Wednesday, 25 April 2018

You can't fix the brokennes that you don't understand

Joy DeGruy: Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome

339 year of slavery - no help
Freed - no help - more trauma
It did not go away
Exclusionary laws
When do we have the chance to talk about it among ourselves as a group? This applies to many groups in

The questions are - what are you trying to blame (chattery)
Although slavery exists in any society during or after war, this was different a group (Europeans) making it a business, capturing, shipping, breathing and selling of human beings, post traumatic slave syndrome... the majority of the world is of people of colour

Behaviour that can be traced all the way to slavery: 

- Secrets: proud while demeaning the value - its not an African thing, is an American thing - denigrate the children to protect them from being sold or bred, but we never talked about this so it never gone away

- Not being attached, not showing love to children that will get sold and be away from you for the rest of their lives - epigenetics (babies and grandchildren reacting in the same way to trauma, despite not knowing the trauma)  

- Beating: we beat you to save your life 

What are you going to do to prevent the damage that is done by bias - the bias you are unaware of - here is the data...


There has to be other means to assess students other than grades - students of mental health, social work, they go into this communities and do damage, because they do not know how to be with people, they are crazy, they cause trauma on trauma...

Saturday, 12 August 2017

El ovillo de colores - programa de radio

El Ovillo de Colores - archivo

En este programa Inti es columnista, el programa es muy espontáneo, toca temas de mucha importancia social y tiene invitados de muchas edades - desde muy pequeños  - lxs invitadxs se sienten muy cómodxs...

A disfrutar!!!

Desde La Plata en el centro Olga Vazquez

Monday, 17 October 2016

The kitchen table core beliefs - Brene Brown

Brene teaches from her kitchen table, the center of family life whatever your family looks like even if there is no relations.

Core beliefs about parenting and talking about parenting:

The parent expert myth: 
  • researching what leads to good outcomes many are around parenting
  • we are all in it together
  • not interested in expertise but in conversation and tools
Research experience and tolls that can be used to teach and learn:
  • try to teach what their learn and how to impart these skills to our families

Parenting never ends and neither should learning:
  • there is no such thing as a perfect parent, all you can do is to keep learning and keep trying and hope your children will do it better than you
  • the choice theory - giving a choice
We cannot give what we don't have:
  • who we are and not what we know is the foundation we'll give our children
We are all wired for strength and struggle:
  • You are amazing, you are imperfect, nothing changes the fact that you are worthy of love and belonging and we will work out a way to turn struggle into strength
  • Our job as parent is to see they are not perfect but to work out how to turn struggle into something beautiful
There are million ways to be a good parent
  • none of them involve shaming other parents
  • doing things different based on our values is not a criticism of what other parents do, parenting is a shaming minefield, one of the most damaging we can do is to shame other parents
Physical and emotional safety, love and belonging are irreducible needs:
  • these are essentials: love and belonging, empathy and self-compassion, resilience and bounce, gratitude and joy
  • if we can nail those, we can try different ways of raising our kids
Creativity is the best way to embedding new knowledge:
  • Get in and get messy
The heart of wholehearted parenting
  • Be the adult you want your children to grow to be
  • Let them see you struggle with vulnerability
  • Let them see you talk to yourself in a way you hope they talk to themselves when they are struggling
  • How do I practise, not just tell them, but to wake up everyday and show "I see you, I love you, and you belong here" that all the parts, the good parts, the fails, they all belong here, and you know because of how we behave in this family and how you see treating myself

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


I have been trying to look out rather than into en electronic device when I am travelling, partly trying to be present in the present, part of the buddhist teachings of Pema Chodron and Thitch Nhat Hat, coming back to the present because my mind is always occupied either with intellectual endeavours or being in the future or in the past...

So today for example I looked up through the window, saw the terraced houses, the bushes, felt that the feeling being present in this reality had a tinge of wrong... why? it is as if I was forbidden to enjoy being here, there was mixture of history of difficulties when being here but also a qualifier that was not mine, I felt guilty of being here... that qualifier has many many layers

  • Critical view of my mother born of pain, I was taking her grandchildren away from her...
  • The idealisation of those that live in Europe, so far, so unattainable, such envy that even friends cannot listen when I talk, I am not allowed to complain, its like I am a traitor
  • My own experience here, I came here transitorily and never stopped thinking I will go back, not a matter of 'if' but of 'when'. an ideal born of pain too, and of the dream of a better life, I am just working for the future... something wrong with that

Martin's stressed, I try to talk to him, he says he's tired and fed-up but does not talk, I know, he knows, suddenly he starts looking for his old CDs, he used to sit and go through them listening to just one track of each, something of a habit he has, but not dane for a long time, don't know why, life took over, kinda..

