I wasn’t sure what I would write tonight. Then I checked out Scott Williams blog and his post about books. http://scott-williams.ca/2015/03/07/one-good-book/ He mentioned Jason Bourne. I loved the series. It all started with taking my daughter to the movies. I planned some cute movie, my daughter rolled her eyes and suggested watching Bourne Identity. We loved it. Then someone told me about the books. Once I got past the fact that they are two separate stories, I watched all the movies and read all the books.
This is a comment I left on Scott’s post. Then my mind took off.
I love Bourne Identity. I read the entire series. I became hooked on books in a Free reading High school class. The teacher enticed me with The Little Prince, Bellevue a state of Mind, I never Promised you a Rose garden and many others that led me to become a Book-aholic. I better understood my addiction when friends posted pictures of their bookshelves. I realized I had more book cases than most people had bookshelves. I keep growing my library at used book sales. Books have done so much to help me with learning to live with PTSD. Fortunately, I had a counselor with an extensive library that he guided me to some key books that changed my life.
When I started counseling, I already used books on a regular basis for all sorts of information. I agreed with my mother, “If you have a problem, someone else had the same problem and wrote a book about it.” I spent years at the library learning stuff, sharing books with my kids, and just enjoying a good or sometimes mediocre story. Books took me places. Early in my counseling, I went with my husband for marriage counseling. I explained that I had a hard time communicating. After several mini disasters with marriage homework my counselor asked me to tell him about my childhood. I chirped, “It was great we went to the park and the zoo.” He looked doubtful. He then followed up with, “Tell me about an average day.” I again answered, “It was great we went to the park and the zoo.” He shook his head clearly doubting me, “You went to the park and the zoo, every day.” I finally confessed that I hadn’t known what my childhood was since high school. There was nothing before high school and not much of that either. I had nothing in my memory to tell him. He handed me a book. He said it was my homework. My husband didn’t have to read it, just me. The book, A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer. https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/resources/books/ For those unfamiliar with the book, this is Dave’s story about his hellish childhood. I brought the book back and questioned my counselor, “What am I supposed to learn from it?” He assured me he was watching my reaction. He then gave me another more severe child abuse story. I read that one and brought back asking, “What am I supposed to learn from it?” My counselor reassured me there was no right or wrong answer he was watching my reaction. Finally he had me read Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning. He was a psychologist that survived the concentration camps. I again brought the book back, shrugged my shoulders and told my counselor that “What am I supposed to learn from it?” is not the right answer. My counselor realized well before I did that my total lack of an emotional reaction to these horrific real life dramas clearly indicated that my childhood was not filled with zoo and park trips. He assured me I was severely messed up and marriage counseling would be put on hold while he taught me how to live. I had no clue. I now have a book case of books all assigned to me during counseling sessions or ones I found myself that are designed to self-heal and better understand my twisted world. Books are powerful. They take you places. Choose wisely where you want to go.