inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #51 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Wed 22 Apr 09 12:29
    

        >>>From (castle):
        And having said that, I'm wondering if you would talk a little bit
about
 EMDR.  I was so shocked and pleased when I read that about you, because
 it's not yet a universally-accepted treatment, and yet it's one that I
 have found to be so remarkably effective myself that I was happy that you
 had found it, too.

 I keep going back to it as more and more things come up, and I'm wondering
 if you and Mike did as well.


I had to learn that trauma is trauma, and what traumatizes one person may
not leave even a psychic scratch on another! So, I, too, went through the
"Oh, it wasn't bad enough to be considered TRAUMA" doubt as well. Because,
you know, shaking a small child and telling her you will kill her is no big
deal, right? Unfortunately, if I were to tally up all the people I know,
even casually, who've made it known that they were traumatized as children
by neglect, physical or emotional abuse, or violation--even within their own
family--it'd be quite a full score sheet.

EMDR is controversial--some people consider it a scam and junk science and
all that. I acknowledge this. But I had gotten to the point where talk
therapy--the accepted practice--wasn't working. What was I going to do? Try
nothing and die? My depression was so severe, I was desperate for any
alternative. If it didn't involve brain surgery or electroshock therapy, I
was willing to try it. I figured that EMDR didn't cost any more than talk
therapy, and didn't take any longer, and didn't require me to take strange
drugs or move into a yurt in the middle of nowhere or give up my life
savings, so what did I have to lose? Granted, I found a great practitioner,
so I was fortunate. I wouldn't recommend just going to see any ol' person
who tells you to think up your most painful memory and follow a pencil with
your eyes, back and forth, ya know? In the wrong hands, bad "trauma therapy"
can make things worse. So skills and credentials are of the essence.

Author Pam Houston, she of "Cowboys Are My Weakness," wrote the first
article I'd ever read about EMDR, years ago in, I think, ELLE. She was very
discreet about her abuse--I'm not sure what type it was--but she pursued
EMDR to help quiet her mind and her heart. She found it very effective, and
one of the things she noticed was that after EMDR, her lifelong fascination
with physical danger abated dramatically. She lost the pressing urge to
tackle insane river rapids and climb really dangerous mountains and tack
herself to people who were no good for her. Her inner daredevil retired, and
I never lost that "a ha!" feeling that came upon reading that.

That may sound like a loss to some people, like your fire of life is snuffed
out, but I assure you, it's no big asset to live in thrall to an inner demon
leading you to the brink of physical, social, or psychological peril, and
whispering "JUMP! DO IT! PROVE THAT YOU CAN!" That demon can lead you to the
bottom of a ravine or leave you a puddle of blood in a hotel room somewhere.
That demon has a score to settle, and it won't shut up until you're toast.
The demon is the dark shadow of your protective self, trying to keep you
"safe" by luring you into the danger zone for a practice drill: "If you can
survive *this*," the demon tells you, "you can survive anything. Even the
stuff that terrorized you before." Hair of the dog, I guess.

I've def. done some more EMDR around this book coming out, since part of my
trauma is the fear of being hurt if I don't perform perfectly. EMDR to the
rescue!!! And it 100% cured my writer's block, when nothing else would. I'm
not saying it's a miracle cure. It isn't. It is simply one aspect of a
treatment plan that has worked very well for me. Mileage most certainly
varies!!!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #52 of 103: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 22 Apr 09 17:41
    

You write about it so well and somehow so objectively!  I really admire 
the perspective you are able to bring the narrative.

You've described how you use EMDR, and Pam Houston's experience of it, and
I would just like to say a couple of words about mine, just to demonstrate  
how mileage varies.

I have a lot to work on, and I've been doing the work for a very long 
time.  One of the numerous triggers for me was bathing, so taking a shower 
would inevitably start a newsreel of abuse playing in my head, reducing me 
to tears, and what a way to start the day! EMDR stopped the newsreel, but 
in an interesting way:  it was as if there were a stuck  record playing 
for years in my head, and EMDR simply gently pushed the needle past the 
groove where the record was stuck.  I didn't forget the incidents, but I 
could suddenly see them in perspective, I could see them chronologically, 
and in relation to each other which gave me new information I simply 
couldn't see before.  Now, as I continue with EMDR, I keep uncovering what 
I think of as little clotheslines that suddenly unfold with memories 
attached like notes with clothespins.  They don't bring new trauma, they 
untangle and smooth out what was already there, providing relief like 
unbunching uncomfortable chafing clothes. 

