Thursday, January 7, 2021

Picking up Clues: No one should be surprised by yesterday’s events.

Holiday break is over. That means I am back at the keys.


You can’t see me but I’m over here shaking my head because of the events in the US in the past 24 hours.

I’m reading all my various news feeds and still head shaking. It’s mystifying – why are all these people acting surprised? I’ve said it repeatedly since December 2015 that Trump was going to be a disaster. I even broke Godwin’s Law at the time and compared him to Hitler. Readers may still think that comparison is extreme. I don’t.

Where did people think the erosion of the truth, the persistent lying, and the scapegoating was going to lead? Where? These actions are drawn whole-cloth from the 1933 Nazi party.

I could go on with comparisons, but I’ve already written that essay over here:
Echoes of 1933. There is no need to retread that ground.

What disappoints me is that there are so many people who find the events of yesterday surprising. All the information was there folks. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Moreover – the political atmosphere should not have been allowed to become poisoned to this extent.

Someone on Twitter asked: What one word do you think future historians will use to describe the Trump administration?

Among all the things you might expect to see I added one that might seem out of place – ‘pivotal’. I believe that is the most accurate way to describe the erosion that this administration has brought our nation and our government.

This administration and the general ineffectual leadership of our elected officials, all of them, has brought us to a point where nearly half of the people in the US think that this administration has been good for them. Half? I find that number both depressing and sickening.

And the political talking heads of the media have bewailed all the impropriety, while at the same time providing a platform willing or not for the public poisoning of our government and our nation.

Pivotal. I chose that word because here we, everyone, needs to start valuing truth again. We need to see if we can resuscitate our national decency. This frothing of the mob was predictable every step along the arc of the last four years.

Sometimes I feel very much like Cassandra. Usually it doesn’t bother me. There are moments like this, however, that frustrate me because what seems so obvious to me has been ignored or downplayed.

It’s a simple thing to see. So, if you’re surprised, you haven’t been paying attention.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

In the can.

CPTSD is a strange thing to grow up with. Even stranger to live with once you know you have it.

For Example:
My latest InstagramPost-

There it is the manuscript for Book 4 in the Unhomed series. Still debating titles. I do like to stick with one word – but this particular word is proving elusive.
Despite that this manuscript will be placed into a drawer to ‘marinate’ for a year, at least. I’ll come back to it in Jan 2022. Provided I’m still here.

You might be wondering what is so ‘typical’ of CPTSD in that little post above. I’ll point out the last line. Now, while it may be very appropriate in 2020 to not take making it to tomorrow for granted it goes a bit deeper than that.

From Pete Walker’s Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving I pull this quote from the section on “Toxic Shame and Soul Murder.” (If that isn’t a powerful phrase I don’t know what is?)

Quote: When our emotional intelligence is restricted, we often do not know what we really want.

~ Pete Walker

I don’t think I can convey how estranged I was, and let’s admit still am, from my feelings. I can see that emotional emptiness echoing back through my life. With it I can follow the ambivalence I had about life.

One of the questions I have always struggled with is “Where do you want to be in ten years?” Or even five. Hell, I don’t know where I want to eat lunch let alone what I want to do with myself in a year. Never mind ten years.

Learned helplessness is a survival tool. Additionally, it is a phrase I absolutely loathe. But, love it or loathe it, learned helplessness is a firm part of my past. I still wrestle with it.

I never really planned for anything because promises were broken, plans were ignored, asking for something was too much. I became able to be grateful for what I was given and not to expect or hope for more. This is the core of learned helplessness. There is nothing you can do to improve your situation, so you learn to endure. Later when the cause of the suffering is removed the mind is still locked in the role of the abused and cannot see that circumstances have changed.

How does all that relate to planning for tomorrow? For me here was no planning for any future. I dealt with what was given to me. My future was to fulfill the expectations of my family. I didn’t think about my future. I didn’t get to.

So, although I have every intention of revising, editing, and publishing the book above, I know that nothing in life is promised, not even tomorrow.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Paradox #3 : joy and fear

Yesterday was a remarkable day. So many people felt as if they were coming up for air after fighting to breathe for years. The announcement of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being elected as the next president and vice-president of the United States was literally celebrated around the world.

