Road to Resilience

The Long Arm of Childhood Trauma

April 24, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
Road to Resilience
The Long Arm of Childhood Trauma
Chapters
Road to Resilience
The Long Arm of Childhood Trauma
Apr 24, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
Mount Sinai Health System
Saturday Night Live veteran Darrell Hammond, filmmaker Michelle Esrick, and Mount Sinai psychologist Jacob Ham, PhD, discuss childhood trauma and healing.
Show Notes Transcript

Saturday Night Live veteran Darrell Hammond, filmmaker Michelle Esrick, and Mount Sinai psychologist Jacob Ham, PhD, discuss childhood trauma, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and healing. Mr. Hammond's experience with trauma, addiction, and recovery is explored in a new documentary film about the lifelong effects of childhood trauma called Cracked Up, directed and produced by Ms. Esrick. (http://bit.ly/2WAVOfm)

Listen on Apple Podcasts (https://apple.co/2WAWr8I), Spotify (https://spoti.fi/2Mj2kUp), Google Play (http://bit.ly/2EIZu4P), or your favorite podcast app.

Dr. Ham (http://bit.ly/2HMkl99) is director of the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (http://bit.ly/2YZT2hd). To host a screening of Cracked Up in your community, follow this link: (http://bit.ly/2Wsjd2I). To learn more about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) visit acesconnection.com or check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's ACEs website (http://bit.ly/2XbxONa). Music by BlueDot sessions. Interview recorded at CDM Studios in New York City.

HOST:
0:01
You're listening to Road to Resilience. I'm Jon Earle. Comedian Darrell Hammond was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live for 14 seasons. His spot on impressions of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Sean Connery and many others made millions laugh, but behind the scenes Darrell was suffering. Drug and alcohol abuse, debilitating flashbacks and self harm were just a few of his symptoms. 40 doctors over 40 years misdiagnosed him with a range of mental illnesses, but it was only after a suicide attempt in his early fifties that he was diagnosed with the true source of his symptoms. Childhood trauma. Darrell's journey of survival and resilience is explored in a new documentary film about the longterm effects of childhood trauma called Cracked Up. It's directed and produced by Michelle Esrick, who's also a trauma survivor. Here's a clip from the trailer.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
0:56
A psychiatrist, I think it was number 11 said that I was a manic depressive, schizophrenic and I might be a multiple personality. Nine psychiatric facilities including lock down. I'll just give him these pills. He goes, well, let's face it you are a nut. He made me laugh. He's like I'm joking with you because you're not any of these things. You are this way because of something that happened to you.:
HOST:
1:24
Today on the podcast, an honest conversation about trauma, complex PTSD and healing featuring Darrell Hammond, director Michelle Esrick and psychologist Dr. Jacob Ham. Dr. Ham is director of the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Now, to be clear, he's not Darrell's doctor. He's a specialist who agreed to help us facilitate this conversation. Darrell, Michelle and Dr. Ham talk about trauma on the granular level, what it feels like, how to conceptualize it, how to tackle it every day, and how to support the survivors in all of our lives. One more thing before we start. In the recording, Darrell references a Dr. Kotbi, that's Dr. Nabil Kotbi of Weill Cornell Medicine, the one who changed Darrell's life when he correctly diagnosed him with childhood trauma. We begin our conversation by talking about the long term health effects of childhood trauma. Studies have linked adverse childhood experiences or ACEs with a wide range of adult ailments. Some you might expect, like substance abuse while others like cancer and even heart disease, you might not. Darrell, can you talk about the ways that childhood trauma effected you as an adult?:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
2:37
Cutting, was a lifetime cutter. I started actually cutting when I was 19 and I cut until about the age of 50, I'm gonna say 53 maybe?:
MICHELLE ESRICK:
2:58
And other symptoms, you had flashbacks and alcoholism.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
3:00
Oh, we haven't even started with that.:
MICHELLE ESRICK:
3:03
Yeah.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
3:04
I mean night terrors and screaming at night and cutting yourself is the tip of the iceberg.:
HOST:
3:10
There's a quote where you say, the last person that's going to be good at loving someone is going to be me.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
