Article 43

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Can I Get PTSD From My Job

image: tormented man

Can I Get PTSD From My Job?

By Dr Z.
PTSD Spirituality
January 23, 2010

PTSD can be caused by four broad categories of trauma.  PTSD wounds our souls.  We usually think of rape or military service or natural disasters as causing PTSD.  Yet, a question I sometimes get is, “Can I get PTSD from my civilian job?” (This essay was expanded on 24 Jan 2010)

The short answer is “Yes.”

Does It Matter How I Got PTSD?

PTSD does not care how you got traumatised.  It just cares that you did get traumatised and then it tries to isolate and harm you.  If you get PTSD from a civilian employment situation, you still get to experience the same PTSD symptoms and PTSD-Identity that soldiers and veterans get.

When I listen to military veterans, rape survivors, and others, they almost all exhibit similar PTSD symptoms.  But they all got PTSD producing trauma in individual and different ways.  Hopefully, as American society matures, we will realize the point is not how did I get PTSD, but that I have PTSD.  People who have their souls wounded by PTSD, regardless of how they got it, need our prayers and compassion.  Some of them will also need medical treatment for symptoms.

Compassion Deficit Disorder

When dealing with my own PTSD, and when I help others realize they have value in spite of their PTSD, I still frequently find people (who have usually not suffered much themselves) judging what sort of trauma is worthy of PTSD and hence, their compassion.  If someone is in pain, they are worthy of our compassion.

But what about compassion deniers who themselves suffered from real trauma in their own lives?  Sometime people will suffer from COMPASSION DEFICIT disorder because when they suffered people showed them zero compassion. They were told to just get on with it, or quit whining.  That treatment added to their own suffering.  Unfortunately, they then fell into the trap of treating others with the same lack of compassion.  When we recognise someone elses suffering and can be compassionate, not only do we help them heal, but we heal a little more ourselves.

The PTSD-Identity wants to deny our own need for compassion and it denies that anyone else needs compassion.  It knows that your soul will start to heal if you allow yourself to be compassionate.

PTSD From Civilian Jobs?

f your job routinely involves trauma then you can easily acquire PTSD from your job.  Firefighters, police officers, emergency room technicians and paramedics can all be at heightened risk for PTSD.

Trauma From “Non-Emergency” Jobs?

This has more to do with the work environment, the sort of culture that the company allowed to develop. 

Employment which is high stress, high risk, or with horrible supervisors or co-workers can all cause PTSD in their ways. If your co-workers are sexist or racists, that produces stress.  If your boss is a screamer or sets you up to fail, that is also difficult to deal with.

PTSD risks beyond the job’s culture happens when trauma shows up unexpectedly.  Then PTSD can be acquired in jobs that are not normally considered as emergency work.  In fact, if your job is one that we dont expect to be stressful or traumatic, we can be caught off guard and even more easily harmed when things get horrible.  For example, a bank teller is not an emergency trauma worker.  If there is a shooting in the bank, the tellers can get PTSD.

Harrassment Can Cause PTSD

If your employment culture allows you to be harrassed, then you can get PTSD.  Work place law even recognises that verbal harrassment is a criminal offense and companies have paid substantial fines for allowing it.  Subtle discrimination on the job can also traumatize a person, especially when every job is at risk due to the profit first, people never machinations of Wall Street financiers and moving our manufacturing jobs out of the country.

Harrasment, on the job or not, is always despicable.  In some cases it will traumatise us so deeply as to wound our soul and hinder our ability to have proper relationships.

Business Uncertainty and Unemployment Are Trauma Producing

The recession can cause PTSD for some people.  The stresses of round after round of layoffs is a traumatic experience. It is traumatic to be laid off (fired?) from your job.  It is stressful and traumatic waiting to see if your name is on the next list of people who are dismissed.

Being unemployed can also cause trauma.  Applying for unemployment or welfare is stigmatized in American society.  Even if you lose your job through no fault of your own, people act as if you are a leper. And if you have kids who are members of the “Entitlement Generation,” then not having the money (or the credit) to keep them in clothes and electronics can also be traumatic.

