Category Archives: Radical healing

Reiki for a Cause

Fundraiser for
The WE Empowerment Center

Reiki text in JapaneseFor a donation of $30 or more you can have a one hour reiki session with Emma Rosenthal

All donations over $30 are tax deductible.

Make your appointment today!

https://reikiwithemma.wordpress.com/

Reiki with Emma specializes in

  • FibromyalgiaDisability symbol for wheelchair access, cognitive emotional DISabilities, sign language and blindness
  • pain management
  • meditation
  • Focusing and ADHD
  • PTSD and ongoing traumaReiki sessions to be held at DragonflyHIll Urban Farm.
      DragonflyHill Urban Farm is a wheelchair accessible, DISability and LGBTQIAA affirmative, anti-racist, anti-sexist, decolonialist, social justice safe and sober space.

    Please let us know in advance of any specific DISability access requirements.

Cross Generational Trauma: a resource of links

Cross Generational Trauma: a resource of links

(Work in progress. I especially need links regarding restorative justice. Also, please post your favorite links on this issue.)
Links on the ongoing exploration of cross generational trauma, something that has impacted my lineage and my life tremendously and must inform our activism and policy as we try to create systems of support and determine reparations. Some links posted for future reference. Please feel free to comment on the links and critique their premises. Some basic concepts to consider as we recognize and explore recent evidence that it’s not just socialization and psychological behavior that explains the cross generational transfer, but that the trauma actually is in our DNA.
  1. The wisdom of our ancestors– what has been lost, stolen, forgotten and abandoned– language, customs, wisdom, healing, is also in our DNA. We embody in our cellular memory all the hurt, but also all the love and knowledge of our ancestors.
  2. It stands to reason that it is not just victims who carry the DNA memory, but also the perpetrators. They two carry with them– entitlement, power, abusiveness, violence, guilt. Their inheritance isn’t just the monetary inheritance of centuries of theft and enslavement and exploitation, but the entitlement of and power gained from the abuses inflicted on our ancestors.
  3. That is, power and powerless carry with us, into each subsequent generation this relationship of owner and slave, colonizer and colonized, Abuser and abused, Victimizer and Victim.
  4. I reject the rejection of the term victim. The assertion by many that we choose to be victims, we perpetuate the systemic and cultural tendency to blame the victim, either for their victimization in the first place or in their healing and response afterward. By thinking we, individually can step outside of this history without collective work and collective healing and accountability is to side with oppression and perpetuate abuse. Blaming the victim is the religion of systemic and cross generational trauma. Another term for victim that can be used, is “target” and the term “survivor” is also acceptable, but with the understanding that there is nothing more moral about being a survivor than having not survived. It is NOT a choice. To privilege survivors over those who were massacred is to embrace essential white supremacist ideologies of fitness and worthiness.
  5. I reject the idea that soldiers are victims. Soldiers are perpetrators. If perpetrating violence is traumatic, then that’s easy– stop perpetrating violence.
  6. Trauma is insidious– it can make us lash out at the what triggers us, which may NOT be what caused the trauma or the flashback at all. Like the child who dives under their chair when a plane passes over head, miles from the location of the trauma of war, where passing overhead planes meant the dropping of bombs, those of us in communion, where spaces are actually safe, are not the source of the trauma, just because we are the location of the trigger. It is the work of our PTSD healing to learn to recognize the difference between danger, and the flashbacks that come up when we are safe.
  7. I also want to point out that POST Traumatic Stress Disorder, may not be accurate. Much trauma is not only in the past, the distance past and our DNA, but is ongoing. It is exceedingly difficult to recuperate from ongoing trauma because the wounds are not only fresh, but are constantly being reopened.
  8. Terms like “Children of the Holocaust” and “Post Traumatic Slave Disorder” are headlines here, for the much larger body of work on trauma among Jews and African Americans, respectfully. I use those terms because they also reflect the narrative within those communities, even where the issue of cross generational trauma may be greater than the scope that term may imply.
  9. too often because of its scope and intensity, 6000 years of who Jews are and what we’ve done and what’s been done to us gets encapsulated in the 6 years of the Shoah, and now it Israel. As if aside from 6 years of being the victims of genocide and 60some years of being the perpetrators, is the sum of all we are. (That’s not the narrative, the narrative is that there is some redemption and deliverance for the years of suffering, via Zionism).
  10. The Shoah (Holocaust) came out of years of abuse and genocide– expulsions, crusades (where many Ashkenazi Jewish towns were massacred by the invading armies on their was to the Holy Land), pogroms, pogroms, pogroms, ghettoization, more expulsions, humiliations, incarcerations, segregation, discrimination, etc. Jewish trauma, specifically in Europe, reaches back hundreds of years. For Jews who were not in Europe, the Shoah impacted them in Northern Africa, and the trauma for non-European Jews was most experienced as colonization in the particular geographies of location. The Holocaust studies on cross generational trauma can inform the larger discussion on cross generational trauma, but it is not an isolated event. That degree of racism doesn’t just pop up like a camping tent and disappear just as quickly. The study of Holocaust survivors and their children is very important to this discussion on cross generational trauma, and it provides a very clear and distinct set of data, but there may also have been a predisposition to those genetic changes and the other changes that were passed on to children, due to the centuries of abuse and a much slower genocide, particularly for European Jews. (And by European Jews I am referring to Jews who were geographically in Europe, which would predominantly be Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, but would also include many North African Jews and Middle Eastern Jews, in Europe.)

