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Leaping into My Future

Thursday, March 22 I handed in my retirement letter. I’ve been teaching almost twenty years in the Peralta Community College District in the San Francisco Bay Area, California; I have been so fortunate and learned so much from my students. They have gone through my various incarnations with me as I have gone through theirs with them. We have learned much from each other.

Reading the Medical Humanities essays that I assigned my English composition class, I am reminded of the traumas so many of us have experienced and the resilience of the human spirit in moving forward. I’m privileged to read these stories of triumph, from a child surviving war to a young woman dealing with the shock of a beloved brother’s sudden death. What my students’ essays over the last two years reveal is that PTSD may be more prevalent in our society than we realize.

When I start to feel sad about the fact that come fall semester, I won’t be reading these types of community college student essays, I am made happy by the thought of the many more people I will encounter and  connect with. It’s time to broaden my reach and more deeply devote myself to my message of healing. I am excited about the prospect of teaching a writing as healing class in the Sacramento area, close to where I live, and doing public speaking about PTSD Awareness by sharing my pyloric stenosis story.

I’ll also have more time to devote to my blog. Thank you for hanging in there and moving forward with me as I leap into my future. In less than a month, I’ll be teaching a workshop at The Examined Life Conference at the Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, and on June 27th, National PTSD Awareness Day, I hope to be doing a presentation. Please let me know if you have any ideas for places I might contact.

0 Responses to Leaping into My Future

  1. I think it would be interesting to spend some time putting together a directory of all the different types of therapies people have tried over the years to their PTSD. We hear all these catchy names, but do not really know what the therapy entails what its goal is, or what its limits might be. Some are pharmaceutical, others mystical, and everything in between. It would be interesting to see which seem to be tailored to combat related PTSD, which to abuse related, which to childhood, etc. Some treatments tend to focus on helping a person adjust to a physical symptom, others look to relief of the entire disorder. A lot of what I read seems very biased and/or trendy, and it is hard to compare apples to apples as everyone thinks their solution has the greatest merit.

    I am very excited for you in this season of transition. I am also envious of the free time you will have to explore your interests, what fun that will be. Looking forward to your having the time to blog more and share ideas and reactions with the rest of us.

    • Yes, I’m looking forward to staying in step with you and SIS and being in closer touch as well as going out into the world to interact with a wide range of people. With regard to your thoughts about a directory of therapies, I have tried many different ways to deal with my pain, not even knowing that I had PTSD until about ten years ago or less. Writing, drawing, painting, meditating, doing Middendorf Breathwork, seeing a therapist–all these things (and some others) worked for me after I made the decision at age 26 that I couldn’t will myself to change. On some level, I surrendered and this act allowed some goodness to enter my life that I don’t think would have otherwise. I had been too busy using my left brain to try to get control over my life and kept making bad decisions. Yes, there are a lot of different modalities out there, but one may work as well as another depending on one’s approach or one’s attitude. Thanks for accompanying me on my transition journey.

  2. I think it would be interesting to spend some time putting together a directory of all the different types of therapies people have tried over the years to their PTSD. We hear all these catchy names, but do not really know what the therapy entails what its goal is, or what its limits might be. Some are pharmaceutical, others mystical, and everything in between. It would be interesting to see which seem to be tailored to combat related PTSD, which to abuse related, which to childhood, etc. Some treatments tend to focus on helping a person adjust to a physical symptom, others look to relief of the entire disorder. A lot of what I read seems very biased and/or trendy, and it is hard to compare apples to apples as everyone thinks their solution has the greatest merit.

    I am very excited for you in this season of transition. I am also envious of the free time you will have to explore your interests, what fun that will be. Looking forward to your having the time to blog more and share ideas and reactions with the rest of us.

    • Yes, I’m looking forward to staying in step with you and SIS and being in closer touch as well as going out into the world to interact with a wide range of people. With regard to your thoughts about a directory of therapies, I have tried many different ways to deal with my pain, not even knowing that I had PTSD until about ten years ago or less. Writing, drawing, painting, meditating, doing Middendorf Breathwork, seeing a therapist–all these things (and some others) worked for me after I made the decision at age 26 that I couldn’t will myself to change. On some level, I surrendered and this act allowed some goodness to enter my life that I don’t think would have otherwise. I had been too busy using my left brain to try to get control over my life and kept making bad decisions. Yes, there are a lot of different modalities out there, but one may work as well as another depending on one’s approach or one’s attitude. Thanks for accompanying me on my transition journey.

  3. A big change in focus, work, and commitments is both challenging and exciting. The fact that you are embarking on something more of a mission than your current employment entails will no doubt mean some more hurdles as well as (I am confident) even more fulfilment.
    Isn’t it wonderful how your teaching work has in recent years allowed you to learn more about your skills, audience and expectations! Your students’ responses have been very heartening and instructive. We’ll follow your progress keenly and as supportively as we can from nearby and far away.

  4. A big change in focus, work, and commitments is both challenging and exciting. The fact that you are embarking on something more of a mission than your current employment entails will no doubt mean some more hurdles as well as (I am confident) even more fulfilment.
    Isn’t it wonderful how your teaching work has in recent years allowed you to learn more about your skills, audience and expectations! Your students’ responses have been very heartening and instructive. We’ll follow your progress keenly and as supportively as we can from nearby and far away.

  5. Thanks for your confidence in me. Yes, my students are supportive and very responsive to what I’m asking from them. They are my cheerleaders in some ways. And so are you. I like what you said about “embarking on . . . a mission.” I’m scared, and yes, there are hurdles but I’ve come so far and am ready to move on. Thanks for walking by my side.

  6. Thanks for your confidence in me. Yes, my students are supportive and very responsive to what I’m asking from them. They are my cheerleaders in some ways. And so are you. I like what you said about “embarking on . . . a mission.” I’m scared, and yes, there are hurdles but I’ve come so far and am ready to move on. Thanks for walking by my side.

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