BOOK FAIR and other SUBJECTS

Hi all, I know it’s been a while since I posted.  I just wanted to inform everyone that their is a VIRTUAL BOOK FAIR every week-end i.e. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This fair is for readers & authors.  Readers can find new books they’d like to read, and get in on the edge before they become BEST SELLERS:) Also I’d like to hear some of your stories that relate to PTSD, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and living with Bipolar.  If you have any stories you’d like to share with us, reply to this post or send me an email lori@loris-song.com and I will post it for you (let me know if you’d like anonymity or I can use your name.  I’d love to hear how other people deal with these disorders.  I’ve posted a lot of informational stuff, but I plan on sharing my stories too.  Thank you for belonging to the group. IF YOUR AN AUTHOR and you’d like to have your book one of them featured in the book fair, go to this website and you will find the directions on what you have to do.  Regardless of what date is there it’s the same every week, just the date changes.  So you can have a chance not only to share your book but an excerpt as well (lonnnngg or short), it’s a GREAT FAIR, and I sold over 10 books this week-end.  Here is the link:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/169126186575183/ Take care all, and be safe returning to school and back from vacation.  Also if there is ever a time you need to share something with the group, let me know at my email address or reply to the specific subject matter.  Lori

READERS ROCK-new magazine.

Readers Rock is the new magazine for READERS and Authors alike.  This is Tammie Gibbs first digital magazine.  This month there is an interview with Actor/Author Peter Arpesella.  Their are book excerpts and tips on what reviewers look for.

JUNE_july_MAGAZINE_2013

http://www.joomag.com/magazine/reader-s-rock-volume-1-issue-1-june-july-2013/0449353001371943152

It’s truly for those who LOVE TO READ.  Tammie is a friend of mine, she has a virtual book fair every week-end starting on Friday nights.  Authors post excerpts from their books, and are on hand to answer readers questions.  So please join us on Friday through Sundays https://www.facebook.com/groups/169126186575183/203217993166002/?notif_t=group_comment_reply

I hope you all enjoy this book and send Tammie some feedback on her magazine *tell her where you heard about it:)  tammiegibbs@yahoo.com

Thanks all, and if anyone wants to review my book within 30days I will furnish them with an autographed copy.  Salut

To LIVE or EXIST?

Today is one of those “BAD” days, where you have to force yourself out of bed, and look outside and say I’m lucky to be alive and with someone who loves me.  There was nothing special that happened to make me so apathetic or sad, just another day in the life of a bipolar, addict, PTSD survivor and sexual abuse survivor.  I think having one of these is bad enough and GOD I can empathize with your moods, but I think the reigning disorder that makes me feel like I do today is called BIPOLAR.

Now I’m not sure if adding all of the above with the bipolar does anymore to me or less, but I know my bipolar has changed since I was younger.  When I was younger and went on manic episodes I was creative, proud, confident and got things accomplished *just in a lot shorter time period:).  But now all I get is “she’s manic again”.  No one lets me express me or let me bask in the moment of confidence and wanting to accomplish the world, instead it’s a BAD THING to be manic.  I’m sure there are bad episodes of being manic, but I’m sure there are GOOD PRODUCTIVE ONES too.  The medication that were on doesn’t really help either.  It helps those around us (because were apathetic and don’t make their lives anymore confusing) but for us it is like the loss of “LIFE”.  I don’t mind being stable and I’m pretty sure I don’t get out of control like I used to, but I still enjoy my manic days, and no one can understand that.  I’m writing this to get YOUR INPUT on how you view your bipolar.

Now on to substance abuse.  I speak now at a rehab facility, and one thing I say (WHICH IS MY BELIEF) if you don’t have anyone to get clean for then your not going to get clean.  I know they preach about doing it for “YOURSELF” but I still say unless you have a motivating factor that bugs your conscience about not wanting to do drugs anymore than I don’t think you’d get clean.  If I were alone and had no one that loved me, I would have never went to rehab, I probably would have done MORE DRUGS!   When you finally find a reason to live albeit health recovery or someone you meet then you have a DESIRE to quit and seek out that new life with the person you love.  Now don’t get me wrong and think I mean you have to have a “LOVER” or B/F or G/F, I mean anyone that cares about you and wants you clean to the point that you finally get tired of seeing that person hurt.  It could be a child, a spouse or mother or BFF, hell it could be your pet.

Now on to the cravings, I’m on this drug called SUBOXONE, and I’m taking 4 8mg/2mg tabs a day, this is NOT what people normally take.  They usually are weaned off this drug before leaving the clinic.  But since I’ve been severely injured in IRAN, and suffer from so many pain issues they decided to keep me on this dose, so I wouldn’t go back to pain pills.  Virtually I gave up one addiction for another, since these pills are narcotics.  They are also supposed to help you not crave ANYTHING you have abused in your past.   BS, every time I see a movie where someone is doing coke, I get such an urge it isn’t funny.  The only difference now is I DON’T GIVE IN TO MY CRAVINGS, although sometimes I do try to do a logic summation of IF I did give in, how would this not hurt me.

