Cathartic, Dealing with Trauma, on Being Humane

Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain.

? Gabor Mate, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Sure, Gabor has a way with trauma, and his own life as a Jew in Hungary, young, and his mother giving him to a neighbor for a few weeks to protect the young Gabor from the Nazis, that is what Gabor sees as both early childhood trauma and epigentic trauma.

The documentary focusing on the Canadian is good. Alas, he is also part of a group attempting to heal, but for a fee. All sorts of access to Gabor, extended conversations, and ways to work with trauma.

Here’s a list on the resources link/drop down: The Wisdom of Trauma.

There are other ways to also see how the world works, how people in both the West and the Global South are dealing with microaggression and macroaggression after aggression. Of course, patriarchy, capitalism and many variations on that theme are killing the human soul, the human body, from pre-birth to seven generations out. Trauma is also the synergy of chemical x mixed with chemials a,b,c onward. Imagine that, a world where we barely talk about Rachel Carson, why the eagle egg thins out and why the sperm counts drop, but then, we are in a world of constant organic chemistry alchemy. The countless science experiments on humanity and ecology focused on products to make them sleeker, thinner, cooler, softer, harder, bigger, smaller, less flammable, more flammable, more slippery, less stinky, more glowing, better looking, easier to digest, more aromatic, less shiny.

That is the Faustian Bargain we all have engaged in, for our new species, Homo Consumopithecus, Erectus Plasticus. That bargain also involved a world of more complicated diodes and self-replicating genetically engineered stuff, one where computing and virtual reality and augmented reality and artificial intelligence and machine learning, all of that, has colonized us daily . . . . We have accepted that stuff in our toys and our mundane jobs, but we sometimes shudder (as in a Philip K Dick book-movie) to think of the truly monsterous matrix and biopiracy we have allowed the data hogs and the surveillance soldiers to deploy in order to control our lives.

So, yes, adverse childhood experiences make sense, and it is a scale, a way to look at children who are struggling in school, and sometimes as a predictor of what might befall a student who has seen daddy put in jail, mommy hooked on booze, seen the repo man come into the home, found the beat up Ford Taurus hooked up to a tow truck for lack of payment. You know, just what happens in a home with chaos, violence between parents, and then add up homelessness, and their own abuse; i.e., physical and sexual. The reality, though, no looking at the cause of those terrible events, Cause-effect/effect-turned-to-cause/ cause-the-effect of another cause and effect. The daisy chain!

The devil, though, is in the details of what ACEs really mean to the titans of finance, to the masters of social impact investing to the Fourth Industrial Revolutionaires:

“Factors associated with adverse childhood experiences in Scottish children: a prospective cohort study” (source)

Pay for success or social impact partnership: Return on investment for social impact, as in the cost of special education, or what is the cost of depression. All that money attached to human issues, but they (money hoarders) want to tie in money and making money to those profiles — pre-crime — to preemptively fix you when you ARE not even broken! Investing on disaster (disaster capitalism) or investing on your childhood or household or prison sentence. Scary stuff.

Beware of Kaiser and Silicon Valley and Futures Markets and Hedge Funds and Human Capital Markets. Making money on trauma? Prenatal shit, too.

These are nefarious human beings. These are the Inquisition’s offspring, in skinny jeans and fancy pant suits. The human capital market is contradictory in terms of health and mental care. Making money, man. No healing comes from making money!

Here, Alison:

What concerns me about ACEs is the “scoring.”

Why should a standardized rubric developed under the auspices of one of the largest managed healthcare systems, Kaiser Permanente, label clients and structure the way a doctor, therapist, social worker, or educator can care for them? How did this tool come to have such a far reach, and whose interests will it ultimately serve?

Is a reliance on “scores” an intentionally-constructed framework that allows providers to limit their scope to “fixing” individuals and families rather than advancing a more radical approach whereby systemic causes of community trauma, trauma rooted in our country’s deep racist history, can be acknowledged, holistically assessed, and begin to be ameliorated?

And finally, will this “scoring” system be used to transform the treatment of childhood trauma into a machine for “pay for success” data speculation?

I believe it will.

A September-October, 2017 article for Academic Pediatrics, “Financing Mechanisms for Reducing Adversity and Enhancing Resilience Through Primary Prevention,” shows why ACE interventions will be an extremely attractive investment option for predatory social entrepreneurs. The authors note interventions that “prevent or mitigate the effects of ACEs can have impact across multiple sectors including: behavioral health, general health, child welfare, and “future criminal justice.” Every sector represents potential profit for investors. It appears there’s a lot of money in trauma remediation.

