It Doesn't Have to Be This Way: Part VIII

Direction in an Age of Confusion

The Colonel’s Daughter Blog

by Sharon Schlerf

The subject is Security.

While our mission at the Warrior Way Wellness Center ‘priority’ status for service members, veterans and families, I’ve also provided support services for law enforcement and other ‘first responders’ on the frontlines for over 20 years. Our college interns have been in human services education, justice and mental health. With COVID-19, we’ve expanded support for trauma-informed care for Frontline health care members US DHHS SAMHSA services are the foundation of all of our programs, focused on specific gaps in Peer-to-Peer services.

Unless the First Responders (me included) are provided the most immediate access possible (usually in the field or within three to four days of an event), primary care for trauma-informed care is necessary. If not, the long term effects can be serious. The longer a responder, military, or otherwise, delays ‘downloading’ and ‘detoxing’ from a crisis that affects the entire body, soul and spirit, overall health and well-being are breaking down.

Dr. April Guminsky, Gateway Internal Medicine, is our primary care doctor and her practice is a new movement called direct primary care. It’s a health care model that supports a strong patient-doctor relationship and encourages access both in and out of the office, and paid for ‘membership fee’ based service rather than reliance on insurance company placements. We do have major medical insurances that pay for all of our other medical needs, she prescribes. However, her direct primary care provides holistic alternatives, functional medicine and patient empowerment.

She recommended this book for Michael and I to assist us with our own Post-Traumatic Injuries- PTSI and physical health care, especially mine compromised by early onset of issues in my early twenties, and disabilities in 2001 when I was struck by a car in an emergency response incident.

‘The Body Keeps The Score’, Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk: “Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.”

We apply the concepts and recommend to our members, at the Center. Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, who wrote this review gives the best explanation of our mission vision: “A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times is a bestseller (The Body Keeps The Score), Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence.”

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In the Body Keeps Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising the sufferer’s capacity for pleasure, engagement, self-control and trust. He explores innovative treatments from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga- that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships to both hurt and to heal --and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.”

Long before Dr. G gave us this book resource (in 2018) I believed in holistic health, body, soul and spirit, founding Lighthouse Beacon Church Beacon Institute Holistic Health in January 2001, with the same view, to encompass alternatives, with innovation, combined effectively with traditional western medicine for long-term healing and wellness. Again, I since my serious physical health issues in my early twenties, demanded a more restorative care sooner than later, and recognized based on my family history, the cumulative effect then, that ‘life’ has on every person, whether it appears ‘severe’ or not.

Our Mission providing peer-to-peer support wellness and resiliency classes, direct support services, holistic approaches inclusive of art, music, yoga, meditation, nutrition, physical massage therapy, and devices like the Temple Messager®, and education for workforce paraprofessionals is ‘a comprehensive model’. In a rapidly growing need for health services projected for 2024 by US DHHS SAMHSA our Center approach is meaningfully purposeful and integrates whole health practices. We also provides advantages of knowledge and science- based applications for individuals to self-manage their approach and advocate for themselves, with all health care professionals, their family members, co-workers, and community at large.

With less dependency on mass corporate and federal government care, in order to establish our well-being and sense of security, locally.

We understand the entire scope of how life everyday life experience has consequences, so when bad things happen that threaten our security or safety, our human auto-response is fight, flight or freeze -- instinctively. The solution to healing is get help as soon as you can.

First Responders by the nature of their job demands that their security is threatened every day, in some way when they are on duty. Including Armed Forces members, Law Enforcement, Fire and Emergency Medical Teams, and now hospitals and clinics, frontline health care workers whose mission is healing, are seriously affected by patient deaths, personal vulnerability for illness themselves and fear of infecting their families at home. The stress and trauma are held at bay, when the ‘logic-side brain’ and body are in emergency response ‘fight’ mode, (for front-liners trained to do so) --until the event is over.

