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Thank You, Amygdala, My Protector

To My Protector


Oh my beautiful shark, sleep now.

Rest as I stroke you. Snooze. You

have done your job all these years.

You have struck decisively, warned me,

kept me alive. Even in sleep, your fish-eye—

naked, ruthless, wide



You have attacked more than needed,

heard the ancient threats, real

though not. Your terrible teeth

tore at what we feared—death.


No need for striking now. Sleep

in the suffusing oxygen of my amygdala

assured you have served well.


As for me,

I understand why you stayed so long.

But sleep now, friend.

Retire into the gentle hum—cave

of violet light.


Do not miss me

or mourn

as I swim from your side

where all these loyal years

I have floated, afraid of ocean-vast.


A curtain of golden green

light beckons where below, lobes

of algae sway in currents. And from there,


I kick into distance I cannot measure.

EMDR is Not Hocus-pocus

Many people who have experienced trauma, myself included, often distrust new, trendy healing techniques when we hear about them.  We say to ourselves, EMDR–hmmm–Eye Movement Sensitization and Reprocessing. So you watch a wand wave back and forth as you describe a memory of being assaulted?  You watch a flashing light as you tell about the fall onto… Continue Reading

EMDR Works!

After my EMDR session last week, I walked through the aisles of Sprouts Farmers Market, feeling super UN-self-conscious! I felt large–large in the sense of being fully present in myself–and free–as in gliding through air, curious at all the wonderful colors and people and sights and sounds. It’s not like I don’t ever experience these… Continue Reading

In the Land of Hypervigilance

I have lived a life that is very different from what most people must experience. I have lived in the Land of Hypervigilance. Each morning shortly after waking, I do stretches that an osteopath taught me. These movements manage a painful hip that cries out when under stress. Yesterday lying on my back, having finished… Continue Reading

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,900 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people. Click here to… Continue Reading

I Have to Keep Pinching Myself

I don’t know for sure whether I was given anesthesia for my pyloric stenosis surgery at 26 days old. I don’t know for sure that I was, instead, given  a form of curare, a drug that paralyzed my muscles so I wouldn’t fight. My hospital records are gone, kaput. I just know that: –I wake… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

Quotes I Like

“The solution to the destructiveness in this world is not more technical knowledge. Repairing the world may require us to find a deep connection to the life around us, to substitute the capacity to befriend life for our relentless pursuit of greater and greater expertise.” —  Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings “A radical new… Continue Reading


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