All the aspects of life that bring my CPTSD into full bloom were central at that moment; change, relief, uncertainty, hope. I was caught between feeling the moment too much or not feeling it at all.

That first instant of glorious relief was cut short by the fear that this was an illusion and would not last. As I watched the celebrations erupting around me the only thing that passed through my mind was, How long until we find out this is a lie?

I couldn’t dive into the celebration. My brain, my past, kept telling me that this was a mirage. Don’t trust it. Wait until you see if it sticks. Don’t let go. So, I kept that death grip on myself that I call rational self-control.

Change can bring such relief. It can also throw everything into the air indiscriminately. With change I wonder will it stay? How long? Can I trust it? What are the rules for survival now?

Folks with CPTSD often live with the knowledge that what you have been given can just as swiftly be taken away. So many parts of me were echoing with past experience last night that I felt ready to fly to pieces. The memories were jumbled and pressed in from every direction. This was the moment of the backlash or the crushing blow.

This was the moment when if you allowed yourself to believe the world contains goodness you invited disaster. Happiness only exists in milliseconds because inevitably the hope is smashed, the toy broken, the dream shattered.

With CPTSD you try to remember that this moment can’t last. We guard our feelings so closely because we have been taught that to show emotion is like placing a drop of blood in the water. To demonstrate a moment of happiness is the same action that summons the monsters which will destroy it.

Hope. Hope is the most treacherous emotion of all. That is the driving force that makes you pull yourself over the glass time after time. Hope is so often an illusion, untrustworthy. For those of us who live with CPTSD hope is a double-edged sword where both sides can wound.

So, last night, with the world celebrating around me, I clung to my husband unable to breathe. I lay there feeling the muscles around my eyes tighten, my jaw clench, my throat close, my chest contract. Afraid to breathe, I was waiting for the blow to come.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Unhomed Video Trailer

 

The post at the top

Thank you for reading my work.  Seriously.


  Thank you.  

I've decided to tackle this post early on to think through how to handle things before they arise.

There are some rules - basic stuff. Please take the minute to read over them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

A Very Short Story About Beer

It is a typical summer evening for my husband and I. The cicadas are humming in the trees, the occasional addition of frog song chimes in. The windows are open and a lazy fan turns on the ceiling as if it is protesting the heat as well.

As the evening light fails, I can watch the sunset from the window of my office. One cat is curled on the pillow of my desk the other is slowly batting at the poodle's tail in sleepy distraction.

From the kitchen below, I hear the rattling of pans and the opening of the fridge. The cats both perk an ear towards the sound, but both return to napping when the sound doesn't end with the squeak and pop of my husband opening the plastic container of sliced turkey. It's too hot to move for anything less than - the good stuff.

I agree with them. I would much rather be outside on the porch trying to catch the ghost of an evening breeze. Instead, I have a deadline to meet and I have to keep cranking out 'product'.

The peace of the evening is shattered by my husband's yell. It's only a single word, but I know that tone.

"What!?"

There is some disaster afoot. I abandon my office and pelt down the stairs, remembering to skip the fourth because it is loose.

Must remember to fix that tomorrow.

I put the thought aside with the hollow promise that I will surely remember it. As I skid into the kitchen with the poodle trailing at my heels, I see my husband standing at the refrigerator.

The icebox door is wide open. He's standing there with a beer in his hand and a look of utter confusion on his face.

"What's wrong?" I'm envisioning a lost finger or tooth. Or some calamity that is going to require us both to spring into action.

My husband simply holds up the beer bottle.

"I can't believe it," he says.
"What?"
"Look at how small it is?"

Now, I see what the 'problem' is.
The beer bottle is indeed smaller than the usual 12oz. It's about half the usual size.

"Why did they do that?" he asked putting the bottle on the counter between us.

I didn't have time to ponder the marketing strategies of a Mexican beer company. I had a deadline to meet. Snatching the bottle from the counter I started back to my office.
"What's the problem? It's a single cervesa."

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

You're telling me what?

 

Let me get this straight, 

I spent my childhood

building all these defenses

and now I'm gonna spend my

adulthood undoing 

this fuckery.