Is it possible to recover from trauma?

First, let me share some things I've learned from several sources.  As children, our brains are extraordinary at forming new connections.  We are more able to learn any number of skills as children than as adults.  We retain a certain amount of neuroplasticity into adulthood, but most of our neural circuitry becomes fixed.

Another thing is that we are mirrors for one another.  That is, especially in childhood, we are prone to taking what others give us insofar as our self-image is concerned.  This explains why some of us grow up with decent self-esteem levels and others have little to none.  Certainly, we still are mirrors for one another as adults, but we don't usually morph ourselves to conform to what others say as readily as do children.  This mirror quality is linked to our higher neuroplasticity as children.  Bullied kids tend to take on the names that their bullies give them. Children who encounter abuse of any kind tend to shape themselves according to that abuse.  We become the 'ugly' or the 'stupid' or the 'unwanted' that we are told we are.  We become the desperate ones, seeking the approval or protection that we never got as kids.  So, I must ask the question if it is truly possible to recover from childhood trauma and abuse?  How do we replace the experiences we were deprived of as children when we become adults?  It is not possible to delete our bad memories like some corrupted file and replace it with one that is error-free.

This is something that our machines have the advantage in; when their parts and pieces break or fail, they are easy to replace.  The myriad experiences that make up an individual personality are unique and irreplaceable.  But how many people wish that certain things would have been different?  In my own life, I wish that my childhood was different.  That certain things never happened.  I have no idea how my life would be different if these wishes came true.  What would that man be like? Would things have been the same yet better?

I can't have an affectionate father.  I  can't have a healthy mother.  I can't have lived in another town, away from the abuse.  I can't have it any other way than it is now.  It is what it is, to use the common phrase.

How do I heal this gaping hole in my heart where self-confidence is supposed to be when the experiences that instill this quality have come and gone?  Self-care goes a long way.  Flipping all the negative over and telling yourself good things can go a long way.  But there are times that all of it seems so hollow.  That little boy can't be protected.  The damage was done long ago.  The boy is now a man, all the wounds are scarred over.  Permanently.  When I imagine the future, its one where I'm alone, friendless and without comfort.  I feel like I'm being a dumbass when I daydream a better future.  Companions and friends who actually visit.  Maybe even a significant other.  And I KNOW it's because I had shitty experiences growing up. People who have had a healthy childhood EXPECT more of the same from the future.  They have no problem imagining nice futures for themselves.  After all, their inner children feel happy and safe.  They aren't surprised or disbelieving when someone misses them or expresses their admiration.  They think to themselves, 'Yeah, I am pretty great!'  I don't believe compliments.  I attribute any such nonsense to either ignorance or politeness.  I've made a conscious effort to be gracious when I receive a compliment lately, but my initial reaction is always, at the core, negative.

So, since these experiences are fixed, can we perhaps ameliorate the past by adding new experiences?  I just don't know.  At the end of even a great day, I still feel ready for the other shoe to drop.  The few fun dates I've had as a single man don't engender any hopeful attitude for me.  I just give up on these proto-relationships, fully believing that I'm just getting to the inevitable conclusion.  These past few years have been hard.  I'm alone half the time.  I don't have a 'circle.'  The friends I had are no more.  They have lives.  I don't have anywhere to fit in.  Everywhere I go, I feel like an interloper.  Permanently sidelined.  Wallflower.  I want to move, yet I cannot imagine what would be different.  After all, no matter where you go, there YOU are.

Sometimes I fantasize about a new life.  Friends who visit and invite me to things, self-confidence, a real relationship with someone who is my best friend AND lover.  I want so desperately to have this new life, where I'm not ashamed of myself in public.  Where I make eye contact with people and put my best foot forward. Where I'm not embarrassed by ME.  In this new life, I'm not scared of rejection.  After all, in this fantasy, I actually love myself, so rejection doesn't affect me as much as in real life.  In this fantasy, I live in a place where I have lots of friends who share my interests.  We go out and play music on weekends.  We talk about the books we're reading and the ideas we're thinking of.  We have FUN.

