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Healing

Page 65 - Part 1

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PTSD & Rage
By Jimmy WhiteBear

Hallo I am not posting this so I can be Psycho-analyzed by any one. The reason I am posting this is so
if anyone can identify with it, I would hope it might stir you to share your healing process. Not
many have ever heard this outside of close friends and a therapist who I love and cherish for
the help she gave me. I am not looking for sympathy. Sympathy can be found in the dictionary
somewhere between "Sh** and Syph***". This is strictly teaching!, lol! I hope?...

For those who don't know what PTSD stands for, it stands for "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder".
During WWI it was called "Shell shock" WWII and Korean War "Battle fatigue" Vietnam
"PTSD". While the Vietnam war was raging some of the Nutcrackers here in the US began
looking at trauma in general and discovered, any major trauma caused PTSD Like symptoms,
such as Natural disasters, rape, molestation, accidents and any situation that occurred for
someone that was or appeared Life threatening. Trauma can be Physical, mental and emotional.

Why this and why in the shamanism forum? Because our knowledge of healing and our
capabilities of self-healing are greater than even we realize... Finish this part at the end!...
I grew up in a very violent, alcoholic family and to put it bluntly, getting our ass kicked was
almost an everyday affair. I learned quickly that if you want results, kick ass to get the point
across! The only time I ever lost a fight growing up was when I didn't want to fight with the kids.
I would pretend to get knocked out, stay down until they left then go home. When I wanted to
fight, whoever was on the receiving end got hurt and generally enough to remember that they
pissed me off.

As the years went on the fighting got less but when it happened they never seen me coming. I
would be so enraged that the only thing to release it was to hurt someone. Later the rage started
inward and the drug abuse got worse, the drinking got worse, the fighting got less because I
began feeling guilty for hurting someone even if they deserved it! I never knew why I would go
from what I considered absolute calm to a nuclear explosion. My mouth became the biggest
weapon I carried. I lost a lot because of my mouth! Wife, kids, home, friends etc...

About ten years ago when the process of separation from my family began, I was seeing a
therapist for anxiety and depression when and of course, we were talking about what it was like
to grow up. I was avoiding some of her questions and she finally pinned me down. When I told
her what it was really like, she leaned forward and said " Jimmy, do you know you have PTSD
like symptoms? Tell me about the violence!" I was 45-46 then and diagnosed with Post
Traumatic Stress. Being the wise-ass I am I said jokingly, so I didn't have to go to Nam to get Fup!...
I thought she was going to whack me in the head!... I still have the rage but it has been
downgraded to anger and anger is something that we can manage.

Anger is something that we learn how to express growing up by watching how adults manage
anger. When we see they get results by violence we learn quickly how to get results the same
way. Even though anger, rage can fall into primal emotions categories, how we express it today
is learned or managed emotions.

I remember a time when I was drinking and using, I got into Kenpo kung fu for a few years. I
missed a move in a kata while being tested for my Green belt. I was pissed and went drinking
after. I also thought I was better than I was and picked a fight with a guy very much bigger than
me. I got my ass kicked!... LOL My thought then, don't drink and fight, get them before you get
loaded!... still got my ass kicked! I am too old for that kind of behavior now so when I want to
get even, I get passive aggressive, but that isn't an always kind of thing today. I normally today
try to work things out when I can and when I can't and I stew on it, I’ll do something to piss
someone off and walk away laughing... Better then what I use to do. Looking for improvement
not perfection, LOL!

So why have I posted this in the Shamanism/Spirituality forum. I posted it here because this is
just some of the things we as healers have to work through before we can help others to heal. We
have to be focused on the healing of ourselves and the things we have been through and be able
to share some of it with others so they can see there is a way out of the sh**. That there is a
better way and it doesn't have to be our way of doing it, we just have to do it.

I want to be remembered as a guy that helped others rather than a guy that was reckless and cruel
to others. What I did when I was drinking and drugging I am not proud of, nor do I beat myself
up with it anymore. It was all a learning experience creator choose for me to prep me for what I
do today. I love studying shamanism, practicing healing techniques, (Reiki, nawate', massage.) I
have learned how not to be the meanest SOB in the valley but not be a doormat either.

Being a healer is a way of life for some, a practice for others and it is all good. The woman that
showed me the healing path for my PTSD continues to teach me every time I sit with her and B
and C about how much life sucks... It really doesn't, only my attitude sucks and that can change
from moment to moment. It is a choice, life is a choice, healing is a necessity!

2CrowWoman:

Bless you Bear. For many reasons this message means a lot to me. No sympathy, but can I offer
a hug? Sympathy is debilitating but hugs are always good and they're low fat, no additives and
free. Be back later to add more.

Earthwalker:

A’ho Bear A’ho! Life is a choice! Thank you for sharing so much of your path. Timing (solstice)
seems appropriate as well.

Jimmy WhiteBear:

LOL Crow, Hugs are always welcome, Pssst, bears a teddybear shhh!
Thank you Earthwalker, thought about the solstice all day and then forgot when I got home.
Thanks for the reminder! LY

Katt:

Jimmy, I can identify with your post. Normally I don't share a lot of these details with others
publically and am somewhat uncomfortable with doing so now, but I'm being nudged to, so I
will.

I was diagnosed with PTSD about 10 years ago. Two close family members had committed
suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning, both of whom I had to go into the garage to witness and
to identify. A third family member also tried to kill herself this way, I found her before she was
successful...but if you want to see me freak, put me in a garage with the smell of exhaust.

Parkades have to be roomy and not bumper to bumper. Lining up for a ferry crossing and
smelling the exhaust can trigger me. Traffic jams can do that to me as well. I'm better than I was,
I've learned valuable techniques to deal with it, but it'll take time to fully release those triggers.

My childhood growing up was difficult as well. There was drug and alcohol abuse, as well as
physical and sexual abuse. My siblings are both addicts, one has walked the path of recovery for
a while, one is still struggling. The difference with me was my choice of abuse. I didn't drink or
do drugs, but when the anger built up I would cut. I did a lot of things when I was younger that
I'm not proud of. It was like there were two sides to me...one the good little girl who never
complained and did as she was told, and the other side who was so very angry all the time. I
picked fights with people, I was your classic road rage driver and had no issues with stepping out
of my vehicle and going toe to toe with someone for cutting me off, tail gating etc. I punched
through a lot of walls and doors. I never wanted to hurt anyone, but the level of frustration would
build so high I had to let it out, and at the time, those doors and walls were the only way for me,
aside from cutting.

That type of rage is scary, it totally blocks you to all reason, and it totally blocks pain. I've often
thought the Beserkers of old must have felt like that going into battle, you just don't care who
and what you hurt at that point. It has a flavor to it that normal anger doesn't have.

I was blessed to have met my husband when I did. He is my rock, my solid place to be. His love
and support has healed me in so many ways. I was following a very different path before I met
him. My choices in men were terrible, I was going out with men who were abusers, I didn't
realize I deserved better. Lotus was talking about miracles in another post...well, when I was 18,
and examining my life and my choices, I heard a voice tell me I didn't have to follow in anyone's
footsteps, I didn't have to repeat the pattern. That I can break it, and I deserve to. Shortly
thereafter, I met my husband. He was totally not the type of guy I'd gone out with before, but
we've been together now for 21 years.

The events of my past have shaped me into who I am today. It's taught me compassion and
empathy for others. I work at being balanced, to not sit in judgment of others actions but to sit in
acceptance. To not judge, because it could have been me in their situation. (It's not up to me
anyway.) It's lead me on a quest to learn different healing arts. It's introduced me to Shamanism
and my Guides. I've met some wonderful teachers and friends along the way. When Spirit is
doing healing work through me, I "see" the events that have caused the disharmony in that
person/place/thing. There is only love and compassion while doing healing work...no judgement,
no blaming, no harshness. What is, is. What will be, will be. They/we are exactly where we need
to be at this moment in time. We are learning the things we need to, and experiencing the things
we need to.

Hope my rambling has made sense and has stayed on topic. "Life is a choice, healing is a
necessity." A’ho Jimmy!

CinnamonMoon:

A’ho Bear!!! We have many wounded healers here. PSTD or not, wounds come in many forms.
Healers do too.

Earthwalker:

(((Katt)))

EaglesHand:

((Bear)) "I want to be remembered as a guy that helped others" And so you shall Bear.
((Katt)) I honor you both for sharing your experiences

Wynsong:

(((Bear))) (((Crow))) (((Katt))) Deepest respect for your journeys. Deepest respect for your
strength and your choices. Deepest Gratitude for sharing.

