Paula Prober nails it!
I must issue another trigger warning here, but found this article extremely enlightening and educating in terms of the vicious cycle loops that traumatized people might find themselves in. Read at your own discretion.
I found out about MAPS.org in 2014 and their – then phase 2 – trials addressing the many challenges that patients suffering from (complex) post-traumatic stress disorder are confronted with day in, day out on account of the condition. As … Continue reading
“Music opens a path into the realm of silence.”
Art by Julia Kuo from The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito
Wow. This is deep, way deep! I chose to repost it here, because in my own journey through life I’ve often found music to be a realm that softens some of the harsh conditions and experiences we are presented with while in the flesh. (whether or not there is something beyond our physical existence would be subject to a different discussion, one I currently don’t have too much interest in having to be brutally blunt).
I am grateful to have always had a close, deep, most meaningful relationship with music from my earliest days on the planet. I was also given the opportunity to learn playing the guitar and piano, I’ve dabbled with other small instruments as a toddler and young boy, found my way into the local music scene later and throughout High School. Given the demise of my former career in 2007 and erosion of material existence to the very brink of homelessness a few times, I’ve since sought to rekindle the passion I once felt for (live) music and reestablish that relationship and bring it more to the center of my waking awareness again. (to small avail, though, but again… that’d be a different story).
The words in above article resonated strongly with me. (I found it on brainpickings.org and the latter through one of the several blogs on Highly Sensitive Persons, as I seem to fall into the category of such individuals living with an innately different, much more responsive and finetuned nervous systems, which can be both a gift as well as plain torture depending on the circumstances you live in. But – this will also be something that would digress us too far). As I’ve pulled out my instruments from the closet and started playing them on a more regular, near daily basis again, as I’ve started to listen to and dabble in small snippets of film score and other genres I previously hadn’t paid much attention to, I couldn’t help but wonder whether music wasn’t the most noble, most sublime of all art forms (no offense towards other artists or art forms….). And this article along with the ones quoted and linked to therein seems to corroborate what I seem to have intuitively found out. What I find interesting is the fact that music touches and moves musicians/composers and mere listeners alike at an intensity that seems to be unique to music. In particular the healing potential, most noteably in patients and elderly people suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s or another neurodegenerative condition, seems to find its way into the medical and health/care mainstream at a progressed rate.
At any rate, I don’t mean to tell you what to make of it. Read and see for yourself if so inclined. I just found it interesting to find some thoughts and musings on music being well established in literature and philosophy from early on. Don’t miss out listening to the beautiful Bach piece, which I’ll take the liberty of resharing directly below. Enjoy!
„Hinhören – ohne das Trauma zu beschwören“. Ein Interview mit Prof. Gereon Heuft, UKM Münster
Here’s an interesting text about crisis prevention and intervention in the context of care for the elderly. Unfortunately, it’s in German, hope, GoogleTranslate can do a half decent job translating.
… starts creeping up my spine stronger and stronger and in the face of some real family
drama tragedy. I spare you the details about the family situation, let’s just say that an underlying situation or history of – perceived? real? – abuse seems to get exposed in the light of my parents wanting to craft their last will.
I just get this hunch that maybe, just maybe I’m really unfit to deal with life after all coming from a background of only recently “diagnosed” sensory processing sensitivity coupled with complex post-traumatic stress disorder AND outcomes of shock trauma at infant stages as well! (SPS is often referred to by the rather colloquial, if not outright inaccurate term hypersensitivity, which I find a misleading nomer at the very least).
Maybe, just maybe… after having gotten dealt so many devastating blows right at the core of my very being and after having gone untreated and unsupported with all this for all my life, maybe I have already gone crazy a good while back without noticing and while talking myself into something illusory. On the other hand – I do have PLENTY of impulse control, which I was simply forced to apply in a lof of situations or else… things would have gone from bad to worse in a matter of probably split-seconds (and I do indeed remember a time as a twen and even beyond that, when I did burst out a number of times and becoming at least verbally violent from those outbursts… luckily, not physically…. but that’s not really a good excuse, either. Actually, it’s not an excuse at all). So there are some skills – and resources at that – that I’ve built over the years. But again, on the other hand, I often feel as if I’m about to completely lose it and spiral down a trajectory of excess angst, if not plain horror!. At the very least, I get the feeling that when my hour strikes I’ll have anxiety to the point of really really losing it…. (as a matter of fact, I’m about to lose it from merely thinking of my own mortality and the fact that this is an absolutely non-negotiable and certain outcome…)
As a fairly new quality and one I worked and keep working hard at I think I did manage to acquire some self-soothing skills as well as a burgeoning capability of modulating my often overboarding emotions. But let’s just say that this modulation of strong impulses so far works best for fairly minor, day to day, routine “living along” types of situations. Add a pinch of drama here, a curve ball there, “spice it up” with an inch of adversity and boom: I slide into hysteria from it. (and the latter did happen a lot and for a long time after falling on hard times in 2008 after no longer feeling capable of managing the super hard somatic responses of my system at moments when emotions spiked to the point when I became afraid I’d one day lose control of my basic physical functions… (you know very well, what I’m referring to, I don’t have to spell it out, do I? Naw, didn’t think so, either…). And right there – in the parenthesis – there is another problem: I seem to become very passive-aggressive when being faced with … well, I don’t know, which is it? Fear of being shamed, ridiculed, marginalized? Unseen? I realize that this is also another late outcome of the way I was brought up and the adversity I had to manage then. And maybe, just maybe, my sister went through that same experience – minus the trauma in infancy, as it was the case for me – and came out that person she is today. And what I seem to find there is a lot of dissociating from her true emotions – or somehow “masking” them in order to appear as “strong” and less vulnerable. (But that’s not accurate, I’m afraid, as she did confess to crying a lot as of late and in the face of this family situation).