Then I wake up.  Yep.  Still the same life.  No friends.  Little fun.

I give people great advice that I cannot follow.  I'm quite sure that everyone except me has a great future ahead of them.  I try to get them to see if they don't like their situation, they can change it.  I tell them that there isn't anything they cannot have if they are willing to work toward it.  Why in the hell can't I believe that for myself?! It's that little boy, cringing away from a world that didn't accept him for who he was.  The world that took his innocence and left only self-loathing behind.  The little boy who escapes into books to hide his big, goofy teeth and glasses.  The little boy who was told by his peers how geeky, nerdy and weird he was till the little boy wouldn't even make eye contact with them any more.  The young man who played hundreds (probably thousands) of hours of video games to escape from a world that seemed to have no place for him.  The little boy who would become the man that now wishes everything were different.

I'm so careful with my children's self-image.  I don't allow name-calling, even in jest.  I don't allow angry harsh tones of voice.  I don't allow them to call themselves names.  I make sure that they treat others with respect.  I play with them and make sure they get to do the things they want to do.  I suppose, in the end, they deserve to have what I could not.  Compared to them, my matters don't add up to much.

I'm dead scared of what I'm going to do when they're adults.  I know I need to get something going for myself, but I have no idea where to begin.  Bars and churches hold no hope for me.  I cannot imagine any possiblities for the man I am.  I don't mean to sound like a complete downer, it's just how I feel.

I know! Those blokes in bowflex ads seem to have it figured out.  Just get in shape and your world will right itself!  That's what I should do, right? A tight bod and a convertible will fix everything! Sarcasm off...  I'm not at all ignorant to the fact that I just need to take my own advice and pursue my desires.  I just can't really believe in a good life.  It may seem like very small potatoes but I can't summon the effort to try because I don't believe it will do any good!

This is what I mean about these formative experiences: they have me so quagmired that I all I can do is maintain some kind of routine.   The positives I've accumulated in my life fade into the darkness that I've carried from childhood.  All that's left is....nothing.  No hope, no reason to plan more than a couple days to a week ahead other than for the kids.  I don't even know what it means to be excited anymore. The only kind of anticipation I know about lately is anxiety.  The skills I do have for coping only do so much.  The past is still there, just around the corner, shading and tainting everything in the present.  All because of a crappy childhood.  All because of events that occurred more than twenty years ago.

A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

Baby Yameen Diagnosed With Trisomy 18

The creation of human life is one of the most complex and shockingly beautiful things that our bodies are designed to do. The microanatomy that goes into this task is so astonishingly complicated that it's a miracle any of us walk around at all.

And yet, most of us do. Most...but not all.

When a baby dies, we are fragmented. Shattered, we must pick up the pieces and put them back together as we pay tribute to our children, our tables forever missing one, our families incomplete, our treasures in heaven, our babies alive only in our hearts. It is through our stories that they live forever. These children were here and they mattered.

They were loved.

They are loved.

If you'd like to add your baby's name to our Wall of Remembrance, please fill this out so we can properly remember your lost little one.



It all started out so happy and joyful, knowing I was pregnant again - my third child. No words could express my joy.

Five months into my pregnancy, I had an abnormal blood test. The doctor immediately sent me to see the gynaecologist. That is when all my happiness turned into a shattered dream.

The gynaecologist advised an amniocentesis. My husband and I agreed to take the test right away, but we had to wait two weeks for the results. It was agony. I couldn't sleep at night. I don't think anyone can worry more than a mother waiting to find out about her unborn child's health condition.

When the test resuts came in, it was positive.

My unborn son had Trisomy 18.