Now onto PTSD, where no one understands how noises, smells, or certain situations can leave you feeling nervous or even worse make you feel like your going to die in that moment, because you feel like you’ve been there before.  Well you have been there before they are called flashbacks, and anything can trigger them, a loud noise a TV show like Law  & Order SVU (rapes), a certain smell, (these happen to me a lot) but it’s really like your back to that moment in time which was your HELL ON EARTH.  People don’t get it or they think were faking it for attention, I just want to make people aware that these things are VERY REAL, and the best thing to deal with them is a loving supportive friend or pet.

In a synopsis I just wanted to point out how I feel during these and because of these events and WELCOME YOUR INPUT on how you deal with life under the circumstances of one of these disorders.  Your INPUT will not only help me it could help others realize different ways to deal with them.  PLEASE COMMENT!!!

Also I feel better now that I’ve written this and vented a little. And remember we have TWO CHOICES IN LIFE, to LIVE it or just EXIST in it, you decide, God Bless.

Chapter One of “Lori’s Song” & Info on Book Fair!

 

 

You can now read the foreword and Chapter One free on Amazon of my book, “Lori’s Song”.  My true story of being held captive in Iran during 911.

http://www.amazon.com/Loris-Song-story-American-captive/dp/1432738291/ref=tmm_pap_title_0/178-1706669-7918157#reader_B002JM0F1Q

BOOK EXCERPT/BLURB:

Though she endured a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, nothing would ever equal what happened to her in Iran the weeks following 9/11.

Lori, an American married to an Iranian, had been working and living as an ordinary member of Iranian society for almost 4 years when she had heard rumors that the U.S. was going to be attacked. That was on September 9, 2001. She tried and failed to call home and give warning.

The news that all those rumors were horribly true came on September 11th 2001. That was when her husband suddenly announced that they had to go back to the States in case there were repercussions.

On September 12, 2001, Lori and her husband were at the Shiraz bus terminal intending to catch a bus to Istanbul and from there to Heathrow and home to the U.S.A. They were totally unprepared for the convoy of troop carriers that suddenly drove up and the armed men who came pouring out to take the hapless couple prisoner.

There was no explanation offered. The men took Lori’s husband one direction and she another, pushing them blindfolded into the back of the troop carriers with other prisoners, mostly Iranian.

Who the armed men were was anybody’s guess but they took their prisoners to POW camp in unfamiliar territory and there, Lori was held, tortured, raped, and starved with them for over a month. Her husband was not to be seen again.

Lori was rescued with one of her fellow inmates by the girl’s family and, after riding a llama for 1-2 days over mountainous terrain; she arrived at the Iran Immigration center. By then, she weighed in at only 70 pounds, was still suffering from the many injuries she’d received at the hands of her torturers, and wanted badly to get home to her family in the USA. Even then, she had to fight Iranian Islamic bureaucracy to have permission to go, as the husband was unavailable to grant it. In any Islamic country, unknown to many western women, the husband or guardian’s permission is always required for a woman to travel anywhere.

Lori had been married to Mohammad for 9 years and thought she could trust him but, since their arrival in Iran in 1998, his personality and behavior had changed so radically as to make this most recent nightmare highly suspicious.

The events told here are true. It was no coincidence that this American citizen had been placed into a concentration camp. In fact, it raises many questions and should be a caution to many!

There is also a virtual book fair this Friday & Saturday.  You can view new books and learn about authors or even join if your an author. Visit the blog:

http://samplesaturday.blogspot.com/

View the site:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/169126186575183/

If you have any questions email Tammie Gibbs tammiegibbs@yahoo.com

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!!

Parkinsons- Shaken not Stirred

 

 

 

 

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I would like to introduce you to a writer with considerable knowledge of Parkinson’s.  Elaine Benton has written a book regarding her feelings and poems on Parkinson’s.  She suffers from the disease and is one brave and strong woman to bring a humorous light to her illness.  The following is on her authors page:

Elaine was born in England, diagnosed at the age of five with Gaucher disease; a rare inherited disorder, for which there is no cure. At the age of 44, she was dealt a second blow and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Battling two diseases, Elaine’s writing is inspirational and quite extraordinary. Elaine’s writing offers support and comfort to fellow sufferers and caregivers, relating to their daily struggles. From personal experience she has written with stark honesty and humor, something patients and doctors rarely get to read which has captured world-wide attention, giving a fresh perspective from the patient’s view. Despite ill health and adversity, Elaine tells her story of growing up with Gaucher, and battling Parkinson’s, whilst remaining positive and living life to the full. Although there is a serious undertone to her writing, a strong sense of humor runs throughout as she recounts true stories which have happened over the years, pouring her heart and soul into her writing, sending a strong message of hope, whilst bringing greater awareness of these two diseases to the general public. Elaine has also written a fictional book entitled: “Slipping Through Time”, a mystery/adventure story, appealing to all ages. Elaine writes a daily blog reaching out to Gaucher and Parkinson’s sufferers, touching on a wide range of varied topics related to living with chronic disease.

