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PTSD is often associated with war veterans, especially those who were in combat. Not to take anything away from those individuals who have been in combat, as far as the subject of PTSD goes--that is only one, singular aspect, one route one can be on, to acquire this condition.

I bring this up because of the discussion about whether or not there should be trigger warnings on pieces online or on books or in college syllabi.

There are stereotypes about PTSD that are not flattering or even truthful. Many imagine the veteran hiding under a car or bed, armed, ready to fend off enemy soldiers that exist only in his mind.

While I am sure that can happen, most often PTSD is more subtle than that. So subtle in fact, that there are people in your world who have it, or have suffered from it, and you probably don't even know.

That doesn't make this condition any less destructive to those who suffer from it, and the family members who help that person cope with it. Subtly should never be confused with a lack of potency.

So lets do some vocabulary work. It always helps if one has the right words to describe what they see or experience.

PTSD:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Mayo Clinic
Not everyone who experiences a traumatic even goes on to develop PTSD. But for those who do, it can take time to figure it out. I know that one would think that it would be obvious, but not always. Sometimes the realization can come months after the original trauma. And without proper diagnosis, it might take the person suffering years, before they can put a name to their cluster of symptoms.

The first aspect of PTSD is the Anniversary. An Anniversary is the time leading up to, during and after the time of the event on the calendar (after the fact) where certain psychological factors emerge causing one to relive aspects of the trauma or traumas.

This can manifest as intense anger, sadness or a host of negative emotional states, this can also bring on binge drinking or substance abuse, that can lead to fights with loved ones or the sufferer behaving in an erratic manner, or even pulling away completely. This can also culminate in suicidal ideations or attempts. This will happen every year. How it ultimately manifests will differ with each person. The effects can be mitigated over time, if the sufferer figures it out or receives a diagnosis and support.

So an Anniversary is a predictable, episodic event wherein the survivor relives some or many aspects of a trauma.

Triggers:

A Trigger is far more subtle than an Anniversary. A trigger doesn't have to be anything obvious to you or me. To use the favored Combat scenario--a trigger can be loud noises like fire crackers or gun fire, or cars or motorcycles backfiring. It can be large crowds, parades even with lots of people in uniform in one area.

It can be anything that reminds a combat vet, of combat. In general it can be anything that reminds the person of their trauma.

It can also be anything that elicits a startle response and puts a person into a hyper-vigilant mode.

Hyper-vigilance: A state of extreme watchfulness. You have tuned into every aspect of your surroundings, as if a threat were immanent, even though there may be NO threat at all. Being in this state will disrupt sleep patterns or even stop sleep from occuring, and can lead to insomnia, irritability, anger, and anxiety. You can be in this state indefinitely or at least until one runs out of adrenaline.
But that's just the really obvious things. It goes far deeper than that. An anniversary happens once a year, but a trigger can be anything at any time that elicits a strong association with that traumatic event.

It can be obvious things like crowds of people marching in uniform, or sounds that mimic gunfire. But it can also be something like a smell. The smell of gunpowder or anything burnt. It can be a word or phrase that you associate with the event, or the name of a person you associate with that event.

It can be the angle of the shadows at a certain time of day. It can be a color or a song, or the smell of cologne, or a pattern on wallpaper-- literally anything that causes your brain to go back to those memories of that event.

And it can be a word, or pictures as well. And that's where we get into trigger warnings discussed online.

What this means:

Well you know that once a year for weeks you are going to be dysfunctional because of that Anniversary. That annual event, that you remember vividly that past trauma and that happens around the same time every year, like the opposite of Christmas or your Birthday.

And you think--Cool, this really sucks but I can live with this once a year thing, I have 11 other months that I can really live life.

But then you discover the "Trigger" which can be anything, and can turn your entire world upside down at any time, for weeks or even months at a time. You can be triggered once in a while or you can be set off, by situations that happen in series or in parallel. It really isn't up to you at first. It's what is in the world directly around you.

One of those surprise triggers I dealt with a long time ago: I went to see The General's Daughter. It was a movie about a rape and murder in the Army. And it set me off like a Roman Candle. I stayed pissed off about that for weeks. I don't think I slept more than a couple hours a night for a week, and when I woke up I would have fingernail marks in my hands and my jaw hurt from gritting my teeth.

If you will recall, there were PTSD hotlines set up for veterans who went to see Band of Brothers, which is a movie about D-Day and taking Normandy. Because many WWII vets and probably any combat vet who saw that movie, would have been affected and might have needed a sympathetic ear.

Let that sink in for a moment. A mere movie can set someone's condition off. Or a startling car horn or alarm bell, or a graphic story in a book or on a blog.

No matter what, if a person is triggered, it really sucks. But for some people, it is important for the rest of us to understand that, that trigger can be a prelude to suicide or a drinking binge or other seriously destructive and potentially dangerous behaviors. People who may or may not even understand what is happening to them, who may or may not have a diagnosis.

It serves us well to learn to be gentle with others and ourselves. Because if we make this world too harsh and too ugly, then it becomes very difficult for people to realize where normalcy ends and begins. And if you have PTSD, those lines are blurry already.  

People with PTSD need the loving care of their friends and family, because this condition forces them out of their bodies and the world around them, to be trapped in their minds, in memories that are so powerful that those memories drown out reality in the now. Time stops for us. We are ghosts caught in the past, unable to return to now or respond to now. We have for a moment, lost our way back into this corporeal existence where you are, where food is, where the love is, and the acceptance is.

We haven't died, and yet are already in a hell. We lose our grasp on all the good things NOW, and relive those hellish vignettes over and over and over--the memories and trauma become a sick feedback loop. In our dreams, in our nightmares, in our memories, in a really bad case, it can be everywhere whether one is awake or asleep.

We may even still be somewhat functional when this happens. It may be hard to detect if you don't live under the same roof with that person.  

 PTSD isn't just for veterans. It isn't just for combat veterans. It's for police officers, and other First Responders, it's for medical personnel, it's for people who have survived domestic abuse, or car or motorcycle accidents, it's for people who survive rape and sexual assault, stalking, and molestation, it's for lots of different kinds of trauma, it can also affect children and keep affecting them into adulthood. It's any kind of trauma that makes a person feel absolutely helpless and threatened simultaneously.

So putting that trigger warning on a paper or book or blog or website is a kindness for some.

There are a few times when I have seen that warning and thought--today is not a good day to look at that sort of material. And I skipped it. And it was good. Because the author gave me permission to live in the now, they gave me the ability to choose now over the bad old times and I am grateful for it.

And for some who don't have a diagnosis. If they notice changes in their mental state, every time they read or watch something with a trigger warning, it just might help them find a diagnosis or at least cope with their own troubles in a more productive manner.

Our culture has become mean. And it's all contrived. Somehow we have confused meanness with strength and that is an erroneous association. It takes great strength and control to be gentle. It takes great discipline to be mindful. Anyone can be a brute without even having to think or try that hard.

Putting that trigger warning out is a mindful step, that tells the world we are intelligent enough to comprehend the depths of trauma, and strong enough to care for those who have been affected by it. Over time we just might also learn as a culture, to acknowledge the depth of harm that violence does in theory, before we set off to inflict it upon others.

What kind of world would that be like?

7:09 AM PT: It occurred to me that this diary by Diana in No Va is reflective of this concept. Books That Didn't Change My Life, Because I Couldn't Bear to Read Them. http://www.dailykos.com/...

You can see things that hurt you so much in your soul (with or without this condition) that you cannot make yourself watch or read the material. This is an example of being gentle with one's self. Putting a trigger warning on material is an example of being gentle with others.


Originally posted to GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by KosAbility.

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Comment Preferences

  •  PTSD and me.. (29+ / 0-)

    Mine stems from an abusive ex-husband who is still a stalker. I don't have an 'anniversary' per se, because the abuse went on over a period of years, but I have several triggers. Some stem from the time we were together, and some stem from him tormenting/harassing/stalking me after I left. When it comes to books and film, I don't generally read or watch things with spousal abuse because the trigger risk is too high.

     There have been a few notable exceptions, when the story line was about the woman getting away from the abuse successfully that I managed it (Rose Madder by Stephen King was one of those), but I read it AFTER my other half did so he was ready to deal with anything that popped up.  

    For me PTSD ranges from hyper vigilance and paranoia to hiding in closets to not being able to tolerate anything touching my throat, to a fear of being locked into or out of spaces (yes I know, seems odd with the hiding in closets but that's the way it works) to Ozzy Osborne music. It took me years to not have my house keys physically attached to my body 24/7 and I still panic if I don't know where they are (though I don't always carry them any more). My ex used to beat me up then throw me outside in the snow and lock me out.. in my pjs and barefoot. If I didn't have my keys I couldn't get back in when he finally fell asleep. He also used to lock me into things, bathrooms, walk in freezers when we worked at the same place, etc. He thought it was funny.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:21:45 AM PDT

  •  I have wondered if the jerks insisting on open- (23+ / 0-)

    carrying military rifles into family restaurants are not likely to trigger problems for vets and others who just want a pleasant day out.  

    •  Probably (15+ / 0-)

      Or anyone who has been a victim of gun violence.

      I will let every business owner know--that unless you are a gun store, if I see idiots with guns hanging out all over-- I wont be spending money at your establishment.

      I have had more than enough crazy in my life without courting that kind of trouble.

