Farewell By: Matthew Groff

 

Farewell

Open our eyes and the world can seem a scary place. Open our minds and the choices can overwhelm. Open our hearts, and we may feel a need to lessen the pain. Look to our souls to choose a path. Remember the joy, remember the discovery, Remember all we h…ave learned, Remember the friendship, remember the love… With feeling. Remember the pain, for what it taught us About ourselves, about our world. But, remember with mindfulness, And let the hurt go. In the darkest and coldest of nights, Our fearful or angery expectations will not serve us. But our dreams of a brighter warmer day Will illuminate a path to that dawn. Hope heals, hope sustains, Hope can warm cold hearts and open closed minds. To forgive ourselves, to forgive others, To dream of a better world that yet may be, This is love. To act on love, To be willing to strive and sacrifice For the growth and healing, Of ourselves and others, Is to be responsibly human. With such humans I have fought alongside for what I believes is just and fair, With such humans, I have wept, With such humans I have laughed, With such humans I have even vented and stormed. I have seen more than my fair share of bright warm days. Now, not by choice I must go. Without expectation that I will see days as bright or warm, Or coworkers as responsibly human. But with hope that I may be able to appreciate, How bright those tomorrows may be, And how responsibly human those future coworkers may be, Or, may yet become. When we look to the future, We create paths of energy That draws those futures to us. Always dream of brighter days… Especially in the dark cold nights. See More

By: Matthew Groff

 

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Jaycee Dugard Interview with Diane Sawyer; Her Future After Surviving Philip Garrido – ABC News

 

Jaycee Dugard Interview with Diane Sawyer; Her Future After Surviving Philip Garrido – ABC News.

July 10, 2011

 

Jaycee Dugard has powerful memories from the last 20 years, 18 of them spent as a prisoner of kidnappers Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

Yet, some of the most overwhelming memories come from her first two years of freedom which she and her children have spent reunited with her mother.

“Wow. Now I can walk in the next room and see my mom. Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow. It’s unbelievable. Truly,” Dugard said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.

Dugard was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido when she was just 11 years old in 1991 and held captive in a backyard compound.

She was subjected to rape, manipulation and verbal abuse. She gave birth to two daughters fathered by her abductor in that backyard prison.

Dugard lived in virtual solitary confinement until her first daughter was born three years into captivity and wasn’t allowed to spend time outdoors until after her second daughter was born, more than six years after her abduction.

She writes that the closest thing to freedom she ever felt in the compound was when she was allowed to live in her own tent and plant a small garden.

Now, Dugard is telling all in a new memoir, “A Stolen Life,” and in her exclusive interview with Sawyer.

She’s taking an unflinching look at the horror she’s overcome and giving an unsparing account of the way a predator operates and how she survived.

PHOTO: ABC News' Diane Sawyer sits down for an exclusive interview with Jaycee Dugard Sunday night, July 10th on ABC.
/ABC News
ABC News’ Diane Sawyer sat down for an… View Full Size
Jaycee Dugard Dependent on Her Abductor Watch Video
Introducing Jaycee Dugard to Nancy Garrido Watch Video
Jaycee Dugard Pregnant at Age 14Watch Video

“Why not look at it? You know, stare it down until it can’t scare you anymore,” she told Sawyer. “I didn’t want there to be any more secrets…I hadn’t done anything wrong. It wasn’t something I did that caused this to happen. And I feel that by putting it all out there, it’s very freeing,” Dugard said.

Dugard, 31, remembers the first night after she and her daughters were rescued in 2009.

They spent the night in a motel room just down the hall from Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn.

Both Probyn and Dugard had held out hope throughout their nearly two decade separation that they’d find one another.

They had no idea that they’d been only 120 miles from one another the whole time.

“That night, I woke the girls [my daughters] up and I just said, “I’m so happy. I’m so happy!” Dugard said. “I ran down the hall…the girls are following me and knocking on the door…I walked in, ‘I’m so happy! I’m so happy!”