BearFlute/Doug Luzar:

Salutes to your working thru your challenge and sharing with us. It is not always an easy thing
do. May this new year coming up bring even more Healing your way.

StarDreamer:

I echo Wynsong! I have loved ones who have/had PTSD and have watched their journeys with
rage. One succumbed to his resultant addictions early in his life. The others, thank Spirit, have
had great courage in facing their journeys...spiritual alchemy transforming that rage into
compassion and love, bit by bit, day by day. A never ending battle for them, though. to all here
who walk a similar path.

StarBearWalking:

Greetings! Thanks (((Bear))) and (((Katt))) I started to tell my story, but I guess I'm not to that
point yet I do believe that one who has experience life has valuable healing energy to share

Mouse:

*sitting quietly, sharing and holding space in acknowledgment*
(((((Jimmy)))))
(((((Katt)))))
(((((Crow)))))
(((((Starbear)))))

FireStarter/Karen:

The space here feels pretty sacred to me.
I get some shaky when I am in the presence of real workings.
Taking a deep breath and saying thank you for all who have shared.
I feel deeply that what put many of us on this path is often tragedy.
Poison is medicine.

It is our jobs, my job to turn this poison into medicine and that is hard work sometimes.
I watched my Brother (no word) while being held over fire by my mother.
The next day I drop to my knees and ask my dad not to kill my mother with the butcher knife he
has at her throat.

There are so many pieces of me I left behind so I might survive.
But, now, for me, in order to survive, by going forward, I have to go back.
I retrieved my primary child with the help of a beautiful shaman woman a year ago.
Now.....I am going even deeper into waters that are indeed scary to retrieve more pieces of myself.

For me, it is the child within that holds most of my magic.
And, deeply within me is a desire to heal future generations in my family to come.
It can stop and I am just the person brave enough to go places that scare me.
I use the lingering rage to fuel my desire to heal.

I already am dropping worn out tattered pieces of cloth that is passed from generation to generation.

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor and I no longer have high pressure in my eyes, glaucoma.
It is not mine.
My mother and her mother have it really bad......but me.....I refuse to accept it and I agree to see,
no matter how difficult.
Doctor told me I have eyes of a young woman (BIG SMILE!)
lol.
lol.
Anyway....I was drawn into shamanism by 2 women who had great tragedy in their lives and
turned it into medicine.
I feel I am no victim anymore......but I sure think I had a little too high expectation of my abilities....LOL!
kidding.....

I thank goodness I have the sense of humor, it gets me through the rough times.
I do still suffer days.....impending doom is a hard one to knock.
I get gruesome flashes in my mind of horrible things that have not happened, like my horse stuck
atop a T post, bleeding to death and so my heart races furiously until I get home and see he or
she is just fine....though I certainly need a nap after that, because my body responds as if it happened.

Ya ya......we're all here cause we ain’t all there....lol, I learned that in AA years ago...it really fit
and made me feel at home.
I am indeed a misfit.
And, I'm almost proud of it too.

well, I've taken up enough space. Thank you so much for this beautiful talking stick.
It was a pleasure and honor to hold it.
I pass it now to........

OH! and it is true that darkness defines the light. Don’t you think?
Take good, good, care you all.

Lotus:

I was once told by a very wise woman, "no one stuck in the past is going to venture very far into
the future of her/his unique potential.

Over the years I realized how wise her words were. For too long I became trapped in the past
allowing myself to be controlled by the Mister Hyde of our unresolved pain and anger until I
decided to make peace with the past so that I could move forward.

I honor each of you who have shared your hearts with us today, and applaud your journey ... I
can relate to the anger and pain, the grief, and even the shame for PTSD has touched my life too.
And so I thank each of you for reminding us that all things are possible if the willingness is there.
There comes a time, when we have to stop talking about what was and begin living. A time to
accept and forgive, to love and align our spiritual center with the Great Spirit.

We are so incredibly powerful that we can choose to view our "victimhood" not as a terrible
injustice, an unforgivable wrong, but as the gift of opportunity that can lead us to growth,
enlightenment, and a willingness to share hearts of understanding and compassion with others.
At the end of the day it all comes down to simply making a choice and summoning the courage
to walk with hope and unconditional love, without blame or judgment.

We have excavated our foundation and re-discovered our authentic selves ... A’ho!

Jimmy WhiteBear:

Part of my healing process was first getting Clean and Sober. Then the ACOA "Adult Children of
Alcoholics" Had to be address, it was at this point I believe that the PTSD surfaced. I had done a
great job at self-medicating. It wasn't for years after that i was diagnosed.

Children that grow up in alcoholic homes learn quickly to act and react in survival mode 24/7.
These behaviors, attitudes and thinking stay with us throughout our adult life and seldom do we
identify them and begin to change them. It is a long hard process of taking one behavior at a
time as you identify it and making the changes. They say it takes 21 days to make a change. I can
tell you that it takes 21 days to identify and begin to change, a life time to make it stick! Often it
requires help from therapists, counselors, psychologists etc. LOL, Stay away from nutcrackers,
they are crazy!... So the process was simply identify and change bad habits that are detrimental
to my well-being. Someone once said, "If nothing changes?, nothing changes!... once that got
through this thick Irish/Indian skull the healing began.

On a spiritual level back then, I was at war with god. I knew he didn't like me and i didn't like
him back--- MORE! When I got to AA and seen "But for the grace of God" and "Let go and let
god" I said "Oh sh**!". I stuck around anyways, met a guy that became my best friend for 14
years before he dropped his robe. He taught me how to use the program as a higher power and
opened my mind enough to let it grow into what I have today... Yes, AA has a great deal to do
with how I came to the shamanic path and that’s another post! another part of the healing...
I use to tell others, "I deal with my ACOA issues in AA, I don't need ACOA meetings." But i went
anyways, LOL! It helped when I didn't fight it! At the time there was a lot of woman there that
had been molested and beaten by drunks etc. and only a few guys. Most seemed to be focused on
their recovery from drugs and alcohol rather than the problem that got them to abuse chemicals.
I spent a lot of time bouncing from one therapist to the next until I finally met a beautiful
Mohawk woman that sat there for three or more years, listening to me B and C about what a
screw up I was. She would try to get me to use more positive ways of describing myself and I
would "yes" her to death then go back to my room and feel like (A bird under a pile of horse
sh**, chirpin' away and waiting for the cat to come and eat 'em!) Mind you I actually did feel
better than that but I was alone and that sucked!...

The healing process can be painful but looking at the long range gratification, obtaining shortterm
gratification to keep ya going day by day, moment by moment. One of the keys to healing
from anything is staying as close to the present moment as possible. Keeping it in the N.O.W.
which means "N.o O.ther W.ay". present moment!, don't look to far ahead!

Healing from Post Traumatic Stress is a lot like healing from drugs, alcohol etc. With what
addicts and alkies go through, there is a lot of PTSD like symptoms and a lot clear up when they
get into sobriety. What I mean by that is a lot of the situations an addict/alkie get into including
overdoses, and the rest of the street stuff actually do scare the hell out of them and the only way
to cope is to do more drugs, drink more booze!... When they get sober and begin to look at some
of the stuff they went through, the question and statement is " I made it through that?" Always
having a sense of gratitude for surviving is a big help and a big motivator. It’s just helping them
to find that gratefulness...

I think I will stop here for now, next post will be on the spiritual aspects of healing from trauma.

Minna:

Brave, brave, stories, all. I honor you.

I grew up with nice parents. Nobody hurt me, except for a spanking or eight. I was the oldest - I
got the most. The only thing was my mother was really emotional and my father was distant. So I
tried to learn to be the peacekeeper and keep things calm. Mom - bless her got to have all the
emotions in the house.

Now, I feel like I'm cool with Mother and Daddy. They did the very, very, best they knew how.
And they were such good people. And I helped see them Home, and I love them.

So, anyway, in my second marriage I married a man who got to have all the emotions in the
house. I was trained for it.

He was an emotional bully to me and my kids. If I tried to respond to him it would only lengthen
the tirade for ummm, at least 20 to 45 minutes per response.

He never hit me, but for some reason, I told him when we were married that if he ever did, I'd
just wait till he was asleep and smack him in the face with a two by four. Because he was lots
bigger than me.