He plays, To Ramona, Bob Dylan says some very resonant verses, always thinking to go back to the south, trying to become one of them... awww

I can tell you are torn
Between stayin' and returnin'
Back to the South

You know you have

Nothing to win and nothing to lose
Making you feel
That you gotta be just like them.

The the Mississippi song, makes me a little emotional, don't know why, I do not really listen, but the tune has melancholy and I had the flu vaccine earlier today so i probably have a bit of a fever...

Sunday, 17 July 2016

On whether I want to take antidepressants again

And I need to do this, go through all my ups and downs over the last few years as it is wearing me down

I was in a bad way after my mother died in 2011 across the atlantic and having been to see her a week before, I beat myself up for not staying with her, having made the decision to travel to see her overnight when she had an accident!

After two months of deep grief and not able to be at work and swinging and receiving grievances from a work colleague, I gave in and started antidepressants... I also looked for a bereavement counsellor and later a therapist to do cognitive analytical therapy and after 3 and half years, when I noticed that the meds were doing me more harm than good very slowly came off them without any problems. My therapist sessions finished about a year and half ago as she came to work where I work.

Since then many things happened, good things and not so good things, I as always gave myself some challenges even to start a postgraduate degree at 55. This was OK until I realise not long ago that I cannot cope with daily life, mostly I have been struggling with my memory and me feeling unwell most of the time, really struggling to keep up at work and with my degree. Finding help in listening to the TED talks from @brenebrown investigated some more, found the gifts course which helped a lot... and then was sent an email about the Living Brave Semester and here I am.

On the day of the first live session 28 January I had my first car accident where other people where involved and it was my fault, since then I have not been good, I have stopped driving, I still feel bad when being a passenger and cars get too close. And my memory has been not good, having always been very good. I was in denial until I saw a therapist last week who was concerned and asked me to keep an eye.

I decided to talk to my GP, my experience with my GP has been overall good, but on the last couple of years has been difficult, they seem so busy, it is difficult to get a face to face appointment so I was lucky my personal GP was making the calls. To cut a long story short, the discussion lasted 2 minutes or it felt like it, I described my therapist concern and mine, she said before I think about your memory I will ask you questions about depression. It all came up, my lack of sleep, my sadness, my emotional turmoil.

Since the Sertraline at the end was making me snap at people, she said lets try Citalopram, and prescribed immediately, this was a phone conversation, the prescription is electronic and will be in the pharmacy in the next 10 minutes and you can pick it up today and start, it will take about 4 weeks to make a difference, let see how it goes... I was not able to say much, I could not answer I think I am slow and I have been blaming my age, may be she is right, but I am doing this work and I do not know if I do not want to feel anything, which is what happened before...

Looking at it now I am starting to believe I do need them, I cannot cope, I have seen what they do when you are unable to pick yourself up... living in a society that expects you function every day no support, just carry on... every day and stockpile...

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Cultivating a resilient spirit

What leads me to numbing?

Violence - Scarcity - Disappointment - Death - Poverty

Tiredness - Isolation 



THE STORIES I MAKE UP: "I do not belong here or there" - "I have lost the capacity to think and remember" - "My intelligence is gone" - "My body is no longer young and sexy" - "I cannot do anything to combat... -injustice -poverty -unfairness -conservatives/neoliberalism"

How do I numb?

Internet - Facebook - Games - TV

Eating sweets - chocolate - cookies

Anger and rage (writing it here because I do, and Brene is just saying is numbing and addictive)

What's the difference between numbing and comfort?

Comfort gives me peace and energy

What brings me comfort?






Breathing - fresh air

Creating in the kitchen

Tidying up my things - the garden - the house

Taking photographs of what I see

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Cultivating laughter, song and dance....

Cultivando risa, canción y danza

(1) a song that lifts you up, Bohemian rhapsody
(2) a song that you love to dance to, The dancing queen
(3) a song you want to sing along to,Muchacha ojos de papel 
(4) a song to get you through tough times, Plegaria para un niño dormido 
(5) a feisty song. Porque cantamos

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