Category Archives: suicide

Writing with the Left Hand

At age 22, I was a junior at Barnard College in New York City, experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, and facial pain from TMJ (tempero-mandibular joint). Little did I know at the time that I had post-traumatic stress (PTS) from an infant surgery for pyloric stenosis, a stomach blockage, at 26 days old. Naively, after the spring…

Draw what bubbles up

I was 25 years old, lying in sand by the Pacific Ocean. I had come to the sea to kill myself, depressed again after so many years of trying to make my life work since my suicide attempt at age 21. But I just couldn’t bring myself to harm; I had grown. So I drew…

When Medical Professionals Wound

Whenever I tell someone of the new direction my life is taking–public speaking about PTSD Awareness and Self-Empowerment, teaching Writing as Healing workshops, and teaching reflective writing at a nursing program or medical school–I am often given a story in return. It’s usually after I mention that the field of medicine is undergoing a change…

The Mystery of the Missing Information

I feel my heart rate increasing, like a detective getting closer to the whereabouts of the culprit—the current way in which the chemistry of my brain works due to the trauma of infant surgery without anesthesia. I just read a paper entitled, “Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Early Trauma” by Dr. Janina Fisher, a…

Re-enactment: The Soul Telling us Something

Twice in my twenties, I found myself lying on my back, crying out for help: once on a beach the morning after failing to muster the will to slit my wrist and the second, about two years earlier, lying on a cot in the attic of an abandoned house, where I cried out “help!” to…

DepressionBrain

I’ve got the study of the brain on the brain. I am reading the book The Brain that Changes Itself, mentioned in my last post “In Our Eyes,” and scrutinizing my old artwork with new eyes. Here are two pictures I drew (ink on paper) in 1976, trying to make sense of my depression. The first,…

Steps to Take on the Path to Ease and Joy

How can survivors of infant surgery and/or invasive medical procedures performed without anesthesia begin to move away from a lifetime of re-enacting symptoms of trauma and move toward a lifetime of experiencing health, fulfillment, and joy?  How can we get our pain, anger, and confusion out so that we can feel peace, clarity, and compassion?…

Are You Afraid of Your Body?

In my last post, I presented Dr. Louis Tinnin’s questionnaire, which helps people determine whether a medical procedure or surgery they experienced in infancy affects them today. As a survivor of infant surgery, here’s my layperson’s questionnaire. The intent is similar to Dr. Tinnin’s. If you’ve had an invasive medical procedure and/or a surgery as…

Doctor Starts Blog about Infant Surgery Without Anesthesia

Anyone now 23 years or older who had major surgery as a baby is at risk for chronic posttraumatic illness . . . When I saw Dr. Louis Tinnin’s new blog, I literally wept. He and a team of psychologists who run Intensive Trauma Therapy, Inc. (ITT), a program in Morgantown, West Virginia, are acknowledging…

See Me and My Pastels at the Images of Healing Art Show

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