Thursday, February 26, 2015

On My Soapbox For Child Abuse

I could not believe what I read this morning in The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van der Kolk.  I'm loving this book so much.  He was sharing just how much early psychology textbooks missed the mark on the issue of child abuse and molestation.  So, I'm on my soapbox because I know some of these attitudes still exist out there.  Thank you Dr. Van der Kolk for exposing these things and talking about this subject.

Here's what he said about what was once taught on child molestation

Furthermore, the textbook said, “There is little agreement about the role of father-daughter incest as a source of serious subsequent psychopathology.” My patients with incest histories were hardly free of “subsequent psychopathology”— they were profoundly depressed, confused, and often engaged in bizarrely self-harmful behaviors, such as cutting themselves with razor blades. The textbook went on to practically endorse incest, explaining that “such incestuous activity diminishes the subject’s chance of psychosis and allows for a better adjustment to the external world.” 9 In fact, as it turned out, incest had devastating effects on women’s well-being. van der Kolk MD, Bessel (2014-09-25). The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Kindle Locations 479-484). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Silence Trauma and Abuse

It's too easy to live in a society and civilization where we just don't talk about it.  You know - "it"!  We all know trauma and abuse happens, but it becomes far too easy to talk about the football game, the latest political threat we see, or some celebrity news gossip of the day.

Of course, I know we can't go around and talk about trauma and abuse every day.  Our world would really suck if we did.  Please don't think that's what I am referring to when I say we silence trauma and abuse.

This quote by Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D. sums it up very well.

We don’t really want to know what soldiers go through in combat. We do not really want to know how many children are being molested and abused in our own society or how many couples— almost a third, as it turns out— engage in violence at some point during their relationship. We want to think of families as safe havens in a heartless world and of our own country as populated by enlightened, civilized people. We prefer to believe that cruelty occurs only in faraway places like Darfur or the Congo. It is hard enough for observers to bear witness to pain. Is it any wonder, then, that the traumatized individuals themselves cannot tolerate remembering it and that they often resort to using drugs, alcohol, or self-mutilation to block out their unbearable knowledge? - Bessel Van der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score:  Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing Of Trauma.
We care about soldiers when they return home, but we turn our back on them in the days that follow.  As soon as their nightmares filled with demons begin to exhibit themselves, we turn to our own happy places.  We fail to see the anguish they go through and how difficult it is for them to deal with PTSD.  We long to help, but we don't know how.  We long to make things better for them, but we distance ourselves from their hidden pain and suffering.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fear Of Surrender Holding Hands

There I was, sitting in the room and all of the sudden... thump da thump da thump goes the music.  Its the sound that immediately takes me back to a moment in my past that is so hard to manage.  Much like a war vet suffering from PTSD, a startling noise resembling a bomb can set them off and so it is with me.  The loud base sound of music is my startling noise.  It is a trigger. 

I've come a long ways in healing on this issue.  In fact, I can now tolerate for many minutes, a car sitting next to me with their base sound so loud it vibrates everything within 100 feet.  I've come a long ways in my healing, where I can now allow my hand to be held or hold hands with my partner.

For a long time, holding hands was something I would not do.  It was frightening and scary.  It was as if it was my startling noise where I was being pinned down on the bed and raped as a thirteen year old boy.  No matter how much I wanted that feeling of holding hands and that shared moment with my partner, I just couldn't get over the fear.  I was so triggered by it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Do You Live An Entitled Life?

I am often taken aback by the views and opinions of some in our lands.  It is too easy to think we're entitled to get our way 100% of the time.  Yes, no one will admit to this and deny that they do it, but if we are honest, our society and world has become nothing more than this.

Everyone is so busy screaming and demanding that they get their way, that they fail to realize just how much they are adding to the problem instead of helping.   Of course, when one is screaming, one is not listening and when one is not listening, its hard to really see the big picture or respect your fellow humans.

I don't believe we as humans are meant to act the way we are currently acting.  I don't believe we as humans are meant to only look out for ourselves and those that agree with us.  I don't believe we as humans are meant to be what we currently are, limiting the advancement of our species and of the world.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Straight Talk About Being Gay

For a long time in my life, I didn't know what "gay" meant.  I had no clue what it was all about and had absolutely no role models to depict being gay.  In fact, I didn't really know it was something that needed a label.  So here's some straight talk about being gay to help everyone in the world understand my world.