So, he was mean to the kids and mean to me. And when I wouldn't let it affect me, then he'd take
it out on the kids. And I was a wussy, and trained in obedience and didn't know that I could
change things. He abused me in other ways that I don't want to talk about.
Is there such a thing as a 'rage-aholic'? If there is, maybe he was one. And maybe he was a PTSD
candidate too. No one outside our home could imagine the ways he was at home. He was
charming out there. At home, he wasn't.

Later, after therapy, I remember seeing all 6'2" of him standing over me, face red, eyes bulging,
veins bulging, screaming at me, foam at the corners of his mouth, thinking, "There's nothing I
have done to cause this. This is a natural phenomena, like Mt. Vesuvius. I didn't do this."
I used to pray for God to help me. But God was waiting and helping me get the strength to help
myself first. When I scared myself because I wanted to drive off an overpass, I decided things
needed to change. I had children. I couldn't leave.

I'm in the club - AA and therapy, therapy, therapy.

After he left, I didn't realize it, but we had an anger workshop at our house. At first it was
peaceful with him gone. But then, everybody was mad at everybody. I later figured out that we
were just expressing the anger at those ten years, during which time my ex was the only one who
got to be angry. My son was the one who punched holes in the walls, but he did it at work. And
being the projectionist in a movie theater, he had plenty of alone time, apparently and nobody
seemed to mind the holes in the projection room wall.

That's the damn thing. I can work on myself, but I can't fix it for my kids. They are great people
though.

I also took a saw to our bed. Now it had been my bed when I lived at home, and before this
marriage it was a good haven. But after he left, I took the saw and sawed up the head and
footboards. No - I don't always settle emotional issues with a saw. Then we got the junk man to
haul off all this stuff that had been in our house that reminded us of him.
Talking, crying, yelling, searching, sawing, AA, art, meditation and therapy have all been part of
my healing process. I'm a lot better now.

Actually this year, I felt so sad for him. I realized that so much of his life had been about loss. He
lost his first wife and her family that he loved so dearly in a family scandal that just tore them up.
He lost me, and the kids - he had been so proud of his 'instant family', but couldn't do the inner
work then to keep it from going toxic. Neither could I at the time. And this fall, he lost his wife
to cancer. I think he may have been really happy with her. And I was happy for him. I think
when I saw this ongoing story of loss I felt so bad for him, that I may have forgiven him as
completely as I know how. It was just a whole different way to think about him and I was so sad
for him losing the wife he could finally be happy with.

Me, well, you know me. And I met my dear sweetheart Bear in 1988, and we had our first date in
1989, and we married in 1992. And he's the best.

This isn't as dramatic as some of your stories, but I'm kinda glad. I don't think I could have
handled what you guys did. And I'm so proud of you. And I'm happy to be here.

Earthwalker:
Jimmy et al,
As I read your posts the following words from a poster I was given come to mind.
“Believe and Succeed Courage does not always roar. It is the quiet voice at the end of the day
saying “I will try again tomorrow.”
It is in that choice today that the past is released, change is embraced, and tomorrow is created.
Walk in Courage and Peace

FireStarter/Karen:

I'd like to offer up a tool I am using now, a book: “Healing the Past and Mending the Future
With Soul Retrieval”
by Alberto Villoldo.
I am on page 56 and certainly am feeling the effects of the book.
Being the holiday season I've got a lot of fresh surfacing going on....so,
too, I almost feel like I'm being exorcised, kinda raw and vulnerable.
I hope healing finds all of you here in new places of hope and joy, even a little magic!

Jimmy WhiteBear:

Like I said before, When I got clean and sober I was spiritually bankrupt and hated god as much
as he hated me. All I had was the religion I grew up with and I wanted nothing to do with it.
because people in the program helped me to understand that i could find a higher power of my
own and develop a faith that worked for me. I was still an angry SOB but in time I started
calming down and catching myself smiling on occasion.

When I was about 7 years sober, I went through an emotional burn out because I had been
working long hours, some nights not getting home, sleeping at work. When I fired a counselor
who was an idiot wanted to diagnose me rather than treat the emotional problem going on. I got
away from AA because there were a lot of problems with the people so I thought, I blamed them
for my failings. I went to treatment for what was to be crisis intervention, didn't like my
counselor, told him where to get off and left AMA. I got home and grabbed my fly rod, My wife
wasn't home from work, the kids where at school and went down the river. The river seemed to
be the only place I had peace. A group of us had been doing some work on the river, cleaning it
up, helping Fish and Wildlife stock it, I had connected with the river spirit and didn't know it.
While in treatment, all I could think about was the river and the trouble I got in, it was as if the
river was calling me so I left and went to her, LOL!

I got to the river, put my waders on and watched this trout rise so I went in and began working
him. After about 20-30 minutes, out of the corner of my eye I could see something floating and
when I looked it was a beaver just floating in the current watching me. He drifted across my line
and sat up on the bank about 30 feet away and watched me watching him. I eased in my line and
cradled my rod and just stood there watching this guy. Then something happened! I heard,
"Okay, so you lost your spirit, your faith, your heart, start over and follow your heritage!" Have
to say I about messed myself and left. It was my first conscious contact with a 4 legged.

The spiritual side of this began growing. I have always loved and tried to respect nature. I
always found the peace there that I couldn't have anywhere else. I spent hours and hours, day
after day on the river, in the woods because it was the only place I felt comfortable and
connected. I had been volunteering with fish and wildlife for 2-4 years and stocking the river,
cleaning it up, getting the trash, washing machines, tires etc. out of the water made me feel
whole again. within hours after leaving the water or woods, I felt like a fifth wheel. Just hanging
in limbo. So I look back and the PTSD actually was just as active then, I just wasn't aware of
anything more than hurting. I went back to counseling and couldn't find anyone I felt
comfortable with until I found Diane, the Mohawk woman I mentioned earlier. Creator and the
spirits certainly where guiding this, pushing me toward help so I could begin healing beyond the
Booze and the dope. I couldn't tell my wife or friends how I was feeling away from the river so I
just pretended all is good and life--- Bites!

The healing came in lots of ways and still at times, a new level of healing presents itself. I
learned the difference between anger and rage and began working at expressing anger
differently. I had to stop and ask myself why I was angry? What could I do about it? How could I
do it differently and get more positive results? What are the consequences if I let it escalate to
rage? It basically was rationalizing why I was feeling what I was feeling.

The lodge that I built when I was with that nutcase, I went in to meditate in there one time. I felt
a call to go sit in it. I hadn't opened the lodge, it sat dormant through the winter and when I went
in, my father came in. I heard him ask me what I was doing to help the family, I heard him judge
me and I laid into him. He and I argued and I finally told him, "to go, let me live my own life".
The only other time he has come to me was when I was doing some genealogy research and
found my great, great grandfather. Then he, my grandfather, great grandfather and
GGGrandfather where all there in the room when it happened. Haven't heard from him since.

There was much peace with that after and I told Diane about it, in the meantime good ol' nancy,
the mental case was doing her thing with everyone, setting me up with the circle. The rage came
back. But it was different, Creator was there, Stalking Wolf was there, Woody was there. The
support from the spirits was unbelievable. Diane even seen the difference after.

I have never disliked someone as much as I dislike the woman that caused all the problems, but
ya know, if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have had the chance to tell the ol' man off and truly
regain all my power. There was one other occasion when he was still alive, I had just got out of
the navy in 71'. And I was so angry and high, I knock him across the room and took back the
physical power. The time in the lodge, I took back the mental and spiritual power! A’HO!!!!!... If
he wants to talk now, he'll let me know. If I want to talk to him, I will call him in!... The healing, I
forgave him, I accepted that this has been down to me. I stopped blaming myself. I regained selfesteem,
self-worth and self- respect. There will always be more to work on but it will happen in
creators time.

Although all this has happened to me and then some, I feel comfortable with who I am, what I
am, where I am going and why. No one can tell me I am wrong, that is for me to decide. I accept
that I have been wounded and the scars that I carry are painful at times but, I have accepted
those scars and the pain is no more greater than I allow them to be. I am developing into the
Wounded Healer...

BearInMind:

“Why this and why in the shamanism forum? Because our knowledge of healing and our
capabilities of self-healing are greater than even we realize... Finish this part at the end!...”
Then why not the Healing Forum?

“The only time I ever lost a fight growing up was when I didn't want to fight with the kids. I
would pretend to get knocked out, stay down until they left then go home.”
I admire that tactic, Jimmy WhiteBear!

“I was avoiding some of her questions and she finally pinned me down.”
Don't you *hate* it when that happens? When someone asks a question you don't feel
comfortable giving a truthful answer to so you try to side-step it but the issue the question
presents keeps coming back...? Gotta face it to deal with it though.

