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Kate Gillie

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Child Abuse – how I survived and how you can too

“Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child, especially by a parent or other caregiver.” That’s the definition but what is the reality?  I can only speak to my experiences.  My childhood was never going to be stellar given that I was born in Rhodesia in 1970 during what was going to be one of the bloodiest, nastiest African Civil Wars.  Placed for the most part on an isolated coffee estate on the Mozambique border with a father and mother who swirled in a toxic violent alcohol fuelled hell, was clearly not a great start either.  I have lived with the rumours that I wasn’t my father’s natural child, his will on his death confirmed it.  The fact that they were both capable of incredible acts of violence and cruelty, well that was something I was going to enjoy for the first…

Friendships & PTSD: should I talk about it with new friends?

This is a question I have been asked quite a lot and most recently from a friend who has scars from cutting.  When you meet somebody you think may become a friend do you blurt it out?  Tell all.  Get it over with: rather than investing time in this person only to see them dash away when they found out, maybe just get it over with now? It’s taken me a while to read on this subject, think on it and work out how to answer. The first thing I looked at is why do we have friends?  Is it important?  And if so, why. Intuitively we all understand that we require human contact, we are programmed to be part of a herd not a solitary hunter.  More than this studies show that human closeness is FUNDAMENTAL to our mental well-being, the lack of it we term “loneliness” may not…

PTSD IS AS MUCH A PHYSICAL INJURY AS PSYCHOLOGICAL

Where to start on this one?  I think before I dive into the research and outline each of the bodies systems impacted by PTSD I will give you a brief summary of my physical journey with PTSD. As many of you will know I have had Complex PTSD from early childhood (first major trauma that I can consciously process was at 2 years of age, but prior to that there was significant trauma and abuse).  When we are reminded of our trauma(s) without treatment our brains and bodies flip us to the emotional and physical age we were at our first trauma.  A traumatized infant skips the stages of stress and alarm, going straight to the last: comatose.  My physical payments as a result have been significant and at 48 years of age, I am frankly living on borrowed time. To understand how our BODIES KEEP SCORE, please purchase Bessel…

PTSD Treatments and Therapies

As most who follow my art and blogs know I have had Complex PTSD from early childhood.  It wasn’t until the West had been at war in the Middle East for over a decade that the treatments for PTSD took centre stage in public health.  Finally, we are seeing real progress in the treatment and prevention of trauma not just in those who serve but in those who have been exposed to significant life altering trauma that historically has left us disabled, unable to function and locked in isolation. In my next post I am going to write more on NEUROCIRCULATORY ASTHENIA or as Mendez Da Costa (1833-1900) called it “irritable heart”.  PTSD isn’t simply an injury to the brain it affects our entire bodies, especially our electrics, our auto-immune systems and ultimately, I believe it can kill us.  This post however will focus on the MOOD DISORDER/PSYCHOLGOICAL aspects of…