3:18
Yeah, that'd be about right. It's going to be really hard for me. I mean, if the person that nature designed to love you has made concerted movements towards, if not killing you, certainly torturing you. I'm gonna come up a little wonky, a little wobbly in love relationships. Right?:
HOST:
3:41
Jacob, I was wondering whether you could offer..:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
3:44
The last thing and then I'll shut up. I want to hear about people in AA, and people, the drug addicts and alcoholics and the percentage of them that are trauma survivors. That's all. I'm done. Sir.:
HOST:
4:02
Yeah, some of your experience and the relationship between trauma and relationships that you've come across as a clinician?:
DR. JACOB HAM:
4:12
I wish I could give you the stats for how many people, I assume all of them. I assume that there's way more trauma than we are documenting. When I was listening to your answer about the symptoms, I don't think that captures the nature of what trauma does to a person as an adult. I feel like that the list of symptoms immediately makes us devoid of what it's like. Like it immediately makes us not get the experience of living with trauma. What I personally think the essence of what trauma does to a person is it just makes them feel like they don't deserve love. That's such a profound injury and we can't bypass how painful that is. Why would you not kill yourself if you don't feel like the person who's supposed to love you unconditionally doesn't? What's the point of being alive if you can't be loved by that one person that? T:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
5:10
That nails it.:
DR. JACOB HAM:
5:12
Yeah.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
5:13
That nails it.:
DR. JACOB HAM:
5:13
And I think that the field still focuses too much on big T traumas like physical abuse or sexual abuse, but it's the day to day neglect that I find to be the most insidious and the most profound, and the most impactful on a person's ability to have a loving relationship with another adult as human being. You don't need the other stuff that's just gravy compared to the neglect.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
5:40
Yeah. That's already atomic.:
DR. JACOB HAM:
5:40
Yeah, exactly.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
5:43
That's just going to change everything that ever happens to you for the rest of your life.:
DR. JACOB HAM:
5:48
Yeah. That's my point. That the trauma happens moment to moment.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
5:51
Moment to moment.:
DR. JACOB HAM:
5:52
It's not just these big events.:
MICHELLE ESRICK:
5:54
A thousand moments. A million moments. Moment to moment. I think the moment to moment is really brilliant.:
DARRELL HAMMOND:
6:00
Yeah.:
MICHELLE ESRICK:
6:01
Yeah. Because everybody wants to focus on Darrell's mother, which is obvious, but nobody that we talked to ever wants to mention the effects from his father. And I remember we did a radio show, I won't mention which one and the person interviewing us said, well, he didn't hit him. So the father didn't, in his mind the father didn't do anything because he didn't hit him well, he was punching holes in Darrell's bedroom door when he was a little baby sleeping. What kind of effect did would that have on your system? He was on the road. He wasn't attuned to what the mother was doing to Darrell. So that's the point that I'm so glad you started with ACEd, Jon, because, because if we look at the questionnaire, which is 10 questions, it is, did your parents have alcoholism? You know, his dad was an alcoholic. Did one of your parents have mental illness? Did one of your parents commit suicide? Is one of your parents in prison? And now they're adding other questions. Do you live in extreme poverty?:
DR. JACOB HAM:
7:10
Yeah, I was immediately starting to come up with a list of my own ACE questions. So it'd be like when you were tiny, did anyone scare the s**t out of you? Or did anyone make you feel like you didn't have a right to have a need or that, that you weren't worth anything? Those are the kinds of questions that really get at the heart of what it feels like to grow up with trauma.:
MICHELLE ESRICK:
7:36
Yes. Yes. And I remember when I interviewed Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk who's in the film, and I asked him what's the definition of trauma? And I thought he was going to say, when you're hit this many times or when you're sexually abused this many times. And he said, when you are not seen or known, that is the trauma. That's it. When you're not seen or known.:
:
8:04