The paper references work done by the Washington State Institute on Public Policy (WSIPP) in which sophisticated cost/benefit models were created that estimate future cost savings across sectors so that the savings can be used to repay investors. WSIPP is one of eight data labs, operating under the purview of the NYU Gov Lab. Among the policy recommendations presented in this paper were: 1) setting “a conceptual framework to understand and account for outcomes across a broad range of public and private investment” 2) “validating metrics to estimate society costs and benefits” 3) adopting integrated budgets that combine health and social welfare finance and 4) disseminating information about innovative policies and finance mechanisms like “pay for success.”

The bottom line is that investors see children who have been harmed as potential sources of vast quantities of “impact” data, since the damage inflicted upon them extends across so many domains. The fact that the harm is so pervasive is, sickeningly, what makes so profitable. Interoperable databases are key to the program. All the data must be pooled in data lakes to claim the future cost offsets that enable the profit taking. WSIPP and its counterparts have been key collaborators in developing a national data architecture upon which impact investment markets will be built. More details in my post “Interoperable Data To Fuel Human Capital Hedge Funds.” (Adverse Childhood Experience Scores: Part of the “Pay for Success” Plan?)

More on this in a later article. But for now, it comes back to MY ground truthing. The father-in-law tipped over at home, had a headache, slurred speech, so 911 was called, EMT’s came out, and the idea was maybe a stroke. He’s been captive in a hospital bed for a month.

He already had ambulatory issues with a genetic disease tied to his feet’s weakness and curling and bad legs (he’s 79, was a truck driver, and he is in his Seventh Day Adventist world); and he had a hip replacement that went south six years ago, both because of that traumatic sawing of bone event, and I suppose because he didn’t “do” the hard end rehab program. He is in constant leg and hip pain.

He is also a military veteran, so he loves the VA since just four years ago, at my urging and assistance, got on that welfare-socialist gravy train. Good resources for equipment, rehab, and a listening nurse or PA.

That EMT call was a month ago, and they found the 2 inch mass in his frontal right lob, and he went under the knife a week ago, and the glioblastoma was the result. Stuck in a Kaiser hospital, and alas, he “tested” positive for the Bioweapon Covid19, so did his wife and his visiting son (from American Somoa) and grandson (from Texas).

Stuck in a hospital, and no visitors, and there you have it. Now, he has been shifted to a rehab place, and he again, tested positive for Bioweapon Covid19, and so, two days barely there, and now no visitors because he is in a “Covid19 wing” of the national for-profit rehabilitation unit (Regency).

My wife and I live three hours from Portland area, and we wanted to visit her mother and this husband, but the lockdown is in effect (he’s been jabbed four times, his wife three but is Jonesing for the 4th one).

My fear is the reality of 2020 and 2021. The horror stories of families separated from loved ones who ended up dying alone in a hospital. This is the madness of these mandates and these rotten dictatorial systems. ALL of it.

The trauma (mental) of this fellow in a rehab clinic, locked down, and he has opted for chemo therapy and radio therapy, big time issues without the support of a wife by his side some part of a day. The predicted lifespan for this 79 year old, according to surgeon and cancer specialists and his primacy care doctor is a year. That’s optimistic.

One year lifespan. Do not return to sender. Do not expect a refund. And, the radiation, and the poison pills or IVs, those treatments (they will have to be at the VA, so transportation is an issue, as in $), what will those medical interventions do to his mind, to his mental capacity, to his neuro net? What about the gut and the pain and confusion and amazing body’s complete aches and heaves from head to toe?

Yeah, we all say we would not do this, go through this hell, for another 12 months on planet Blackrock? Or, really, the diagnosis is one year without the poisons? I am not sure they have had that conversation — you have a choice NOT to poison and irradiate yourself —  since I am not a lynchpin in their lives.

Of course, the father-in-law is looking toward getting back to his small apartment with his fragile wife helping with the catheter and comode and transfering from chair to toilet to shower to bed.

It aint going to happen. He thinks he’ll be back on his scooter and tooling around Costco, etc. He believes he’ll be back dragging his legs and feet using a walker, to the curb, to the family handicap van, etc.

This is trauma, for me and for my wife and for his wife and for the grandson who had never met the granddaddy for his 24 years of life until the cancer diagnosis and his father footing the bill to have him come out to Sandy, OR. The son, 53, did not spend much time with this father, who is now ailing and has an expiration date, AKA medical diagnosis.