The following are links to Elaine’s websites and blog.   www.elainebenton.net                           Her blog is: http://elainebenton.blogspot.com/   Her Amazon book is at:  http://www.amazon.com/Parkinsons-Shaken-not-Stirred-ebook/dp/B005I4P01C/ref=la_B0081JP8EK_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368036710&sr=1-1

I encourage you to visit her sites.  I think she is truly an amazing woman.

The “keep quiet cause no one will believe you” crime!

Childhood sexual abuse,  is the “hush-hush” crime.  Most who go through it are scared to death to tell anyone out of fear of not being believed, or fearing their molester so bad that they just keep quiet.  My experience was no different.

I was 10 years old when my brother started playing this “tickle” game with me.  It started out with you tickle my foot and I’ll tickle yours, then it advanced to tickling other things.  I was mortified the first time it happened.  My brother was 8 years older than me and I was the only adopted child in the family, so I think he justified it due to this. (not being his REAL sister).  I know my mom must have known but my brother was her FAVORITE and he could do no wrong, so I was really confused.  Do I tell my mom and have her hate me because I said something bad about her baby, or do I keep doing it to get her approval.

I remember when it started happening, I became so frightened when my parents would leave the house and I was left there with him and my sisters, I started banging on the screen door once screaming for them not to go, I banged so hard my hand went through a glass door.  Don’t you think my mom should have realized something??? All of a sudden I start going nuts anytime she leaves the house.  But she never said anything when he did other cruel acts to me.  Once he called me out to the garage and had my bunny hanging upside down in his hands and then he hit it over and over again on the head and killed it, and we ATE IT THAT NIGHT FOR DINNER.  I truly thought it was chicken then my brother blurted out it was my bunny, I ran from the table and threw up.   My brother never had intercourse with me until he knew for sure that I had already experienced it at age 13.  I won’t say too much because this is in my book, but I will summarize it by saying at age 15 I emancipated myself from my family and got married, so I could escape the house where my hell was being played out.  I couldn’t believe my mom and dad let me go so easily, but they did.

Now I know I’m not the only one who has been abused but I wanted to share my story so you know it’s OK TO TALK ABOUT IT!  There are places to go for help, there is counseling for those who have been through it, you don’t have to KEEP QUIET ANY LONGER!!!

I beg you all to get the help you need and for the rest of you to LISTEN when someone is trying to tell you of an incident like this.  Most of us feel uncomfortable when someone starts telling us something like this and we are unsure of what to do, so I will give you some resources.  Also some behaviors to look for that might indicate someone is being molested.

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent

  • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
  • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    •  Has trouble swallowing.
  • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
  • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  • Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
  • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
  • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
  • Talks about a new older friend
  • Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge

Signs more typical of younger children

  • An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking)
  • Has new words for private body parts
  • Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting, diapering)
  • Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
  • Mimics adult-like sexual behaviors with toys or stuffed animal
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

    Signs more typical in adolescents

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

Physical warning signs

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare.  If you see these signs, bring your child to a doctor.   Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

WHAT TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING

 

  • The typical advice “Don’t Talk to Strangers” doesn’t apply in this case. Most sexual perpetrators are known to their victims.
  • Do not instruct children to give relatives hugs and kisses. Let them express affection on their own terms.
  • Teach your children basic sexual education. Teach them that no one should touch the “private” parts of their body. A health professional can also help to communicate sex education to children if parents are uncomfortable doing so.
  • Develop strong communication skills with your children. Encourage them to ask questions and talk about their experiences. Explain the importance of reporting abuse to you or another trusted adult.
  • Teach your children that sexual advances from adults are wrong and against the law. Give them the confidence to assert themselves against any adult who attempts to abuse them.
  • Make an effort to know children’s friends and their families.
  • Instruct your child to never get into a car with anyone without your permission.
  • Teach your children that their bodies are their own. That it is OK to say they do not want a hug or that certain kinds of contact make them uncomfortable.
  • It is important to remember that physical force is often not necessary to engage a child in sexual activity. Children are trusting and dependent and will often do what is asked of them to gain approval and love.

