“When I try to tell you what happened, my ability to verbalize drops away. When I try to tell you what happened, I even forget completely what I was going to say.
This is a way the body protects itself when it has been traumatized. But this body is healing, and it has been practicing…”
Survive eleven months (April 18, 2019; March 18, 2020)
That was eleven months ago. Eleven months.
When I try to tell you what happened, my ability to verbalize drops away. When I try to tell you what happened, I even forget completely what I was going to say.
This is a way the body protects itself when it has been traumatized. But this body is healing, and it has been practicing.
I keep noticing that I built a cyborg body to allow me to say the things where trauma wanted to stop me.
Many of those things have been said out in public already.
And then the radio network died. And then I died again. Those long minutes, hours, days, weeks of starving to death, meat stripped down to bone. This is what it feels like to waste to nothing, alone.
If any part of me grows back, I thought.
Which part will it be?
Which of any of these parts are most essentially me?
Some parts grew back.
Soft tendril sprout, I had a radio tuner again. I could tune it, sometimes, to find out if anyone I’ve previously known was still alive.
I could tune it to hear the desperate requests of the dying.
I could tune it to the belly-button-lint anguish of people with enough privilege to bring substantial ease to suffering, yet these too vague, confused, and despairing to act.
I could tune in some con-men or some marketers or some freedom-fighters or some political-protesters or a church service or a breathing exercise or some gentle music.
Yesterday, I found out (again) that I could tune in homeless kids.
It’s horrible, Intuitive Social Horror.
We are watching so many more people cry out with urgency now. We are not prepared for this, we have not prepared for this — that’s what they say. Who said that before?
Oh, all of these other previously dying people.
What happens in my body is — LOL.
All across the world, people who weren’t paying attention before are paying attention now. They’re getting sick, they’re getting a true taste of fear, disability, and “healthcare.”
I have only just come out of this stretch of dying experiences. I was in a room and could not reach food. I could not move to protect my physical body. I could barely execute the functions of survival, and I knew that was about it for me. I told others… I told others… but all whom I told looked lost and heartbroken.
I was lucky that at the last minute, someone heard me.
Because of that one person, because of the next person, I was still alive; and then I had the chance to be taken seriously by others, who would never have noticed or cared if not for their own community members pausing and choosing to help.
We worked together to reintroduce foods to my body… in the tiniest amounts, over a terribly long schedule, slowly bringing back my capacity to digest solid foods.
I was gone. I was not alive; I was not a person.
Now I am here… and I have all these memories from before, and since.
And what I am seeing now is that people who ignored us before are calling for help, attention, and awareness.
It’s a healthy LOL. It’s not a mean LOL; I’m not glad we’re all suffering. But am I glad these individuals and groups that denied us safety before are experiencing traumatic loss of their safety now?
I’m not sure how else they could discover their error.
It would have been nice if we could have all come to this conversation in an easier way, huh?
You know, maybe… ahead of time?
Is the coronavirus really anything like the apocalypse we were asking all to be wise about and prepared for?
Well, if you are all about to get so sick you’re afraid you will die — and you might — if what you need is not accessible to you because of societal distractibility and wastefulness — if you are only now noticing the compromising effects of ubiquitous environmental pollution on our immune systems — if you’re afraid you won’t be helped or believed when you are suffering extremely —
It’s just where I am.
While others have been distracted or wasting resources, while others have had the privilege of being addicted to sugar and refined comfort foods, while others have ignored threats to food, water, and health safety… I’ve been spending years of my life listening to my friends and colleagues die.
A lot of us have.
But no one would listen to us then to prevent apocalyptic results.
Is it normal to turn aside while the people around you die?
We shouldn’t be surprised, right?
I’m still sorting it out.
It keeps making me laugh out loud.
I was dead. I didn’t want to wake up. I was dead again and if I could avoid waking up, I could stay dead. Still, silent, and sleeping.
But I woke up and I was alive again.
