A double whammy 

How could she have known? She was up against too much. Yet, like Sysiphus, she blindly persisted, pushing that rock of hypervigilance up each hill, sometimes twice in an instant. 

How was she to know? Know what, he asked. She silently sunk below the surface,  with a secret appetency for dissociative clamoring she could never dismiss.

The dissociative disorders are a group of mental disorders that affect consciousness defined as causing significant interference with the patient’s general functioning, including social relationships and employment.

Now, I must transgress while you undress…

The musty attic taste, the smell of malice hanging in the air, a dread-filled dream she never quite awakes from…

 Sexually traumatized children and adults feel stripped of their dignity and sense of control, and often reenact in feeling, thinking, and behavior the dissociated imprints of horrific, and loathsome memories. These and other untoward effects tend to encroach upon all spheres of victims’ existence—upon their bodies, minds, emotions, faith-based values, relationships, and cultural values. 

The persons being discussed in this article are child sexual abuse (CSA) victims, and sexual assault (SA) victims.

Or in her case, both. Complex & chronic. 

While in SA the trauma wears away and fractures the structure of the personality already fashioned, in CSA repetitive, trauma-on-trauma deforms the personality.

 In CSA the very foundation of the self structure is affected due the experienced battering to the spirit and injury to the soul.

Essentially, the effects of trauma activate and imbed within the survivor a legacy of chronic, unrelenting, inescapable traumatic anxiety. 

Both forms of trauma leave indelible trauma imprints on the mind and body, associated with both classical and operant conditioning and biochemical encoding of fear structures on the substratum of the self.

These trauma effects pervasively influences the way victims (a) process feelings, (b) think about their distress, (c) find a personally purposive theory of healing, (d) shape the quality of communicative interpersonal transactions, and the way they (e) experience personal identity. 


Studies have shown that women who have endured sexual assault are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental condition, such as anxiety, somatic, depressive, and substance abuse disorders, than women who have not experienced this type of psychological trauma. 


revictimization is associated with having been sensitized by the original trauma, and losing the sense of self-protecting acuity essential to accurate appraising of environmental risks…

Scientific findings reveal that sexually assaulted women who were also abused as children have a higher degree of psychopathology than not only nonvictims, but also CSA and SA victims.

These survivors, moreover, are more likely to suffer suicidal attempts, experience sexual dysfunction and general health problems, and a significant minority experience revictimization; that is, being subjected to another assault. 

Studies and clinical experience reveal that CSA victims are more likely to suffer severe mental illness… 

She’d already added revictimization to her stats; having subjected to another much more violent assault. 

How could she ever be hypervigilant again?


…revictimization; that is, being subjected to another assault. 

Depending on the age at the time of the trauma, adult patterns of sexual trauma symptoms differ significantly (e.g., trauma in early childhood vs. at the adolescent years, etc.).

Child sexual abuse and assault victims often respond with numbing of emotions, and avoidance of feelings, people, places, and circumstances that may trigger horrific remembrance. 

CSA victims strongly desire the abuse to end, and have had to adapt to violence and abuse over time-

SA victims eschew mental and behavioral rehearsing of the trauma and struggle to make sense of what has happened, distracting from [pain] to allow them to minimize the anxiety they would experience were they to become fully aware of the meaning of the sexual terrorism they had endured; they engage in denial, avoidance, and numbing. 

This excessive suppression of strong affect contribute to the expression of dissociative vulnerabilities. 

As a consequence of trauma, victims become hypersensitized to “sexual signals” from the opposite sex. They may perceive more “evidence” of sexual interest than non-traumatized women,12 as they scan the environment with high levels of hypervigilant anxiety. 

While one in every six American women have been victims of attempted or completed rapes in their lifetime, on American college campuses one in every five women reported being a rape victim at some time during their lives.

in 2001 there were 249,000 victims of rape, attempted rape, or assault. 

Studies and clinical experience reveal that CSA victims are more likely to suffer severe mental illness, along with acting-out, violence, suspiciousness, and hostility disorganization.

In child sexual abuse and adult sexual victimization the person experiences the traumatic onslaught as a transgression of the self. 

…Traumatizing abusers are often not relatives, but know the child victims they molest (60%). Fewer perpetrators are relatives of the children they abuse (30%).

Denial is particularly strong in victims who knew their assailants.

