Friday, October 28, 2005

Killing 101


Part One

They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster,
So the monster will not break you.

But it’s already gone too far.
Who said that if you go in hard
You won’t get hurt?
~ U-2, “Peace on Earth”

“Never underestimate the power to obey.”
~ Sigmund Freud

In his book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman presents us with “…the specific nature of the act of killing: the intimacy and psychological impact of the act, the stages of the act, the social and psychological implications and repercussions of the act, and the resultant disorders…,” (Grossman, p. xiv). This is a scholarly work of research based on historical evidence gathered from wars across the centuries: from the conflicts of ancient Greece to the first Gulf War. One of the conclusions Grossman reaches based on his extensive research is that human beings have an innate aversion to killing each other.

Of course this doesn’t mean we can’t; we do. It means we have to use some psychological tools in order to overcome an inborn obstacle that prevents us from wanting to take another life, even when our own lives are threatened. As I have been discussing post-abortion trauma so far, I have been making comparisons to trauma that results from environmental threats like tigers in the jungle and motor vehicle accidents. But there was something missing. Something about the fear and trauma that surrounds abortion is quite different from the fear generated by an environmental threat. I found what was missing in Grossman’s book. I found it in the testimony of soldiers who killed not because they wanted to, but because they had to, in spite of the profound and lifelong harm it did to them personally.

So how do we overcome this aversion to killing when killing is the desirable outcome? Lt. Col. Grossman discusses some of the psychological and social factors that come into play. Our military is fully aware of them, and they have designed their training techniques accordingly, because war demands that the individuals on one side successfully kill the individuals on the other side. Later, we will discover the same tactics used in the war against the unborn child.


“What the soldier knows as a result of war is that ‘the dead remain dead, the maimed are forever maimed, and there is no way to deny one’s responsibility or culpability, for those mistakes are written, forever and as if in fire, in others’ flesh,’” (Grossman, p. 91).

But deny we do, or at least, we try: “The burden of killing is so great that most men try not to admit that they have killed…Even the language of men at war is full of denial of the enormity of what they have done. Most soldiers do not ‘kill,’ instead the enemy was knocked over, wasted, greased, taken out, and mopped up,” (Grossman, p. 92). We do not "kill" unborn children. We terminate pregnancies. We exercise reproductive freedom. We make a choice. We plan parenthood. Soldiers use epithets to describe the enemy; we call the unborn child anything but that, to keep from thinking about his or her humanity.

Physical Distance

“Later I walked over to take another look at the VC I had shot. He was still alive and looking at me with those eyes. The flies were beginning to get all over him. I put a blanket over him and rubbed water from my canteen onto his lips. That hard stare started to leave his eyes. He wanted to talk but was too far gone. I lit a cigarette, took a few puffs, then put it to his lips. He could barely puff. We each had had a few drags and that hard look had left his eyes before he died,” (Grossman, p. 117).

“In my curiosity, I went over to the sink to see what they were looking at. There were all the reassembled parts of my baby: arms, legs, torso and what must have been the head. They were tiny and perfect. In that instant I felt an incredible horror. This was my baby! Torn apart, in bloody pieces. The terror and agony of that moment is etched deeply into my soul,” (Burke, p. 112).

Physical proximity to human death, especially death that we cause, increases the severity of trauma because it shatters denial. The closer the combatant to his victim, according to Grossman, the more reluctant he is to kill his enemy. Grossman describes several instances in which lone soldiers from each side of a conflict have passed each other by in unspoken truce, precisely because both were reluctant to engage in a hand-to-hand battle to the death. Outside of the influences of authority and their peers, individual men acted in accordance with their individual natures.


“The second terrorist began to wave his arms frantically up and down, like a featherless black bird attempting to take flight. His eyes kept flitting back and forth between the muzzle of the Sterling and his own weapon, which was leaning against the wall a good ten feet away….”

‘Don’t do it, don’t do it,’ I ordered. But he emitted a loud ‘Yaa…,’ and scrambled for the rifle. I warned him again but he grabbed his weapon, worked the action to place a round in the chamber, and began to swing the muzzle toward me.’

‘KILL HIM, G*DDAMMIT,’ screamed Cpl Edgerton, who had now entered the church behind us, ‘KILL HIM, NOW!’ (Grossman, p. 219).

“The night I told him I was pregnant, he destroyed our apartment. He was screaming at me, telling me I was a whore, slut, pig, you name it. He told me that the kid would be retarded, abnormal, and to get rid of it. NOW!” (Burke, p. 227).