Topics:

Children of the Holocaust

(And other Jewish traumas, but this was the title of the book that started the current discussion on cross-generational trauma)

Post Traumatic Slave Disorder and Cross Generational Trauma in African Americans

“The Truth is that disability has been with us, in us since the beginning of time. Disability has held and kept us. It is in our marrow, in our blood, our sweat and tears. Disability does not make us less than, it makes us who we are. Ableism and anti-Blackness are the enemy. Disability is our kin. While the world has convinced itself and the Black community that disability is a bad word and a bad circumstance. It is neither. Disability and Blackness is pride. Disability and Blackness is innovation. Disability and Blackness is brilliance.

Native Americans and DNA evidence

Childhood Trauma, particularly ongoing trauma and violence

General Research and Cross Cultural Considerations

Responses and Resources for healing:

Restorative Justice

(What it is and what it isn’t)

Meditation and Healing

Bearing Witness

letter to a friend who suggests i am sick because i want to be

your ideas aren’t new to me. i don’t talk about my illness nor am i sick in order to get attention or because this is what i actually want. i have enough talented and intelligent, that if i weren’t this sick, could get a whole lot of attention doing a whole lot of things. as it is, i could get more attention pretending my illness didn’t impact my life the way it does. i could get a whole lot of attention pretending to be positive and happy, when i’m really not. i think there is a greater truth to be told, and a cost to that truth, but i also appreciate that my ability to articulate my experience is of benefit to those who also endure what i endure, but don’t have that capacity. —they tell me this! hearing from people who are validated by my words is priceless and makes my efforts valuable, to me, and apparently to others.

i think we live in a very compassionless society that blames people for their misfortunes and loves stories about people who “made it”. it’s a lot easier than actually taking care of each other. it’s easier than compassion, and it’s a politic that supports a brutal ruling class– that the rich got where they were, because they THINK better, that healthy, beautiful people are somehow more spiritual, superior.

it’s a politic that i embraced at one point in my life, and it rejected me. it doesn’t work. at a certain point all it does is create huge areas of denial –denial of pain, denial of people from the margins.

