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Thread: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

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    Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    "I've always known I was nuts. I've been raped, beaten, and humiliated since I was a little boy. Even my priest did it to me. This doesn't happen to everyone--it's got to be something wrong with me."
    -- thirty-five-year-old factory worker, referred for evaluation after stalking a woman at work.

    "Social safety describes the sense of feeling safe with other people. Though we know little about creating physical or psychological safety, we understand even less about how to create social safety. Individualism has been such a dominating force in American psychological theory and practice, that relatively little attention has been paid to understanding how environments help--or hinder--human healing and growth. Most of what we know derives from social psychiatry, the practice of the therapeutic milieu, the study of group dynamics, general systems theory, and feminist theory and practice. But the question of how to create socially safe human environments is essential if we are to do more than put a metaphorical finger in the dike. We must begin to create naturally occurring, healing environments that provide some of the corrective experiences that are vital for recovery.

    This is difficult to do for several reasons. Victims of trauma--particularly interpersonal trauma--have serious difficulties in their ability and willingness to trust other people. Experience has taught them that people are dangerous, betraying, two-faced, and duplicitous. If they have been injured as children, they have come to expect bad treatment and are often suspicious of kindness. They will exert pressure on the other to conform to their normative expectations of abuse. How many of us have felt truly safe in a social setting, a setting in which we felt safe, cared for, trusted, free to express our deepest thoughts and feelings without censure, unafraid of being abandoned or misjudged. Our families are supposed to be the prototype experience for this kind of security and safety, but such a family setting is relatively rare. And yet it is the kind of setting that human beings need to maximize their emotional and intellectual functioning in an integrated way. Our social system is created to produce humans beings who will fit into a highly industrialized, competitive, often cutthroat capitalist environment that still prepares at least half of us for mortal combat. Our social system is not designed to maximize the human potential for growth, self-exploration, mutual cooperation, nurturing of the young, artistic endeavor, or creative expression and exploration."

    "Creating Sanctuary"
    - Sandra Bloom -
    Last edited by Adam Bomm; 07-14-2013 at 02:51 PM.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    Shared Assumptions:

    1) Patients begin life with normal potentials for growth and development, given certain constitutional and genetic predisposition, and then become traumatized. "Posttraumatic stress reactions are essentially the reactions of normal people to abnormal stress.
    2) When people are traumatized in early life, the effects of trauma frequently interfere with normal physical, psychological, social, and moral development.
    3) Trauma has biological, psychological, social, and moral effects that spread horizontally and vertically, across and down through the generations.
    4) Many symptoms and syndromes are manifestations of adaptations, originally useful as coping skills, that have now become mal-adaptive or less adaptive than originally intended.
    5) Many victims of trauma suffer chronic PTSD.
    6) Victims of trauma can become trapped in time, their inner experience fragmented. They are caught in the repetitive re-experiencing of the trauma, which has been dissociated and remains un-integrated into their overall functioning.
    7) Dissociation and repression are core defenses against overwhelming affect and are present, to a varying extent, in all survivors of trauma.
    8) Although the human capacity for fantasy elaboration and imaginative creation are well-established, memories of traumatic experiences must be assumed to have at least some basis in reality.
    9) Stressful events are more seriously traumatic when there is an accompanying helplessness and lack of control.
    10) Trauma and disrupted attachments combine to produce defects in the regulation and modulation of affect. Human beings require others to respond to their emotions and to help contain feelings that are overwhelming.
    11) Many trauma survivors develop secondary psychiatric symptoms and do not connect the symptoms with previous trauma.
    12) Trauma victims often have difficulty managing aggression. Many survivors identify with the aggressor and become victimizers themselves. A vicious cycle of transgenerational victimization often ensues.
    13) Attachment is a basic human need from cradle to grave. Enhanced attachment to abusing objects is seen in all studied species, including humans.
    14) We are all connected and interdependent, for good or for ill. Safety must be constantly created and maintained by everyone in the community as a shared responsibility.
    15) The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

    - Sandra Bloom -
    Last edited by Adam Bomm; 07-14-2013 at 10:15 AM.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    W e are all connected and interdependent, for good or for ill. Safety must be constantly created and maintained by everyone in the community as a shared responsibility.