What to do if you think a child you know has been the victim of sexual abuse

  • Give the child a safe environment in which to talk to you or another trusted adult. Encourage the child to talk about what he or she has experienced, but be careful to not suggest events to him or her that may not have happened. Guard against displaying emotions that would influence the child’s telling of the information.
  • Reassure the child that he or she did nothing wrong.
  • Seek mental health assistance for the child.
  • Arrange for a medical examination for the child. Select a medical provider who has experience in examining children and identifying sexual and physical trauma. It may be necessary to explain to the child the difference between a medical examination and the abuse incident.
  • Be aware that many states have laws requiring that persons who know or have a reason to suspect that a child has been sexually abused must report that abuse to either local law enforcement officials or child protection officials. In all 50 states, medical personnel, mental health professionals, teachers, and law enforcement personnel are required by law to report suspected abuse

Where to go for help

Several organizations can provide information and advice about child sexual abuse, including:  BUT REMEMBER IF YOU SUSPECT IT, IMMEDIATELY GET THE CHILD TO A HOSPITAL FOR EXAMINATION AND NOTIFY POLICE PERSONNEL IF NECESSARY. BUT GET THE CHILD OUT OF IMMINENT DANGER!!!!!   ALSO THERE IS A HELPLINE  Helpline 1.888.PREVENT

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children 407 South Dearborn Suite 1300 Chicago, IL 60605 (312) 554-0166 http://www.apsac.org/

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Charles B. Wang International Children’s Building 699 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314-3175 24 hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST http://www.missingkids.com/

Child Help USA 15757 North 78th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (800) 4-A-CHILD http://www.childhelpusa.org/

Prevent Child Abuse America 332 S. Michigan Ave Suite 1600 Chicago, IL 60604-4357 (800) CHILDREN http://www.preventchildabuse.org/index.shtml

Child Welfare Information Gateway (formerly National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information) Children’s Bureau/ACYF 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW Eighth Floor Washington, DC 20024 (800) 394-3366 http://www.childwelfare.gov/

Also remember that most childhood sexual abuse survivors suffer from PTSD later in life, so it’s very important to get into counseling to “get control”.  I hate using the word RESOLVE, because personally I don’t think issues can be RESOLVED, I think they can only be MANAGED.  Thank you, Lori

I hope this gives some insight to this epidemic.  It is too bad we live in a world where I would even THINK of writing a post like this, but the sad truth is WE DO, and we have to protect our children.  Thanks, Lori

Important for INDIE WRITERS!

I am passing on a website and some information for a place that will promote your works-published or unpublished.  I am going to paste what their about and will let you decide if you’d like to visit and become part of their site.

The reason I am doing this is because as you all know I’m an INDIE writer.  (Funny thing, I used to think the term “INDIE WRITER” were people from India who did writings):)          But “US” writers albeit from India or the USA, need promotion and exposure for our books; and if I happen upon a site where I think will help people who are or are inspiring authors then I will list it.  And I encourage any of you to provide links for helping us with our book endeavors.  NO GOOD DEED GOES UNNOTICED:):)   The link is:  http://inwriters.webs.com/  and this is about their site:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Independent Writers is for all those who love words. It is as much for authors as it is for people who want to read and explore new works.

If you are an unpublished writer…

…then this is the place to polish your talent and receive feedback on your work.

  • Post a piece you’ve been working on in our Short Stories, Novellas, Poetry or Non-Fiction sections.
  • Try your hand at writing a One-Minute Read.
  • Become an integral part of our community by connecting with other authors and providing them feedback.
  • Become an Angel and offer your inputs in creating great works.

If you are a published writer…

…then this is the place to publicize your book among fellow writers.

  • Submit an abstract of your work, sample pages/chapters or similar to our Author’s Showcase to whet readers’ appetite.
  • Add your book to our Bookstore area so our community can easily purchase your work.
  • Provide helpful feedback to other writers and get your name known.
  • Become an Angel and offer your inputs in creating great works.

Independent Writers offers the best marketing support to published authors all for FREE.

  • Announce Book Launches
  • Claim your own Author’s Page
  • Advertise your published works

If you love reading…

…then this is the place to find new styles, new thoughts and new ideas.

  • Browse through the various genres and discover intriguing new works.
  • Tell the writers what you think of their work and help them improve.

My view on Iranian women and Iran.

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Hi all, this is an article I researched and wrote back on Christmas 2009.  That day I had been thinking about my Christmas’s in Iran, and although I despise what happened to me, these women and girls (my students) made me feel warm and welcomed in a country where I was put into the most judgmental spot of all by Mohammad’s family.  Iranian women are strong women they have to be, and in this country these woman accepted me and knew nothing of my past to judge me by and made me feel more secure in a female relationship than I even have felt in the USA.   And also remember what these women must endure.  When and if their daughter is hung (due to boredom by her husband so he accuses her of adultery) the COMPASSIONATE thing these barbaric men do and consider compassionate is to allow the mother to walk the daughter to the noose and spend a few minutes with her.  These women are strong, as we all are, but I wanted to let you into the world I lived in for four years.           (**BY NO WAY AM I ENCOURAGING YOU TO VISIT IRAN!!!!)  I hope you enjoy and become enlightened.  I wrote this for helium and it was the number one article for quite some time.  Lori

The condition of women in the Middle Eastscan0001-318x211[1]

*My students in Iran, Layla on the right was drowned in her fathers swimming pool for not being a virgin on her wedding night.