I grew up in a home with a father that thought molestation was right and approved by God, but that two guys who loved each other was wrong.  I grew up in a home with a brother that molested me for most of my early life, and yet he views me as a sinful person before God. 

I struggled for a long time that I might be gay.  I was afraid I would burn in hell and forever be the scorn of everyone in the world.  At the same time, I didn't even know what it was.  I just knew that girls were not sexual creatures to me.  They were just someone that I wanted to hang out with, but in no way wanted a sexual relationship.  Ewww...  yuck....  Sorry, but that's the way I feel.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Process Of Grief

Recently a dear friend of mine died quickly and unexpectedly.  It wasn't easy saying good bye to my friend and I'm not even sure I'm at a point where I can say goodbye.  I know it takes time to go through the process of grief, but it doesn't make it any easier knowing this.

Some of these moments of grief reminded me of a time when I lost my own mom.  Although it has been many years now, it still feels like yesterday.  I can picture vividly everything that went on that day leading up to the phone call I received.  It is all as if it happened moments ago.

Just like what happened many years ago, I found myself in utter disbelief and shock.  I was numb to what was going on.  My mind didn't know how to process the grief.  My mind didn't even know how to acknowledge it or think about it.  I remember feeling stunned and shocked and speechless.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Respect With Our Words

There are far too many things being said online and in the media and between people these days that are just disrespectful.  I am at a point where I just don't use certain words because they are disrespectful and in many cases, uncalled for.

Just today a friend posted something about an issue.  In the beginning words of the post, it started talking about liberal leftists.  Really?  Does anyone think that an article like this is unbiased or worthy of respect?  Does anyone think that talking like this is acceptable and human and normal?

I find it sickening in what is written and then shared without as much as a single thought to what those words mean.  I could have easily used an example where it was liberals talking about the other side.  It doesn't matter which side of the spectrum you fall on, there's always someone talking this way.  It happens in all walks of life and people from all different places.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Placebo Effect And Medical Care

The LA Times recently reported an interesting study that had been done.  In this study, the placebo effect was evaluated, but this time it was looked at from a different perspective.  Rather than just observing the effect of placebos on treatment, they looked at how the cost of the treatment given impacted the results.  The study was conducted at the University of Cincinnati. 

The patients were given treatments with one placebo costing more than another.  In fact, the patients were told that one dummy pill cost $1500 a dose and the other cost $100 a dose.  Most studies of this nature are done with evaluating placebo pills against actual medications and drugs.

Both placebo pills improved results but when the $1500 pill was given, there was a 9% greater improvement than the $100 per dose placebo.  You can read about the study more at the article in the LA Times, Expensive Placebos work better than cheap ones, study finds.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stress Upon The Physical Body

We all deal with stress in different ways.  Well, maybe I should say that humans tend not to deal with stress upon the physical body.  We tend to ignore it, shove it away, act as if it isn't there or numb out to it.  We as a human species are quite good at this.

Stress though causes great harm to the physical body over time.  As I learned in biology class in high school, some stress is good for the body, but too much of anything is not good.  We all know that of course, but it often escapes our consciousness.  We get busy in our day and we hardly ever think about stress.

One moment of stress in itself is not necessarily life threatening or damaging to our body.  The daily build up of stress is what begins to alter our biology and physical body.  It becomes like stacking one oppressive weight upon another.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Everyone Knows How To Get Over A Cold or Flu

Over the past couple of days I've been sick.  Normally I don't get sick.  I think the last time was several years ago.  If I get feeling under the weather, I'm usually up and going by the next day.  Of course I do many things to keep myself healthy.

In this scenario, I was probably weakened by the nonstop work I had to put in during December and being on the phone almost nonstop.  It was a stressful month especially with other events that transpired.  I knew my body was screaming for me to let up, but there was no way to do this.

I'm not surprised I got sick.  You can't push a body this hard and expect anything different.  Yes, we do our Whole Food Smoothies every day and I do a lot of releasing bodywork and other healthy mind balance things, but in the face of overwhelming nonstop stress, the body reacts.  Its just the way our minds and bodies work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Stunned At Conversion Disorder Treatment Advice

Today I was reading an email alert that I get about a condition I know all too well.  I am stunned at what I read.  The advice given by the medical site on this situation should have a warning label attached to it "harmful if followed".