Click Here to Watch the Full Episode of Diane Sawyer’s Exclusive Interview with Jaycee Dugard

Simple firsts have brought healing to Dugard and her family: learning how to drive from the sister who was just a baby when Dugard was kidnapped, eating family dinners around a table instead of the fast food that Phillip Garrido fed her for 18 years, and even just saying her name which was forbidden by her captors.

Still, the sounds of her imprisonment haunt her.

“That lock. Hearing the lock…for some reason that and the bed squeal. It was a squeaky bed…I guess the noise, the sound. Weird what sticks in your head,” Dugard said.

Dugard remembers trying not to cry when she was first abducted because it was too hard to wipe tears away with her hands cuffed behind her back.

“I didn’t really want to, because then you can’t wipe them away, you know? Then you get all sticky and …then they get itchy,” Dugard said.

She says she had no choice but to endure.

“There’s a switch that I had to shut off,” she said. “I mean, I can’t imagine being beaten to death, you know? And you can’t imagine being kidnapped and raped, you know? So, it’s just, you just do what you have to do to survive.”

Page 2 of 4
July 10, 2011

 

Two of the most challenging moments for Dugard were giving birth to her two daughters in 1994 and 1997.

“I knew there was no hospital,” she said. “I knew there was no leaving.”

At just 13 years old, Dugard noticed she was putting on weight but didn’t know why.

On a Sunday in 1994, the Garridos told her she was pregnant.

Before her abduction, the little girl who sold Girl Scout cookies and wrote stories, knew nothing about sex.

Dugard writes that giving birth was the most painful experience in her life.

“And then I saw her. She was beautiful. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. [I] had somebody else who was mine…and I know I could never let anything happen to her. I didn’t know how I was going to do that, but I did,” she said.

 

The Kidnapping

Dugard remembers the last time she left her family’s Tahoe, Calif., home to walk to her fifth grade classroom on June 10, 1991.

She’d packed her peanut butter and jelly lunch, worn her favorite kitty shirt and a butterfly ring given to her by her mother.

In all pink, she started on her walk.

“And [I] walked up the side of the hill…that was the safe way to go against traffic. And halfway up, my world changed in an instant,” Dugard said. “I heard a car behind me.”

Creeping behind Dugard were Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Phillip Garrido rolled down his car window.

Jaycee Dugard Dependent on Her Abductor Watch Video
Introducing Jaycee Dugard to Nancy Garrido Watch Video
Jaycee Dugard Pregnant at Age 14Watch Video

“His hand shoots out and I just feel numb. My whole body is tingly…I fall back in the bushes,” Dugard said.

Garrido had shocked her with a stun gun. Panicked, Dugard scooted back towards the woods. She remembers grasping a sticky pinecone, the last thing she touched while free.

Now, she wears a pinecone charm around her neck to symbolize her freedom.

“It’s a symbol of hope and new beginnings and that there is life after something tragic.”

After shocking her, the Garridos stuffed her into their car, hid her under a blanket in the backseat.

Nancy Garrido sat on her while Phillip Garrido drove to the couple’s Antioch, Calif., home.

“It was so hot,” she said. “I remember my throat felt very dry and scratchy and like I had been screaming, but I don’t remember screaming,” she said.

Dugard remembers hearing Phillip Garrido laugh and say, “I can’t believe we got away with it.”

“It was like the most horrible moment of your life times ten,” she said.

When they arrived at their home, Dugard was stripped of her backpack, her pink clothes and her name. Garrido took her to the bathroom and told her she had to be quiet.

“I guess he wanted me to be clean…very scary. I was scared,” Dugard said.

Dugard was forced to wear nothing but a towel at first and was locked in a semi-soundproof room that had only one window.

Somehow, Phillip Garrido missed the pinky ring her mother had given her. She’d hold onto that ring throughout her captivity. She’d also hold onto the hope that she’d see her mom again.