“I still have the rage but it has been downgraded to anger and anger is something that we can
manage.”

Jimmy WhiteBear, I don't know about you, but rage downgraded to anger that can be managed
might still not make me a "happy camper" I'd have to grab my flashlight and kick open the
basement door!

“Anger is something that we learn how to express growing up by watching how adults manage
anger. When we see they get results by violence we learn quickly how to get results the same
way.”

When "management" is learned in that way, I imagine it takes lots of effort to learn to manage
anger and rage in a more productive way to your own advantage, eh?

“I missed a move in a kata while being tested for my Green belt. I was pissed and went drinking
after.”

You didn't get your Green Belt because you missed a move in a Kata??? A move in a Kata??? A
*dance*???? Geez Jimmy WhiteBear, I prolly might have sucked on a beer after that too!

“I also thought I was better than I was and picked a fight with a guy very much bigger than me. I
got my ass kicked!... LOL”… “So Why have I posted this in the Shamanism/spirituality forum.”
Because you didn't want to post it in the healing forum?

“I want to be remembered as a guy that helped others rather than a guy that was reckless and
cruel to others.”

And I believe you *will* be, by those you helped along your journey through this thing called
"life"

“It was all a learning experience creator choose for me to prep me for what I do today.”
~ Help others

“...about how much life sucks... It really doesn't, only my attitude sucks and that can change from
moment to moment. It is a choice, life is a choice, healing is a necessity!”

Are you sure about that? Ask me and I'll tell you that is the necessity.

FireStarter/Karen:

Jimmy WhiteBear, I understand totally what you say about the river.
She called me too.
I am not the same either because of her.
At a sunset one evening at the river, the sunset spoke to me.
I watched the river and understood why storms needed to happen, or strong movement in the
river.....it moves yukky stuff!
I found myself in the river.
I went there all the time, every free minute.
When a tragedy happened, it was to the river I ran....it was an alive spirit to me and I felt closer
to the river than to anything else ever.
Beavers are wonderful to watch, neat experience you had with Beaver.
I did some cleaning up too at the river.
Did you know that a tire that has been in the rivers soil for a long time is really hard to pull out?
Did you catch the trout?
I am an avid fisher too.
Though just a rod and reel. But, I am smooth with them.
I've seen so many people give a big hard yank, I just don’t understand that.
Well, I also took my physical power back too at one time with my mother.....she was the crazy
one. I'm glad though I didn’t have to strike her, just the look in my eye made her coward down. I
watched her shrink right before my eyes.
I met my mother in a dream once, she is still living, but, we walked to each other and bowed to
one another with a great deal of respect.
THAT was interesting....my greatest enemy, my greatest teacher. It seems it has been the case.
As Bear In Mind has said, I am kicking the basement door open.....I am healed to a great, great,
degree, but........I feel strong that there is still work to be done.
In all physical aspects and I guess too emotional to a large degree, I am healed, but
My wounds are really deep.
And it's in the really deep that I am headed.
As a matter of fact...when I had my flash light out yesterday I went to a tragedy that happened to
my Grandfather.
His wounds affect me.
And my wounds will affect my Grandchildren.
This is my belief.
This brings me to a question I have for the SL....I will post.
I have a question about the underworld.
You take good, good, care Bear and I do enjoy reading you posts about this, especially at this
time.

Jimmy WhiteBear:

TY Karen for opening up and sharing. I have to believe that what gets us here is tragedy and
what gifts come with it to replace the losses can only come through Creator. I spent many years
wanting to be just like the Ol' man and when I achieved it, it wasn't where I wanted to be. Once
realized the path opened and here I am. In many ways I still am just like him but the difference
today is I am changing the behaviors. I hope to break the cycle one day and move into the place
of acceptance. That probably won't happen until I am ready to drop my robe. I am not ready,
there is much more to do before I cross. If time comes before I am ready?, Then there is always
the next time!...I don't know for certain if we really do pick or paths before we are born like it
has been suggested. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. But what I do wish is that those that have
been through tragedy, trauma find their way through the darkness. If I can help, if I can show
them how to get to the light. If I can help them to become the "Wounded Healer" or at least point
them in that direction, I am here!...

Earthwalker:

“Life sucks!” Does it?

A lesson I have had to learn over and over is a slight variation of this theme; therein my
question. Over and over I have been led to understand that the choice of our expectations creates
the environment in which I can say “Life is not fair” “Life has cheated me”? As I sit here
thinking about those words I ask myself how many times the voice within me has required that I
question my expectation(s). The questioning was always along the lines of “Who ever said life
would be fair?” “Who ever said life would be just?” “Who ever said life would be kind ?”“You
have choice, you can hide from the change to your expectations or you can do something.” “So,
what are you going to do about it?”

Thinking back over a long journey for the most part I have accepted change and the challenges
to my expectations albeit fighting it most of the way. The joy felt in surviving the changes or
challenges to my expectations in my journey to accepting all as one is worth the pain and I have
always found proportional to it. So to me I have learned to survive by saying in acceptance “oh
no here we go again” and live in the now enjoying both the spontaneity of surfacing problem
while savoring the outcomes. I have had to learn and it’s been a difficult lesson that I cannot
control everything or even anything in order to meet my expectations. But have also been given
the understanding that if I could life would have been very boring. Therein, I choose to live with
the unexpected, the imperfection, the unjust and choose instead to say “Life is a challenge; a
challenge to our expectations”.

I do remember the words of Jesus and others “forgive them father for they know not what they
do” as I approach life. I try to face its worse days with courage, saying “I will try again”. I face
the best days in awe of its beauty. For me Christmas has meaning outside of the traditional story.
It symbolically represents the birth of a new way; a new way of seeing and feeling within each of
us and based on what we are experiencing at the time. It is a moment in time (a ceremony) made
each year to remind us of that which we have inside. Like the medicine wheel it speaks of new
ways of seeing (the birth of a new idea), the passion of challenge (finding a way through great
difficulties and expectations), the understanding (understanding the benefit of that change in life)
and sharing (sharing love and the gifts we have been given with the world to see). Christmas is a
time of reflections (looking back to the ancient ones and through our respective heritages) and
looking forward to the world which we can bring into existence if we so choose. So we stand
centered in our question “what am I going to do”. Personally I choose to look at Life as a
challenge but a wonderful journey that will take us to the depths of despair and the heights of
love. What do each of you choose?

I thank each of you for sharing your paths. Enjoy the season of life and celebrate its love and
understanding in the traditions you choose. As I look up at the night (morning sky) I know the
traditions are as unique as each of us are but we are all equally part of the Oneness we share.
May the beauty of nature bring you peace.

Jimmy WhiteBear:

Sister Bear, LOL Careful about kicking doors open, you never know what’s on the other side.
Deal with one thing at a time! One day at a time!
Thank you EW for sharing!

FireStarter/Karen:

Now SEE!?
There you go with the caution! (lol)
I have a new thread over in healing about this very thing.
I feel a bit frustrated about the warnings.
Maybe I am asking myself why I am going?
I guess because there is still a whole lot of pain. I am not in denial about that.
I have cried so hard that I met a bunch of Indian women who have had their children taken away
(in Spirit).....I have been accepted into their circle.
And the suffering is still really there in concerns to my family.
My horse and I stand gentle together as we watch two deer jump the fence on their way to graze
for the evening.
I am gentle in this approach but do feel the challenge.
I have a desire always to go forward.
Reach higher.
A new level I feel is waiting.
It feels to me like "the stars are the limit".
Know what I mean?

Jimmy WhiteBear:

I know what you mean! Caution is good, forward momentum cautiously is better! Have a good
Holiday! Talk soon.

When I first got clean and sober I use to hear the old timers talk about how Sobriety was a gift.
Always had a problem with that because a gift to me means "no strings attached." With Sobriety,
there are strings, there are many things I have to do in order to obtain and maintain sobriety. So,
As I thought about it I began to realize that it wasn't sobriety that was the gift, it was the
Desperation that was. I don't think it is any different with our path to finding Spirit.

