Trauma - Pain - and Moving Ahead or Basking in the Sun
Are you Dealing with Serious Trauma?
Are you in Pain?
What is the Level of any Trauma You Face?
How are You Coping with Trauma?
How are You Coping with Pain?
I am a white man - 70 years old - living in Chicago, Illinois, USA
I am not dealing with serious trauma?
I did face trauma as a child. I did not bond with either parent or anyone else. I was and am autistic, though I didn't know of it until recently. I had no friends during most of my childhood. I never learned That I had feelings - yet alone, how to deal with the feelings I had.
I could debate with myself how major the trauma was. Given that Depression was a major part of my life for my first 66 years, the trauma obviously seriously impacted me.
I am healing from my trauma. I will be healing for the rest of my life.
In some ways I am in pain.
I have two stents that allow a arterial blockage to be averted - I will have a heart condition for the rest of my life. It isn't painful, but it bothers me (a little).
Constipation reminds me every day of many things - aging, that I can't control a lot in my life - though there is much more that I can work through. It is tolerable now. I can live with the pain and generally not be seriously impacted.
I am autistic (Asperger's). It is not a disability any more than my age is a disability or my being Black is a disability. It is a blessing for me! It also leads to me feeling extreme pain very easily at times in ways that is very, very different from what most people experience.
Erectile dysfunction has impacted me for many years. Sex - related issues have hurt me since at least early adulthood and e.d. pains me. I have worked through this significantly.
I am working on my pains. They do not prevent me living the life that I want to live.
Why - do I:
1. Do an average of seven hours of mutual aid work each week?
(I'm not finding the quote right now - but a wonderful quote from a Black woman states something like: "If you've come to help me, we have nothing to talk about. If instead you've come to share your path towards liberation with me, we may be able to talk with each other".)
I am helping myself, learning from others - many of whom are Queer Identified, Trans, etc. Most are young people, many anarchists.
2. Choose - on a trip to NC for my 70th birthday - the most important thing for me - really - seek and go to the Palestinian lead march/rally focusing upon the Israeli War attacking Gaza and Palestinians throughout "occupied" Palestine - including Jerusalem?
Contrary to the ridicule and insult and doubt pushed forward, it is not easy to reject, as a Jew, what we've been taught growing up and speaking up against the horrific treatment of Palestinians that is done in our name as American Jews. It is important - within me - to speak out. As a child, I was taught that supporting justice was important,
3. Work in multiple ways - to help get fellow white men - focusing upon our racism, sexism, classism and gay/lesbian/trans phobias - as well as doing much more?
Disproportionately - we both have much more power than others, as well as being the cause of most of what is significantly wrong in our country. We are the marchers of January 6th. We are the rapists and abusers of women, men, children, trans people, immigrants and others.
4. Choose to play duplicate bridge - enjoy myself - but do it - as a small part of my time - rather than being a passion, like playing golf or tennis much of every day - as many 70 year old, upper-middle class white men do?
It is important - to relax and enjoy myself. I need to sustain my work. I can only do that if I take care of myself.
5. See "family" or "kin" - as far more than those I love in Chicago - but also being others I do not know and will never actually meet - locally, nationally and internationally?
My immediate family - matter to me. Working to build a better world, is helping all of us which also helps those dearest to me. It is not an either or, but is a: both and.
I hope that more "others" will work on their traumas and pains and move beyond them in ways that help us build a better world for all of us.
As a white man, frequently it is important for me to feel uncomfortable and sometimes even be "attacked". Staying comfortable - often means - staying apart from the work for necessary changes in our worlds of today and tomorrow.
It isn't easy, but it is important and meaningful!