PTSD is Not Inevitable

We are not all fated to get PTSD.  Yet, we are all at risk of being traumatized.  Knowing that it can happen and that PTSD is a normal outcome of trauma can help us more easily heal.

Regardless of how we get the soul wound of PTSD, we still need prayer and hope.  We still need compassion and forgiveness.

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Posted by Elvis on 06/14/16 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace • Section Spiritual Diversions • Section Personal
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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Democracy Hollowed Out Part 33 - Shut Down the Democratic National Convention

image: head in sand

Shut Down the Democratic National Convention

By Chris Hedges
Truth Dig
June 5, 2016

On July 25, opening day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Cheri Honkala, leader of the POOR PEOPLE’S ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, who was denied a permit to march by city authorities, will rally with thousands of protesters outside City Hall. Defying the police, they will march up Broad Street to the convention.

We will recapture our democracy in the streets of cities such as Philadelphia, not in convention halls such as the aptly named Wells Fargo Center, where the Democratic Party elites intend to celebrate the results of the rigged primary elections and the continuity of corporate power.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, other activists and I will march with Honkala. It is not as if we have a choice. No one invited us into the center or to the lavish corporate-sponsored receptions. No one anointed us to be Clinton superdelegatesa privilege that went to corporate lobbyists, rich people and party hacks. No one in the Democratic establishment gives a damn what we think.

The convention is not our party. It is their party. It costs a lot of money to attend. Donate $100,000 and you become an “empire donor,” with perks such as “VIP” credentials for all convention proceedings, along with tickets to lavish corporate and Party receptions, photo ops with politicians at the convention podium, four rooms at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and a suite at a Yankees game, where a “special guest” will be present. Short of $100,000? You can become a “gold donor” for $50,000, a “silver donor” for $25,000 or a “bronze donor” for $10,000.

We have the best democracy money can buy. The Wells Fargo Center and the fancy hotels in Philadelphia will be swarming with corporate representatives and lobbyists from Comcast, Xerox, Google and dozens of other companies that manage our political theater.

Honkala, who was once homeless - she lived for a while out of cars, in abandoned houses and under bridgesand who was the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate in 2012, has long defied the elites on behalf of the marginalized and the poor. She led a protest at the 2000 Republican National Convention, (after being denied a permit for that as well), which saw 30,000 people shut down Philadelphias center over issues such as racial discrimination, police violence and poverty. She has fought for the homeless, the unemployed and the underemployed for three decades, through acts of civil disobedience - marches, the construction of tent cities and homeless encampments, and sit-insthat often ended in arrests. She has been arrested more than 200 times.

She will be on the south side of Philadelphia’s City Hall at 3 p.m. on July 25, with or without a permit. And thousands for whom the Democratic Party is another face of the corporate enemy will be there with her. (Contacts for the march are (215) 869-4753 or cherihonkalappehrc at gmail.com.)

“Philadelphia has a poverty rate of 26 percent,” she said when I reached her by phone. “It has the highest number of people who die from drug overdoses in the country. The city has not housed anyone within the homeless population within 10 months. It has lost its state certification for the Department of Human Services child protection agency because of gross negligence and substandard conditions for children. Foster kids are stuck in an abusive system. Hundreds are not being placed. And at the same time, the city will spend $43 million on security for the convention. It will spend upwards of $60 million to house millionaires and billionaires while it ignores the vulnerable and attempts, by denying us a permit to march, to render them invisible.”

She said that “the difference between the march she led in 2000 and the one planned for July is that things are four times worse.” She spoke about her north Philadelphia neighborhood, Kensington, the poorest district in the state. It has one of the highest homicide rates in the nation. It has a large homeless population. It has a poverty rate of 46.9 percent. The food bank is protected by barbed wire.