Well, I had that, this is in the fifties, sixties, having a housekeeper who did love me and who touched me every single day. Um, and that's why they say I didn't turn out to be a, yeah, a criminal. That's exactly right. Can you tell the story of seeing Dr Copy for the first time and coming to recognize that this lifetime of symptoms traced back to something that you didn't even consciously remember at that time? Well, th this same thing about when I was at Sierra Tucson last year, I learned so much about quote unquote repressed memory and I was told to think of it as like icons on a computer screen that we just quite haven't opened. Or in my case, my hands being slammed in doors. Me being locked in the car on the Florida Sunshine, um, me being hit with a hammer was my fault because my infant mine had to decide one of two things.:
Speaker 1:
9:12
Either I'm loved or I'm not, so I cannot, I'll die. If I even think for a moment, then I'm not loved. I'll die. I'm going to make up this story. It's preferable, right? It's preferable to, the way I understand it is that your child self says, mommy, don't leave. I'm bad. Or you're right, I deserve this and let me be on your team and I'm a bad boy. Look, I'm going to start hitting myself to show you I'm on your side. Damn, that's smart. Yeah, that's really smart. It's a protective thing you did to start to hate yourself as protective. That way the world doesn't hate you. Like you do it for them. It's safer. Wow. You know, my first day of school is a five year old after murders or our housekeeper lab. The first thing I did when I got to school was taking care of business for other kids that may be getting a juice box and going to the playground for me was I had, I walked up to someone and asked him if he'd like to hit me.:
Speaker 1:
10:20
Oh my God. So that's the first order of business. Do you want to hit me? Because in my world, the only time my mother was nice was after she hit me or electrocuted me or did something to me. That's the only time she was like loving to me. The rest of the time she could, she wasn't even there. Um, and everyone says, maybe that's, you know, that's Munchausen by proxy or whatever. Whatever her thing was. That's how I thought you got love first they have to beat you or stab you or cut you and then they will rescue you. And so, wow. Um, yeah, the clinical diagnosis for that is, uh, it's a mindful, basically that's how I describe it to my patients. Like how do you live with that? Well, how confusing is that that you have to be hurt to be loved? Yeah.:
Speaker 1:
11:16
I feel like there must've been some part of me that said, uh, one of these days I'm going to be an adult and that's when I'm planning for, and then you're going to pay for this. You will pay for this. You know? And I remember, you know, I had one therapist that said, you're thinking about doing harm to your parents. And I didn't actually understand that. I really was. Um, and then my daughter was born and I was like, oh, well I can't do it now. I mean I, I can't be jail and feed this baby is so my lifetime project, but you know, you, I just wants to show called the last kingdom and it's a lot about vikings and the vikings. Talk about the pride and the glory and the sort of spirituality and spiritual value of killing your transgressor, getting that revenge, not really understanding that in our society, the Eia, even the idea that revenge is a good solution is a trap.:
Speaker 1:
12:26
I believe it's not the end goal. I find that I've, um, I have to, it depends on the type of person that's with me. But I do find that I have to help people claim the power of anger even if they don't act on it. To have a stance of saying, I don't deserve this ever again. It's such an important stance to be able to take and that way you don't like let anyone else in your life mistreat you. And then once you're at that anger stage, then you have to melt that and go into the grief stage of what you've lost through the injury and the hurt that you've experienced in. It's interesting that when they died that was first a grief and then an anger like, hey, have I been holding onto the fantasy all these years that I was going to get a do over with my childhood was what I thought.:
Speaker 1:
13:20
You guys are finally going to come around you with a hammer in your hand and you know, with a German Luger in your hand, you know, you felt you moved from grief to anger is I got angry because I thought, hey, hey, I didn't get a childhood. Yeah. Uh, and I guess I was sort of cleaned this ridiculous notion, but you know, one of the smartest things that anyone has ever said to me like the, the casualty of war here, the symptom of the complex PTSD that I have had is the killing of the truth that Dr Copy sent to me. Cause you know, you're really here because you don't know how to tell yourself the truth because something happened to you when you were small that if you knew how to tell yourself the truth, you would a died growing up in my house.:
Speaker 1:
14:18