I was devastated. I didn't know where to turn or what to do. Being religious people, my husband and I decided not to terminate the pregnancy. We knew God knows best, so we left it all in His hands. I continued my pregnancy, worrying and praying the entire time. My gynaecologist didn't support our decision. She repeatedly told us that babies with Trisomy 18 don't survive. Thankfully, I had a very surportive husband and an understanding family.

Day to day, my bond grew stronger with my baby. With every check-up, he grew and continued to gain weight. Through it all, we kept praying. At 35weeks, my baby's heart stopped beating, and I was taken for an emergency c-section.

When I met my son for the first time, he was so beautiful. It seemed like nothing was wrong with him. Everything looked perfect.

We laid our son to rest on the 11th of September, 2015.

I'm glad I didn't give up and terminate the pregnancy. He was a total blessing in my life.

A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

Spotlight On Baby Loss: October 2015

"A person's a person,
no matter how small."
Dr. Seuss 

October is a special month for us here at The Band. MiscarriageStillbirth, and other types of baby loss and child loss affect families every day. Too many people suffer silently through the devastating loss. For those going through it, we want you to know, your little ones matter.

October 15th, is Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss Remembrance Day. 

On that day, our Remembrance Wall will go up. We want all our little ones to be remembered. Please send us a comment or an email to so that we can abide with you and remember your little one(s) as our own. Today, and every day, our hearts ache for those tables forever missing one.

As we go through this month, we want to hear your stories. Stories of miscarriage. Of babies born still, still born. Of baby and child loss. This is your month and there is no story too small.

Our other loss families need to hear your stories.

Please share how your losses have affected you. There is strength in numbers and comfort in knowing you are not alone.

We remember.

If you'd like to add your baby's name to our Wall of Remembrance, please fill this out so we can properly remember your lost little one.

1 Comment
A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

Please Answer!!

There are some days where I feel like telling someone about my cutting. There we times where I am standing next to my parents or teacher and wanting to tell them but I chicken out. I think I am afraid of the consequences of how people might react or what will happen after I tell them.

Please, if you have any knowledge or experience of self harm, answer these questions:

How do I know if what I am doing is cutting or self harm?

How do I finally tell someone I am cutting?

How do I know if I am cutting for attention?

Thank you guys so much for the support. Last time I posted, I was ten days clean from cutting (if what I'm doing really is cutting). Sadly, I cannot boast this anymore. I am under 15, and going through a lot of the stress that comes with 8th grade and high school. Two days ago, I cut small lines in to my skin from the beginning of my hip to just below my ribs. I can tell you that I had one hell of a time not showing the cuts when changing during PE. Please answer my questions or give advice.



A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

What Recovery Means To Me

July 1st, 2015

To me, recovery is something one person takes to heart to better him or herself and breaks away from the chains of addiction. It is far from playing with someone's emotions and feelings in front of a group. When a person in a professional position picks apart a person's flaws in front of the whole group, then this person is not taking that individual's recovery seriously. Assigning 500 word essays that are not related to my recovery is no more than an abuse of power.  

Here at this correctional facility, my recovery is a joke. It is nothing more than a waste of tax payers' money. This is the wrong setting to break the chains of someone's addiction. If you have someone in a professional position acting unprofessionally, how is that helping with recovery? All it does is push me to the point of anger and attitude, which just triggers my addiction.

I know that when I finally do leave here and go home, my recovery was not taken seriously. I will be going out that front gate worse than when I came in because of the way I was treated as a human being. I have come to realize that recovery is not the priority of this system. Instead, it is a way to condition me to be a failure. That will make me come back here, keeping the money rolling in, so everyone can receive their paychecks.  

To me, my recovery is much more important than someone else's paycheck. This DWI program is not allowing me to be honest. It is teaching me to lie, wasting money on teachings that are just common sense. I feel like this program is like forcing a horse to drink water. If I do not do this program, then I max out and lose all my good time. If I want my freedom, I am forced to be in this program, even though it isn't helping me.

All I know is that my recovery goes far beyond this program, and I need real help.


1 Comment
A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

Page 1 of 730 next