Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Shots Heard Round the World

Yesterday a male human walked into a mosque in Christchurch, NZ. He had not come to pray, but to kill. And in doing so he wrote a new chapter in the history of man not-so-kind.

And I can guarantee this won't be the last. Right now, somewhere in the world another male human is being prepared by groups of hate that dot the underside of the internet. That twisted soul is being fed lie upon lie about his worth, his life, his future. He is a bomb in the making.

When he is sufficiently convinced that he is nothing and has nothing to lose this person will gather up the weapons he has collected, and stuff his pockets with filled clips of ammo strap a web camera to his head and leave his dark den to inflict his darkness on the world. He has a target, something that has caught the attention of his anger. There is a group that is the focus of his hate.

Women, Blacks, Jews, Muslims we are all hunted now.

When he reaches his target he will turn on his camera; if he hasn't already spent the time traveling to his destination mentally masturbating on-line about what sick fantasy he is going to live out. He will approach a human being, a person who has a family, and all those ties to community that our shooter envies. The first shot will be heard around the world.

His performance will be watched in living rooms, in basements, in cars all around the globe. There won't be a single corner that will be able to escape this horror. We are all assaulted.

While most of the world will recoil in horror, in the darkness of hearts and minds that created this bomb, they will watch their creation. They will comment on those he kills. Who drops. Who tries to crawl away. And, yes - they are already laughing.

The voices behind the bomb, this killer they have groomed and fed and cultured, they will judge his performance. They will comment on nuances. They will grade his efficiency. Then after the shooting is done and their puppet is captured or killed and of no further interest to them they will calmly sit at their computers and discuss the quality of the entertainment they had. They will dissect his performance as meticulously as the surgeons will repair the survivor's muscle, nerve and bone.

While the bereft grieve and tend to their dead, the voices of hate will tend their garden. The on-line forums where they spread hate like manure gathering flies above dung. And in those electronic fields of hate they will find a new soul, in pain and vulnerable. They will welcome him in and add him to the line of bombs that they produce.

Right now this individual exists. And the next one, and the next...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Life through a straw

Each and everyone of us who walks on this earth has been plopped down at the grand buffet that is life. It is an enormous seemingly endless table. On this table is every variety of taste, sight, sound, smell, experience, joy and sorrow. You are allowed to take whatever you can from the table - there is only one real rule is that you have to keep moving and you can't go back to something you missed. So think carefully before you pass something up.

Now, imagine you have #cptsd from childhood neglect or trauma. In essence that means you have been handed a straw. And same as anyone else you can eat from the enormous buffet that is life. The catch is, you can only taste something if it will fit through the straw.

And, initially, you are fine with this. Because to you it doesn't seem like a restriction or a limit, it is just the way things are. It is normal. And you know that your straw can be taken away from you by anyone at any time. So you treasure it, and you think how lucky you are that you aren't left with nothing. You might be hungry, but you won't die of starvation. That's a good thing. That's enough.

You sample your way down the table. As a child you take what you can find. At first the things that fall from the table. The items that hang over the edge. Things your fingers can just reach at the edge of this massive groaning board. Some things you yearn to try, but you know they won't fit through your straw. You don't ask for any help because if someone notices you, they could - no they would - take your straw away. You know that for certain. So better to be silent and hang at the fringes of the crowd as you all pass by the table each taking and sampling what they can, what they like.

Years pass and you grow taller. And as you grow you can see more and more of what is on the table. And with your straw you diligently gather what you can. It doesn't matter that it is the cold oatmeal that congeals at the edges, this is life and you have never known anything else. So you have your straw, and things are good enough. You don't worry. You don't want better. Because you don't know better exists.

One day though you notice that not everyone has a straw. Most people have these large vessels they call plates if they are flat or bowls if they are round. Some people have long metal skewers they use to reach the tastiest things that sit at the farthest distance. Some folk just grab from the table with huge hands shoving indiscriminately whatever they can grasp into their mouth.

Then you notice more. There are groups that seem to roam the table together. The bigger people help those smaller to reach things. They even let the little people ride on their shoulders so they can see more. Some people march by with massive platters heaped high with only one thing, some have loaded baskets to feed others and some have sampled nearly everything on the table.

You suddenly realize you have a straw and how limited it is. Looking back along the table now you can see that it fades into the horizon. And you notice that it was heaped with variety and pleasures that you never imagined. It doesn't matter that you know much of it could never have fit through your straw, even if you had known it was there, it is the knowledge of how limited you are that threatens to break you.

So you stand at a crux. Do you quit the table? Do you continue in the knowledge of all the life you will never taste while you only have a straw? Or, do you risk it all and reach out to ask for better?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

An open letter to the #bonsai people - #CPTSD

I have #cptsd. I've struggled with it for nearly 40 years. Until - I finally found someone who could put all the pieces together and give my basket of problems a name.

That in itself was one triumph. Knowing.

When I see those 'conquer' posts or those "I've recovered" posts... I'm envious. And I wonder if I'll ever be 'healed'.

Then I remember the #bonsai. We are the bonsai people. Tiny seedlings shaped, trained, even mutilated into forms that their nature never intended.

And as horrible as that process was, the twisting, the shaping at a person's hands they survived. And each is entirely unique.

Like the bonsai it is that uniqueness which makes each survivor of #CPTSD a little universe of our own. We all responded to the pressures and dangers of our lives in our own way. So do not judge your successes by someone else's.

All of us are as different from one another as can be. Your healed is going to look different from mine.

I will admit that I don't think of myself as 'healing' from my past so much as growing beyond it. You will grow. You will take yourself in new directions. You will fly. And you will fail. And you will learn, and fly again.

Like the forces that shaped the bonsai, #cptsd cannot be removed from us, or eradicated. It has shaped us. But, now that we know we can choose to grow beyond that limited shape.

You will grow, and thrive, and be magnificent.

We are the bonsai people, bent, pared away, shaped by our environment.
And despite all of that, we survive, we grow, we thrive in places others fear to tread, because we are as fearless and tough as we are unique.

We are the bonsai people and we are beautiful.