Corruption Junction – Desperation Amid Democrat Members of The Intelligence “Gang of Eight”…

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via Corruption Junction – Desperation Amid Democrat Members of The Intelligence “Gang of Eight”…

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Report: FBI and DOJ Officials “Scrambling to Respond” To Declassification Directives…

“The executive branch is holding Trump hostage and trying to wait out the election hopeful to have a change in congressional power.  This preserves their institutions and executes their goals.  It is the legislative branch who are trying to help the President and force the officials within the cabinet to admit the corruption.”

via Report: FBI and DOJ Officials “Scrambling to Respond” To Declassification Directives…

I’m going to copy some comments from the original post here as food for thought.  What tipped me to include them was “Wolfmoon’s” “like” of one of these posts…& I usually consider Wolfmoon & Fleporeblog & BigMamaTEA to be well-reasoned commenters…

 

  1. Blade says:

    The executive branch is holding Trump hostage and trying to wait out the election hopeful to have a change in congressional power. This preserves their institutions and executes their goals. It is the legislative branch who are trying to help the President and force the officials within the cabinet to admit the corruption.

    That is a big overstatement. By my count there are 30 or so reliable House members, and 5-10 in the Senate depending on which way the wind is blowing. Be generous and say 40 allies out of 535 voting members of Congress which is just a piddling 7% support, which BTW exactly matches his support in the District Of Criminals which voted 93% for Cankles. This fact of life plays into every decision President-Elect and President Trump has made since election day, including the stand-down order Nov 22, 2016 to NOT pursue Hillary despite the high-profile statement at the 2nd debate, and also the December 2016 walk-back of a planned massive IC community re-organization. These were political considerations and signaled an olive branch. It also played into the decision to not fire everybody on day-1. He did not have the support then, so it was logical to not clean house, and really still doesn’t.

    You are also overstating the case that everyone in the bureaucracy wants to preserve it and make it grow. It will still be there after they are all gone, there is no danger of it disappearing unless 535 Constitutionalists were in Congress. 7% does not scare the bureaucrats. And Congress is who legislates the new statutes not the White House. These critters are not so much about saving a beloved institution as their own skins, reputations and pensions. None care about any other critter other than themselves despite their tweets about solidarity. But the most ludicrous thing IMHO is that anyone believes Sessions would choose preserving the bureaucracy over his actual beliefs which mirror Trump. I always ask this: which of Trump’s appointments most closely match him? Everyone ducks, but the answer is Sessions of course, on everything ( except for the most extreme issues such as gays in the military or transgender bathrooms, issues that Trump is most liberal on and ironically where Sessions is closer to Trump voters than he is! ). And if you believe Sessions is a swamper then by definition all of Trump’s other appointments must be worse since they all trail in comparison to Sessions on an issue by issue comparison to Candidate/President Trump. It’s not even close.

    Having said that, and ignoring the hyperbolic overstatements, I like what our few reliable Congress members are up to. They are doing a good job of keeping important things front and center. They have drawn blood from the special counsel as has Trump. And this is unlike all previous cases as no-one has ever really laid a glove on them in the past. There is much they haven’t done though. They haven’t summoned Mueller for hearings. Folks like Nunes would rather gaslight than answer basic questions. However, the President himself has lately shown a knack for undercutting whatever progress is made in astonishing fashion. How can anyone possibly rationalize those two tweets concerning Sessions ‘allowing two Congressmen to be nailed by DoJ’ with a straight face? all of a sudden all those commenters taking his tweets literally became quiet as a mouse. More fires to put out. No way to take them literally without accepting that Trump is asking for obstruction in unprecedented fashion. And since this “obstruction” angle is exactly one of Mueller’s alleged targets, along with seeking answers of his pressuring Sessions, now what do all the literalists have to say? But I’ll get to this in my next comment.

     

  1. Blade says:

    AG Jeff Sessions is recused from anything to do with corruption within the 2016 election, operation ‘spygate’, operation ‘crossfire hurricane’, and the Russia investigation. The same career OLC lawyers within the system convinced Sessions of his conflicts, and have carved the Attorney General out of the investigative processes within the DOJ.

    But wait, do you notice how Dana Boente (former interim head of DOJ-NSD) was participating with Peter Strzok’s lead DOJ aide “Tash” Gauhar in the discussion which recommended Attorney General Jeff Sessions should be recused? Sessions’ official announcement came immediately after this meeting on March 2nd, 2017.

    I’m surprised anyone can still question the recusal with all we know since the inauguration, with all that has been learned since, and also considering historical precedent. Absolutely mind-boggling to me. So let’s simply cut right to the chase here Sundance. Was Janet Reno wrong to recuse from Whitewater and Vince Foster matters?. She had far less reason to as she was not involved personally at all in those cases, nor was she a Clinton campaigner or even remotely connected to them. In fact she was just one of your local Florida district attorneys and recused over the appearance of impropriety because she was merely appointed by Bubba, and that is much less reason than Sessions had who was a target of the anti-Trump coup, an endorser of Trump, part of his campaign staff and of course appointed by him. They are big on precedent down there at DoJ, and on appearance of impropriety ( the ones with integrity that is ). There was no way Sessions could possibly leave himself in charge of the coup investigations. And I await anyone who can rationalize that impossibility beyond these factoids that tell you nothing.

    And what about the ludicrous Greg Jarrett charge that Sessions used the wrong regulation ( “regs say only for criminal matters” ). Wrong for at least three reasons. (1) The regulations apparently haven’t been updated to cover the new improved post-9/11 FBI with its NSD division duties that Patriot Act and other legislation stupidly handed them. They need to strike that word criminal since it implies that spying is okay otherwise. No, it’s not. Hasn’t Greg realized the bulk of this hoax scandal occurred while under the NSD roof? (2) Regulations are for the rank and file to not spoil cases on the back-end during appeals and also to keep the bureau in the four corners of law they supposedly protect. But the Attorney General and all political appointees have more than mere regulations to follow. They have considerations to not damage the government and the administration that appointed them. They must protect the government and cannot do anything that brings disrepute upon it. For example the Attorney General cannot do something unethical or corrupt that will cause the President who appointed him a scandal or even be impeached. Ignoring this obvious concern, Jarrett is literally describing a corrupt lawyer looking for a loophole to use to exploit the spirit of the law, in this case to NOT recuse and handle matters he is involved in. Call your sponsor Greg, he’s waiting for your call. (3) This most obvious reason his theory is ridiculous is this. Since the coup was initially ( late 2015 to spring 2017 ) couched within NSD as a national security spying operation, this allowed them secrecy, access to NS apparatus such as Fort Meade data pulls and FISA warrants, phone taps and everything else … BUT … it eventually would have to come out of the shadows and move to the criminal side in order to be useful and actionable to harm the new President ( indictments, grand juries, leaks, etc ). Does everyone get that? So he would have to recuse later anyway or else what is the point of the coup at all?

    And here we have the notion that Sessions was snookered by OPR to recuse as Sundance hints in this article citing this meeting right before he recused. No, that meeting just happens to be the final visible thing you see before he recuses. Up to that point, since he first mentioned the possibility at his Jan 10 confirmation hearing to the day he recused he would have had multiple inputs of advice under consideration, including the obvious review of past recusals and all the other considerations as mentioned above. He always had security clearance as a Senator but once he was sworn in he became one of the highest cleared officials with a large need-to-know. That means since he was sworn in he was now seeing even more things that further factor into his decision, stuff we surely don;t know yet. Sessions has been a prosecutor and lawyer as long as some of those young’ins at OPR have been alive and doesn’t need them to tell him what ethics or integrity means. First of all, of course these are Obama holdovers, who do you expect to be populating DoJ one month into a new administration? Reagan appointees? Nixon, Ike? They are Obama sycophants of course and they don’t go away on January 20 unless the new President makes a bold, unprecedented move, which he did not ( and as I said earlier, with good reason ). If you think Sessions was snookered by Obama holdovers then what do you think about Trump himself, a man known for compromise and dealing and far more likely to be flexible, and give Obama holdovers a chance than Sessions ever would. This much has been proven many times since Inauguration Day. Sessions would never have hire Omarosa for example, he finds people like Stephen Miller. Sessions did not roll over for OPR hacks. That is a clear case of stating the enemy plays 64-D chess while Trump and Sessions are checkers players. Anyone who believes this cannot be expected to understand much else. Occam’s Razor would be that Sessions weighed precedent and current appearance of impropriety and made his decision thusly. That meeting cited by Sundance is merely the FINAL step in that process, when DoJ officials decide how to roll out and implement the decision, the logistics involved in disseminating the decision, and how cases get routed to either Sessions’ office, or Rosenstein’s to maintain integrity.

    But why didn’t he consult with Trump first? That answer should now be perfectly obvious don’tcha think? It wasn’t obvious back in early 2017 when all we heard about was the Russian Ambassador disinformation. The reason he mentioned recusal at his January hearing on TV rather than in private to the President-Elect was to prevent a dangerous ( for Trump ) situation of attempted obstruction and coverup. If you accept Trump tweets at face value then you must agree that the President-Elect would have absolutely attempted to get him to NOT recuse and stay and handle the very case targeting Sessions as well as Trump himself. Doing it publicly meant Trump could pull his nomination anytime he wanted and give any excuse he felt like sharing. This was the correct play. Behind closed doors would have been big trouble/ And as they were eavesdropping on Trump’s conversations at the time ( e.g., leaked oval office phone calls ) it’s a damn good thing this conversation didn’t take place because if captured it would become Exhibit-A evidence in a joint session to impeach the President in his own words. He would never survive that, ever. Anyone thinking clearly should be thanking Sessions right now for sidestepping a huge trap with the added benefit of hindsight of the numerous tweets where Trump ( if you accept them literally ) has clearly admitted it.

    And that brings us to Watergate. It was a thing. Look it up since it appears few even remember it. People who chose to ignore this historical successful coup ran by deep state hacks and the Enemedia hand-in-hand just as they are today, are the actual Mr. Magoo’s ready to blindly walk into obvious enemy traps. One error many people are making is using what we know today to make retroactive judgments on decisions made last year rather than what we knew then. In the first two months of the Trump Administration the danger was Watergate 2.0. Here is Schmuck Schumer …

    Schumer February 27, 2017 :: “Those prosecutors should not be reporting to the first senator who endorsed Donald Trump’s campaign, who served on the same campaign committee as Michael Flynn, and who nominated Donald Trump at the Republican convention,” Democratic majority leader Chuck Schumer said at a press conference last week. “The Justice Departments own guidelines demand that Attorney General Sessions remove himself from this matter immediately.”

    … and that is exactly how it begins. To understand what would have occurred in the non-recusal timeline, you must forget everything that has happened since March 2017 because that timeline gets erased if Sessions does NOT recuse. What happens is that for a year there is the nightly pounding of demands for Sessions recusal, Trump’s corrupt Attorney General covering up investigation into himself and Trump. 24/7/365. Nixon/Mitchell/Trump/Sessions. 24/7/365. Where is the next John Dean? 24/7/365. What did the President know and when did he know it. 24/7/365 until they relent and appoint a special counsel anyway … or … Congress passes the next Independent Prosecutor statute and dares the President to veto it. Then what does he do? So you wind up with a special counsel or independent prosecutor anyway, but much later in the Trump Administration, probably right about now in late summer 2018, or later! So how does that factor into everybody’s sour mood? Just starting now, awesome. Kiss it all goodbye, the Trump Administration, that is. So thank Sessions once again for getting it right ethically, and as it turns out it will wrap up much earlier than it would have.

    Now here is the secret: This was their Plan-A, an ad hoc Watergate redux. That plan is short-circuited and they are on Plan-B, a coverup of their own crimes, and that is about to be short-circuited. Trump is still President and will stay that way unless he did something severely stupid like walk into a process crime ( which should have been impossible since Sessions recused ). Then we Rosenstein who appointed Mueller. Well, we have to ask a simple question right now: Are we better off with or without Mueller as special counsel? Seems to me, by accident or design this is the best outcome all around ( again, unless Trump stupidly walks into an obstruction charge which should not happen because he is not stupid ). What did we know in early 2017 about the scale of the enemy penetration at DoJ and FBI? Nothing. These people were under NSD secrecy using text messages and HAM radio and God knows what else until Mueller appeared as a bug zapper light and they self-identified, self-selected too ( as Sundance pointed out ) and populated his office to get their hoax into the criminal realm ( or else what was the entire purpose? ). So there they are. Special Counsel office of crooks in a walled garden which ironically exposed practically all currently known players starting with Strzok and those he contacted and thus began the dominoes toppling, including those tangentially connected back at main DoJ and FBI.

    To anyone who wishes for Mueller to have never been appointed, can you explain how all these people would have been located still embedded in DoJ and FBI? No-one had a freaking clue of any of this until about last summer when things started shaking loose. I’m not saying Rosenstein did this on purpose, I just don’t know and can’t even manage a guess. But by accident or design it went the exact way it should have to disassemble a deeply embedded plot. If it was an accident, then it is yet another case of the boomerang coming back and smacking the enemy right square in the head.

    What is and always has been Irrelevant is the Russia hoax, because, wait for it … it is a hoax. Trump is innocent, the (D)ummies are guilty. It cannot touch Trump after the recusal since the path to obstruction and coverup between Sessions and Trump was disconnected. The only way Trump gets bitten by that snake is if he does something post-recusal we don’t know about and that would be stupid, and he is not stupid. Yep, some bit players with shady past troubles will be exposed and temporarily inconvenienced but they are big boys, they’ll survive [***]. What won’t survive are the coup plotters who forged ahead with abandon to help Mueller and thereby identifying themselves for Trump and everyone else to see.

    [***] Another fun fact for those crying about Sessions being responsible Manafort and Cohen for some reason. Do you actually believe the President’s Attorney General should intervene and protect the “President’s friends” by springing them from their criminal matters? Absurd. But does anyone remember Susan McDougal, Bill Clinton’s partner-in-crime in Whitewater but jailed by Ken Star prosecutors for contempt or similar spending several years in jail, it was quite an ordeal often seen on national TV and actually far worse than Manafort or Cohen ( so far ). Note that Janet Reno or Jamie Gorelick or Eric Holder did not intervene in that case which is a close, near equivalent to this nonsense of demanding Sessions intervene. It is simply ludicrous to even suggest it because it falls right back on the President’s head whether he has anything to do with it or not. [ Ironically, Bill Clinton ended up pardoning Susan McDougal on his last day in office. Trump will not wait that long, at least for Manafort, if he needs it ).

    Liked by you and 4 other people

    • Louis Genevie says:

      This post was and if not, certainly could have been written by a deep state plant. Sorry, I don’t buy one sentence of it. Recusal is a personal decision and Sessions never had to make it. That is the basic fact. And without that recusal, we would have a real AG who would clean the disgusting muck out of the DOJ and FBI. And we would not have a Special Counsel breathing down the President’s back for more than two years. Mr. Sessions is not stupid, so one must ask why did he turn his back on the President and walk away from his duties? What does the Deep State have on him?

      Like

      • Cuppa Covfefe says:

        Wrong.

