Book Review of ‘The Body Keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma’

My book review of The Body Keeps The Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is now posted on Amazon.com. It seems fitting to publish it during PTSD Awareness Month, now with the perspective of someone with first-hand experience in dealing with this problem in a loved one. In my free time, I’ve spent the past few months educating myself and exploring every valid treatment option.

While some of the case studies Dr. van der Kolk includes in the book are difficult to read (horrible child abuse in every possible form), they also prove that with the right approach, even the worst experiences can be overcome. He also offers an understandable description/distinction between traumatic memory and normal memory — helpful in recognizing why it’s not possible for people with PTSD to simply “get over it” without the proper treatment (which usually means a combination of therapies).

In their justifiable reaction to helicopter parenting, coddling, and the “everybody wins a trophy” nonsense, I find that some (not all) conservatives seem to dismiss the real problem of PTSD caused by early childhood trauma and the fact that actual child abuse does exist. Now I cringe when I see memes about how being beaten with a belt as a child helped someone grow into a responsible adult.

When I reunited with my guy after two decades, I had no idea that his background included horrific abuse from both parents (physical beatings, emotional torture, and ZERO affection), compounded by subsequent combat experience in the Navy. I met him right after his service in 1992 and after reading this book, I understand why those memories were suppressed 26 years ago.

After multiple emotional conversations with him, I find myself thanking God even more for my upbringing in a loving, stable home. At first, I even felt a twinge of guilt for being blessed with two good parents and four siblings. Home was a haven for me — not a place I feared to return to after school. But his entire childhood and adolescence was rooted in fear.

Sure, my parents disciplined and raised my brothers, sister, and me to be responsible, productive people. But it didn’t involve prolonged beatings with objects like bats and belts. That’s something I wish more conservatives and people in general would acknowledge.

Read my Amazon review here.

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Writestream Tuesday with author Cherry Tigris and the Right Wing Riot

I’m delighted to welcome back one of my favorite guests to Writestream Tuesday on September 2: the inspiring, multi-talented author/artist Cherry Tigris. If you missed my original spring of 2013 interview with her about her haunting memoir of child abuse, survival and triumph, click below to listen:

Check Out Writing Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream on BlogTalkRadio

Toilet Paper People will soon be available as an audio book, which is one of the many things I’ll discuss with Cherry during the live show. Your questions and comments are welcome at (347) 945-7246.

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In the second hour, stay tuned for the Right Wing Riot with the Luminaries of Liberty The Prince of Whitebread, Scary Smart and Ms. Always Right. To listen online, click on this link to Writestream Tuesday with author Cherry Tigris and the Right Wing Riot. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Thank you, Cherry Tigris!

The beautiful and inspiring author/artist Cherry Tigris has generously included me in her blog in a section entitled, Fuel:

Why Daria?

Of course her book Water Signs reveals her hopeful nature, but what I find truly unique about this principled champion of good intentions is her gutsy delivery and the choices she has made to make her perspective her LIFE. She isn’t willing to bend to what doesn’t seem right to her. Because of this commitment to greatness, I have found the strength and vision to aspire to the same.

While we all have our own way of speaking our truth, there are only a few that do so with as much fever.

Love you Daria DiGiovanni!

Love you back, Cherry! And thank you for including me.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cherry or her work, I originally interviewed her on Writestream back in the spring of 2013 about her haunting memoir of child abuse, Toilet Paper People. This fall, Cherry will release an audio version of the book and returns to Writestream on Tuesday, September 2 to discuss. I’ll have a post up soon, but in the meantime, visit Cherry’s blog to learn more about this incredibly brave, strong and talented woman.

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