Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Notes for "How to Hold the Darkness"

These are the notes for "How to Hold the Darkness." Many of them are intense.

“Memory, when it juts, retreats, recovers, shows us how to hold the darkness, how to breathe.”
Drew Myron, Thin Skin

“Nothing you did could have changed anything.
And that being angry and blaming yourself for not being able to control the past or the future is only going to hurt worse. If you keep thinking like this, you will only be re-inventing pain.

Heaven would tell you that it’s just a little rain.
And it’s not the rain that kills you,
it’s the pain of wanting to control the sun.”
Tessa Shaffer, Heaven Has No Regrets

“Heartache purged layers of baggage I didn’t know I carried. Gifts hide under the layers of grief.”
Shauna L Hoey

“You know, life fractures all of us into little pieces. It harms us, but it’s how we glue those fractures back together that makes us stronger.”
Carrie Jones, Entice

Bilimbi is a plant native to the Maldives. The boat is a 2000 26' Grady-White 265 Express; see the front and the side. A cuddy cabin is a type of small powerboat. Nautical vocabulary has its own terms for a lot of things: a head is a marine toilet and a galley is the kitchen.

Whale comparisons tell you what you're looking at. These are indicators for a sperm whale and indicators for a humpback. Compare their flukes and spouts. Here's an ebook on whales and dolphins. See a size chart of whales. Enjoy a video of a humpback in the Maldives.

Sperm whales spout forward and left. Watch a video of a sperm whale. Their eyes are about tennis ball size. They appear regularly in the Maldives. Usually whales are gentle. However they may remember -- and resent -- attacks by humans and therefore become hostile. Steel has valid reasons for hating humans, he's just overgeneralizing.

Sperm whales are so loud that their clicks can cause temporary paralysis. Imagine if you could hurt something just by looking at it. Older whales know to be very careful with their size, and perhaps even their sound, but these are learned skills. Baby whales are as clumsy and ignorant as baby humans, but they're big enough to do real damage without meaning it.

Humpback whales spout low and bushy.

(These links are touchy.)
The core of trauma-informed care is asking "What happened to you?" instead of "What is wrong with you?" This forms the basis of the principles and practices. There are instructions for supporting trauma survivors and working through your own trauma. First responders typically have workplace procedures to minimize the risk of developing PTSD.

(These links are intense.)
Traumatic grief comes from a shattering loss, and it heals slowly or not at all or gets worse, instead of recovering at a normal (which is still not fast) rate. Traumatic loss increases the risk of complicated grief, PTSD or other complications. The anniversary of a loved one's death can revive trauma reactions even in someone who functions just fine most of the time. Here's a big archive of articles about all kinds of grief. Grieving people -- whether their grief is normal or traumatic -- need a safe and supportive environment. Few things are as precious as a friend who'll let you bawl on their shoulder until you run out of tears. Here are some resources for sibling loss and parent loss. Read about childhood traumatic grief and how to help a child cope with the loss of a parent or a sibling. Because very young children don't understand death yet, they aren't able to process the loss fully, so it often resurfaces later in life. There are tips on coping with grief and supporting a bereaved friend.

Complicated grief is complex and can easily make people sick. Look for small ways to take care of yourself, and understand the need for extra rest.

(These links are sad.)
When you help someone who is grieving, a lot of comes down to watching and supporting. Know the warning signs of complicated grief and how to work through it.

I made a Grief Questionnaire and a post about coping with grief.

Self-blame is a form of internalized emotional abuse, common among trauma survivors. Shale blames himself for wanting to look at the boats. Follow the steps to let go of self-blame or help someone else stop self-blaming.

(These links are very intense.)
Survivor guilt is a devasting emotion that can follow a traumatic experience where someone lived but others died. Survivors may feel plagued by questions and struggle to find meaning after the events. The moral logic of survivor guilt, or moral injury, cause particular anguish to survivors who hurt someone else or feel that they did. Shale feels like a bad person just for being curious, as most children are. It is important to understand what does and doesn't help in coping with survivor guilt or supporting someone who has survivor guilt.

Local-America does not require that students receive therapy before practicing it on other people. Some individual programs require it, and some other countries do. Terramagne-America does not have a universal requirement, but most programs include both a course of therapy and accommodations for those students who unearth issues difficult enough to disrupt their studies. Furthermore, students are free to choose the type of therapy and a topic relevant to them, which can be anything from a deep personal loss like Graham's to personal growth for someone with an easier life. Consider the arguments for and against therapy for mental care students. Mostly these concern self-awareness and fitness for practice. Graham focuses more on the facts that therapy facilitates a solid foundation and helps him relate to his clients' experiences with the challenges of therapy.

The linen closet metaphor is widely used in treating PTSD. Disorganized memories are more likely to spill out at inconvenient times, so organizing them minimizes that tendency, and the process is a lot like cleaning out a closet. Here Graham substitutes a treasure chest as something Steel might find more familiar.

Human memory comes in different kinds. These are not stored in just one part of the brain, but rather distributed over multiple parts. Memories form networks, so while "a memory" is not just a small clump of brain cells, the network it forms is a distinct thing which can be identified and manipulated. Various types of telepathic effects rely on this foundation. Given the diffuse storage of memory, the erasure or repression may be partial or complete, much as in accident victims or trauma survivors. Furthermore, most people lose childhood memories as they grow older, leaving them with some vague impressions and perhaps a few clear scenes of great importance. Local-Earth offers various ways to recover lost memories, all of which work for some people and none of which work for everyone. Terramagne has further options, of which telepathy is highly effective and generally safe, although there's no getting around the emotional upheaval that typically results from exhuming painful parts of the past. Graham is able to cope with this because he did the heavy work in college, so it's just a matter of applying those skills. The process still hurts, but is ultimately rewarding rather than damaging.

It is. (Also used for "yes.")
-- Irish

"Is fearr liom."
I love you.
-- Irish

Tags: community, cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, life lessons, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing
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