About the Late.Shift

Pondering over a dinner I fixed for a friend and myself.

Pondering over a dinner I fixed for a friend and myself. Foto courtesy of Wolfram Winkler, see blogroll for his site

It’s Christmas Day 2012, December 25th 2012. I am rewriting this “about page” – see previous one here – as a result of having decided I’d repurpose this blog for processing and documenting my recovery from lifelong complex post traumatic stress disorder. Doing so is inspired by my own contemplation on journaling my struggles so far as well as from coming across Kimberly Callis’ excellent work of presenting her concept of structured self-healing and recovery. While I was excited to find that someone had already done – or is doing – this exact kind of work, a moment later I felt discouraged from following suit for myself, as Kimberly’s work pretty much covers everything I’ve been pondering myself for the past five years. On the other hand no one’s journey is exactly alike and from reading some of her posts and linked documents, I found that the root of her condition stems from experiences that are no exact representation of my own. In addition to that, I think that one major means of self-empowerment is in owning one’s own history, thus taking charge, becoming responsible and ultimately lifting ourselves from the pits of helplessness as a victim of sane boundaries crossed by persons with possibly their own unreconciled accounts. So I’m about to dedicate this blog to processing some past & current event and emotional responses related to them as well as finding a way of better coping with this debilitating condition that had me dysfunctional in 2007 and landed me at the bottom end of the social spectrum, monetarily speaking. Another reason might be an increasing wish to occupy myself with something meaningful and of use for others. In that vein, I feel qualified to speak about c-ptsd from lifelong firsthand experience and quite a bit of reading up on it as well as from interacting with similarly affected individuals, thus “extrapolating” insights, patterns, personal theories along with what’s known about the condition so far. At the peak of my despair, I thought at the very least I should leave a comprehensive farewell-notice. The latter notion is also kind of an “insurance” for myself as to not to succumb to impulses coming from recurring suicidal ideations. If you are looking for a less personal, broader and scientific approach to this, I recommend visiting Kimberly’s blog. She regularly posts articles and materials, most of them coming with some scientific or journalistic background.

About the name

After having dropped out of the regular workforce with regulated office hours and the need for availability and personal presence in 2007, I found that one way of relief from permanent stress caused by a variety of triggers was to stay up late and enjoy the quietude and silence of the night, when pretty much all of the world had gone to sleep. I found it was during those hours that I had my most insightful thoughts and thought processes were not interrupted by distractions resulting from the usual background “noisescape” that is inseparable from the mere presence of other human beings. And at times, when I was still doing some paid work, I found I could only concentrate during those hours, when I could be sure that no retriggering of underlying trauma would break my focus. For myself I hence coined this my personal “late shift”, like working on the late shift of a company or something like this. In addition to this endearing coining of my personal schedule at odd hours, it’s a pun on the late development of aspects of my emotional self that didn’t have a chance of developing at the proper time and that had to give way to the horrors of traumatization, exposure to abusive behaviour by former caretakers and a multitude of retriggering situations, both instant as well as more or less ongoing. You could say this analogy is my being on the late shift of emotional development as a person and the healing of aspects of self that had to remain carefully hidden for mere self-preservation, self-protection and from managing a situation that at times would appear to be hopeless and left a deeply rooted sense of being helpless. But no more so…

Although English is not my native language, I’m likely to keep writing this blog in English (forgive me for language errors coming from that – particularly with prepositions, which I might confuse…). For one, I find English speaking audiences – most noteably US audiences – to be better connected with their emotional selves, even – or even more so – when obvious emotional damage of some kind happened. And second, it’s a way of preserving a minimum of anonymity with a topic that strictly speaking is not well suited for the general public and is likely to cover some very intimate aspects. Third and not least, writing in English is from a place of respecting minimum protection of the privacy of individuals directly or indirectly involved in this. After all, I’m counting on the language barrier as a “firewall” for said persons’ privacy as I reckon their immediate peers and friends unlikely to be able of decoding the contents expressed herein, much less so from a foreign language.

Much like Kimberly, I hope that the musings and resources presented here will help someone else find relief and healing or give them a sense of not being alone in their plight at the very least. In addition to that, I’d find it to be a great side effect, if talking about this condition generated a tad more insight and understanding in the general public.

Merry Christmas,



8 thoughts on “About the Late.Shift

  1. Pingback: Time to Move On | Late.Shift

  2. Wes…your blog here brought me to tears. It motivated me to join this site and write my story. We experienced some very similar events, but the names, places have been changed to protect the innocent, and all that stuff. Being tortured, abused physically, mentally and sexually, held captive and many other nightmares I too endured as a child. Let this be healing for both of us.

    • Yes, let this be one of our vehicles towards healing. You know, this blog entry also came from last night’s realization that I can fit in pretty nicely. However, whenever some mundane day to day events trigger bad stuff from the past – and it’s stored in every cell, not just memory, which is why conventional therapy fails/must fail – one often can’t escape ridicule, bullying, getting singled out. The latter is the barrier I can’t break through. All the other stuff I have intuitively found out by myself in my adult life. But without being met half way by society at large… things remain beyond difficult. Not meaning to be negative, it’s just an honest (self-) assessment and maybe an attempt at starting to advocate. But you got that bit, already, I see. 🙂 Thx for chiming in and joining!

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