Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Push Continued

I have this book at the back of my mind all weekend and it has bothered me so much. I just can't help but think how horrible it was for her to be sexually abused by both her mother and her father. It also just sickens me to think about when she would discuss orgrasming when her father was raping her. I just couldn't imagine ever at any point how she must feel when that happens. She talks about it and it makes sense that she loves and hates the feeling at the same time and then it also doesn't make sense. I don't know how she will ever be in a relationship where she won't be haunted by what her father did. I could never even fathom how she could get live with someone else with those memories. I just don't see her ever having a successful relationship when everything in her life that would have been the basis of her understanding relationships was so twisted and abusive. I don't know how she could ever be in a relationship where she would feel safe. This bothers me on so many levels. I can't even go into everything I am feeling about it. Just reading what happened to her haunts me I wouldn't even want to think about living with it.

What makes me angry about what happened to her is that the hospital let Precious go back into that abusive household when she was pregnant the first time. If I was a nurse and was given that information I would have called social services immediately in order to get Precious and the baby into a safe home where they would be able to live abuse free. Social Services was created to protect children like Precious and still they did nothing. It just infuriates me. It was as though what happened to her was too horrible for anyone to want to deal with it just because they didn't want to have to hear about it. I kept thinking in my head through out the book what is wrong with people that they don't notice that this girl needs help? I can understand Precious being angry she has every right to be considering all of this happened to her. There were so many resources available for other people to take the initiative to remove her from the situation she was in and no one would help her. NO ONE... This just makes me sick to my stomach. I don't understand how people could stand idly by and think nothing of what was going on. Granted being confronted with a situation like that isn't easy to stomach, but life isn't easy and help to someone in need should not be denied. I just don't get it.... I really just don't get it...

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Getting through this book took more sittings then I thought it would. It was technically a "quick read" but it was rough to get through. Every time I thought something wonderful was going to happen for Precious a memory from her childhood would come up. It just kept hitting me that there really was no escape for her from everything that had happened to her. She was going to always be reminded. I can only wonder how difficult it was for her to see her children and be a mother to them knowing that they were the product of rape. She mentions it a few times but she never dwells on it when it comes to Abdul. She truly wants Abdul to have a life that was nothing like hers. Its as though she doesn't want to think about Abdul as the product of rape so she can make sure to provide everything to him that she wasn't. If she could only remember the rape then I don't think she would have been able to be as a good a mother to him as she was.

That's another thing that gets to me. She tries to hard to be separated from the fact that she was raped and sexually abused by both parents and then at the same time she uses it as what defines who she has become. It's the idea of duality at the same time. She hurts and refuses to hurt. Its this that helps her to work hard to become someone else and not suffer the same fate of her mother and father. Precious wants so much to live a life that will be so completely different from the life she had previously lived.

What I don't get however is how when she is finally given a tool to help her sort through her emotional problems she immediately pushes it away. She is so sceptical of the counselor Ms. Weiss. She believes the only reason she is being helped is so the government can take her off of welfare and support. Granted this may have been part of the reason a counselor was supplied to her, but it could have been an opportunity for Precious to begin to openly discuss what had happened to her. She had already made the huge step in writing about what had happened to her in her journal. The counselor even asked her if she wanted to read aloud from her journal in order to easier discuss what had happened to her as a child.

The counselor was a bit of a idiot to not recognize that Precious's mother was also part of the sexual abuse that she had experienced as a child. Precious was so against wanting to have any interaction with her mother at that point. I do agree with how the counselor went about confronting Precious's mother with what happened, but it doesn't seem as though she gave Precious any tools that would help her deal with what she was hearing. Precious needed help in order to sort through what she had gone through and the counselor was only telling her to talk and write about it. She didn't at any point try to teach Precious to recognize that what had happened to her was not right,

No one at any point of the book made an attempt to help Precious realize that the color of your skin did not make you any better than anyone else. She was being helped in every other department but no one wanted to help her with her self confidence. Rather they influenced her to be angry about her position as a poor black woman. Everything was about her needing to be white and skinny. This truly bothered me. I know that there is a disperity between the poor black and white percentage, but the way she was being instructed about race was not conducive to her feeling as though she can succeed. Everything was about how the white man was trying to take everything away from her and that she needed to be white to be pretty and successful. This just bothers me so much.