“Back then, someone could work three or even four jobs and barely survive,” she said. “I live in a neighborhood now of the permanently unemployed. There is an underground economy. We have to collectively keep each other alive. There are hundreds of young men who are not just attempting to live on a dollar a day, but go a couple of weeks with nothing. We try to figure out how to find food and housing. We try to figure out how to keep alive.”

The loss of faith in the political system and neoliberal ideology is widespread. The corporate elites are pouring $5 billion into the carnival of presidential electoral politics in a desperate bid to keep us mesmerized and controlled. Democracy is endlessly invoked on the airwaves to legitimize the corporate and political forces that have destroyed it. Congress has an approval rating of 11 percent. Half of qualified voters are not registered to vote, and half of registered voters do not go to the polls. A little more than half of 25 percentno more than 15 percent - of the electorate determines who becomes president. And this is the way the elites want it.

In our system of inverted totalitarianism, the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin pointed out, the object is to demobilize the citizenry, to render it apathetic, to convince the citizen that all political activity that does not take place within the narrow boundaries defined by the corporate state is futile. This is a message hammered into public consciousness by the corporate media, which serve as highly paid courtiers to the corporate elites. It is championed by the two parties that offer up fear of the other as their primary political platform.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hold the highest candidate disapproval ratings in American historyin that order. These two candidates, the system insists, are the only דrational options. Step outside the system and you are disappeared or ridiculed. Acceptable political opinions, as Wolin wrote, are ԓmeasurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them. We vote, in the end, for skillfully manufactured personalities. Neither Trump nor Clinton in office will hinder corporate hegemony. Nothing will change until we revolt, until we defy the corporate system, until we wake from our civic stupor. The goal of the elites is to keep us pacified.

“The crucial element that sets off inverted totalitarianism from Nazism is that while the latter imposed a regime of mobilization upon its citizenry, inverted totalitarianism works to depoliticize its citizens, thus paying a left-handed compliment to the prior experience of democratization,” Wolin wrote in Politics and Vision. “Where the Nazis strove to give the masses a sense of collective power and confidence, Kraft durch Freude (or strength through joy), the inverted regime promotes a SENSE OF WEAKNESS, collective futility that culminates in the erosion of the democratic faith, in political apathy and the PRIVATIZATION OF THE SELF. Where the Nazis wanted a continuously mobilized society that would support its masters without complaint and enthusiastically vote yes at the managed plebiscites, the elite of inverted totalitarianism wants a politically demobilized society that hardly votes at all.”

The growing consternation of the state is apparent. Meetings held by groups that are considering protesting during the convention are routinely monitored by what Honkala called “floorwalkers,” whom she suspects work for the police, Homeland Security or the FBI.

ԓThese meetings are saturated with floorwalkers, she said. ԓThey say they are Burnersђ [those who say if Bernie Sanders is not elected there should be a political revolution] or from Occupy, and they are on our side. We are approached at every meeting. We are questioned by these floorwalkers about whether we will engage in violence during the convention. They want to know if we plan to be arrested. Are we going to do sit-ins? They tell us we have been infiltrated and point out people in the room, who, they say, are undercover cops. They are men and women. That is what we see face to face. They are also all over social media. The Clinton elements attack me for not being a true woman. They say I am a saboteur who will be responsible for electing Trump. They call us spoilers. They tell us not to march.

“We don’t have any choices anymore,” she went on. “I have been doing this work for almost 30 years. In the documentary made about our march during the Republican National Convention in 2000, there are eight people in the film that are now dead. The poor live in a war zone. I do not know if my kid will get to school or come back alive, and this is even if he has a school to go to, because they are talking about closing down more schools. We either do everything we possibly can to build an independent political party, or we will have to organize the next American Spring. THE POOR are barely surviving. The planet as we know it may soon not be in existence. Across the street from where I live, five people were shot, all on the same day. Three of them were teenagers who died. Our kids are exploitable or expendable.”

Her neighborhood, she said, is a biohazard. It is filled with refineries and waste-storage facilities. Miscarriages, asthma, diabetes and cancer are epidemic. Low-income people CAN’T AFFORD OBAMACARE. They pay the PENALTY on their taxes. And health issues, including life-threatening illnesses, usually go untreated.

