I Am a Guantanamo Inmate!

No, this is not a political post. And a warning first: The video below is highly disturbing. It shows rapper Mos Def, now Yasiin Bey, undergo the force feeding procedure at Guantanamo Bay. According to my mother’s reports, which originate from clinic records, I was subject to this procedure at a couple of weeks old. (I was hospitalized between week 2 and 12 as an infant – my parents’ reports vary, but they agree on it having been months rather than weeks). I don’t know, whether they narcotized me prior to this, but I wouldn’t think so, especially when seeing these sequences. They seem to ring a bell I’ve been doing my best to drown out. They also performed other intrusive examinations, like two spinal taps, one in the upper vertebrae area near the skull.

It seems that my body has never forgotten these intrusions into my sphere of intimacy. To this day – and I’ve turned 48 this year – I am feeling major discomfort in the presence of most people, probably going back to the initial trauma of having to undergo this here as an infant and over a period of weeks. As an adult, I had to keep telling myself that I’m alright among people in order to function, although this cognitive intervention stands in contrast to the physical signals my body kept sending for as long as I can think back – and beyond that.

I’m currently undergoing hypno therapy in an attempt to fix something that’s been acidifying my life forever. Now that I’ve made a decision to no longer drown out anything or stay in denial or otherwise put on an act – simply, because I have run out of energy of doing so -, the suppressed bits and pieces seem to come back, one by one. How can I know that I’m not “adopting” something that never happened? Well, first of all, I know it happened from having enquired about these very first weeks of my life. Second of all, there is this gut feeling of absolute certainty when looking at those pictures. It’s probably the same kind of certainty that people in love feel, who were meant for each other and fit like hand and glove.

The problem with trauma: It’s a rather sticky phenomenon. It doesn’t simply go away along the lines of “time heals all wounds”. Time doesn’t do shit in this regard. To those reading this and going “pussy!” and “suck it up, man up” etc.: You don’t know what you’re talking about. This is different from anything you are likely to encounter during your life, unless you’re an ex-combattant, who has actually been on the battlefield and in imminent lethal danger. It actually takes guts to just make it through watching this entire video. If it happened to you – life is unlikely to ever be the same again afterwards.

Watch at your own discretion and if you’re not sure, I recommend not watching and settling for above paragraphs and the video’s caption. That’ll do to get the idea.

Oh, and to Mos Def/Yasiin Bey: I want to thank him for his courage of facing this brutal procedure, thus making it into a tangible, easy-to-understand, impossible-to-modulate or -ignore graphic message. Violence is violence. It doesn’t get “better violence” when carried out by governments. And who are they to claim they know right from wrong? Alas, seems I wasn’t able to resist a political message after all, then. Sorry. Didn’t see that coming…

P.S. I had fought with myself about whether or not to watch this. My gut feeling said no as I was afraid I’d get triggered. And sure enough I did. I’m feeling everything Mos Def is apparently feeling here. As the physical memory is there – contrary to what standard psychological and neurological theory proclaim as “fact”, i.e. that conscious memory isn’t supported before ages 2 or later. I think, they have that bit wrong. And if recalling physical sensations as early as this is not only possible, but remains “imprinted” in a person’s memory, then I’d find it simply logical to even assume something like pre-natal sensations and experiences that may have major influence on a person’s well being. Just a thought…

P.P.S.: Why was I so concerned with myself all the time? Because I want to fix whatever can be fixed. This is an experiment. I’ll be my own lab rat, as I got nothing to lose.

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7 thoughts on “I Am a Guantanamo Inmate!

  1. At the recommendation of my retired shrink friend, I’ve been reading articles by Stephen Porges on the polyvagal theory as applied to PTSD. If you type the following into Google, you will get an interesting take on this: NICABM – The Polyvagal Theory for Treating Trauma. Somehow, all this neurological info fits into the puzzle. I’m going to read more and will keep you posted. The info in the article I just read by Porges relates to your latest post–amazingly!

  2. The one thing I find utterly frustrating in undergoing this process though is: With every rock you turn in hopes of finding a solution, instead a new problem or daunting scientific finding seems to present itsself. Can we ever get well? I have my doubts glancing over this paper…

  3. Reblogged this on wesbound and commented:

    Recently and mostly on Facebook, I’ve been alluding to battling rather persistent and lifelong symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD. I get the feeling that some will have thought I make too much of this personal battle that’s been a part of my life for 48 years, in particular as of late and after having decided to speak about. I decided so it in hopes of helping to bring this debilitating condition to the attention of the general public and the latter not so much on my own behalf, but on behalf of so many veterans of war returning from their tours and suffering from major PTSD as a consequence of all the horror and brutality they had to either witness or suffer from themselves. The first “medical” reports of this condition coined it “shellshock”, a term I find to be ironically accurate as the ensuing symptoms feel like being on a battlefield at all times, even when asleep. I strongly recommend to use your own discretion in watching the enclosed video. It is distressing and in part graphic. If you’re not sure, I suggest not to watch. It sure messed up my day (or what was left of it), when I came across it and after having ignored the little warning voice telling me I might get triggered from this. I sure did. On the other hand – getting triggered from this and seeing the footage brought another piece of memory back from the recesses of my bodymind that kept the score meticulously. To this day.

  4. Wow, Jean – this is is GREAT info!!! It seems, my hypnotherapist is spot on with addressing the vagal system!!! We’re currently doing a short series of sessions attempting to modulate the vagal response by attempting to “rewrite” the stored memories. Thanks for sharing this – amazing!

  5. And WOW! from me. Isn’t it amazing how pieces come together? I just had a hunch that this info might be relevant–an intuitive response. And I’m so GLAD that my hunch was going in the right direction! Bless you–and keep on truckin’! Jean

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