 

Clinging to the Memory of Her Mother

“I wondered if she found out what had happened to me, if she was looking for me,” Dugard said.

Dugard worried that she’d forget what her mother looked like. She’d keep journals referring to her mother as just “her” because to write “mom” was just too painful.

Her mom, Terry Probyn, carried out a frantic search for her daughter, making tearful pleas on television.

She’d continue to hold vigils for her daughter when public interest in the family’s plight waned.

Page 3 of 4
July 10, 2011

 

“I feel like I spent my lifetime looking for her and dreaming about her and talking to you and you were always there. You never left me,” Probyn told Dugard during the interview.

The two women, clinching hands and with their bodies turned toward one another, share a remarkable bond.

“Being a mom now, you know, I know that she never forgot about me because I could never forget about my kids. But…when you’re a kid and you think you’re easily forgettable and you’re not important. But she kept…her hope. I don’t know how she did that. You know? How did I keep my hope? How did she keep her hope,” Dugard said.

Dugard still fights feelings of anger towards her captors, but tries not to dwell on them.

“I don’t feel like I have this rage inside of me that’s building,” Dugard said. “I refuse to let him have that. He can’t have me.”

Dugard’s mother can’t forget what the Garridos stole from her daughter and her.

“I think I have enough hate in my heart for the both of us. I hate that he took her life away and that makes me sad…I hate that he stole her from me. He ripped out a piece of my heart and he stole my baby,” Probyn said.

The two women look at one another. Probyn tells her, “I’m sorry, baby.”

She goes on, “He stole your adolescence. He stole high school proms and had pictures and memories…”

Dugard smiles and tells her mom, “But he didn’t get all of me.”

Jaycee Dugard Dependent on Her Abductor Watch Video
Introducing Jaycee Dugard to Nancy Garrido Watch Video
Jaycee Dugard Pregnant at Age 14Watch Video

 

The Manipulation

The Garridos mercilessly manipulated Dugard.

When she was first kidnapped, Phillip Garrido kept a stun gun present whenever he raped her, a way to remind her of his power.

After abusing Dugard, sometimes for hours in drug fueled sex binges called “runs,” he would sob and apologize.

He’d tell her that he had a sex problem and she was saving him from hurting other little girls.

While Philip Garrido was her main tormentor, his wife Nancy was equally adept at playing with Dugard’s emotions. She would bring Dugard things like a purple bear, a Barbie, chocolate milk, a Nintendo.

But she never stopped her husband from abusing Dugard.

She’d even keep Dugard locked in the compound when Phillip Garrido was away serving time for a parole violation.

“In some way, she’s just as manipulative, because she would cry and say, ‘I can’t believe that he did this. I wish he would have got a headache that morning he took you,'” Dugard recalled.

“In some ways, she’s…just as evil as Phillip,” Dugard said.

The Garridos manipulated Dugard until the presence of a stun gun and the use of handcuffs were no longer needed to keep her from fleeing.

It was classic manipulation, Dugard’s therapist, Dr. Rebecca Bailey, said.

Bailey is a family unification therapist.

Phillip Garrido’s power over Dugard grew by being “responsible for everything from time to food to human companionship to your clothes to your identity,” Bailey said.

When Dugard had her daughters, she didn’t flee because Phillip Garrido had convinced her the world outside their compound was unsafe, ironically full of pedophiles and rapists.

Even now, it’s still hard for Dugard to fully understand why she didn’t leave.

“I’ve asked myself that question many times. I know there was no leaving. The mind manipulation plus the physical abuse I suffered in the beginning, there was no leaving…. I don’t know what it would have took. Maybe if one of the girls were being hurt,” Dugard said.

 

Coping With Captivity

Page 4 of 4
July 10, 2011

 

Dugard coped with the manipulation by keeping journals, writing stories and dreams that allowed her to imagine herself in a life outside of the compound.