Honkala is preparing for a confrontation.

“What happens before a lot of these events is they come and lock me up,” she said. “This is what happened before the [1999 World Trade Organization protests]. This is what happened when they opened the Constitution Center and we protested. I am trying to figure out how to keep cameras around me for safety reasons before the march. We need people to witness this. The last thing poor folks have is THEIR VOICE. We can’t let that be taken too.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 06/08/16 •
Section Dying America
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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Steady Fall Of Labor Participation

image: Truth is Treason

Why you should never blindly trust the official unemployment rate

By Jeff Spross
The Week
June 6, 2016

Friday’s JOB REPORT was a study in whiplash.

The unemployment rate dropped a remarkable 0.3 percentage points: It was 5 percent in April, and fell to 4.7 percent in May.

Which sounds great!

But only 38,000 jobs were created last month. That’s absolutely abysmal. It’s likely the Verizon strike TEMPORARILY ELIMINATED 35,000 to 40,000 jobs in May, which will return now that the strike is over. But even that would’ve only brought May’s count to just under 80,000 new jobs. By COMPARISON, 2015 averaged 221,000 jobs per month, and 2014 averaged 260,000 per month. On top of that, job creation numbers for both March and April were revised down for a total loss of 59,000.

Which is not good at all.

The way to make sense of these two conflicting indicators is to realize the unemployment rate is not always the best indicator of the economy’s health. In fact, it’s probably a much worse indicator right now than it’s been in a long time.

Friday’s jobs report actually provides an excellent opportunity to explain why.

There’s some silly CONSIPRACY-MONGERING out there about how the unemployment rate isn’t the “real” unemployment rate.

But the thing to realize is that the “official” unemployment rate is designed to measure a specific thing, and you can’t ask that measurement to tell you more about the economy than it’s designed to. The “official” unemployment rate everyone always talks about is actually called the ”U-3” rate, and it’s the total number of unemployed Americans as a percentage of the labor force.

So what does that mean? The labor force is everyone over the age of 16 who is either employed or has looked for a job within the last four weeks. So a 4.7 percent unemployment rate means 4.7 percent of that population doesn’t have a job.

Now let’s look at another measure the government tracks: the EMPLOYMENT-TO-POPULATION ratio. This is the percentage of everyone over the age of 16 who has a job. And it held steady: 59.7 percent in April and 59.7 percent in May.

So the percentage of everyone over age 16 who is unemployed held steady. But the percentage of people over 16 who looked for work in the last four weeks and who are unemployed fell. How did that happen? Because some of them stopped looking for work. They left the labor force, not because they found a job, but because they no longer met the criterion.

You can see it in the data that doesn’t get the headline treatment: The labor force participation rate itself fell from 62.8 percent to 62.6 percent in May. And the number of unemployed people who stopped looking for work ticked up sharply.

Obviously, that’s all bad. But the way the math works, it results in a lower official unemployment rate.

This all gets at a deeper problem. The official unemployment rate is affected by the health of the economy. But the labor force participation rate is affected by it, too. It fell from 67 percent in the late ‘90s to 66 percent after the 2001 recession and never recovered. Then it fell again after the Great Recession, all the way down to between 62 and 63 percent. It has yet to recover.

image: Labor Participation Rate May 2016

It looked like the labor force participation rate might have finally started climbing again, but its fall over the last two months basically wiped out all its gains. The one bit of good news is that its post-Great Recession drop leveled off around the start of 2014, and there’s no sign yet it’s starting a new fall.

Now, some of that collapse is due to normal demographics changes, in particular old and retired people becoming a bigger share of the overall population. But that doesn’t account for all of the collapse. Some of it is people giving up because they just can’t find work. That means, until the labor force participation rate recovers by several percentage points, the official unemployment rate simply won’t be a good measure of the health of the economy.