The thing that would kill your first before the knife was the truth. There was none of that. That was the end of the world. Apocalyptic doom. Never tell the truth here and let awful things happen that we don't remark on, okay, we all know you're doing something to Darryl and we all know you're doing something to his sister, but we're not going to talk about that. What a remarkable place. You know, I mean, my was a German Luger in his hand talking about how he got that Luger in the first place. Just that night alone should have sent me to the nuthouse, you know, being a little boy going, wait, you said what to them before you killed him dad. Right. And I, you know, when my father said on his deathbed, his last words, I let my anger be more important to me than my children. There was nothing as important to me. It was the only thing that was important to me. That's amazing that he said that. Yeah.:
Speaker 1:
15:32
You know, as I was listening to you as deeply as I could just now, I was listening to uh, the way you moved, like when I, when you first had anger from grief to anger, the word that I thought of that gives more nuanced to your anger was more outrage. Like I didn't get my childhood and if you are in therapy with me, I would be like, stop, stop, stop. No, no further than this. And it's like I am, I discovered ember in like a smoldering and this is the thing that I want to cultivate. You still want whatever childhood represents joy, simplicity, unadulterated, like engagement with life and being surrounded by love. And I would want to like nurse that ember and cultivate that into like a coal for you. And then what happened was that you said that very fleetingly and then it turned into the um, indignation and the like, this is how this is, I'm still mad and this is all the bad things that happened.:
Speaker 1:
16:33
This is the tricky thing about traumas. Like, um, people get stuck on the anger plane and only see the bad things in the world and they want to just fight all the bad things, but then they never learned to cultivate the aspirational things. Like how do I reclaim a childhood? Even though they're gone, you're still here and you can have childhood in so many different ways. And with your own child or with other people who like our childlike and yeah, it seems like the central thing. Michelle knows me better than I know myself, I think. And the central thing for me was, and now we've identified that mental illness is not an airborne virus than it comes from somewhere very specific. And in your case, it came from this, here's what happened. I mean, all the gyrations and the masterful work this man had to produce just to get to the truth. Now we've got it. Um, you're, you're this way because of something that happened to you. Well, what do we do with that? Uh, that titanic rage we had to move on to what is forgiveness and can you get, can you get some, you know, forgiveness, not being for them but for me, forgiveness, not meaning I approve of you and I love you. Forgiveness:
Speaker 4:
17:50
really for me was letting go, setting sail, cutting that ship rope so to speak. And in order to do that, we had to consider the preposterous notion that monsters are not born, they're made that most of the monsters you hear about we're victims and then get into the case of my mom, what must have happened, you know, I think he said something like, you know, there's nothing more, something about healing for, for that sort of murderous rage than a little sympathy for the devil if you can just feel it for our heartbeat. But God knows this is all I had. He stuff right. It makes sense when instead of it just being about me and I believing I'm bad and that's why my parents did this to me to have a moment where I see what happened to them and there is an actual reason why they are acting this way, which had nothing to do with me.:
Speaker 4:
18:50
Just for that split second when that little space there just for a split second and suddenly I ended, I was, you know, I've been living in terror my whole life and just that in my case I had a dream and then during the dream, but I woke up thinking that dream was real. And for a second, for a moment I felt a compassion for my mother as a little girl. And that's the magic trick. These great doctors are able to spend man. And that's why it was important for me to, to convey that this is a cycle and that the only way to break the cycle is to understand. It doesn't mean we exonerate the perpetrator, but if we vilify, we are never going to break the cycle. And you know the, the, the Michael Jackson documentary, it's great. It focuses on grooming, grooming kids, but there's not one mention that he was abused.:
Speaker 4:
19:57
