Confronting the Past

I am a mother of three and a philosopher. I’ve been married twice. I am a weak agnostic/atheist. I’ve dedicated most of my life to defining why we are here, if there is a god, and studied topics such as the history of philosophy, religion, psychology, and anthropology. I’ve spent years examining early civilization and law—from Hammurabi’s Code to the Ancient Norse Government, and Roman politics. I’ve read hundreds of books on parenting and examined which methods are the best methods. I’ve been speaking to child therapists now for the last seven years and reviewing the psychology of early development. I never went to college because I realized all of these topics would not have earned me a dime and so, I did my research and studies on my own.

But one question still eludes me. Why is the divorce rate so high? What is wrong with our society today? At the end of the day, I have concluded a few things.

First, there have always been problems. And the problems each generation had reflected the time period.

Second…Psychology is new. I mean…NEW. Freud announced his philosophy—and psychology IS  a branch of philosophy…I like to call it “Philosophical medicine,” because it is—in the late 1800’s. I developed a passion for Carl Jung when I studied his philosophy on “The psychology of religion.” What an eye-opener that was!

My mother was raised in the foster care system during the 1960’s. I am a child of a foster child. I have lived and experienced first hand what the foster care system did to that child.

Two days ago, I learned of my diagnoses. PTSD, BPD, and bi-polar. I believe all of these conditions are temporary and I plan to correct them using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to get rid of them. Yes! I plan to get rid of these conditions. I have no intention on keeping these “things” around for the rest of my life.

I know I am intelligent. I know there are many more who are smarter than I. I know there are thousands of people who I can learn from. I am a dedicated servant of Socrates and Plato.

“You can only learn once you’ve accepted that you know nothing.”

After everything I’ve seen and experienced, I think I can finally answer the question “what is wrong with us today?” This is my conclusion. Most of us have mental issues. Most of us experienced trauma and don’t know it. Most us are living every day in the shadows of our pain and most of us pretend we’re “okay” with our past. But the past has changed us. It lies not so dormant in our subconscious. It directs our choices and decisions like a co-pilot we are unaware of. We do things and say, “I have no idea why I said/did that.” We all do it, but few of us have confronted the real issue. We are not okay. Our past haunts us.

This is one of my favorite analogies. How many of you had “great parents?” My siblings and I are very vocal on our mother. In short, most of us believe our parents were horrible. Most of us have a laundry list of “things” we won’t do that our parents did. Here’s where I say, if your parents were so “horrible,” then why do you think you weren’t affected by that? If your parents were so bad, or simply just not great parents, why do you think you’re “okay” and can do any better?

Here is my most recent revelation I learned from my therapist. A parent teaches their child how to parent. My mother was in the foster care system. I know she never learned how to parent properly. Ergo, I know I never learned how to be a mother to my children because my mother sure as hell didn’t teach me. I can’t possibly learn how to be a good mother from her because her mother never taught her.

I’ve read the parenting books. No where did they say ,”hug your children.”  My mother never taught me to hug. I recently learned what happens if a human being grows up without positive physical contact. Only now was I able to step back and say, “Wait! I’m supposed to hug my children?” And then I realized…I never did. My oldest is twelve. She’s already learned not to touch people. I am currently working on reversing that damage.

I love to go back and re-examine situations. My first marriage is my favorite topic. I will not go into details, but I can definitely attest that one of the major problems we had was my PTSD. He was right up against my triggers, setting them off left and right, and neither of us had any idea that I had PTSD or that I was even a trauma survivor.

In most cases, trauma survivors can not identify or recognize trauma as being trauma.

I was talking to [CENSORED] yesterday and she said, “I didn’t suffer any trauma.” I smiled at her and said, “yes, you did.”

To this day she can not look at a chess/checker board without seeing blood. She watched her father beat her mother, and blood splattered across the checkered floor of their kitchen. Yet, [CENSORED] did not consider that event traumatic because she only “witnessed” it.

I just finished the book “Finding Me” by Michelle Knight. She was one of the survivors of the Cleveland Kidnapper. One line stuck with me hard.

“The only thing worse than being raped was watching someone else be raped.”

Trauma comes in many shapes and sizes. It has a physical impact on our neurological system. My therapist and my husband both have gone over the changes in the brain when a person is exposed to trauma (My husband extensively studied neurological sciences while working on his Master’s in Organic Chemistry).