“A 5 percent unemployment rate today is a distinctly different indication of labor market slack than a 5 percent unemployment rate would have been before the recession, in 2007,” Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at the accounting firm CohnReznick, told The New York Times.

So what should we be looking at to judge the health of the economy?

There are actually SIX different measures of unemployment the government tracks: “U-1” through “U-6.” The U-6 RATE in particular is WORTH WATCHING when labor force participation is depressed; it INCLUDES unemployed people who look for work less often and people who want to work full-time but can only find part-time jobs, for instance. There’s also the EMPLOYMENT-TO-POPULATION RATIO FOR AGES 25-54. That is, out of all Americans age 25 to 54, what percentage has jobs? It’s HELPFUL because it filters out a lot of the demographic questions like whether people are retired or students - that bedevils other measures.

But ultimately, the best measure is just THE RATE at which wages are growing. The economy is at full health when the number of jobs available matches the number of people who want to work. When that happens, workers stop competing for jobs, and employers start competing for workers, which causes wages to rise.

Back at the height of the 1990s boom, wages grew at roughly 4 percent. Right now they’re growing at around 2.5 PERCENT.

So we’ve got the metrics to tell us how well the economy is (or isn’t) doing. We just have to be more flexible about which ones we use.

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Posted by Elvis on 06/07/16 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Monday, June 06, 2016

To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind In Life

By Jamie Varon
Huffington Post
February 9, 2016

You don’t need more motivation. You don’t need to be inspired to action. You don’t need to read any more lists and posts about how you’re not doing enough.

We act as if we can read enough articles and enough little Pinterest quotes and suddenly the little switch in our brain will put us into action. But, honestly, here’s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords that have come into popularity: you are as you are until you’re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.

And what I think we all need more than anything is this: permission to be wherever the fuck we are when we’re there.

You’re not a robot. You can’t just conjure up motivation when you don’t have it. Sometimes you’re going through something. Sometimes life has happened. Life! Remember life? Yeah, it teaches you things and sometimes makes you go the long way around for your biggest lessons.

You don’t get to control everything. You can wake up at 5 a.m. every day until you’re tired and broken, but if the words or the painting or the ideas don’t want to come to fruition, they won’t. You can show up every day to your best intentions, but if it’s not the time, it’s just not the fucking time. You need to give yourself permission to be a human being.

Sometimes the novel is not ready to be written because you haven’t met the inspiration for your main character yet. Sometimes you need two more years of life experience before you can make your masterpiece into something that will feel real and true and raw to other people. Sometimes you’re not falling in love because whatever you need to know about yourself is only knowable through solitude. Sometimes you haven’t met your next collaborator. Sometimes your sadness encircles you because, one day, it will be the opus upon which you build your life.

We all know this: Our experience cannot always be manipulated. Yet, we don’t act as though we know this truth. We try so hard to manipulate and control our lives, to make creativity into a game to win, to shortcut success because others say they have, to process emotions and uncertainty as if these are linear journeys.

You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something that’s beyond what you understand. It’s the BASIS OF PRESENCE - to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.

Yet, we don’t act in a way that supports this lifestyle. We fill every minute with productivity tools and read 30-point lists on how to better drive out natural, human impulse. We often forget that we are as we are until we’re not. We are the same until we’re changed. We can move that a bit further by putting into place healthy habits and to show up to our lives in a way that fosters growth, but we can’t game timing.

Timing is the one thing that we often forget to surrender to.

Things are dark until they’re not. Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control. and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. We have to put in our best efforts and then give ourselves permission to let whatever happens to happen--and to not feel so directly and vulnerably tied to outcomes. Opportunities often don’t show up in the way we think they will.

You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what’s right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.

Sometimes we’re not yet the people we need to be in order to contain the desires we have. Sometimes we have to let ourselves evolve into the place where we can allow what we want to transpire.

Let’s just say that whatever you want, you want it enough. So much so that you’re making yourself miserable in order to achieve it. What about chilling out?  Maybe your motivation isn’t the problem, but that you keep pushing a boulder up a mountain that only grows in size the more you push.