i do make healthy choices– eat healthy foods, do yoga, meditate, take vitamins, etc. i’ve tried many expensive modalities for treatment. i’ve thought good thoughts, etc. i’m sick. it’s just the way it is. (actually there are things i can do to get better, but some of them are too expensive right now. i simply don’t have the money.) thing is, when i get sick like this, speaking the truth about my condition, and resting resting resting is what helps. i’ve had this condition for 15 years. i know what it takes to manage it.

friends who want to help can offer to do so. they can ask my partner what they can do to ease his responsibility. they can give me rides to drs offices, bring over food, help out around the house, bring groceries, help raise funds for the care i can’t afford, support my work, or even, just visit. just sit and bear witness to what i real, what the present challenge is. — the things people used to do for each other, what they still do in compassionate communities.

life isn’t changed because we think good thoughts. nice idea, but it just doesn’t work that way. i’ve know a lot of people who were really silenced and marginalized with this thinking– people who have survived cancer, but not because they thought better than the people who didn’t. i lost friends to cancer who tried to be positive, ate all the right foods, did all the right things. i think it added to their stress, when what they really needed was to say exactly how frustrated, scared, alone they felt.

we tell people they create their own condition because it excuses a whole lot of injustice and marginalization, and because it makes us comfortable. it’s not easy listening to people in pain. it’s not easy listening to people who complain. it’s a lot easier to silence that in a spirituality of complicity and obedience. it’s certainly a lot easier than actually fixing this mess the world is in, and creating a society that meets human needs.

i also am not a fan of madonna. (the friend who this is to, used her as an example of positive actualization and insight).  she’s a very mean and narcissistic person who has left a lot of bodies in her wake. the way she treats people who work for her, in her own words, is hardly positive, kind or healing. she’s no one i look up to. she has masterfully marketed her extreme talent into meaningless pop drivel and sexual objectification. as for her attachment to kaballah– it’s an ancient tradition, not a passing fad. it is very complex, not something that can be simplified for mass production. cultural appropriation is never attractive.

i haven’t come to these ideas casually, nor have your suggestions failed to make their mark on my life, nor have i rejected them capriciously.

i think greater healing though is had through telling the truth, no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable. i know i am at odds with the culture around me, but nothing changes without complaints and non-conformity. i would rather find myself a small counterculture of resistance than find ways to please and appease an intolerant and compassionless society that blames people for their conditions, instead of insisting on ways to meet human necessity and asking people what they need.

i don’t want to have this conversation more than once, because i find it very hurtful and isolating. there is something more negative than the negativity sick or otherwise marginalized people are often accused of. it is the negativity of negating the full range of human experience and existence. it is the negativity of telling people what they have to say, who they are as they are, has no place in the larger society and is their own fault, if they only thought better or adopted some magic protocol.

there is a difference between curing an illness, and healing. healing is a much deeper process that requires deep truth telling, process and transformation. it is often quite wrenching, lonely and painful. (it is why so many cultures have initiation rituals that involve pain).

(at this point in time, there are no cures for my condition, though there are ways of managing it.)

i am not interested in maintaining the world the way it is, on either a small or large scale. i am interested in the deeper transformation, the deeper healing, and we won’t get there by insisting we need to think positively. we will only get there when we can clean up the muck that keeps us apart, that separates, that exploits and that poisons us. we certainly won’t get there by telling people in difficult circumstances, that their reality exists because they want to live that way.

(anyone who really knows me, knows i have a tenacity and a spirit that is hardly complacent or stagnant.)

my illness is caused by trauma and environmental toxins. without going into the details here (storytelling doesn’t mean some things aren’t private), the trauma i endured most people don’t survive. the trauma i endured is rooted deep in the power relationships of a brutal body politic, that i am determined to fight, on every level.

i tell the truth. i don’t just lie in this bed, sick, meditating, waiting, eating well, etc. i share my journey and i express my journey as a political one, among the larger issues of the day, imperialism, health care, education, oil spills, domestic violence, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, etc. and i challenge those systems that allow these negative realities to go unchallenged under a cloud of enforced positivity and false blame.