I think with feeling victimized, frustrated, out of control, the rage is the only thing that allows us
the illusion of having some sort of control in our lives. When someone extends a hand to help,
we question the motives of that person but if we finally come to some acceptance that there truly
is help we move in very, very, cautiously. Trust is not one of the Strong points in our make-up at
this point. we survived this long taking care of ourselves, we can survive indefinitely. It is only
by giving someone an ounce of trust and making them earn every ounce after that we learn to
trust. Acceptance of the trauma and trusting that help is genuine is when we begin to move away
from the victim roll... We can get stuck at anyplace, anytime but the willingness to move forward
is what gets us un-stuck.... Willingness is the key!... We get tired of feeling like a victim, we get
tired of hurting. Some never move out of the victim roll and others, need to leave it behind. Truth
is ,we all need to leave it behind but fear of change prevents that. Some are so fearful of change
that they would rather stay stuck then step into the unfamiliar and risk feeling better!...

The path to spirit for me is long and sometimes painstaking. But I had to decide that I was no
longer going to be a victim of abuse, I was going to be a survivor of it and learn to grow in a way
that would benefit me. Had I decided to stay stuck, I would have died a long time ago... I accept
that I needlessly got my ass kicked by someone that I loved. I, although it wasn't right,
understood that he was very sick and had no help to make it better. He spent many years
tormented by what happened to him during the Burma campaign in WWII. Back then, the
generation was taught to deal with their pain on their own and not be weak by asking for help.

Today is different. It is not seen so much as a weakness to ask for help, it is more a sign of
strength to identify something and change it. ask for help when it is needed. Acceptance,
willingness and perseverance is what heals us from this mire of sh**. Learning new coping
skills, new attitudes and trust. Allowing ourselves the vulnerability. Taking a risk and if we are
hurt from that risk, not closing ourselves off from the help that we find with spirit, and others to
regain our wholeness.

No one should ever have to go through what some of us have gone through. But, those that do
will hopefully find their way back to the light by getting the help from those like us who have
gone before and found SPIRIT!!!... After all, we have found the way to heal, we know the path
that must be taken and how far we have to walk. We can walk with them to make it easier for
them.

Last but not least, When I am working with a client that has a problem with the GOD concept in
AA I tell them I can prove that there is a Higher power and it can work in their life and they can
see it working. The idea in this is to help change the concept of what a higher power is so that
when they open themselves to Creator, they can see it working.

I ask a client to stand up and pick up a heavy table or chair then set it down. I then walk over and
grab hold the other side and tell them to lift. We both lift it. I ask," Which way was easier, doing
it alone or together?" Of course they will say "together!". Then I will tell them " In finding a
Higher Power we are looking for something that helps! What you find harder doing alone can be
made easier if the two of us do it together!"...

Have a great holiday and I hope your New Year brings forth strength, compassion, empathy and
all those other things that help our spirits to grow....

PS, A Friend sent this to me who is also in recovery
"One of life's paradoxes is that in order to change an unwanted situation, we must first accept it
the way it is. If you wish to move forward in your life, first make peace with what you are
presently experiencing."

FireStarter/Karen:

Trust and victimization.
You are right about the trust thing, as a matter of fact, is it not true that the only thing that won’t
lie to us is our death?
I have given this a lot of thought......
Even I lie to myself.
Everyone else will too.

When I thought I am the only one in the world with "true" intentions, I came off that pedestal
sooooooooooo hard that I came to that conclusion and also came to have a great sense of
humor.

It also is because of the trust issue that when one teacher is done with me I am oh so heartbroken
for a quite a long time. I walk around kicking cans for a few weeks, or months, gee, maybe a
year?

It takes me a while to get over this before I can accept another teacher in.
Oh, bless my next teacher! LOL!

By the way, my Dad was a WWII vet also, though he was a very kind gentle man, he just stayed
drunk, bless his heart!
Victim.....
There are real and true victims and nothing wrong with acknowledging it.
But, to play it like a card is quite another thing.

One of my past teachers, she was victimized by evil men. She was raped and then her eyes poked
out with a compass needle so she couldn’t ID them.
She has been blind ever since.

Those men sick? Evil?
It ends up not mattering really, though, I feel it is easier to swallow "sick" rather than "evil".
It is easier to understand "sick" than to swallow there is really, really, real evil out there.
Ya know?

This is something I had to learn to swallow.
I wanted so badly to sit with others who were hurt by sick people. Sick yes, but evil too.
Someone who is there intent to kill you or better yet have you kill yourself...that is truly a hard
pill to swallow.

I suppose the trick for me is to work hard to turn every evil thing against me into a strength.
I am glad one of my teachers had this situation herself.
A very bad medicine person, turned their skills into evil and then targeted me.
And as if I didn’t have enough to do!
Though, I am as strong as I am vulnerable.
Trust me, I know this sounds a little "out there"....makes me feel a little out there too at times.....
though all I need to do is accept my truth and then find ways to grow in spirit despite it.
OH MY GAWD!!!!!

My hubby just came knocking on the door, was letting the horses out for the day and I opened the
door and he stood there with a hawk wing in his hands!!!!!!!!!!!!

He said he went to let the horses out and Sinbad wouldn’t leave and so he went to see what he
was doing, and he was looking at this wing and picked it up and then Sinbad went on out.
OH MY!!!!!!!

You should SEE this!
It is a whole huge wing intact!
What a GIFT.......
It is the right wing.
It is about a little over a foot long and well, it is beautiful!
I have to go now and give thanks.......What a beautiful gift! A Christmas miracle!

Jimmy WhiteBear:
The messenger has spoken eh?...Be safe, Be well

2CrowWoman:

Hi (teddy) Bear, I promised I'd be back and finally I have some quiet time to reply properly. You
said: “For those who don't know what PTSD stands for, it stands for "Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder". During WWI it was called "Shell shock" WWII and Korean War "Battle fatigue"
Vietnam "PTSD".”

I can add that in the 1970s my own birth land, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), was going through a
war categorized as being on the same level of stress as Vietnam. Many ex-soldiers of the
Rhodesian bush war have since been "officially" given the label of PTSD. Since we're not even a
country anymore it's not easy getting help. Most of them just muddled by as best they could.
I never even considered how it all affected me until fairly recently. We got out and moved to
South Africa when I was 10 and things just were accepted. No-one whined about them.. and noone
talked about them. If you talked people got angry and didn't want to hear. So you shut up
and kept it to yourself. I never even realized that it had any impact on me until 1999/2000 when
the campaign against the farmers in Zimbabwe was really getting bad. Watching stuff on the TV
news the anger was overwhelming inside me, and the grief. Finally in the middle of 2000 I spent
a few nights crying and then sat down and wrote it all out in a poem. It took me about a month to
write it, with a lot of tears, but it was good. I released a lot of old pain and I finally admitted the
facts of how homesick and utterly lost I'd felt since the age of 10 when we'd moved away from
where my heart will always remain.

In Africa most people don't want to talk about the effects of war and violence. There are very few
counsellors or places you can turn for help. Violence is around you every day on some level and
you either find people are so used to it that they don't realize it's abnormal, or they realize it and
don't want to talk about it because they fear admitting their lives aren't normal.. plus a few sad
cases who actually enjoy it. My one aunt and uncle rather enjoyed the Bush War. The whole
driving to town in convoys, carrying rifles.. it was like a big game to them. Looking back I think
that might be how they coped. Making it a thrill. Just like how my great aunt and uncle made it
something to laugh about. The story about the day my great aunt was held hostage by terrorists
who got blind drunk on my great-uncle's homemade wine and shot their caravan to pieces was so
funny we'd all fall about laughing till we cried.

The thing is that because most of the time no-one talks it never gets dealt with. You can find it
funny, or thrilling, but underneath there's still the anger and frustration and helplessness. The
feeling of rage that so many people get to die in Africa and no-one else seems to care. And such
tremendous grief at the waste and stupidity and senseless cruelty.

Oh, I never ever once considered myself to be a sufferer of PTSD. I have friends and family with
reasons to have it, but I never was amongst them. I've never been shot at or attacked, I've never
been raped or beaten up. I have no right to claim PTSD as my own reason for not coping with
my own anger. I feel anger for what I've witnessed, but it's not what happened to me, only what
has happened to the country I love and to people I loved.