        Sessions was involved with President Trump’s campaign, therefore he HAD to recuse.
        This was covered here extensively (and repeatedly) the last two years. You seem new here; the search engine is your friend.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Blade says:

        Louis, the only thing you actually got right in your comment was that recusal is a personal thing. And only people with integrity will do it even though everyone, even those without integrity swear the same oath. Your logic means to throw the oath out and your comment implies that is what you would personally do. At least you kinda admit it. So there’s that.

        The main error you make is with your theory of loyalty. Like it or not, and you probably don’t, the Attorney General is the AG for the USA, not the President. All of us, every single one including (D)ummies. He does NOT work for the President anymore than the SecTreas does, or SecDef or SecState or any other random executive branch official save for a few personal appointees like Chief Of Staff.

        Do you think there is attorney-client privilege between AG and Prez? You would be wrong. Not for criminal matters just executive privilege for a few things. He is the government lawyer, not the President’s. He has his own White House counsel office and his own personal lawyers too. He is so far removed from loyalty that you have no idea, especially given our history with Watergate and countless other defining events. Whoever stuck it in your mind that he is Trump’s loyal servant lied to you. Get it out of your mind to have a better chance at understanding current events.

        Here’s a question. PART-1 … If you are Attorney General, and “your” President asks you to break the law somehow what would you do when asked about it by someone perhaps Congress, FBI, special counsel? Don’t duck the question, it is very serious and informative. Now either you admit you will be corrupt and protect him, or you say you will be truthful to your oath. It is one or the other though.

        PART-2 … Now revisit the recusal matter of Sessions deciding whether or not to speak with Trump behind closed doors with that in mind. He did exactly what a good honest lawyer does. He gave him an out ( announced recusal possibility at hearing, Trump can pull his resignation no questions asked ) , but without exposing Trump to a huge criminal opportunity which we now know according to his own tweets he would have blundered into. If those tweets are true ( Sessions did not consult Trump ) then Sessions cannot be a witness in Mueller or Congress investigation as Exhibit-A first-party evidence of attempted obstruction.

Six Year Anniversary of The September 11th Attack in Benghazi Libya…

via Six Year Anniversary of The September 11th Attack in Benghazi Libya…

Sundance of the Conservative Treehouse provides an extremely comprehensive review of the known facts with analysis & reasonable supposition regarding many of the chess pieces & moves of this complex, incompetent, & likely corrupt enterprise.  Please see the original post!

“Looking at the historical timeline, and knowing the contacts developed, gives a great perspective into what would have spurred the CIA/State Department to set up a more expansive presence and operation in the coastal region of Eastern Libya May/June 2012.

The official U.S. State Dept Libyan presence was vacated on Feb 25th of 2011 when the embassy personnel were evacuated. Stevens was re-establishing the diplomatic office and acting as Ambassador to Libya during the 2012 reconstruction phase.

What we did not know at the time was that Chris Stevens was also acting as the facilitator for U.S. arms shipments OUT OF LIBYA, through Turkish diplomatic couriers and into Syria. While coordinating a second covert action to arm the Syrian resistance.

A very strong argument can easily be made that Chris Stevens was a CIA operative inside the State Department. Many people within the State Department are CIA personnel using the State Dept as part of their visible cover.”

ISIS John McCain - Abu Mosa

“The Syrian opposition had three al-Qaida arms operating within it. Including one that also operated in Libya:

  • Jund al-Sham, which is made up of al-Qaida militants who are Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese;
  • Jund al-Islam, which in recent years merged with Ansar al-Islam, an extremist group of Sunni Iraqis operating under the al-Qaida banner and operating in Yemen and Libya;
  • Jund Ansar al-Allah, an al-Qaida group based in Gaza linked to Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria.

It would be into this eclectic mix of Jihadist ideologues, which later became ISIL, that any diverted U.S. arms would flow. It’s no wonder that Senator John McCain was so confused when he was calling them “moderates” in 2012/2013. Almost no-one knew the severe elements in Syria would rise to the surface and become the modern ISIS now capturing all of the global attention.”

“And…. If you just realized…. Yes, ISIS or ISIL currently on the march in Iraq, came from Syria, fought in Syria and more than likely was armed by the U.S. inside Syria and Turkey.

They were more likely trained, in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles (100 km) from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence; by the same CIA operatives used by the State Dept to send Syria weapons from Benghazi and Darnah back in Libya.

If Operation Zero Footprint in Libya was stupid, arming the Syrian branches of al-Qaeda two years after the FSA was thoroughly corrupted by al-Qaeda, is infinite degrees beyond stupid.

But that’s hindsight for ya….. or as Secretary Clinton would say “Whether they were, … at this point, what difference does it make?””

Operation Zero Footprint

“The entire weapons operation 2011 was labeled “Operation Zero Footprint”. The intent is outlined in the operational title – to leave no visible record of U.S. involvement in arming the Libyan “rebels”No visible footprint.

We know from congressional inquiry Ambassador Chris Stevens had asked for more security in the months prior to Sept. 11th 2012. Requests sent to the State Dept that were denied.

We also know that NO MARINE DETACHMENT was ever put in place to defend the Benghazi Mission.

We also know the Benghazi Mission was initially, and mistakenly by media, called “a consulate”, or a “consulate outpost”. But there was no State Dept record of any consulate office in Benghazi.

All of these seeming contradictions can be reconciled with the simple understanding that this “Mission” in 2011 was unofficial. Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

We also know the Second Operation, in 2012, to arm the Syrians’ was also covert – No visible footprint.

Why were security requests denied? Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

We know from General Carter Ham (AFRICOM Commander now retired) the Department of Defense was not even aware the State Dept was operating a mission in Benghazi during 2012. Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

How could Hillary Clinton, Charlene Lamb, or Patrick Kennedy approve or request a marine security detachment knowing the entire mission around both Benghazi operations was covert?

Such a request would have traveled outside the small group of State/CIA insiders. The request would have gone to DoD. Short answer, they couldn’t.

Hence the disconnect between what seemed to be obvious and/or simple questions and the inability to accurately discuss in the public venues of congressional inquiry.

To the public Chris Stevens was a U.S. ambassador, a diplomat. To the folks inside the State Dept and CIA, Chris Stevens was a U.S. Ambassador, AND a CIA operative coordinating covert arms sales.

In 2011 those arms shipments were to aid the Libyan rebels, in 2012 those same arms were redirected to aid the Syrian rebels.

Even after death the public face of Chris Stevens, the official role, was the only role able to be discussed. The covert, or unofficial role, was not. Again, we see the disconnect between inquiry that could be answered, and inquiry that could not be answered. Many irreconcilables surface because of this intelligence role – even through today.

The second role of Stevens, the covert and CIA aspect, still causes problems for people trying to understand the “why not” questions. The broader public asking why have we not seen, or heard from the survivors of the attacks?

The short answer is:

we have not heard from the survivors – but the intelligence community has.

Twice some of the survivors have given testimony to congress. The problem for the public is that those hearings are closed door, classified, intelligence hearings – led by then Chairman Mike Rogers and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Again, go back to the beginning of Operation Zero Footprint and you see the congressional Intelligence Gang of Eight were fully aware of the intents.

The Gang of Eight in 2011 / 2012 was: House Speaker – John Boehner, Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi; House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman – Mike Rogers, and his Democrat counterpart Charles Ruppersberger; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; along with Senate Intel Chair Diane Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss.

Why was Speaker Boehner reluctant to establish a Select Committee on Benghazi ?

Simple, again he is one of the Gang of Eight – and he was briefed on both operations. How is he going to call for a select committee to investigate when he knows the substance of the committee investigation is classified under national security. Such a committee would not, because it could not, deliver what the public was requesting, sunlight.”

Back to the FALL of 2012 – On September 5th/6th 2012 the Turkish vessel “Al Entisar” docked in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. 400 tons of serious cargo including weapons destined for Syrian “rebels”.

In the U.S. that September 5th night former President Bill Clinton was introducing Candidate Barack Obama at the DNC convention in Charlotte North Carolina. In Afghanistan that night something happened that had already become a serious concern for the operatives within “Operation Zero Footprint”.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia Ramirez. Ramirez was killed when her OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan Sept. 5, 2012. Ramirez was assigned to Troop F, 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. Photo: Photo Courtesy Pro Image Digital;Inc., Courtesy / U.S. ArmyAt the exact time Clinton was speaking in North Carolina, halfway around the world in Afghanistan Army Chief Warrant Officers Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio and Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, of San Juan, in the Rio Grande Valley, were killed while flying an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, a Defense Department news release stated.

On September 5th 2012 – A U.S. organized ship loaded with weapons including missiles was offloading at a Turkish port. Bill Clinton was introducing Barack Obama, and the first black female combat pilot was shot down and killed by a shoulder fired missilein Afghanistan.

The relationship between the three events reflects the absolute political fear that revolved around Operation Zero Footprint.”

“From 2002 through 2010 Combat Operations saw zero occurrences of SAMS, Stingers, or MANPADS in general.

Within months after delivering weapons to the Benghazi and Darnah rebels (May, June and July 2011) we began facing MANPADS in Afghanistan.

Four instances in late in 2011 including the 22 lives lost in what came to be known as Operation “Extortion 17”.

In 2012 it got worse, much worse: June 1st AFGHANISTAN:

A combined patrol discovered a weapons cache containing three shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles, three anti-tank mines, 423 RPGs, 118,600 7.62 mm rounds, 30 rifles and other ordnance in the Tarin Kot district of Uruzgan province. The cache’s contents were destroyed.(link)

We had a serious problem and it was picking up speed exponentially. June 6th 2012 we lost another crew. July 25th 2012 yet another. August 16th 2012 again more losses. September 5th 2012 more deaths. It just kept getting worse.

By September 5th 2012 in the preceding nine months we had lost 11 helicopters to shoulder fired missiles in Afghanistan. The following headline hit the media:

America Suffers Worst Airpower Loss Since Vietnam

One of the incidents revealed details of what was being faced. The July 25th 2012 downing of a CH-47 which was found to have been hit with a “new generation” stinger missile. The risks were no longer mere worries, they were real:”

& finally we get to a possible motive for the Russia Collusion story, hmm?

“…. Which also takes a person to accept that Egypt (Sisi) and Jordan (Abdullah), are now very close with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Much closer than they have ever been historically. That relationship also carries the very real potential to explain why there is additional vitriol between Clinton and Obama toward Putin.

Putin could very well be in possession of all the information about everything outlined above. AND be very smug in his knowledge that at any time he could use this information to leverage Clinton and/or any of the characters that surround Clinton who participated in the Libyan and Syrian operations.”

obama-hillary-holding-hands-wh-photo

September 11th Remembrances

Today is another anniversary of the horrific attack on America that happened 9-11-01.  I did not lose anyone in these attacks but was impacted by the events & their aftermath.  For me I look at those attacks somewhat like our generation’s Pearl Harbor.

See the source image

Each year as another September 11th approaches my family makes a concerted effort to remember & reflect.  We tell our version of our events to our kids, who were all very young children on that terrible day, so they have limited direct personal memories.

We usually check out various books & movies from the library that share aspects of those events & things that subsequently happened.  We make a concerted effort to not look away from the horror & tragedy & to prayerfully & respectfully reflect & remember.

See the source image

Here are some things that have been impacting us over the years & can help us to understand the events, at least from the point of view of their creators:

    The book, Love Greg & Lauren, by Greg Manning, shares their family’s journey through the medical trauma due to Lauren’s extensive burns from being caught in the fireball that exploded in one of the Trade Center lobbies when one of the planes hit.  This book so impacted me that later on when my son, Josiah, was found to have a brain tumor & masses/tumors in his liver that ultimately required a Liver Transplant that I began writing blog posts to keep friends, family, & prayer warriors abreast of his situation & needs.  Had I never read Love Greg & Lauren I may have continued to just send email blasts to a huge readership but not developed the more interactive style of communication that provided so much support for us during some very difficult times.  That original blog is archived here:  JazzmanJournal.wordpress.com  & the continuing blog is found here:  https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/josiahcurren/

 

    The moving documentary video 9/11 by the Naudet Brothers (Gedeon & Jules) is practically an annual ritual with us.  This documentary was begun well before 9-11 happened & the French filmmakers were working with a particular firehouse that was the first on the scene at the North Tower after the first plane hit.  This film does not appear agenda driven in any way & uses acquired footage to contrast life in a New York City Firehouse pre- & post- 9-11 attacks.  The brothers each filmed unexpectedly both plane hits into the Twin Towers.  One was with a fire chief in the lobby of the North Tower when the South Tower fell.  Another brother was on the street & engulfed by the debris field from one of the collapses.

9/11 - The Filmmakers' Commemorative Edition

    We recently watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called Falling Man.  This tells the tale of the attempt to identify on of the Twin Tower Jumpers whose iconic photo captivated & horrified the world.  This film takes more of a research style or investigative journalist approach to learn about who might have been in that serene yet horrifying image.  It showcases through a couple of biographies of possible photographic subjects the richness of the lives that were lost & the void in the lives of the loved ones left behind.  It takes an unflinching look at one of the most brutal aspects of that entirely apocalyptic day, those given the untenable choice of burning to death or jumping to their deaths…

9/11: The Falling Man

    A place I used to regularly check was a website featuring the song “Can’t Cry Hard Enough” where the faces of many of the lost & images of that tragic day are respectfully shared in a moving tribute, in looking for this particular video I discovered that the Library of Congress has a web archive for 9-11-01 too:
    I’m sharing the link to the Library of Congress archive but haven’t looked more deeply into it at this time…
    Another video my family regularly views around the anniversary time in 102 Minutes that Changed America.  This is compelling audio & video that unfolds through the exact time period from the first plane hit until that second tower fell.  There are professional videographers, people on the street, & even students who contributed what they witnesses.  The “bonus” interviews with the videographers add to our understanding of their perspective.  My family plans to watch this video tonight on the anniversary so that we can in a small way “be there” too…

102 Minutes That Changed America

    One year I read the book Tower Stories to get a fresh perspective on the eye witness participants & survivors from the Twin Towers.  Those views are raw & real…

    One year I watched the movie Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close with my autistic son, not realizing the main character is a boy who is high functioning on the autism spectrum & is trying to come to grips with the death of his father in New York.  I believe this is a work of fiction but lovingly reveals how so many New Yorkers may have struggled with the 9-11 devastation & aftermath.