I don’t know how to say whether it was one death or many. I’m stretching the definition of “death” from common usage. Every heart beat, wing flutter, or vibration of the larynx is many pulses. A day is a month is a year in the life of a stone. I know that I was dead and it would have been better if I’d stayed that way, but I woke up and I was alive again.
Then I stayed very still and silent, because moving was too painful.
I thought, maybe I seem to be alive, but there is nothing here to grow.
But then the spring came.
And something grew.
Green sprouting leaves from seeds I thought were desiccated and void. Green shoots. Christ help me, flower buds. And then I made another picture of the radio and tried to shake the silt out of my head. How can I fathom doing this again? This doesn’t exist in the land of death I was walking in. How am I here? What’s happening?
Here and there, what I can access becomes a little more clear.
Everyone died. The radio died. The network died. I died.
Gut was laid waste; how long did I go without food? I was down to sips of water and then no water at all. (How long? Time has no length in those places.)
I woke up (perhaps dozens of times) and I was alive.
I thought we were all dead.
Green shoots ferment. There could be a salad. I’m tired of words. I’m tired of dying repeatedly. I don’t want to go through it again. But I’m here. And I seem to be… broadcasting.
My whole experience is different, my self, my body, and the shapes of my brain. None of it is the same. Picking this up again as a new and different person is very strange.
9 hrs ·
‘ I think the discussion of the death rate of coronavirus has been kind of misleading (though important, of course). It’s easy to imagine that if the death rate is 1% and many people have mild cases, that for 99% of folks, it’s no big deal at all.
But I think what we really need to think about is the percentage of people for whom getting the coronavirus will totally suck. Consider that 1 in 5 people who get it will need hospital care. Consider that some people (I don’t know the percentage) will have permanent damage to their lungs. Consider that it often takes weeks to recover. And consider just how miserable you can be without needing to go to the hospital.
That means that for a much larger percentage than 1%, getting the coronavirus will be a major event in their lives, either through awful short-term impacts that eventually go away or through life-limiting, chronic problems that last forever. ‘
This link is in our notes at Intuitive.pub/radio.
‘ In the United States, tens of millions of people are at a much greater risk of getting sick from the coronavirus than others.
The most vulnerable among us do not have the option to comply with suggestions to stay home from work or work remotely.
Most low wage workers do not have any paid sick days and cannot do their work from home.
The over two million people in jails and prisons each night do not have these options nor do the half a million homeless people. ‘
Six Quick—But Very Important—Points About Coronavirus and Poverty in the US
The most vulnerable among us simply do not have the same options as the most privileged.
by Bill Quigley
Is the purpose of a cytokine storm to shock the system into responding?
Some elements are meant to upregulate the immune system that have struggled or will not activate; some elements are meant to down-regulate certain parts of the immune system that have been chronically activated.
Don’t attack friends.
Pay attention to new and different details.
Maybe we Survivors of Severity are cytokine storms…
(Hilariously appropriate doubled segment here. Why repeat it? Why repeat any experience? Maybe we need to pay more attention.)
‘ To see through the illusion of the separate self is at the same time to take away the power that fear has over us (as well as to empower ourselves), for the experience of separation and fear (of “the other”) mutually co-arise, reciprocally reinforcing each other.
Genuine compassion (which strengthens the immune system) is the result of this realization.
It is of the utmost significance, however, that the coronavirus is a quantum phenomenon, in that it contains within itself both death-creating poison as well as its own medicine. Encoded in the virus is its own vaccine – as interdependently connected cells in a greater living organism, each of us is being demanded by the coronavirus to realize how we can synergistically co-operate together so as to resist and overcome its invasion. ‘
. . . ‘ We will be complicit in creating a tragedy of historic proportions if we miss the hidden, golden opportunity that is encoded within the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus is helping us realize who we are relative to each other—one human family—thereby inspiring us to come together as one. This is the gift concealed within the disease that not only helps us to heal the disease, but heals us as well. ‘
Coronavirus Contains Its Own Medicine
There is a clear and present trauma relief for me in watching all these able-bodied people rebuke one another for so casually endangering the lives of people who could suddenly be casualties.
