arts & entertainment

No artist tolerates reality

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Good afternoon!

Today I` going on a musimc quiz, and to prepare I`ve listened to music the whole day.
We have a lot of brilliant artists in Norway, but normally they don`t manage to get famous abroad. That is why you probably haven`t heard this song by Susanne Sundfør, that I have listened to for three months now. I`m still not tired of it.

What do you think?

Vampire Diaries and Dissociation

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92d39fd1ef3083dfccbaca5318f273edI love Vampire Diaries. For an emotional junkie like me, there are so many elements worth paying attention to, and one of them is the vampires abilities to “turn off” their emotions. They have a humanity switch that can be turned on and off when they need it. In this way, they can live with guilt, regret and the horrible things they have done. In real life, we have something similar called dissociation. To simplify, dissociation is when you split of parts of your experiences, that normally would overwhelm you. It helps trauma victims and others cope with emotions, memories and experiences that threaten their mental well-being. Dissociation is extremely helpful in some cases, like when we need to focus exclusively on something and can`t be distracted by unwelcome feelings that would drown us otherwise. But, when people “turn off” or “split away” their emotions to the extreme, it becomes a problem.

From “Shades of Ashes”

Before I knew what DID was or that I even had it, I had my own name for what would happen to me: I called it my “Kill Switch.” It was like all the humanity I had in my being would disappear or cease to function and what was left was the raw, reptilian brain, and the instinctual creature with just basic core components.

I just watched an episode of Vampire Diaries, where “Elena” had her humanity switch turned off after her brother died. Her friends did everything they could to evoke her emotions again, but she was terrified of opening up. Vampires have stronger emotions than humans, and she was afraid that she could not take it if she dared to grieve over her loss.

Are humans that different from the Vampires? When we haven`t had the chance to learn how to control our emotions, we come to fear them. Opening up is frightening, especially if it has lead to abuse before. How is it possible to trust others again if all you got when you grew up was criticism or hate? Daring to trust someone again, a therapist or a friend, takes time. Elena had friends that never gave up on her, even when she tried to kill and hurt others. Some dissociative have also done things that scared people who love them. In a dissociative state, some patients have lashed out on loved ones, to a degree that actually traumatized them. Sometimes emotions ARE scary, but it can be more destructive to keep split them off. When you build up a wall, not letting anything come through, decompensation happens. Emotions are not the problem, not facing them is. But traumatized people need to do so in a safe environment where they won`t be hurt again. This takes time, and that is okay.

Elena made it, she dared to face her demons and live with her pain.

If your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be? For me it would be to be that person who helps trauma victims deal with their dissocation. To prove that its possible to integrate all the confusing emotions, and live healthy life. 

Different faces: Dissociation as a coping mechanism

Read more:

Moonlight Cherry


DID and vampire diaries

Dissocative identity disorder

Depression is an illness

Healing the trauma of war

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Trauma of war

This month I found an article on national geographic that I wanted to share with you. It is about war victims and their way to healing, and the therapy is using art to do so. I have worked together with an art therapist, and know its potential. Recently I also read a book by Norwegian art therapist working with eating disorder. Since trauma is what I work with the most, this article was very relevant. Not only relevant, but well-written with beautiful pictures. I have included parts of the article, but to get the full experience follow the link on the top.

Brain injuries caused by blast events change soldiers in ways many can’t articulate. Some use art therapy, creating painted masks to express how they feel

“I THOUGHT THIS WAS A JOKE,” recalled Staff Sgt. Perry Hopman, who served as a flight medic in Iraq. “I wanted no part of it because, number one, I’m a man, and I don’t like holding a dainty little paintbrush. Number two, I’m not an artist. And number three, I’m not in kindergarten. Well, I was ignorant, and I was wrong, because it’s great. I think this is what started me kind of opening up and talking about stuff and actually trying to get better.”

Hopman is one of many service members guided by art therapist Melissa Walker at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), which is part of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Maryland. Images painted on their masks symbolize themes such as death, physical pain, and patriotism.