And new realizations consequently abound.  Your book gave me a name for 
one of them:  "I've got your six."  I realized that no one has ever had my 
six before, and knowing that, and having a name for it showed me why 
previous relationships failed and what to look for in any future 
relationship.

I had recently heard that term when someone said "cover my six" and I had 
been puzzling over it.

So, Lily, you've done a mitzvah and you didn't even know it!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #53 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Thu 23 Apr 09 12:12
    

I am glad to have helped! I am also glad, Linda, that you've found help. I
totally relate to your clothesline metaphor!

Now, it's a bit of an awkward juncture to answer Amy and Paula's "What's Up
with Petraues" question, given the latest news.

In 2006, I published a New York Times Op-Ed piece about the change in the
Army's camouflage from the old woodland battle dress uniform to the modern,
digitized "army combat uniform."

So, that's BDU to ACU. Everyone keeping up here? It's the Army--acronyms
abound...

Here's the piece, FYI:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/05/opinion/05burana.html

A short while after its publication, I get a letter from an aide to a
general, complimenting me on the piece and making a few professional
inquiries on behalf of said general.

I looked up from my email and asked Mike, "Have you ever heard of some guy
named General Petraeus," and I will never forget how his face looked.

"SOME guy? SOME guy? Petraeus is THE guy!" (commence spousal jaw-drop)

--I should say in my defense, this was pre-surge, so he wasn't yet A
Household Name. I can be forgiven, then, yes? For not recognizing the
name?--

We had a little email back and forth since. And of course I sent him the
book.

Turns out that Petraeus' (who is West Point Class of '75) aide was once our
neighbor on West Point! Small Army, as they say.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #54 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Thu 23 Apr 09 12:13
    



So I am sharing this story with you as a precursor to the latest news:
West Point has cancelled by book signing at the Cadet Bookstore! Apprently,
they will not welcome me there at this time.

It was scheduled months ago for this upcoming Tuesday, April 28th, but was
cancelled a few days ago. No satisfactory reason given. Just pulled the
plug.

Suddenly, I feel like a plotline on "Army Wives."
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #55 of 103: Jef Poskanzer (jef) Thu 23 Apr 09 12:30
    
Hmm.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #56 of 103: Lena M. Diethelm (lendie) Thu 23 Apr 09 12:31
    

You need "The Unit" to set them straight.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #57 of 103: Fawn Fitter (fsquared) Thu 23 Apr 09 12:33
    
Hmm. What if Mike went in there and, um, pulled rank?
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #58 of 103: Travis Bickle has left the building. (divinea) Thu 23 Apr 09 12:38
    
Lily, is that an AAFES operation, or a direct division of the Point
itself?
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #59 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Thu 23 Apr 09 13:22
    


West Point.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #60 of 103: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Thu 23 Apr 09 13:51
    
Have you mentioned this in any of your other press? 
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #61 of 103: Wagner James Au (wjamesau) Thu 23 Apr 09 16:11
    
GET PETRAEUS' PEOPLE ON THE HORN TO KICK UP A STINK!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #62 of 103: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 23 Apr 09 18:21
    

Have they done that to any other authors before?
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #63 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Fri 24 Apr 09 04:31
    <scribbled by burana Fri 24 Apr 09 04:31>
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #64 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Fri 24 Apr 09 04:32
    


 As far as I've heard, this hasn'thappened before. I'm sure there are
 people whom they wouldn't choose to invite, based on the interest of
 their customers, bu this isn't that situation exactly.

 Wish I had more information but I don't.

 Anyway, headin' to DC for the weekend for a conference, so presence here
 will be slim-to-none. Will be happy to take up the inkwell action again
when
 I return on Monday.

 I'm going to a military blogger's conference, so that should be very
 interesting!!!!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #65 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Fri 24 Apr 09 12:23
    


Sorry for the crappy formatting on that last post. Wow. Nice work.

I'm in DC!! Staying right near the Iwo Jima monument, which took my breath
away when I saw it.

That's one wonderful thing about DC: Monuments and memorials and other
historical sites weave into your view all of the time.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #66 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Sun 26 Apr 09 19:18
    


I'm back from DC--a town I used to dislike but now find wonderfully
invigorating!

Let's pick up where we left off, shall we...?




.y
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #67 of 103: tub of homogenous filth (tpy) Sun 26 Apr 09 19:23
    

glad you sre back and hope my homeland treated you well. any news on the 
reading cancellation? 
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #68 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Sun 26 Apr 09 19:32
    


I thought of you as we rolled by Odenton/Route 32.