There is so much more to say and at the moment I just can't put it into words... I am going to let the book sink in a bit more and write more later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I have always found the songs by Nirvana to be the most convincing and true when it comes to referring to pain. Kurt Cobain was going through so much and his lyrics truly expressed the turmoil he was going through due to the pain his life was causing him. There isn't the shallow thoughts of just being broken hearted instead there is the raw emotion produced by true suffering. The fight he was having with his drug addiction and the lack of control he had over his life can be clearly heard in his lyrics. He doesn't dilute them with cliche thoughts or ideas. Instead he says it how it is. That is what draws me to his music. It isn't pretty. The emotions are dumbed down either. Despite Nirvana becoming widely popular the music did not conform to the social expectations of what music was supposed to be about.

I love the Eamon song and the Frankee song. When those songs were released it was one of the few times I actually listened to the radio. They just entertain me so much, and at the same time they left me feeling like some one was finally singing about the angry parts of a break up. For so long that was left to Alanis Morisette and it ended when she faded out of the spot light. I love how both songs remind people that break ups aren't just sad. These songs really bring out the ugly as well and I blast them every time I hear them. Nothing is left to the imagination in this song it goes from blow jobs to telling the girl and guy fuck you. It's great. Nothing nice or pretty about it.

Alanis Morisette I must say is in a league all by herself. Her music says everything and is the ultimate pay back to the guy that hurt her. She wanted to make sure that the guy knew just how much he hurt her and she wanted to humiliate him as much as he had humiliated her. It also brings into play all the cliche things that are said in a relationship that can make a person so happy and then in the end feel like nothing more than a slap in the face. She just keeps reminding guy that nothing he did is excusable. She like Kurt Cobain and Eamon do not censor the anger and hurt in anyway and it is just awesome. I am not going to lie this CD is definitely a constant in all of my playlists. Its angry and its devastating. Everyone can say they felt this way at some point in their life.

and so I've tried, everything but suicide but yes, its crossed my mind, but I'm fine (Gnarls Barkley, Just a Thought)

Alright, before I even get started I have to share this song with everyone. It is one of the more twisted songs I know and I thought it was appropriate after our last few classes concerning torture porn and now about music... That being said here is the link

I must say during the Taylor Swift song all I wanted to do was gouge my eyes out. I am sorry I know that having a hidden love for someone can be a bit painful but this girl acts as though its the end of the world. If we changed the guitar from acoustic to electric and made her sound a little more whiny and then slapped on some smudgy black eyeliner we would have a new female emo artist to follow... This song is so unbelievably typical 11-14 year old pop music when love is usually nothing more than a passing fancy. Unrequited love and unreturned love can be painful but at some point you need to move on before your love turns into some sort of obsessive sensation. I don't know I just can't take the girl seriously. She grew up in a small town and she is an attractive, skinny blonde she is the stereotypical hot chick and she doesn't seem to have much depth to me. So, I shouldn't be surprised by the lack of anything real in her song. I may be wrong about her, but how she portrays herself is just enough to make me want to dye my hair Wednesday Adams black and refuse to wear pink for the rest of my life. I guess I am just over the whole whiny girl broken hearted song that has flooded the radios. What gets me though is that people take this as how you should feel or react to a broken heart... Urgh. Running to class I will write more after

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful Boy

When I first started reading Beautiful Boy by David Sheff I thought it was going to be another cliche book about drug addiction and the pain it causes everyone and everything, and for the first 50 or so pages I thought I was right. After that however I was pleasantly surprised to see that David Sheff was doing his best to present what he and his family went through with his son Nic and his various drug addictions.

I really liked how David brought in Nic's half brother and sister to the story. The amount of pain and anguish Nic caused I thought was best seen in Jasper and Daisy. They are so young and have only the slightest grasp of what Nic is going through and yet their pain is so adult. It astonished me what those two went through at such young ages and I am truly intrigued to see how those two will address drugs and alcohol when they reach the age where it becomes prevalent. Through out the book David kept returning to Jasper and Daisy and how they were handling the situation and it was their story and reactions that I held on to the most. I was devastated for both Jasper and Daisy when Nic stole from them. I couldn't imagine what it felt like to have someone whom they admired and trusted so much violate some of their most important boundaries.

