Please go buy The Gay Road Less Traveled on Amazon!
My class curriculum includes considerable time spent on trauma-informed care and helping my prospective adoptive families succeed in parenting children who have suffered abuse or neglect. I use the example of a Bear in the Woods (at the 8-minute mark in this Ted Talk video on Childhood Trauma by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris).
Significant damage to the emotional and physical health of children who are exposed to high levels of adversity/trauma occurs over time (chronic trauma). They are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior, and to develop heart disease or cancer. Our brains have a stress response system, in the hypothalamic and adrenal glands, that governs our fight or flight response in a situation. Imagine you’re walking in the forest and you see a bear. Immediately, your brain sends a response to your adrenal glands: Release stress hormones! Adrenal! Cortisol! Your heart starts to pound, your pupils dilate, your airways open up, and you are ready to either fight that bear or run from that bear! And that is wonderful, if you are in the forest, with a bear. The problem is what happens when the bear comes home every night, in the form of domestic violence, or physical abuse, or molestation. This system is activated over and over and over again, and it goes from being life-saving to health damaging. Children are especially sensitive to this repeated stress-activation, because their brains and bodies are just developing. High doses of adversity affect their brain structure and function, their developing immune systems and hormonal systems.
Yesterday I went to the Brimfield Flea Market (by myself). Dozens if not hundreds of gay couples there, lookin’ all domestic and happy and slightly overweight because they have found someone who loves them just the way they are. Bastards. It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I am sad and super lonely…also have a small belly that I cultivated this winter (in preparation for domesticity) that won’t go away. The flea market is huge, I spent most of the day there, although my only purchase was a $1 lazy eyed panda? figurine…oh and $5 for a latte, $6 for kettle corn, $6 for hot fried cinnamon sugar donut holes, and $7 for a smoked sausage dog.
I hope my Anderson Cooper finds me soon…would settle for Bill Nye or John Oliver though. The pics I took are kind of my personality: uniquely different, a bit weird, definitely not some boring and vanilla bullshit. There are also a couple of pics of this super cute dad I was following around, and some disturbingly racist pics that I felt needed to be seen because Black Lives Matter. Dear Mr. Right, hurry the fuck up and find me!