nearly-always-empty-road town I live in.  Completely stop.  What might that mean?

Can I erase from my consideration all thoughts about what I SHOULD be in other people’s eyes?  My severely mentally ill abusive Borderline mother kept her eye on me as much as she could my entire childhood.  I suppose I instinctively KNEW I was ‘in her eye’.  (When I got into high school she forced me to sit in the center of the back car seat so she could train her rear view mirror directly on my face — she would stare at me, hate-glare at me — turn her evil eye on me any time she wanted while she was driving. SPOOKY — and I could not escape!)

++

In part I am thinking all of this because of my living alone and preferring my life that way.  Really, I can’t imagine my life with someone else in MY home!  I don’t enjoy running around looking for a society-fix, either.  I have a few good friends — but the hardest lesson I am learning is that they love me for who I am — even though I really have very little clue WHO that ME is — let alone why they would value me in their lives.

I think this has everything to do with my not having the ability to trust humans.  So I try to practice FAITH in people, instead.  Faith, to me, is about believing when I have no actual proof – although I work to recognize the proof people give me that they care.  It is all a very long story, and is all about how severe abuse created an insecure attachment body-brain for me from birth.

But these trauma changes to my physical development are about HOW I am in my body in the world — NOT about WHO I am.

So I thought, “Maybe part of my need to be alone is about the stopping thing.  Stopping being ‘somebody’ in other people’s eyes.  Maybe if I can completely stop the ways I have always related to myself — as I TRY to be myself — I will actually come to know who I ACTUALLY am!”

++

Yet I also know that ‘derealization’ and ‘depersonalization’ are aspects of dissociation — a big part of how my body operates in the world as a result of being formed in trauma.  These states of being are related to being robbed of the FEELING state of FEELING one’s self alive in one’s own body in one’s own life.  It’s all mostly a mystery to me……………………

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

+THE END OF TRAUMA DRAMA – MAKING OUR OWN LEGITIMATE MESSES

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

I know someone who is now leaving a 20-year relationship with an alcoholic who has made past attempts at sobriety but who is not ‘cutting the mustard’ — and probably never will.  Hearing about this last night no doubt stimulated the dream I remembered when I awoke this morning.

Dreaming about a house often means this symbol is reflecting one’s life — or life in general as it might apply to somebody else.  I recognized even as I woke up in my dream as I was having it last night what was going on.  The house I dreamt was massive.  As such dream houses can be, it was filled with twists and turns, nooks and crannies, room after room after room.  I was responsible for the whole thing.  Which was fine, as the house reflected my life as I might generalize it to somebody else’s.

All fine and good, but everywhere I went in the dream there was a mess.  Flooded rooms, piles of broken objects, rooms full of useless junk — mess after mess after mess.  And there I was spending my entire dream time cleaning messes up.  Until it dawned on me NOT ONE of these messes was mine.  I had not made one of them.  They ALL belonged to somebody else.

That’s when dawn awakened me in my dream in a stroke of insight.  “What am I doing here?  Why do I let these people into my house (life)?  Why am I spending my time cleaning all these messes up when I have NOTHING to do with making them?”

++

So I quit.  I quit cleaning up — and immediately quit dreaming!

As soon as I woke up in real time I knew what had triggered this dream.  I knew the actions this person I heard about is taking are designed to free her life of someone else’s messes.  Clear as day.

I also recognized that now that I am 60 I do not have those kinds of messes anywhere in my life, nor will I let them in.  They will not accumulate.  I am not trapped by them in any way.  What a good sense of freedom I have this morning, of being proud of myself considering my traumatic past that I was able to walk into this life I have today — one that is not all cleaned up!  It is clean because I let nobody into my life that can mess mine up in the first place!

Who wants to live their life being a slave to someone else’s trauma drama?  True, my life is not perfect if perfect is measured by material success or even perfect physical health.  True, I suffer from consequences in my physical body that are the direct result of forming my body in the first place for the first 18 years of my life in conditions of a holocaust.