If you write a study, essay or a book, be prepared to answer even the most ludicrous of questions. What may seem to you as ridiculous or common knowledge is very foreign or strange at best when viewed by others that have no clue about the boundaries outside their comfortable little world.

The mere mention of Iran invokes suspicion and a sense of backwardness, fundamentalism, and terrorism. The name brings to mind conflicting images of men-bearded, militant, hostile and not least of all chauvinist, ….and women-veiled, oppressed, and submissive. Shrouded in their black chadors (the ultimate symbol of their oppression), women on the television screen are angry, holding their hands up and chanting anti-American slogans. The women are more than willing to fight.

Westernization and US domination in the region, they contribute in the process to their own oppression. What is the truth behind these images? Is there one single truth? Are the so-called truths only media propaganda, to feed a public hungry for answers to the unknown? Are some images manufactured collages that deprive millions of people of their humanity, denying them their voice and the right to a decent proud existence? Who is the woman, the individual behind these images? Her appearance typifies the ultimate inferiority and oppression of the “second sex” in the region. But I beg to differ…From an outsiders view that had the opportunity to view within, I’d like to add the following observations of these wise, proud, highly intelligent yet tactful if not manipulative at times heroes.

The Iranian woman is oppressed yet rebellious. She is subjugated yet unruly. She is controlled yet defiant. She is hushed and subservient. She is a religious fanatic living a secluded life. She is a revolutionary, a fighter, yet segregated and oppressed. Willing to die for her nation, she is a mother and a wife. The images contradict, with each emerging to deconstruct the others. Outsiders, foreigners, and bystanders, however tend to hold onto certain characteristics of these images, unaware of the role the West has itself played in the creation and perpetuation of a certain branch of Islamic revivalism.

For them, these stereotypical attributes contain momentous significance because they remain resistant to the passage of time, oblivious to the change of governments, and blind to the dramatic socioeconomic changes that has swept the country during the twentieth century. The undue loyalty to the convoluted images-perhaps even the psychological, political, and economic need to view these differences through the lens of inferiority-has induced many a viewer to avoid questioning the validity of such images (to avoid inquiring about the politics of the region and to avoid acknowledging the complete humanity of those who live there. The mere fact of difference signifies to the outsider a lack of change, transformation, and movement through time. The outsider is perplexed because of the extremity of these images. The difference testifies to the all-encompassing superiority of anything Western.

These images while contradictory have proven most resilient; they have enshrouded reality. A thick white fog has fallen. It is a beautiful and mysterious fog, but because of it, we have lost our vision. Image and reality, dream and nightmare, illusion and everyday life all become one. A true understanding of the humanity embedded in these convoluted pictures is denied.

No single image adequately can reveal the complexity of the lives that Iranian women live. To expect a manufactured image to explain amply the existence of more than thirty million women are unrealistic; no single image adequately can reveal the totality of any one person, let alone millions of people. The diversity of individual lives defies such confinement. The reduction of the lives of millions of women to a single familiar picture that appeals to the gaze of outsiders gravely distorts reality and minimizes the complexity of cultures and of individual lives.

Do all Iranian women share a history and culture that uniformly shape women’s lives and their experience? I will post part two on this when I get back from my forced sabbatical…until then…. Fight strong and Proud Iranian women you have earned the right…

Part Two Iranian Woman

Part of my goal in doing this is to partially educate myself on the thoughts of Iranian women who are in the USA, either by choice or displaced. When one lives amongst the subjects at hand, your focus becomes very blurred and biased. That is why I’m including views from when I lived there as well as views by Iranian women who live in the USA today. Also in doing this I hope to share a certain part of Eastern culture with Americans who are ignorant to the personalities, lives and hardships of those women that live in Iran.

Therefore, this study is not about the generic title, “Iranian women”. To the degree that the label “American women” is problematic because it overlooks racial, ethnic, and class differences, the title “Iranian women” also presents its own problems. Such general terms deny women their personal qualities, obscuring their diverse backgrounds and various lifestyles.

This article is not about Islamic feminism or feminism in Iran. Women’s lives and rights in Iran have received considerable mention/attention since the early 1980’s.

The dramatic changes introduced by the Islamic Republic only a few years after its ascent to power prompted many scholars as well as students of Iran to start studying up on as well as examining closely the position of women in Iran during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While such study has revealed women’s veiled but volatile presence in sociopolitical domains, it has also exposed the fragile and nascent nature of modernization attempts that were begun during the Pahlavi regime.

Historical studies on Iranian women, e.g. have recorded the lives and excerpts written by individual women who tried to introduce the first schools for girls in Tehran (1907); or in other cities.