There’s a magic beyond us that works in ways we can’t understand. We can’t game it. We can’t 10-point list it. We can’t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a fucking step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and to let the cogs turn as they will. One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.

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Posted by Elvis on 06/06/16 •
Section Spiritual Diversions
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Everything Doesn’t Happen For A Reason

By Tim Lawrence
The Adbersary Within
October 20, 2015

I emerge from this conversation dumbfounded. I’ve seen this a million times before, but it still gets me every time.

Im listening to a man tell a story. A woman he knows was in a devastating car accident; her life shattered in an instant. She now lives in a state of near-permanent pain; a paraplegic; many of her hopes stolen.

He tells of how she had been a mess before the accident, but that the tragedy had engendered positive changes in her life. That she was, as a result of this devastation, living a wonderful life.

And then he utters the words. The words that are responsible for nothing less than emotional, spiritual and psychological violence:

Everything happens for a reason. That this was something that had to happen in order for her to grow.

That’s the kind of bullshit that destroys lives. And it is categorically untrue.

It is amazing to meafter all these years working with people in pain - that so many of these myths persist. The myths that are nothing more than platitudes cloaked as sophistication. The myths that preclude us from doing the one and only thing we must do when our lives are turned upside down: grieve.

You know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve heard these countless times. You’ve probably even uttered them a few times yourself. And every single one of them needs to be annihilated.

Let me be crystal clear: if you’ve faced a tragedy and someone tells you in any way, shape or form that your tragedy was meant to be, that it happened for a reason, that it will make you a better person, or that taking responsibility for it will fix it, you have every right to remove them from your life.

Grief is brutally painful. Grief does not only occur when someone dies. When relationships fall apart, you grieve. When opportunities are shattered, you grieve. When dreams die, you grieve. When illnesses wreck you, you grieve.

So Im going to repeat a few words I’ve uttered countless times; words so powerful and honest they tear at the hubris of every jackass who participates in the debasing of the grieving:

Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.

These words come from my dear friend Megan Devine, one of the only writers in the field of loss and trauma I endorse. These words are so poignant because they aim right at the pathetic platitudes our culture has come to embody on a increasingly hopeless level. Losing a child cannot be fixed. Being diagnosed with a debilitating illness cannot be fixed. Facing the betrayal of your closest confidante cannot be fixed.

They can only be carried.

I hate to break it to you, but although devastation can lead to growth, it often doesn’t. The reality is that it often destroys lives. And the real calamity is that this happens precisely because we’ve replaced grieving with advice. With platitudes. With our absence. 

I now live an extraordinary life. I’ve been deeply blessed by the opportunities I’ve had and the radically unconventional life I’ve built for myself. Yet even with that said, I’m hardly being facetious when I say that loss has not in and of itself made me a better person. In fact, in many ways it’s hardened me.

While so much loss has made me acutely aware and empathetic of the pains of others, it has made me more insular and predisposed to hide. I have a more cynical view of human nature, and a greater impatience with those who are unfamiliar with what loss does to people.

Above all, I’ve been left with a pervasive survivors guilt that has haunted me all my life. This guilt is really the genesis of my hiding, self-sabotage and brokenness.

In short, my pain has never been eradicated, I’ve just learned to channel it into my work with others. I consider it a great privilege to work with others in pain, but to say that my losses somehow had to happen in order for my gifts to grow would be to trample on the memories of all those I lost too young; all those who suffered needlessly, and all those who faced the same trials I did early in life, but who did not make it.

I’m simply not going to do that. I’m not going to construct some delusional narrative fallacy for myself so that I can feel better about being alive. I’m not going to assume that God ordained me for life instead of all the others so that I could do what I do now. And I’m certainly not going to pretend that I’ve made it through simply because I was strong enough; that I became “successful” because I “took responsibility.”

There’s a lot of “take responsibility” platitudes in the personal development space, and they are largely nonsense. People tell others to take responsibility when they dont want to understand.