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE Original Movie Poster 27x40 - DS - VERSION A - TOM HANKS - SANDRA BULLOCK

    There is another fictional book that deals with September 11th in a beautiful, sensitive, & godly way.  One Tuesday Morning, by Karen Kingsbury.  I believe there is also a sequel called Beyond Tuesday Morning…

One Tuesday Morning (9/11 Series, Book 1)

    One 9-11 Anniversary we were deeply moved by the rendition of “Sounds of Silence” performed by Paul Simon at Ground Zero…
    We’ve also, on occasion, watched the movies Flight 93 & United 93.  Both of these movies portray the ordeal & heroism onboard United Airlines Flight 93 that ended up crashing into a field & forest near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Both of these movies are well done & heartbreaking & each time I’ve watched them I find myself wishing that the courageous passengers had been able to succeed in their endeavor to re-take the plane…

Flight 93

United 93

    One year I watched what was then newly released footage provided by an NYC couple from their high rise apartment.  They had clear views of some of the rescue work being attempted at the Twin Towers & a unique, near birdseye perspective on the deadly debris cloud that swept over Lower Manhatten.  I believe the link below is for that specific video, though at a different site than where I’d first seen it.
    Another year I listened to some of the newly released 911 calls from that tragic day.  I believe only the law enforcement side of the call was released so we cannot directly be with the victims nor hear their presumed anguish.  I believe the link below will yield some similar results…
    I guess there are likely many things that are available for those who choose to go looking for them.  Their are portrayals of actual events, like the Nicholas Cage movie depicting the rescue of some Port Authority workers from the collapsed towers devastation; there are numerous books written, like by some of the widows of Flight 93; there are government reports, like the 9-11 Commission Report; there are tales about the wars & actions overseas in the aftermath of 9-11; there are all the changes in our society, some good some not so much; there are lawsuits for the 9-11 rescuers felled by devastating diseases connected to their work on The Pile; there are activists speaking out, like the 9-11 Widows; there are memorials & controversies; their are museums; their are survivors & their personal memories; there are witnesses, like Ted Olsen speaking to his wife Barbara on the plane that hit the Pentagon or Lisa Jackson? speaking with Todd Beamer & sharing The Lord’s Prayer before the iconic “Let’s Roll” words are heard; there is the Congress singing God Bless America on the Capital steps; & the service at the National Cathedral…
    However you choose to remember Do Remember September 11, 2001!
    We live in the Post 9-11 world now & this world is darker, sadder, & less innocent than the world that existed at 8:45 am on that One Tuesday Morning…

See the source image

After doing this post originally on 9-11-18 I ran across some further material of interest & wanted to share it here (I haven’t reviewed every aspect of each item shared below, so am providing these links as an FYI, not Endorsing the viewpoints)…

This first is a lengthy but moving article that outlines many aspects of the life of one of the heroes of 9-11, a man who sacrificed his life getting people out of the South Tower & chose to do one more sweep looking for people needing help to escape & so was on the 10 floor around the time of the collapse.  Worth Reading!!!

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/02/11/the-real-heroes-are-dead?mbid=social_twitter

https://timeline.911memorial.org/#Timeline/2

Memories of Sept 11, 2001

President G.W. Bush Speaks To The Nation, September 2001

https://wtpotus.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/in-remembrance-9-11-01/

Trump on 9/11: America will never ever submit to tyranny

09.11.01: The towers are hit

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/271288/sept-11-terror-attacks-17-years-later-michael-cutler

9/11 American National Anthem Buckingham Palace

https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/09/11/donald-trump-honors-9-11-flight-93-hereoes-moment-america-fought-back/

Vice President Pence Participates in the September 11th Pentagon Observance Ceremony

Honoring The Fallen of 9/11/2001

Following are some snips from the comments section to this post:

We Remember….

  1. Buck says:

    The NSA and the road to 9/11: lessons learned and unlearned.

    Cato hosted a panel last week of NSA Whistleblowers talking in great detail (long) about that agencies history from the 70’s through the 911 years.
    Featuring Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, Ed Loomis along with Diane Roark who managed the House Permanent Select Committee on Intel.
    It’s long but lots of detailed info on what was going on in the lead up and aftermath of 9/11.
    The massive bureaucracy and “turf wars” that continues to stifle ability to safeguard our nation.

    I made a few basic notes so you can skip ahead if you don’t have 2hrs to spend on this:

    Start to around 45 mins – background history from Church Committee era in 70’s thru end of Cold War into 90’s.
    49 min – Gen Hayden takes over NSA in 1999 with mandate to reorganize the agency post Cold War.
    1.13 – Hayden’s mentor, James Clapper enters the scene as external “oversight” board member to NSA.
    1.21 – Thin Thread program is canceled which could have prevented 9/11.
    1.27 – Thomas Drake speaks about NSA’s failure to prevent 9/11 and him becoming a whistleblower.
    1.34 – whistleblowers trigger DoD IG investigation and critical report.
    1.42 – interesting Q&A

    https://www.cato.org/events/nsa-road-911-lessons-learned-unlearned

     

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/09/harper-on-the-17th-anniversary-of-the-911-attacks.html

  1.  

  1. My late father, who was old enough to fly P-51D Mustangs for the USAAF during World War 2, once told me that he could remember exactly where he was and what he was doing when he heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Likewise, my elder brother (the only one of my siblings who is legitimately a baby boomer) can recall exactly where he was and what he was doing when he heard about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In the exact same vein, a certain September day seventeen years ago is irremovably burned into my memory. This op-ed, authored by me two years ago, is still relevant (so please read, and perhaps comment): http://rightmi.com/i-remember-and-i-havent-forgotten/

     

  1. BobInFL says:

    I will never forget that day and am always anxious as the day approaches each year.
    I worked in an office building in Lyndhurst, NJ – 15-20 miles from downtown NYC. My office looked out onto the manhattan skyline.

    I arrived at work at my regular time that morning – and it was a beautiful morning – shocking blue sky, no clouds and a feeling of fall in the air. I drove the country roads from my home in Rockland Cty NY to Lyndhurst that day and it was a beautiful drive. I got to work around 7:30 and was doing my regular routine – answering emails, planning the day ahead when one of my employees came into my office to apoligize for being late – traffic was backed up on Rt 17 – this was around 8:50 am. He said do you see what’s going on outside?? I turned around and the (north?) tower was billowing smoke – he said a small plane crashed into the tower. My first thought was that it wasn’t a “small” plane – based upon the amount of smoke – and that it wasn’t an accident – I have flown around those buildings with a pilot friend a number of times – and you would have to be out cold or aiming at them.

    As we stood at the window watching, a couple of other employees joined us in my office. I noticed a plane racing in from the southwest, very low, very fast and I remarked that another one was on the way. We watched live as it slammed into the other tower and the huge fireball that exploded out the other side of the building left no doubt that for the first time in my life I was witnessing America under attack.

    I immediately called 911 – felt like I had to do something – and the Hackensack police department could not connect to or call the military in any way. I asked if they could connect with the FBI – no, no couldn’t do that either. I ended up leaving a message at the LI office of the FBI – what a feeling of helplessness.

    The rest of the day we pulled together and made sure all of our reservists/vets, who were getting called to their bases – had rental cars to get back home. And we watched in horror as each tower fell right outside our windows.

    I remember the smell of the air leaving the building – nothing like the air in the morning when I arrived – an acrid, burnt rubber smell I will never forget. I gave blood that evening on my way home and cried when I heard there was no one to give it to.

    I rode the train in the next day and was even sadder as I noticed that a number of the wall street acquaintances that I saw playing cards on their way to work were not there – and would not be coming back again. It broke my heart as I remember them bringing their kids to work and now their mothers and fathers would not be coming home again.

    That day changed me forever. I worked in downtown manhattan in 1993 for the first trade center bombing – shook our offices – but didn’t really wake me up. After 9-11 I decided to try to find out why we were being targeted and learned to distrust our news media and sniveling rinos (especially Bush). That was when I learned about Islam – and then it all made sense.

    May God bless my old train-mates , their families, first responders, those who lost their lives on those planes, in the buildings and in the field and our military.

    Never forget – never let it happen again!

    Liked by you and 8 other people

    • George Hicks says:

      I gave blood that evening on my way home and cried when I heard there was no one to give it to.
      You reminded me of all those volunteers making hundreds of wooden stretchers out of plywood and 2 x 4’s that were never used. Or the medical crews waiting outside the hospitals with gurneys, ready for the hundreds of injured that never came.

       

  1. I have very vivid memories of that day, like most of us alive at the time. During that time I was in NYC every 1-2 weeks helping in a long term consulting gig. I was speaking with the assistant to the CEO when the first plane hit; she told me and we both commiserated, never realizing then what had happened. On my drive to see another client, I heard about the next plane–and of course then it was clearly terrorism. Years earlier I had commuted into NYC from NJ and used the PATH station at the WTC.
    While at my local client’s office, we watched the coverage. I called my husband (engineer) to find out how long it would take for the tower to collapse. He and his colleagues had made the grim calculations. So much sorrow, such horrible images.
    I called our rector and asked him whether we were scheduling a church service—which he did do after we discussed it. The church that night was packed, and my father-in-law came with us as my MIL was in Europe on a trip. I will never forget that he said it was worse than Pearl Harbor to him.
    We had called all our friends to be sure they were ok–many in Boston and NYC, but never never thought about my husband’s cousin as she lived in Boston but to our knowledge was not traveling much. It was devastating to learn late in the day that she was aboard the first plane to hit the towers. She was one of the most dear, most charming and brightest women I knew. So much sorrow.
    And then we kept learning of friends and colleagues of our friends in NJ/NY that had perished on that awful day.
    As a side note, I’ve been an early adopter of internet “news”; partly as in my work we deployed digital strategies for multiple reasons very early. It was not hard to see that something big was imminent if you read online then. So I never did understand why the IC was unable to prevent the attacks. Reading upthread it is disheartening, if not surprising, to learn of the role that Clapper had in facilitating this.
    All of this makes our current issues much more pressing for me personally. We need to keep fighting for our great country and not allow ourselves to be bamboozled by fake memes, identity politics, creeps that would hijack our government to turn it against us, and the so-called elite opinion makers who are unable to speak or know the truth.
    Let’s commemorate the loss of the many that died that day, the first responders and military that have died to protect us, and amp up our fight to keep our country free and great!

     

      1. FredeDK says:

        I was sad to see, that the comments on the live stream I saw the speech on, was in full blown “9/11 was and inside job” mode. 17 years later, and still it’s not about the thousands of life’s lost, but some conspiracy you saw on YouTube.

        I remember coming home from my base, to start my maternity leave, as my wife was expected to give birth to my oldest soon, and just as I step in, I saw plane number two hit. I turned to my wife, and said I’m sorry, you have to keep the baby in, because I bet I have to go back to the base soon. Not 10 min. later the phone rang, and sure enough, it was a call back to standby. Even here in Europe we knew this was really bad, and everyone in my company had his blood boiling, when we heard about the celebrations in the “multi ethnic” parts of our larger cities.
        My company had a lot of veterans from the war on Balkan, and we had seen what the religion of peace really meant, so they should thank the rock they pray too, that we wasn’t sent in to help the police.

        Last year I took my kids to ground zero, a special place to show the one who was born less than a week later, and tell them why I have a harsh look on people who belittle the memories of the dead, by promoting conspiracies and blaming Bush/Jews of the tragedy.

        As the British say “we will remember them” Rest In Peace, and may the terrorists and the minds and money behind burn in hell for eternity.

        Liked by you and 2 other people

      2. MaryfromMarin says:

        On the 18th anniversary… In honor of all the heroes of 9/11, known and unknown.
        (apologies if this has already been posted)

        BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

         

  1. lizzieintexas says:

    Rare photos of Ground Zero

    http://www.zombietime.com/wtc_9-13-2001/

     

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/bald-eagle-lands-on-fire-truck-during-sept-11-tribute/ar-BBNcftA

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2018/09/11/researchers-struggle-to-identify-over-1000-9-11-victims-17-years-later/

Geoff Goedde says:
Worth remembering — A real gripper is “The Man Who Knew” – the awesome story of ex-FBI Special Agent John O’Neil, head of FBI counter-intel, headquartered in NYC, who captured Ramsey Usef in Pakistan after the 1993 attack on the towers, then took the job as head of security for the WTC, and was killed in the tower collapse on 9/11. See the Nightline series.https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/showsknew/
      • czarowniczy says:

        Let’s go back to the 1995 Bojinka plot where Ramzi Yousef and his confederates planned a number of terrorist attacks including flying hijacked airliners into major US buildings. It’s forgotten history mostly but Ramzi was also a plotter in the first WTC attack (and if you’re still out there please don’t ask me ‘what first WTC attack’).

        The intel agencies in the US and abroad knew of the details of the Bojinka plot, the planned bombings of aircraft and hijacking them to be flown into buildings and knew Ramzi was a major figure in the 1993 WTC bombing.

        Along with Ramzi as a major Bojinka planner was one Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who the principal planner for the 911 attack. Khalid wasn’t a stranger to the world’s intel agencies as he was a key figure in al Qaeda’s structure so you’d think his showing up as a key player in Bojinka, his partnering with Ramzi, al Qaeda’s leader OBL sending his brother-in-law to the Philippines to manage domestic terrorism there just might have raised some alarm bells.
        Then there was the analyst at the FBI who saw something big coming up and as she pushed it she was fired. Then the Bureau had a pattern of ignoring Islamic terrorism going back to their ignoring the warning signs of the first WTC bombing. Seems to be less of a case of not talking amongst themselves than no one doing their jobs.

        Liked by you and 5 other people

        • Gary says:

          IIRC, The details of project Bojinka were discovered on a laptop in Yousef’s Cerbu City apartment shortly after an accidental detonation. Bojinka was a plot to hijack and blowup 12 U.S. commercial airliners in flight over the Pacific.

          K.S.M. (Yousef’s uncle) took credit for morphing the plan into Sept 11.

          Ramzi did get around, to this day no one has ever explained why witnesses claim to have watch Nichols and McVeigh attempt to detonate a smaller scale version of their bomb which according to testimony “Fizzled” Yet after 13 phone calls to that very same apartment building in Cerbu City made by Nichols….we have Oklahoma City.

          Interesting note, at the time of the 1st WTC bombing Yousef was employed as an “Explosives Expert” for the Iraqi National Oil Co.

          Everyone made a big deal out of the 4/15/01 Pdp claiming it warned of the attack which is simply not true. It merely stated an increase in chatter concerning airliners and a reference to it possibly being an attempt to bargaan for the return of the Blind Sheik and Yousef as well. Personally I’d have returned them, all of them, in body bags and made it perfectly clear they held no chips to bargain with!

          Liked by you and 1 other person

          • czarowniczy says:

            Bojinka was, at least in the planning, much larger than just bombing a few polanes, the planning included potential hijacking of airliners and flying them into buildings as well as attacking selected airports around the world and assassinating the Pope. Maybe they did try to bite off more than they could chew but the plan was there. Perhaps had they not forgotten about the pot on the stove…who knows?
            There has been and still is a very large, active and dangerous Moslem community in the Philippines that was ready to assist AQ in any way they could so were it not for an act of providence 911 might have been sooner.
            Yes, there was an increase in chatter but then the chatter was not manipulated as it is now and was a significant indication of pending action. My point wasn’t directly concerned with the chatter per se but with analysts who felt that their work in active AQ operations at the time were ignored. I always wondered if the Bureau were too interested in their ongoing mafia relationship to be bothered with a new dish. The military and especially the CIA were actively working AQ before 911 and had lots of data that might have been beneficial were the Bureau interested in being proactive and getting onto a new horse but it appears they preferred being reactive and going into full CYA mode.