I am always amused to see signs, near the NSA headquarters, for the American
Cryptology Museum. I wonder, "WHY advertise it? Wouldn't cryptology buffs
prefer to decode a less obvious sign? Perhaps one written in heiroglyphics?"

In a wee spasm of sentimentality, I snapped a photo of the Fort Meade exit
sign. Meade is rapidly expanding, and I hear from women who live near there
all the time, so it is poised to become a more widely known post.

It was not easy to live through Mike's deployment alone in the Ft. M. area,
however, on balance, we have a fair amount of good memories attached to the
place, including his homecoming.

At the Military Bloggers conference, I met the legendary "Air Force Wife," a
self-described "misery blogger" who famously blogged about her husband's
homecoming, when she ran to meet him in the crowded room packed with the
returning unit and its families, then she tripped and fell flat on her face
in front of everyone.

LEGEND!!!!!
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #69 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Sun 26 Apr 09 19:34
    



Margaret, since it was a weekend, there wasn't any movement on the West
Point front. This is all I got: http://chronicle.com/news/article/6376/west-
point-cancels-book-signing-event-by-army-wife

or, tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/c6dc9n

I am psyched to get these cupcakes! This baker, who is the wife of a soldier
and she sets up shop wherever he is stationed, is the BEST! Cupcake joy must
go on, despite any change in venue.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #70 of 103: Paula Span (pspan) Mon 27 Apr 09 09:52
    
I posted on the chronicle site, and maybe some others would like to, as
well.
It is true, as was said in the byline conf., that this contretemps will
likely get you more press than the actual event, so I am happy to try to
keep it going.

And that was a classy gesture from Petraeus, too.
So interesting how the big guys often are secure enough not to sweat every
comment a writer might make, or to argue about a conclusion.  It's the small
fry -- like maybe a bookstore manager at West Point or her supervisor -- who
gets all scaredy-cat.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #71 of 103: Paulina Borsook (loris) Mon 27 Apr 09 10:08
    
'the book west point didnt want you to read!'
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #72 of 103: life hurts. science is fun! (carolen) Mon 27 Apr 09 12:35
    
Well that's the crazy thing, because isn't the WP bookstore stocking
your book, Lily? They just won't let you give a reading?
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #73 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Mon 27 Apr 09 14:14
    


I do not pretend to understand a single thing about the situation! There's
lots of whispering here and there, but nothing conclusive/official by way of
a reason.

Maybe I need to get the Wired for War guy to hook me up with some DOD
robotics guys. They can craft a "spouse-bot" for me--bomb-proof, I hope--
that can roll into places I am not welcome and act in my stead.

Heck, if the 'bot bakes, cleans, and walks dogs as well, I'll take two!

Paula, I was very touched to get the vote of confidence from Petraeus. It
wasn't a wife who canceled the reading officially. Wives, by and large, have
been giving me nothing but raves, but then again, they do, to the last one,
always mention That One Wife you come across who is like the lady next door
on "Bewitched." I guess that archetype is a tradition, of sorts, embraced by
a meddlesome few.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #74 of 103: Lily Burana (burana) Mon 27 Apr 09 14:15
    


To shift a bit, from today's mailbag, I bring you an anecdote!

In I Love a Man in Uniform, I wrote about how military wives are
relentlessly polite, with a never-ending cycle of thank-you notes going back
and forth.

To wit, when I did Operation Bombshell at Fort Hood, the class (all wives)
presented me with a beautiful handmade thank-you card afterward, as well as
a thoughtful gift.

I, in turn, sent R, the wife who coordianted the class (and made the card
herself!), a thank-you note for all her help, plus a gift.

Guess what I got in the mail today?! A THANK YOU NOTE FROM HER!!!!

ARMY WIFE COURTESY-EXCHANGE HAT TRICK!

I think I may raise the stakes here and send her a thank-you note for her
thank-you note! Let's see how long we can keep this thing goin'. I figure by
the 2011, we will warrant our own spot in the Guinness Book.
  
inkwell.vue.351 : Lily Burana, "I Love a Man in Uniform"
permalink #75 of 103: Paulina Borsook (loris) Mon 27 Apr 09 15:06
    
could the thank you note morph into some other courtesy, like,
i dunno, a gift to project heifer or a gift from localharvest.org ---
but i suspect this could turn into a neverending potlatch.

just wondering if something useful/gifty could come from this exchange
of courtesies...
  

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