“I THOUGHT THIS WAS A JOKE,” recalled Staff Sgt. Perry Hopman, who served as a flight medic in Iraq. “I wanted no part of it because, number one, I’m a man, and I don’t like holding a dainty little paintbrush. Number two, I’m not an artist. And number three, I’m not in kindergarten. Well, I was ignorant, and I was wrong, because it’s great. I think this is what started me kind of opening up and talking about stuff and actually trying to get better.”

“I think he was one of the first patients I’d ever had to ask me to let him die.”



Good neighbors

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Brilliant. my first new neighbor experience was this: We have a common washing machine, and one of them is already out of order. I came down there to wash some things and a lady came in with a few mops. She asked: ‘Oh, that was a pity, I just wanted to wash these’. Immediately I offered to wash tomorrow, since she has just a few things, but she said it was okay and put her things next to the machine. I continued to load the machine, and talked with her while I did. She told me I had to put money on a machine to start it. I did not know this and she borrowed me the necessary amount and said I could pay her back later. I didn’t like the impression I was leaving. After I had stashed the machine full, I put the leftovers in my bin and left. I collected my clothes afterwards and remember it was a bit strange that I couldn’t see her things next to the machine as I remembered. I shrugged it off, and focused on the clothes I had to hang up. Later in the evening, someone knocked on my door. It was thE same lady. She had been at the room and couldn’t find her mops! She was stressed and asked if I had locked the door after I left. I realized I hadn’t , and shook my head in dismay. She told me this was the Mops she used to wash the floor , and somebody must have stolen them. I felt terrible and apologizes profusely. She saw my anguish and said it was alright: I was new and things like these happen.

The next day I wanted to wash the next machine with clothes. As I started to pull clothes out of my bin I realized: I had her mops in my bin! I just took them out and placed them back where she first put them. Some time later she knocks on my door again, with them in her hands. I tell her how I mistakenly put her things in my basket and feel like an idiot. She tells me she actually asked somebody else if they’ve stolen them, and that she contacted the people she works for. I again apologized and she said it was okay. As if this wasn’t enough, another accident had occurred when I came down to collect my other load of clothes: The washing machine was full of water! I don’t know what she will say to that yet, but I know I must be prepared for another explanation. I have a feeling the first impression I’ve left so far, isn’t exactly good..

The sound of horns and motors

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What I would like to know

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There are so many People in this world. Every one of them With their story. I would like to know more about the Readers: What is Your story? What makes you smile? What makes you sad?

The sound of pride

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Pride is one of the sins In the bible, and in that case I'm a sinner. After four hectic weeks, that have gone pretty good considering I've travelled every week, I'm looking back and feel proud. The literal flying I've done is accompanied with mental flying, and it feels good. This week I'm going to Edinburg for the last course in the marathon, and I can't wait! The emdr conference is actually the cherry on the cake, and I also look forward to it because I'll have some time to look at the city as well! I'm also meeting E., and am so excited, since we never have met in real life.

There is so much more I could write, but this must do for now. I've included some pictures that show what I'm proud of. Next time I'll jump into my plane with a good conscience.

Animal lovers

New curtains
Part of a canvas project



The sound of freedom cries

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I have just finished a book I really liked. I wrote myself about the perils of too much freedom when I still went to school and had to produce my first essay. It was about a boy who was left to himself by his parents, which he initially enjoyed. Things got out of hand, though, and I ended the essay before we knew the outcome. My teacher (who had given me quite bad grades before) apparently liked this one, and read it aloud in class. After that, I suddenly got better grades, and I actually met the same teacher one year ago by coincidence. I told him I had become a pscyhologist, and he said: I thought you might go in that direction. I was stunned, as I usually hear: Isn`t that a tough job?

To read more about the book by Jonathan Frantzen (I`ve also read correction, another joyfull read), I present a review underneath.

“Acceptance of the unacceptable

is the greatest source of grace in this world.”