      Licensed owners that legally conceal don't worry me as much because they had to take classes, but idiots toting guns around in the open like they are toys? Those people scare me for a variety of reasons.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:34:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ditto. nt (12+ / 0-)

        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

        by Joy of Fishes on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:47:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My older brother traumatized me (15+ / 0-)

        by pointing a gun at my head. I truly believed he would kill me. A 9mm gun sets me off. Even if I see one of those idiots carrying one on television. The Bundy thing had me hypervigilant. I inherited the house we grew up in and he believed that because he is the only male of the surviving family, he should get everything.

        After he pointed the gun at me, I went into my house and got my shotgun. I chased him down and ran him off the road. I showed him the gun and told him if he ever came to the house again, I would shoot him. He didn't come back but he drove by slowly 4-5 times a day. That set me off.

        He has had several strokes now and he hired a man to call me and tell me that the house would be burned down with me in it. My dogs would be killed. The accomplice used throw away phones and no one could trace the calls.

        Knowing that he is incapacitated has given me some relief but I still worry when I see a white short bed truck. I have 3 big dogs now that will attack if anyone comes near the yard. I keep one in the house at night. I guess I'll go to my grave worrying about him and being triggered when my sisters tell me that I should help care for him. I'll help care for him when hell freezes over. My dad warned me before he died to never turn my back on my brother. He knew.

        "Just when you think you've lost everything, you find out you can lose a little more." Bob Dylan

        by weezilgirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:57:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  weezilgirl, I hope you have reported this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, CenPhx

          I am sorry that you had to live through and with something like this. How awful.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:56:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My sisters turned on me when I said (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, CenPhx, GreenMother

            I was going to go to the sheriff. My  sisters are two very "christian christians". They told me they would refute everything I said about him. They raised enough hell that I moved. They now deny he pulled a gun on me.

            Enabling can be a very deadly process within a family. He has been enabled by the sisters since he was in his 30s. He is 79 now.

            Like I said, I've changed. They obviously haven't made any effort to see life differently. I rarely see them. My entire family is Republican. I don't go to any family gatherings.

            "Just when you think you've lost everything, you find out you can lose a little more." Bob Dylan

            by weezilgirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:52:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tell anyway. Do what you can do and let the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              weezilgirl

              chips fall where they may. Be safe.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:36:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I'm too late to rec this, but I think it's a very (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother

      important question to explore. I'm not aware of any data on the subject, just one anecdote.

      There was an expert marksman, former military, who wrote books about seld-defense and operated a gun range where he trained people in self-defense. He was well respected and taught cops, etc. IIRC

      He was also a volunteer who worked with vets who had PTSD helping reintegrate into the community. Well... (and this happened sometime last year)

      ... he brought the vet with him out into the woods to practice shooting or go hunting(I can't recall) and the vet killed him, stole a car and took off.

      I'm sure there were diaries about it, but I don't recall any searchable names or dates or locations, but your question could be the explanation for what happened. And I don't know what happened to the vet, if they ever caught him, etc.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:45:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That may or may not have been PTSD (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        Just because you served in the military doesn't automatically make you a good person or even a law abiding person or sane.

        We have lots and lots of history of intermilitary violence to bear witness to this unfortunate fact.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:59:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, there often is a more complicated back story (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenMother

          Most people are shot by someone they know, and many of them have/had been involved in something illegal or immoral and party A shoots party B when the alliance breaks down for some reason.

          IIRC the two men were friends.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:43:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  PTSD has only been recently acknowledged (16+ / 0-)

    by the military, though it was richly documented in medical literature since at least the Civil War and the classical authors also mentioned the symptoms in describing war veterans.  For decades, VN vets have had to live with the stigma of the "deranged vet" being the standard image in the popular imagination of those who served there.

    Even this late in the day, I note that we as a nation are still ambivalent over VN and at least some segments continue to consider VN War service members as "losers"

    •  We still get the "deranged vet" syndrome (13+ / 0-)

      Women vets get it from male vets and the VA from time to time too whenever we talk about military sexual trauma.

      It sucks for all involved.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:36:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's uneven (7+ / 0-)

      I started working with PTSD sufferers from the Vietnam war, it was called PTSD, but it wasn't always recognized as a condition that needed treatment.  Like with rape, it kind of depended on the command's ideas.  And so even though it was a medical condition, if command saw it as slacking and fellow soldiers saw it as weak, the sufferer was less likely to seek help. Mostly the PTSD soldiers developed addiction, from the attempt to self-medicate, and so the treatment was first for the addiction.  And then the social stuff, like marriages broken and not seeing kids, those often went with it.  

      It was identified in the first world war as 'shell shock,' which was just severe PTSD, possibly with MBD (minimal brain damage).  And it was psychiatrists from the second world war that identified the syndrome, that includes hyper-vigilance, startle reactions, insomnia, realistic dreams that replay the scene or the scenes, and weird dreams that take some visuals from the trauma but highlight helplessness, or guilt, flashbacks that are terrifying or flashbacks where the sufferer may strike out at others.  It's not uncommon for returning soldiers with PTSD to sleep on couches, out of fear they'd be dangerous while asleep.

      It used to be believed that actual injuries made PTSD less likely, but that's been debunked, although an actual injury can in certain instances direct the mental state to something more pressing and so it can work as something of a 'vaccine' in war trauma.  It just isn't diagnostic.  Or even useful information.

      Clinically it is seen as something 'real' that hasn't been symbolized in a way to 'normalize' the experience, which allows the mind to 'move on' so to speak.  So the treatments have to do with symbolization, but with the newer PTSD vets the MBD is a big factor (all those explosions) and there are some medicines that can help move the healing process forward.

      There are treatments, and avoiding triggers isn't one of them. Only because it's impossible, and turning PTSD into a phobia isn't a practical substitution.  And encountering the triggers is part of the symbolization process, albeit best in a clinical situation.  

      And now it's become obvious that PTSD is an unsymbolized and too 'real' trauma, not only war trauma, but rape, and attacks and accidents, and even intense fear.  One woman with severe PTSD had been menaced by a dog, and she didn't move for several minutes, in terror, and the dog's owner called him off and she got PTSD.

      Now that there is ACA and parity for mental illness, I hope PTSD sufferers won't just endure, that they'll get help.  

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:03:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  tv is a riot box (5+ / 0-)

    Our popular culture is attracted to violence as enterainment.
    Triggers attract eyeballs.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:30:50 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary and topic (13+ / 0-)

    thank you.  Like exposure to chemicals makes one hypersensitive,  exposure to abuse keeps me in a constant state of unreasoned potential for shutdown.  I bulldozed through it for so long, and now I have arranged to protect myself from the unconscious people.  The only way out is through, and slowly people who are gentle are coming into my life.  We have to make a space for healing, whatever it takes.  I had an excellent hypnotherapist, and acupuncture is also excellent.  And whatever people may think of homeopathy, it has been a life-saver for me.

  •  I know you can't list all the possible traumas (15+ / 0-)

    that cause PTSD.
    And also it might be worth overtly mentioning childhood emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect since that is an extremely common cause of PTSD.  The "helpless and threatened" feelings are especially easy to for children to experience.

    And thanks for the diary, very much. Should have said that first! I think it's very helpful.

  •  Nothing against trigger warnings as such (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937

    But any formal system for their adoption is going to heavily privilege the PTSD of those whose trauma we recognize as valid and deserving sympathy.  

    With our racism and our incarceration and poverty rates, and the ways we remove the poor from safety, I expect there are a lot of badly traumatized people out there who meet all the requirements but who will never get a diagnosis, who cannot afford the simplest of care for the issue, and who will never have the nasty stuff which has happened to them be anything but a "what do you expect?" from the rest of society.

    So yes, I agree it is a mindful step.  But think it is often a step which reveals clearly the limits of who our minds do and don't include as worthy of concern.  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:41:34 AM PDT

    •   I don't know how to respond to this comment (4+ / 0-)

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:46:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I was trying to get at... (5+ / 0-)

        ...and then I'll stop, as my words were obviously taken amiss...is that, as you say, we are a badly traumatized society.  If you're really truly there, I think it is not unlike -- albeit not nearly so clean or romantic -- the ending of "A Beautiful Mind", where you just see the monsters and keep trucking.  Because nobody really gives a shit you're too terrified to get out of bed or too hypervigilant to sit for the test.  And I think this is true for more people than we imagine, again, as you say.

        I think talking about it more is somewhat fraught, because as a society we are basically OK with most of the things that cause the trauma, with their preconditions and their consequences.  And because it is so common.  In my ever-less recent return to school, I noted shared ground on some of this with people who had grown up in war zones, with soldiers, with other trans folks, with people who had simply grown up poor in places where the poor are especially disposable.  So that it seemed churlish and special to say, this is insanely hard, this normal thing we are all doing.  Because it is probably the same for no few others, and they are silent also, and we are all trying to pretend the world is this simple, this survivable, this ordered, for now, to meet this goal.  

        Shy personal stories I won't share here, that is all I was getting it.  And now I'm over my zero limit, g'day.

        ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

        by jessical on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:16:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I get it, hence my sig VVVVV nt (7+ / 0-)

          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

          by Joy of Fishes on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:42:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I wish you peace and to all of those who suffer (10+ / 0-)

          from trauma. A while back, I read a psychiatrist say in the NYT, "Life is trauma." That's true, I don't doubt. There are some traumas that are of course greater than other traumas, but Jesus,  we all have them. If we could all just be open about our vulnerabilities and share, you have to believe there could be some meaningful collective healing. It wouldn't erase the specificity of our wounds, but wouldn't it help to know that we live in a world where people have empathy for our suffering? I think so.