Soldiers must obey orders, and training assures that they will. One reason for the drill sergeant in boot camp to scream into the faces of young recruits is to hardwire them into obeying orders screamed in the heat of combat, without hesitation.

Feminism paints a picture of the strong, independent and liberated woman exercising civil rights over her own body. Perhaps this is why it seems hard to accept that we can so easily submit to the authority of others; that these others are often men; and that this is why we kill our children. So we disguise the language surrounding abortion to give ourselves the illusion of self-determination.

But actual statistics paint a different picture, and this woman is not strong or acting independently. She is victimized: “…research indicates that being pregnant places women at higher risk of being physically attacked….According to one study of battered women, the target of battery during their pregnancies shifted from their faces and breasts to their pregnant abdomens…,” (Burke, pp. 227-228). As noted in this blog before, homicide is the leading cause of death in pregnant women. Threatened with physical violence and/or death by an authority figure in our lives, we easily submit to their commands in a form of self-defense. But aggressive coercion is not at all necessary to elicit perfect obedience to the command to kill.

Grossman reviews the well-documented results of a study done by Dr. Stanley Milgram at Yale University on obedience and aggression: “…in a controlled laboratory environment more than 65 percent of his subjects could be readily manipulated into inflicting a (seemingly) lethal electrical charge on a total stranger,” (Grossman, p. 141). Listen to the response elicited in one subject:

“I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident. Within 20 minutes he was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck, who was rapidly approaching a point of nervous collapse…At one point he pushed his fist into his forehead and muttered: ‘Oh God, let’s stop it.’ And yet he continued to respond to every word of the experimenter and obeyed to the end,” (Grossman, p. 142).

Parents, boyfriends, husbands, teachers, doctors, nurses, abortion clinic counselors: all of these are examples of authority figures in the life of a pregnant girl or woman. Any one, all, or portion thereof has the power of persuasion to command her to kill her child as easily as Milgram’s experimenters persuaded otherwise civilized people to “kill” complete strangers. They can have the characteristics Grossman describes as necessary for an authority figure to elicit obedience: proximity to the subject; the subject’s respect; an intensity in their demand for the killing behavior; and legitimacy to make such demands (Grossman, pp. 144-145).

Group Absolution and Anonymity

“Among men who are bonded so together so intensely [in combat], there is a powerful process of peer pressure in which the individual cares so deeply about his comrades and what they think about him that he would rather die than let them down,” (Grossman, p. 150).

“In his article, McGee also admits to using teenagers (called 'peer educators') to advance Planned Parenthood's pro-abortion agenda, saying they're more effective in convincing other teens than adults at the abortion business.Peer educators 'are an ideal constituency to engage in our social marketing effort,' McGee declared. 'Activist teens can create a buzz about the campaign by a variety of means--regardless of whether the activities are branded or identified as Planned Parenthood.'” HT: The S.I.C.L.E. Cell

The diffusion of responsibility in a group helps us to overcome our innate resistance to killing. We have all seen mob behavior. The group will do what the individuals who compose it will not do alone. There is also anonymity in the crowd, and at the abortion clinic. In fact, privacy and anonymity are what abortion is all about. But secrecy becomes a shroud for atrocity. As an example, Grossman describes the evolution of the private bedroom in society’s housing and the concurrent increase in child sexual abuse as a crime of opportunity (Grossman, p. xxv).

Emotional Distance

“I had my forty-five in my hand,” he said, “and the point of his bayonet was no further than you are from me when I shot him. After everything had settled down I helped search his body, you know, for intelligence purposes, and I found a photograph.”

Then there was this long pause, and he continued. “It was a picture of his wife, and these two beautiful children. Ever since” – and here tears began to roll down his cheeks, although his voice remained firm and steady – “I’ve been haunted by the thought of these two beautiful children growing up without their father, because I murdered their daddy. I’m not a young man anymore, and soon I’ll have to answer to my Maker for what I have done.” (Grossman, p. 157).

“I remember taking my dog to the veterinarian. I got her when she was a puppy and I was really attached to her…the vet recommended I have her put to sleep because she was suffering so much…I told the vet that I had a hard time allowing something to be killed. As I spoke these words, the memory of my abortion came back like an overpowering nausea…When she was gone, I missed [my dog], but even more I missed my baby,” (Burke, 93).