True, there have been times in my life long ago when I didn’t know any better.  I had to follow my instincts to always move forward in my life toward growth and healing so that I could walk my way out of my own messes.  Those times were hard.  They were fraught with emotional chaos.  I could see nothing clearly.  But eventually I found my way increasingly out of the darkness I was born into — that was so dark I had no idea such a thing as light even existed — into the life I live today that is free from every mess except the one piled up in one of my closets.

And even that mess, I realized yesterday in conversation with a friend, is a reflection of something good.  It is there because I am going into my 6th year of living in this house.  Moving continually has never let me keep anything anywhere I have lived in one place long enough for it to need to be cleaned in its own right.  It is a GOOD thing I have a messy closet!

Albeit I am afraid of the Brown Recluse spider in Arizona that thrives in any undisturbed place — and is a TERRIBLY dangerous creature.  I am afraid to clean the depths of my closet.  But that fear is a real one — and the mess in that closet is a legitimate one.  And it is MY mess, and my mess only!  I made it all by myself, and however I end up cleaning it up — I will do that all by myself, as well.

And it is for SURE that I will find NO skeletons in any closet of mine.

Clarity is a precious commodity!

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

+AWAKENING THE SINGER WITHIN!! BIG OLD-FASHIONED JOY!

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

I think in an ideal world every neighborhood in America would have its own healing social group!  A time and a place where people could come together and talk about how they are becoming better people every day, how they are learning about hard things they have gone through, how all of us can support and care about one another no matter what our difficulties have been and might be now.

We could share what inspires us!  Well, at least I have this amazing blog space, and all the fantastic people who stroll by for a visit.  So today I want to mention another movie I just watched on disc from Netflix.  I L-O-V-E-D it!

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007)

 

My heart and soul were so warmed by this story I watched last night that I am still smiling inside and out from it this morning!  When we think about “What can one person do to help change the world?” we can think about what Pete Seeger did.  We ALL have gifts!  Most of us not such amazing ones as Pete had – but what if we all went digging around in our inner forgotten closets and cupboards, under our beds, out in the garage – maybe even in our inner junk piles – where we have ACCIDENTALLY misplaced the gifts we have EACH been given?

What if we dug around, found a gift, recognized its connection to something about us we have ALWAYS loved, that has ALWAYS contributed to our inner joy and peace, and then shined up these gifts, made repairs if needed, and then put them to GOOD USE?

This movie, for one thing, reminds us that we ALL have within us the God-given power to SING!!!  That is what Pete did!  He not only reminded thousands upon thousands of ordinary people that humans can SING, he encouraged people to remind others – until the circle ripples of SONG filled the spaces in the air where crying and dead, dead silence USED to be.  At the same time, and greatly through the power of unity and joy that music is a part of, the world began to change.

Singing is about LOVE.  There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in that word, in that experience – LOVE.

When I think how abused and traumatized infants and children receive overwhelming experiences of the OPPOSITE of love – HATE!!  And as I think about how survivors can never escape having gone through trauma that changed them in their physiological development in so many permanent ways – I think about the POWER of song, the POWER of music to awaken the soul to LOVE – inside and out.

Please consider finding a way to watch this movie.  Those of you who subscribe to Netflix can get the movie in on disc.  It can be purchased through amazon.com HERE.

This movie is the only authorized biography of Pete Seeger, a great American musician and hero of generations.  Wickipedia story about him HERE.  Born 1919, as far as I know this humble, good man is still living!!!!  Although many didn’t and might still not agree with his political views, Pete exercised what needs to remain an American right to hold to one’s own self what a person feels to be true.  Pete harmed no one – and helped so many more than a few they cannot be counted.

Hats off to you, PETE!  Thank you for being you!!  Thank you for knowing your gifts and for sharing them.  Thank you to your parents and to others who so guided you in your own right direction!  And thank you to our Creator, the Greatest Mystery of all time, for Your generosity in providing all of us with GIFTS!!!