  1. tunis says:

    Never forget that 15 out of the 19 Islamic jihadi terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 were Saudis.

    Liked by 3 people

 

Gander, Newfoundland: September 11, 2001

  1. Binkser1 says:

    Hard to believe it’s been 17 years. Still, like most of us, I remember that day clearly. I didn’t have work that Tuesday so I slept in until about 8:45. I woke up and turned on the tv. Not really paying attention, saw some commotion on tv. It didn’t really register what was happening because a week or two earlier I had turned on the tv and there was some goofball who had somehow gotten his parachute caught on the Statue of Liberty (don’t know how that happened) so I really wasn’t looking at the tv. Then I stopped and was watching and was shocked. Me in my 27 year old naivete thought it must have been an accident. Then looking at the tv, out of nowhere, you could see the plane hitting the second tower. Still one of the most surreal moments in my life. Could not believe it.
    Then, the reports came in about the Pentagon. Then, started seeing what is, IMO, still the most horrifying images of that day, people jumping to their death. These people knew they would die if they jumped but they saw it as better than what they were facing in those buildings. Can’t imagine what those poor souls felt as they made that decision. Still makes me cry to this day.
    Then, watching those towers fall. Hearing about PA. Just shock, anger, sorrow. And now, fast forward 17 years and people want to flood our country with the same types of savages that committed these acts (how much our govt. knew and allowed to happen I won’t hazard to guess but seeing how these Globalists have acted since President Trump was elected I put nothing past them, especially sacrificing American citizens to get what they want). I purposely watch a 9/11 special on the History Channel each year because I never want the pain of that day to completely heal in my mind. Never forget!
    So much on my life has changed since that day. I’m married, have a daughter, am a born again, spirit filled Christian. I hate that so many people lives were cut short and didn’t get to have the experiences that I and so many others take for granted.
    On this 17th anniversary of that horrible day, I pray for peace and comfort for those who lost loved ones that day and for those who made it through that have to live with those scars. God bless America!

     

  1. SalixVeridi says:

    I cannot watch the news today…. it saddens me so deeply. My cousin is a fireman and was on vacation that day, otherwise he would have had to enter the Towers. My other cousin who works on Wall Street was in the parking garage when the initial booms began and she said the building shook. Running out it took her a few minutes to discern what was happening, and then joined the throng and ended up jumping into the Hudson along with a bunch of others. They were pulled out of the water by a tug boat which then drifted away from shore because of the billowing smoke and ashes. She said it was a horrifying sight.

    My dear God. I cried myself to sleep that night, with the memory of those falling souls. God will mete out Justice for all those implicated in that dreadful day.

     

  1. Motzilla says:

    9/11/2001 – I came home from shift work as an LEO after a long slog at work all night [12 hour shift + rough night = xtra looong night] on the beat, and I turned on the TV to watch some news as I usually did after each night shift when I got home. I hadn’t heard of the attacks at all yet, not even at work before I left, and I was getting ready for dinner in the morning and looking forward to bed for the day since I had to go back to work that night for another 12+ hour shift on the beat. It was morning on 9/11/2001, and I was thoroughly exhausted. And, when that TV came on, there it was. The first thing I saw on whatever the major TV network was. The first live news reports being broadcast from the scene in NYC. The first tower burning with a massive column of smoke billowing from it. I had no idea what was happening. I sat down, and started to watch it all unfold. The whole thing – all day. At first, it was an accident. A plane crashed into one of the WTC towers. Such a horrific scene. So unfortunate! ……Then I saw the second tower get hit, live on TV, and I felt such a massive sorrow like I’d never felt before. I knew we were under attack right there for sure, and so did the gobsmacked news reporters. Unlike any sorrow I’d ever felt before – it hit me hard. It was almost surreal in it’s depth, and in it’s ‘purity’. Just pure deep powerful sorrow. It even startled me it was so forceful, I must say.

    And I quietly wept. Off and on. For what seemed like a total of hours. I wanted to stop watching, but I was compelled to witness it. I had to watch. I was so disgusted and abhorred watching it, so much horror, so much terror, but my ire was up and a deep sense of justice demanded I be a witness. So, I watched. And, I got very angry. Prayers to our heavenly Father tempered my anger enough to keep a calm and reasoned mind, and I did manage a cat-nap late in the day, then I went back to work that night – still stunned and practically numb. And still angry, but well tempered. Glory be to God. I was so angry at evìl and its demons incarnate that prowl this earth seeking the ruin of men and women, and the ruin of our souls. My whole team, we pretty much all felt the same way in the anger aspect. Everyone was somber, and angry, and extra alert. We felt so powerless. Without recourse from so far way. It was very frustrating.

    After our briefing and some measure of reminders that we are professionals and servants and protectors to our community, and certainly not judge and jury, we hit the streets and went straight to our beats. Quite sincerely ready for anything at all it seemed. Ready to do battle if necessary for sure. However, right from the start, the streets were extremely quiet. Very quiet. Eerily quiet. Right down to the calls for service. Hardly any radio calls at all. All night. The quietest I’d ever seen and heard, and I was at 15 years into my career in a major metropolitan area of SoCal. Even in the problem areas – the ‘hood(s). Everyone right down to even the career criminals seemed to take that night off and stay home. I’d never seen, or heard, anything like it. Even in the o’dark:30 hours which were pretty quiet generally speaking anyway, but certainly still active.

    And, even decades afterward, to pour salt to the already penetrating wounds, everything has changed in OUR government of America. Everything. Especially the powers and the laws that governed all of OUR America and all Americans, and OUR newly empowered government began to lord over us all in ways that were previously unheard of, and were certainly antithetical to the very foundations of our Constitutional Republic. In the name of safety, and security, of course. And, as a result, even these United Sates are not united anymore. Even now we witness such utterly life-altering power in the continuing massive DoJ/FBI/CIA/State Dept/Judicial corruption saga that we are all certainly witnessing now, and that our oh-so intrepid and venerated network news “journalists” pound into our heads that it supposedly isn’t corruption all day every day. And here we are now – 9/11/2018 – and Democratic Socialism is slotted to be the new, improved America 2.0 if what is tantamount to evìl prevails, and our personal privacy is most definitely a distant thing of the past….. we’ll never get that back ever again.

    God help us.

     

After exhausting the comments section of the 9-11 post I’m looking for further gems from the CTH Open Thread here:

Tuesday September 11th – Open Thread

https://www.theignorantfishermen.com/2010/09/911-and-soon-coming-day-of-lord.html

  1. I will never forget 9.11.2001

    From Mike Rowe’s FB wall today.

    “We’re Going to Do Something.”

    You’ve been very quiet about the Kaepernick PR disaster at Nike. Any thoughts? – Sam Wilder

    Mike: Hi Sam. Nike’s free to celebrate whomever they wish, and Kaepernick is entitled to his opinion – kneeling, standing, or lying down. But if I was going to put someone’s face on a billboard – someone who epitomized bravery and sacrifice – I might have gone another way, especially this time of year. I might have gone with this guy – Tom Burnett.

    Tom’s last act on earth was one of the most courageous things imaginable. And his last words to his wife, Deena, are among the most inspiring I’ve ever heard. Those exact words are at the top of this page, and the bottom. They were spoken seventeen years ago, under conditions I hope to never experience. I’ll never forget Tom’s last words. I hope you won’t either.

    Transcript of Tom’s Last Calls to Deena

    6:27 a.m.( pacific time) First cell phone call from Tom to Deena

    Deena: Hello
    Tom: Deena
    Deena: Tom, are you O.K.?
    Tom: No, I’m not. I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked.
    Deena: Hijacked?
    Tom: Yes, They just knifed a guy.
    Deena: A passenger?
    Tom: Yes.
    Deena: Where are you? Are you in the air?
    Tom: Yes, yes, just listen. Our airplane has been hijacked. It’s United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. We are in the air. The hijackers have already knifed a guy, one of them has a gun, they are telling us there is a bomb on board, please call the authorities. He hung up.

    6:31 Deena calls 911
    6:34 The phone rang in on call waiting, Tom’s second cell phone call.

    Deena: Hello
    Tom: They’re in the cockpit. The guy they knifed is dead.
    Deena: He’s dead?
    Tom: Yes. I tried to help him, but I couldn’t get a pulse.
    Deena: Tom, they are hijacking planes all up and down the east coast. They are taking them and hitting designated targets. They’ve already hit both towers of the World Trade Center.
    Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane. (a pause) Oh my God. It’s a suicide mission…(he then tells people sitting around him)
    Deena: Who are you talking to?
    Tom: My seatmate. Do you know which airline is involved?
    Deena: No, they don’t know if they’re commercial airlines or not. The newsreporters are speculating cargo planes, private planes and commercial. No one knows.
    Tom: How many planes are there?
    Deena: They’re not sure, at least three. Maybe more.
    Tom: O.K….O.K….Do you know who is involved?
    Deena: No.
    Tom: We’re turning back toward New York. We’re going back to the World Trade Center. No, wait, we’re turning back the other way. We’re going south.
    Deena: What do you see?
    Tom: Just a minute, I’m looking. I don’t see anything, we’re over a rural area. It’s just fields. I’ve gotta go.

    6:45 a.m. Third cell phone call from Tom to Deena

    Tom: Deena
    Deena: Tom, you’re O.K. (I thought at this point he had just survived the Pentagon plane crash).
    Tom: No, I’m not.
    Deena: They just hit the Pentagon.
    Tom: (tells people sitting around him “They just hit the Pentagon.”)
    Tom: O.K….O.K. What else can you tell me?
    Deena: They think five airplanes have been hijacked. One is still on the ground. They believe all of them are commercial planes. I haven’t heard them say which airline, but all of them have originated on the east coast.
    Tom: Do you know who is involved?
    Deena: No
    Tom: What is the probability of their having a bomb on board? I don’t think they have one. I think they’re just telling us that for crowd control.
    Deena: A plane can survive a bomb if it’s in the right place.
    Tom: Did you call the authorities?
    Deena: Yes, they didn’t know anything about your plane.
    Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane into the ground. We have to do something. I’m putting a plan together.
    Deena: Who’s helping you?
    Tom: Different people. Several people. There’s a group of us. Don’t worry. I’ll call you back.

    6:54 a.m. Fourth cell phone call to Tom to Deena

    Deena: Tom?
    Tom: Hi. Anything new?
    Deena: No
    Tom: Where are the kids?
    Deena: They’re fine. They’re sitting at the table having breakfast. They’re asking to talk to you.
    Tom: Tell them I’ll talk to them later.
    Deena: I called your parents. They know your plane has been hijacked.
    Tom: Oh…you shouldn’t have worried them. How are they doing?
    Deena: They’re O.K.. Mary and Martha are with them.
    Tom: Good.

    (a long quiet pause)

    Tom: We’re waiting until we’re over a rural area. We’re going to take back the airplane.
    Deena: No! Sit down, be still, be quiet, and don’t draw attention to yourself! (The exact words taught to me by Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Training).
    Tom: Deena! If they’re going to crash this plane into the ground, we’re going to have do something!
    Deena: What about the authorities?
    Tom: We can’t wait for the authorities. I don’t know what they could do anyway.
    It’s up to us. I think we can do it.
    Deena: What do you want me to do?
    Tom: Pray, Deena, just pray.

    (after a long pause)

    Deena: I love you.
    Tom: Don’t worry, we’re going to do something…

    Liked by you and 17 other people

  • Rynn69 says:

    OMG. This post has brought tears to my eyes. For those of us who lived through this, we will never forget it. Never. I 100% agree Tom Burnett and his fellow passengers who sought to gain control of that aircraft epitomize bravery and sacrifice as do our veterans and troops. The part about Tom telling his wife they were waiting until the plane was over a rural area was so poignant, thinking of protecting others. To look up into the sky the night of September 11, 2001 and hear silence is a memory I will never forget as all flights were grounded across the country. If you are a millennial or too young to remember, I highly encourage you to learn what happened that day and how a few brave Americans changed the course of history.

     

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/271288/sept-11-terror-attacks-17-years-later-michael-cutler

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6153253/Rare-candid-collection-images-President-George-W-Bush-moments-9-11-attacks.html

 

Now I’m reviewing some of Stella’s 9/11 themed pages starting here:

General Discussion, Tuesday, September 11, 2018

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/09/fr-mychal-judges-last-homily-91001/#0oU2wWPcXsi4vTcK.01

Now checking this post of Stella’s:

Memories of Sept 11, 2001

candlelightvigilsept142001

 

  1. czarowniczy says:

    We’d been working AQ and OBL for a few years, about 7 to be exactish, as at first they were players in out NEO operating areas. Later they became main players in our proposed operating area as other ‘agencies’ had put them on their radar.
    The morning of 911 I was on the road at ~ 7:45 CST when the first airliner crashed into the North Tower. By 8:00 when the 2nd plane hit the South Tower I was driving into my office’s parking lot. My plant was in the back and there was only the two of us and my partner never listened to the radio or browsed the internet so it was about 8:30 CST when I turned my computer on and all hell broke loose with news feeds – and then the Pentagon attack was announced.
    About 8:45 my SSO from the Navy SCIF called my cell phone and asked if I thought it was AQ and I said I’d buy the steaks if it weren’t. She then asked if I were going to come in and pull all of my AQ materials if needed and I said yes, after 4 PM.
    Things were slow getting filtered out at my office, the ‘command’ structure was scared to make an independent decision, preferring to wait for DC to tell them what to do. No work was getting done, every computer on every desk was tuned to a news outlet and everyone was glued to the screens. Finally at about 10:30 the bosses sent out a facility-wide message saying anyone who wanted to could take the rest of the day off with pay. WOO HOO! A day off payed for with death and destruction – the place emptied most riki tik. A few of us were asked to stay behind and provide man the office just in case, and I did, only to be told at noon they were closing us down for the day.
    On the way home the streets were normal, normal traffic, normal everything. On the ferry across the Mississippi some deckhands had heard something about the attacks but the situation was foreign to them, they didn’t even know what the WTC was or that the buildings even existed.
    When I got home the first thing I did was load a VHS tape into the VCR and over the next few days Czarina and I taped 24 hours a day and we still have a plastic tub full of those tapes. They
    contain images that the MSM has scrubbed from the public’s vision. We have those hours of people jumping, live, from the buildings to keep from burning and the shock, live as the buildings collapsed. We’;re going to convert them to disks so that out grandkids, great grandkids and their kids will have a realtime, unedited record of what happened.
    Next day I was in work as usual and, about noon, got a call that orders were being cut to put me back onto active duty. The orders were cut on 21 September (the volume of us being called up was large) and for the next 18 months I was loaned out to Federal civilian agencies that were suddenly thrust into strange waters.

     

czarina33 says:
You can also go into the archives of NPR’s “Morning Edition” by entering the date to hear the real time narrative & news of that day. I listen to it every couple of years.
  1. On 9-11-01 I was driving my son to school when I had a strong urge to pray for President Bush…it was right around the time the first plane hit. Later I was home with my 3 youngest kids when my husband called from work telling me to turn on the TV that something big was happening. I think I was on ABC & trying to make sense of Peter Jennings & seeing the split screen with the Pentagon on fire & the remaining Tower belching black smoke. I saw that second tower fall on live TV (I still hadn’t really grasped what was happening) & immediately burst into tears at the witnessing of countless lives being snuffed out. My kids called 9-11 “the day that mommy cried” because they rarely ever saw me cry & that day the sorrow was uncontrollable.

