Trauma may overcome us, but it does NOT define us!
© Andrè M. Pietroschek, all rights reserved
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Old note continued
Outbursts, pain, fear, shock and similar post traumatic symptoms oft have an unsettling effect unto us: they can violate, and alienate, the personality and body in ways that can be hard to handle. Being ripped out of our own normalcy IS a challenging ordeal for the ego, as it takes a long time to fully handle all aspects of it.
- Six months of taking walks before I could restart basic martial arts. All in preparation of getting my body fit enough for 20 to 30 hours of work per week!
- PTS flashbacks, whenever a cold wind reached my body.
- Inner torn apart feeling, as I am absolutely doubting that ‘society’ is the right side any longer.
In example: It took me some months to survive the winter as one of the urban homeless. It took me some more months to handle the death of Silke Manuela Tobin, the woman who had literally taken me off the streets, and into a temporal flat-share. She fell into the final and fatal coma, while I held her skull to prevent her swallowing her own vomit, and called the ambulance.
- It sure doesn’t make me posture the perfect Catholic, but why did so few psychologists or self-help gurus mention that female friends dying means certain types of women are auto-skipped from the ‘mating scheme’ by our brain?
I felt like an idiot, when I attempted to visit her in hospital. Delivering the medical care card, clothing, and the little luxuries I could muster. Next visit her death was announced to me. The chief of the emergency station, Dr. Ingo Voigt, verified that my first aid had been flawless, and that I was blameless.
- But her last wish was that I plant a knife into the throat of her fiancee, and I did not, even though I agree on his guilt, and rotting in prison is not the worst way out of life… Well, my debt to her was paid days before her final farewell.
Life went on, I struggled my step by step way out of the death-row which being urban homeless tends to be, thanks to street-crime, environment, and disease (including the risks due prostitutes or drugs). The companions who helped me survive each night outside were mostly left behind, as many denied or failed to go through the processes of applying for social fee, renting a new room, and accepting the minimum wage jobs ‘us kind of people’ are expected to be grateful for.
- I still pay the loans for my old rooms, the ones before I became urban homeless. New loans run, and the ‘indebted’ label was branded unto me, as the German Schufa dutifully had to do it.
- New workmates, and old antagonists are still trying to dominate my life in their own ways. The good moments never compensate for the damage done by the bad guys, sad but true.
The weird guilt of having evaded worse did set in subtly, gnawing at my confidence and concentration for several months. While writing this I have been back in the working force for several months, with zero days ill. Though I felt eager to die most of the time, had no dates, no drinks, no social spare time in pubs or clubs, and truly no wish for any of it either.
- This time work was a good experience, but the absence of a privacy, the mere being reduced to functioning, burdens me a lot.
The only people who offer anything better than immature crap and ignorant assumptions are still other survivors. Sometimes a social worker, priest or police officer does acknowledge the tougher truisms discovered. Still mostly it is a daily get by due lying and making pretend, as our society does not want to hear the truth, it is banished to anonymous meetings, therapy couches or psychiatric institutions.
- I do not like political extremism. Still the worst form of extremism is the lethargy which makes millions of us just allow the government to do as abusive, as it pleases! For ti shows in our everyday-lives, and we all get harmed by it.
I am a ‘lucky’ case, one of the rare success stories. I made it back into a room, back into work, and I can even act decently mainstreamed for a while. Sure, I had to survive only months, blissfully denying the option of kicking someone down the subway stairs, so that the robbery would make me survive one more night (or similar street-crime). Neither did I have to consider cannibalism or starvation. Lucky me, though the fact that such does become a topic in a modern city is already inhuman and disgusting.
- Saving money had resulted in urban homeless, drug-addicts, and people returning from prison or psychiatry all being under one ministry, and with half the funds. A surefire way to breed diseased malcontents, and certainly not a solution to any social dilemma!
Bureaucracy goes on, mainstream ignorance pesters recurrently, demands on me are high, practicing it themselves remains rare or absent. Life, as usual. An ass-holy society, which was, and is, so ill-bred and overpaid that it denies to see the financial crisis which already ensures we will regret all the unsolved problems…
- It is no fairy tale or fantasy roleplay. The ebook I published was pirated before I sold a single copy, and doing a revision is such a waste of time to me, as it will not sell any better.
- The problems do not vanish just because I escaped their killing edge, as others make the same experiences, and the state denies to solve the problems with the same disregard and lack of care, as usual.