Grossman reports that victims of kidnapping are most likely to be killed by their captors if they are kept hooded. There is a good reason for this, and it has to do with emotional distance. It seems that the more we identify with our victims, the more psychologically damaging it is to kill them. Hiding the captive’s face allows the kidnappers to keep their distance from the victim emotionally, as a fellow human being. This is also why those condemned to die by execution are often hooded; we understand that it is much harder to kill someone when we must look him in the eye as he dies.

Very often women who have not previously experienced any grief or guilt over the abortion(s) in their pasts will be overwhelmed with these emotions when they become pregnant with a child who will be allowed to live. We find it difficult to create emotional bonds with our “wanted” children without identifying them with the children we have aborted, and this will create “cracks in the veil of denial,” (Grossman, p. 156). We will suffer from grief and remorse when we can no longer keep our emotional distance.

Calling the unborn by any other name than human is used to create distance between us and the unborn. Identifying the pre-born child as “potential” or otherwise inferior to the living enables us to dehumanize him/her, and overcomes what should be a powerfully innate aversion to destroying our own young.


In Part Two, we will look at the techniques adapted by the military to train soldiers to overcome the innate resistance to killing another human being, even in the face of death. We may find that we women are being trained to abort just as surely as Pavlov's dogs were trained to slobber hungrily at the sound of a bell. We will examine the psychology of atrocity because we have to. We are discussing abortion here, and the victim in this kind of killing is an innocent bystander - collateral damage. The threat of unwanted pregnancy always stems from some outside, and usually human, influence, but it is the most vulnerable life, the target who is most easily overcome, who pays the price for our submission.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Reading Week


I need to take a little time for research this week; our next topic, which will appear in the next two weeks, will be dissociation: how it relates to abortion and how it correlates to chronic illnesses, particularly those that involve pain.

To prepare, let’s review a few definitions:

dis·so·ci·a·tion (dĭ-sō'sē-ā'shən, -shē-) n.

The act of dissociating or the condition of having been dissociated.


1. The process by which the action of a solvent or a change in physical condition, as in pressure or temperature, causes a molecule to split into simpler groups of atoms, single atoms, or ions.

2. The separation of an electrolyte into ions of opposite charge.

Psychiatry. A psychological defense mechanism in which specific, anxiety-provoking thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations are separated from the rest of the psyche.

We will focus on dissociation as a psychiatric condition. The psyche is defined as:

psy·che (sī'kē) n.

1. The spirit or soul.

2. Psychiatry. The mind functioning as the center of thought, emotion, and behavior and consciously or unconsciously adjusting or mediating the body's responses to the social and physical environment

When I speak of the “mind,” or informally, my “thinks”, I am referring to the psyche. When I was growing up, it was considered common knowledge that we don’t use 90% of our brains. Time and advancing medical technology have revealed that it is most accurate to say we don’t know what 90% of our brains are doing at any given point in time. Very little of what our nervous systems do reaches the level where we think. But does that necessarily mean we are completely unaware of this brain/body activity? Are the mind and body separate?

When it comes to our emotions, it’s apparent that they are not. We are already wired to express our emotions physically. Crying is the most easily recognized form of a somatoemotional response – a physical manifestation of a psychological or emotional experience. We feel our emotions as physical sensations (that pain in the gut, for example). Those who suffer from somatoemotional illnesses, like fibromyalgia, usually suffer from chronic pain. In these cases, experts suggest that dissociation has occurred to the point where the body bears all of the emotional response, because the psyche has split from unresolved or unbearable emotions that cause pain.

Here’s my reading list, just to give you a little foreshadowing of what’s to follow in the weeks ahead:

1. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman. I’ve referred to Grossman’s work before, as it was cited by Drs. Scaer and MacNair. Based on what they wrote, I knew I would be unable to talk about dissociation without reading this study. It is my premise that we are taught to dissociate from our unborn children, and that this is what enables us to kill them with abortion. Lt. Colonel Grossman is a leading authority on the techniques used in the military to make our soldiers more effective killers – here’s a preview from the book jacket:

"The good news is that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to kill in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning, have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. The psychological cost for soldiers, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating. The psychological cost for the rest of us is even more so: contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army’s conditioning techniques and, according to Grossman’s controversial thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder, especially among the young."

2. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, by Glenn R. Schiraldi, Ph.D. I don’t usually like self-help books, but I’m hoping this one may be an exception. In the acknowledgements section, Dr. Schiraldi pays homage to the work of Dr. Bessell van der Kolk, whose work I have referenced before. Dr. van der Kolk wrote a paper that is published online, well worth reading, called “The Body Keeps the Score: Memory and the evolving psychobiology of post traumatic stress.”

3. Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood, by Naomi Wolf. A friend recommended I read Naomi Wolf’s writings. She is supposed to be avidly pro-abortion, and some of her essays were to be found published on the internet. I did locate a web page linking to some of this work, but all of the links were dead. I also saw an intriguing statement that said Ms. Wolf had changed her position on abortion. I have never heard of her before, and I don’t make a habit of reading pro-abortion arguments – consequently, I have no preconceived notions or ideas about her that will color my perceptions. If you have any opinions about Ms. Wolf, or links to more of her writing, I would be interested in hearing about them. Her reported change in attitude about abortion was interesting enough for me to purchase her latest book, to see what she has to say now that she is a mother. Here’s what the book jacket tells us to expect:

“With uncompromising honesty she describes how hormones eroded her sense of independence, ultrasounds tested her commitment to abortion rights, and the keepers of the OB/GYN establishment lacked compassion.”

I understand it is not considered polite to accuse someone of being in denial about her (or his) abortion pain and/or trauma. However, I have never suffered from acute manners. If someone publishes her thoughts in the public domain where I may run across them, she can expect me to find and point out any of her inconsistencies – “Pardon me, Madam, but your denial is showing.” When I finish this work, it will be book report time. I do hope Ms. Wolf is more skilled at hiding her inner conflicts than Jane Fonda was. I prefer a challenge.

3. Peace of Soul, by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. I personally do not believe we can find healing in body and mind without healing of the soul (and modern psychology is starting to lean in that direction as well). Archbishop Sheen addresses the issue from a psychological and theological perspective. Here are some reviews from the cover:

“Peace of Soul [shows] that inner conflicts can be resolved only through their redemption by God.”

“[M]any readers will find this to be the book they have been waiting for…it could…be classed as required reading for all psychiatrists and as recommended reading for all persons who are searching for peace of soul.”

“[Sheen] begins his book where the readers of self-improvement volumes seem to feel most at home: the realm of psychology…The psychiatrist’s patient may indeed gain peace of mind, but the Christian gets something far better – peace of soul.”

4. Lift Up Your Heart: A Guide to Spiritual Peace, by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Along the same lines as the above-mentioned work:

“With clarity, logic, and unshakable faith, Sheen provides guidance in solving the problems caused by the tensions and stresses of living in a troubled modern world. This treasured classic contains simple, practical advice on identifying and overcoming conflicts associated with empty pleasure, character weakness, self-discipline, false beliefs, and the fear of ‘letting go.’ Above all, the book offers enduring words of wisdom on grace, prayer and meditation, sanctifying the present moment, and making up for the past.”

In the meantime, while I am doing all of this reading, here is a poem left by a kind soul.

NOTHING TO FORGIVE (adapted for abortion survivors)

A woman stands in judgment today,
Still attempting to atone,
She sheds a tear in memory,
And feels so all alone.

Too many years of silence,
Have ripped this girl apart,
As the death of her unborn child,
Lies heavy on her heart.

She sits alone with sorrow
Questioning the baby's sex and name,
Consumed by her emotions,
Of sorrow, guilt and shame.

Then she travels back in time,
To where it all began,
Back to the abortion clinic,
Where they finalized the plan.

Self doubt and fear plagued the way,
To which she'd heed no warning,
Crying out for absolution,
Yet condemned to a life of mourning.

In that instant when she gave up on,
All the values she held true
"I'm sorry my blessed baby,
There'll never be another you."

With helplessness and horror,
For this life who grew inside,
She still recalls the instant,
When that precious child died.

Staring death in the face,
Knowing she too would die that day,
She tried to deny the agony,
"Don't worry, it's okay."

Shock and horror were the result,
Of taking that precious life
That day she took a tiny heart,
And cut it out with a knife.

Years went by in anguish,
And the girl was never free.
She stood alone against the world,
On the verge of insanity.

Trying her best to hide the pain,
And the tears she never cried.
With too much guilt to bear,
She only thought of suicide.

Wanting to see her baby in heaven,
But knowing it was a sin,
And if she ever followed through,
They wouldn't let her in.

The Lord finally cried out to her,
"It's not your fault my child.
I do not think you're wicked,"
Then he gently smiled.

God showed her all the reasons,
That she was meant to live,
"Now go in peace my daughter,
There's nothing to forgive."

But she closed her ears,
And she closed her mind,
As she carried the guilt,
For leaving her baby behind.

And the woman never told a soul,
Until this very day,
About her aborted baby,
And how it passed away.