    We only have the potential to be connected and interdependent. People in a state of interior disconnect cannot be connected, We cannot create safety for others. We can refrain from running people down in the road, and slicing them up with butcher knives. Take care not to physically endanger them.

    The shared assumption is that we all want safety?

    We cannot create emotional safety for others. We can only abate the wounds within ourselves that steals our self safety, being okay with ourselves in spite of whatever else is going on. Cure that woundedness that steals confidence and self authority. We can't ask it from others. It can't be given to us from others. That's like me gifting my persona onto someone else. It can't be done. I can't even say for sure that its mine to give away even if were possible.

    To insist we must have safety for some means others must be squelched in expression. And really there's no way of knowing what is going to set the wounded off. It doesn't have to be a controversial subject or taboo or sensitive. Hae a nice inncuous bland conversation about last night's steak dinner and OOPSY you've set off the vegans. So how does one monitor themselves without becoming a mind reader? That has suggested as a solution, one must know everyone's trigger points. That means something of someone elses has been stolen away to keep the safety minded safe.

    Do we consistently avoid certain topics, places, localities because other's feel unsafe. Certain behaviors and actions that make others unsafe even though they have nothing to do with those things at all?

    Yes people are traumatized. The responsibility of that trauma must be shifted to those who inflicted it. But the responsibility for self healing belongs only to the one who feels unsafe.

    This is why we are not a free nation. This is why we can't visit a lake without posts and fences barriers and warnings. It makes other's safe. The universe hears our cries for safety and maintains an environment of powers that be to manage us. For our own safety. Actually THEIR own safety. Yet we hate that we have a power structure keeping us safe the way they feel we should be managed. But that's what we keep asking for.

    Asking safety from others is asking to be managed because one cannot manage one's self. Once you give that responsibility up to others they won't manage you in a way that makes us comfortable, they'll manage in a way comfortable for them.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    There is no implicit 'must' do something other than be supportive. I think that is easy to do if we have 'positive' intent. My daughter and i play a game when we're driving down the road (at least it's my game) every person i see, I ask her if i should see how far we can make them fly through the air (if its a child she responds 'no, they're kids, they still have potential) and if a car gets in the way, i ask her if i should 'get up to ramming speed'. Those are exactly the types of things we shouldn't do in reality and then extrapolate to other things and situations. It's easy.

    Shame on me because if i'm in the presence of a vegan, i will not mention meat. It's a bit painful to be thoughtful but that too gets easier with practice. It has its advantages, as well, if a vegan pisses me off when i interact with them i'll have a slice of baloney hanging out of my mouth.
    Last edited by Adam Bomm; 07-15-2013 at 08:05 AM.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    Quote Originally Posted by 9eagle9 View Post
    Yes people are traumatized. The responsibility of that trauma must be shifted to those who inflicted it. But the responsibility for self healing belongs only to the one who feels unsafe.
    This sums it up. And healing is a lot of work, which is something many might not want to do. I'm thinking it's easier to shift that responsibility onto others. But then why would I think that healing should come from the one that wounds? That's ridiculous. Healing has to come from within oneself. It's like my patients at work, if they have lost the will to live, it doesn't matter how many pills and therapies i throw at them, their death is immanent. It definitely is an inner process.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    "There is no implicit 'must' do something other than be supportive."

    No? What is miss Blooms statement other than a 'must do something'?

    "We must begin to create naturally occurring, healing environments" (last sentence first paragraph)

    What is actually being said is....MUST.

    Good luck with 95 percent of the population in need of trauma abatement. Traumatized don't have the least idea how to create a healing environment.


    A healing environment CAN be created. The entirety of society cannot be turned into a gigantic romper room. A gigantic therapy room. AN environment, not the environment. Functional people still need a place to exercise their functionality. We need to have space for people who can live while others are healing.

