Reflecting for a moment on the context of my story, it makes sense to appreciate the influences that preceded the original flashback experience and prepared me for the tremendous emotional shock it involved. The perpetrator seems to have been a nurse who my mother had arranged to care for me for some three days. My father was a diplomat from a Latin American country, and my mother a housewife, hostess, and artist. My father later joined the United Nations, but during the time of that incident had finished undergraduate studies at an east coast university, was relocated, and was pursuing doctoral studies in political economics, and had some therapy. The William Alanson White Institute for Psychoanalytic Training was something he often referred to, for instance. It was an enthusiastic avocation of his. My mother's childhood began in World War II, had rudimentary business training, and artistic talents by the time she left Europe to study English and work in America. She brought this background with its gifts and limitations, to her marriage and motherhood.
The Twelve Step groups were a critical catalyst for my learning and reinforcing healthy attitudes in the therapeutic and spiritual process it became for me. After an aetheist upbringing, a love of sports and learning, and mistrust of intolerant and antiquated Christianity, US government and multinational corporate political, social, and economic abuses, sometime in high school I found a supportive reference to spirituality in Taoism.
In college, my learning process took me from pre-medical to biological anthropology and psychology, and from intercollegiate fencing to drama and kung fu. The topics and things I loved to study introduced me to the technical details involved in rituals in the work of Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Eliot Chapple, the process of learning through imitation, the evolution of language, and the evolution, development of symbol utilization in the work of Alexander Marshack, and the microsociology of individual frames of reference of Erving Goffman. It all involved the work of many researchers, with the foundations of Darwin, Piaget, and Freud's works being only indirectly referred to at that point. The classwork of a course in the History of Science also had had a lasting influence on me, especially in the perspective of paradigm shifts. Researchers and professionals like Freud modernized psychology, Darwin biology, Durkheim and Marx sociology, and Newton and Einstein physics, among others. That was an exciting perspective to learn about.
Then, my awareness of political and other abuses and activism lead me to work for a grassroots organization, and to join a non-profit and become a teacher in Africa. Then working in social services helping families affected by socioeconomic disadvantages and substance abuse issues taught me heaps about psychosocial evaluations and the psychotherapeutic counselling process. It also included training by consulting scholar-practitioners from a local university in the history of the subject, including substantial amounts about Freud, MD and the work of Milton Erickson, MD. The consultants conveyed the fact that therapy involved relaxation, self-expression, recollection, education, and relief.
From interviewing, counselling, and working with the clients, and the psychosocial evaluations I prepared, it became apparent that the patterns and events in their lives were related. There was pain and confusion and materialistic values that promoted abuse and neglect, in need of greater breadth of wisdom.
I had also been studying the martial arts after college. Jiu-jitsu promised more immediate practical skills than Kung Fu and appealled to me, and then Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance karate.
In addition, my creative talents drew my attention, and I pursued some acting classes, and then started writing songs.
There was also some travel as I made short trips around the US, and to Latin America and Europe.
My second position in social services then also devolved through some corrupt acts by administration into turmoil and turnover. Having a creative idea, I also left to pursue that writing project mentioned in the first "Horatio Alger" topic.
This part, too, has gone on for quite a bit. In relation to my history and child sexual abuse, it forms an important adjunct. The pain and experience that lead to the flashback, and my first flashback itself were so destabilizing that I can easily imagine having been less prepared, that it would have driven me crazy. It makes me think that the movie "the Fisher King" could have been me in a very literal sense, instead of just figurative. It gives me compassion and outrage to realize that all the mentally ill seem to reflect just that prevalence of ignorance, ill-will, despair, and misunderstanding. Thank you, reader, for sharing this second topic here, and may it impart perspectives to enlarge your worldview and inspire great achievement, in large or small ways, to make the world a better place. On to part 3, methinks.