The founders of these institutions were denounced, attacked, harassed by the authorities and at times even by their own families. Ostracized and alone, these women nevertheless paved the way for the opening of the first public schools for girls by the year 1918. Despite their veiling requirements they still drove on and pushed for change.

A few years prior to these above attempts a small group of women from all social classes but mostly the upper-and upper-middle-class families became politically active, playing a noteworthy role on the side of Constitutionalists.

Condemning the Russian governments intervention in Iran’s affairs in 1911, these women formed secret societies using their veils, they transferred messages and arms to various parties involved. At the conclusion of this there were over 1000 women who were protesting Russia’s interference. In a country and at that historical milestone where society condemned any outside activity by women or ones that women were involved in were considered immoral. Despite this the women still managed to express their opinion on the future of their country. The gathering of more than one thousand veiled women outside the parliament on November 29, 1911, to reprimand the men for yielding to Russia’s ultimatum is a historical image never to be forgotten within the mind’s eye.

The Iranian Revolution started a whole new group of scholars anxious to study the frighteningly limited and oppressive lives women had lived at the turn of the 20th century. It also set the scene for these courageous and brave women to demonstrate to the world their insistence for social change and political integrity.

Historically, the “veil” created mystery; gender segregation brought seclusion, isolation and perhaps a narrow and limited worldview. Draconian laws and cultural practices created hardships for women’s mobility and their civic rights.

But the women of the 20th century showed a great deal of initiative in shaping their own destinies. If the new studies of women in 20th century Iran display or exhibit the hardships Iranian-women endured, it also brings to light their resilience and determination to change their lives.

The 1979 Revolution led to an arduous process of gender wake-up calls. Women’s lives both in the private and public realms became topics of conversation and debate. Parallel with this time frame the government tried to reverse the secular changes enforced during the 20th century to control educational opportunities and career options and instead to introduce a new image of the Muslim woman. The government was set to Islamacize the country and create an ideal Muslim image for all women to revere and embrace.

While laws, albeit secular or religiously based, affect women’s lives, their opportunities in terms of education, family life and career opportunities; and even their choice of dress style and color, women lived/live their lives both within and beyond the boundaries set forth by the government in power. Now I will start part 3 off with how these women deal with everyday life struggles and exhibit a layer of reality that reaches far beyond any concept of reality of what any government does and does not do.

Part Three Iranian Woman

POV: Moving to the USA

One woman who relocated to the USA during the revolution states the following: * Some excerpts were used with express permission by either the published authority or the women themselves.

“My move to the United States made my life both exciting and unsettling. The political turmoil in Iran further exacerbated the situation; cutting ties to my family back home. The Revolution had started and Iran was on the news every night. I remember days of darkness in 1979, living in absolute confusion about what was happening in the country not knowing if my family or people I knew were all right. All of a sudden, we, the Iranian foreign students, became the enemy, the unwanted aliens in the US. All of a sudden, our collective identity changed from being an ally and supporter of the US’s politics in the region to that of a hostile adversary. Because of this situation, the past 20 years, especially those early days- have not been easy. Living with an identity not of our own choice, an identity bestowed on us because of political expediency and international relationships, has been problematic if not excessively uncomfortable. But life goes on.

While I was never able to pick up where I left off with my sister, those topics of conversation remained as poignant as ever. After the Revolution, I had even more reasons to think about men and women, fathers and mothers, marriage and divorce. The Revolution had introduced dramatic changes that affected not only women’s civil and family rights but also men’s lives.

The old topics of conversation and issues related to women’s experiences seemed to have gained an enormous significance. These topics and related questions became sources of casual conversation with friends, colleagues, and those interested in the changes happening in Iran. However, these conversations occurred in the US with men and women who had left Iran some time ago. Obviously, our perspective was different from those who were still living in Iran.

Given the upheavals the country was going through, women’s lives were a recurring theme of conversation for those of us living abroad. Needless to say, those women were our mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends. However, while we talked about women in Iran, the voices of these women were absent from our conversations. While we talked on their behalf, trying to grasp the depth of their feelings and daily experiences, there was a grave need to hear the voices of women still living in Iran.”

My experience with Iranian women

While living in Iran from May of 1998 to November 2001, I had more than enough opportunities to listen to women directly. The women mostly talked about their lives in the present rather than speculating on them in the future. While women are supposedly the second class citizens in Iran, I learned that men depend heavily on their words, actions and look to them for advice…A paradox for me to witness was that most men in Iran were especially closer to their mothers than their fathers. While this may be due to the oldest male child takes financial responsibility of the family if anything should happen to the father is the case or not I don’t know…Or maybe it is my theory, that

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Created on: December 25, 2009

Islamic law has taken women out of the realm of acquaintance to men in public, thus leaving them as some great mysterious enigma, only to be figured out once an arranged marriage is in the works.
I truly believe that everything they told me was on a factual basis…I was an English instructor to many younger and older girls in Iran, both in a school and private setting. For whatever reasons these women found it easy and comforting to talk to me…Many begged to stay past their 1 ½ hour time allotted for private classes, just to continue venting.