        •  I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. (5+ / 0-)

          When the word privilege was thrown in there I felt like somehow you were suggesting that my privilege real or imagined--somehow negated the experiences, the trauma and the work I have done to live beyond them.

          But I wanted to be sure that was what you meant, and I am glad that it was not.

          I will not say that anything you have posted here is untrue. Its all true and then some.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:10:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  just ill put on my part (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937, GreenMother

            I suspect it is a line down every real bad thing in the world: the necessity to recover, and the necessity to persist.  It doesn't negate anything, at least I didn't mean it that way.  It does seem to me that for every person we create even a half-assed space to recover in, there are a dozen who we leave in the cold, who have no real hope of anything different.  And it makes me wonder about our public conversation on the subject -- not that the space to recover is bad, but we are a society which hands out damage points with glee, and we live in a larger world that does the same.  It is no wonder that some (most?) people make a religion (figuratively and literally) of sucking it up.  And so I wonder how we talk about it, beyond the very rational "well here is this problem over here, and you can have some modest accommodation, for a little while and with a raised eyebrow, while we do the things we think are supposed to fix it."

            It makes me, at least, want to think that the PTSD science is good, and we're finding ways to fix the very specific high side of it, and if the high side can be controlled, then other things are possible.  But it also does seem like...we're a society without an upper limit on punishment, in practical terms.  We love that stuff!  So every released prisoner who we've tortured in our jails...is very potentially as busted as our soldiers.   And so the conversation about PTSD, to me, quickly leads to a conversation about how badly we are willing to fuck each other up as a society, and what we are willing to do -- or how far we are willing to consider -- the humanity of the survivors.  How many survivors we are willing to create.

            And at the core of this is a kind of radical empathy, either its discovery or repudiation. When we called it shell-shock or cowardice, and hung the victims behind the front, we were protected from considering how the consequences of our ideal world break the human mind and heart.  And yes, there is a way in which the acknowledgement of the reality of this seems to me fenced off, so that we not look too far beyond the victims we choose to give some (inadequate) room to recover, to those who have only necessity.  It acknowledges the reality but scopes it to what we're willing to discuss.  And no, I don't think you did that here.

            Anyway.

            ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

            by jessical on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:55:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess it wouldn't surprise you that I don't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jessical

              advocate belief in hell or punishment in the afterlife either?

              Radical Empathy.

              I like it.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:38:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Stand next to GF when car brakes squeal (12+ / 0-)

    and you'll get immediately that this is not just a problem for combat vets.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:42:31 AM PDT

    •  GF? (5+ / 0-)

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:46:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My better half. (6+ / 0-)

        I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

        by Crashing Vor on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:49:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good diary though hard to read as my (9+ / 0-)

        eyes are blurring. The birds are chirping, it's hot out but the breeze is cool. Life is fine; however, my stump where once was a right foot, as usual, is tingling. Car bit it off seventeen years ago. I will always suffer from nerve damage. I can take that. I can't take it when the nerves shoot off and it goes from the plugged into an electric outlet feeling to hooked up to a transformer. Give me something which will knock me out within two hours, like two percocets. Usually I'll wake later back to the milder outlet charge. I don't jump as much anymore, and I only hallucinated cars coming for me the first two years. Odd, seeing a car speeding at me, shake my head - and there is no traffic, nothing, an empty street, but I'd already smashed against a wall, waiting for the hit. Again. I cannot imagine what a combat soldier goes through, seeing how one event affected me. I appreciate trigger warning notices. (And CV is the better half.)

        "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

        by cv lurking gf on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:26:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you tried and cognitive treatment options? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cv lurking gf, FloridaSNMOM

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

          It's a way of reconditioning your brain/responses to certain stimuli. It might mitigate some of these issues

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:36:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have not. It looks interesting, but at this (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GreenMother, FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus

            point, my reactions are fairly muted. I'll mention, before that last accident, I had been hit six other times by cars, just none of those were life-threatening or maiming. (I had the right of way each time too, dammit!) Sometimes that reaction saved me, like the first night I went out without my cane after the accident, walking, and a taxi sped from a parking lot, just missing another car and through a red light, passing me with four inches to spare as I stepped into the crosswalk. Hmmm, why did I move from that city?

            "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

            by cv lurking gf on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:48:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, GM, but I'm afraid you're missing it. (4+ / 0-)

            Re-experiencing, hypervigilance, and avoidance, the "three legged stool of PTSD" are not "cognitive" events. Cognitive therapies may, as you write "mitigate" symptoms, but not much, and especially not for serious cases/issues.

            There's a comment above that implies "it's all in your head," i.e., "cognitive" as well. To the extent that folks write stuff like that they only demonstrate their incomprehension of PTSD.

            I apologize for not being willing to take the time to further elucidate. Memorial Day weekend is in fact, my "anniversary" time.

            If you wish to carry on a discussion, I'm bob@mindfulveteransproject.org. It may be a few days but I'll get back to you.

            War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

            by DaNang65 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:21:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ((DaNang65)) (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DaNang65

              Good to see you my friend. I hope things are well on your end, at least as well as can be.

              "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

              by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:00:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks, FloridaSNMOM! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM

                Generally things are going very well, this weekend not so much but nothing unsurvivable.

                I hope and trust you and yours are well.

                War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

                by DaNang65 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:05:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We're doing well. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DaNang65

                  We're out of the big city and into a smaller town where the things we need are a lot closer in general, which makes life without a car easier.

                  "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

                  by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:12:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Don't you think that is for the individual to (0+ / 0-)

              decide?

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:15:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What I am saying is this--people in their minds (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus

                and brains are different. Some might respond very well to this sort of treatment and others may not.

                Once, a long time ago, someone taught me a technique when I felt overwhelmed by memories. And it was to help retrain my brain, to gain control and stop the intrusive thoughts and negative feedback loops I had going on. It helped me a lot. It was just one little thing. Maybe it wouldn't work for you or anyone else in this conversation, but it made a big difference for me.

                Maybe I am a statistical anomaly. I don't know. But I remember when people tried to convince me that meditation didn't work and that acupuncture didn't work. They both helped tremendously for me.

                Individuals still try to convince me that supplementation doesn't work either, and yet, I use supplements like GABA and Melatonin with excellent success to control sleep disturbances and have for over a decade.

                Stick to what works for you by all means, but be open that there are many roads to success. Be open to neurological differences between individuals. That your solution might not be theirs and vice versa.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:51:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  No, I don't. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                anna shane

                That is, I don't think whether or not PTSD is "cognitive" is for the individual to decide.

                In the same way that I don't think the PETscans and fMRIs of PTSD sufferers' amygdalae when we've been "triggered" and are re-experiencing are cognitive.

                It's not "all in our heads." It's in our autonomic nervous systems. It pervades our physical beings.

                If, by what you meant "for the individual to decide," you were referring to treatment modality, of course you have the right to any treatment modality you prefer.

                I just don't believe cognitive modalities adequately address the problem. I tried several. I've seen many others try them as well, to no long term relief.

                War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

                by DaNang65 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:57:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  only ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  moviemeister76

                  cognitive doesn't mean 'all in your head,' and effective treatment is what works, and not everything works for everyone. It's not a problem to be addressed, it's a reaction to something unspeakable that must be spoken, however that can be arranged, in order to bring movement.

                  The condition isn't cognitive, that's the treatment.  

                  The long term relief isn't all that great, not waking up screaming is pretty much the aim, not reacting without first thinking. It surely isn't a return to life before the trauma, you can't un-know what you know.

                  Sometimes the trauma that is the evident cause is actually the tip, that hides previous ones.  Then the treatment must entail finding the earlier ones, and that's not cognitive, that's psychoanalysis.   And requires a passion for truth.

                  plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                  by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:52:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Cognitive," as I understand it, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    anna shane

                    refers to the activity that takes place within the cortex of the brain.

                    PTSD, as I think we agree, takes place in far more of our bodies. For that reason I haven't seen "cognitive" modalities to offer particularly long lasting relief, and I've seen a lot of folks go that route.

                    We cannot have had the experiences of our lives. But we can relate to them differently. And then we can experience genuine relief.

                    War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

                    by DaNang65 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:06:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  it's just a word for a treatment (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DaNang65, moviemeister76, CenPhx

                      it's not the vocabulary meaning, it's cognitive behavioral therapy. It's from Albert Ellis, originally, but the treatments have evolved and what is common is the treatment is determined by what works, so there is always testing.  

                      They are specific and haven't so much to do with the reasoning as with behavior.   They don't necessarily make 'sense.'  Some involve breathing, some involve meditation, some are talking about the event with others who have experienced similar events, as if it were normal.

                      I don't know what you mean by long-lasting.  I think a complete remission, never another nightmare, or never another startle reaction, isn't perhaps realistic, but a person ought to be able to sleep at night, and direct thoughts through exercises when awake.  Just like with abnormal grief, the point isn't no sadness, but the ability to move past it to enjoy life and the good memories.

                      Yes, the point is to relate to it differently.  That is absolutely right.

                      We're human, we're not machines.  Something unexpected can bring it back, but then it would be temporary, you'd relate to it differently, yes.

