With Herculean Strength

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“There is a shock that comes so quickly and strikes so deep that the blow is internalised even before then skin feels it. The strike must first reach bone marrow, then ascend slowly to the brain where the slowpoke intellect records the deed.” ~ Maya Angelou 

“After a traumatic experience, the human system of self-preservation seems to go onto permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment.” ~ Judith Lewis Herman

“Unlike other forms of psychological disorders, the core issue in trauma is reality.” ~ Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D

The issue of PTSD came to me by accident, just about an hour ago. It was an article on Alternet.org that did it. No need for details about the piece, it simply laid the PTSD thing smack on my lap; and, of course, I tried to shove it away to make room for the cat. That wasn’t happening so I let the cat up on my lap anyway. It helped. That purring thing they do? It seems to be, by design, an inducer of some gamma wave space; Zen satori, the Tao, the Great What If. But maybe not. Maybe when they do that, climb up for a lap, they are simply, in their own language, saying dude, chill. I wouldn’t put it past ’em. I’ve never known a cat to mince their words. But back to PTSD. As I read the article it became all too clear that I live in fear nearly 24/7. No praise, no blame. I’ve known this for years now, but I am usually not cognizant of the fact when the anxiety skirmishes come barging in. It’s a disconnect. My rational mind is all hip with the knowledge. And that knowledge can be reconnected at will. I’ve used the rational mind, paired with the silent observer, to develop alerts that notify me that something I am perceiving to be a threat is not a threat. The fear is always there, free-floating. The PTSD is there to connect the fear with the perceived threat, and there is no need for that. The fear will still be there long after the ‘threat’ has passed. You can use the rational mind to sooth the disturbance, but that can sometimes require Herculean strength. It is hard to see clearly when the storm pops in. Anyway, I am feeling quite writer-ly as I put this in words. I realize that this issue is one I could go on for a couples thousand words this morning. Nope. Ain’t happenin’. Too little time.  It’s a workday, best get to it.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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