Showing posts from 2016

A word on Westworld, Flashbacks and PTSD

The idea for this post came to me suddenly, while I was applying makeup for no reason at mid morning. I have always thought of makeup as a kind of "war paint" - adding flesh colored layers on top of my true face, to create a mask that stimulates different kinds of reactions depending on emphasis on eyes or lips, the color scheme, the number of layers, etc.

Makeup is without a doubt artistry, you can peruse Instagram for some exquisitely shining and also exquisitely horrific examples of this art, with the array of gender identities becoming the socially acceptable canvas for expression, with the makeup artist using their own face, the faces of others, or a combination of both. Makeup artists can make a healthy living these days, and the use of makeup for movies, TV, special effects, and even for the more mundane events of life, that are cause of celebration but as commonplace as grass, like bridal parties and prom and QuinceaƱeras and Bat Mitzvahs. We humans love our makeup.

PTSD Reactivation

I feel obligated to provide an update on my President-elect Trump PTSD reactivation.

The reactivation of PTSD symptoms due to present-day stressors has previously been observed and commented upon in the psychiatric community. Trauma reactivation and treatment has been a topic under some consideration for over 25 years, though most of the research centers natural disasters and combat veterans. Other women have written articles about what this election means for a woman with PTSD, a domestic violence survivor shared how Donald Trump was triggering her PTSD. A caller on the Thom Hartmann Show described how triggered she was by the election. The Women's Radio Network also ran a piece on PTSD and the Election.

Triggered, Trump, Trauma
I've also put aside my personal reactions and tried to understand the viewpoint that rejects or reduces the use of the term "Triggered" to something akin to feeling uncomfortable or mildly offended. I've seen friends misuse the term, as…

What exactly do you need me to do?

Yes, what I had assumed was unthinkable since this time last year has actually happened. The scenario I sincerely believed to be utterly impossible in 2015 has now come to pass. Some people are glad. I am not, so if you are yay! I am happy that you are happy, but I just need a moment. I might need several moments. I am sure that my fellow humans across the ocean in the UK are also taking moments, likely in a more understated manner than I...

I'm not with them
In a phenomenon I have observed in recent days, as much as white women hashtagged #Imwithher and wore their nasty woman t-shirts with pride, white women and wealthy white people in general were responsible for putting the current president-elect in the position that he currently enjoys. I can't even look at the first 100 days proposal, I just can't right now. I just need a moment. Self care, ya'll, self care

OK. Back. Also, some white people are vehemently distancing themselves from the demographic responsible …

You are a complex dance accompanied by a symphony constantly shifting protein synthesis at the cellular level

We are all (hopefully) aware that it is DNA that lies, for all intents and purposes (PSA: gentle reader, may I ask that you get the word out about the wrongness of the phrase "for all intensive purposes" because that is an eggcorn?), at the basis of what makes you, you.

Individually. This tightly woven alpha helix of exquisitely efficient design (in terms of the density of biochemical information that is stored within that strands within the nucleus of each cell in our body. But it’s not just the DNA, dudes. We are not dot matrix printers, no siree bob, we are the OG 4D printers, operating in the three dimensions of space and the 4th dimension of time. Who knows how many other dimensions, due to the bumbling boundaries of our own perceptual organs and the gray blob that filters everything out to maintain a coherent narrative so you don’t bust open your own dome?…


Written by Cynthia L. Sears, MS, CHES, CLEC, notPhD "You can’t be lazy; You can’t afford to not be tough; You can’t afford to believe that you are not enough.” Every time I think of my struggles I also think about my mother. Of how her past is so heavy that sometimes the burden was enough to make her drop to her knees How she would stand back up and continue, bloody but unbroken. It makes me put my head down, Toughen up, and keep pushing. Because I carry her. I carry you. I carry me - Or maybe it’s just my personality. Buckle down, chin up. Buckle up, chin down. Don’t stop moving, like a shark in the ocean, or any other aerobic organism, I need to breathe to live - to transfer those gases between outside and in. Like a shark, I only breathe when I move. If I sit still too long I’ll suffocate on the weight of all the shit that I can’t just let sit. Passed down through generations of women who were made to believe That they were not enough, through fault or circumstance But…


This is hard to write. I want to talk about the term triggered (LOL jokes! haha). No, really. I'm a survivor. Being public about this to the degree that this blog allows goes against my upbringing. What about the consequences? What will people think?

I don't know what people will think. I have no control over their filters and processing and internal associations. I don't know if I care. I'm at a low point, a nadir - this is the actual dark night of the soul that I assumed I was going through months ago! I am laughing about that now because of where I am today. So much lower. This is going to sound awful - but there is no hitting bottom. There is no bottom. If you are low, you can always get lower. Luckily, you can also always move in the opposite direction, which I refuse to call "up" because I don't agree with the associations that come with the term.

Recently, I was almost completely incapacitated by of one of the darkest emotional places that I have b…


I did a thing. Check it out. Subscribe to the channel if you want to see more vlogs and me making weird faces while I talk.

It's getting cold in here, so put on lots of extra layers.

This is going to be a bit different. I'm taking scads of qualitative methods courses these days, and I'm also struggling with depression, so here goes nothing. 

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had trouble writing recently. I’ve threatened a blog post for weeks, now. The type of aimless writing associated with responding to emails and posting on the internet isn’t what I’m talking about – the productive type of writing is what appears to be the stumbling block. In a recent bad review of my performance my mentor criticized me as being low productivity. I hear the echo of some voice that belongs to no one I know and slightly resembles a caricature of my mother’s voice (but not really her voice), shrieking, “You’re SO LAZY!”

I can intellectually tell you that I am not lazy. That I have a 3.9 GPA in my doctoral program, which they say no one cares about but I do care about it, so I mention it. I have two children, one of whom has autism. He fell asleep next to me on the couch toni…