    Fast forward some years later to one of the 9-11 remembrances…where Barak Obama was a participant who read or recited scriptures that were supposed to provide comfort. Now I Never liked or supported that individual but was willing to overlook personal animosity & give the benefit of the doubt to him, it was the Word of God after all. I have never before or since had my skin crawl in listening to Scripture being recited. God’s Word pouring from his lips came across as some kind of abomination at least to my soul. I thought there must be something wrong with me to have perceived him/it that way. Some time later I had a conversation with a woman from my mom’s prayer group of many decades. She expressed similar & even more vehement reactions to BHO quoting scripture…

    Thanks for this moving & sobering post Stella…

    I shared a link to your post at CTH & also wrote on this topic here:

    https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/september-11th-remembrances/

     

     

Father Mychal Judge.

For his boys.

For his city.

For his God.

 

 

The two videos above were from other Stella posts, then from this post:

09.11.01: The towers are hit

09.11.01: The towers are hit

Gary says:

I’m sitting (17 years later) exactly where I was that morning, 1/2 mile from the Hudson River directly across from what used to be the WTC. I rarely ever get involved in conversations regarding the attack anymore simply because having watched it happen in front of me it’s difficult to accept the jibberish so many are eager to spout. I buried 12 good friends and over a dozen or so “acquaintances” so it can be a touchy subject. Suffice to say…..I watched as two planes struck those buildings, the first flew straight down the island at rooftop level (one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen) the second plane approached from the southwest coming up the harbor and as soon as I saw it’s proximity to the Statue of Liberty I knew. In fact the second plane damn near missed the tower, he banked that plane so hard left it warped the air frame so much the cargo doors opened.

Things that will remain impossible to forget;
The sunlight breaking through the smoke and seeing blue sky where the South Tower used to be.
The fully armed fighter jet climbing straight up through the smoke,14 miles from my home.
The papers in the sky over the harbor,…..it looked like glitter.
The smoke, for weeks the smoke climbed into the sky, visible from my home.
The ring of lights (also visible from my home) where they worked 24/7 to identify the remains.
The pictures on automobiles of those looking for their loved ones, far more than you can imagine.

I could go on but ……..Thank you for listening.

 

 

 

 

https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/islam/islamic-terrorism/post-911-trump-interview.htm

http://710keel.com/former-barksdale-airman-recalls-911-attacks-response-and-bush-visit-video/

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/09/facebook-bans-me-on-9-11-for-posting-on-how-to-prevent-another-9-11

Hoping to find further gems here:

President Trump Speech Flight 93 Memorial Service….

from the transcript of the above video:

“As Commander-in-Chief, I will always do everything in my power to prevent terrorists from striking American soil.

Here with us today is Dorothy Garcia Bachler. Her husband Sonny was one of the passengers on Flight 93. On September 11th, 2001 — just over a month after their 32nd wedding anniversary — Sonny was on his way back from a business meeting. He called Dorothy — who he loved so much — called her on the plane and uttered her name before the line went dead silent.

In the days after the attack, Dorothy told the investigators there was only one thing she wanted from this field: her husbands wedding ring. They would know it by the inscription etched inside. All my love, it said, followed by the number 8/2/69 – the date of their anniversary. The officers — great people — promised to try. But in this field of wreckage, it seemed certainly impossible.

Dorothy began to pray, and she asked her friends to do the same. Days went by, then months. Still no ring. A week before Christmas, on December 19th, she heard a knock at the door. Two officers were standing with a — really beautiful to her — she saw it was so beautiful; she knew what was happening — a beautiful, small white box. Inside it was a wallet, a luggage tag, a drivers license, a small bag with the wedding ring inscribed with those three precious words: All my love.

Those words echo across this field. And those words tell the story of 40 men and women who gave all their love for their families, their country, and our freedom.

To Dorothy, and to every family here today, America will never forget what your loved ones did for all of us. (Applause.)”

sedge2z says:

 

  1. olderwiser21 says:

    Such a beautiful and heartfelt speech. One of his very best!

    I would like to recommend a wonderful book to fellow Treepers written by one of the Shanksville first responders. The title is “In The Shadow of a Badge” written by Lillie Leonardi. Her account of her first impressions upon arriving at the scene of the crash are stunning and wonderful. You will not be disappointed in her story.

     

American Hero Todd Beamer

“Let’s Roll!”
Flight 93, September 11, 2001

WE WILL NEVER FORGET
WE WILL NEVER FORGIVE

 

  1. trapper says:

    How easily we forget.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/09/07/critics-flight-memorial-insist-islamic-symbols-remain.html

    Looking at an aerial of the memorial one sees a giant qibla that points the great-circle direction to Mecca.

     

sedge2z says:

Here are the first sounds of the Memorial’s Chimes
http://www.faithwire.com/2018/09/11/their-voices-will-ring-out-stunning-memorial-marks-heroic-actions-of-flight-93-passengers/

Tower of Voices Memorial

  1. Phil aka Felipe says:

    This takes the guessing game out of figuring out whose side Face Book is on. FB would provide the 9/11 hijackers aid and comfort.

    Take a look at this:

    ‘Jamie Glazov Suspended from Facebook over ‘9 Steps to Best Counter Jihad’ Article’

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/09/11/jamie-glazov-suspended-from-facebook-over-9-steps-to-best-counter-jihad-article/

     

  1. Trent Telenko says:

    The following is from a post I put up on the Chicagoboyz web log today —

    The Giants of Flight 93, Plus 17 years
    Trent Telenko on September 11th, 2018
    https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/58083.html

    Students of American character should pay close attention to Flight 93. A random sample of American adults was subjected to the highest possible stress and organized themselves in a terribly brief period, without benefit of training or group tradition other than their inherent national consciousness, to foil a well planned and executed terrorist attack. Recordings show the passengers and cabin crew of Flight 93 – ordinary Americans all – exemplified the virtues Americans hold most dear.
    .
    Certain death came for them by surprise but they did not panic and instead immediately organized, fought and robbed terror of its victory. They died but were not defeated.
    .
    Ordinary Americans confronted by enemies behaved exactly like the citizen-soldiers eulogized in Victor Davis Hanson’s Carnage and Culture.
    .
    Herman Wouk called the heroic sacrifice of the USS Enterprise’s Torpedo 8 squadron at the Battle of Midway “… the soul of America in action.” Flight 93 was the soul of America, and the American people know it. They spontaneously created a shrine at the crash site to express what is in their hearts and minds but not their mouths. They are waiting for a poet. Normally a President fills this role.
    .
    But Americans feel it now. They don’t need a government or leader for that, and didn’t to guide their actions on Flight 93, because they really are America. Go to the crash shrine and talk to people there. Something significant resonates through them which is different from, and possibly greater than, the shock of suffering a Pearl Harbor attack at home.
    .
    Pearl Harbor remains a useful analogy given Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto’s statement on December 7, 1941 – “I fear we have woken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”They were giants on Flight 93.

     

 

Special Needs Parenting, Trauma, & PTSD

Recently I encountered the comprehensive blog Different Dream Living–DifferentDream.com, run by Jolene Philo & was able to post many links to my writings related to special needs which I wrote about here:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/it-actually-worked/

See the source image

She also has run a series that appears to be related to PTSD & Special Needs Parenting…of which I’ve only yet read one of the 13 installments.  I have a tendency to play the “approach avoidance” game with myself whenever getting close to those things or people in my life that are most associated with pain…& special needs parenting is a big domain fraught with many conflicting emotions & unresolved baggage.

See the source image

I had a relatively recent conversation with a hospital chaplain where she pointed out that many parents who have dealt with a complex special needs child have Trauma related issues.  I’ve also been told by a couple of respected sources that both my special son, Josiah, & myself may carry a form of PTSD, in particular in relation to some of the damage & fallout from a failed special education battle on his behalf…see here:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/commenting-on-only-the-rich-will-have-rights-article/

Anyway I’ve decided to attempt to tackle the PTSD series en masse & write down my thoughts as they occur…hopefully in just this one post.  So I’m basically taking a big breath & diving in so we’ll see where this journey (always in God’s hands) will take me/us.  I hope/pray that if you wrestle with any of these issues you may be blessed in this raw sharing of where I am in this “facing the giants” journey.  May God cover us in his love, peace, & healing presence as we venture into the unknown…

See the source image

My plan going forward is to clip relevant sections of the various posts & share my insights & then maybe go back through the entirety of this post & intersperse some scripture images to add a bit of flavor & then post it “as is”…we’ll see…So I am actually attempting to polish this up a bit & am using bold &/or italics to highlight certain things.  This means that some of the “clipped” verbiage may appear in a slightly different presentation than that at the original post sites.  Please consider visiting the original posts for more info…

Here is the link to the first post in the series:

http://differentdream.com/2015/04/special-needs-parents-and-ptsd-survey-results/

Special Needs Parents and PTSD

This first post details some of the results of a survey completed by some of the blog readers related to PTSD & special needs parenting.  There is statistical info on individual questions & then details about when PTSD might have first begun…I’m already finding myself emotionally detaching from the topic as I read the various responses as detachment is apparently one of my main coping mechanisms with the pain.  I also find that I relate to many of the answers shared like those below; I’ll just leave the answers that are mine too–sort of, they are various parts of my “trauma” not necessarily the Initial part though; I ended up leaving a couple of comments that aren’t Completely my experience (never had a C-Section, not reported to CPS, never “diagnosed” w/ anxiety):

“Question #5

When did your initial traumatic experience occur?

Here are the comments parents left in the box:

  • During hospitalization
  • At birth
  • Before birth
  • After birth
  • Premature birth, NICU
  • diagnoses before birth
  • NICU
  • At birth and many subsequent scary near losses
  • Diagnosis and afterwards
  • Birth, NICU, fighting for him during his first two years, heart surgery, and then bleeding
  • I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the first experience. It could be the emergency C-section required at birth, the multiple ear infections as a baby, the increasing symptoms of autism in the first 2 years, the diagnosis at 27 months, or when it all finally hit me 3 years after diagnosis. I’m not positive I HAVE PTSD, but I do have major anxiety and clinical depression.
  • at diagnosis
  • I would guess at birth, but maybe just along the way, sooo many things!
  • Around diagnosis, at his first seizure
  • Before child’s birth and then continued at her birth, NICU admission, heart failure, and chronic medical problems that ensued. It peaked when medical professionals accused us of making our child ill and reported us to state child protective services. Thankfully, their claims were quickly thrown out as invalid, but it amplified the PTSD.
  • Before birth, NICU and subsequent surgeries and diagnosis”

Also, though I often appreciate reading about other people’s experiences when they hover very close to those sore spots in the soul it can use up A Lot of energy reserves just to consider those external events, let alone to brush against the pain lurking just below the surface…

See the source image

Did the Survey Results Surprise You?

Here’s what surprised me about these results….the number of parents dealing with PTSD for a long period of time without treatment or support. This makes me very sad because treatment is available and effective. So in addition to the stories survey participants will be contributing to this series, considerable time will be devoted to effective treatments and how to locate them.”

Here the Dealing for a long time without support is kind of what jumped out at me.  For many years I’ve felt guilty whenever I attempt to talk about the various traumatic aspects of caring for a complex special needs child/son.  Most people don’t understand where I’m coming from so have a limited frame of reference.  Other people can only hang briefly with my communication style…Often it feels as if people would rather turn away & pretend there are no battles/burdens that others face than try to “come alongside to help”…I’m also guilty of turning away from others’ pain so I do get it…

I honestly don’t know if there is “available & effective” treatment or not.  Part of “available” for me includes financially accessible, so that is always a big hurdle.  Also, because of the complexity of my son’s needs & the overarching way his issues have overshadowed my (& my family’s) life I have a hard time believing there is any liklihood of finding a “therapist” that might “get it” & also be skilled in navigating my Christian perspective…anyway it remains to be seen if “treatment” will ever be approached.

See the source image

Here is a telling comment to the original article:

“Thank you for bringing this topic into the light. As a medical professional I have seen the panic in the eyes of the parents of my patients. But then I made my journey to the other side of the bed as a parent of a chronically ill child. I’ve been saying for years that this is a very real issue and that more research needs to be done. I’m considering obtaining my doctorate so I can do more research on this topic. It is personal and real. Thank you for opening the door for so many who are not only dealing with a chronically ill child but also struggling as a caregiver.”

& another comment:

“It does seem to not only be a Different Dream but at Different World a lot of the time! 19 emergency surgeries for my son prior to 3 years old and the triggers that come from everywhere and nowhere. Years of functioning with no emergencies and adapting to the reality but then out of the clear blue back in the stuck mode of hopelessness and helplessness and shear terror that comes when the dose of reality is more than usual. I remember when the Twin Towers fell thinking that is how I feel every time my son has an emergency or I sense things are heading in that direction. Thanks for this blog, it really allowed me to know I am not alone in my feelings and this Different Journey in life. Knowing there was peace for a while gives me hope there will be peace again.

We thankfully haven’t faced the emergency surgery route but the many surgeries, & the majors (2 open heart, brain tumor, & liver transplant) have been especially challenging to cope with.  My husband & I just watched the 9/11 documentary by the Naudet brothers last night (it’s nearing that anniversary again) so the Twin Towers perspective of the above comment strikes home.  After 9/11 I was personally changed in how I approach & process news & information.  After having a special needs child my whole perspective on life was radically altered.  Both are watershed moments from which there is no escape!

See the source image

& another comment:

“I have been telling my doctor for months that I am losing my mind, my control, my ability to captain this ship. I get pats on the back and told that I am doing an amazing job and no one could manage what I manage any better, or probably as well as I do. AHEM. Does any sound come out of my mouth when I speak? lol. DROWNING, NOT WAVING HERE! I recognize what I’m experiencing as PTSD from being diagnosed from a traumatic event long before I had children. – you know, a couple of lifetimes ago. I had no idea it could be caused by caring for a chronically ill child(ren). Everything I can find talks about single events such as injuries or illnesses with treatments/cures…

 it’s relentless. And at the moment, there is no treatment, there is no cure, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, there are no answers, no “one day when this is all over” to look forward to…. so it’s not really “POST Traumatic Stress Syndrome”…. Not sure what you might call it. “Constant Traumatic Stress Syndrome”? But this series is as close as I have found to relating to our situation. Thank you for writing it.” 