And so now the discussion is, and everyone's talking about, do I listen to Michael Jackson's music? If that's what's come out of it, it's a failure. We can't just vilify. And as I said, we does it mean exonerate and I believe that we are so afraid to feel any kind of compassion for a perpetrator because we think it means excuse and exonerate and it, it doesn't mean that. But how are we going to break the cycle after cycle, after cycle, after cycle? There's, um, there's two things that I was thinking about. The first one is that there's a trope in the trauma world which captures the intergenerational transmission of trauma very nicely. It's just that hurt people hurt people. Yes. Um, the deeper thing that I want to is,:
Speaker 3:
20:49
um, trauma and like survival instincts, survival brain makes us want to bifurcate the world into you are good. You are bad. Yes. And the more stressed you are, the more you needed to buy the weld into simple terms. And, um, what we're talking about is how do you hold onto the complexity of us as human beings who are both evil and good [inaudible] right? And the way to like transcend, be impacted stress and trauma is to be able to tolerate complexity as big as possible. And in the way that I do that and honor my anger about people getting hurt is that I'm not angry at individuals, but I'm angry at trauma itself. And the way that trauma gets passed down. Like sometimes I will ratify trauma and anxiety as like a separate thing. And I just get so angry whenever I see it in the room and I get angry at my patients all the time.:
Speaker 3:
21:47
And I just, whenever I do though, it's because I can tell that their traumas are starting to hijack their brains. It's making them want to hurt themselves or hurt someone else. I'm just like, stop doing that. Stop being a prisoner to your trauma and I'm gonna fight for you and I'm going to come rescue you. And if it means I'm going to get angry, you're gonna have to put up with it because I care about you enough that I'm not gonna let this happen anymore. I cannot abide by this anymore. So that's, that's where you put the anger. You use the anger for what it's designed to do, which is to help protect people.:
Speaker 4:
22:17
Yes. And I actually, I'm, I'm so gratefully for you Jacob, Dr Ham, because I've never seen anybody work the way you do. Um, because I think that there's so many psychologists, doctors who have been trained to not show emotion. You're not supposed to get personally involved with your patient and you and, and the way that I watch you work in the videos that you post on your website, I see, oh, you can't help your patient unless you are intuitively working with them and feeling what they're feeling and feeling your own feelings as a doctor. Otherwise you're just going to be sitting there nodding and saying something, intellectualizing it. And then,:
Speaker 3:
23:03
yeah, I find that that's a defense against feeling anything in the room whenever people get too intellectualized. And so the way that I feel like I can do the work that I do is that I have to allow hurt and paint a wash over me and I have to learn to have metabolized my own history of abuse and hurt and pain so that I can like sit in that without being overwhelmed, without getting triggered myself. And then to somehow like to help carry the load of hurt so that we're all just spreading it and holding it for each other and with each other. I love the I the to really come to a, an eye clear idea in my mind one day of what being triggered means. Maybe you could talk about the hook.:
Speaker 1:
23:47
Um, well yeah, I thought you were an expert at it. The way that you talked about it in the movie. It was brilliant. Well, what's thing that I say that I learned from what doctor? Well, there's a c color film. Where do do you mean? Uh, in the press conference when he gets triggered, when he's asked to have, that's an interesting one. And he, he, when you're, you're at the press conference, you're about together a talk and then the woman says it's time to go to the VIP reception and you get triggered. Yeah. And you get upset and then you get triggered. And to me, you know, and also something that's probably wrong because I'm just now starting to surmise all this stuff I've learned in the past, just the past year about PTSD and complex PTSD and it, at least with the complex PTSD, I don't need for anything to happen for me to feel awful.:
Speaker 1:
24:48
Yeah. Um, it's temporary, but it's real. And my friends, you know, I have a, me and my friend Elizabeth and Chelsea, you met, um, we text each other each day because we all suffer from it, like we call it, you know, there's the show I'm a stranger things about and they have the upside down where they go for no apparent reason. Yup. The same world they were loving is now awful for no reason. So it's like, I'll tell them or they'll tell me or what will I'm, I'm in the upside down. Yeah. It's so subtle. And I just recently heard a label emotional flashback that it really captures it cause I think that again we focus so much on like a physical flashbacks. Like if a veteran's, he's like a pile of trash on the street and they think it's an IED or like the fireworks, like those are all more obvious.:
Speaker 1:
25:44
But for complex trauma it's like, um, as soon as you feel like any shame, I bet you that's a big trigger or threat of we'll see what you think of this. This is what I've learned this year and to see if this makes any sense to you that morning my system has a sort of day or moment per week when it prepares me to be raped again, to be tortured again, to be beaten with a hammer again, shouldn't be left alone in a park at the age of three again. And so I either feel so much fear, I can't talk or I feel so much rage. I want to take it out on somebody. And I started having fantasies of, you know, if my mom were alive, why would I do right? That kind of anger. And then there's the third thing, which is the gazelle thing.:
Speaker 1:
26:36
The way I gazelle gets before it's killed, it's just not there. So it's almost as if my brain is doing military preparedness drills exactly the same way. There's not a real war going on, but we're going to stay ready in case there is. Now I get your question. So just in case this APP, because we don't know why that person walked in the room with the hammer to begin with and now since we can't explain the dampness and look at my brain talking to me about, I can't explain it. I want to preparing you for it to happen again. The reason why you don't get triggers is that you don't need a trigger. You're constantly living in thread. Yeah, that makes perfect. It doesn't happen Michelle. You know me like the back of your hand. It's not all the time. Right. But it is a day or two a week and it's not the whole day.:
Speaker 1:
27:24
Thank God. Yeah. And Are you aware of when you go into that mode? When I feel like I'm an awful person, it will never, I mean my brain, you really will easily start using the words always and never. Yep. Ahead. It will attach permanency to it. Yep, exactly. What is the, the doctor, Dr. Martin Seligman as the three P's, it becomes personal, pervasive and permanent. It's a magic trick. My brain is doing a magic trick. How could I feel that in the same on the same day in which me and Michelle were just in the park having a blast. It's my brain's going, okay, well just in case another one of those people who comes in the room with a hammer. Exactly. You'll be, you'll be ready. Exactly. And if you have to check out and die, you'll be ready for that too. Right. And that's why in the film you explain when you come out of it, because you say, when I think I'm being disrespected, when I think I'm being, just even thinking that you're being disrespected can be such a trigger and then you say, and then I realize you mean I'm not being killed.:
Speaker 1:
28:34
Like okay, well let's talk. It was a last thing. Once I reached that level of, oh my mom must have been horribly mistreated. I don't care about her anymore. I got it. I understand it. I don't love her, but it's over and I'm going to move on with my life. So the first day where, you know, you know, I remember thinking to myself, looking at all like when they let me out of the hospital, looking at all the people going, what do you do all day? If you don't think you're going to get killed, like how do you spend your time? Like I'm serious, like real, you know, what do you do that? What kind of stuff do you get into? But um, you play, yeah. Yes. This is my doctor. Copy was an Indian. Just delight yourself until like the stuff, yeah. I mean it's gotta be stuff like maybe Bach or rolling stone. Anything, music, arts, sports and being together. Like we'll, we'll get together at the coffee shop. We have a favorite coffee shop and we'll get together with friends. And then Darryl, he says, I'm going to be good for like the next two hours.:
Speaker 3:
29:42
Yeah, I get, I'm s I look and literally I have to do my, other than therapy, of course, you know, I still do cognitive therapy accesses, but I can go home symptom free as if I'd never had it at all just for a couple of hours. You know, you know, my brains are wired to be in sync, so are in sync where together we're seeing each other. My three p's that are the opposite of the alarm peas are um, presence, poignancy and purpose. And if you could cultivate those instead of the other three p's and that's, that's, that's the next, that's it. That's the final third after that. That's a brand new space uniform. I'm going to have to get, girl, I love the hook because I think I want to hear about the whole thing for the listeners. I think everybody can relate and I think it's a good, it's such a great tool for people to stop beating themselves up when they do pop up.:
