|Trauma Can Empower a Person, As PTSD Symptoms Are Also Skills. More Hope for 2009
By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels
December 22, 2008
We are signing off until next year at City of Angels and in 2009 our ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church will be at http://cityofangels5.blogspot.com/ .
The word at the top of the page next year is "Hope," in part because of Obama’s election, in part because there have been thousands of lawsuits against the Catholic Church for its pandering to pedophiles, in part because of this paragraph in a book about surviving with PTSD.
“Although Frannie was disabled by her traumatic experience, she was also, in certain ways, empowered by them. Frannie was a natural at using imagery and the altered state to help herself heal. The trance state was her powerful ally, and she was adept at achieving it, rapidly and deeply, thanks to a trauma-induced intensification in her brain’s visual, sensorimotor, and emotional centers.” *
In other words, use your skills at dissociation to get you out of a bad place.
After reading that, when a memory started to interrupt, I tried this technique, and found I can literally jump my thoughts and feelings deep into a piece of music, or a beautiful picture nearby, or just look up and dive into cloud formations in the sky and marvel at the beauty.
It is so easy for me to just dissociate myself away from the memory that is bothering me, BECAUSE I’ve learned to dissociate BECAUSE of the memories. It’s hard to explain, but here’s another place where I'm using this technique.
Since September the PTSD induced pain that some people call fibromyalgia has gotten so bad in my legs I can go weeks without being able to walk. I live up two flights of stairs, so I end up being stranded up here for days, sometimes weeks.
For the first two months or so all I could focus on was how isolated I was. I kept getting angrier and angrier and it wasn’t making the situation any better. So I applied my invisible hero, the imagination that I probably developed because of the hours of dissociation in my life when I was so young.
Now I play Space Station.
Now I have a game I play called Space Station, where I'm no longer stranded in my apartment, I am on duty out in Earth orbit.
Once a day a Space Shuttle brings provisions - the Meals on Wheels hot lunch delivery. I spend hours each day at my work as an astronaut, probing expanses in space where almost no man has gone before - reading through clergy case lawsuit documents to find new stories to write here at City of Angels.
Occasionally I hear from mission control - my daughter or a friend calls or emails.
The very ability to adopt personae that got me through my weird childhood, is now a skill I’ve developed, and I can use and manipulate the dissociation, it is me at the terminal typing in commands. I may end up having a better aging life than a lot of people who never went through enough trauma to learn how to totally take themselves out of a bad experience.
So next year at City of Angels 5 we will report on stories from Florida to Philadelphia, from Maine to Alaska and go document diving in LA and other cities as well.
City of Angels, reporting from high Earth orbit.
The word at the top at City of Angels 5 for 2009 is “Hope” in part because Obama getting elected means a new Department of Justice, in part because thousands of civil lawsuits created a million or so pages of case files, which are a wealth of resources for me and any other journalist who cares to dive in -
Page after page of felonies committed by church hierarchy, in order to keep kids as catamites for their sex-depraved priests.
Catamite - a word humans had taken out of use - making its way back into the language.
Won’t even think about being a catamite again until next year.
The Story Goes Onward
* Quote from "Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal" by Belleruth Naparstek
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