I’m clipping that comment because it impacts me & I relate but there are really no words that I can come up with to articulate how…

See the source image

The author’s reply to the above comment (there are details of the complex situation at the website post) may be beneficial to any of you on Facebook (I’m not)…

Jolene

Dear Amy, Wow! You are dealing with a lot, and as you said it is ever-present, continuing trauma that wears a person down. If you’re on FB, you might want to join a closed FB group that launched today, Sept. 1, for parents of kids with special needs who are dealing with trauma and stress. To join, you first need to register with Key Families, the organization hosting the group, here: http://www.keyministry.org/find-a-community-online/. Then go to this FB group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1611201765795195/) and click the “join” button. Someone will approve your request and then you can join the discussion. This week, people are briefly introducing themselves and explaining why they joined the group. We’d love to have you! Jolene

 

Here’s the second post (& these remaining posts may be from various willing parents who participated in the PTSD survey):

http://differentdream.com/2015/04/special-needs-parents-and-ptsd-what-about-you-mom/

What about you mom FB

“A few hours after our first child’s birth in 1982, he was life-flighted to a hospital 750 miles away for life-saving emergency surgery. For the next 4 years, my mother hen instincts were absorbed in caring for my little chick. Life felt like a revolving door as my husband and I watched him go in and out of the doctor’s office, in and out of the hospital, in and out of surgery way. That revolving door left very little time for self-examination or working through the trauma I had experienced after his birth.

So I shut the door to my emotions and kept them safely under lock and key for years–even decades–after our son’s health stabilized. Those emotions remained stuffed away until 2008 when our son, then 26, was treated for PTSD caused by all the early, invasive medical trauma he had experienced.

I was sitting in the trauma clinic’s waiting room minding my own business when one of the therapists stopped by to visit about our son’s progress. After confirming that our boy was progressing well, the therapist looked me in the eye and asked, “What about you, Mom?”

I had no idea why he was asking the question. “I’m fine,” I replied, puzzled.

He raised a quizzical eyebrow. “Is that so?”

For several years I ignored his question whenever it niggled in my brain. But then last fall, something happened to someone I love dearly, and that event unlocked the door to my emotions. Long hidden emotions came tumbling out. Once again I felt as alone and weak and helpless as the day the doctor took my newborn baby away. I felt stuck in the past, unable to move beyond the constant sense of worry and loss surrounding me.”

Well I can definitely relate to the spirit of this post if not the specific details.  I do recall a couple of times in my life where someone reached out to me in compassion, caring, & sensitivity where I was almost emotionally undone by their loving concern.  It was such a rare experience to find that someone was also concerned with where I was (as opposed to only caring about Josiah’s needs) that I really didn’t know how to handle it (as in my armor was inadequate to combat the compassion!)…I’m not yet ready to look for treatment, per se, but am exploring this PTSD topic in the manner of “physician heal thyself”, including in this present post–obviously!

See the source image

Here are Jolene’s suggested steps for those seeking/needing treatment:

If you think special needs parents and PTDS are living side by side in your life, I urge you to seek treatment. Follow these steps to find a therapist:

  • Ask your insurance company for a list of mental health therapists in their network.
  • Identify therapists on the list who have specialized trauma training.
  • Check them out on the internet.
  • Call their offices and ask them about their trauma training and therapy techniques.
  • Make an appointment with a therapist that best matches your needs.
  • Go to a few appointments. If you see red flags or don’t feel comfortable find a different therapist. But if you see progress, keep going until you’ve worked through your emotions.

Now we’ll see if anything might jump out from the comments section:

Jolene mentioned getting help from  Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy…http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/emdr-what-is-it

one of the commenters mentioned these techniques:

“I use EFT (emotional freedom technique) and NET (neuroemotional technique) to neutralize traumas. I find EFT helpful when the trauma is happening, and I’m getting worked up. I find NET helpful for past happenings.”

Here is the link to Part 3 of the series:

http://differentdream.com/2015/04/ptsd-in-parents-6-ways-to-deal-with-adrenal-fatigue/

PTSD in Parents

That image reminds a bit of Josiah after his first Heart Surgery at 2 months of age & 4 pounds…not a place I really want to re-visit…

See the source image

Adrenaline rush, adrenaline rush, adrenaline rush.

I was young. I was strong. I was a Christian. I handled it all with aplomb. After years of living in crises, our son stabilized–mostly–and we learned to navigate our new normal of being parents of a child with disabilities. We had another son, then a daughter.

Baby Girl is in NICU.

Hibiclens. Nail scrubs. Gowning up. Pumping breast milk.
The smells.
The sounds.
What was happening to me?
My mental state was so concerning to the nurses that they asked if I wanted psychiatric help.”

I’m distancing myself again, just trying to focus on the task of getting through this post…”the new normal of being parents of a child with disabilities”…where there is No Normal to be found!

The NICU info is reminding me of what we faced for 2 1/2months (mostly just me as my husband had to return to our home 250 miles away & my parents would usually watch my 2 year old & my other infant son, who’d been in the NICU for 10 days)…Once Brandon, Josiah’s twin, came “home” (to my parents’ house) the breast pump became a daily occurrence.  I had to pump milk for 20 minutes after every feeding of Brandon & I’d take that accumulated milk with me to the hospital to feed Josiah (who had to be gavage fed through a tube in the nose for he was too weak to latch on).  After Josiah’s heart surgery he was no longer medically allowed to have my milk so then I would pump milk for Brandon that I’d accumulate in the hospital fridge or freezers on the Pediatric Congenital Heart wing of the hospital & then pass to my parents to give to Brandon.  I think I usually stayed bedside with Josiah once he’d had his heart surgery but much of that time has been blurred out & is not readily accessible for “total recall”.  U of M had a breast pump room in the Pediatric Cardiology wing of the hospital so I was far from the only mom of a young baby/child battling the breast pump front…

See the source image

I know I need help.

I visit a practitioner specializing in stress and hormones.
With advice stemming from a naturopathic philosophy, I make progress back to the land of the living.
Am I cured?
No.

My daughter has a case of unrepairable supraventricular tachycardia that has resulted in ambulance trips and unsuccessful ablations. My oldest son still is disabled. I live on the edge with an undercurrent of constant anxiety.

I get a counselor who comes to our home when we still lived in Northern Michigan (we moved when the twins were a year and a half).  I attempt to “process” various aspects of being a special needs parent…this counselor basically berates me for whining & tells me that I don’t know how good I have it & that most mothers in my shoes have been abandoned by their husbands so I just need to be thankful that I have an intact marriage!

Our pastor visits to offer “comfort” and asks what he could do to help.  I tell him I could really use a friend.  He practically yells at me “I Can’t Get You Friends!!!”  He prays with me that one visit & then I’m basically housebound for a year and a half before we move (Josiah was hospitalized twice in his first year with life threatening RSV infections so I pretty much only venture out to appointments–a lifestyle that became pretty habitual beyond the “use by” date)…the last year of that time I live with our three boys in our home while my husband lives with my parents 250 miles away, working a new job as we attempt to sell our house by owner.  Michael & I only get weekends together but connect by phone (I think this was pre-Internet in our home so no email, etc)…

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I share some of my heartaches with a close relative who’d been providing support as they were able.  They are tired of dealing with me & my issues so tell me “I can’t handle your neediness so I have to pull away.”  It takes me years to regroup that rocky relationship for me emotionally & to learn to rebuild trust.  I retreat even more into my emotional shell I try to lick my wounds as best as I am able.

My husband has ADHD & can only hang so long with complex topics, especially if we are having such talks after a long work day.  I don’t have many/any places to “process” the magnitude of what I wrestle with in relation to my son’s special needs & advocating on his behalf.  I share my frustration about these burdens & communication challenges with a pastor (I love my husband too much to lay huge amounts of details & baggage on him because if I don’t hold back sometimes I can push him into a mental/emotional overload & shutdown & he can get physically sick).  The pastor seemingly berates me for my communication style & cautions me to be more concerned about my husband without offering advice or support as to how I might manage my needs in the equation.  I feel overwhelmed by this criticism & lack of hearing my heart & retreat further…

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I acquire reams of material in the process of gearing up for yet another special education battle.  One hospital form reveals that an office staff person put my name in for investigation for possible medical abuse of my child (she thought I’d brought him unnecessarily to the hospital to get my own twisted needs met) because I’d asked her to watch him while I took a legal call that couldn’t be rescheduled (& I’d brought him for the first & only time to an “emergency” specialty appointment because he’d put something in his ear & the regular doc, who we’d already seen said we had to have it removed by the specialist) & was just around the corner from where my son was watching TV in the waiting room (& being young & autistic needed someone to keep an eye on him).  I had no one else available from “our side” to be on that legal conference call nor attend appointments with us & was under huge stress from that special education case.  I dealt with a few years of paranoia after this wondering if every aspect of my care for my child was under some type of scrutiny & if I was being secretly written up & investigated…

There are a few other issues I could mention but this gives a flavor of what that post brings up…& even attempting to write about this stuff relatively dispassionately is difficult…

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Adrenaline rushes occur every time someone sneezes.

But I’m much better – sometimes thriving, sometimes struggling. How do I keep going day after day? Here are my top tips for moms dealing with PTSD or adrenal fatigue:

  1. Psalms for the Anxious: In the middle of one anxious night, I googled and found this list. I have one Bible that’s yellow-highlighted for those anxiety-filled moments, believing in God’s sovereignty and that ultimately, I am not responsible for how many days my kids will spend on earth.
  2. Quit the Caffeine Fix: My pot of coffee each day was too much. I’ve learned to be kinder to my body, cleaning up my diet, coffee being my particular poison. An occasional massage works wonders instead.
  3. Seek Professional Help: For me, it was seeking naturopathic and nutritional guidance. For others, it may be necessary to see a psychiatrist. If you have thoughts about harming yourself or your children, tell someone right now. Get immediate help.
  4. Find a Support Group: I belong to a special needs moms group. They get me. When I’m particularly struggling, I shoot a message, knowing they will lift me up to our heavenly Father. The peace I feel afterwards is amazing.
  5. Share the Responsibility: During emergencies my hubby does the ambulance rides if he’s available. I still love and care about my kids; I’m just relinquishing control-freak tendencies and accepting help for my own well-being.
  6. Turn Away from Negativity: If a TV show triggers anxiety, turn it off. Don’t finish that book if it’s making your stomach knot. Instead, watch Tim Hawkins on YouTube or tell your kids a joke. Force yourself to leave them and go see a play. I am always surprised at how much I enjoy myself once I’m removed from the immediacy of my situation.

 

While I hate the way PTSD makes me feel, believe it or not, I am grateful for it. Once a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of girl, I now know what it is to fully rely on God in my weakness, and I can now comfort those who journey behind me.”

I’m sharing this author’s advice, not because I necessarily agree with nor act upon it, but since it may benefit anyone else who might read my post…

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I do find the scriptures to be very beneficial, both in their written & in a worship format.  I have been incorporating more scriptural meme-type images in some of my posts of late for I find the Word of God to bring Life & some of the imagery helps accentuate the truth…

Here are some scripture based songs of comfort I recently shared with a precious lady who is actively battling breast cancer…see this page for those conversations:

 

Prayer Requests – 9

 

The #4 area (support group above) is one of particular weakness for me.  I don’t have many outlets of a face-to-face nature where hashing these things out is possible.  Years ago I used to participate obliquely in a message board site called Moms Online.  It had boards on various health topics like Autism, ADHD, Congenital Heart, Urogenital Defects, Prematurity, Surgeries, ENT issues, Sleep Disorders, Learning Disabilities, etc.  My issue was that I could rarely find anyone who dealt with more than two topics at a time.  In the land of special needs parenting I found the constellation of Josiah’s needs to be beyond the realm of the other moms that were posting.  Because these & other issues bled into each other it became less beneficial to “lurk” & virtually pointless to “post”…I guess that’s partly why I choose to write in a blog about some of these things now…

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Well let’s see if anything in the comments section hits home:

One of the comments seems filled with anger & resentment so I won’t copy it here.  I do relate in various ways to what that commenter shared.  It is very difficult to have to continually “lay your life down” for another.  I’m not that altruistic by nature, in fact a “spiritual gifting inventory” I took years ago put “servanthood” as my lowest trait!  Being a special needs parent requires one to enter servanthood at an alarming rate & intensity…

“I’m so sorry for the agonizing anxiety of the fragile health needs in your family.
Thank you for sharing in such an understanding and sensitive way.

PTSD haunts me on many fronts…my past, my husband…sometimes my kids…
I tried to ignore it…and it chased me through nightmares…
I tried to explain it…and it cost me friends…
I tried to cover it up…and it forced its way into my brain through flashbacks…
I found a godly counselor…and it receded into the shadows…
Life is possible–although still precarious…”

This is heartbreakingly true & beautifully shared…I do relate in spirit to this comment…

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Here is a comment by this post’s author to the one really struggling…

Rachel Olstad on April 21, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Thank you all for the kind words everyone. My heart goes out to those of you who also struggle with anxiety and PTSD. My prayer for you is that the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Nina, especially, I pray that you not give up hope, but will keep seeking for the help you need with your children. I would encourage you to check out the Joni and Friends Family Retreats and see if one near you would work into your schedule – a totally life-changing event for families affected by disability.”

I’ve never looked into Joni & Friends as an organization or their Family Retreats.  We did get to attend a Siblings of Special Needs workshop weekend a couple different times on a needs based scholarship.  It was amazing to see how quickly my kids bonded with the other siblings.  I sometimes forget that they are also significantly impacted by living in a special needs family & it’s hard for them to find peers who “get it” just like it’s hard for me.  This has caused us to draw pretty close to each other as a family because we “get it” exactly as it is with Josiah (the totality & magnitude of his issues & needs though we are all on separate & unique journeys).  I used to keep Josiah home with me so that Michael could take the other 3 kids & do some fun & normal things with some degree of regular life.  This was a sacrificial self-segregation on my part because the magnitude of Josiah’s challenges, especially when younger, were so over-arching that sometimes all that could be remembered from an event were his screams (& the silent ones living in our heads)!

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Here’s the next post, the 4th in the series:

http://differentdream.com/2015/04/8-truths-about-ptsd-in-parents-of-kids-with-special-needs/

PTSD in parents of kids with special needs

I don’t have a lot of pictures of our medical experiences.  Usually I’m alone with Josiah so there’s no one to take such shots.  I also don’t have a cell phone so have to make a concerted effort to bring a camera along…This picture resonates & also makes me sad.  I can relate to this mom who is caring for her child.  She looks kind of like she’s trying to drum up a smile for the camera, or she’s caught mid speech.  I can’t decide if her eyes reflect a steely determination, forthrightness–facing whatever is happening head on, or a deer in the headlights level of fear.  Probably all of these & none of these simultaneously.  There is just a Slight chance I might be projecting here!

