Arcs of Trauma

In Trauma Therapy I found talk therapy was not helpful because there was a paid “witness” despite some very fine intentions to help. What’s more, speaking over and over to a non-witness of events can and does escalate trauma responses.

My oncologists and therapists raged against my family, begging them time and again to come in and talk to them, to have them explain the truth. But my family wanted to not believe it after a certain point. We all of us make myths of our beloveds and others – I believed my family wanted me. In the end, I know they did, but unlike the TV “children always come first” b.s. that was not their way.

I forgive my parents now, I see their arcs of trauma as an extension of my own, their trauma and brilliance and stupidity as my own. I am of course of them. But I am NOT THEM. My mother wanted a daughter who was an extension of her non-malignant Narcissism which she never followed up with treatment wise.

My father was a victim of extreme PTSD (Korean war, ended up covered in his lifelong Bronx’s friend brain blood and bones). How do we heal that shit? I’m not sure we can. It goes from generation to generation and we are all awash in our shared blood.

I wanted children. I’m now glad I never had them. I do see a wonderful shift in the culture of fatherhood since our generation from deadbeat to often the sole parental figure, or sole figure of decency. I don’t know about god myself. I do know I wrote letters to god as a child and hid them under my pillow. My mother found them and laughed because she did not believe in god. So I did what she did and stopped.

I think my father and I were alike in both visage and being. Logic, science, math, robots, star trek, sci fi, imagination. My mom did not get it. When he could no longer perform father roles due to is trauma (and it was the 60s so who knew?) he became the family scapegoat. My mother ignored what her therapist told her about her perfectionist narcissism could seriously harm her children but what Mom took from that was my father was a “Paranoid Schizophrenic” (No longer in the DSM-V btw).
From 13 years on I read every pre DSM III and Merck Manual to figure out what I could about my family. I finally have.

They were victims of incredible traumas. They were brilliant in different ways and these issues are known disruptions in any family.

We do what we can. Some of us compartmentalize. Or seek fame. Or money. Or false idols.

I honestly know this to be true: My disruption is born of wanting to be loved and treasured. We are not meant to be the physical extensions of parents to beat, harm, rape or experiment. We can only break the Arcs of Trauma when we know exactly this: Mostly, it wasn’t malicious. It was because that’s what they learned to do.

We need to learn differently now.
I hope we have the time left.

Social Media and Human Kindness

While most of the social media world watches the worst of human failings around the globe, imagine my shock and awe to find out that Social Media is and can still be used as a force for individual, community and global good.

This audio clip has to be one of the most kind, sincere and helpful responses I have personally ever had from a major organization such as The United Health Care Group which is a ginormous provider of more insurance and programs of such complexity it’s impossible for me to quite understand just how understanding and helpful they are proving to be.

When I met the Internet, and then the Web with a 300 baud modem and Lynx  on a terminal as my browser, the empowerment for all humans at all layers of society (and support for those who wish to be involved yet might not have the resources to do so) was what hit my heart and became not just a career, but a true mission to see technology used to help rather than harm.

Sometimes we need a reminder that there are still good works and that doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Although I will say the gentleman who called deserves the nickname I have bestowed upon him: “Alexander the Great.”

I’ve left out his personal message at the end as he actually gave me his own phone number. There is no gratitude enough than to celebrate the enduring hearts that beat for love and kindness.

Text of message as recorded and to my understanding:

“Hi, good afternoon. My name is Alexander calling from United Health Care leaving a message for Molly Holzschlag. Hi Ms. Holzschlag, I am calling on behalf of the Executive Offices with United Health Care.

We became aware at the Executive Offices of a social media post placed in regards to a desperate need for social care and care management you’ve been trying to find in both Nevada and Arizona. I know you’re in Arizona right now so we wanted to reach out and connect with you, see what questions we could answer.

One thing I did before making this outreach though is I did check with our registered nurses and those who run the care management programs. They did confirm that you are valid for one of our great care management programs, The Patient-Centered Care Model Program. I think could really benefit a lot of the answers and requests that you were making in the social media posts.

Things such as having a medically trained staff to speak with on an ongoing basis about conditions, coordinating home health care and things like that. So I want to provide you with that information and also the number you can call back with them. I spoke with them earlier today and they are standing by to take your call right away.

Their number is . . .  [rest redacted for legal privacy under HIPPA]”

Bravo, humanity. Now shut off the TV and spend time caring, loving, doing and being cared for, being loved and getting the hard work actually done and not just talked about.

Gratitude, Infinite.