Sickbed ennui in the land of banana leaf hope

  1. Another twitter storify: http://storify.com/emma_rosenthal/sickbed-ennui-in-the-land-of-banana-leaf-hope
  2. Share
    i wish i had more energy to do more with my life.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 15:58:43
  3. Share
    this constant fatigue provides little strength fortasks i feel give meaning, purpose and healing to this broken crying world.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 15:58:48
  4. Share
    strong winds blow in the southland of the angels. making stop motion blur on silver film.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 15:59:56
  5. Share
    i want the wind to carry me, lift me up, take me somewhere else away.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:00:26
  6. Share
    away from this sick bed ennui. the tedium of cellular efforts. the hard work of waiting waiting waiting for strength.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:00:51
  7. Share
    i want to fly on a banana leaf, to some other place, where sick gurl dreams become something more than fear and loss.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:01:25
  8. Share
    there is so much to do to heal this wounded crying world. i have so much shuffled away in other world plans.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:02:13
  9. Share
    plans, wishes dreams, stored in boxes, cabinets, bell jars and the corridors of my mind.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:02:48
  10. Share
    i wander empty spaces of time. days that are marked only by disappearing cups of tea
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:03:24
  11. Share
    and the march of the shadows of banana leaves on neighbor’s walls as this corner of earth spins to and from rays of our local star.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:04:14
  12. Share
    hope is dangerous territory. my most feared neighborhood,
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:05:00
  13. Share
    where ideas are washed away faster than the fleeting work of stealth artists on alley walls.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:05:05
  14. Share
    i am writing again, without fear or hope of publication. wordpress and storify are my hogarth press. i have a room of my own.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:07:11
  15. Share
    the world moves around me. i am more like the sun than earth. it only looks like time revolves around me, from my perch overlooking hills
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:09:02
  16. Share
    i feel like it all spins without me, in this box in the center of the storm. waiting waiting waiting. unlike the sun i am nothing immobile
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:11:02
  17. Share
    lists to do scatter like dust, pollen and bird feathers from broken winds. i want my banana leaf wings.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:15:44
  18. Share
    i want this wind to take me somewhere where my dreams can fly.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 16:15:51
  19. Share
    but tomorrow the walls will still be peach against a purple trim. banana leaves will flutter against the green garden walls
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 23:17:51
  20. Share
    and i will still be plastered to flannel sheets. wind provides the illusion that change is sweeping thru,
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 23:18:39
  21. Share
    that stagnant air makes way for new possibilities. that opportunity is there to be grasped.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 23:20:10
  22. Share
    that i could fly away on a banana leaf and not look back.
    Sun, Apr 01 2012 23:20:15