    I have no problem with being supportive. I'm always observing to others where the **** lies at, and how to abate it. One zillion ways to clean out the emo body. They don't do it, then I cannot give them support. That's their choice. Not because I withheld it. Have I refused to babysit people who refuse to heal. That is them not supporting themselves and me not enabling them.

    But right now the sort of co-dependency that Ms. Blooms speaks of in terms of MUST is causing an insane society.

    ***************
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Bomm
    I think that is easy to do if we have 'positive' intent. My daughter and i play a game when we're driving down the road (at least it's my game) every person i see, I ask her if i should see how far we can make them fly through the air (if its a child she responds 'no, they're kids, they still have potential) and if a car gets in the way, i ask her if i should 'get up to ramming speed'. Those are exactly the types of things we shouldn't do in reality and then extrapolate to other things and situations. It's easy.

    Shame on me because if i'm in the presence of a vegan, i will not mention meat. It's a bit painful to be thoughtful but that too gets easier with practice. It has its advantages, as well, if a vegan pisses me off when i interact with them i'll have a slice of baloney hanging out of my mouth.
    Last edited by Jenci; 07-15-2013 at 10:10 PM. Reason: fixed quote

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    Quote Originally Posted by 9eagle9 View Post
    I have no problem with being supportive. I'm always observing to others where the **** lies at, and how to abate it. One zillion ways to clean out the emo body. They don't do it, then I cannot give them support. That's their choice. Not because I withheld it. Have I refused to babysit people who refuse to heal. That is them not supporting themselves and me not enabling them.
    I knew you would have a problem with Bloom's approach because of your own efforts, but that's ok...why be bitter because so many of us are helpless and hapless. Ken Wilber (one of my favorite people) argues convincingly that the spectrum of consciousness need be addressed from top to bottom, lest we forget that there are those at the bottom (or top depending on perspective) that need help and simply can't be reached with techniques that are inappropriate to their particular stage.

    Bloom suggests that we live in a highly dysfunctional world that destroys individuals BEFORE they even start their journey to enlightenment (spelled mental health) and would anybody, certainly not me, argue that is not the truth. To deny that is to acquiesce to those that would kill us all.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    Bloom suggests that we live in a highly dysfunctional world that destroys individuals BEFORE they even start their journey to enlightenment (spelled mental health) and would anybody, certainly not me, argue that is not the truth. To deny that is to acquiesce to those that would kill us all.

    Yes that' s our social programming. Generational abuse Some come into the world as individuals destroyed. I don't deny it. But denying that there' s only so much one or two or dozen people can do until everyone gets on board is equally foolish.

    There's structures and levels of organization such as 'Just because one has a human form' doesn't mean its human. Nature has a way of taking care of certain damaging anomalies. The only thing we can do about that is leave the planet and go elsewhere.

    Bloom's approach has been underway for over forty years. I haven't seen much abatement of the problem.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    I guess that's the point, really...

    It's too silly to even consider...we simply cannot be a sane, caring, supportive, and truly healthy symbiotic society. It's more fun to bash each other to death with the bones of primordial Man, the killer ape.

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    Re: Toward An Evolution of Sane Societies

    It's easier to look at the bigger picture. No we don't have a caring supportive symbiotic SOCIETY. Even our interpersonal relationships lack that sort of deep connectiveness that can be supportive without co-dependent. If we can't as individuals achieve that one on one with our partners, spouses and families, the expectation that 7.2 Billion people should live like that is ...not realistic. If we are doing it ourselves we can make that sort of expectation because we've then showed ourselves it can be done.

    Ultimately it comes down to the wounded. Do they want to heal. I find very few who do, and those who do don't heal over night. It's a life time(s) investment.

    Basically what we show them as a motivator is...more dysfunction.

    What we have grimed into our psyches took a long time and many lives to put there. It will take a few more lives to set it down. Some people have been at work at themselves for several lifetimes, some haven't even started. Fortunately its faster to drop something than to pick it up .

    But we can't suggest that either because it suggests that people aren't equal even though they aren't but that's really the raw reality.

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