Years ago, when my oldest son, Nathaniel, was an early adolescent he had a bad break in his forearm that required surgery.  Because he’d never been under general anesthesia before they decided to keep him in-patient overnight–& I stayed with him bedside for the duration.  That hospitalization was a real revelation to me–as in Nathaniel was Way easier to manage in a post-op state than Josiah had ever been.  Now Nathaniel also has ADHD & he wasn’t an easy kid to raise when younger.  But the contrast between surgery & a hospital stay with Nathaniel & one with Josiah couldn’t be greater.  It was pretty sad that in doing that scenario with Nathaniel was practically “fun” in comparison to what it’s usually like with Josiah.  I wondered then if that was how it was for regular parents of regular kids, except for them their stress would likely be way up because they were in such unfamiliar territory.  For me (& Josiah) the University of Michigan Hospital System is practically a second home, so familiar & “comfortable”…

Having walked through all of these things, here are some truths I can share with you about realizing that not only my son, but I too live with medically triggered PTSD:

  1. Your child’s trauma is separate from your trauma. While your child definitely deals with life-changing crises, your trauma is separate and distinct from your child’s. For example, while my child’s trauma is feeling the attack and powerlessness of being restrained to be jabbed with a needle, my trauma is restraining him, hearing him scream out in pain, and being unable to stop it. My trauma is seeing the pools of frank blood on our kitchen floor, covering multiple surfaces in our bathroom, or saturating bed linens and clothes.
  2. Prayer and Scripture are critical, but don’t forget that God moves through mental health professionals too. From little on, I taught my son to do deep breathing and memorize verses like, “Be anxious for nothing,” (Philippians 4:6) or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) We would pray these through before we infused as a way to calm down. That is a good thing. However, as the number of crises increased, it became apparent we needed more help. Sadly, the Church (including us, its members) can forget that in addition to working through prayer and the Word, God also works through people. This includes medical and therapeutic professionals. I have been blessed to have worked with a number of competent, helpful psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists over the years.
  3. Your trauma will be triggered by things you expect and things you don’t expect. You will probably not be surprised to hear that writing this narrative for you opened my grief afresh. However, you may find yourself startled as I did that first time I discovered merely seeing the school’s phone number on Caller ID caused my heart to race with noticeable intensity. I had always downplayed the seriousness of what I faced, thinking that I needed to toughen up. Yet, something as simple as a phone call or a smell, or a sound, can propel a parent like me into the heart of that trauma once again in fractions of a second.
  4. Others may see it before you do. Because our children need us to be strong and activated, we often don’t see what these traumatic experiences have done to us. I first came to realize that I was facing PTSD every bit as much as my son, when a friend of mine who is a psychotherapist mentioned it. I had just shared with her and the rest of our Moms In Touch group my concerns regarding my son’s trauma at our weekly gathering. After listening to my prayer requests she said, “My goodness! You probably have PTSD too after everything you’ve been through!” Her shared epiphany validated the subtle signs fighting for recognition in my own life.
  5. It is not unusual to be re-traumatized. When we have a child who faces a lifetime diagnosis, traumatic experiences can and do reoccur. Each new treatment or hospitalization can constitute another emotionally jarring experience. Because this can be a distinct possibility with a chronic diagnosis, it is critical to have a preferred professional to whom you can turn at a moment’s notice. Even if you are feeling well and strong, a sudden episode with your child can make psychological help necessary in short order.
  6. This is not a quick fix. Be patient and kind with yourself. Trauma leaves deep, life-changing wounds. It is worth the time spent in therapy to heal your emotions and mental health. There may be times where you feel worse before you feel better, because you are exposing wounds that have been covered and buried deep out of a need to cope in the short-term. Don’t give up in the sorrow of healing. Just as a plant needs to be watered before it can grow, our tears need to be released to move forward in hope.
  7. There are a variety of options for treatment. Our son initially saw a child trauma specialist. She first used EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) with him. Guided imagery was also used with this therapist. I engaged in hypnosis, progressive relaxation and other psychotherapy with this same professional. Ultimately, our son moved on to receive CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) through a psychologist at our children’s hospital. Do your homework on these methodologies to see which you might be most comfortable with.
  8. There is life after trauma. While the real life terror of living through some of these experiences with our children can make us feel shaken and spun around at times, life can still be good. If you are willing to bravely address this tough issue in yourself and/or your child, the future can be bright. You need not live life in a perpetual state of tension, waiting for the other shoe to drop. You can begin to develop a joy for life and a positive outlook after addressing symptoms. I have been told in the past that PTSD never completely goes away. Not being an expert, I can’t confirm that is true. However, I can tell you that things can vastly improve so that trauma no longer holds you and your family hostage.

“Caregiver, care also for thyself.” It isn’t always easy. We must be very intentional about it. Still, if we acknowledge our need as parents and address this vulnerability with commitment, we will find ourselves renewed and refortified the way God intends.

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OK there is a lot here I Could speak to but I’m actually getting pretty overwhelmed myself & wanting to avoid remembrances of pain (as if that were actually possible) so I’ll re-read above & bold some of the key passages that stand out & let them stand on their own!  Some of this makes me feel that much more alone as it reminds me how others have received comfort & support through relationships but that is usually a closed path for me personally…

& from the comments section:

The author of this post shared here:

I think that’s the hardest part of this at times, Susan. For too long, medical professionals have treated us like this is an uncommon response to medical trauma. It isn’t, and it’s time they start recognizing it, offering support rather than condemnation.”

There is definitely no owners manual that comes with kids.  When special needs is thrown into the mix it is so much more complicated.  For years I would leave appointments feeling gut-punched or kicked-in-the-face by what was said, so much so that it was very hard driving home.  Josiah would intrude & disrupt every appointment & then basically scream & kick the entire ride home.  I would be exhausted & overwhelmed & uncertain where to go from there.  The providers rarely gave their info in a written format so sometimes I would be uncertain what to do.  Talking about it was nearly  impossible because it took too much emotional energy to just get through the moment & left none to battle my personal relationship demons to reach out & even attempt to process things…If someone would ever ask me about things I would do my best to share honestly about events, however people rarely inquired so I didn’t (often) intrude…

“My son is missing a piece of a chromosome and has severe heart defects. His birth and heart surgeries definitely gave me PTSD. I have a full on panic attack or freak out every time I have to go to the hospital which we unfortunately have many doctors appointments at and many surgeries. Someone in one of my support groups brought up PTSD for parents and I identify with that. My son is set up to see a trauma specialist next week however I am so busy with his stuff I have yet to find help for myself.”

umm yeah…

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“I just stumbled on this as I was doing research for my own PtSD. My daughter had a liver transplant as a baby and this whole blog is my life. For years I wondered what the heck was wrong with me! Now I just feel incredibly late to the party. I have PTSD. I trauma. And this is all very normal for what we experienced. Thank you for sharing your heart.”

Bingo (bolded portion above)!  Finding that trauma is “normal for what we experienced” can provide a measure of relief & insight, like after my conversation with the chaplain…

“I can relate to PTSD symptoms and I wonder if I tend to stay there trapped because my son’s condition is status and there are no surgeries no treatment and they say that’s all they can do for him. It’s all about quality of life now. I don’t give up and I find it hard to trust anyone regarding my son’s care. Just the word’s alone said by doctor’s can make raise your blood pressure along with messing with you mentally. What are the symptoms of PTSD? I know everytime I use the clinics soap in the restrooms I can easily be back at the hospital with our son…”

Some of those sights, smells, or thoughts can leave me literally shaking & sometimes breaking into a cold sweat…not a full blown panic attack but perhaps acute anxiety.  Some of the words spoken & overt or implied judgementalism are so wounding…

Hi Rochelle, from what you described your caregiving situation could be heightening your PTSD. Regarding your question about symptoms, this article might help. http://differentdream.com/2016/04/parent-ptsd-when-you-cant-put-special-needs-behind-you/. Are you on Facebook? If so, you might want to join the group I’m facilitating there for parents like us. The group is sponsored by Key Ministries, so you need to register with them at http://www.keyministry.org/find-a-community-online/. Then go to this Facebook link (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1611201765795195/) and ask to join the group. Jolene

Ironically I’ve Never wanted to be on Facebook, but having access to that community is rather tempting…

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“I just found this article. I should be sleeping before work tomorrow, but instead I’m awake researching this before my son’s Dr appointment tomorrow. I have twin boys. One of them has always been healthy, but the other has multiple significant health problems. I have a really hard time with the guilt of leaving one child behind to deal with the medical issues of the other. I also worry, because my son is immunocompromised, every time I hear about any illness. I panic, even if I read about the illness on Facebook from a friend that lives 5 states away! I know it’s irrational, but I still panic. I also have trouble not feeling completely supported by friends and coworkers. I don’t share a lot of my son’s medical details because I feel that it is personal for him, but because of that others don’t necessarily understand how serious his issues are. A lot on the mind of this mama tonight.”

as bolded above that is in many ways my story too…

Here’s the next post, the 5th in the series:

http://differentdream.com/2015/05/ptsd-in-parents-moving-from-negative-to-positive/

PTSD in Parents FB

“Those tumultuous years have passed, and my children are doing extremely well as adults. I know I have so much to be thankful for, yet at times I wonder if the emotional affects of those years are over. I realized recently, when my grandson became ill, how quickly I can relive and feel the emotions I felt during each hospital stay, blood test, MRI, doctor’s visit, and long sleepless night. That emotional turmoil is still part of who I am, so could I have PTSD caused by illnesses my children suffered?

Post traumatic stress disorder, a scary term most popular in the military world, is misused many times. But it’s very real. In fact, as I look back on how my children’s illnesses affected me emotionally, I see my own form of P-T-S-D, which attribute to the emotional feelings and flashbacks I have at times.

PTSD in Parents: Parental Pride

I was the parent. So whether the thought was conscious or unconscious, I felt that since God had blessed me with these children, I should be able to handle whatever happened in their lives. I allowed parental pride to mask emotions that would’ve been better handled as they developed.

PTSD in Parents: Tired

I wasn’t just tired, I was exhausted. Physically, emotionally and even spiritually, but I didn’t see it. I ran from appointment to appointment, cared for all the children, and got very little sleep for weeks at a time. My husband did what he could, but we were a one income family and had to work. So I did what I figured all moms did. I kept on keeping on, allowing my pride to push down the true exhaustion.

PTSD in Parents: Sad

I felt sad. Some days more than others. Sad when I saw my children hurting and unhappy. Sad that many days I couldn’t really help them. Sad that caring for a sick child was taking time away from the others. And sad that so many times I felt alone,

PTSD in Parents: Devastated

I was devastated because day after day, week after week my children suffered. Devastated that life was so unfair, devastated that I felt God wasn’t listening. And devastated that the dreams I had for my children may never happen.

PTSD in Parents: From Negative to Positive

During those years, when friends or family asked how I was, my response was always I’m fine. Because not being fine would have indicated I wasn’t a good mom. Would have required a long explanation that I was too tired to give, resulting in an outburst of tears. And would have been a sign that I lacked faith in what God could do. I see now how the

Parental pride,
Tiredness,
Sadness and
Devastation

I felt as our children experienced the emotional and physical pain of their illnesses, was traumatizing for me, yet I know with

Prayer,
Thanksgiving,
Support and
Determination

I can create a positive”

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Well, this is an interesting perspective & I would have liked the author to expand on how she went to Prayer, Thanksgiving, Support, & Determination & to at least provide an example.  When people ask me how I’m doing I typically answer “hanging in there” & sometimes append “hanging on to Jesus”…

Checking the comments:

Well, only one person commented so maybe others were/are having a hard time being convinced of the “ease” of turning a negative to a positive, hmm…

Here’s the next post, 6th in the series (& darn I’m only half way through & exhausted):

http://differentdream.com/2015/05/ptsd-and-special-needs-parents-5-ways-to-prepare-for-healing/

PTSD and Special Needs Parenting Healing

“Before my daughter was born with complex medical problems, I loved being around people and willingly shared my personal experiences. After months of hospital admissions and doctors’ wrongful blame for her condition, I avoided people and shared nothing.

Four years later she was mostly outpatient with a new team in a different hospital and we could finally settle home, but I wasn’t the same. Whenever something required emotional engagement, I’d instinctively turn away inside and shut off. I’d become reticent and wanted to stay that way.”

“The truth is, sometimes we’re too broken to fix ourselves and we need someone else to put us back together. (And if any Christian thinks differently, consider, Jesus wouldn’t have died if people could atone for their own sins.)

That’s a vulnerable place to be, and the last thing we want to feel when we’re reticent, but it’s also freeing. It means we don’t have to fix something we’re incapable of fixing.”

“We may not be able to heal ourselves, but we can prepare ourselves to receive healing.

5 Ways Traumatized Special Needs Parents Can Prepare for Healing

  • Acknowledge Your Brokenness: Sometimes we don’t know we’re broken, can’t accept we’re broken, or we know we are but don’t want to admit it. You needn’t sound a trumpet about it, but be honest with yourself. If you aren’t working the way you normally would because of a trauma you sustained, admit it.
  • Release Yourself: PTSD is not your fault, and neither is that you haven’t fixed it. Let yourself be broken without condemning yourself for it. Struggles and needs is a sign of humanity, not sin.
  • Just Be: Quit striving. Be as you are, warts and all. You won’t stay this way forever because you’re alive and living beings change. Don’t despair if you can’t see it. Sometimes we’re like trees; our growth becomes apparent only after a lot of time passes.
  • Small Chunks: You may be able to take in only small pieces of information or do limited activities before you overload and shut off. That’s OK. Do daily what you are able within your means.
  • Rest in the Process: Healing takes time. Rushing it can stymy the process. You will find more peace if you accept and anticipate this, and let healing use all the time it needs to complete its perfect work.”

She is really referring to letting the Holy Spirit do His work in us, I believe.  This healing process may move at a snail’s pace & be gentle & peaceful.  There is a scripture about God being gentle with those who have young, this seems especially true if the young have special needs…

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This is a beautiful response in the comments section:

“Brandi doesn’t know how often I have thought of her since I first heard about the baby and added my name to the prayer list.

She has rightly identified a problem when grief does not have a name. This is her turn, not mine, but while mine was significantly different, it did not lack the pain and inability to discuss my heart feelings with anyone but God. Thankfully, ours is the God Who can help us overcome the circumstances into which we are drawn and over which we had no control.

It was half a lifetime ago.I was forty then, I am 87 now. I have lived and gone beyond those days, and experienced the full sufficiency of God.”

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Here is the next post, the 7th in the series:

http://differentdream.com/2015/05/ptsd-in-parents-of-kids-with-special-needs-visualization-as-a-coping-tool/

PTSD in parents of kids with special needs FB

Visualization: Four Steps Parents of Kids with Special Needs Can Use to Cope

I also I began using visualization, or imagery, a technique I had learned years before while trying to become pregnant. The best way I can find to describe it is “visualizing yourself somewhere that brings you peace.” You can use the same technique to cope with PTSD by following these steps.

  1. Find a place. Finding a quiet place to spend 20 minutes visualizing undisturbed is vital.
  2. Use music. If music is soothing to you, that can help while you are visualizing.
  3. Close your eyes and think of one place. Think of the one place where you are most relaxed. Or imagine yourself surrounded by your favorite flowers. Pretend you are lying on a blanket, picturing every detail of the blanket, as you stare up at the blue sky with white pillow-like clouds. So clear are those clouds that you can make out designs in them. You can hear, crickets or maybe bees flying from one flower to the next. Take a deep breath to smell the flowers you love.
  4. Take your time. Remember that visualizing is much like redecorating a room to your liking. So take some time to make it what relaxes you.
    From one mom to every other parent dealing with the unique challenges of raising kids with special needs, I wish you peace of mind… even if only for 20 minutes at a time.