Because understanding is harder than posturing. Telling someone to ғtake responsibility for their loss is a form of benevolent masturbation. ItԒs the inverse of inspirational porn: its sanctimonious porn.

Personal responsibility implies that thereҒs something to take responsibility for. You dont take responsibility for being raped or losing your child. You take responsibility for how you choose to live in the wake of the horrors that confront you, but you don’t choose whether you grieve. We’re not that smart or powerful. When hell visits us, we don’t get to escape grieving.

This is why all the platitudes and fixes and posturing are so dangerous: in unleashing them upon those we claim to love, we deny them the right to grieve.

In so doing, we deny them the right to be human. We steal a bit of their freedom precisely when they’re standing at the intersection of their greatest fragility and despair.

No one - and I mean no one - has that authority. Though we claim it all the time.

The irony is that the only thing that even can be “responsible” amidst loss is grieving.

So if anyone tells you some form of get over it, move on, or rise above, you can let them go.

If anyone avoids you amidst loss, or pretends like it didnגt happen, or disappears from your life, you can let them go.

If anyone tells you that all is not lost, that it happened for a reason, that youll become better as a result of your grief, you can let them go.

Let me reiterate: all of those platitudes are bullshit.

You are not responsible to those who try to shove them down your throat. You can let them go.

I’m not saying you should. That is up to you, and only up to you. It isn’t an easy decision to make and should be made carefully. But I want you to understand that you can.

I’ve grieved many times in my life. I’ve been overwhelmed with shame and self-hatred so strong its nearly killed me.

The ones who helped - the only ones who helped - were THOSE WHO WERE THERE. And said nothing.

In that nothingness, they did everything.

I am here - I have lived - because they chose to love me. They loved me in their silence, in their willingness to suffer with me, alongside me, and through me. They loved me in their desire to be as uncomfortable, as destroyed, as I was, if only for a week, an hour, even just a few minutes.

Most people have no idea how utterly powerful this is.

Are there ways to find “healing” amidst devastation? Yes. Can one be “transformed” by the hell life thrusts upon them? Absolutely. But it does not happen if one is not permitted to grieve. Because grief itself is not an obstacle.

The obstacles come later. The choices as to how to live; how to carry what we have lost; how to weave a new mosaic for ourselves? Those come in the wake of grief. It cannot be any other way.

Grief is woven into the fabric of the human experience. If it is not permitted to occur, its absence pillages everything that remains: the fragile, vulnerable shell you might become in the face of catastrophe.

Yet our culture has treated grief as a problem to be solved, an illness to be healed, or both. In the process, we’ve done everything we can to avoid, ignore, or transform grief. As a result, when you’re faced with tragedy you usually find that you’re no longer surrounded by people, you’re surrounded by platitudes.

What to Offer Instead

When a person is devastated by grief, the last thing they need is advice. Their world has been shattered. This means that the act of inviting someone - anyone - into their world is an act of great risk. To try and fix or rationalize or wash away their pain only deepens their terror.

Instead, the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge. Literally say the words:

I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you.

Note that I said with you, not for you. For implies that you’re going to do something. That is not for you to enact. But to stand with your loved one, to suffer with them, to listen to them, to do everything but something is incredibly powerful.

There is no greater act than acknowledgment. And acknowledgment requires no training, no special skills, no expertise. It only requires the willingness to be present with a wounded soul, and to stay present, as long as is necessary.

Be there. Only be there. Do not leave when you feel uncomfortable or when you feel like you’re not doing anything. In fact, it is when you feel uncomfortable and like you’re not doing anything that you must stay.

Because it is in those places - in the shadows of horror - we rarely allow ourselves to enterwhere the beginnings of healing are found. This healing is found when we have others who are willing to enter that space alongside us. Every grieving person on earth needs these people.

Thus I beg you, I plead with you, to be one of these people.

You are more needed than you will ever know.

And when you find yourself in need of those people, find them. I guarantee they are there.

Everyone else can go.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 06/06/16 •
Section Spiritual Diversions
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