This entry is going to be pretty ugly, so I am putting a trigger warning on it. Right away. My blog should automatically be considered requiring a trigger warning anyway. No one should be reading this stuff without knowing they are going to be triggered. My entire life is one big trigger. That is why I am writing it in the first place, Becky and Chad.
This entry is inspired by my favourite facebook science blog, the Insufferably Intolerant Science Nerd. She is, as her name implies, Insufferable. And Intolerant. Her intolerance is of ignorance. There is no room in her world for self-delusion and the ignorance that creates. She is on a one-woman crusade to stomp out ignorance and all that entails. And her chief weapon is knowledge. Knowledge, courage, and an unflagging persistence to spread those things to every dank and stinking corner of the world and the dark closed minds that inhabit it. And, because she is a woman and completely comfortable with all that implies, she brings along the comfy chair and the soft pillow. There is absolutely no common sense in fighting injustice while not taking proper self care. The fact that she is a proud and dignified nerdy lesbian while she quite effectively goes about this crusade from the exceedingly strange and dangerous land of Australia only makes her that much more beloved and endearing to me.
So I made sure to link to her post that inspired this entry at the very top, and I copied her page’s cover photo (which her wife made for her) and plastered it right under the link, so anyone who comes here knows for sure where to go to read the article that inspired this whole ramble, and they can fall in love with her amazing brain and get hooked on cool science stuff, and empowered. Her blog is where people cheered me in this Science Witch thing, and so I am kind of paying it forward in my tiny way by giving credit where credit is due here. I really don’t think she will mind. Because after all, spreading science and empowerment is her shtick.
There is a link to an article, Filicide in Australia. Read it. It’s powerful and compelling, and is very detailed on why tormented people do awful things. It provides extremely compelling evidence into the minds of agonised people that NEEDS to be put into the human knowledge data pool so we can help our victimised populace. Do not turn your face away from the pain; we need it to heal it.
I feel like I am on one of those manic roller coasters, and I can’t say I particularly like it. Things are processing though my neural cortex really fast right now, and because I have spent so many years learning the very nuanced and potentially dangerous swings and curves of bipolar chemical imbalances, I have to be hypervigilant about how I process the flood of memories and insights triggers cause. My therapist has, over the years, taught me how absolutely overwhelming trauma triggers and memories can be, and how VITAL it is to stop those from getting too intense. When we have sessions, she is extremely careful to control how I access triggering thoughts and memories because too much at one time or in too short a time period will, in fact, cause a chemical cascade in my brain that will push me too far into a manic cycle or a depressive cycle. Or else will cause my brain to decide either one will be bad, and release chemicals that will dampen and numb all emotions. OR my brain will decide it’s going to be very stubborn and not play this game at all anymore and just coat my memories in another shell of “do not access” chemicals and leave me in ignorance for another ten or twenty years to stew in unresolved anxiety. My therapist is a transpersonal therapist, which is a subspecialty that has decided to not restrict therapy to one form of science over another. Transpersonal therapists have decided instead to adopt a philosophy that, and I am going to paraphrase GREATLY here, tomorrow’s science is today’s magic.
That’s really a big paraphrase. Let me sum up. One of my favourite authors is Arthur C. Clarke. A while ago he basically said that the science of the future is no more than the magic of the past; that what appears supernaturally magical to more primitive cultures and sciences is no more than the technology and more greatly understood and perfected sciences of advanced cultures. His famous analogy, I believe, was taking a television set back to stone age man who would see it as a fantastical demonic device. I like to point out how doctors of the 19th century adamantly insisted cholera was caused by “evil vapours”. Transpersonal therapists take the daring idea that just maybe other cultures with weird medical ideas have some valid science to them, so they aren’t going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. So some of them do reiki adjustments, and some of them tell you to go ahead and see your acupuncturist, and all of them tell you to incorporate your personal faith and morals into your healing journey so that YOU can be YOUR BEST while you heal your traumas. A patient’s relationship with their therapist is not something you go into on your first visit and are ready to instantly expose all of your life’s most horrific details. I have been seeing mine for thirteen years and we haven’t even started talking about the really awful details yet. We have only been able to strip away the outer layers of my traumas. We’re only just about halfway there. She did a reiki adjustment on me once. It was fantastic. I don’t know if it helped me much other than just making me feel really relaxed and giving me some pain relief. But ultimately I don’t care, because the other things we do in our sessions are phenomenal. She uses EMDR, and brainspotting, and gestalt methods (gods I hate gestalt methods, but I will use them when I need to be pushed that way, because she knows best), and lots of other stuff. She also holds documents for me for legal purposes, because on at least one occasion I have received mail from sperm donor that was very vicious and threatening and at some point in the future I may have to use it to defend myself. So I gave it to her, and she read it, and it almost made her cry, and she put it face down on the table, and promised she would keep it for safety and legal reasons.