Parisa

* All statements unless otherwise stated are those of the woman that the focus is intended upon.

One girl in particular who spoke to me, yet mimicked many thoughts of Iranian women was Parisa Nasrizadeh.

Parisa had started coming to my private English classes in July ’99…she was still a student of mine when I left Iran in 2001. Parisa’s husband had relocated to Texas, USA, and had explained to her that she and their 2-yr.old son would have to wait until he became settled before he could send for them.

Parisa was more than excited about the thought of moving to America, but after almost 2 years, the weekly telephone calls from her husband had dwindled to a monthly call if that. His attitude had changed remarkably and Parisa suspected that he had a girlfriend in Texas. Well her suspicions were well founded in December 1999, when she called her husband only to have his mistress answer the telephone.

Parisa came to my house crying and a wreck. Although she did not have a class scheduled for that day, I put off all other appt. to talk with her, she felt like she couldn’t divulge this information to her family or they would see her as a failure.

For whatever reason in Iran the family has the stigma associated to them of failure if their daughter isn’t a virgin on her wedding night, or if her once happy marriage turns sour. This puts a lot of undue pressure on the women to be all things to their husbands. Also it is law for Iranian men to retain custody of the children in a divorce; from my understanding up to age, seven they are to be with their mother and after that their father.

Parisa married young as was the tradition in Iran, and she states she gave her youth so that she could have her old age to herself.

In the beginning the marriage was a romantic dream she says, he was so kind, loving and we talked for hours on how big of a family we would have, as well as me continuing my education for my engineering degree.

He literally put the stops to that after the first year of proving his worth as a good provider and husband. All my hopes since H.S. were cremated in that second year of marriage! I was pregnant and he had just stated very matter of factly that I would not be returning to college, since my place now was in the home as a mother and wife.

I learned one thing and that was not to argue with him. We had our conflicts in the past, he had always won out, and the punishment of taking the car privileges away so that I could visit my parents was more than I could bear.

After learning that he had plans to move to the USA and that his immigration papers were approved, I felt a depth in my stomach I could not describe. It was one of living out my dreams vicariously through him, yet dreading the one day I knew would come and that was him telling me I couldn’t come to the USA.

I don’t know what made me think this way, it was a gut feeling, and so far, my gut feelings were infallible.

Upon learning of his mistress, I immediately told her to have him call his wife and son in Iran upon his return. She hung up rather aggressively. She had no right to be angry, I was the one after all that had been hurt, cheated on, betrayed, and manipulated.

He did return my call late that night, and he was very angry, upset, and yelling at me. I quietly told him that I would file for “tadiq” which is a divorce in Iran. He resisted, stating that he would be coming home in the summer to see his son. I humored him, but only until I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing my life away any longer for a man who did not love or respect me as his wife and mother of his child.

What I did next was not only looked upon as a personal failure but attributable to my family as a failure in raising me as well. My parents did not take the news well since they initiated the marriage. My father who has always been kind to his wife and us his daughters became somewhat put off. He had asked me why? I told him that he had found another woman. My fathers reply: What couldn’t you do to satisfy him? I replied nothing. My father’s last words were: You must have did or didn’t do something right so work on it and perfect it for or if there is a second chance for you.

So here I was a single parent in a society that looked down upon this. They not only found it appalling they harassed single women parents as well. Well this is when my mother became such an integral part of my life, as well as all my female friends.   will end this one account synopsis here to start Part 4 re: Mothers, Daughters, and the ties that bind…

Part Four Iranian Woman

Examining the mother-daughter relationship reveals the isolation and the powerlessness, at times, forces some mothers to turn to their daughters, most often eldest daughters, as companions, friends, or confidants. Having a mother confide in the female child brings the world of childhood to an abrupt end and puts the child in a contradictory position, forcing a too-immature entrance into the adult world and risking possible exposure to intimate but potentially disturbing aspects of the marital relationship……..While doing this I wanted to explore the various ways in which mothers have internalized the dominant societal attitudes about the superior/male and inferior/female aspects of gender relations.

The more than often-powerless position of mothers in the marital relationship perpetuates a cycle of powerlessness in the female child and critically colors her attitudes toward the father and other men. Furthermore, this situation may retard the development of both parties in the future.

While this part of the essay explores those relationships that are cherished by daughters, it also articulates the darker side of the mother-daughter bond and family interactions. Like all studies based on qualitative research, the sample in this study is small therefore caution must be taken not to generalize the findings to all mother-daughter relationships. It is important to emphasize the variability in mother-daughter relationships and avoid attributing universal and invariant features to them.