                      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                      by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:23:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I had cognitive therapy (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        FloridaSNMOM, CenPhx, GreenMother

                        I had gotten to the point a few years ago where I was no longer able to control my emotions. Cognitive therapy helped me realize I never even learned how to correctly identify them, instead grouping everything into about four or five emotions.

                        Cognitive therapy didn't completely fix me, obviously, but it definitely helped me learn how to identify what I was actually feeling and how to redirect intense moments of emotion so that I was not so overwhelmed. It was especially helpful in teaching me to recognize all the times I was scared, and how to rationally analyze whether or not I actually should be. I'm still not very good at completely overcoming irrational fear, but just understanding why my emotions work the way they do has been a tremendous relief.

                        Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                        by moviemeister76 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:31:41 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  the treatment that works is cognitive (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DaNang65, CenPhx

              which is evidence based, and it's all many insurance companies will pay for in treating PTSD, because of the evidence.  

              In your head is pejorative, and not part of any treatment.  That would assume that it's the fault of the sufferer, who only needs to think differently.  There are events in life that no one could be prepared to 'assimilate,' and then thoughts do get stuck, but they can get unstuck, not by force of will, nor by getting it out of the head, but through tested treatments (and time, before treatment there was time, then for some the repetitive thoughts may somehow work themselves out).  Brains are very interesting organs.

              The 'cure' as it were, will not include, however, forgetting, or not caring anymore, or not being sad, or regretful or, or any normal human responses, but will only include the repetitive nightmares, insomnia, and the startle reactions, et al, and the co-morbid conditions, like addiction.  

               

              plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

              by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:41:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A teacher of mine, a Zen Buddhist monk (4+ / 0-)

                (I am not a Buddhist although I find many of the teachings useful) named Claude AnShin Thomas puts it, I think, well:

                We can't think our way into a better way of living, we have to live our way into a better way of thinking.

                War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

                by DaNang65 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:55:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DaNang65, FloridaSNMOM

                  and that is cognitive behavioral therapy, oddly, it's the experience that changes the thinking, not the other way around. That's why addiction treatment is also cognitive now, and why outcomes have improved. And addiction is biological.

                  Odd how the Buddhist's knew?  Ancient wisdom is sometimes wisdom.

                  plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                  by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:02:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, CBT addresses only two thirds (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    anna shane, FloridaSNMOM

                    of the equation. It's nice, even helpful (I've been through it) but it doesn't get to bodily experience.

                    I've yet to experience Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MBCBT), so I can't speak from experience about its effectiveness, but from a distance it seems to be on the right track.

                    The addiction treatment I've participated in went well beyond cognitive, although it's certainly presented that way. So far, so good.

                    War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

                    by DaNang65 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:14:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  good for you!!! (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DaNang65

                      hey, it's life.

                      Yes, the 'mindfulness' is the newer version.  

                      But hey, you'll still be human.  Always. Which is very wonderful, and filled with the unexpected, and the not yet experienced.  

                      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                      by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:28:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes. A time of the year. It starts to build up... (11+ / 0-)

    ... a month or more in advance, sneaking in without conscious awareness, until I realize it is that time again.  And certain places, smells, sounds, even specific words can set it off.  For written and visual media, a trigger warning is a kindness, and it is not too much to ask for.  You put it so well, GreenMother:

    Putting that trigger warning out is a mindful step, that tells the world we are intelligent enough to comprehend the depths of trauma, and strong enough to care for those who have been affected by it.
    I found some of the discussion of trigger warnings over the last couple days to be so cavalier about the potential impact of triggers that I couldn't read further.  

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    by Joy of Fishes on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:45:23 AM PDT

    •  Me too. (11+ / 0-)
      I found some of the discussion of trigger warnings over the last couple days to be so cavalier about the potential impact of triggers that I couldn't read further.
      You either know because you have lived it, or you don't because you have never been affected this way.

      Cavalier is easy for those who have never been affected by this.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:53:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For years I did not bring up my (9+ / 0-)

        nursing experiences (critical care) because there was no recognition. EMTs, cops and firefighters have been recognized, and not adequately treated. Nurses had a positive preliminary study in Switzerland several years ago, I'm waiting for a more expanded one.

        On a 1-10 scale, my experiences are personally pretty low - I was never in much danger. It does give me insight on what my patients and others go through.

        This is something we need to talk more about and you did an excellent job with the diary.  Thanks.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:12:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But watching someone suffer and being unable (7+ / 0-)

          to save them or alleviate their terror or pain is a trauma unto itself and needs to be recognized and dealt with.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:11:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it isn't the event (0+ / 0-)

            it's the way it's perceived in the mind.  

            plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

            by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:05:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Reality as we know it is premised on perception (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FloridaSNMOM, Ginny in CO, anna shane

              Don't minimize the emotional charge of terrible events. This is what helps us be moral human beings. Being able to recognize the horrible, the painful and the depraved, and not inflict that on others is in large part, our humanity.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:54:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i wasn't (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM

                some events seem obviously terrible and some seem less so, but if it strikes in the 'right' place there can be great emotional damage.  It isn't how someone else perceives it, it's how it's experienced.

                plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:19:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  It is the event that comes back to mind, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GreenMother, FloridaSNMOM, CenPhx

              with all the emotions that were triggered then. I am a reality based person. There is no way the mind does not perceive as horror a 4 year old girl and 8 year old boy being burned beyond recognition.  

              One of the triggers is a smell - often associated with memories. A skin cream that is still used for burns will do it every time.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:33:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM

                and I can't imagine anyone that would not be affected by that event.  But there are much less obvious experiences that can also be the source of trauma. You can't say it isn't trauma by thinking the event wasn't traumatic enough. And any traumatic event will have triggers, even though the sufferer might not get the same amount of sympathy as in the case you reference.

                plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:23:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your statement was that perception of the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FloridaSNMOM, GreenMother

                  event is the basis of the trauma. There have been comments to the effect that there are many ways people are traumatized that don't fit the general concepts of trauma.  

                  I understand and agree with that.  Each individual experiences life differently, so what might traumatize one does not seem as bad to another.  I think it depends on how unsafe the person feels, how in control of their own situation they are. That is often difficult to feel  confident about.  

                  The other experience that comes back is my grandfather's first and only attempt to groom me for sex. I knew it was both wrong and something ugly I wanted no part of. While I can remember his words, lips and eyes, I also remember realizing how much smaller he was. I took off to play with my cousins and stayed away from him.  The sense that he couldn't overcome me was strong enough to overcome the fear and disgust.

                  Perception is based on memory. A new experience will have few memories that can be used to process it.

                  "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                  by Ginny in CO on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:34:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I read this diary because Crashing Vor (6+ / 0-)

        recommended I do so. When I first saw the title I hesitated. Sometimes the words "trigger warning" become the trigger. I suppose I should go for a walk and repeat them while watching cars. Time and some controlled, rational thought have helped me lessen the effects of certain sounds and words. Oddly enough, going through cancer ten years prior to my accident gave me resources too. I truly can't recommend having an "interesting" life.

        "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

        by cv lurking gf on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:31:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think PTSD is organic (9+ / 0-)

    Our bodies way of imprinting memories in order to prevent encountering the same situation. Our problem lies in our culture's insistence on forcing humans, usually via economic exploitation, to repeatedly encounter that which frightens severely.

    Too add there has been at least one study showing our debriefing victims increases the likelyhood of PTSD symptoms after an event. So things like after action reports contribute to the problem.

    Recent claims about traumatic events being passed down through the genome might explain those drowning and cliff falling dreams btw.

    •  It's not just about avoidance (11+ / 0-)

      The feedback loop I believe is the brain and nervous system trying and choking on the data. Unable to compute it and solve it. So it keeps revisiting the trauma over and over and over.

      I also observe that trying to make PTSD sufferers embrace what this society calls normal behavior is harmful as well. Because you are making the suffering fight instinct and memory built on experience and deny the harm and danger.

      Making them feel unreasonable and out of touch when in fact the opposite is true.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:58:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Funny you mention the genome thing.. (5+ / 0-)

      we have a hereditary 'nightmare' in my family concerning earth quakes and Tsunami's. It's not PTSD level, but I won't ever go to California for example. I'm the fourth generation that I know of who's had the dream. And we don't mention it around the kids unless/until they have it. My daughter has already experienced it.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:01:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have thought similarly, Horace. (4+ / 0-)

      The patterns for hypervigilence, etc that helped in surviving the original trauma seem to be "stuck," so to say.  Some people store trauma in body memory, which I have also experienced.  And scientists are now looking at the possibility that trauma changes the genome and/or how it is expressed, and the changes can be passed to subsequent generations.  

      Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

      by Joy of Fishes on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:34:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hypervigalence sucks when there is nothing to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Joy of Fishes

        worry about. But it can be a boon when facing potential human or animal predators. I notice things more than a lot of other people, except for many some friends who worked in law enforcement or as mental health professionals.

        But there is a difference between being more aware and tuned up to a fever pitch.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:32:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As someone once said (wish I could remember) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, FloridaSNMOM

        it is arrogant to believe we start as blank slates. If birds and butterflies can just know migratory routes, we must as well share historical memories.

        "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

        by cv lurking gf on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:34:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One possibility (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937

      is that many people with PTSD start off with forms of anxiety disorder.  The traumatizing event(s) create non-eroding, in some cases intensifying, memories with severe emotional triggering properties for them.  

      http://ptsd.about.com/...