What David went through as a father also really stuck me. He tried everything possible to help Nic and every attempt he made failed. At some point I would have given up, but some how he managed to find more strength and more resources to fight back. Yet, despite my admiration for him I recognize how his son's addiction began to consume and pollute his life. He was becoming so detached from everything going on around him and he was refusing to recognize that his son's addiction was not something to pity his son for. At times I would get so frustrated when he would say things like "poor Nic". I wanted to scream at him that his son did this to himself. He was the catalyst to his own addiction. I just wish that David could have figured out so much earlier on in order to save himself from much of the pain and suffering he had put himself through. Yet, at the same time I can somewhat understand his desire to help and try to save his son.

It amazes me that the government isn't doing more in the research of how to treat an addiction to meth. It is becoming more and more of a prevalent drug in areas across the US and yet no one is making a valiant effort in trying to prevent and treat its addiction. It's as though it is some taboo topic that no one can talk about.

I found myself agreeing the David when he said he didn't know how to talk to other people about what was going on with his son. Society makes it so difficult for people who are family members of a drug addict to openly talk about it and get support. There is this whole idea that in some shape or form the family is responsible for their loved one's addiction. This idea drives me crazy. Everyone deserves support when going through some sort of crisis regardless of what it is. I was so angry that one of the few outlets that David had was AA meetings. It made me even angrier that there was nothing Jasper and Daisy. No one wants to talk about it, yet its happening all over to all sorts of people. Why is that some issues are made to be more important than others? Sorry for my rant but it doesn't make sense to me. David, Jasper and Daisy deserve all the support and help they need in order to aid them in moving through this difficult point in their life. They shouldn't have to keep their pain a secret because their loved one is doing drugs. It just irks me that some forms of pain are perfectly acceptable in society while others are not.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Masculinity in Serial Killer Movies

I was quite impressed with the article. I have always been a huge fan of serial killer movies and never really noticed that all the killers were white middle class men. It intrigued me to think that these men were killing as a means to defend their masculinity in the vast numbers of middle class white men. Its strange and yet at the same time it makes sense to think that a man would need to murder in order to feel fulfillment of his masculinity.

I am a huge fan of American Pyscho. The movie always left me feeling as though all of the male characters in that movie were missing something. Each of them worked to maintain their positions in the social elite, yet none did anything that truly identified them as individual and separate. The other male characters around Bateman were completely interchangeable. They were as plain as the business cards they all were obsessed with showing eachother. The fact that Bateman resorted to murder to feel whole and to take apart society finally makes sense. It was his attempt at exemplifying himself against the multitudes of men just like him.

I do not agree however that most serial killers are some sort of sexual deviant. Sexual abuse is not the only catalyst of violent behavior. For some it can simply be a personality quirk that makes murder seem okay and enjoyable. I do admit it can be attributed to most, but not all of the male serial killers. It makes for interesting movie scripts but I would like to see a movie where a serial killer isn't motivated by defending his masculinity. I would like to see a movie where the serial killer is driven by sheer desire of the kill. That would be interesting to see. Creating a cultured man with feral tendencies. Maybe thats the true reason behind some serial killers it is their primal predatorial call for domination. Who knows, but its a thought

I am truly intrigued as to what research says about a female serial killer. It seems to be a topic not many people want to discuss. Is it that women are supposed to represent all that is good and whole in society? Or is it that people do not believe women are capable of committing systematic murders? I am not quite sure and it bothers me. I did a little research on the topic and many of the sites said that women do not often get caught because they have motive and purpose to their murders. Don't male serial killers have motive and purpose to their murders as well? I do understand that in some cases of male v. female serial killers that there are distinctions but is there really that much of a difference?

I would love to see what a writer could do with a serial killer slasher movie that utilizes a female serial killer and other aspects that completely separate it from the general white middle class male based movies. I think it would reveal the taboos that people are so afraid to talk about when it comes to pain and serial murders. There is so much that can be said yet so many people only focus on a small aspect of it.

I find it quite strange that I am this interested in this topic. Why are people so obsessed with death and murder? Sontaug mentioned this in her book and we are greeted with sights of it daily on the tv, in the paper, and through various other sources. What is it about violent deaths that fascinates and captivates an audience. Is it the question of whether you as an individual would ever be capable of such atrocities or is that you just can't seem to pull your eyes away? Or is it even that we enjoy see the horrible things that people can do to each other. I am not quite sure, but I do know I enjoy slasher films and serial killer films. I tend to prefer them over chick flicks and comedies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wounded Storyteller

I am not quite sure how I feel about this book... I don't know if I like it and I don't know if I hate it. I understand what the author means when he says that a person who has suffered needs to create a story because this is very true. Every person searches for some way to communicate to themselves and to the people around them what their suffering entailed. Its an attempt to find some sort of justification or reason as to why it happened. Yet, there is a recognition that there really isn't a justification for suffering it is just what it is.