Then she brings herself to face the pain,
With all the sorrow that she would feel,
The wounded soul hoped to find,
A place for her to heal.

As she called out to her angel,
She fell upon her knees,
In an anguished voice she whispered,
"Can you forgive me please?"

Then the spirit of the unborn baby,
Reached out to her at last,
"The time has come dear woman,
To let go of the past.

"There was a reason to this rhyme,
There's no debt to repay,
I did have a purpose in this life,
And we'll meet again someday.

"Lay to rest your heavy heart,
And don't be afraid to live,
Now go in peace my mommy,
There's nothing to forgive."

Chris Woolnough
June 6, 2005

Friday, October 14, 2005

Mad Season

Well, I need you now
Do you think you can cope?
You’ve figured me out.
That I’m lost and I’m hopeless.
I’m bleeding and broken,
Though I’ve never spoken.

I come undone
In this mad season.

~ Matchbox Twenty, “Mad Season”

Anniversary Trauma in Abortion-Induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Recently, I was asked how I know that the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with which I struggle was induced by my abortion. After all, I was also in a serious motor vehicle accident as a child, during the winter I turned twelve, and it is a factor. But we’ve already learned that it is not at all unusual for those who suffer from PTSD to have multiple traumas in their histories. As I understand it, we attribute the disorder to a single traumatic event by identifying when the symptoms of the disorder appear; finding the “last straw.” Consistent with the conditions as defined previously, I developed my first symptoms of PTSD a few months after my abortion. I had not suffered any ill effects stemming from previous traumas, psychological or physical up until then.

There are many other reasons why I am able to identify my abortion as the source of my PTSD/PAS. Memory loss surrounding the event is one. For example, I cannot remember the exact date of my abortion; only that I had finished the school year, and had not yet started my full-time summer job, so it was in late May or early June of 1979. I should remember the date, because my mother’s birthday falls in late May, and there must have been some kind of sarcastic remark from her about “What a gift.”

Just reading my narrative of my abortion shows plenty of personal testimony to feeling traumatized – you go ahead and read it; I can’t stand to look at it, and that’s a sign in itself. And further evidence that my abortion was personally traumatizing can be found in my medical history and journals from a specific time every year, increasing in intensity as the years have rolled along: evidence that I am suffering from anniversary trauma surrounding my abortion. From mid-May until about mid-June of every year, I enter into Mad Season.

During a typical Mad Season, I get sick – physically, emotionally, cognitively, and psychologically sick. And I do odd things – one year on May 13th, I put down a full pack of cigarettes and just said, “I’m done with that,” for the next eighteen months. I have been a smoker since – well, since I was in the womb, essentially, thanks, Mom. That year, I lost my mind for about a month, from anniversary trauma complicated by nicotine withdrawal. Everyone around me learned just how mad, and how angry, I was, although no one could have known the cause then. Near the end of June, I “awoke,” looked around, and wondered who that insane woman was. I lost my job later that year; when the time came for lay-offs, I was an easy pick. No one wants to be around an angry and confused person.

In 2003, Mad Season came along just as I was on the Doctor-Go-Round in neurology, trying to find out what was wrong with me. I was taking an anti-seizure medication called Topamax. I would love to tell you how this drug works, but even its manufacturer doesn’t know that. However, of the four mechanisms mentioned by which it might work, all are related in some way to the neurophysiology of the stress response. I stopped this medication because of its side effects. At the time, I thought all of my experiences were due to the drug, even though my neurologist denied this. I started keeping a detailed record of how I felt as I withdrew from the medication, because I was experiencing serious problems with my memory and concentration. Below are some excerpts from my journal from the time, describing what I called “episodes.” I now recognize the symptoms of panic attack, which was probably brought on by the drug because it made my heart race. [Interesting side note: The heart is also known to some neurologists as the “mini-brain.” It sends more signals to the brain than it receives. I think a racing heart can trigger the brain’s fight/flight/freeze response, and in my case, my internal pacemaker is not working correctly.] With the sole exception of the eye pain, which I later confirmed is a side effect of the medication, every other sensation described below, as I now know, is a physical symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder, occurring at the same time of year when I aborted my first child.

[edits are bracketed]

Monday June 2nd [2003]

More pain. Jts. [translated, “joints”] (hip); foot cramps; back muscles.