Well… and now everyone seems to want to confide in me and make me into some mediator of sorts…. Me of all people in the world?!!! What the hell are they thinking? Or smoking?
I think I can guess, what you’ll be thinking as I type this piece up: Get (systemic) family counselling! I know. I’ve pondered the same thing – or am indeed pondering it, as I simply can’t, really can’t bear the thought of the situation remaining the way it presents itsself right now: As a stalemate between two hardheads, each insisting on expecting, in fact demanding the other party to take the iniative and by apologizing to them first. Oh wow… is there anything that can be done at all in this situation…? From a reasonable point of view, I’m afraid this really is a stalemate, isn’t it?
At the very least, it isn’t exactly the best place to start from when trying to find someone who might mediate this….
(Please, absolutely do chime in and toss your 2 cents on the table. Thank you.)
(P.S. What I am fully aware of is the fact that with the gargantuan degree and amounts of adversity I have been facing over the past 12 going on 13 years is that I’ve developed a fairly strong eating disorder. I just don’t know whether it’s of the anorexia nervosa variety (as I not force myself to throw up after a meal) or a binge eating disorder (tends to be the latter when things become emotionally too taxing – which in return means that I have to become aware of my limits and set boundaries way sooner than I have in the past… and not just with family, but particularly there. So that little “bit” I am aware of and know how to address)
Illustration by Emily Hughes from Little Gardener
I found this by way of reading an article that quoted this one. I find it to be a very delicate, yet devastating, but also humbling and consoling piece of writing, only a hair shy of putting man’s entire existence and place in the cosmos in a nutshell. Or – whatever you make ot if … 🙂
As usual, I’m not sure how much meaning gets lost in translation when employing Google’s Translation Service. At the risk of the source’s meaning getting all garbled, I’m posting it here again – of course, with a major trigger warning.
However, as I read through the article, they mention Sam Parnia’s AWARE study and in particular the phenomena Near Death experiencers report. Similar to what another study about DMT seems to suggest, I very much side with those that attribute mystical phenomena during an NDE to the physical changes going on in the brain when a person dies. Moreover, yet another study on dying rats strongly suggests that an increased level of consciousness occurs right after cardiac arrest, which might explain for the perceived hyperrealism NDE-survivors commonly report. (the conclusion follows the fact that the brains of rats and humans are fairly similar in structure and function).
As I’ve been struggling my entire life with making sense of an experience at age four, which I today rate under medical trauma from effects of the anaesthesia and the situation of perceived isolation and terminal aloneness, looking into and analyzing NDEs seems to have been a tool for me to help with that endeavour. In particular, I seem to have tried assessing NDEs’ potential as evidence for an afterlife. Being a sceptic myself and preferring to rely on the resources at hand like science, logic, rationality, reason I’ve always tended to trust immediate evidence more than spiritual interpretations. I have to admit that some deathbed phenomena like e.g. visions of deceased ones even perceived by palliative care personnel or relatives attending to the dying person are hard to explain in terms of known science, granted. However, I find it a lot more conclusive to assume that science simply hasn’t evolved to the point yet where we might explain such so-called paranormal phenomena in terms of natural phenomena occurring at the time of death and maybe having to do with a transformation of energy or something along those lines.
Be that as it may… I’m afraid I am simply not capable of truly embracing the idea of a spiritual realm as it sounds and feels too much like a cop-out to me.
So what’s the alternative or conclusion from that? I guess for me that conclusion would be the prompt to make peace with my mortality, no matter what.
Sorry for these morbid thoughts. But maybe Good Friday – in the world of Christians – is not too bad a timing for such a post… (bear with me)
Yeah, I find myself described here to a T. Spot on, all the way from headline to the last full stop!
I’m gonna have to remind myself of this daily, if not more often from here on out. Fits me to a T. All of it.