While the Garridos stripped her of her innocence, they could not strip her of her imagination.

She would come up with stories about the tree outside the window, she named the spider in her room, she wrote in her journals about falling in love one day, riding in a hot air balloon, being a veterinarian.

Throughout her captivity, she would take care of several cats and other animals.

When she became a mother, she turned a corner of the compound into a school for part of the day.

She remembered how she used to play school as a little girl, but now she was responsible for actually educating two little girls.

She made a regimen of classes during the day with worksheets and lessons she found online.

She mothered her girls even though the Garridos forbid the children from calling Dugard “mom.”

Nancy Garrido, jealous of Dugard, required that the children call her “mom.”

Even with access to the computer, Dugard said she never searched for her mother or for news accounts of her kidnapping.

She was scared to because of the Garridos’ manipulation.

Jaycee Dugard Dependent on Her Abductor Watch Video
Introducing Jaycee Dugard to Nancy Garrido Watch Video
Jaycee Dugard Pregnant at Age 14Watch Video

 

The Rescue and the Future

Dugard and her daughters would be rescued in August 2009 after an increasingly paranoid and delusional Phillip Garrido alarmed two campus police officers, Ally Jacobs and Lisa Campbell.

He’d shown up on the University of California, Berkeley, campus with the two daughters he’d fathered with Dugard.

The campus officers, both moms, did something nobody else had done.

They saw a man haranguing and they talked to him, engaged him and then acted on their suspicion.

A background check revealed he was a convicted sex offender.

When they called his parole officer to ask about his two daughters, the parole officer didn’t even know that Phillip Garrido had children.

Over the 18 years Jaycee Dugard was in captivity, parole officers had visited the home at least 60 times and never reported anything amiss.

Phillip Garrido was called to a meeting with his parole officer on Aug. 26, 2009. He brought his wife, Dugard and the two girls.

At first, Dugard lied for Garrido, still under the spell. She eventually confessed who she was by writing her real name down.

In her memoir, she says that writing her name was like an extinguished flame reigniting.

“The light came back…it was very dark for so long…but that light finally came back on,” she said.

Dugard is savoring her freedom and planning for the future.

“I would like to study writing, you know? Really, because I love words and I love mythology…the way metaphors work and how [you] can see things differently with words,” she said. “It helped me get through a lot of days, my imagination.”

Dugard wants her book, her story to help people realize there is a way to triumph over tragedy and survive. And for her captors, both locked away in prison, she has a message.

“[You] can’t steal anything else,” she said.

 

Incest (A Nation’s Shame) | Authspot

 

Incest (A Nation’s Shame) | Authspot

Damaged by another’s game.
Desperate; she seeks to end the pain.
Cross-legged in the dust she sits
Staring at her bandaged wrists.
Tangled hair falls down her back,
Anguish bleeds her eyes to black.
Lying back in the dust,
Pride is dead and so is trust.
Cannot forget the guilt and shame;
No way out – no end to pain.
No one answered her screams for help,
A nation watched as her soul bled out.

copyright 2009

Read more: http://authspot.com/poetry/incest-a-nations-shame/#ixzz25wDLpR5G

 

Damaged

Damaged

© By James Griffus
Desperately wanting the nightmare to end.
Unable to heal,
Unable to mend.
Repressed pain of the past,
Comes to haunt me at last.
My sanity sinking,
And I’m tied to the mast.
Never asking for this.
I was given no choice.
Abused and disposed of,
And left with no voice.
Stripped of trust.
Deprived of self worth.
Locked away in my own,
Private hell on earth.
I need to get out.
I have to break free.
But it all seems so hopeless,
Because I can’t find the key.
12/15/2008 JLG

april 20 2008

 