Episode: [Triggered by] repetitive high pitched sound. It hurt. I felt the muscle in my head directly over my ear move – “hitch up.” Then I became frenzied. The base of my spine [was] burning (there was urinary urgency). My thoughts were racing – I can’t remember them now, but my emotions were intense. I walked – no, paced, from room to room, but I didn’t know why. My heart was pounding and skipping. My mouth was bone dry. My muscles were twitching (like a panic attack? Pain?) My speech was impaired. This time I “recognized” it, I think – I don’t recall, really. I came to the bedroom and lay flat. Within 5 minutes [my husband] came in and I was able to tell him. I was still having speech problems [stuttering and stammering, looking for words]. After 15 minutes or more, I felt normal. Got up to finish vacuuming. Recorded at 2:50pm.

Current – ribs hurts[sic], “dental” pain is back; back is mucho bad; feet very bad (tight arches); I’m due for 50mg Topamax tonight and I think I’m done. Tailbone burns like fire. Mood is improving and the fog of confusion is lifting. I am starting to feel more like myself. I do not know where I have been. Topamax reduced a lot of symptoms but the price was too high. Right eye is still very sore, sharp and dry feeling.

4:30pm. Both eyes hurt. I get a headache when pressure’s wrong on my seat – it’s a lot like the [spinal] tap headache. Feet really hurt. Teeth, too.

June 3, 2003

Felt feverish, temp 99.5. Some blackout rising too quickly – went to full 1mg Cardura last nite blood pressure should be low, no big deal. Get up more slowly.

June 4, 2003

Mood and personality much improved. Getting a lot of tremble in hands.

Episode: At the computer. Sat down to complete a short email form and compose a two paragraph note. Ron [my husband] was talking as I was trying to proof and re-edit. The trembling in right hand increased and I could no longer see cohesively (no gestalt?). I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading. I could see the individual words but only one at a time. I could not see colors on the monitor but sharp white “eye noise.” My head chimes. I could not comprehend what Ron was saying although I could hear his voice.

Dry mouth.
Pain at base of spine/lower back
Hostility – spoke sharp-voiced. I was in a _____. There’s no word.

He pulled me away from pc, I layed down and it slowly subsided.

June 5, 2003
Episode as it happens: woke 5:50 severe headache {& crying - bad drm writing @7:37 am I had a nightmare I woke crying with a headache as if I had an episode while sleeping. Yes the dream evoked intense anger and tension. My calves keep flexing as do my ankles}
Wrote lengthy email
- can’t stand still strange symptoms
Tears and tremor

11am wrote email lost time, 45 min. This one’s bad. Always dry mouth. Lower back pain. Xtreme urinary urgency; tears in waves; chest, heart, pressure in throat? Dry mouth even when not stipulated; laying flat to get relief? Headache.

1pm Hang in there.

In The Body Bears the Burden, (see sidebar link) Dr. Scaer tells us that anniversary trauma is a “rarely reported but well-documented example of trauma reenactment,” (Scaer, p. 92). He gives us this explanation:

“One needs to remember that all animals, the human species included, possess innate neurophysiological mechanisms sensitive to the passage of time based on seasonal light variations and even the phases of the moon…Once again, endorphin-based reward systems associated with this cyclical arousal could well provide further impetus to the repetitive reenactment on the anniversary of the trauma,” (Scaer, p. 93).

As anniversary trauma regards abortion, Dr. Theresa Burke, in Forbidden Grief (see link at sidebar), writes that “researchers have found that women are more likely to experience depression, suicidal ideation, nightmares, difficulty concentrating, abdominal pain, cramping, headaches, and increased relationship conflicts around the anniversary of the abortion or on the anticipated due date of the aborted child than at other times,” (Burke, p. 97).

In other news:

I recently added a link at the sidebar to “Life Matters,” an excellent pro-life television program with the potential to reach 30 million viewers. I was privileged to tape two episodes a couple of weeks ago at their Life Studios facility here in the Valley of the Sun. In one episode, I give my testimony, and speak to the program’s host, Sally Sisk, about my attempts at suicide because of my abortion. In this segment, I was honored by and grateful for the presence of Georgette Forney, co-foundress of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. In the second episode, Sally and I discuss the physical consequences of long-term post-traumatic stress induced by abortion: serious, potentially disabling and deadly chronic illness and pain. Sally has been working in the pro-life movement long enough to have discerned for herself the connection between abortion and chronic illness. It is our hope that this program will be helpful and informative. I am finding more and more women who are suffering from chronic illness and who are also post-abortive. If you are one of us who hurts, I would like to hear from you, too: email me at Confidentiality is guaranteed, and no, you don’t have to be religious or even regretful; abortion hurts, either way.

I will post the airtimes in a few weeks, when the schedule is announced.