      Anxiety disorder is really common- NIMH says 18% of American adults have episode(s) of it every year.  Since many people seem to have only occasional episodes of it, the total lifetime is probably more like 25-30%.  (G)AD has a hereditary element and is part of the larger spectrum of disorders that includes the bipolar disorders, OCD and ADHD, and blends over into the autistic spectrum disorders.   As people here have already reported in comments, they have a lot of blood relatives and significant others with psychiatric problems and phenomena of this spectrum.   Particular individuals with these seem the predominant class of people who victimize(d) them.

      Sociopaths, rapists, stalkers, and pedophiles are suspected outlying, if you will, members of the spectrum.  The rate of e.g. diagnosed bipolar disorder is significantly higher among them than among the general population and seems only to be increasing as diagnostic methods improve.  Someday not far off we'll have DNA based diagnostics and a lot more certainty.

      I work in biomedical research related to this.  We're pretty close to some major findings on the neurobiological basis of all this.  But to look at history and medical specifics and epidemiology and sociology of it...what a horrible, horrible, black abyss of things people have been doing to each other.

      •  My objection to this, is that it stigmatizes the (5+ / 0-)

        condition further by implying that our genes are now defective and we were organically dysfunctional to begin with.

        Careful with those ideas. It's not that there may be no truth in them at all, just that they could become tools to further abuse the people who are least likely to survive more abuse by an already callous public, and medical system.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:13:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But if it is true.... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not saying that it should be trumpeted everywhere or certainly not used to debase anyone, but if it does seem to be true (and I would agree that there is a growing body of evidence that shows that certain anxiety disorders have a genetic component) then we can't very well go around being all hush-hush about it either. As inspired by Al Gore, there are "Inconvenient truths"...

          •  Anxiety is not the same as PTSD trust me on that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrganicChemist, FloridaSNMOM

            Anxiety is simply one of a multitude of symptoms that is expressed by someone with PTSD.

            And sometimes, I have learned that many are quick to label perfectly good instinct and observations as anxiety, because what I can see makes some so uncomfortable, that it's easier that way for them.

            PTSD changes how you perceive society on a very basic level. Most of my anxiety as a result stems NOT from flashbacks or nightmares. But from recognizing genuine hazards and dangers, and having the people around me not believe that I am capable of accurately perceiving those hazards.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:42:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm speaking only of... (0+ / 0-)

              general anxiety disorders and certain depression traits. If you were only saying that there is no proven genetic component to PTSD, then I misunderstood and my comment ends up being rather pointless in that case.

              I would think that it might be interesting to determine if there is a genetic component to susceptibility to manifesting PTSD. I don't know of any studies that have attempted to follow that.

              •  I would be skeptical of that. It plausible (0+ / 0-)

                in that many conditions can have an underlying organic driver, but I suspect that there are a thousand ways to develop anxiety and many of those are more environmental than organic--as in nurture, not nature.
                :)
                But still I would not fault people for looking into this. Who knows what the outcomes will lead to.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:11:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You have a huge stack of assumptions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        underlying what you are calling research. I hardly know where to begin. You might try reading or viewing some of Gabor Mate's clinical observations concerning what is hereditary, what is chemical,  what is learned, what is trauma.

    •  As far as debriefing- there's a fine line between (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      diffusing trauma and reinforcing it. And I think it takes a certain sympathetic sensitivity to debrief/diffuse rather than debrief/reinforce.

      I've worked with a lot of people after traumas, (ICU/CCU RN), and I know that I do it differently, coming from my experience, than do others. And the results have been significantly different.

      I agree that PTSD is an organic and inherited response, but behavior that is adaptive in some situations can be maladaptive in others. And maybe our genome has had insufficient time to differentiate and jettison what no longer actively helps us survive.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:28:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is the recalling of events that is of issue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        Not the delicacy in which the questions are asked.

      •  I doubt it. The stress hormones in utero might (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FarWestGirl, FloridaSNMOM

        be a factor, but until I see irrefutable evidence that we have more in common with the mental state of animals hatched out with full instinct, then I question that.

        I can see that bits of biochemical markers might be passed down (see comment above), but really the language here speaks to the language of stigma and not to science.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:18:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We need a serious discussion on self control (5+ / 0-)

    Which seems to be lacking in our society.
    In the instance you cite above about seeing the movie--you experienced a variety of upsetting symptoms yet you didn't go out and shoot anyone or AFAIK damage anyone else, even though you may have wanted to. What stopped you from doing that? Self control! And probably an innate respect for others.
    I think that's one of the things we are losing in this society---the need for self control and respect for others. This comes out of the JUST DO IT! ethic combined with Thug Life and a glut of guns. Its all about satisfying any impulse you may have, however childish it may be,  without regard for others.  I think our society gives the green light to acting on our fantasies however awful they may be, and puts tools of mass destruction right in our hands.
    I am a disabled veteran, with a 70% PTSD rating yet somehow have managed never to be arrested. I have had all kinds of monstrous fantasies in my day but acted on none of them. Because like you, I have a certain amount of self control, and basic respect and empathy for others.
    That's what our society needs to  focus on, its what's really lacking here.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:57:58 AM PDT

    •  True BUT--and this is important to remember (7+ / 0-)

      Each person who suffers from this condition manifests it differently.

      And if the person traumatized, already had an underlying mental condition, that can exacerbate that pre-existing one to the point that some kind of extreme behavior can result.

      I recognize my feelings, and withdraw

      Some people may not be so self aware.

      Also keep in mind that Traumatic Brain Injury which is also common in PTSD sufferers (esp those who saw combat) can damage or destroy impulse control and emotional mitigation.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:15:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PTSD is no good excuse for bad behavior (0+ / 0-)

        I think people should be responsible for their behavior and that PTSD doesn't let them off the hook for that.
        In re: combat---what makes a successful combat soldier is the ability to act correctly and appropriately in the face of stress and danger---not to fall apart or run wild.  People who successfully make it through that process are, I think, better able to handle themselves under stress than the average person.
        I think the tendency to freak out and run amok, as per the latest self indulgent idiot to cut loose, is largely  self indulgent, whoever does it. I think people have choice about their behavior, at any point.

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:21:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's hard to choose appropriate behavior (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus

          when what you're seeing isn't reality, but a flashback. It's hard to choose appropriate behavior when you react on fear and instinct rather than having time to think.

          Think about the woman from OWS who was recently convicted of attacking a police officer when he grabbed her breast from behind. She just elbowed him out of instinct. Because that's what many of us, as women, are taught to do when faced with that situation. There was no 'choice' involved in it. There was no time for choice. And since he was behind her, there was no way for her to know he was a cop either.

          PTSD isn't an excuse. There may be some people who use it as an excuse. But it's no more an excuse for behavior than being blind is for someone who just bumped into someone walking towards them. It's a reason, not an excuse. It's something you can get therapy for, you can sometimes find a way around, but not a choice. You don't get a choice about going into a flash back. It happens. And when you're there, you don't realize it IS a flash back and not the situation you see.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 06:31:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not sure about the connection to PTSD (0+ / 0-)

            In the example you cite, I think the woman elbowed the cop because he was physically assaulting her, not because she went into a PTSD episode. So PTSD  seems irrelevant to me in that instance. she might have gotten PTSD because of it but its not what caused her to do it..
            Being blind is a good excuse for bumping into someone, the best there is. I'm not sure where youre going with that.
            My main point again is that people should be responsible for their actions. society ought to focus more on personal responsibility and less "If it feels good, do it."

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:49:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm using it as an example of (0+ / 0-)

              "Not responsible for their actions" of not making a CHOICE about how you behave. I don't know whether that woman has been assaulted before or not. It's a distinct possibility she has been sexually harassed in some way to have that kind of reaction. At the least she was trained to expect sexual harassment and taught how to react to it, until it became motor memory and not a conscious thought.

              But my point is that PTSD has NOTHING to do with personal responsibility or "if it feels good do it." NOTHING. It's a clinical diagnosis. It's not something you control. You can learn to control some symptoms with years of therapy. You can learn to minimize and avoid triggers. But once you're in a flash back there is no controlling to be done. You react as if you're back in that situation because in your mind you ARE period. You're not 'making choices' you're in fight or flight mode, period. And whether you fight or flight isn't a choice so much as a reliving of what happened in the first place.

              You can't compare 'taking personal responsibility' and reacting to a PTSD attack of any sort. That's the same as blaming a blind man for not knowing what color shirt someone is wearing. You're not seeing the disability. And it IS a disability.

              "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

              by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:57:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I am happy that you don't have to contend with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          a condition that hurts you to that degree, but if it's okay with you, I will reserve judgement for a case by case treatment.

          If you haven't noticed WE DONT have a mental health care treatment system. So we incarcerate or put on the streets--many of our mentally ill, including those with PTSD.

          They didn't make that bed--SOCIETY DID.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:45:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is a great statement: (12+ / 0-)
    Our culture has become mean. And it's all contrived. Somehow we have confused meanness with strength and that is an erroneous association. It takes great strength and control to be gentle. It takes great discipline to be mindful. Anyone can be a brute without even having to think or try that hard.
    Rush Limbaugh? Phoney-baloney. Celluloid.