But I still have my own battle with anger and that's why your post got to me. Two weeks before
you posted I realized something about myself that I hadn't been willing to deal with before. I'd
thought of coming to SL to post it as a topic, but I was swamped by work and never had the time.
Then, I started getting cold feet and wasn't sure I wanted to open up that much anyway. When I
read your post on PTSD, I felt like someone poked me in the back and said "Well???" LOL

One way or the other I've bottled anger all my life. I never got to deal or talk with the grief of
becoming a semi-refugee without the right to return to my land of birth. Or the frustration and
sadness that I lost my nation, my culture and friends/family. And those things tends to fester and
turn into anger if you leave them lying inside you long enough. In my family situation my anger
wasn't dealt with either. My grandmother was an abused child who survived by growing up to be
an emotional-blackmailer. She then married a man pretty much identical to Minna's second
husband. Between them they raised three wounded kids who passed on their own scars to their
kids in one form or other, but this was never spoken about. My mom had a deep fear of talking.
Long story short - talking about our mad family wasn't something we got to do until I was in my
late 20s and even then it was a long slow painful process. There are still some areas I know my
mom isn't ready to talk about, but now I can cope with that because we've talked out 90% of the
stuff that matters.

Problem is there were way too many years where I wasn't allowed to talk or couldn't talk. It left
me caught up in the whole frustration of having no-where to put my helplessness and anger. So I
turned it inwards. I became a self-harmer in my late teens/early 20s. I didn't cut because that
would have drawn attention too easily, but I found other ways of creating enough physical pain
that it helped ease the emotional pain.

I never thought of myself as a "self-harmer" any more than I thought I might be a candidate for
PTSD. Then this year, when I was talking to a friend about my childhood/early adulthood
experiences, she said I sounded like I was a sufferer of PTSD. I don't think I have a right to say
that about myself, but she did validate my past experiences, which was what I really needed.
(dear friend - you know who you are. BIG HUGS and lots of thank yous)

Now recently I've had to start looking at another label - self-harm. I thought I had no right to
that one either, since I've never cut myself or drawn blood, but this past month I realized I've
been totally fooling myself in this department. I am a self-harmer and it is as much an addiction
as booze or drugs. I even use all the same stupid excuses on myself that I've heard alcoholics use
- "I can stop any time", "This doesn't control me" .. blah blah blah.

So why the break through all of a sudden? Well, I rarely harm myself nowadays. In my 20s I was
pretty lethal, but then life in my 20s was pretty lethal so that's no surprise. From 2000 to 2004 it
only happened twice so I figured I didn't have a problem, but this year as life has disintegrated
so have I. It's been happening more like once every few months and when life/things got really
bad at the end of November so did I. The biggest difference was that this is the first time I scared
myself. Plus the first time I did real damage to myself. And I scared the h*** out of Crabby
Badger as well.

What happens now? I'm not sure. Getting "professional" help isn't an option at the moment, but
I've helped myself climb out of equally dark holes all by myself before. Now I'll just have to start
over again and get myself out of this one. plus this time I have Badger and a whole set of
fantastic friends so I'm not trying to climb out alone.

Earthwalker reminded me of something else I'd almost forgotten with this bit she wrote: “I ask
myself how many times the voice within me has required that I question my expectation(s). The
questioning was always along the lines of “Who ever said life would be fair?” “Who ever said
life would be just?” “Who ever said life would be kind ?” “You have choice, you can hide from
the change to your expectations or you can do something.” “So, what are you going to do about
it?”

With me the voice within has always said "So, you're giving up?" and then I'd say "No!" and get
up and begin all over again.. and again. I grew to hate that voice and that question, but it always
worked. I've never given up because I always get too angry at that. No giving up then and none
now. You just keep on getting out the hole no matter how many times you fall back in.
No giving up ever.

Jimmy WhiteBear:

Crow,
Trauma comes in many different forms, Even living in a war zone where one may live in
constant fear, or coming across, dead, mutilated bodies, etc. Ptsd isn't limited to physical trauma,
The psychological trauma is caused by the minds inability to accept what is happening in the
physical world around them. In all actuality, that’s what PTSD is, psychological trauma!...
Confronted or re-visiting the trauma is the first step in taking back your power. Often, when
things happen in our childhood, The innocence of childhood is lost. We can never regain that
innocence but we can learn how to help that child within. Healing the child within can and I like
to say usually starts (for me) learning how to play again. When was the last time you played in a
Puddle? or imagined yourself as an explorer or whatever. It also means grieving for that lost
child-hood. accepting the lost ! Regaining the Wonderment of life on a daily basis.
You’re doing well Michelle, keep moving it forward

Minna:

Crow Woman . My courageous and very much loved Friend. You are deep and good and
beautiful. I honor you in my heart and spirit. And I am so blessed to witness you as you honor
yourself and your struggles and your stories. I honor that friend and her words to you also. I
keep seeing a little chick breaking open and emerging from an egg. Except she's all fluffy
already.

Earthwalker:

Two Crow, Never, ever, give up; no matter what. The sun always comes out after a storm; it’s
only the landscape that has changed. Change is reflective of new beginnings from a new
perspective; that's exciting. It doesn't always feel like you can succeed as you work through the
storm but it really, at least for me, takes only a little action to begin to see the light. When I am
frustrated and in limbo still trying to figure out the next step or talking to spirit I garden. Pulling
out weeds is a wonderful way to get some positive results for anger and you end up exhausted; at
times this is a very positive thing (except for the weeds).

MysticSoul:

{{{2 Crow}}} Just wanted to give you a big hug.

2CrowWoman:

Thanks (((Jimmy))), (((Minna))), (((Earthwalker))), (((Mystic)))

Minna:

You know, emoticons - what a robot word...but they say things that my words don't know how to
say. When there is more in my heart than I have words for ~ when there is just too much without
sending my heart on a plate, then I can pick an emoticon. When what you say touches me in too
many places that reflect in my life right now, I can pick an emoticon. When maybe I think I am
supposed to know how to say something, even though maybe other people think I know how to
say this - but I don't really, because there's just too much, - I can pick an emoticon.

Earthwalker:

Two Crow, Some thoughts as I read your post. My mother had moved around a lot as a child and
when she and Dad bought their small home in a suburb of Albany NY it was home it became her
roots. When Dad died she had to make a decision. She could leave her roots and move in with
me or stay alone. She moved with me and subsequently move from NY to Penn to VT. Just
before her death, she thank me for showing her more of the world than she would have ever seen
if she had stayed. But I had to thank a long-time friend of hers that helped her make the
adjustment. Mom had asked this friend how she had adjusted to moving and her answer was so
simple “Home is where you hang your hat”. She had made a hard choice to leave that which she
loved and was so familiar to her and we were shown that there is considerable beauty in all
places. The Spirit of the lands touches each of us in places we choose to be. One doesn’t forget
the power of places we have been, we are only are gifted others to see. You and Crabby have
made a wonderful choice to be together in a place not of your childhood but I suspect in a place
where the Spirit of the land touches you. Therein, I question if the anger/ depression etc. isn’t
based on the fact that you cannot chose to go back and you didn’t choose to leave?

To me a larger question might be how to forgive when something is forced upon you. I cannot
relate to war or childhood trauma and quite frankly I am glad I grew up in a supportive
environment (I may not have survived if I didn’t have that upbringing). My adult path has led me
on a journey first dealing with alcoholism, then with my youngest child being born with DS,
followed by epilepsy, followed by leukemia and it’s relapse twice, followed by a BMT, followed
by my father’s death and my mother moving in with me, followed by my daughter problems with
drugs, followed by nearly having to go through bankruptcy because of an business venture with
my brother, followed by cataract surgery on my son, followed by my son getting diabetes,
followed by the death of my mother, and finally followed by the ongoing alcoholism of my
daughter being overcome. I therein do understand the pain, anger and frustration of expectations
that must change. I do understand the days when I want to pull a pillow over my head and just
make the pain go away but the question arise as well “why not me”. Just because my expectation
was that I would get a good education and job marry and raise perfect children and a nice home.

It is easy in hind sight today to see the “why me” and where I was being guided at the time when
walking through these storms of changes to expectations; it was difficult. Yet, I found each
challenge if I embraced it as opposed to fighting it, taught me more and more about the fact that
while I wasn’t in control of situations I could choose how I reacted to them. I could choose anger
and stay tied to the problem or I could choose forgiveness and move onto a solution. This brings
me to the topic or question of this post, “forgiveness”. How do we forgive when something hurts
us to the very core of our being?

For me forgiveness comes basically from Dancing the Wheel from within each sacred direction
with the first direction being the emotional response to the problems in the South etc. and the
final, dancing the medicine wheel from center. I think it is when we finally get to center and
dance the seven directions from the Center or East (the overview position) that forgiveness is
obtained. Without going through a very lengthy discussion here, my basic way of finding and
choosing forgiveness is to dissociate the problem from myself. I step outside of myself and view
the problem from a perspective where I look at myself or needs as only one part of the problem. I
try to see all of the individual perspectives and needs of all of the people involved in the issue.
From that perspective I come to an understanding that everyone is making their own choices
based on their own perspectives and needs. From this perspective, one can see many of the biases
including one’s own and therein let go of the debilitating focus of anger and replace it with a
choice of action. In other words, one can choose to remain angry or can choose to make change.
It is a choice and once we take responsibility for that choice, we are no longer a victim.