I do like how he pointed out that people will not always fully understand another person's story of suffering. Each person can only draw upon their own experience and go from there. It is their interpretations and stories of pain that help them grasp just a little of what another person is going through. You can say in so many different ways that you are in pain, but the other person isn't always going to understand the magnitude of pain you are suffering

I don't exactly agree with the obligation of the sufferer to tell their story. Rather I see it as the sufferer trying to find a reason for why it occurred. It isn't settling to live with the thought that as a human being you are subject to completely meaningless pain. Its an attempt for a person I guess to better grasp on to reality and life rather than fall into a state of constant pain. It would be their survival attempt. If they were to allow themself to become complete victims of pain they would cease to possess what makes them human. They would become part rather than whole. The stories do serve as a sort of phoenix affect. The individual wants to be reborn from the experience

Monday, October 20, 2008


I apologize about the tardiness of my reply to the movie, but every time I sat down to write about it I just couldn't find any way to not get too upset. I have to be honest I got back from class that night and all I could think about was my friends that are currently in Iraq and how I hope they are never taken prisoner because I know the end result of that situation would be something horrific. Thoughts like this plagued me for the rest of the week and throughout this weekend. I just couldn't get the pictures of what was done to the Iraqi prisoners out of my head either. Everything just made me sick to my stomach and I wanted to do anything and everything to not think about the movie. Yet, it kept seeping into my thoughts

I am always amazed as to what people can do when put in a situation that they perceive a threat and are also given a lot of power as well. So many of the individuals involved kept saying that wasn't the person I am now, I don't know who that person was. I feel as though they are saying that as an attempt to try to separate themselves from the deeds they had committed and witnessed against the Iraqi detainees. The fact of the matter is that it was them. These people were just surprised and ashamed of what they were capable of. Every person is capable of doing something horrible to another person, I guess it was these soldiers defining moment of what they individually were capable of.

While I can feel bad for them that they took the rap for everything that went on in Iraq at the same time these individuals are just as responsible for their actions as the people who delivered the orders in the first place. There is a point where a member of the military can say to their superior that they will not follow an order because it is morally wrong or against military law. None of these individuals made an effort to not become part of the pattern of torture in Abe Ghraib. Rather, they helped to continue it.

I am not surprised in the least how the higher ranked officers addressed the new MP's coming into the prison. Rather than let the MP's get acclimated to the environment and walk in prepared to do their job the higher officers instilled in every member a sense of fear of the inmates being held. They immediately made an effort to dehumanize the individuals in the prison. It was as if they knew the steps that needed to be taken to get regular "moral" human beings to torture other people. Not every person is immediately equipped to handle torturing another person and feel nothing about it. These officers were able to manipulate the MP's and the situation to "train" the newbies in their patterns of violence. They wanted the newbies to be afraid so they would lash out before they took a rational approach. This sickens me in so many ways.

I am still completely unamazed by the fact only one of the higher ranking officials was punished for the actions that took place. The military has a history of taking care if its own. The enlisted men or the lower ranking officers haven't been involved in the system long enough to be seen as any one of value. They are disposable in times of controversy as was seen when the pictures were released to the public. Much of the public that looked into the incident at Abu Ghriab was astounded that the MPs were the only ones who got punished, but this is not an uncommon occurrence. The administration and the leaders of the military want to keep the people who can get them the most information and the best public response. In this case it was the individuals who issued the torture orders because supposedly they were retrieving information of "world importance". Also what people fail to recognize that if a higher ranked official was fired or held on charges it would be a much larger public embarrassment then just a lowly grunt or MP. The dismissal or punishment of a higher ranked officer would mean the military and in turn the administration was admitting that they were behind the orders of torture. This would cause a huge change in their influence and standing with the public. So, they got rid of the "lowly" as a sacrifice for the whole. It was made to seem these people took these actions on their own rather than following orders. Just a common occurrence in the military nothing new.