Dreaming of a hot breakfast

  1. Share
    still not out of bed after several days of total bed rest. hoping to do something productive today.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:20:37
  2. Share
    dreaming of a hot breakfast– bagel creamcheese, w egg, maybe. and bitter green jasmine tea, but i can’t get to the kitchen.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:21:13
  3. Share
    i’ll make breakfast when the hunger exceeds my fatigue. until then i’ll wait in bed hungry. this is amerikkkan health care.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:21:43
  4. Share
    and i have health care coverage. it’s even what they call cadillac care. but it doesn’t cover in home support when i can’t get up.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:22:15
  5. Share
    my health care doesn’t cover much of what helps me manage my illness. it pays for lots of tests test test. but no actual care.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:22:47
  6. Share
    i need regular massage, chiropractic, reiki or acupuncture, but none of that is covered. what’s covered? medication– which helps some.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:23:26
  7. Share
    what else is covered– tests and more tests. dr.s appts. treatments that don’t help. treatments for other conditions some other people have
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:24:35
  8. Share
    therapy is covered, because if i talk abt it enough the illness will go away and i’ll fly to the kitchen on my self actualized wings.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:24:56
  9. Share
    @emma_rosenthal and that just made me laugh so hard I peed a little. Omg
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:36:53
  10. Share
    .@AureliaCotta they tell me i keep my sense of humor thru the worst trials. i try. i’ll be performing here all week!
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:39:51
  11. Share
    not that therapy doesn’t help. but how much good can come from talking about something that can’t be changed?
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:25:48
  12. Share
    getting hungrier. the sun is out. i saw it hitting the banana leaves. but no shadows yet, it has to pass over the house to the back yard.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:26:33
  13. Share
    i’m so hungry. trying to get up. really trying. this is so fucking frustrating.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:42:39
  14. Share
    tho now,just getting out of bed & to the kitchen is overwhelming. i just can’t command my body to do what it needs to do to make that happen
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:46:10
  15. Share
    of course,once i get to the kitchen i’ll have to remember how to toast a bagel and make tea. sometimes i can’t think things that complicated
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:43:13
  16. Share
    and if something is out of place, one aspect of the routine that takes additional thought, i’m lost. this is fibromyalgia brain fog
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:43:47
  17. Share
    like if there isn’t a clean tea pot. then i go nuts. the idea of having to clean the tea pot, that can be too much sometimes.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:44:25
  18. Share
    i do however have the capacity to get a tweet from -40 characters down to 120. ha ha ha . go figure.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:46:54
  19. Share
    i’m hungry. i’m very very hungry.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:47:20
  20. Share
    anyone who says “we don’t realize how easy we have it in amerika” doesn’t have a clue abt what most ppl in amerika deal with.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:47:50
  21. Share
    .@Farese9190 @TodayHIRING no fucking way! i tweet abt how sick i am and i get spam telling me to get a fucking job?? see– amerikkka!!!!
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:49:04
  22. Share
    .@Farese9190 @TodayHIRING i would get a job if i could. right now i can’t fucking get out of bed.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:49:37
  23. Share
    got damn fucking spam bot, thinks this is an appropriate rsponse to chronic illness! typical @Farese9190 @TodayHIRING
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:50:06
  24. Share
    i really hate this level of helplessness. all i want is a fucking bagel and some hot tea.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 12:53:03
  25. Share
    okay, i got breakfast. hope i didn’ t leave the stove on. ugh. back in bed, with a tray of wonderfulness.
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 13:14:43
  26. Share
    i just fell. i was in bed and i fell. no i didn’t fall OUT of bed i fell in bed. how does someone fall in bed?
    Mon, Mar 26 2012 13:25:58
  27. Share
    okay, i’ve been sitting up long enough. this has been a lot of work. can’t type lying down. so, i’ll be back later. time to rest.

