Summer Day Rabbit Hole

July 4, 2012

In headline area news, it’s blisteringly hot in the Twin Cities, and in headlining news of my apartment, I’m attempting to make iced chai lattes and my cat is parked on the floor in front of the fan, staring at me darkly when I try to tickle her stomach. Tomorrow’s the 4th of July, and I will spend most of it making music for sadists who enjoy watching sweaty people march down a street in the noontime sun. Ah, but really, I’d rather have a full parade route than an empty one, although the empty stretches do give you a chance to wipe the tears sweat running down your face.

So that’s my real world update. I’m going to stray down the rabbit hole just a bit for now, and I will begin that jump by mentioning that I intern with The Center for Victims of Torture. I will also casually mention that if you’re interested in refugee mental health issues, you should visit www.cvt.org, or follow CVT’s Facebook page and receive alternately encouraging and devastating news updates.

I was at the internship this afternoon, listening to the radio and trying to digest some news stories (recycled paper really doesn’t go down that well). Do you ever remember a glimpse of something for seemingly no reason, and it just flits into your mind and kind of hangs there for a while? I feel like a word I was reading or maybe some note in the song I was hearing triggered that in me today, and the memory that flitted into my mind was one of my childhood library in Champlin. It was a magnificently cozy split second, because I remember writing in my journal it was “one of my two favorite places in Champlin” (the other being Snyder’s drugstore where I would purchase babies of the Beanie nature). I thought about the pushing into the perfectly air-conditioned lobby after locking up my bike outside on a sweaty summer day (ok maybe that’s what triggered it), the tasty drinking fountains that were just inside, and the equally tasty prospect of procuring some reading material, be it Sweet Valley High or otherwise.Oftentimes my eyes were a little bit bigger than my brain, and I’d end up with way too many books and accrue more in overdue fines than many college grads have in loan debt.

All of this entered my mind in an instant, and I can’t pinpoint exactly what triggered it. It was comforting to me, but it also made me think about the people that Center for Victims of Torture works with – people who need psychotherapy because of the trauma that keeps recurring in their minds. I’m a lucky person to have no truly violent or traumatic memories – I have embarrassing ones that crop up, but no dark ones that limit my functionality. I’m extremely interested in the field of psychotherapy, but I lack the ability to personally understand the feeling of needing it. I compared my triggered memory today to what things must be like for a torture survivor – anything at all could flip some switch in his or her brain, and a terrible memory would flit in and disrupt their train of thought and functioning. Although mine was a good memory, it was a strong reminder of how much we can’t help what we think about, and for many people, it piles up and limits their ability to live a happy life.

So that’s a little bit about what my internship makes me think about. Feel free to respond, comment, or Google pictures of Welsh corgis for a lift. By the way, I mentioned corgis to a bank clerk, and he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. If you haven’t heard of this particular dog breed, well…

 

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If you haven’t heard of me, I’m just going to “pup” up in your mailbox!

 

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