These survivors, moreover, are more likely to suffer suicidal attempts, experience sexual dysfunction and general health problems, and a significant minority experience revictimization; that is, being subjected to another assault. 

The fabric of her self unraveled at an unprecedented pace these days, ever since the beating, an ambush, the details slipped away with only a phone call from the scene to illuminate the black hole left in her brain by the repeated blunt force trauma, to the chin, each eye, the temples and the chest.

How was it that she had her bag, her phone, car keys and wallet? But no memory save driving down that hill into a hell she can’t even remember. The damage to her brain was permanent. What more could be destroyed? She’d lost everything more than once, never could have kids, lost her career to the whims of a crazymaker, and was told her status as the bastard child was reason enough for the continual abuse she most certainly “deserved,” by some  design, convinced of that meaningless existence that only adopted children know in their  bones.

All that matters is blood in this world. Without that, you are invisible, dissociatied from belonging, given up because you were a  burden, a mistake, not the apple of anyone’s eye, just there, for the taking. The trauma repeats with lupine prowess, until she can take no  more. 

That is where we are today. 

Biochemical encoding of fear structures on the substratum of the self…

They are on edge as they anticipate and evade further assault, take flight away from relationships and from life itself, and into the arms of isolation and stasis which strip them of vitality and of a future of possibilities and personal growth. These victims can benefit from the intervention of well-trained trauma therapists.

People often speak of “spirit” as being a part of the total self, as in the well-known components affirming expression, “mind, body, and spirit.” 

Perhaps the truth is that spirit is not “part” at all, but pervades the whole of the self. Recently, one of the authors saw a training card at a national trauma/substance abuse conference that read: “There is no part of life that does not contain spirit; therefore, spirit is not a part.
Now, what of the lost self that bleeds from erasure of self that comes with adoption?

How am I to ever heal? Each day brings intensified anxiety, skin crawling shame and the burden of blame that hangs on every bloom of joy, withering hope with malingering despair.

When you told me I didn’t matter, I believed you. 



  • Thank you for letting me express this pain 
  • Thank you to the author of this article CSA

The Lie Brigade

I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.

C.S. Lewis

  

The truth is a dangerous thing, especially to those who have been warned never to speak.

The truth leaves you alone. Abandoned. With only truth as your companion. Left for dead on a sidewalk. 

The lie, on the other hand, smoulders in embers stoked by the infinite jest. The joke is on you. What good did telling the truth do for you? Disrupted your entire life when you just couldn’t live with such seminal shame from the oblique obloquies piling up in droves, threatening your very survival. That is the absolute truth.

 
And yet your life as others have told it is only and always the lie. A lie no one even owns. A lie that has had a dangerous life of its own.

The lie gave the liar everything they asked for. The truth destroyed everything you worked your whole life for, obliterated all the things you’d had to overcome.

The sinister shadow re-invented as billowing storm. Soulless winds of evil swirl, released by those who could not only do what had been carried out, but stamp out any hope in the remains.

The truth was weaker than the lie. She could not get over that. All the liars were rewarded, every step of the way, while telling the truth had only given her more to overcome. And no one ever wanted to hear about that.

   
 The facts cannot be un-lived. The dark deceit can never be erased. No matter what is said in its place.

censure or blame  aimed at a person especially by numerous persons 

to discredit, disgrace, or bad repute resulting from public blame, abuse, or denunciation

  

  
 
  All you can ask is why? What made the liars lie? What did they gain by her demise?

What does it mean to live in truth? Putting it negatively is easy enough: it means not lying, not hiding, and not dissimulating.

Milan Kundera

The truth no one wanted to hear. The truth, twisted like the rope around the tree, unraveling the lie, over time.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Aldous Huxley

The Graph: Math of Story, pt. 2

“No bones. Not even a knee cap.”

 

 

 

 

As if knee caps are a different currency altogether, and, if that were the case, I should have a buried treasure full of gold somewhere, risk-free, in the desert.

I’ve been watching Breaking Bad in consecutive order, an anomoly for me other than “Lost,” “Deadwood” and

to gorge on one season a while back; I saw a middle episode of Breaking Bad (the one in season 3 where the twins are buying body armor from a semi-fucktard redneck in semi-trailer, but I knew everything (pretty much) that I needed to know. I think I watched that in a motel in the midwest or was is South somewhere on location and half asleep, and I can’t remember when that was exactly, but now I have made it to the gun pulled on protege and sensei, student and teacher, grasshopper and master, season 4 episode 12 or 11 or something, but either way, it’s been a bad season for Walt.