AND MAY WE ALL REMEMBER TO SING!!

++

By the way, as a total beginner to reading and playing music, I am learning this on keyboard – what fun – (work, too) – love it!  Listen here:  Mana- Hechicera

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

+TEACH ME LOVE

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

Whether or not humans choose to believe their own false ideas and vain imaginings that tell them there is no God and nobody has a soul, reality exists otherwise.

I do believe in God and that everyone has a soul.  Therefore I cannot form a coherent or comprehensive view of myself without considering what this means to me.  Today I created another ‘page’ attached to a heading tab at the top of this blog simply called — GOD LOVE.

Being so abused from the time I was born that I could not begin to conceptualize what love might be, or even that it actually existed, has made certain aspects of my living and my healing journey complicated in regard to love.  I may never know in this lifetime in my conscious mind what love is.  That does not stop me from questing for that understanding.

++

I wrote a post today that is attached to GOD LOVE.  In it I describe as clearly as I now understand it at my age of 60 what ‘being’ Mother’s ‘devil child’ was about and what it did to me by the time I was 17.  I also describe a bit about my soul’s journey through those years of abuse and out into the world I entered when I left home.  SEE:  *CHILD ABUSE AND THE JOURNEY OF MY SOUL

I will welcome all ‘reasonable’ comments to anything I write at GOD LOVE at the same time I reserve all rights to NOT post what I am not comfortable with and to edit what I do post if that feels comfortable.  Those pages are about comfort, something I new NOTHING about the first 18 years of my life and something I will probably never completely understand while I life on this earth in my trauma-changed body.

++

I also posted the contents of a soul-related talk by an expert on the subject that I consider most important at *NO MATTER WHAT – HAVE NO ENEMY.  There is nothing in those words that gives me spiritual permission — or any other kind of permission — to think ill of anyone, including my parents.

This new section and my collection of writings over there are necessary for me at this point in my healing journey because it is my soul that in-formed me as a child.  It is my soul that brought me through those horrendous years of insane abuse.  It is spiritual assistance from God’s unseen realms that protected me from death and disintegration through my difficult first years of life as a soul.

It is my hope that forever in this lifetime I will seek truth, and that forever after my mortal body parts ways with my soul upon my physical death that I will do the same.  I pray to God to teach me love.

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

+ABUSIVE PARENTS, THEIR ORPHANED CHILDREN, SOCIETIES THAT DON’T CARE

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

I am really studying that little book I mentioned in my earlier post today on parenting:  When We Grow Up by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani.  My soul’s version of ‘moving forward’ and ‘traveling onward’ very much includes LEARNING anything that I think will help me (and possibly others) accomplish exactly this kind of movement.  In other words, I desire to study things that help me understand myself in the world a little more — one word, one idea at a time.

In reading this little book I am confronting some important concepts about how OTHER PEOPLE are SUPPOSED to be watching out for parents to make sure parents are taking care of their offspring correctly.

My society-culture failed me.  Society-culture is ALWAYS at fault when an infant-child is mistreated, neglected and/or abused.  Society is SUPPOSED to be guarding children by not ONLY watching the little ones to make sure they are OK, but also by watching the grownups in charge of caring for children to make sure the job is being done right.

And, yes, there IS a right way to be a person in this lifetime — and there is a right way to take care of the next generation of little ones who are growing up to take their parents’ place in the circle of humanity.  Knowing that human social order is in a stage of decay so that it can be built up RIGHT starting now and into the future is at least some comfort to me — at the same time that I can see in this little book that those of us who were hurt as little people WERE ORPHANS.

Yup, that’s it.  We were orphans!  What my parents did to me did not qualify them to be my parents, plain and simple.  I was left alone in the hell they created for me — and essentially raised myself.

Human cultures have a long ways to go to get things right.  We are as a species barely at the developmental stage of unruly, selfish teenagers.  I hope we stay on the right road!!!!  And God knows which road is the right one.  Humans just have to figure that out and make different choices.  Taking care of little babes and children would be a very good start in the right direction — and I mean ALL babes and children!