~ Eckhart Tolle



We have been raised in a world, where limitless freedom is the ultimate value. We shrink at the possible thought that someone somewhere might forbid us to do something. We look with fear at countries such as North Korea, where freedom is almost non-existent, and we admire and revere the US and Europe where almost everything is possible. We find it difficult to understand life in the 19th century, where women were dependent on men for their survival, where marriages were arranged, and where the family you were born in determined your entire future. We believe that we have managed to conquer all of the limitations of the past generations and we now live in this perfect world, where freedom can take you anywhere you want to be. We (and I strongly include myself in that) never stop to even think that maybe too much freedom might be bad for us. That indefinite freedom might actually mean a longer rope to hang ourselves.

His most famous novel, The Corrections  (next on my reading list) brought him world fame and the National Book Award. Freedom, his long-awaited novel, actually received very mixed reviews. I have always been drawn to extremes. Novels that half of the people adore and the other half hate. People that provoke either passionate admiration or utter contempt. Movies that some revere and others simply detest . Anything that is able to invoke polar strong feelings in people must be well past average, must be brilliant in some way.

Through the life of a single family, the Berglunds, Franzen exposes all the ills of the free contemporary society we live in. Freedom has brought us on the verge of extinction (although we probably do not realize that). Overpopulation, pollution, environmental contamination, national resources scarcity and species extinction, to name a few, are among the problems that will rather sooner than later endanger the survival of the smartest animal on Earth. And yet we continue to exploit what has been given to us, blind to other people and to nature, desperate to fulfil some void inside us by doing more, getting more, taking all of the chances available to demonstrate that we are free. Free to lead an amazing life or free to fuck it up as we wish:

You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to.

The Berglunds are the typical American family, which on the surface has achieved the American dream. Patty, once a college basketball star, is now a stay-at-home mother, taking care of two children. Walter is a hard-working, non-drinking and attentive husband, who adores his wife and his two children. They are the perfect neighbours, who are ready to forgive anyone anything, as long as their own privilege is forgiven.

And yet, the freedom that steams from the attainment of the American dream seems not to be enough. What probably makes Freedom so powerful is that everyone can recognize himself or herself in one of the characters at some point. The prodigal son, who leaves home and becomes a Republican, wishing to differentiate from his father as much as possible. The woman who falls into a mid-life depression and wanders helplessly between the good man she married and the bad man she wished she had but never did. The husband who had the unfortunate luck to fall in love with a woman, who can make him both incredibly happy and utterly miserable. The rock star, whose self-destructive ways arise more sympathy than reproach.

Freedom is indeed a great American novel, but it is also a great universal novel. Because the problems that Franzen exposes are as valid for the US as for the rest of the developed world. The author easily jumps from past to present and through the point-of-view of different characters explores a world of infidelity, dysfunctional parent-children relationship, depression, excessive drinking, drug addictions, self-loathing and insecurity. I am inclined to believe that humanity cannot successfully deal with the excessive freedom inflicted upon it. In an ever more confusing and complex world, we are exposed to both the benefits and the burden of personal liberties:

Where did the self-pity come from? The inordinate volume of it? By almost any standard, she led a luxurious life. She had all day every day to figure out some decent and satisfying way to live, and yet all she ever seemed to get for all her choices and all her freedom was more miserable. The autobiographer is almost forced to the conclusion that she pitied herself for being so free.

People came to this country for either money or freedom. If you don’t have money, you cling to your freedoms all the more angrily.

Freedom explores the shortcomings of both personal and national freedom to criticize a society that has focused too much on liberties and has come to regard constraints as evil. However, when the soul becomes overburdened with freedom, when anything is just a click away, when technological advancement allows you to be here and there simultaneously, personal relationships become obsolete. We have been focusing for too long on our own personal freedom to notice and understand that we need to coexist with 7 billion other people. Freedom in that sense must not be regarded as the freedom to do whatever you want now, just because you can or you must, but Freedom is one long series of well placed notes strapped to pitbulls. It’s a highly engineered work of fiction about important and subtle realities of life that almost anyone will be able to read with pleasure and take at least something from. In a world that seems to have fewer meaningful stories, and ever more escapist fantasies, that makes Freedom a book of immense power and value.

Too much freedom indeed becomes detrimental because as everything is possible, nothing is really valuable.




Review 2:   in Jonathan Franzen

The quote: Sargam Misra on December 22, 2013 in Path to Inner Alchemy

More on overpopulation:  Isler