Once I choose action, forgiveness of others for their honest choice simply happens. In other
words, you are judging an action at that time, no longer judging a person. An action or law etc is
something man made, it can be fought and changed. I therefore can choose to go in the direction
I feel is right for me and make change. As an example, the most common issue from the above is
divorce. It was a trying time and my husband was very sick with the active disease of
alcoholism. Physical abuse had begun and I simply walked away with my two children and
began a new life. It took two years of anger and fear to get through this period of time but I
choose divorce without the strings of money tied to it. People ask me why? Why no child support
etc.? My answer is and was I do not want to live my life angry and going to court endlessly for
support? That was my choice and my personal feelings, and is probably not what the law
suggests as fair but to me if something isn’t freely given it is not acceptable. That is my choice.

My choice can be debated but that is not what this discussion is about. What I am suggesting is
that for me ,forgiveness is obtained by dissociation and letting the anger/frustration go, through a
choice. In a case, where I have the authority to make the decision, I do through responsible
choice and will fight for the right to make decisions appropriate for me, as I did for the BMT for
my son. But neither do I live in anger at another’s decision ( most physicians in the country
disagreed with my choice). In this case, I had the authority to make the decision and pushed for
that right. Where I don’t have the authority to make a decision I express an opinion and
respectfully disagree with the position that is often chosen but again let go of the anger
associated with the issue. We cannot control another only make choice for ourselves and take
personal action to evoke change and then must let go of the outcome. We must accept the reality
that our original expectation is no longer a viable option. Albeit, we can choose to live as the
victim. However, when we see and understand that victimhood is a choice, then the forgiveness
process steps in. Personally, I think PDST at times is a very protective gift and a necessary
process where the self is protected. It allows the person a mechanism of survival and should be
appreciated for that which it has given us. Yet as Bear has said, one must heal at the appropriate
time.

Personally, I think it ill advised to judge oneself for PDST instead recognizing it as an important
mechanism that helped one survive. Forgiveness of self for one’s own rage is just as important as
is forgiveness of others. I think it is obtained by recognizing that all you can ever do is make the
best decision you can based on the what you have been given in the physical or spiritual at
anyone point of time. To me the path to healing is by first by forgiveness of self for our own
vulnerabilities. I think holding on to the bad choices we have made is still a choice of
victimhood. One must forgive oneself. This is followed by forgiveness of others since we can
recognize (once we have forgiven ourselves) that they too are reacting based on their own
perspectives. Their person is good and forgiven albeit the act can be judged as not appropriate.
Finally. I think healing occurs when indecision is remove through action; when you see or feel
something is wrong and take responsible action to make change. We cannot change the world
although the power of one is greater than we think. I look at leaders such as the Dali Lama, the
elders of the First People, Mother Theresa etc., etc. and their ability to forgive others, while
walking their own paths despite all that has happened, and still make change worldwide. But
even when we cannot change the world as these leaders have, we can change our self and our
own perspective. By changing our expectation and appreciating the journey that we have been on
to find this new perspective or truth we are given a glimpse into the world of creation. Embrace
that which is given on the journey and you get passed the victim status and find new ways of
seeing and feeling. Personally, I think it a journey worth taking. I love walking this path we have
on Earth. It isn’t easy but never give up there is always a light guiding our way.

SL, I suspect there are as many ways to forgiveness as there are perspectives. How do each of
you find your way to forgiveness? If forgiveness is taking this off topic another thread could be
started, I think there is a connection. Bear, what is your preference?

PreciousChildOfGod:

For some reason I was drawn here today. For some reason I was drawn to look at this thread
but did not feel that it was my place to read the posts. Maybe I will another day. I worked,
briefly, at a residential program and was dealing with children and teens with PTSD. I have
started reading a great book on the topic. This is not the first time I have mentioned it to people
who suffer or know someone who suffers from PTSD. The book is called INVISIBLE HEROS:
SURVIVORS OF TRAUMA AND HOW THEY HEAL. The author is BELLERUTH NEPARSTEK.
I got it through ONE SPIRIT book club. Their web is: www.onespirit.com. I hope it helps.

Jimmy WhiteBear:
Healing from any traumatic event in our lives takes time. Once someone has made a decision to
"get well", the process of confronting at surface levels feel like some indepth healing. In ways it
is but the road is a long, painstaking process. Does and is healing complete? I don't think so
because there is always deeper levels to look at. Some will and some won't go that far because
feeling a little better is better than not healing at all. But again, Some are afraid of the changes
they will go through and the thing about change is, when we are making those changes, we don't
know what the outcome brings. A Scary process indeed!

Going through the healing process means small moves ahead a little at A TIME.
I have bought many books on PTSD and I think they are packed away right now, I will have to
look for them and will post them. I remember one tittle "I can't Get Over It" I don't remember the
author off hand, but I will find it.

Taking ownership for how we feel is the beginning of change. No one can make us feel anything
without our allowing them to do that! Take responsibility for how we feel and what we think and
do is the beginning.

WhiteBuffaloWoman:

Bear and all, I have often wondered if those who are sensitive to the energies of the universe
attract abuse or if the abuse causes the sensitivity. Many of my friends who are sensitive to the
energies have been abused. Mostly by parents, but sometimes others. My other thought is that the
Rage or intensity of the experiences whether from war or from violence just may be too intense
to stay grounded in a single time. It is a fine line we walk between sanity and insanity, but that is
based on the rules defined today. What if all times exist simultaneously? What if we can only
handle one time line?

Jimmy WhiteBear:

WBW, I wish I had an answer for that but I don't. It does appear that many who have gone
through some sort of abuse or long term emotional upheaval are more sensitive to the energies
then others. I can't say all have come to this place this way but it does appear most. I think in part
at least, those who have gone through abuse, war and emotional upheaval become more sensitive
out of Survival. After-all, When we have to attune ourselves to survival, we need to know ahead
of time what kind of mood someone is in, how to defend ourselves etc., so we do become more
sensitive. For some, they fall away to the dark side and for others, they try to work toward the
light and heal. Some, just continue to survive one more day. I think in all actuality, We all go
through this. Some stay stuck and others move on... Hope that helps?...

Dragon:

“I have often wondered if those who are sensitive to the energies of the universe attract abuse or
if the abuse causes the sensitivity.”

Sonja, I have wondered this many times and was just again picking it apart this morning. Did the
abuse and traumas open me up, or was I a magnet?

I never bothered anyone, I kept things to myself, polite and always willing to help out. At that
time I hadn't withdrawn or took any flak lying down. Yet, I was constantly a source of negative
entertainment starting at a very young age. It wasn't until different forms of abuse had happened
so many times that I finally withdrew and blamed myself. I mean after all, how can one person
out of a group of many other kids and friends, be the one that was constantly harassed?? It must
be something I had done. Or who I was....or maybe it was my destiny was what I came to later as
a conclusion when no matter what I did or how I tried, it just wouldn't stop. Maybe I am just a
loser.

Now I have come a very long way from that state of mind and thinking. But, there is still that
question of when it all began, why was I singled out over and over more than the others??? I still
don't have that answer. Even today I still at times find myself in "the middle of/ being singled
out/accused of and or trying to force me"..... into situations that I do not have a single thing to do
with it or even have any knowledge there of!! ...and of being the object of verbal harassment....
Difference now is I have drawn my boundaries and I guard them and tell them to back off LOL. I
don't get sucked into their "sick" games and abuse but I find myself still highly affected by them.
It is surprisingly hard to admit to that.

After following Bear's thread here I have come to realize that I have faced head on what all these
people have done to me.... over the last 3.5 yrs. of intense therapy and cleansing, I have done
that. I placed the blame where it belongs, took responsibility for my parts…got sad, mad,
indignant, in a rage...seen my reactions to it all. But after all that progress I have made, why do I
still feel that rage that comes out of nowhere?? The tears with no reason etc., etc. I know now I
haven't really understood what it has done to me. All the while I am wondering how the hell I am
still there after all this? That I feel is very important.