This raises the question when is torture okay? I can honestly say I don't know. I know if ever I was put in a situation where I had a choice between saving a life by torturing an individual for information I would. I feel horrible admitting that but its true. If I were pushed to such an extreme I would do it, and I think almost everyone would. Torture is nothing new in war and even in peace times. It has and always will be a method of gaining information. Yet, this doesn't make it okay. Rather, it just reveals how fear and power can cause the worst parts of humanity to be revealed. One would hope that our country would be above and beyond such practices, but as we saw in the movie we are no better than the third world country we are fighting.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"..violence turns anybody subjected to it into a thing."

Those words from Susan Sontag's book Regarding the Pain of Others have stuck with me all week. It makes me shudder thinking how true they are. Violence does not recognize a person or a thing it just recognizes the havoc and pain it can reap upon an individual, a community or even a country. Those words I don't think will ever leave my head they just ring through out. As I read the rest of the book those words played through again and again and again. I found that I had to go and reread that chapter just so that those words would never disappear from my memory. The question of , "Why?", still rings through my head as well. I am still working on that.

Susan brings up a good point about war photographs and how it forces the common public to recognize and observe the autrocities that are occuring. It forces an individual to recognize that these things are in fact a reality and not just some rumor floating across the expanses of ocean that separate our country from the next. Why does a person need to see these things to recognized them as truth? Do we believe that human beings are completely incapable of doing such terrible things to eachother? The obvious answer is that we don't because the news, magazines, etc are flooded with the horrible occurences of an average day. Yet, words mean nothing compared to a picture. Its as though we need that image to solidify and validate the words. "A picture is worth a thousand words" this is so true, but the most remembered pictures are the ones that render the viewer speechless.

Pictures are a crucial part of memory. This was even played out in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind each person had to remove every object that reminded them of the memory they were trying to erase. These items are like pictures they hold a memory for a person. Pictures however provide more evidence of such a memory then it does a just a reminder. Victims of wars and of other such autrocities rely on pictures because it is a validation of sorts. It tells them and the rest of the world that yes, these horrible things did happen. No one wants to admit it but these pictures are the visual proof of the pain and anguish of the experience.

Censorship is an issue with photography and Sontag does an excellent job discussing this. We want to be able to see so much and yet there is so much in photography that can be editted and ommited in order to make it appropriate for the public at large. Is this okay? Does it take away from the effectiveness of a picture if you take away some of the blood and hide some of the gore. The answer is yes and it is also no. It is a testament that there are things that most people can not fully handle seeing and it understandable that they wish to hide it. It is also no because the graphicness of these photos are the reality. When they are "prettied" up there is so much taken away. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then I guess autrocity falls under the same scrutiny.

What I don't understand why we don't have a picture museum of American Slavery. We as a country are obligated to feel ashamed for the actions that were committed by out forefathers. Yet, we are more willing to recognized the horrible deeds of another country then we are our own. We are so afraid of admitting that we are not the moral superiors to the rest of the world. Our country has a record as well of committing the good, the bad and the ugly. The ancestors of those enslaved have a right to see a place where there are images validating the fact that their people were in fact subjugated. They have a right to make the public uncomfortable as a means of a reminder and as a hope of a prevention of a repeat of that occurence.

We say the public has become desensitized to violence and bloodshed, but we haven't. We have just become more habituated to its presence. By censoring these images or by refusing to show them is evidence that we are not desensitized, in fact we are terrified of these images. We are afraid of what it will do to our children and to loved ones alike. We are even afraid of what seeing these images could do to ourselves. What we forget is to take the we out of that thought process and think of the them and the others. The ones who are the subjects of these images. We forget that there are people in the images and that aren't just "things".

After reading this book I had to surf google images. I pulled up the napalm picture, the atomic bomb pictures, agent orange, lynching, September 11, and the list goes on. I sat horrified and sick to my stomach but I made myself look. Why, I am not quite sure, but I know I felt compelled to see. I guess I need my own validation or proof that we are, as human beings, capable of doing these horrible things.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

and what if we can't remember the bad times?

This movie left me feeling quite unsettled. Before I watched it I would always joke about wanting to remove certain memories or memories of certain people because they were painful to look back on, but now I have absolutely no desire to do so. Memory is such a normal part of life that you forget how pivotal it is to every action that you make. Everything you do is influenced by something that has happened in your past. Your very identity depends upon everything you experience through out a lifetime.