After being one of those casualties so many times, invisibly, with my body repeatedly waking up alive…
I hope they all take this to heart.
It’s been far too easy to fail to notice how we kill one another.
37 mins ·
‘ You mean I have to stay inside my home, not have any social contact, prepare meals using what is already in my pantry, research a disease without doctors’ help and take lots of expensive herbs and supplements to ward off infection?
In other words, what I have been doing for years fighting Lyme, Immune Deficiency and Iatrogenic Injury.
Your Corona Pandemic = A Chronic Disease Warrior’s Everyday Life. ‘
‘ …There are so many people doing such great, tireless, caring work without real reward or recognition. There are good, very good people doing very good things in our movement. People are cared for and change is happening. And that’s part of the problem. Anytime an individual or group starts to focus too much on their goodness—and build a reputation or brand and a marketing campaign asking for money and support based on that goodness and righteous denunciation of the other (big pharma, abusive psychiatry, whoever)—they get into a trap where they can’t also be honest about their own mistakes. They can’t say “yes, you’re right, we are part of the problem, let’s get to work.” They need to hold on to their image of goodness, especially if it’s making money for them. So instead they deny, shut down, turn it around, and blame the person who is pointing out the problem. ‘
. . . ‘ It shouldn’t surprise us that this happens in the very movements and groups we dedicate ourselves to and we so love. We are, after all, human. Human problems, the human shadow, follow us wherever we go.
But we can do better.
And we must do better, because we are a mental health movement. We have an even greater responsibility to be honest, responsive, to look at our mistakes and address our corruption. Because our values—the values we parade to the world and raise money and ask for support off of—demand it. We have values of compassion, being with, self-determination, and listening to each other. Caring for the vulnerable and powerless. We have to walk this talk. ‘
. . . ‘ Our movement, by not effectively addressing misconduct and corruption, is creating the same toxic dynamics we see so often in families, in schools, in a society that silences people and drives them into distress and madness. A family undergoes a lot of conflict and abuse, but does it beneath the surface, in secret. And no one talks about it, but everyone feels it, so one person, often the most vulnerable or sensitive, sends up acting out and being diagnosed psychotic. Likewise, our movement, by not addressing our own shadows with transparency and honesty, is actually helping to drive people crazy. ‘
. . . ‘ …It’s the same denial of families, of schools, of society, isn’t it? The status quo avoids the truth and lets the mess fall on the people who speak up. Who wants a messy conflict around misconduct? The funders might get scared off, the contract might get undermined, it might be used against us. Better to clear the room and let the others deal with this and it will blow over and we can get back to our grant proposals and email donation appeals.
You see, my friend who is in a bind about speaking up or not speaking up puts me in a bind too. If I speak up, say, “Well, yes, I know some evidence about the perpetrator, let’s put this out there…” then the mess comes down on me. I get people pointing fingers that I am the problem, I get caught up in the mess, I go through the stress… I can even be retaliated against by being seen as a “difficult person” and the money, the training jobs, the invitations will start to dry up. (I know this can happen because I have seen it happen.) So, now I too am stuck in the bind.
Since being trauma informed and recovery oriented is at the heart of who we are and what we do, it is a complete and total fail that not only do we cover up abuse, but with the cover-up we actually create the conditions to traumatize people and undermine recovery. We put people like my colleague—and now myself—in a traumatizing bind. We want to speak up, but can’t, but must, but can’t… And now we spiral down, into stress or worse. ‘
. . . ‘ What should we do? ‘
. . . ‘ Would it be possible for our movement to create some places for mediation, for whistleblowers, for conflict resolution, for ethics complaints, for restorative and transformative justice? ‘
. . . ‘ Would it be possible for our movement to start fixing the problems in our own organizations rather than just righteously demanding pharma and psychiatry fix theirs? ‘
Our Movement Has a Cover-up Problem Too
Will Hall, MA, DiplPW
February 18, 2020