When a person has negative thinking, it physically re-directs the neurological flow. Scientists have witnessed this change. Positive thinking re-directs the synaptic impulses along the pathways. This changes you.

Time out for those of you who don’t know…Remember in Iron Man 3 when that Dude shows you the brain and you can see the electrical charges traveling along these “wires?” The “light” is called synaptic impulses and the “wires” are called synaptic pathways. You also see it in The Walking Dead when they are at the CDC.


When a person has negative thinking, it physically re-directs the neurological flow. Scientists have witnessed this change. Positive thinking re-directs the synaptic impulses along the pathways. This changes you.

Trauma changes you physically and mentally. It subconsciously governs our choices causing many of us to make bad choices without rhyme or reason. It affects or mood, our happiness, our lives.

What’s wrong with people today? We’re all in denial and none of us are bothering to accept that we may not be as strong as we like to think we are. That would require us to drop our defenses and become vulnerable. We’re quick to point a finger and say, “You did—” but few of us stop to ask, “What did I do wrong?”

Trauma defined (from Wikipedia)

In psychology, psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event.


More from Wikipedia…

Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved with that experience.[1] A traumatic event involves one experience, or repeating events with the sense of being overwhelmed that can be delayed by weeks, years, or even decades as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences, often overlooked even by mental health professionals: “If clinicians fail to look through a trauma lens and to conceptualize client problems as related possibly to current or past trauma, they may fail to see that trauma victims, young and old, organize much of their lives around repetitive patterns of reliving and warding off traumatic memories, reminders, and affects.” [2]

Trauma can be caused by a wide variety of events, but there are a few common aspects. There is frequently a violation of the person’s familiar ideas about the world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity.

By this definition, not being listened to or heard can be traumatic…and it is.

This is also seen when institutions that are depended upon for survival, violate or betray or disillusion the person in some unforeseen way.[3]

Only you can determine if you suffered a “severely distressing event.” It’s all a matter of perspective and no one—NO ONE has the right to tell you if something you experienced was distressing or not. If it changed you, if it bothered you, only you can decide to address it.

I grew up being told my distress and trauma weren’t as big of a deal as I was making them out to be. My trauma was discredited and my feelings devalued. No one had that right. No one could decide for me what disturbed me or not. That added to my trauma. I think this is why I published Broken and why I am now so vocal.

My second marriage is much better than the first, but many of the same problems still arose. At the end of the day, my mental issues did not go away because I didn’t address them. I only carried them over to my next marriage. Both spouses have their own trauma demons. My current husband is dealing with the alongside me. The difference? The household has turned around 180. The home is so peaceful now, that when we return from holiday, we wonder why we ever left.

Awareness and acceptance makes a difference. It truly does. But mostly, my children are now learning how to parent properly and also how to live happy lives.

About the Author: Anna Imagination

Biographical Info... What you seek is my Story. Every Soul is a "Blurb" as one would read on the back of the book. But can people be "unwrapped" so easily? Most importantly, why try? I have long since learned to preserve the Savory that comes with Discovery. Learning of another Soul is a Journey. It is an Exploration. And it does not do the Soul Justice to try and condense a Soul Journey into a Bio.

1 Comment

  1. Lu J Whitley

    You’re very brave to talk about it, and not brave in the way that people talk about ‘bearing their arms in a tank top’ as being brave. But talking about trauma under the right circumstances is cathartic and wonderful, but it’s also terrifying as hell.
    I never went through your trauma. I can’t even begin to know what you went through. Because I’m not you. But I know the feeling of everyone telling you that something is ‘no big deal’ or ‘all in your head.’
    It took me 33 years to even try to get a diagnosis for my Autism Spectrum Disorder, which other people are STILL sure that I’m making up. The first person I talked to about it, other than my husband, asked me, “Why does it matter now? You’re already an adult.” Yes, I’m an adult, but I’m an adult with PROBLEMS that have been manifested over YEARS because no one listened when I told them something was wrong, so I stopped telling them something was wrong, and then I altogether stopped believing that something was wrong.
    It’s never too late to turn things around.
    I’m honestly lucky that I don’t have any kids, because I’m still working on me, and I probably always will be, but getting help is the best thing you can do for them. Someday, they won’t thank you because that’s just how kids are, but they’ll know you did a good thing, and they’ll appreciate it.

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