I don’t

feel as obsessed as I did

 

when I dreamt I was in Deadwood (because I woke up bleeding

 

Then, there’s Mad Men, which I watched on Netflix from the beginning and that show holds up but can be watched as a one-off, and you get the story of the man, in a Greek tragedy kind of way. Breaking Bad kind of unfolds. More disturbingly, Breaking Bad kind of unfolds in a strange parallel universe I like to call the entertainment industry which is in fact owned by the German Multinational that, on paper, owns the Laundry/Meth Lab and Chicken/Chile HQ, based on conference calls privy to, dimensions of difficulty it takes to function in the ‘real’ world, whatever that is, I still am not sure and all the signs are telling me I should be.

Yet, this I know, I know how to tell a story. The math of story is a graph that must move downward spiral to be ripped usunder to go where no man has thought to plunder to be redeemed and taken to the place unimagined, beyond and beholden, all the nipping at the heels of and chasing with shadows has stopped, but the signs point nowhere, are quite deceptively evoking payment of some kind and this should be no bones, not even knee caps, but something else entirely.

The Math of Story, pt. 2

Or the continuing math of the continuing story.

the deep dark motion


an expanse that happens to come and go  unpredictable,
since the emotion attached to the action or inaction beckons 
self-flagellation, mutation, abomination.
But today that is not the way I feel or think perhaps it is the sunshine perhaps it is the adherence to whatever shreds of practice can be maintained in constant (chosen, assigned, managed, apparent) chaos, a swirly world of why is no one listening to what I want?
Why am I not absolutely perfect, never misunderstood, completely influential, with flawless, arguments, solutions to every problem and that other thing, which remains to be seen, will eventually be determined as I am trying to sort that out each day as part of the healing I must face, or die. Literally I won’t be able to continue the way I was and that is both frightening and freeing–not so much for the baked-laced-drench-your-desires-saturated-over-consumption phase that occurs in many artist’s awakening and they use it as an excuse to get fucked up. Not that so much. This is one of those shifts they talked about but I was too far up the valley to feel it until now and I don’t want to jinx anything and go back to the shitstorm that usually seems to present course for me to chart my way through.
 
I want, more Lonesome Dove cattle drive than Bonnie and Clyde so I can focus on things that I want to put energy into —  because sharkland beneath the sea of sharks swimming and eating and swimming and devouring everyone who is good, with those dead eyes.
on a stretch of road
littered with lost souls, we held our tongues.
so now, in this
day to day
existence
we can’t tell
which
is easier
and all we want
as days go by
is less trouble
less testing
less trying
for needless senseless random exercises in futility-
no. no more of that please and thank you.
even if no one reads this, no one cares, no one knows a god-damn thing – there will be no random futility here. That’s been disassembled and analyzed and I’d be happy to explain my theorems to you, they are well thought out. What else ya gonna do but work out those kinds of academic problems when you’re living a block from skid row and it’s hard to tell where your next meal’s coming from sometimes.
 
but no matter
no mind
that’s all
behind
us now
get it
driving fast
write off
the past
and then the hush that came before the roar…

It’s as if
the sea does part
but
these days
it
happens
on the
freeway

Prometheus has a mistress

yet it is not
surprising
that few people know this

Icarus
ascending
nobody cares
this time
it’s hot in
the desert
she is sick
of wasting time

granted,
the mistress must
wait
each day
for
him to come
home from
workprometheus hurts

AH, Prometheus
I could love you
better than
Athena
Prometheus
moulder of mankind from clay
tortured by Zeus, reborn every day?

accelerated then degenerate
as is
the ancients way

The last days of January

I came back to cottage # 43 to take a nap but instead polished off the Glenfiddich 17 (or possibly 12, I can’t recall because the bottle has already been taken to the recycling bin) and went through the box of cards I found in my father’s closet. You see, he is an amazing artist, despite having become a medical doctor because his own parents thought his dreams of becoming a wildlife manager were not going to provide him with enough God-almighty dollars, and so he has over 6,000 (at least) photographs loaded on his iMac which I have been wrestling with the past week to get his iPad set up so he can look at butterflies.