Joel was a very melancholy character and his views of memory at first seemed to so skewed. He had no true concept of what his memories of Clementine did for him as a person. It really bothered me that he was so willing to erase her from his mind simply because she had done the same with her memories for him. What else really gets me is that he is a person who appeared to think about everything and its possible repurcussions and yet he still agreed to have the memory removal procedure done. I couldn't imagine ever making such a decision lightly or doing it simply to be vindictive. As he was going through the process he suddenly came into the realization of the magnitude of his decision on the rest of his life.

What also intrigued me was how the director portrayed the inevitability of Clementine and Joel becoming part of eachothers lives again. Before they met they were trying so hard to find someone to fill the void that their lives had become. Then, when they met they were able to find that in eachother. I am surprised that the doctor did not warn them that they would eventually find eachother again to fill the same void. They would be right back to where they were before they met so their attraction was inevitable. The memories are simply erased their tastes and their feelings are not altered.

It really bothered me that Harvey kept Mary around after he erased the memory of the affair he had with her. It shows that he saw his ability to remove memories as more of a power rather than a help to his patients. It was his way of exhibiting control over a world that is meant to be entirely out of control. You would think he would recognize that the memories still linger even after they are erased. Mary was not subtle with her attraction to Harvey. It was as though he wanted to keep her around just in case he wanted to mess around on his wife again. Afterwards he could simply coerce her again to undego the procedure to "erase" the memory from her mind.

I was also really bothered by the fact that he and Stan kept the procedure going on Joel after he was showing extreme signs of resistance. A normal human being would observe such a reaction and make the assumption to stop the procedure rather than complete it to prevent any further complications. It was as though Harvey was afraid of admitting his treatment did not positively impact his clients and that it was, in fact, a complete failure.

After watching this movie I am more and more thankful for every memory that I have. Each one whether painful or happy greatly affects who I am. Life can not simply be a stream of happy moments because then people would be living a life with goals or aspirations. Pain and difficulty are necessary for growth. Each makes an individual evaluate a situation and make predictions about the possible effect its going to have on their life. After they have made the decision they then can reflect upon as to whether or not it affected their life in the way they had hypothesized. Gratification would be nothing with out failure. Love can not be felt with out some understanding of pain and loss. Pain is forever imprinted in our memories along with the good memories as a way for an individual to prepare themself for the next step in life.

This movie also brings up thoughts of repressed memory with me. I wonder what would happen if a person was forced to tap into a repressed memory before their body allowed them to recall it. Would it have as durastic effects as wiping away a memory? I think it would. Each person is equipped to deal with each situation differently. If a person is never able to reach a level where they can recall this memory, however, what happens? This question really bothers me. Do they continue to live on with out a care in the world or do they feel as though their "skin doesn't fit" because a pivotal moment in their personal development is left out. In the case of my sister it caused her to be stuck in a childlike state late into her twenties. She is finally recalling some of these repressed memories and the growth she has shown as an adult is unbelievable.

I believe that with out painful memories that a person becomes immobilized and loses what makes them human. Pain can stir so many different emotions from individuals. After the person reacts they begin to analyze their reactions. This raises the "Why? question. Without this people would lack the ability to understand. With understanding comes empathy and sympathy. How can one feel either if they have never felt pain or have no recollection of pain?
Joel mentioned after the procedure how he didn't feel like a whole person and Clementine mentioned feeling as though her skin didn't fit. They both lost something that their identities depended on in its definition of itself. They were missing parts of the whole.

It also brings up how pain draws people together. They seek solace or release from one another and this then creates a bond. Granted this is the only thing that bonds people together, but it is one of the more prominent. When you admit to being pain whether it be emotionally or physically you are making yourself vulnerable to the other person. This vulnerability is a sign of trust and afterwards a bond will be facilitated between you and the other individual because you were willing to expose so much. You become more aware of the other person and how they work when they discuss wit you at length why they are hurting. This again helps you see the individual as a whole rather than just in bits and pieces.