I get why people who read my stuff all over the internet, including at Dissident Voice, might not get into the nitty-gritty of personal lives, my own vagaries of living, or the ground truthing I attempt to traverse while still tying into that truthing with my belief that we as a nation and globe have to throw off the chains and do some hard hard work about getting back to our tribal selves, the neo-tribal selves. Oh, yes, eco-socialism, retrenchment, global thinking, global cooperation, true human to human work. Away from the elites, the rich (there shall be no billionaires or multimillionaires).

It’s getting complicated, though, not going along with the so-called progressives who want mandates, forced vaccinations, and, of course, these social impact bonds, these systems of holding poor people and struggling people accountable vis-a-vis the investors and the social impact pogroms. On Dissdient Voice, we have those who think carbon dioxide that we spew has no effect on climate, and then we have others talking about the climate emergency.

We have so many emergencies, and these medical issues will be hitting more and more people, not just indirectly with the aging Baby Boomers, but with the anxiety, self-harm, the childhood trauma leading to destructive behavior, addiction, obesity, workaholic behavior. The constant stream of negative news, the war drums, the incompetent Western governments, the Nazis and right wing conservative anti-human, anti-ecology movements, the openly dumb censoring and cognitive dissonance of the fake progressives wanting control, mandates, and pushing techno fascism of the Google Types onto everyone, but themselves!

We will not see the revolution televised:

Poverty, sickness, community decay, environmental disaster will not be solved by the billionaires, the investors, the bloody idiots investing in “the developing child.”

And, more people moving to Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona will not solve a bloody thing: Imagine that, one generation’s damming of the river, flooding the desert for unchecked growth is another generation’s major- major problem. Water, baby, water, and Lake Mead! The largest reservoir in the United States, is a critical source of water for 25 million people across seven states as well as some of the country’s largest agricultural valleys.

Here are the 10 states with the fastest growth rates:

  1. Utah (1.53%)
  2. Idaho (1.45%)
  3. Texas (1.35%)
  4. North Dakota (1.35%)
  5. Nevada (1.28%)
  6. Colorado (1.27%)
  7. Washington (1.26%)
  8. Florida (1.25%)
  9. Arizona (1.05%)
  10. South Carolina (0.95%)

And, the Gates Formula is for land grabbing. These are real struggles: “This website [Farmland Grab] contains news about the global rush to buy or lease farmlands by agribusiness, governments and financial investors — and people’s resistance against it. Its purpose is to serve as a resource for those monitoring, researching or organising around the issue, particularly activists, non-government organisations and journalists. It was initially set up by GRAIN, to share evidence of the new global farmland grab documented in Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security.”

It all comes down to family, no, the battered family, the epigenetic trauma, the cities and towns flagging, the infrastructure crumbling, the fires and droughts, the heat waves, the inflation, and, of course, broken medicine, and the for-profit model of everything. And the question: Who will undergo the chemo and radiation and bed-riddennes and non-ambulatory life stuck in a hospital bed and rehab clinic or hospice center for that one year lifespan?

The costs, man, mental, familial, the community impact. And, just the bills, man, the hospital bills.

How much? How much money does a brain tumor surgery cost? For patients not covered by health insurance, the typical cost of brain tumor treatment can range from less than $50,000 for a small benign tumor in an accessible location that can be treated with surgery alone up to $700,000 or more for a malignant tumor that must be treated with some combination of surgery, radiation ….The median total direct cost of patient care was $91,000, with radiotherapy and imaging costs being the most expensive (approximately $14,000 each). The majority of direct costs were incurred in the first four months of treatment with a plateau in costs beyond 1 year, reflecting the poor survival of this disease.

Oh, the Year 2025 and the Year 3035. Imagine, here in 2022. The retrograde mentality of “modern” man-woman-trans. Imagine the weapons of phosphorous death, all the bombs bursting in air, water, soil, space. The War Makers, DoD, Nato, USA, those bastions of War, the Anglo-Saxons, and the trillions to Israel and Ukraine and the MIC, and yet, in my neck of the woods, we can’t keep the shit off our beachers. Beaches where this place makes money from tourism and the crabs and oysters and rock fish. Failed state USA.


Yet, we have evolved, no?

I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely.

It’s the idea that people living close to nature tend to be noble. It’s seeing all those sunsets that does it. You can’t watch a sunset and then go off and set fire to your neighbor’s tepee. Living close to nature is wonderful for your mental health.

But why? Why do you need prophets to tell you how you ought to live? Why do you need anyone to tell you how you ought to live.

? Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.