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

+MUSINGS: HEALING TRAUMA REQUIRES COMPANIONSHIP

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

People with different languages, cultures and religious understanding refer to a Supreme Being by many names, but I most simply rely on this single short word – God.  I believe God creates each individual soul of a person at the moment of conception because God loves each and every person who has ever lived.  I also believe once a soul is created it is sent, like an arrow out of a bow, into a forever future of destiny.  I found this in a book about parenting:  When We Grow Up by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani

The journey of the soul is a long one, which begins at conception when the ‘spirit encircles the body…in the womb’ [reference].  And while its end is to reflect with faithfulness the light of God, that light being eternal makes the journey endless also.  What a joy therefore to discover companions on the way, to discover that these to whom we were entrusted in the first stages of the journey are moving with us step by step.  Through sunshine to the light of God we go, parents and children both.  And no matter what our age or education, no matter what the differences between us, the soul within us being ageless and cultureless travels onward, conscious only of direction.  Though we are all ultimately alone before our God, we catch the echoes of parallel footsteps continually, and rejoice in the companionship we find between the generations.” (pages 59-60 – I added bold type emphasis)

++

As I work for the first time in my 60 year long life to put my memories of my childhood into a sequential line covering those 18 years of abuse, so far I am mainly conscious of one part of my experience AS A CHILD surviving abuse and continuing to endure THAT IS THE SAME as what I experience as an adult:  I always instinctively moved forward.

The soul, which by the way is also genderless although by nature connected to a gendered body in this material world, must have this innate characteristic.  That’s what enduring and surviving seems to be:  Moving forward no matter what.

Humans, as members of a social species, are designed to benefit from companionship.  Our beginning physical journey happens because of the companionship between mother and fetus.  Humans follow a long course of development post-birth.  During these early stages we are absolutely dependent upon caregivers for our life.  We are also dependent on these caregivers to train us in good ways and to provide for our education.

Infant and child abuse is NOT what God and nature intended.  As I locate myself in my memories in the time and place of my childhood experiences I can always see that some part of ME continued forward.  I am only now beginning to be able to recognize that this ME was my SOUL me.

Because my Borderline Personality Disordered mother was SO severely, psychotically ill, she could not – and DID NOT – allow me to take possession of my body, my self, my personality, my self awareness, my ability to choose to be me – in any way if she could prevent it.  I see now that ALL of my mother’s abuse had this single end goal:  To prevent Linda from ever being born as an individual self.

I also now increasingly understand (as I discover this in my book writing and see how these patterns worked) that my mother needed ME to be her stand-in for the evil-bad-child the devil was coming to get.  Her need, and how she met this need, take so-called ‘splitting’ and ‘projection’ to such an extreme level it would be nearly impossible to comprehend the comprehensiveness of HOW she met this need by torturing and traumatizing me if I hadn’t been there in her inner Borderline core of hell.

++

At the same time I am tracking how hard Mother had to work to maintain her patterns of obliterating ME as a person-and-as a person separate from her, I see that the physical developmental stages and physiological changes I was destined to go through as a living, developing child, CHALLENGED Mother to work harder and harder and HARDER to make sure I as a person was never born.  This meant that the abuse had to escalate on all levels right along with my growth stages.

The ME that WAS still alive as an individual WAS my soul.  It is very eerie for me to look back, inside, through into myself as a child and recognize my soul.  Personally, it would be very nice if ALL humans were able to pass from their initial pure innocent stages into increasingly more ‘human’ ones of involvement in this material life while at the SAME TIME being able to maintain clear contact with the eternal element of who God created us to be:  Our soul.

But I don’t think – no, I KNOW that what I experienced was extremely, extraordinarily NOT NORMAL.  I therefore was deprived of the opportunity to grow through my childhood in anything like a NORMAL way.  This NORMAL way, at least in mainstream American culture, would have created a rift between my experience of the culturally-all-important EGO SELF and my true SOUL SELF.