I finally do see how angry I still am that they still try to get me into that "victim" position,
however diminished. That anger also stems from fear that they can take it all away. No matter
how much my brain knows they can’t. So I have been turning that anger on myself and my
husband and child. The cycle continues. I don't hit, I don't throw or break things, but I snap, and
lecture and accuse…it’s all just as bad. I don't have all the answers and Sonja's question has
been part of my "musings" but this thread has been a huge eye opener. I have been forced into
dealing with it.

I tried to avoid this thread, just the title was putting me into anxiety attacks…trying to read the
posts was making it too hard to breath. And the attacks have been getting much worse. Well with
Panther on one side and Cougar on the other, both which haven't pushed or nudged me much in
a very long time forced me to start following this thread. I am very glad. (They are quite a force).
Looking further into PTSD has brought things more into perspective again. Unhealthy people do
not appreciate healthy ones and attack them constantly to make them be the "victim" again…so
that they will blame themselves and become vulnerable. And the attacker then feels
better/superior again. I have known this along time, this is my families profile, this is what they
do. I guess I didn't realize they are still doing it, just allot less with allot less force. Instead of
coming right at me, they do it through others that eventually get to me. They are nothing if not
creative!

The holidays make my family nuts, They get mad, irresponsible, addictions come out full force,
verbal abuse is worse than ever and they suck each other into it, the accusations fly. Nobody
takes responsibility for their own actions...ever. I stay away from them all during this time and
thought I wasn't effected, but I am. I never thought I fit the PTSD profile but I do. Honestly, I
didn't think I "deserved" the title...I hadn't been abused enough, hurt enough.

I looked up the book Bear mentioned "I can't Get Over It" and ordered it from my library,
Amazon lets you read some of it and I was amazed at how much it resonated with me. Bear,
thanks for opening this subject up. I knew there was more I needed to understand and was at a
standstill as to what it was.

2CrowWoman:

(((Dragon))) This topic scared me too, but I'm really glad I decided to ignore my fears and join
the conversation and I'm really glad you did too. You said some awesome things that really had
me thinking here. Wow, you don't throw things? I'm impressed. I come from a family line of
throwers. We've been through more plates than a Greek wedding. Ok, jokes aside - I can't help
feeling, as an astrologer, that since some signs are more verbal and others more physical that
there might be a link there as to why some people yell and some people hit or throw things. In
the end it all boils down to the same old word though - FRUSTRATION. The frustration of
being helpless, or voiceless, or victimized. Now back to that interesting question from WBW.
Are abused more sensitive? Maybe, but that doesn't mean they become more empathic or better
for their experiences. That is always a conscious (and sometimes very difficult) choice. My gran
was an abused child. She was orphaned, sent to hostile distant family and repeatedly beaten,
burnt and starved. She grew up to be terrified of being happy, manipulative, and highly complex.
She could be great to be around, but she could tear your heart to shreds simply because she never
really believed anyone loved her enough to take care of her. So she took care of herself by
getting what she needed and wanted through guilt, blame and emotional threats. Some abused
kids even become abusers so there really is no easy answer, except that kids learn from what they
see and experience. It's only when we are adults who can look beyond our own experiences and
see through the eyes of other people that we can realize we're not "normal". And only then can
we bring about changing our habits and/or thinking.

Jimmy WhiteBear:

Hi Dragon, I am happy that this has helped. Taking a look at these kinds of things are
frightening to say the least, but once we face the Demons, we take the power away from them
and regain the power that was stolen and then some. When i got diagnosed with PTSD, I didn't
want it either. I figured my recovery from drugs and alcohol was enough but truth be told,
because I work with addicts/alkies/ PTSD and then some, I had to practice what I teach. Then to
top it off, I can hear my friend who crossed about 10 years ago. laughing and saying, "So you
wanted to be a therapist eh?, okay healer, heal thy self!"... sheeeeeeeesh, Coyote! even from the
grave I hear his wisdom!... He also was the one that reminded me so many times to be careful of
what I wish for, I might get it! and I did! and you know, thank god I did because it has helped me
to forgive the ol' man for what he did to me,. us and my mother. I remember on several occasions
stating that I wished life was a little bit normal and he would say "What’s normal?" Well, I am
glad I am not normal, how boring that would be! and if I were "Normal" what would that be
like? Well, the answer I don't have and maybe I ain't ready for that answer or any of the others.
The answers will come after I do the work it takes to earn them!

Yes, I think our my rage stems in frustration. I know because am the guy I am would only hope
others would be the same way and when they aren't, I'm a psychopath LOL! All I can do is to
take things moment by moment and try not to think about how others should be, only how I am
and how I am in the present moment, (N.O.W.)

WhiteBuffaloWoman:

Dragon Spirit, “The holidays make my family nuts, They get mad, irresponsible, addictions
come out full force, verbal abuse is worse than ever and they suck each other into it, the
accusations fly. Nobody takes responsibility for their own actions...ever. I stay away from them
all during this time and thought I wasn't effected, but I am.”

The holidays are the most Craziest time of the year. Expectations are such a powerful thing,
seems no one can live up to the enormous expectations of the holidays. My husband taught me a
powerful thing over the last 2 years, set expectations low and people are more pleased. We told
the children that Jesus only got 3 gifts, so they were only going to get 3 gifts. Amazing the
difference.

Back to the topic,
I didn't intend to say that there was responsibility to those abuse for bringing the abuse on
themselves. I am not sure how to put it, other than the aura of those sensitive people seems to
offend some people and it is like the abusers want to beat it out of the sensitive people. My
husband says he remembers feeling that if he didn't get out of the womb, he would die. He was
born 2 months early in a time where premies like that hardly survived. Amazing to me, what
people can be aware of and how they react.

Mouse:

(((((((((Dragon)))))))))))
(((((((((Crow)))))))))))

2CrowWoman:

Hi Sonja/WBW, “I didn't intend to say that there was responsibility to those abuse for bringing
the abuse on themselves. I am not sure how to put it, other than the aura of those sensitive people
seems to offend some people and it is like the abusers want to beat it out of the sensitive people.”
Thanks for rephrasing it. I didn't exactly get what you were meaning the first time. Yes. This I
totally agree with. I was thinking about this myself over the past week. I have no real theories,
just thoughts. I think sometimes sensitive people are more likely to appear meek or submissive.
Not that they are, just that they give off that type of "vibe". Then they become an easy target for
bullies. Also - some sensitive people give off an air of being "different" and that annoys and
angers other people. Humans rarely like anything different. It's a very basic instinct. In nature the
different animal gets attacked and killed. My uncle once dyed some of the family chickens bright
colors. The other chickens attacked them and nearly killed them. Nature tends to view different
as a threat and basic human reactions tend to be the same.

My personal experiences have been both. As a kid I got picked on for being different. As an
adult I've been picked on for being mild and others thinking that meant I was a push-over. Then
when they realize I'm quiet rather than timid they get very aggressive. Like it's my fault for
deceiving them. I've usually ended up having to back out of the friendship or work relationship.
As a kid I was more likely to be ignored or avoided. The aggression/attacking has been mostly as
an adult, with maybe one time in my teens.

My husband has been attacked all his life. From childhood. He was nearly killed in one literal
attack at school, but most "attacks" in his childhood were verbal or emotional aggression. He's
certainly not meek so I'd say it's because his sensitivity makes him come across as different. As
an adult he has been told by workmates that he is "weird/different" same as I was and have been
called by friends and some family.

Interesting side-note. What you said about your husband triggered a thought. My husband has
nearly died about four times. First time as a baby. I wonder if he left himself options to walk out
if life got too tough, as some people say souls can do.

WhiteBuffaloWoman:

2Crow woman, I think that you are on to something, an air of being different. Yes, that is what I
think it is. I had only a couple of times that people wanted to beat it out of me. For nothing more,
than I was different. The other part of being quiet and associated that with being meek. I have
had that come up before too. It is a fine line to walk as a woman in a male-dominated field. Too
quiet, than i am weak, too outspoken, than I am brash and overaggressive. As for the near death,
my husband is aware of different times his guides are "grading" or "checking" on him. The last
time, he left me in the car. To me it look like he had quit breathing, so I quickly ran through
scenarios in my mind. I choose to just call his name, he came right back. For my husband, he
doesn't have a pass to go over yet. Something he needs to do this time around is not yet finished.

Earthwalker:

As I read the posts above I am left with a few questions / observations (for thought).
Why do we care so much what others think?
Why do we need acceptance or why do we need others to validate ourselves?
How is self-confidence lost and how is it regained?
Why can't we just be; through walking a quiet path in respect for all and drawing lines non
aggressively where need be?

Part 2

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
(Healing)
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)


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