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Peace and Prison: 2 Days in the Life of PTSD

Journal Entry 8/11/10

I felt a lot of gratefulness for my body last night. As I lay on my bed, my head resting comfortably on my pillow, I felt great thanks that I have come to a place in my life where I can experience my body as comfort, where I can feel peace being in my body. I also felt grateful that whoever or whatever created the world made rest—a period of darkness so we may rejuvenate and regenerate. The veil of night felt protective and holding—as if a special time had been put aside just for our comfort and sanity. We are loved by the universe and provided for.

Journal Entry 8/14/10

I awoke early today, 5 a.m. My body was rigid, my arms like planks, my legs—well, I was barely aware of them. Prison—the prison of my body. Allowing breath into my middle, I felt relief as my tummy expanded. I allowed breath to fill my arms and shoulders. Placing my hands on my hipbones, I felt their solidity. As I accepted my fear, I told myself I am safe. This is how I counter the PTS [post traumatic stress] that I still experience after all these years.

I often wake to a feeling of imprisonment and have to call my body back to being. I must awaken the cells that, I believe, froze way back then [when I was operated on as a baby]. I have to remind . . . all the parts of my body—hey, we work together. All of us—cells, organs, muscles—are one. My breath unites my body. Re-membered, I am whole.


The other day, I saw these pictures in an old album, and I knew I had to show you. The first is a photo of my brother doctoring my Betsy Wetsy doll as I look on. I was always worried about her. When I lay Betsy Wetsy down in her crib, her eyelids actually closed–one… Continue Reading

f.o.i. (for our information) – painkillers and infant surgery

The passages I will be quoting come from an article entitled “Babies Remember Pain” by Dr. David B Chamberlain.  It was written in 1989 and gives us information about medical practices that is very important to know and understand. I believe that many people today who have been subject to infant surgery or traumatic medical… Continue Reading

The Literature of Medical Humanities

My memoir, The Autobiography of a Sea Creature, is just about ready for sending out to agents!  I am thrilled. As I scroll through each chapter, I feel really happy and proud. Part of the first chapter will appear in a book soon to be published by University of California Press, The Healing Art of Writing.… Continue Reading