    I was intrigued several years ago when I read about a study of imprisoned men who experience PTSD, not because of what was done to them, but because of what they'd perpetrated on other people. It argues for an inborn sense of decency, as a sort of human baseline, which this culture thwarts in all too many cases. Fascinating stuff.

    Enthusiastically tipped and recommended.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:10:13 AM PDT

    •  Mean" used to have connotations... (7+ / 0-)

      of "small" and "petty". I wonder if I could start using it that way without sounding snooty? It would be nice if cruelty could come to be associated with those things, but it would be no mean feat.

      Alas.

      That's a very interesting study you mentioned. It's... kind of heartening, really.

      One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

      by Darwinian Detritus on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:09:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But small and petty are appropriate here. (9+ / 0-)

        We also live in a punitive society that takes great joy in Denial of Everything.

        Denial of Problems
        Denial of Service
        Denial of Decency
        Denial of Humanity
        Denial of complexities

        And it is petty and small. It is the mark of a severely stunted intellectual capacity and emotional immaturity. It is infantile at worst, sophomoric at best.

        Because it takes generosity of spirit to say YES to helping everyone without worrying someone somewhere is either "getting something good they don't deserve" or not getting punished.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:20:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it is a mean society (4+ / 0-)

          especially to those who have differences, or illnesses.  I think some of the younger people are moving toward a kinder society, but the meanness is palpable.  

          I wrote above that avoiding triggers isn't practical, but I think everyone might want to avoid meanness, it's just hard to avoid.  I don't have PTSD but I can feel very depressed after a mean encounter, witnessing or reading too, this blaming that is  so prevalent.

          I like your diary.

          plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

          by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:10:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. Pushing triggers on people even if (5+ / 0-)

            it is inadvertent isn't being mean per se--but wouldn't it be nice if people were willing to give the rest of us the option of not having to forgo interaction in the world/with the word as the price for being functional this day or this week or this month.

            Avoiding a trigger to be functional in the moment isn't the same as clinical avoidance of a trigger which is total and constant.

            It's empowering the person to choose how much they take on in that moment.

            Giving them the option of avoiding highlighted triggers, making room to cope for the unexpected ones.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:23:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you could never depend on adequate warning (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FloridaSNMOM

              I agree, I'd like to be alerted before I watched something I know will upset me.

              Remember that documentary about the guy who lived with wild bears, and it ended badly, and was caught on camera, not the visual but the auditory?  I read about that film, and I made a point of not seeing it.  But once while channel surfing I came across that moment, and paused because I didn't understand was I was 'hearing.'  

              Once when I worked in an office building, a VP guy I only knew by sight from the elevator did a suicide, he threw a chair to break the window and he jumped, and the entire office (the floor below) looked out the window, but not me, I didn't want that image stuck in my mind.  

              And I have heard countless stories I'd rather not have heard.  

              When you put rules in place, it's called 'the rescue of the law,' and while the intention is good, it never works perfectly, and the fact of being human is really fraught with fear and danger. There is no child in Syria, for example, who has been spared.   But it can be named, and 'mean' is an accurate one.  Expressing the sentiment is healing. We're not alone.

              plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

              by anna shane on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:34:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Well, you want to also start using (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, Darwinian Detrius

        the archaic definition of "nice" too? (I have a hard time resisting etymology.)

        "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

        by cv lurking gf on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:40:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There was some discussion about the Moral Injury (5+ / 0-)

      in a paper recently. It discussed PTSD stemming from things that some soldiers might have done in war.

      Keep in mind that extreme, and sustained chronic trauma, such as torture or systematic abuse can do weird things to the mind, And a person may adapt in order to survive the circumstances, only to fall apart later when they realize how they contributed to the system that abused them and others.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:18:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From a friend: "The blood's on the trigger." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:39:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some of us have PTSD without a single drastic (7+ / 0-)

    ...traumatic incident to have an anniversary.  A decade of hyper-vigilance, with ten or so incidents that stick out the urban jungle, will do it.

    •  Each incident is an anniversary. (5+ / 0-)

      Yours would be a complex case, and it would be an excellent thing if we could discuss how Racism, Classism, Sexism, Homophobia (bigotry in general) and the Cycle of Poverty contribute to PTSD on all levels and harm our populace on a broad scale.

      I am glad you are here now. And I hope you are finding a way to live a good life, around and beyond these traumas.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:22:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  By most measures, I am having a good life (4+ / 0-)

        A varied (and pretty successful) career, a good family life, and the health to do the most athletic things of my life.  

        My anniversary isn't something that happened 35 years ago in the Bronx, rather, it's a panic attack in 2012.  I was diagnosed over 15 years ago, but tended to minimize it until the incident.  After the therapy that followed, I've accepted it better, and my episodes (startling or sudden "threats") happen far less often.

        •  Well that is good news. I am glad that you are (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, Bronx59

          living well and that episodes are getting further apart.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:30:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Something very important has come up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, FloridaSNMOM

    I will be back online later.

    Thank you all for stopping by.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 08:28:48 AM PDT

  •  PTSD is also (9+ / 0-)

    for targets of bullying, whether it is in the workplace or at school [or wherever], or people subject to sexual abuse and other types of battering [whether physical or verbal].

    And it doesn't take much to trigger the PTSD.  All it took for me was a slightly snide comment from an abusive person in a volunteer situation to make it all come back.  

    And once it comes back, you have to dig yourself out of the hole again.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun May 25, 2014 at 09:15:20 AM PDT

    •  This is reported by Veterans of both genders when (6+ / 0-)

      having to recount their stories to their commands and to the VA later, with regards to sexual traumas.

      And yes, dig yourself out of a hole every time. And that's in addition to all the rest.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:24:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Almost a year-and-a-half ago... (11+ / 0-)

    ...when I finally started seeing a therapist again to try to deal with my lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression, within the first handful of meetings, he said that he thought I probably had PTSD. I had a hard time accepting the mere idea of it; I thought it was disrespectful of me to even consider the idea since I had never been in combat. He pointed out to me that most PTSD cases are women who've been raped. And another thing for my having difficulty accepting the idea is that I didn't have any singular event; I had a long history of my alcoholic father literally (not just verbally) threatening my and my family's lives, be it with guns (most frequently) or knives or fire.

    I have to admit that it seems most likely that my fear of the house catching on fire while I was asleep probably stems from when I was a kid when my dad poured gasoline on the outside walls of the house and then poured a line of gasoline in the yard about 30 feet away set that line on fire and then nearly set the whole house on fire with me and my mother inside. My dad's history of grabbing a rifle when he would get angry is why a few months ago after he made some comment about wanting one when he was angry caused me to sit the whole night with my cellphone in my hand in case he came through the door with a gun and I needed to call the cops.

    Add to that a history of being bullied by my peers all the time in school, and I've rarely felt like I was safe anywhere. I spent over a decade rarely leaving the house because whenever I was out I couldn't shop in a store without being afraid that someone was going to spontaneously turn around and physically attack me. Thankfully, therapy is working. Several months ago, I realized one day while shopping for groceries in Whole Foods that even though it was super crowded, I didn't feel afraid of being attacked at all. I still have a ton of anxiety though, and probably always will, but at least I'm getting better and maybe one day will truly be able to function like a normal person (heh heh).

    •  I am a veteran. And I do not feel that you or (9+ / 0-)

      anyone in your situation is taking one damn thing away from me or other vets by owning this diagnosis. Not one thing.

      I want you to find a path to happiness and fulfillment--whatever that means to you. And the first step down that road is to give yourself permission to be just as brave and courageous living in a situation like that for years on end, protecting yourself and other family members from the systematic abuse and trauma of a dysfunctional father/parental unit.

      You are as brave as any soldier, every time you step foot back in that house and you did it while you were a child.

      I want you to marvel at how courageous you are just at that thought alone.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:26:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That sounds a lot like growing up under fire, if (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, GreenMother

      not actually in combat with bullets flying.

      I grew up with a mean drunk, too, and it often is like being in combat; not being safe, never knowing for sure what will set them off or when something's going to explode. It sounds like he threatened your life, and your mother's, on multiple occasions. That's sort of traumatic by definition, isn't it?

       I'm inclined to say that your therapist is making an accurate assessment, and I'm very glad that you've been able to make progress. :-)

      There's a 12 step program called Adult Children of Alcoholics that can be very supportive, if there's a meeting in your area. Whether or not you ignore the 'higher power' parts, something about being around others who've been through similar things and understand can be very healing.

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:45:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To me THAT is living under fire. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, FarWestGirl

        Most military people were at least able to arm themselves and fight back. Children?

        They are tiny, unarmed and might as well be naked for as breakable as their little bodies are.

        That is under fire. Maybe even worse in some ways because the parent is abusing the sacred trust put within them as a parent.

        The one person who is supposed to love you unconditionally and protect you from harm--even if you are a rotten kid, and they turn on you in the place that should be your sanctuary and torment you and abuse you.

        That's definitely under fire.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:25:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Generalized PTSD (6+ / 0-)

    It is my belief that the entire country has had PTSD since at least 9/11.  The criminal stupidity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the legitimization of torture, and the possible increased level of mass violence in our country and culture are evidence.  

    This is not to trivialize the trauma of those who have been in combat but to recognize that trauma happens to civilians and simple observers as well.