I have to say that as a Christian I find this process a little hard to get behind (no condemnation toward anyone who has no issue with it).  I think this might be a poor & more humanistic substitute for spiritual disciplines like prayer & meditation.  There is an aspect that this visualizing sounds like just “pretending” & though I thoroughly love fiction I don’t know that I want to gird myself up for battle by pretending things…

I think it would probably be better for someone like me to practice certain “relaxation techniques” that are more along the lines of my Christian faith.  Listening to restful scriptural songs; reading, meditating on, & memorizing scripture; & praying might be more to my taste.  I have also chosen to speak a couple of times to a hospital chaplain & then pray with them when heavy laden in the hospital setting.

Checking the comments section:

There are a couple of encouraging comments but nothing really grabs me.  I have shared a few scripture images that partially capture more of my focus & perspective.  There are also many others I’ve appended at the end of the post…

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The next post, the 8th in the series, is found here:

https://differentdream.com/2015/05/newborns-feel-pain-the-headline-that-almost-triggered-my-ptsd/

newborns do feel pain

This image is like Josiah Before his first heart surgery, I think he had like 16 lines going into his 4 pound 2 month old body After that first surgery…rough stuff here…

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How I Coped

I could go on. But in the interest of maintaining my mental health, I will instead explain how I coped with the headline instead of letting it trigger my PTSD.

  1. I showed the article to my husband. 
  2. I moved on to something else. 
  3. I returned to the article when I had a way to address it constructively. 
  4. I looked for the positives. 

I guess that this post is not super impacting to me.  I do appreciate the reminder to change our focus when certain things become overwhelming…Sometimes it’s hard for me to take a breath & shift away from something I feel intensely about, like when I was in the heat of battle with the special education system…

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Here is the next post, the 9th in the series:

https://differentdream.com/2015/05/why-special-needs-parents-with-ptsd-should-watch-inside-out/

What do the new Disney movie Inside Out and special needs parents with PTSD have to do with one another? At least these 3 things.

OK, so this is a more lighthearted post than most in the series & based on a movie that I’ve never seen so can’t vouch for…

“Kids who don’t have good support systems are more likely to be traumatized by rough patches in childhood than those who do. The same can be said for special needs parents who don’t have support systems. Or who experience repeated traumas as they care for their kids and make difficult decisions about care and treatments. Inside Out shows that all of us experience trauma. We are not alone in the constant struggle to manage our emotions and move forward when life is hard.”

#3 Special Needs Parents Should Laugh More

As was mentioned earlier, trauma and PTSD are heavy subjects. Many special needs parents with PTSD live in this place day after day and find it hard to laugh.

One thing that my special son has given to our family is the gift of laughter!  He is hilarious most of the time & often unintentially.  We laugh a lot in our family & seek & create humor with regularity, perhaps why we’re even now not completely broken!

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Here’s the next post, the 10th in the series:

https://differentdream.com/2015/06/why-kids-with-ptsd-need-mentally-healthy-parents/

This excerpt from Does My Child Have PTSD? explains why parents of kids with PTSD need mentally healthy parents.

The last post focused on a lighthearted movie that hadn’t yet come out at the time the post was written.  This post excerpts something from a book…

 “Children who are dependent upon a mentally unhealthy caregiver are less resilient and often suffer long-term complications of PTSD after a traumatic childhood event. Therefore, adults who want to nurture resilient children must first attend to their own mental health. Study after study proves this to be true.”

Yay, more guilt (potentially)…

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Well this post was interesting in that it shared quite succinctly the results of several studies that support understanding PTSD in kids & their parents & how the dynamics can interplay.  However most of the excerpts didn’t really grab me personally…

We’ll see if there is anything of significance (to me) in the comments:

There were no comments to this post nor to a couple posts above…

Here’s a link to the next post, the 11th in the series:

https://differentdream.com/2015/06/ptsd-and-special-needs-parents-calling-it-like-it-is/

The duo of PTSD and special needs parenting affects many families. Sheri Dacon finally realized her struggle with PTSD when she admitted she had it.

Special Needs Parenting and PTSD

I’ve been doing some research on PTSD and parents of special needs kids and how autism moms experience stress similar to that of combat soldiers.

Every time I consider whether or not I might suffer from PTSD, I feel guilty.

I’ve never been in real danger. I haven’t experienced the trauma and the stress of military action, or even that of a military wife. My husband works in IT. The biggest danger there is outsourcing.

I don’t live in a war-torn country, or even in a high-crime neighborhood.

I have a cushy life.

So when I say I think I might suffer from PTSD, I feel more than a little guilty, yes.

But it’s like no one’s bothered to inform my body.

My nervous system is a wreck. My muscles are tight. My hormones are so out of sync that I often don’t know which end is up. In certain situations, and in specific physical locations, I find it almost impossible to breathe. My voice doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to anymore.

Adrenaline and cortisol and whatever other stress hormones are in overdrive and my body screams “Danger!” way more than it should.

I wonder if I will ever be able to convince my subconscious that there is not really any danger.

It is PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder.

It’s taken up residence in my very bones and it is okay for me to be weak and to admit the truth: it was trauma. I was beaten down and it may take a while to get back up. And it is okay.

Of all the strategies I’ve tried, this one seems to work best. A simple recognition of trauma — of PTSD– for what it is.

  • Letting go of the guilt.
  • Accepting what is.
  • Praying for the future.
  • Trusting in the one who heals in time.

Well I am literally very tired now, physically, & to some extent mentally & emotionally.  Perhaps in attempting to read, absorb, & respond/react to what is in this PTSD series I’ve taken on too big of a task.  Now I’m feeling rather numb & not really reacting to what is being shared by the authors.  It’s possible that I’m beginning to “accept” that I likely do have some form of PTSD.  It’s also possible that I’m in a form of “shut-down mode” to protect my fragile psyche.  I’m not in therapy for this or any other issue & facing some of these topics online & alone may be more trying that I’ve accounted for, who knows?

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Well this particular post had 43 comments so perhaps some will resonate:

There are a number of moving & interesting comments.  This one jumped out:

“The doctors of children with special needs (pediatrician, neurologist…etc.), should provide a handout to the parent(s) letting them know about the role of parenting a SN child and the possibility of PTSD and what to do about it.

Sheri’s article above was a ‘wake-up call’ for me. 14 years later and 3 major brain surgeries before the age of 2, my daughter’s life was saved, yet since 3 months of age she has done everything with the left side of her brain, following her hemispherectomy in 2002. Family disappeared and as a single mom, fighting the good fight for an appropriate education and therapies for my daughter, I am worn to the bone. In addition, for 10 years I faked that everything was “OK” in front of my older children, which stuffed my emotions down further, so I’m sure I haven’t fully processed them. How do I know this? I still get choked up recalling the emotional horror of the first few years, the knowledge that I WAS and still AM alone. My daughter still has seizures and I still get frightened.”

Is there such a thing as “fully processed” stuff???…not in this life, at least not for me!

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“…My heart goes out to everyone in these types of situations. I know how isolated you feel – because, let’s face it, no one wants to touch your war with a 10 foot pole, let alone volunteer to walk the front lines.

I’m trying hard to be strong, but I’m not. I’m very, very weak… I try to lean into God’s strength, but even that doesn’t feel like enough many days.”

Well that comment can pretty much stand alone!

Here’s the next post, the 12th in the series:

https://differentdream.com/2015/06/special-needs-parents-and-trauma-the-unseen-battle-with-ptsd/

Special needs parents and trauma doesn't seem real to onlookers. Christina Nelson describes her unseen battle with PTSD in this guest post.

I was at war…with my own expectations about mothering as well as societal and cultural norms surrounding parenting and grief. The truth is I was held captive by a deep shame in my heart. Ashamed that even though my baby was starting to grow and thrive, that his surgeries were sucessful, I continued to weep in the darkest hour of night, wiping my tears for a smile in the morning. Ashamed that while others found joy in my child’s successes, I continued to feel anxiety and fear. I searched for affirmation of my battle. Someone to tell me that it was okay to jump out of my skin each time I heard my child’s sharp barking cough or the shrill sound of his cry. That it was okay to hide from my friends who were celebrating their healthy babies and lamenting the pains of a common cold. That my foggy brain, the constant numbness and fear was all normal…that it was okay.

I didn’t begin to break free until I received affirmation that my feelings were a normal response for people who had suffered a traumatic event. Validation that I wasn’t weak, ungrateful or undeserving. That what I was feeling was a result of PTSD. This affirmation began erasing my shame and bring me out of hiding. It gave me permission to lean into my faith, community, and others for support. Most of all, it gave me the freedom to be real. To embrace and experience all of the mixed up, messy feelings that come with caring for a child with special needs-the joy, fear, anxiety, hope, chaos and success. Even the startling moments that send me into panic mode. Those are okay too.

Families and friends…if you know someone who is raising a child with special needs, please be unconditional. Please seek them out and help guide them into a place of feeling known, validated and affirmed. None of us are strong enough to fight this battle on our own.”

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I remember hearing my mother speaking somewhat contemptuously (to me) of another relative’s need for affirmation or validation.  Although she wasn’t speaking about me I “felt” like her words were directed toward me & I felt guilty of for feeling such a “need” to be understood in a sea of confusing & conflicting emotions.  Being the parent of a special needs kid can be incredibly overwhelming.  For most of those more than 2 decades I had no real frame of reference with which to compare as to whether I was doing a decent job…

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I used to use the Report Card analogy to describe this uncertainty.  When I was a kid I’d bring home a report card with all A’s & one B.  My dad would harp on me about why wasn’t that lone B an A instead of commending me for the entire report card being above average or better…anyway back then the standard was an “A”…but as a parent of a special needs kid I had no idea what the standard was.  Whenever I fell short of whatever I thought the required action/attitude was it was like I could hear my dad chastising me for that lone “B” again.  What was the standard for parenting with special needs?  How would I know if I was doing a good job or not?  If I did get a “B” & not an “A” was that really so bad?  What if I got an E or F, like in battling the special ed system, was that really the end of the world?  Is good ever good enough.  What if you are doing the “best” you can with what you have to work with at the time (but falling far short of internally or externally imposed expectations)???

I guess we as humans have a tendency to look for role models or examples.  We learn from each other’s experiences & mistakes & triumphs.  I didn’t know where to turn to see if I was managing my son’s needs “acceptably”.  When turning to scripture was I hearing my Heavenly Father’s voice or replaying the “old tapes” of my dad’s criticism of my slightly less than perfect report card.  I still don’t know what that standard is, but I’m trying to learn to live with that ambiguity with grace, peace, & forgiveness for myself, my son, my world…

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Here is the 13th & final post in the series:

https://differentdream.com/2015/06/special-needs-parents-and-trauma-medically-induced-ptsd/

In the final post in the series about special needs parents and trauma, Kathryn Sneed shares her story of medically-induced PTSD.

“I would have flashbacks watching shows that had a child in the hospital or going into surgery, and I would have to change the show before I had a full blown panic attack. I would have nightmares about people choking. Just choking over and over and nothing could stop it.”

I can remember watching the TV show House on DVD with my kids.  I was constantly pausing the show to explain how yet another diagnosis or surgery being portrayed was something we’d experienced with Josiah.  Or there would be diagnostic tests like MRI’s portrayed & Josiah & I would “reminisce” about his hospital experiences.

Whenever I had to fill out pre-op paperwork, even before some procedures, I’d get almost panicked for there would be details required in virtually every bodily system.  Having to recount those diagnoses & surgeries so many times became overwhelming & would lead to some degree of emotional shut-down just to try to get through the present-tense surgical or procedural experience.  It was all exhausting!

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“I share my story to raise awareness. Combat-related PTSD it not the only type of PTSD that exists. Caregiver trauma and PTSD due to caring for children that have special needs is real.”

I guess after reading all these posts in the series that it is highly likely that I have some degree of “caregiver trauma” & PTSD from parenting a special needs child.  Where do I/we go from here?  Well that remains to be seen…

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I hope you have been blessed by this post & have visited any of the original posts from DifferentDream.com that might have sparked your interest.

May the Lord be with each of us, providing comfort, healing, peace, joy, hope, strength, grace, rest, & refreshment to each of us as we continue to face our daily (sometimes moment by moment) challenges.  May we glorify Him & encourage each other!

God Bless You…

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The verse above was the end of the original post but I decided to add this bit of addendum, & lots of encouraging scriptures to the latest version…please forgive any duplicate scripture postings, they are inadvertent.  Blessings to All!

Well, I fell into an exhausted sleep & during that “rest” at least partially subconsciously “processed” this PTSD topic.  I actually remembered numerous conversations with my brother where I mentioned feeling/being “traumatized” & was basically mocked for this perspective.  I guess even my speech years ago carried the flavor of acknowledging “trauma” before ever having read or heard about it from any outside sources.

In talking about some of this with my husband upon waking today he reminded me of how he became aware of how critical my family was of me, even in the early weeks of our marriage.  He helped put into perspective the extreme difference in the points of view we felt in the midst of a special needs family & what various parenting criticisms were thrown our way by outside family members who just did not “get” where we were coming from for they really had no understanding of the magnitude of the issues we faced.  Thankfully God sees & knows what each of us wrestle with…

It just now comes to mind how angry I used to get after having some conversations with my mother (in particular) when she would recount some of the health challenging experiences my sister-in-law faced with a couple of her kids a couple of times.  My mom would go on about how hard things were as if I had no comprehension of the magnitude of the issues parents wrestle with when their child’s health is compromised.  None of those health concerns in my brother’s family rose to the level of “special needs” at least not even close to what we faced with Josiah.  They may have somewhat paralleled what we faced with Clarissa with ADHD & Speech Therapy & Nathaniel with ADHD (& some school accommodations) but nothing touched Josiah.  My anger stemmed from the juxtaposition of my mom’s seeming compassion & care for my brother’s family’s circumstances & obtuseness about ours…the ugly beast of sibling rivalry–uggh!

Anyway, one of the hard things about diving deep into this PTSD topic is seeing how so many people find healing through support & relationships.  That’s just not an area where my life has been in balance, going back to my wedding preparation & the bizarre loss of “friendships” over choices I made in the wedding planning & execution.  I spent many years mourning friendships & my inability to comprehend the problems & my tendency to gravitate to people who were rather dysfunctional.  After moving across the country & 2 1/2 years later having the twins & all Josiah’s “stuff” even the concept of pursuing friendship-style relationships went completely by the wayside.  Nowadays I just accept that that part of life is very much in my past & I was very blessed in my younger years to have some deep & meaningful friendships with many people that were a tremendous blessing in a very different season (planet) of my life.

In my case the supportive relationships I have access to now are primarily with the Lord & with my immediate family!  I guess that will just have to be enough…Occasionally God has sent someone for a season to provide encouragement & prayerful support…& that is Always Such a Blessing!!!

 

Well I ran into a major snag while attempting a bit of polishing to this post & lost a lot of beautiful scriptural images I’d hoped to share…this may be only a partial re-creation…Many of these verses can provide sustenance during times of “famine” of the soul.  I hope that you will look to the Lord to supply All your needs “according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!”

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