However, life isn’t going to be the same for anyone here in America, civilians in essential ‘public services’ day to day following the guidelines of social distancing, protective gear, may have limited exposure to the virus, and exposure for ‘work from home/telecommute services’ is not exemption. They too, are not immune to the disruption of COVID-19, experiencing stress & anxiety based on health-risk exposures, isolation, economic hardship, family dynamics, routine activities and schedules, sleep, exercise, adjustment disorders.

Even now, there is no firm basis or agreement among authorities, including our federal, state and local governing agents who are making decisions for us, the last two months and months to come about COVID-19 health’ security. There’s no protocol, hence no consistency, for unity overall. They are doing the best they can, daily.

Most people can cope, some will not, based on the cumulative --not the momentary experience. For short-term support or long-term health, for our Frontline Members, peer-to-peer services means ‘Been there, done that’ shared-experience that we live with every day. We aren’t survivors of COVID-19; we are the experienced Victors --overcoming life’s obstacles.

Within my syllabus, here is the next segment continuing from week to week:

Structure: (Our Founder’s Basis) 1) Areas of Change, 2) Basis, 3) Methods of Change, and 4) Intended Results




Local Law: Enforcement, Trust, Relationship Oriented, Personal & Community Involvement

State Law: Enforcement, Cooperation, Geographical Resources, Community Representation

Federal Law: Enforcement, Cooperation, Resource Management, Geographical Knowledge, Proper Administration of State and Local Laws & all important -- Public Interest

Method of Change:

Local Law:

· Policemen, Sheriffs (Horseback and Walking), Bicycles, Motorbikes, transition more to Patrol Cars, Security/Stealth Cameras, ‘Blue Lights’, Wiretaps, Computers & Forensic Sciences, GPS and DNA science

State Law:

· Cooperation, Geographical Resources, Community is larger, less personal , called in for more resources locally begins to supersede local enforcement, (and security is less manageable by local law) perceived law enforcement is more ‘threatening’ batons, tear gas, SWAT teams, Armor, Police Riot-gear, explosives (then local begins same operation training and equipment)

Federal Law:

· FBI, Secret Services, Homeland Security, US Marshalls, National Guard, Civil Air Patrols, and Intelligence Units

· Terrorism: Homeland Security (2001), Air Marshalls, and International Security (Special Forces) considered for back-up national at home

Intended Results (Everywhere)

Level I

· Petty Crime,

· Civil Disputes

· Assaults

· Breaking & Entering (B&E)

· Domestic Violence

· Escalation during economic and community hardship (like COVID-19)

Level II

· Escalation of citizen residency (outside of town/city law jurisdictions)

· Escalation of citizen residency (inside major cities, inner city, metro neighborhoods)

· Increased density increases more ‘criminal behavior’ during lack of resources hardship

· Population numbers surpass individual law enforcement personnel, connection with residents, requiring state funds and personnel throughout localities, cities, counties, rural populations

· Less deterrent programs, tools, resources

· More focus on enforcement and crisis response

Level III:

· Introduction of widespread drug availability

· Criminal gangs and mobs

· Money laundering

· Corrupted graft and pay-offs

· Court system corruption

· Disparity between the wealthy and poor

· Media Reporting: ‘Shock Value, Copy-cat crimes, Senseless Violence, ‘Society Gone Wild’ focus, Breakdown of Community – Hate Crimes

· Crime for sake of personal statement notoriety ‘famous’ increases

Now, it is time to decide for your answers to these four questions:

  • What was your life like twenty years ago? Ten years ago? ve?

  • Is your life better or worse? Quality of life, peace, stability, health, in what ways….

  • Is society and community around you is as a whole, better or worse?

  • If your life and the lives of your children or family, in the future is to be determined by your decisions and actions of ‘today’, what are you going to change? Or do?

“Consider the changes over time, your lifetime, carefully and wisely, logically, it doesn’t have to be this way, --does it?”

COVID-19 has been an awakening on what is important in our lives --

let it be a meaningful object lesson for healing trauma and

choosing your future holistic health focus:

Resiliency and Wellness.


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