in the company of banana leaves: anatomy of chronic illness

  1. tShare
    people tweet their play by play of many experiences. chronic illness is a part of the human narrative. i tweet my life. this is it.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 17:18:34
  2. Share
    anatomy of my illness. a day in bed. a week in bed. a lifetime that feels at time wasted. ideas ideas. no vehicle to transport those ideas
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:07:27
  3. Share
    in my former home, i kept company with a pomegranate tree. today the tree outside my window is a banana tree.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:07:59
  4. Share
    banana trees have long big leaves, 8 feet long at times. they dance in the breeze, cast shadows on my neighbor’s wall.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:08:46
  5. Share
    the younger leaves are long ad solid with one stem down the middle. the older leaves are wind torn into strips on either side of that stem
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:09:24
  6. Share
    the banana leaf shadows flutter against the green walls of the neighboring building, but only in the afternoon.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:10:08
  7. Share
    the morning light doesn’t cast a shadow onto the wall. it takes a later sun to make my neighbor’s wall dance.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:10:40
  8. Share
    banana leaf shadows get longer later in the day. deep inside my gut i dance with these leaves and they lift me up a little bit. just a bit.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:11:21
  9. Share
    chronic illness is very heavy long & deep it requires much waiting. timeless except that marked by shadows of leaves on stucco walls
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:12:32
  10. Share
    there are other quiet markers– the coming and going of other people, my cat jumps on the bed acknowledges me and the sleeps at the foot
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:13:37
  11. Share
    otherwise, a second in time lasts for days. it is morning all day until it is too dark in my room, curtains must be drawn and lights go on.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:14:33
  12. Share
    i drift in and out of sleeping and wakefulness. i often confuse my dreams for what has truly happened, until i am confronted with reality
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:16:07
  13. Share
    in all that time i never left the house, and few stopped by. what i think has happened could never have come to pass.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:16:40
  14. Share
    through wavy antique glass on the old windows of my home i can hear the banana leaves blowing in the wind and the birds singing.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:17:31
  15. Share
    i may make my way to the front porch, for a bit. and then return back to bed to rest some more.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:17:59
  16. Share
    when i am strong enough i sit up and tweet or chat on fb, but soon gravity becomes too heavy and i have to lie down again.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 19:18:58
  17. Share
    isolation plays tricks on me, my mind conspires with hidden demons telling me of my inherent worthlessness. in dark quiet moments i agree.
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 20:25:31
  18. Share
    by end of day the wall is full of banana leaf shadows, rattling together, applauding with great fanfare, these tiny accomplishments
    Sat, Mar 24 2012 21:05:35

Moving Forward

I hadn’t realized it’s been a half a year since I last posted to this blog.   I keep three other blogs, and while I’ve made a few posts on those sites, and I did create a new page: “Resources for Accessibility” to this blog. (see the menu at the top of this page); it’s been a slow year for me as a blogger, and I haven’t made any new posts, here  since December.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on facebook– where, in addition to my private wall, I also have 2 organizational walls– DragonflyHill Urban Farm, and Cafe Intifada, and I’ve started tweeting, too. So, so much social media, and perhaps I haven’t needed to blog as much. Been venting my frustrations there. Regardless,  I do need to come back to bed with frida, not that she missed me. But I hope my readers have.

We’ve also been busy fixing up our home– DragonflyHill Urban Farm, busy with urban farming. I’ve been taking classes in photography and have a very serious and extensive work in progress I’ll be posting to the web sometime soon. And life’s been hard. very hard. We’re coming out of several difficult years and I THINK we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m hoping it’s not the train!!!!

I do expect to be doing a lot more writing in the coming weeks. Some of the topics you might expect to see include:

The Clientization and Infantalization of Dis-ability— the tendency of health care providers, friends, family, co-workers and others, including activists to see PWDs (people with dis-abilities) as clients to be cared for, and not peers to be respected, empowered and nurtured. Along with clientization comes infantilization– seeing PWDs as little children and putting us in our place. (this becomes especially acute for women PWDs, who are apparently expected to be good little girls.)

Emma’s Lexicon: A guide to the terms I use and their meanings, including PWDs. dis-ability, dis-abled, as well as words to address issues of imperialism, colonization, occupation, social justice and radical healing.

Radical Healing:  How to heal in community, how to provide systems of support, how to build community, and at the very least, what NOT to do.  I’m also looking at the role social networking: blogging, Facebook and twitter can have in breaking down the isolation of illness and dis-ability. I’ll also look at how these venues can also be abused by bullies and perpetrators to increase marginalization and victimize targets of abuse.

Resource Pages:  Pages that provide resources on a specific topic.  For example, see our page on Resources for Accessibility. (See links above)  Other pages include resources on Accessible urban farming, healing trauma, etc.

On my other blogs look for posts of essays, stories and poems including much writing on racism, sexism, movement building, infiltrators in the movement, blacklisting,  building community, white supremacy, etc. As well as a variety of resource pages on political figures, issues, etc.

And look forward to my new web page of my photography, something that has been in the works for some time.

To find me on the blogosphere and the rest of the web go to:

https://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/navigating-emmalandia-links-to-emma-rosenthals-web-presence/