- Armed criminals roam the streets, verified news by police and city major, and still people stare unto their useless, idiotic smartphones because compensating the own insecurities, and the own bleak existence, has become so blasphemously normal… This life is the hell we all will die in, just that different evils may decide to become our killers.
To accept the reality of your loss.
To work through the pain, or grief and sorrow.
To adjust to your life without the deceased.
To maintain a connection to the deceased while moving on with life.
To get rich, sniff loads of cocaine, dwell in luxury, kill the motherfucking freaks who opposed me, go unscathed, and kick the governments face in? Ooops, wishful thinking of a darker kind… LOL!
Finished at 10:46 pm, and at 05.20 am my alarm clocks have to awaken me for another shift at work. Sometimes it sucks…
Urban-Neo-Shamanic self help
Survivors of traumatic ordeals: Every year, thousands in NRW, Germany are affected by unexpected tragedies, criminal encounters, and halfway-natural disasters. Survivors face the danger of death or physical injury, and the loss of their homes, possessions, and communities. All while being pestered with the established social injustice, everyday-life demands, and the prejudices, mistakes, and misbehavior of our fellow human beings. Such additional, and unwelcome, stress-factors place survivors at risk of behavioral and emotional re-adjustment problems.
What psychological, and psycho-social, problems result from traumatic ordeals?
Almost all survivors experience normal stress reactions for several days, such as:
Emotional reactions: temporary feelings (i.e., for several days to a couple of weeks) of shock, fear, grief, anger, resentment, guilt, shame, helplessness, hopelessness, emotional numbness (difficulty feeling love and intimacy, or in taking interest and pleasure in day-to-day activities )
Mental problems: confusion, disorientation, indecisiveness, worry, shortened attention span, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, unwanted memories, or even self-blame.
Physical reactions: tension, fatigue, edginess, difficulty sleeping, bodily aches or pain, being startled easily, racing heartbeat, nausea, change in appetite, change in sex drive.
Interpersonal reactions in relationships at school, work, in friendships, in marriage, or as a parent. In example: distrust, irritability, conflict, withdrawal, isolation, feeling rejected or abandoned, being distant, judgmental, or over-controlling.
Most trauma survivors only experience mild normal stress reactions, and traumatic ordeals can even result in improved trauma-handling, improved awareness of self and others who stumble into similar dangers, personality-toughening, and strengthened relationships.
However, as many, as one in three, trauma survivors experience some, or even all, of the following severe stress symptoms, which may lead to lasting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, or depression. Sometimes they manifest not immediately, but lurk for a while and come alike phases of the moon, waning and waxing. Sleep, detox, and competent psychiatric help may be the best options here.:
Dissociation. This can mean you feel unreal, or the entire world seems unreal, or people around you seem weird, threatening, or ‘alien’ in their own behaviors.
Flashbacks and a kind of reliving through the most traumatizing moments of your life.
Shakes or emotional onslaught overcoming you precisely, when something good happens to you.
Dire emotional numbing (completely unable to feel ANY emotions, as if utterly numbed).
Hyperactivity rushes alike panic attacks, outrages, extreme irritability, nervous agitation).
Severe anxiety (paralyzing fear or KO, extreme helplessness, compulsions or obsessions).
Severe depression (complete loss of hope, of self-worth, of motivation, or lost purpose in life).
Survivors are at increased risk of trauma-strengthening backlashes, or more severe stress symptoms, if any of the following are either personally experienced or witnessed intensely during the early aftermath:
A repetition of the kind of trauma which left a mark in your life. Being raped does not heal better by being raped again, nor by being shot or knife-stabbed. Being homeless does not heal better, by knowing you will still be a bum next winter, nor by being kicked in the face again. Having fought or escaped a criminal gang-up does not heal any better by being victimized again. I hope you get the correct meaning.
Shamanic Shell-Shock. If suffering with your own trauma it may be painfully inconvenient, when you suffer any kind of animal attack. If you fell prey to totemic lies about power-animals, that journey into imagination’s cave where all the awaiting critters just want to be your unpaid lackeys, or that meditative mind’s eye-flight of the eagle working alike clairvoyance, then your ego may have to handle real trauma PLUS the wake-up kiss by reality in the ruins of your false pantheon and flawed perception of factual truth. Such can be too much, especially for the overconfident little loonies who paid shamanic counselors and other glorified frauds.