Speaker 3:
30:44
Um, you know, that know the hulk was an abused kid too. I didn't know he was abuse doc Bruce Banner, you say? Yeah. His father was abusive to him. His mother tried to stop the father from abusing him. The father was also an alcoholic and a one day I think that the father killed her mother in front of the Sun. Uh, so he has domestic violence, he has child physical abuse. I'm assuming that he was bullied as a kid too because he's like a smart kid. And then, um, and then he basically just started to develop rage like we all do whenever we're trying to one time. And if in one of the fits of rage he gets hit with gamma is yes. And what all the marvel comic characters, I know, right? It's the magic. So you become a superhero and then suddenly his self protective rage suddenly turns into the Superhero. And, and the reason why I loved the hulk is because as his age, as his rage increases, his Iq drops.:
Speaker 3:
31:50
He can't, he has two word sentences. All he cares about is like, who's in front of me that's trying to hurt me and how do I protect myself? And he can't speak. He can't think he, and he loses self awareness. Uh, so he doesn't even know and he can't control it from happening. And the other thing I love is that he can't just turn it off on a dime. Once you're triggered, you needed expend all of that, all of that energy can you to make sure that you're safe. And then you go jump off to South American, go cuddle with Jennifer Connolly or whoever it is, a Scarlett Johannson or whatever it is under uh, uh, they show at the, in what magazine that year on the cover of wired magazine. And then you have to like sleep it off cause people with trauma have hyper fast triggers, like are there, they have that hair trigger done and then once they're activated, it takes them way longer to calm back down.:
Speaker 3:
32:45
And you just can't stop that. And then the other thing I love about the hulk is that he's not a villain. He's actually one of the most bad superheroes in the whole universe. Right? Yeah. And so some of, so many of us hate ourselves for having these rage episodes. And like you even said it just now. You said I'm going to be good for the next two hours. So you're already assigning whenever I'm raging, that's a bad thing. And when you were talking about that part, I was visualizing a little devil on your shoulder saying, don't put your guard down. People are coming to her, but he doesn't show up for two hours. I know he shows up for two days. Right? Yeah. But I'm the point being that there is a process involving mutual and shared experience and all of my therapy in which I actually feel great.:
Speaker 3:
33:29
Comfort. Yeah. An hour or two. Wait from what? From fellowshipping. Oh yes, of course. Yes. But when he started to come up, you're probably like, oh, I wish you weren't here. I'm trying to get rageful. But instead what I'm trying to do is to say like, oh, you're back. You're, you think that I'm in trouble. Ah, thank you so much for loving me so much that you're trying to protect me. But you know what? I'm good. I'm good. She's not here. I got friends to meet. I need to go meet with the, I need to be able to speak. So thank you. Yeah. Thank you for showing me. But I got to do, let me go make friends with the hawk. Wow. That's deep. So in your next book, my friends with the hall. Yeah. After all he is a nice guy. He saved your life.:
Speaker 3:
34:22
But what about when the Hawk comes up in a split second? Yeah, you cut it. You just try to stretch that second out and I still get triggered. I remember I still do petty like retaliatory things but I'm at least aware as I'm doing them. Um, I, I made a point at the end of my notes to, to ask for thoughts or advice. Um, basically what, what is a good ally need to know and telling them what I need for myself is to, for the people who love me to know that I, I have a hulk and that sometimes he comes roaring out and then as soon as the Hawk has gone, then I'm going to be back. But please don't mistake me for my whole, I think that's really important cause I'm there. Then I'm going to start going back to, I'm going to go get their original hall. Or can you just gotta be by that in New York? I'm going to get the first to turn up. Um, comics. What do that, yeah. Yeah. I think, uh, we all either have our own trauma. We know somebody with trauma. We love somebody with trauma. We love somebody who doesn't know they have trauma yet:
Speaker 4:
35:39
who doesn't remember their trauma. I mean, we're just all connected to it. I think love is the answer and it shouldn't be thrown away like, Oh love. But let's not underestimate looking in somebody's eyes and listening. And I think we always need to believe what is being said. And I think a sense of curiosity, which I've actually learned to believe. Yes. Be Willing to believe, even though it's hard and it's painful. So if you want to help somebody, just listen with curiosity with an open mind. Yeah. What would you say to your loved ones retreat?:
Speaker 4:
36:39
I, man, I don't even know how, there are certain people in my state in my life, and I think Michelle is one of them who saw the difference between the hulk, although I never heard it so aptly named and me and that somehow I don't know how go, Duh, that's not even him. So I didn't even hear him. That's the hulk. That's that side of him. You know what I mean? And somehow those are the only people that hadn't been able to keep around. But I think the thing about trauma that is somehow, and I don't know if we should even be calling it trauma anymore, what, what maybe there should be in your verbage. Her hurt that our society wants it to go away. They wanted to say he told your story and let's be done. And that is something, it is a daily reprieve.:
Speaker 4:
37:39
So let's not judge ourselves and judge each other because if the hurt and the pain, the trauma is living inside the body, I mean, I've been in recovery for mine for 34 years and two months ago I remembered a whole new trauma and it was severe and I was shocked. I thought I've remembered, I know everything, I remembered everything. So this was living in my system, you know, for all of this time. And it really, I'm, I'm, I'm glad it came out because it just reinforced this, all this research that I've been doing and doing for the film and now speaking about it. So, and, and I love how Jacob talks about how long it takes and how we have to be patient with ourselves and how doctors have to be patient with themselves and with each other and that there's no quick fix. And I think that, that the reason that I love Darryl, I love Darryl Story. I think Darryl is the perfect messenger for the story is because he's telling the truth. And I've never seen anyone be so vulnerable is Daryl. And he's not pretending that this happened to me. And now I'm great. And it's not that he isn't great, but he's willing it will your, it's just that we're always great, we're great even if we have a limp and, and I think that we have to help each other and, and help our society embrace our vulnerability.:
Speaker 3:
39:22
And then one final image that I keep having it as I was listening to Daryl, um, waiting saying like, get away from me. Get away, like run. The thing I would do with you is that I would like grab you by the face and when you're in front of someone that loves you, I would say you are not going to hawk out right now. You're going to save her this. You're going to see how much this person loves you and you're going to like experience gratitude. And you know, I, the word grace comes up for me. Like I don't deserve this love, but it's still coming to me and I'm just, you have to just be so thankful for that. And that's it. Like your brain is so intrained to think of fear and perpetrators and you have to now intentionally train your brain to start savoring. Love to let it come into you. And then for the people who love us and want to be there for us, don't give up and keep fighting. Like cultivate the frustration and anger to say like, no, Daryl, you're not running from me. Hmm, go ahead,:
Speaker 5:
40:24
back. Doctor. Doctor turned around. Love it. Great. Well thank you.:
Speaker 3:
40:35
Thank you all so, so much. This has been a real gift.:
Speaker 6:
40:40
Thank you so much Michelle. Darryl and Dr Hom for this conversation. After we did this recording, I started seeing childhood trauma everywhere. Like Michelle said, it really does touch us all, but I also started seeing opportunities for resilience and healing, seeking out trauma-informed doctors like the one that saved Darrell's life is a big one. And then there are the ideas that came up in our conversation like make friends with a hawk or how about the part where Daryl talked about forgiveness, setting sail as he called it. Michelle's advice also struck a chord. Look into a person's eyes. Listen and be willing to believe, even though it's painful. To learn more about Michelle's film and how you can host a screening for your school, organization or community, please visit cracked up movie.com we'll include a link in the show notes along with some resources where you can learn more about childhood trauma in general. Road to resilience is a, at the ICAHN school of Medicine at Mount Sinai. It's made by me, Katie Almond and Nikki Hudson. Our executive producers are Dory Cleese's and Lucy Li. If you liked what you heard today, please subscribe and rate us on Itunes and recommend us to a friend. We really appreciate it. I'm John. I'll see you next month with more stories from the road to resilience.:
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