every week I go through so much in my mind and want to let it out and talk about it but it seems when I get to therapy I just cant…sometimes i have a hard time even looking at my therapist…it is like she already knows too much about me and I am ashamed to be face to face with her…I wish I could just let it all out and not keep holding it inside…when I do let it out it is by writing but it doesn’t seem to go away…I write to my therapist more easily than I do talking to her and yes my writing is an outlet but yet i cant face talking bout the pain only writing…maybe I let her know too much and can’t face her after she knows who I really am…she don’t understand that even though I was 12 that i knew the difference between right and wrong because I had already gone through it once before when I was a child from 4-6 years old…so I knew what was happening should not have happened but yet I allowed it and became a whore instead…I went out searching for grown men to fuck me even though I didn’t know them and didn’t even know their names at times…I would be seductive as I was walking down the street or in the park just wanting someone to have sex with me…I was a 12 or 13-year-old whore who just looked for someone to love me…I never have found love…I was married and still am even though we have been separated for a year and I allowed him to treat me how he wanted most of the time…he did what he wanted even when I didn’t want to…most of the time I laid there and couldn’t even remember some of it as if I was somewhere else…I did this as a teenager also…my moms boyfriend constantly reminded me that I couldn’t say anything or he would get into trouble so I didn’t until 4 years of it had gone on…but even then there are only few memories of it…I remember the first time and the very last time but not much about in between those 4 years just brief memories here and there about it…i try to get my therapist to understand that i knew it was wrong and allowed it to go on for years so in a way i am at fault…yes he was a 40-year-old man and i was just 12 but i should have said no and not protected him all those years even though he protected me from my mothers physical and emotional abuse alot…i want her to understand how at fault;t i am for my daughters abuse…my daughter was an innocent child who my husband had no right to steal her innocence and i had no right to be blinded and not see her pain but instead I believe him and not my inner feelings that something was wrong and happening to her by him…everytime he did something that I caught and felt very uncomfortable about I flipped out on him and was told by him that I was over reacting and I was sick in my fucking head and that just because I was sexually abused as a child by family doesn’t mean that he was doing anything to our daughter…and this was drilled in my head several times over her short life that we had her…i ignored her cries for help i was too wrapped up in the other kids and their issues to see her pain…my mother was just too wrapped up in herself her jobs and her men to see my pain…but i was constantly on the run trying to care for the other 3 that had eating issues behavior issues physical issues back and forth to the doctor’s and shit with the other three that when she missed behaved i spent a little time with her by taking her shopping with me or something but she never trusted me I guess to let me know how he was hurting her I never allowed her to trust me as much as I talked with her and tried to show her I loved her and that she was beautiful and my world I really didn’t spend alot of time with her to allow her to trust me and see how much I loved her and what she meant to me…my therapist tries to get me to see that my child hood was so fucked up that all I knew was chaos and instability and this is why I couldn’t give my kids stability but no matter what I did to try to provide stability it was never enough and all I did was run from everything whenever there was a fear in me I could not bear…my therapist wants me to let her in and what happenings is I let her in just a bit and then put up 3 more walls to keep her out once I feel vulnerable and like she just likes to her about everyone’s misery and it really don’t matter to her who you are or what u have been through or how you became who you became she always just wants you to talk about shit and let her in only for her to leave you stranded with that pain once it is brought up…I feel like she wants me to just let it all out and get over it but there is no getting over losing my kids because of my inability to protect them…my therapist don’t see what a low life I really am she don’t understand that I allowed my kids to experience the abuse they endured…there were many times I watched my husband smash our son upside his head and all I did was scream yell and hit him but yet stayed…even when i did try to leave on a few occasions I allowed my fear and insecurities to rule me instead and came back…i feel guilty for my children’s pain I feel I caused it even if I didn’t physically hurt them I feel like I hurt them even worse than he ever could have…I want my therapist to see what a fucking inadequate mother I was and how I don’t deserve to be happy because I allowed so many lives to be destroyed…want her to understand that I deserve to be punished I don’t deserve to get anywhere in life I deserve to be tortured and killed…I want her to understand how much a bad terrible person I am I want her to look at all the bad shit I have done and do do instead of trying to look at and search for positive shit that really will never compare to the awful shit i have done in life…she will never understand how much I don’t deserve a life she don’t know the real me the me that has hurt so many people and allowed them to be repeatedly hurt and ignoring the feelings that boiled inside and protected the scum who did this..she dont know how much I am at fault for ruining lives and how much i am at fault for what has happened in my life even as a teenager she dont want to see that i am at fault for what has happened in my life…i just wish someone would hunt me down and torture and murder me…I deserve to be tortured and killed slowly a painful death