    •  I have wondered that myself. (3+ / 0-)

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:33:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think there's a germ of truth to that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, FloridaSNMOM, gmoke, worldlotus

      Perhaps because it was on the heels of seeing footage of the new 9/11 museum, but I couldn't watch the entire Godzilla trailer. Seems silly, sci-fi movie about a fictional dinosaur/giant lizard, but the scenes in the movie focus upon an invisible threat that knocks down buildings and floods cities. I found that very hard to watch.

      It seems to me all of the super catastrophe movies that have come out in the last 10 years in some way are a response to 9/11.

      •  Sure, just like many of the themes in Japanese pop (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SneakySnu, FloridaSNMOM, gmoke, worldlotus

        culture like Godzilla are reactions to the nuclear bombs dropped on their cities.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:25:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The original Japanese Godzilla movies (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, gmoke, worldlotus, SneakySnu

        were made a decade or two after Curtis LeMay's huge scale firebombings of Japanese cities in 1945.   The huge American bomber fleets flew to Japan over water from Saipan and along Japanese coastlines to navigate, and to Japanese observers on land would seem to usually seem to emerge from the sea before raining fire down onto them.   There's no doubt those movies were a casting of that very traumatic set of events into traditional mythological forms.  

        In America these movies blended into 1950s and 1960s American movies that were also metaphors and allegories and depictions of fear of invasion by inhuman foreigners (usually space aliens or giant insects) and nuclear attack.   The last big one of these was, I think, Independence Day.

        My impression of the catastrophe movies of the past ten years is that they're about fear of forces of Nature, partly random occurrences but mostly by our own actions such as climate change- global annihilation of life by meteors and destruction of unwisely built cities by tsunamis, rising sea levels, etc.  They're also driven by a sense of overpopulation and excessive consumerism/consumption-- this many people and their behavior are too much, and Nature has to destroy them.

        •  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gmoke

          Watching bits of manga here and there, I see references visually to what look like nuclear explosions. But perhaps as a foreigner I am misinterpreting the material.

          Godzilla being the super giant version of the Gojira (spelling?) makes me harken back to super-giant monster things mutated by radioactivity.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 05:33:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have to get back to work again. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    I will be back on in a bit.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 10:39:45 AM PDT

  •  Regarding trigger warnings on syllabi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, mamamorgaine, churchylafemme

    I am of two minds on the subject. As an art history professor, the addition of trigger warnings would make teaching nearly impossible. How am I to predict which images are potential triggers in my students? How are we to delimit triggers? Do images of the distant past with a different aesthetic produce the same effects? That is, if I show a painting titled "Rape of the Sabines," or a sculpture of Pluto kidnapping Persephone, or David beheading Goliath, do I need to include trigger warnings?

    I am very sympathetic to the argument and do not wish to belittle it. But if there is a place to discuss difficult imagery and its social effects, it is in the academic setting.

    It is my hope that students who have survived assault of any nature can get assistance in their universities, including coping skills. But I think censoring art, whether visual, literary, or musical, because of potential shock is a path we do not want to go down.

    •  I have questions/observations--so brace yourself (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, moviemeister76

      When you look at martial pieces that show gore and guts in battle scenes, you might--as an art history professor focus on the palette and the tableau, the composition, the movement, but for some of your class--other memories might be evoked all together. And it may be disrupting. Do you realize that? That even the softened hues of a rape scene could be important and disruptive for people in your class.

      Just because no one mentioned it, doesn't mean this has never happened before. And isn't art supposed to evoke strong emotions? Why prohibit that? Why disrupt that particular flow of energy? Why not use that as a jumping off point for real discussions about issues that are relevant TODAY?

      You are being dismissive. You are saying that the themes that these pieces represent are less than valuable than the work and craftsmanship invested within them. Or that their symbolism ultimately is different than the symbolism you personally assign them, which in your mind is distant, impersonal and irrelevant to your personal life.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/...
      What could be more disturbing to a soldier, than the drama that is encompassed in this sculpture, the Dying Galatian. He is at the end, it is not far now, the fight is clean out of him, and he is simply waiting for death. All his life flashes through his mind, while the friends and compatriots who were not sculpted, stand silently by echoing the knowledge that Everyone dies alone.

      The Rape of the Sabines
      https://en.wikipedia.org/...
      This sculpture is beautiful in it's craftsmanship but carries the emotional depth of a romance novel civer with bossoms heaving --Oh no--I am being carried away for sexual adventures. This sculpture fails to relay the horror of being kidnapped as a sexual slave and a breeder. It says nothing of rape other than in the title. It lacks the brutality of rape. That in itself would piss me off and I would gladly write a paper all about how this fomented rape culture here and now. It could be a trigger for women who feel that their rape has been minimized or turned into a sexual thing, and not recognized as a human rights violation, as an act of brutality upon their physical person and their reputation.

      How do you approach that? Is it as per the softened hews of pretty girls being carried off into sexual oblivion or do you discuss it the way we speak of the Nigerian Girls who were stolen and sold as wives and sex slaves by fanatics?

      This is how Feminist Art is born, right here. It is to combat this velvet paw that society holds up, that hides the claws of judgement and dismissal.

      Raped the old fashioned way, penis in vagine, raped again via forced pregnancy, owned like property, separated from family, maybe some killed who could not be forced to comply and still others going mad in the process. Do you talk about that with all the pretty white marble?

      These topics are supposed to represent the depth of human depravity but some have all the depth of Couch Art, in spite of the fact that they are valuable classical pieces.

      WHY NOT DISCUSS THAT with the Trigger warning.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:47:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have read things into my statement above (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        that I haven't said.

        I AM A FEMINIST ART HISTORIAN. If there's one thing I'm going to talk about in a class--particularly since I teach Baroque art--it's about how art historians of past generations have attempted to elide the meaning of "rape" in historical images in which rape happens, like the legend of the rape of the Sabines. I never maintain the aestheticization of those violent acts in my lectures. I don't just talk about the formal aspects.

        Perhaps you did not read the sentence above in which I wrote: if there is a place to discuss difficult imagery and its social effects, it is in the academic setting.

        That said, if I have to elide or constantly preface works of art we are about to discuss with a trigger warning, we will get little done. I would suggest that a student so profoundly disabled by a traumatic event should have access to therapy while taking courses--not only art history, but film and literature too.

        •  Being a Feminist won't save you from having (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          your own blind spots. It certainly didn't save me from them either.

          Making something ugly into something beautiful can be a positive transformative act, but it also runs the risk of glamorizing or hiding ugliness in favor of the bland or even promoting the ugly as something else--as propaganda,  of smoothing over issues that should be left jagged and exposed and menacing.

          Trigger Warnings can be put in the Syllabi, you don't have to physically discuss it. It's simply drawing attention to the fact that some of the content of the class may be disturbing or graphic to some people.

          It's your class, do what you will.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:23:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How can you actually teach rape (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, GreenMother

          Without understanding how rape survivors are triggered, often by images of rape? You are complaining about how it will interrupt your teaching, as if it is more important than keeping rape survivors from re-experiencing their trauma. Which is part of rape. Which you are teaching about.

          Plus, many rape survivors often never completely get over their rape. Which means that they can spend the rest of their lives being triggered, though it definitely gets better as time goes by. Not to mention the shame many rape survivors even feel about having been raped, which puts the very idea of therapy right out the window. Not to mention all the poor men and women who can't afford therapy or don't have time to go. Or perhaps just aren't ready for it yet.

          And how long do you think it takes to give a trigger warning? I see bloggers and fan fic authors who are prolific in their writing every single day, yet they still manage to give trigger warnings. How exactly would it be so time-consuming to give a trigger warning as an art history professor that you would get little else done?

          Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

          by moviemeister76 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:22:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I can support... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        that we faculty be requested to put a warning on our syllabus or materials that would warn of content portraying or discussing sexual or extreme bodily violence. I can support that. However, on many college campuses such as mine, study groups are compiling lists of scenarios that merit trigger warnings (in my case the draft list is well over 100). This is where it becomes unmanageable and even moves into laughable territory. I realize that most of these might well trigger some person some place on at some time on some planet. However, if we are going to teach anything, then we simply can't protect everybody from everything.

        Our draft also implores members of the faculty to survey their students at the beginning of each new term to determine what other triggers might be problematic noting that certain songs, sounds, or odors might also be problematic for certain individuals. We should then work with the affected students to mitigate their problem and concern wherever possible.

        I have been assured that this is just a first draft which is kind of cataloging everyone's concerns and ideas and that many of these more "idealistic" recommendations will be discarded by the final set of recommendations. However, I do think this shows how susceptible this area is to "mission creep".

        •  Stick to the basics. Graphic violence, sexual (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          violence, anything that has to do with lynching, slavery:

          Here's my idea--feel free to use it if it pleases you

          Dear Student.
          In the interest of promoting a self aware and compassionate society, this school has decided to label and catergorize certain psychological triggers that might be a source of significant or even clinical emotional upset for students who have survived trauma.
          Syllabi that address topics such as Rape, graphic violence, gore, physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, slavery, lynching or violent forms of bigotry or war, will contain a trigger warning. We do this to give anyone who needs it, a moment to collect themselves before exploring this material, in the hopes that we are empowering the survivors of trauma among us and promoting a just and more peaceful and self aware society.

          Basically I would say do the triggers like one does the rating systems for movies. Keep it simple.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:56:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No one is talking about censoring art. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, moviemeister76

      But knowing that a potential trigger is coming, and preparing oneself for it mentally can be a lot more healthy for everyone involved than just being smacked with it out of the blue. And in some cases where the trauma is severe and the scene is extreme, it could be avoided if necessary (say in a film with a brutal violent scene, etc).

