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Valentines Day Bollox: ain’t love grand

In Rome, from February 13 to 15, people celebrated the feast of Lupercalia: men sacrificed a goat and a dog, whipped women with the hides of animals and women lined up to be whipped as they believed it increased their fertility.  It all got a bit muddled when Emperor Claudius II executed two Christians both named Valentine on February 14 over two separate years in the third century: their martyrdom was celebrated by the church.  Keeping up so far? Pope Gelasius I gets busy in the fifth century combining St Valentine’s day with the feast of Lupercalia, “It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it.  That didn’t stop it from being a day of fertility and love.”  Then the Normans throw an oar in the mix with Galatin’s Day: Galatin meaning “lover of women”.  This is all before Chaucer and Shakespeare…

Thinking about suicide is not what kills us

Drive faster. If that semi swerved. If I wait for that train. Over and over again our brains give us “outs”.  Stand too close the edge, who would know if I meant to or if it was an accident?  How old do the girls need to be before they don’t need me anymore? The truth that nobody, and I mean nobody, will tell you is that we all have suicide thoughts.  Yup.  Every single sentient human that has suffered or been exposed to real trauma.  Why?  Because we have had to face death: in ourselves or in others, up close and personal.  It changes us.  Ignoring this fact and pretending like it is in someway “shocking” is asinine BS.  Death no longer holds a mystique or fear for us, we have seen it and we have watched it.  We survived it.  Yet it holds us. My young cousin died…

International Elimination of Violence Against Women

Have you experienced violence? Yes. What was done to you? Where would you like me to begin? I have a bullet wound in my skull, traumatic brain trauma from too many blows and too many nearly dead dances with explosions, a knife wound on my chin, a nose broken, arms, legs, ribs all broken at some time or other, feet all with odd clicks and bone spurs from breaks, both arms routinely fall out of their sockets because not enough ligaments or muscle are left to keep them in place… That doesn’t answer what was done, only the result. When did you receive these injuries? Throughout my childhood and early adulthood. What man did this to you? Men and women did this to me. Who? About 500,000 various fighters across five countries would happily have chopped me into tiny pieces as a child, African wars are a bit like that.…

2017 Remembrance Day Veteran’s Day Connections Giveaway

Every year I try to do something, a small gesture of gratitude, for those who have given all for their country, for others.  This is a particularly significant time of the year for me; it often cripples me such that I find it hard to communicate much for the week after, this year was no different and in some ways, worse. My idea this year was to change the narrative on trauma and survival.  Rather than asking others to tell their stories of horror and trauma, I asked to hear stories of survival and reconnecting. Isolation and alienation are the two most dangerous feelings in the world. They are, I believe, at the root of mass shootings, suicides, a lot of mental health issues and auto-immune challenges. I was going to have one “winner”.  The stories of courage, strength, survival I received left me floored, literally: I may have fainted…