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/hopelesslynogood/blog?page=4#ixzz13mIfRGcU

 

Broken, Different, Shame Filled and Guilty ~ and Then…

 

Broken, Different, Shame Filled and Guilty ~ and Then…

We find each other when we are ready to face some of the abuse that happened to us. We search for others in order not to feel so alone ourselves. We enjoy the camaraderie, the feeling of being understood and our common bonds. There is a unity, a common bond and an understanding that we don’t feel with everyone.

I felt different for so many years. I felt like I didn’t fit in, like I didn’t belong and I thought there was something wrong with me. I felt guilty for not being grateful, for not being happy and was ashamed of the depressions that I struggled with. I didn’t realize they were born out of the childhood abuse events that had not been taken care of properly.

I sought others who had suffered abuse worse than the abuse that I suffered so I could tell myself to stop complaining about what happened to me. This did not help me at all. I only talked about one abusive event in my life and I shrugged my shoulders when I even thought about some of the violence that I lived in, as if to say “ah, it was no big deal”. I had attempted to talk to a few professionals about my past, but I was often met with a neutral attitude, which really just affirmed to me that I was making too big a deal out of my story. I had always been told by my family that I was dramatic. One day when I was at the end of my rope, I decided to try one last mental health professional and something happened that became the beginning of my recovery.

Last week I published a blog post on the blog “Emerging from Broken” about the first session I had with that same therapist who eventually took me from shattered and broken, to wholeness and freedom. At the time of this writing there are 29 comments on that post. It really stirred up some feelings within my readers, and I thought I would share it with you here as well.

I called it “My Therapist Winced when I told him…..” I hope you stop by to read it and the comments that it generated from other survivors too.

Wishing you Freedom and Wholeness,

Darlene Ouimet

 

JUST BE: good to yourself: empowering yourself to feel and heal: EMPOWERING yourself to heal after TRAUMA

JUST BE: good to yourself: empowering yourself to feel and heal: EMPOWERING yourself to heal after TRAUMA

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/12/09/ptsd.brain.kids.memory/index.html

 

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/12/09/ptsd.brain.kids.memory/index.html

(CNN) — Psychological trauma may leave a visible trace in a child’s brain, scientists say.

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that children with symptoms of post-traumatic stress had poor function of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that stores and retrieves memories.

This is the first study to use functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to look at the function of the hippocampus in youth with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, researchers said. The findings are in line with what has been previously found in adults.

The study was led by Dr. Victor Carrion, and the senior author was Dr. Allan Reiss, both at the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that children and adults develop in response to a traumatic event. Intrusive memories, increased anxiety and emotional arousal are some of the symptoms, and typically they begin within three months of a traumatic event, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Of youths who have experienced a traumatic event, 3 percent to 15 percent of girls and 1 percent to 6 percent of boys could get a PTSD diagnosis, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

By contrast, an estimated 6.8 percent of the adult American population has had PTSD at some point, the department said.

The condition looks slightly different depending on age — young children may display “post-traumatic play” in which they repeat themes of the trauma, whereas adolescents may incorporate aspects of the trauma into their lives, carrying a weapon for instance. Also, adolescents are more likely than younger children or adults to exhibit impulsive and aggressive behaviors, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Although the study shows only an association — not a cause-and-effect relationship — between this brain damage and post-traumatic stress, the study authors believe the abnormal hippocampus findings are the consequence of post-traumatic stress, not a risk factor for it, said co-author Brian Haas.