Enervating people. Monetary needs can block the option of rest and recovery in solitude, or surrounded by friends and family. Being still in the gang or part of the bunch of bums who must continue their survival measures certainly puts even harsher pressure unto our trauma-handling ego. Wakening the beast, and laying it to rest, are difficult lessons.
Personal opinion of the author: Nothing a crappy La Vey ritual ever considered noteworthy, but for those of us who ain’t werewolves (The Devil’s Notebook, The werewolf ritual): It is long known that trauma can stem from what we suffered or what we did to others. A criminal and a victim can both end up in the same therapy or self-help group, like in bad movies. Needless to say that is not the genius of science, that is much more the greed, ignorance, and worthlessness of the majority of quick-graduated, overpaid therapists.
Enervating surroundings. My own last one was traffic noise. As a bum I had 24/7 cars, as we lay in the city center during that winter, and one of the greatest traffic knots was close by. Much like people who are in negative, abusive, or enervating constellation to you, on purpose or accidentally so, if something around you makes you sick or keeps you from healing it would be smart to get rid of it, solve the problem, or replace it by a more comforting solution.
Options, not just more enduring.
Be fortuitous. Instead of fleeing the traffic noise (mentioned above, as disturbing and enervating part of my urban surroundings) I purchased ear-knobs to have silence during sleep or meditation BUT decided to stay in the newly rent apartment at another major road of the city. I have to be able to operate in urban life, and hence I must get tough enough to live with the traffic noise, even though it is far from the healthiest possible utopia we all long for on certain, oft secret, occasions.
Be open-minded: I have never found any self-help talk or self-help chat to be helpful at all. Still I found people who did listen, and knew from their own experiences that I wasn’t making it up, nor scamming them for money. Other survivors can offer their own insights, comments on the side-effects of medications, or solutions you simply did not realize on your own. Remember one of our ‘good girls’ died age 37 because she took her medications (against borderline PD) while being an alcoholic. The chemical remnants summed-up, and a woman with more punch than my very best martial arts could muster, wasted away within months, fell comatose in my own arms and died in hospital.
Get a job you can handle. I did six months of underpaid physical labor, craftsmen assistance. After the ‘free or lawless’ lifestyle as a bum it helped me to act, as expected by society once again AND it trained my endurance for work-scale (full shift, 8 hours or more), not just 2 hours of kickboxing or fitness center. It brought back all those ignorant, normal people. Their prejudices, their stupid loud-mouthing, their wrong expectations, and all the mobbing and social-backstabbing. Sure, it sabotaged healing here and there. But all of us are expected to function in such situations, and under such conditions. Hence I wanted a reality-tested phase of it to be really sure that I am back in society, and not just a bum stuffed into an apartment!
Be smarter, wiser and more prudent than before. I stopped watching TV. Due meditation and occult indulgence I already knew what science evidenced later. Watching TV for more than two hours guarantees that you dream badly, and miss-out on your duties. Just be honest to yourself, no need to ever admit it or confess it to somebody else: A sports broadcast, the favorite series, a little bit of porn, and we can all be sure we COULD have cleaned the bathroom or do the washing, but didn’t. We live in an age of overdosed signals and broadcasting. We all can pretend the crappy excuses we make (too sick for work, but never to sick for sex and party is a classic I grew sick of) would really work, but we know they don’t. Recovery is smarter than degeneration, and recovery has more merits, too. Sleep well, eat a notch more healthy, do some workouts or take walks, if not in criminal surroundings, and find a job or hobby which makes life worth more than gawking at that TV screen or Internet on desktop or smartphone could ever offer to you.
Be smarter, wiser and more prudent than before 2. Improve your job chances, be it by cleanliness, being sober, or job education and expertise. Learn to live with a smaller income, so you can enjoy monetary raises without depending on them. Accept that setbacks, failures, and defeat WILL happen again. That is part of life, and the price for a compulsively tolerant society. We all met adversaries, saboteurs, and fierce competitors. We can learn to handle it, but we will never triumph over it without the occasional repercussion being a risk to watch-out for.
Be smarter, wiser and more prudent than before 3. Remember those who helped you through, get rid of those who wasted your time, stole your money, held you down or harmed you even worse. Invest time and effort into new, better kinds of people than the false friends and masked adversaries who once had easy access to your life.
Small steps can sum up beneficially, too, where too many big decisions often only cause frustration, fatigue, and setbacks.