When I read the article linked above, I was triggered. It made me remember all the times sperm donor tried to kill me. I don’t even know how many times that is, actually. Because of the trauma swiss cheese brain thing. It is imperative to impress upon the reader that the traumatised brain will probably never recover. PTSD, while classified as an anxiety disorder, is also a traumatic brain injury. Science has discovered this through painstaking analysis of how the brain is physically constructed. As I write my life’s story in my book, I go into detail of how my trauma literally occured. It’s very important to me to NOT tell my story as a victim only. Yes, I was victimized, but it’s not the central point. When I was a little girl, I read the Little House books just like every other 1970s girl in America. And because I was an extremely advanced reader, I read them when I was in first grade, right after I learned how to read. And I immediately decided I was going to chronicle my life just like Laura Ingalls Wilder. And I was reading Mozart’s biography in third grade. So, not to try to sound pompous or anything, but I have been practicing writing my story in my head since Laura gave me the idea when I was seven. Getting pro tips, you might say. And in spite of living like a prisoner of war, I still loved my parents. I don’t know if I had Stockholm Syndrome or what, but I did love them. Maybe it’s genetically coded into us to love our parents because we need them to survive, and the parents of infants are genetically coded to care for their young because they successfully procreated. Scientifically speaking I have no opinion on why the human being is compelled to love and nurture it’s young, either the father or the mother, whether the young is male or female. In my particular case I spent a great deal of time *even as a child* trying to understand this concept.
That’s right, I was a little girl, trying to grasp this enormous scientific concept. That’s…not normal. And when I learned how to read, at age six going on seven, I LEAPT into reading. In kindergarten we were taught the ABCs, and I was 5. By six, at the beginning of first grade, we were taught phonetics, and I went from sounding out baby books to Laura Ingalls Wilder to deciding I was going to write my autobiography only 100 times better than her because my life was so much more dramatic.
Oh sweet summer child, this was way, way, way before that daddy guy tried to slam you against the wall because you thought the teacher meant “go home” when she said “stay outside” and he thought he was going to kill you the way he tried to kill mommy that time. Or that time he threatened to chop you up into little pieces and bury you in the field next door. Or that time he had his hands around your throat so tight your vision turned into those funny speckles. And the memories keep coming.
That article is triggering like that. Writing my story is like scraping out these memories, flinging them against a window, and watching them slide down in putrescent globules. Scraping them out is like peeling tarpaper linoleum from old wood floors though. My husband and I did that to restore the original wood floors of the apartment we rented in New London when our son was a baby. The house was an old whaling captain’s house, and our landlord was this great old guy who lived in the basement apartment. He was former Navy, and he rented the two upper floors (which he had converted to apartments) to Navy enlisted. We had the middle. We asked him if we could restore the floor if he paid for the supplies, and he was thrilled with the idea. He even got environmentally friendly new varnish and supplies and safety gear for us. But to strip the old linoleum, which was the old timey original tar-backed paper kind, we had to heat it up with a heat gun and scrape it carefully off the beautiful old original oak floorboards. It was disgusting. It was tedious. It was very, very messy. It was also apparently very tempting material to a newly mobile and voraciously curious child. But mostly it was hot, sticky, dirty, tedious, toxic, and gross. And then we had to sand the rest, but in stages, because if too much of the tarry goo was left on the oak then the sandpaper would just gum up uselessly. So it was a matter of scraping and sanding in patches before we could sand with the sander. Releasing my toxic memories is much like that floor refinishing job. It must be done with patience and persistence. Watching them slide down a windowpane is kind of like the varnishing process: after sanding, we had to spend what seemed a ridiculously long time varnishing, because the environmentally friendly varnish required a longer drying time, and a fine sanding between finish applications. Slapping the goo on a window is like checking to make sure ALL the crap gets out. Laying it out in the light so it can dry up and turn to dust. I must face the truth of what happened to me.
AND TO MY PARENTS. They were victims in all this too. So I started my story with THEIR story. Where they came from. WHEN they came from. How they met and how they got to where I grew up. Where THEIR parents came from. I’ve had to piece together a lot of it because I’ve lived in a bubble of silence regarding all of that my whole life. I will talk about that here too, and how I have undergone genetic testing in part to figure all that out…and to help figure out my mental illness. But reading this article highlights how understanding the people who commit such horrible acts as killing children need to be studied. My biological father is one of these people. He did not succeed BUT HE TRIED MANY TIMES. So the book I am writing is for him, too. He is an evil person. And my story will illustrate that, surely. If he is still alive when it is published, he will undoubtedly be so furious I will be in fear for my life. I mean, I already AM…I daily live with the terror he will show up and Do Something. But when this is published, if he is alive, and he finds out about it, I will Be Very Afraid. But it needs to be said! He is as much a victim of this horrible disease as I am; the only difference is that I got help and wanted to change while he did not. The difference is inevitably fatal to someone.