He perks up when he hears a birdsong and we tried to play the identify this song game but of course apple wanted someone’s credit card number for the free app, so I gave them mine which is always dubious as I can’t seem to live off the edge for more than a year or two at most (having decided to do exactly what my grandparents warned against–pursuing my first love, well actually more like third, and choosing a ‘career’ in film and television. (The first two are poetry and photography, with a hint of horses, the ocean and little creatures in there as sub-categories).

Back to the day at hand. My father keeps his room at 90 degrees or more. I am now wearing a t-shirt in Ohio after 8 inches of snow fell. This from a girl who does well in hot, humid climates, but loves snow because I never get to see it living in Los Angeles and now I guess I love snow because I guess you could call these pre-hot flashes for my pre-menopausal state, which I have self-diagnosed being too poor for even Obamacare.

My grammar and syntax are not up to par, and for that I apologize to all my English teachers and professors, but not to Bukowski, Henry Miller or T.S. Eliot, my favorite writers. This is all their fault.

That’s the worst-written preamble to a confession I’ve written in a while.

LET US GO THEN YOU AND I

I sit down to go through my dad’s cards that he has made (photographs of birds, butterflies and petroglyphs) because I want to send thank you cards to all my friends who have rallied to send me here to see him for what could or could not be our last time seeing each other in the physical realm. I love my dad for many reasons — not the least of which being he is actually my adopted father, and for some reason, we have always just ‘got’ one another from the watermelon seed spitting contests, to playing poker for M&Ms to today when he flipped off the nurse (who I ‘luckily’ met later and agreed) with a gesture I can replicate but not explain and we laughed the way that Walkers laugh. She is a bitch, this nurse. I have let her know with my body language and explanation of how I clean his urinals because they stink of piss.

I apologize in advance, retroactively and from afar, so bear with me, there’s a story here in this roasted chestnut and for those of you who say you don’t understand me, well yes, you could hire me an editor or just leave me the fuck alone.

I sit down on the ‘love seat’ in his cottage and start going through the box of cards (one thing that did not have blood on it from his ‘recent’ ambien-induced sleep-walking fete that took him into his closet and left him bloody–thanks Cleveland Clinic best heart doctors in the world jerk-offs for not caring about your patients, even the ones who were residents and interns at your esteemed medical establishment, and me, I was born there–go figure) — and I start looking at the cards and choosing which one goes to Ashley, and Val, and Virginia, and the lovely high school friends who have so kindly helped me in a time of need that I don’t like one bit — and I started to cry as I have been doing lately, and I am not a crier. I hate crying. I am the person you can cry to. I am the strong one. I am the one who has nothing to lose while you have everything, and I can always make you feel better (emotionally that is, let’s not go to that other place right now)…

Because — well I don’t know why, to tell you the truth. I am crying right now.

It’s like when I would drive down Kahuna Road on Kaua’i at a certain stage of my life and when I would hear “Rocky Raccoon” on my White Album maxell tape, I would start crying. ROCKY RACCOON? Yes, it used to make me cry when I would hit this one turn in the road where I could see the Pacific ocean just perfectly as I passed Kapaa High School.

My Dad’s current girlfriend (he left my mom after 38 years of marriage, our family pretty much imploded and with it any hope of me believing in marriage–I have remained UNMARRIED despite having common law status relationships with 2 men in my 49 years, who I ultimately don’t trust) told me that my father said to her — he wouldn’t do a thing differently in his life.

We’re like that–I never regret. I don’t believe in it.

Thank you for putting up with this stream of consciousness…

Now, I must wipe away those aggravating tears and prepare to meet the grandkids of a dear friend of my Dad’s who want to go into FILM as a profession. And you know what? I don’t discourage kids from that–I just try to save them some pain.

http://www.glenfiddich.com/us/

Of course, I know this

Walking around the Quaker place you go to die in the snow and answering calls about meltdowns that occur in sunny places, and I wanted to start a chronicle of days, but the focus I had three minutes ago has been absolved by the lack of focus now, whether it’s mental or emotional or a mix-thereof, I can’t say, but I don’t feel like formulating the most articulate of thoughts at the moment, and I am not in the mood to take undue criticism, whether it’s due or not, and I keep thinking I should go for a swim.