So the basic conclusion that to experience pain and to understand and overcome is part of what makes a person a person. It helps to define them and to explain their later actions. Erasing any sort of painful memory would be like removing a limb from your emotional and mental body. Pain is necessary for growth. If you are missing it you are forced to repeat what you lost as Joel and Clementine have to at the end of the movie.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thoughts continued

So after thinking more about this book as the days have gone on I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with what Wall had to say. His entire book had great information but no "real" conclusions about pain. There are beginnings of a conclusion but its never fully developed, at least from the medical standpoint. I am still irked about him writing off holistic healing because this was something that predated medicine and it worked. I wish he could have gotten over the whole " I am a doctor" and instead looked at pain and the treatment of it from an unbiased point of view. For everyone there's a different level of effectiveness for every treatment. You would think that after all of his research he would have been able to come to some sort of understanding of this. He hints that he does, but he never verbalizes it. While I respect him for the work on the medical side in the research of pain I respect him less for not being able to research the holistic side as well. Like medicine it doesn't have an exact measurement of how well its going to work for each individual. It's not just a placebo effect. For some people they immediately feel relief from a headache moments after they take a pain killer even though the medicine will take 20 minutes to go through their system and work. Is it the pain killer that actually worked or was it the placebo effect of taking a pill that is supposed to take away the pain and discomfort. The medical side of dealing with pain is just as hazy as the holistic because no one (as far as I have seen) has been able to fully understand pain in general. So I don't think Wall should have classified holistic medicine a placebo way of healing instead he should have looked at it as an alternative to invasive medical treatments of pain.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh, the phantom limb

I found this book to be both and interesting and at other times redundant. I was truly fascinated by the mention of amputees being able to "feel" their removed limbs, but I was unaware that it was usually pain that they felt. This caused me to look at physical pain in a whole new light. I always figured that pain had to be caused by some action or stimulus whether it be do to injury or sickness. I never thought that it could be felt due to a lack of having a full nerve connection. I had always thought that it was interesting that an amputee could "feel" their missing limb and I had never taken it quite seriously that they could feel pain or discomfort with it. The whole idea leaves me a bit unsettled as well because it goes to show the complete lack of understanding that the world as a whole has for pain. The repetition by the author on the fact that a person can not fully describe pain also intrigued me. How does one describe their level of pain? Can there really be a standardization that will help those in the medical field better deal with a patient in pain? It truly is frustrating to go to the hospital and be unable to communicate to your doctor the pain you are feeling and how intense it is. How do you relate to another person's pain as well? Everyone has a different version of what hurts so there is going to be a lot lost in translation between people on the level of pain. Pain itself is such a small word for something that covers a broad scope of sensation. I think the author does a very good job in portraying that in the various examples he uses in discussing pain levels and communicating them. One would think that the medical community would be working to find a way to better understand and treat pain, and yet in three hundred years we haven't really made too many huge discoveries. Instead the medical community has only found more things that leave them thoroughly perplexed. The one thing I didn't like much about the author is that he had a strange way of trying to come to conclusions. He circled around an idea before he actually addressed it. He also mentioned all different types of scales used to describe pain and yet didn't seem to let the reader know which seemed to produce the best results for an individual in pain trying to communicate to another. His discounting of holistic healing I think is incorrect. I have found in my experience that certain types of holistic healing such as shiatsu or cranial sacral therapy to be quite beneficial for individuals who suffer from sports injuries or chronic who have found main stream medicine and treatments to be completely ineffective. This type of healing has been around for centuries so there has to be some form of effectiveness to it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A lil about me

I was grew up in a small town, and by small town I mean we had cows on the front lawn of my high school. I grew up as a navy brat so I did do some moving. My family moved six times but it was only between three states so it wasn't too bad. I am one of four kids and I am a twin. I am very close to my family and consider it to be one of the more important things in my life. I am the youngest but only by 52 minutes, but if you ask my twin its an hour.
I love to create things. I hate sitting down and doing nothing. I almost have too many hobbies. I do everything from simple artwork to making jewelry to building elaborate forts in the woods. I am also an outdoorsy kind of girl. I am not very "girly" as some would say in the getting dirty sense of things. I love to go frogging, puddle jumping, mud sliding, etc. The dirtier you can get the better for me. I am an avid tree climber always have been always will be.
I am very interested in fashion. I have an appreciation for mainstream fashion but I appreciate more of a free spirited type of fashion. I love being able to wake up in the morning and put on what makes me happy not what is fashionably acceptable nor do I believe a person has to stick to one specific look. Later on in life I would like to own my own boutique that carries women's fashions as well as mens. I want to pull in a line of my own as well as fashions from across the world. I also have an avid love affair and deep appreciation for lingerie. I think its so fascinating how it has evolved through time and I LOVE all the different variations you can find.
Well I think thats a pretty good overview

Good night!