That explanation makes sense, given what is known about post-trauma, said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and a neurosurgeon. He was not involved in the study. One of the reflexes that can come after a traumatic event is forgetting it, meaning perhaps “the hippocampus shrinks to fade away memories,” he said.

“The flip side of it is that you have trouble with memory overall,” he said. “You wish you could just forget the event.”

Animal studies have shown that brain damage in mice occurs after a trauma has been induced, Haas said.

Gupta said the study is important as researchers try to pinpoint what happens in the brain anatomically when a person has a trauma-related disorder.

The study looked at 27 people ages 10 to 17, which is a reasonable sample size for an imaging study of how the brain functions, said Lisa Shin, associate professor of psychology at Tufts University, who was not involved in the study. Participants were divided into 16 young people who had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and 11 normal youths.

Scientists scanned the participants’ brains while they completed a verbal memory test. They read a list of words, then looked at a similar set with additional words and had to remember which words were on the original list.

Participants with PTSD symptoms did worse on the recall portion and showed less activity in the hippocampus during that time than the control group members.

The young people whose hippocampus functioning was the worst were more likely to experience avoidance and numbing symptoms of PTSD — having difficulty remembering the trauma, feeling isolated and not displaying emotion.

Previous research had found that adults with PTSD tended to have a smaller hippocampus volume.

Measuring neural functioning in the brain can indicate the extent of symptoms that a person is experiencing after a PTSD diagnosis, and reflect the effectiveness of therapy, Haas said. In other words, if the hippocampus is functioning better, that may mean the treatment is working.

If there is enough evidence that the hippocampus is involved in PTSD, a treatment could, in theory, be targeted to it, Shin said. There is some indication that treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, is associated with memory improvement and increased volume of the hippocampus in adults with PTSD.

Shin and colleagues are working on a twin study to explore whether brain abnormalities in people with PTSD were pre-existing risk factors or the result of PTSD.

 

Confusion regarding DBT and Trauma Recovery

 

DBT Is based a lot about living in the moment and to a big degree, I totally agree with it. We cannot change our past. We can only control what is happening in the present. We can only control our own actions and reactions to things that are happening in the moment.

Here is where I am confused or unsure of regarding DBT and what I believe. DBT can be very helpful for people who have experienced trauma and sometimes DBT is all a trauma survivor needs to use to be able to cope and eventually live a productive life worth living. My confusion is when someone such as myself has been through DBT and used DBT but still feels a void and a need to open the Pandora’s box that has been closed for so long and face the secrets inside themselves using the skills taught by DBT to cope with the uncomfortable feelings these secrets bring up while opening the box and letting them out and sharing them.

Yes DBT says we cannot do anything about the past but our past is what has shaped us to be who we are now and will shape our future unless we deal with it and change how we think about it. DBT Talks about Radical Acceptance which is still probably the hardest DBT skill I have tried to practice and cannot honestly say that I understand it to the extent I need to but I believe I have a better understanding of it than I did back in 1998 when I attended my first DBT Skills Training group when I was 19 years old.

I no longer attend DBT skills training groups but I still see a therapist who runs one and trained in DBT. And at time she has asked me about the skills as a reminder to her regarding what a skill or two is and how best to describe to someone to practice it since she only did the training back in 2007 after I had been seeing her for about a year already and had been in and out of DBT for almost 10 years back in Massachusetts and here in Virginia they were just starting to implement it into the central Virginia area not long before I came here. So I actually take pride in knowing that my knowledge of DBT is needed here even if I it is just here and there. I hope to someday to be able to start and run a peer led DBT group.

They just opened a Peer run recovery walk-in center close by through the local community mental health center but it is run by 2 peer specialist one of who are in one of my human services classes at the local community colleges and I have been building conversation and repertoire with her and hope to bring it up to her someday possibly in the fall.