      For example, if I know that there's one domestic violence scene in a movie, I can leave the room for that scene if I think I can't handle it, and enjoy the rest of the movie. If the entire movie is about stalking and domestic violence, then I'd skip it. I'm not going to get any value from that movie because the entire time my PTSD is going to be kicked into over drive and I'm going to be affected for long after the movie is done showing. But with the trigger warning I can make a rational decision on how much I personally can handle without disrupting the class. Without it, there's going to be a disruption of some form.

      That would be a reasonable accommodation of a disability, NOT a censoring.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:11:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not the same thing, because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        churchylafemme

        we are not talking about leisure-time viewing which involves choice. We are talking about images or texts that contain valuable material that students will be tested on or evaluated  in some way. If the student is not able to view/examine the course material in some way, she or he cannot be evaluated on her or his understanding of it.

        Photography, painting, and sculpture are not like film: you don't just look away for a moment until the traumatizing moment passes.

        Believe me, the problem is trickier than you might think. Without having specific guidelines on what might be considered triggering, professors may be left up to a whole range of complaints beyond those who have suffered trauma to those who are ideologically offended. And that's where the potential for censorship comes in.

        •  You have misconstrued the entire point. (3+ / 0-)

          The point is not to excuse people from viewing a subject or topic.

          The point is to give them a heads up in class so they can brace themselves.

          In leisure time activities they are free to avoid or brace--which ever they prefer.

          And to allow anyone to conflate ideological insult with a clinical condition is the equivalent of allowing the pre-planning of the day their dog ate their homework. You are smart enough to see through that.

          A simple heads up in the beginning of your syllabi would mean that someone really sensitive might avoid the class altogether and then I suppose your problem is solved.

          Many of these people might never say a thing to you about it. Because it is that private. But you could be saving them some emotional troubles they don't need while trying to successfully complete your coursework.

          It's nice, when someone makes it clear that you are not alone. And Trigger Warnings say--hey--we know you are out there, and things are going to get better. We are going to give you some tools to help you empower yourself. We are going to acknowledge your condition without shaming you or making you feel helpless or hopeless. And we will do this without naming you in the class or even in front of faculty.

          You are giving them permission to have a deeper emotional response to some topics and pieces too.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:40:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also, if you know you have someone (0+ / 0-)

            who is extremely sensitive to a certain topic, or worse yet, several someones... would you not be able to swap out a different piece of art by the same artist instead? Or if it's a movie or a book assign a different one? Or allow the person to do an independent project? I know I did in high school simply because I was reading the fifth book in a series the class was reading the first book of. The teacher agreed that it would be too confusing because things were revealed later in the series that explained some mysteries in the first book, and let those of us who'd read it ahead find a different book to do on our own. And that wasn't even a documented medical issue for which accommodations are required by law.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:22:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Knock on the door set me off once. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, GreenMother, worldlotus

    Witness to spousal abuse. I don't have many problems day to day and anniversary is much less of a problem than it once was. Fewer triggers than others have, I think, too, as it was a one-off event.

    Actually funding mental health care and doing our best to remove stigma about seeking it would be nice. My therapist helped a huge amount at the time.

  •  I'm a two tour combat vet with PTSD... (6+ / 0-)

    and you deserve a T&R for this well written diary.

    Ironically, my PTSD is not from my time in combat.  It's from a time when we were digging out a collapsed orphanage after a volcano erupted and buried it in ash.

    And it didn't even fully manifest itself until years later after I'd had a child of my own.

    As I got older, it got worse and worse with each passing year.  The more I tried to shove it down and ignore it, the stronger the hold it had on my life.  

    I was ashamed.

    So ashamed.

    My life had to fall completely apart before I was willing to get help from the VA.

    For any and all of you out there who are dealing with this, please don't make my mistakes.  

    Get help.

    There is no shame in getting help.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:22:43 AM PDT

    •  Sometimes it takes a really long time for this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus, Bonsai66

      to manifest completely.

      Having kids triggered me too. It didn't make me a bad mom, but sometimes other people didn't always understand where I was coming from.

      It is frustrating to me that the VA doesn't understand how that can affect this condition. Parenting can be very instinctual. PTSD turns those instincts up to a very high degree, it can be unbearable.

      So that it's difficult to trust any kind of stranger to watch your small children and infants. Even professionals.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:43:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's amazing how we can brush off these... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        things when we're young.

        But they don't leave us.  

        They stay.

        And grow.

        And when we have kids and get older,  they come back like a hurricane.

        I'm a lucky dude.  My ex-wife is a great mom.  And she tolerates me and my baggage.

        Nothing worth noting at the moment.

        by Bonsai66 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:10:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  PTSD took the life (4+ / 0-)

    of a friend of mine.

    Few realized how significant his trauma was, and nobody expected that it was so bad he would take his life.

    That's the lesson to be learned. To help ensure nobody has to suffer in silence, without help.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:21:33 PM PDT

  •  Been there, done that (5+ / 0-)

    Seven years ago, I suffered a freak spine injury that paralyzed my legs, landing me in the hospital for emergency reconstructive surgery - and four months of daily in-patient physical & occupational therapy - before I was finally strong enough to return home on a pair crutches.  I was in a wheelchair for the first three months of that hospital time, unsure whether I would ever be able to walk again (I now walk with a limp).  I've been very gradually recuperating ever since then (still pretty numb, and pretty lame).

    With a determined "can-do" attitude throughout my ordeal, and beyond, I thought I was doing great, mental health-wise.  But no so fast.

    About nine months after I left hospital, the PTSD suddenly struck from out of the blue.  (I hadn't realized it could do that.)  Reliving, hypervigilance, jumpiness, isolation, the inability to focus or concentrate, etc.  All those symptoms were there.

    Fortunately my case was not as severe as some have it.  It's been only time and medication that have allowed me to gradually get my life back.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Sun May 25, 2014 at 03:13:11 PM PDT

  •  Bless you! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, FloridaSNMOM, GreenMother

    I really felt like I was fighting an uphill battle about trigger warnings here. I've experienced what it was like to be triggered in a classroom, and I fail to understand how any professor wouldn't want to change things to keep that from happening to any of their students. After all, pretty much every professor I've ever met actually prefers students who are interested and engaged. Being triggered keeps that from happening.

    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

    by moviemeister76 on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:13:33 PM PDT

    •  I was triggered once in an art class of all places (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moviemeister76

      And it wasn't by the art. It was by the dialogue that followed.

      The younger girls who had never worked in their life, or been in the military didn't understand the importance of Feminist Art or Feminist Art critiques. When I stood up and explained it to them, they laughed at me and ridiculed me.

      That was the trigger.

      It was like being in the military again and being told not to make a big deal over and stop being such a femi-nazi.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:59:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I'm sorry that happened to you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        One of the things I learned in college is that the professor is incredibly important to setting a tone in a class. I had professors where I can see that happening because they themselves created an intolerant atmosphere, often in subtle ways I'm not even sure they understood. When it came to my history professors who did that, there were often vitriolic arguments that broke out, with one person being ganged up on by many other people, which the professor never did anything to stop.

        On the other hand, I had some amazing professors who set an atmosphere of compassion and understanding, often just in the way they listened and responded to what a student said. Students would pick up on those behavioral cues, and respond accordingly in how they treated fellow students.

        Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

        by moviemeister76 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:42:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have witnessed that too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moviemeister76

          I eventually told myself--they couldn't know. They are very young and idealistic, and most likely the professor never served either. So Here I am telling them these fantastical accounts of stuff that seems too bizarre to believe.

          They have no frame of reference.

          I had to accept that some would eventually find out the hard way, and others would never know. And I could not tell you which is worse.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 03:45:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I went through the exact same thing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GreenMother

            I remember I once went on a bit of a rant in class one day due to the way all the students were talking from a perspective that excluded the lived experiences of soldiers and their families. Thankfully, I did it in a class with a professor who was very understanding and let me have my say, and even backed me up on some of what I said. It probably helped that he grew up in a country devastated by Civil War, so he had very real experiences of what it was like to go to school scared all the time.

            In the end, though, it was pretty clear they had no clue what I was talking about.

            Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

            by moviemeister76 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 03:57:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I had a woman's studies professor (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moviemeister76

              ask me about my time in the service. I told her in front of the class. she shot me down, because another female vet (in another service branch) said her experience was different.

              After a while you just stop talking. I mean what's the point? If your own kind are more than willing to stand on your head and drown your ass; then why bother?

              I dumped that class a short time later.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:18:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  *facepalm* (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GreenMother

                It seriously alarms me that a woman's studies professor wouldn't get the concept that experiences are not universal. I would have definitely dropped that class.

                You want to hear something sad? I sent an email to the professor I mentioned above saying that I felt the way he talked about how "all Americans" responded in the aftermath of 9/11 actually flattened the experiences of millions of Americans. Since we did not all respond the same way. He said that he actually agreed, but after years of trying to explain things like that to American (not just students), he's sometimes found it easier to not pick an ideological battle over every single issue.

                Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

                by moviemeister76 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 04:27:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know--right? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  moviemeister76

                  And yes sometimes you have to pick your battles. I cannot fault anyone for that.

                  "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                  by GreenMother on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:13:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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