On an Allnurses Yahoo Group, a question is asked and the answers are unbelievable.  The question is if an elderly patient believes she needs a wheelchair, do you allow her to have it?  My thought is, why not?  What would bring anyone to even ask this?  I'm sure that not all on this yahoo group think this way, so please don't think I'm painting the entire group in the same manner.

One response said they didn't know in this case, but with the kids they were caring for, a doctor told them to make the kids walk no matter what.  Please pause for a moment while I pick myself up off the floor because of disbelief.  How idiotic of medical advice can you get?  How harmful can medical caregivers such as these on this site be?

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Foot Rash Of Stress and Emotions

Its easy to ignore many things in life.  Its easy to just sweep stress under the rug.  We all do it, even if we think we're advanced in this area.  As a result, we end up somatizing the stress into physical symptoms.  I know, its easy to speak the new age mumble jumble at times and think we truly understand somaticizing, but wait until the experience becomes real.  Then it tests you to the limits!

After months of many different stressful events, this once again hit home to me in many ways.   I ended up with the return of the rash.  This time the rash was on my feet.  It started out as a minor irritation and itching on the back of my opposite leg.  Then little by little it crept along to my foot and went to my opposite foot.

For the most part, I had it under control or so I thought.  I was using the oatmeal foot baths to help soothe it and I was trying to not wear shoes or socks if I could help it.  Unfortunately too many stressful back to back moments hit me in the period of a few weeks.  I was no longer in control of my life.  The stress of my life was in control.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I Want To Take Away Your Pain

I see too many people with what seems to be a good endeavor, but in all reality, I believe they are hurting the person, more than they are helping them.  When your goal is to take away the pain of another person, I think you are limiting all that they may learn from life's experiences.

Yes, I realize that it isn't easy to watch someone in pain and our human nature wants to see people out of pain.  I'm no different.  I can't stand to see people hurt.  However, if I approach another person with pity and that I need to remove this horrible thing from their life, I'm missing the bigger picture.

If instead of taking away someone's pain, your goal is to help them discover the source of the pain, they will find a greater sense of healing and purpose in life.  Instead of taking away the pain, the realization and travel into it will yield far greater results.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Respecting One Another

I'm not sure why we humans do this.  We treat each other way too often as some object that has little value.  We use and abuse.  We put our own ego over that of another person.  Respecting one another is so foreign a concept to most these days and maybe we need a bumper sticker to get everyone's attention.

I get irked every time I see a husband or a wife talk down or degrade or put down the other spouse.  It can be innocent comments, but when you look at the other person as less than you or you treat them as if they aren't as smart or good or adequate or valued, it really is a sad day.  After all, if you dislike your partner or spouse so much, why are you with them?  If you're putting them down, you aren't respecting them or yourself.

I get upset when I see a company run over another individual.  Yes, some employees are more talented than others, but to use and abuse them is just plain short-sighted and selfish.  Why burn out your best employees and not deepen your bench of star players?  Give people the respect they deserve and maybe they will become your greatest asset.  Respecting one another should be more than a company slogan.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hello, Anyone Home?

In this day and age of social media, we are losing our communication ability.   We barely communicate, except to post a nice little happy thing or a protest or something that 50 million have already shared.  I keep wondering, is anyone home?  Hello, anyone home?

I know, I know - we are all busy these days.  We've got a million things to do and so a quick tweet or Facebook post is all we've got.  What bugs me the most though is the impersonal nature of online social media.  It isn't like we are really sharing anything most of the time.  We are just sending mind numbing stuff to our friends list over and over.  It used to just happen in forwarded emails.

Yes, some of this is good, but after awhile, it becomes so over-saturated, that it loses all flavor.  It becomes just another post in the noise of life, really not adding as much as most people think.  When I get 60 to 80 phone calls a day and more email than I can read, I really see firsthand just how much noise there is on the internet.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sometimes Bad Things Are Good

Often we get upset when things don't go our way or when some event happens that is not what we wanted.  Sometimes bad things that happen are good.  I've seen this over and over in my life, but i used to look at it as if I was missing out.

In the recent airplane crash, it was stated that 15 people didn't make the plane because of things happening to them that weren't good moments.  The people could have sat there and complained and asked "why me" and wallowed in the moment.  Maybe they did.  However, I'm sure after realizing that if they would have been on that plane, they would not have to worry about the situation they are in.  Please realize that I'm not making light of what happened in this airplane crash because I'm well aware of the outcome and pain for many others.  My condolences go out to anyone affected by this tragedy.


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