++

As I worked through the difficult process of identifying what happened to me in my age-10 memory of abuse, I recognized that my EGO self ‘came to’ during the weeks covered by this memory stage of my development.  I awoke as a conscious self – and if I had not acquiesced to Mother’s will at this time, I would not have lived past this age of 10.

So acquiesce I did – and live I did.

I believe that all of the religions God has provided to mankind over the span of our evolution have each served to illuminate the way to keep our two wings of being human in balance and in harmony.  Our spiritual nature and our material (ego-self) nature exist only as we start our soul journey here, but not once our body dies and our soul moves forward into other worlds of God.  Yet our soul has opportunities in this lifetime to grow and to learn because we have free will here – and only here.

If my conscious, thinking choice decision making self had remained awake and alive past this event I experienced of abuse by Mother when I was ten, she would have killed me.

My soul chose.

My soul willed me to keep my body alive.  My conscious self thus had to go back to sleep and stayed asleep for a very long time.

I cannot make any sense of myself in childhood or of myself as an adult without trying to learn what my soul has always known.  If I lived in a culture truly steeped in common knowledge about the truth of the life of the soul my journey would be easier now.  But, no, I live in a culture more than steeped in the hubris of the ego self.

Yet I also know that trauma challenges shallow understandings of life.  When I watched the two movies mentioned in my last posts — +PLEASE. NO MORE WAR – A MOVIE WORTH WATCHING and +”MAKE ART NOT WAR” – ANOTHER GREAT TRUE MOVIE – I can very clearly see stars of these movies are struggling with concerns related to BOTH their soul and their ego-material nature.

Trauma awakens the depth of the soul in ways that I believe only survivors of horrendous traumas can truly comprehend.  Companionship, connection of humans with humans, is the way that the soul and the ego self can put together into one-whole the truth of experiences that MUST be shared with others to be healed.

I also believe that on profound levels the SOUL knows it has the keys to healing at the same time the ego-self knows that it alone does NOT have these keys.  Physiological diseases such as BPD can block the soul’s ability to access the truth of what is needed for healing.  In addition, as these two movies demonstrate, it takes companionship of souls with other souls to move forward with healing on this plane of existence as very real steps of progress are made to enable the WHOLE person to heal.

As a child I had no companionship.  While I was cared for by God and the angels I had no conscious awareness of this fact.  Consciousness was a luxury I did not have.  Yet my soul has always desired to move forward, always forward, and that was and is exactly what I have always done, just as the stars of these two movies did.

BEING alive can happen without consciousness, but I don’t believe that THRIVING while being alive can.  I stayed alive as a child but nothing in my world allowed me to thrive.  Both of the stars of these movies remained alive in the face of massive traumas, but as the movie shows, it was sharing companionship with others that provided the opportunity for both ‘the soul and the ego-self’ to find ways to thrive — which is what healing is all about.

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

+”MAKE ART NOT WAR” – ANOTHER GREAT TRUE MOVIE

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

Tonight brought me yet another (Netflix streaming) moving movie experience of quality.

The Cats of Mirikitani — Blending beauty and humor with tragedy and loss, THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI is an intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing power of art. A heart-warming affirmation of humanity that will appeal to all lovers of peace, art, and cats.

Eighty-year-old Jimmy Mirikitani [see article below] survived the trauma of WWII internment camps, Hiroshima, and homelessness by creating art.  But when 9/11 threatens his life on the New York City streets and a local filmmaker brings him to her home, the two embark on a journey to confront Jimmy’s painful past.  An intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing powers of friendship and art, this documentary won the Audience Award at its premiere in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

It also won Best Documentary for Durban International Film Festival, The Frida Award for Best New Director at Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival, Audience Award at Paris Cinema Film Festival, Press Prize for Best Documentary at Femmina International Film Festival, Best Picture Japanese Eyes at Tokyo International Film Festival, Audience Award at Filmfest DC, and Norwegian Peace Film Award at Tromso International Film Festival.

