Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Memory of 911

Breathing in, I remember:

an impact transmitted through the floor through my feet.

being in a smoke-filled stairwell not knowing whether to head to the ground floor or to the roof.

rushing along a rubble-filled street to assist a man fallen and covered in gray dust.

anxiously trying to call my husband to see if he made it out alright and not being able to get through.

sitting on an airplane wondering if I would ever see my family again.

standing within a crowd collectively holding it's breath as the seemingly endless instant replay etched shock into our systems, and the gradually unfolding reports throughout the day in which the news kept getting worse.


I can think of a multitude of causes, but what long term goals & agendas motivated those who planned this day?

Have any of those goals & agendas been fulfilled?

Or have the events of this day primarily served as an excuse to invade the rights of any and all individuals, regardless of country or religious and political affiliation?

What constitutes an emergency?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

PTSD and Symptoms of Victimization

I was planning on giving the rationale for my previous post, which is far removed from anything I would write under normal circumstances. (I still plan to in the near future.) Instead what I feel more inclined to post today is something I found on Wikipedia while I was reading about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder a couple of months ago. It presents symptoms and emotions of people that for one reason or another have been victimized:

  1. Shame: Deep embarrassment, often characterized as humiliation or mortification.
  2. Self-blame: Exaggerated feelings of responsibility for the traumatic event, with guilt and remorse, despite obvious evidence of innocence.
  3. Subjugation: Feeling belittled, dehumanized, lowered in dominance, and powerless as a direct result of the trauma.
  4. Morbid hatred: Obsessions of vengeance and preoccupation with hurting or humiliating the perpetrator, with or without outbursts of anger or rage.
  5. Paradoxical gratitude: Positive feelings toward the victimizer ranging from compassion to romantic love, including attachment but not necessarily identification. The feelings are usually experienced as ironic but profound gratitude for the gift of life from one who has demonstrated the will to kill. (Also known as pathological transference and/or Stockholm syndrome).
  6. Defilement: Feeling dirty, disgusted, disgusting, tainted, “like spoiled goods,” and in extreme cases, rotten and evil.
  7. Sexual inhibition: Loss of libido, reduced capacity for intimacy, more frequently associated with sexual assault.
  8. Resignation: A state of broken will or despair, often associated with repetitive victimization or prolonged exploitation, with markedly diminished interest in past or future.
  9. Second injury or second wound: Revictimization through participation in the criminal justice, health, mental health, and other systems.
  10. Socioeconomic status downward drift: Reduction of opportunity or life-style, and increased risk of repeat criminal victimization due to psychological, social, and vocational impairment.

Although I have little doubt that sitting can be beneficial to people experiencing these symptoms, I have also observed that some of the approaches to what the Buddha taught can be problematic and worsen these symptoms.