THE FILM IS AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING HERE ON YOUTUBE

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

Article HERE – follow this link, reprinted here for educational purposes only:

“Make art not war” is Jimmy Mirikitani’s motto. The 80-year-old artist was born in Sacramento, California, raised in Hiroshima, Japan, traveled the U.S. and even cooked for artist Jackson Pollock. But by 2001, Mirikitani was homeless, living on the streets of New York City. As tourists and shoppers hurried past, Mirikitani sat alone on a windy corner in New York’s SoHo, drawing pictures of whimsical cats, bleak internment camps and the angry red flames of the atomic bomb. When local filmmaker Linda Hattendorf stopped to ask about his art, a friendship—detailed in THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI—began that changed both their lives.

In sunshine, rain and snow, Hattendorf returned to document Mirikitani’s drawings, trying to decipher the stories behind them. The tales spilled out in a jumble. Childhood picnics in Japan, lost citizenship, Pearl Harbor, thousands of Americans imprisoned in WWII desert camps, a boy who loved cats. As winter warmed to spring and summer, Hattendorf started to piece together the puzzle of Mirikitani’s past. One thing is clear from his prolific sidewalk displays: he has survived terrible traumas and is determined to make his history visible through his art.

September 11, 2001 threw Mirikitani once again into a world at war and challenged Hattendorf to move from the role of witness to advocate. During the chaos following the collapse of the World Trade Center, she found herself unable to passively photograph this elderly man coughing in the toxic smoke, and invited him into her small apartment. In this uncharted landscape, the two unlikely roommates navigated the maze of the social welfare system, sought out lost family members and researched the artist’s painful past, finding eerie parallels to events unfolding around them in the present.

Blending beauty and humor with tragedy and loss, THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI is an intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing power of art.

Update

In March 2007, THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI Co-Producer/Director Linda Hattendorf reported on what Jimmy Mirikitani has been doing since filming completed:

Jimmy has now been living in his own apartment for more than five years. I still visit him every week; he introduces me to people as his granddaughter. He’s 86 now and still making lots of art. He just had his first one-man show at an exhibition at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle. This summer, Masa Yoshikawa and I hope to take Jimmy back to Japan to visit Hiroshima, where he grew up. We’ll try to go there for the Peace Ceremony on August 6. It should be quite a powerful moment for us all.

Read more about Jimmy Mirikitani >>

View a gallery of his artwork >>

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

Blending beauty and humor with tragedy and loss, THE CATS OF MIRIKITANI is an intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing power of art. A heart-warming affirmation of humanity that will appeal to all lovers of peace, art, and cats.

+MORE ON INFANT-CHILD ABUSE AS IT CHANGES PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

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

Thanks to a blog commenter today for pointing out this excellent online article:  Brain and Development affected after Child Abuseby Dima — February 17, 2009.  I would like to mention again that these kinds of brain changes are not random, not coincidental, and can most accurately be considered in the context of the work of Dr. Martin Teicher as presented in several posts on this blog:

+Dr. Teicher’s ARTICLE ON TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT

*Notes on Teicher

+AS DR. MARTIN TEICHER STATES — EARLY ABUSE, ALTERED BRAIN DEVELOPMENT AND THE SCARS THAT WON’T HEAL

Teicher’s point is that the changes created in an infant-child’s developing brain (and nervous system) as Dima’s article notes, create an EVOLUTIONARILY ALTERED body.

In addition, this kind of early stress/distress CAN and very often DOES activate genetic combinations of potential designed to ensure survival in the harshest of worlds long enough that the survivor can procreate.  These troublesome genetic expressions very likely would NEVER have been activated if the early environment had been safe and secure.

This article — Brain and Development affected after Child Abuseis worth a read.  Any concept for future study as mentioned here can be Google searched – add child abuse and brain development together into any online search – the proof of the changes that survivors of child abuse will have to live with IN OUR BODY for the rest of our lifetime will appear in articles that respond to your search.

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