Many women cherish close relationships with their mothers and have developed lifelong friendships. But I wanted to explore the multifaceted and nourishing relationship-a vital relationship without which the survival of the family institution as we know it today would be jeopardized. It also examines the ways in which patriarchy harms women and retards the development of happy and fulfilling relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, and mothers and daughters.

“HER PAIN IS MY PAIN”

When I discuss the mothers I would like to clarify the group in which this is focused on which would be; a cohort of women who were born between the early 1920’s and the late 1930’s. For most Iranian women of this generation, marriage was not a personal choice based on romantic love. Rather, it was viewed as a family affair, decided by the parents of the young couple. All of the mothers with one exception had married men chosen by their parents. It must be noted that it was not only women who entered into blind marriages. The men whose mothers chose a wife for them and whose fathers approved of the choice also entered into marriage blindly. There were also occasions where the fathers gave their consent without consulting either the mother or their daughters.

Therefore, an arranged marriage was a blind contract for both partners, often entered into with either minimal or no prior knowledge of the other person’s appearance or personality.

The mothers typically married at a young age, moved to a new house that they most often shared with the husband’s relatives, were considerably younger than their husbands, and were expected to abide by cultural perceptions about appropriate gender roles. These factors led to unequal life-long marital relationships. Thus upon starting a new life, the couple played their roles according to societal expectations and dominant traditions that dictated an unequal relationship between the two partners. This in turn created the situation in where the women live in them.

So as I have mentioned, Iranian woman is oppressed yet rebellious. She is subjugated yet unruly. She is controlled yet defiant. She is hushed and subservient. She is a religious fanatic living a secluded life. She is a revolutionary, a fighter, yet segregated and oppressed. Willing to die for her nation, she is a mother and a wife. The images contradict, with each emerging to deconstruct the others. Outsiders, foreigners, and bystanders, however tend to hold onto certain characteristics of these images, unaware of the role the West has itself played in the creation and perpetuation of a certain branch of Islamic revivalism!

And in an important synopsis is to end DOMESTIC VIOLENCE against women in ALL COUNTRIES!!!   ____Stop_Violence_Women

        Learn more about this author, Lori Foroozandeh.

PTSD- Your not alone!

 

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, or that happens to you, like:

  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attack
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, like a car wreck
  • Natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake

During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

My experience was, FLASHBACKS.

You also have something called “FLASHBACKS”.  These are what I suffered from in addition to the above symptoms.  When I returned from Iran and the torture I suffered there, I started having what were called “non-epileptic” seizures.  These are real seizures but can not be traced to epilepsy as the cause.  I also had flashbacks, and when I suffered from these I would all of a sudden just leave this world and return to the location where I suffered all the pain and torture.  I would either see something that reminded me of that place or etal.  Then I would either try to start physically hitting myself or banging my head against the wall or floor, I would talk in farsi (the language of Iran).  I would push people away from me because I was afraid they were coming to rape me.  This is a horrible mental disorder that is suffered by many people with trauma in their life.  Veterans are also a big population that suffers from it.

How does PTSD develop?

Most people who go through a trauma have some symptoms at the beginning. Only some will develop PTSD over time. It isn’t clear why some people develop PTSD and others don’t.

Whether or not you get PTSD depends on many things:

  • How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted
  • If you were injured or lost someone important to you
  • How close you were to the event
  • How strong your reaction was
  • How much you felt in control of events
  • How much help and support you got after the event

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

There are four types of symptoms of PTSD

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)

You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.

2.  Avoiding situations that remind you of the event

You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.

3.  Feeling numb

You may find it hard to express your feelings. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories.

4.  Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)

You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal.

I suffered from all of the above but at different times.  My main symptoms or events were feeling keyed up, and feeling numb.  Unlike the above I would purposely NOT avoid stressful situations because I thought I HAD TO GET ON WITH REAL LIFE, so if I avoided every stressful situation then I wouldn’t be able to function.  This included watching TV shows like Law & Order SVU, which dealt with a lot of rapes and childhood sexual abuse *both of which I’ve suffered from.  I can’t say these shows don’t affect me because they do at times, and I have to quit watching, but I think (my own opinion not professional) that if I keep dealing with life on it’s terms then it will all work out in the end.

Plus I have a WONDERFUL SUPPORTIVE MAN who has given and put up with so much of my downfalls and also the accomplishments that makes me blessed to have him in my life.

What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems, including divorce

In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these other problems, because they are often related. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related problems.

Needless to say I’ve suffered from all the above, but counseling and the right doctors can help you TREMENDOUSLY.  Most of the above symptoms are now under control to a level that I can function in HIGH capacity.  (Not HIGH to mean on drugs:))

What treatments are available?

When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But treatment can help you get better. There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.  I personally don’t advocate some of the treatments below, while I don’t believe medication should be a cure all either, I believe a MD, and a therapist who has a LOT of experience with PTSD patients are your best bet.  But again these are my opinions.

Psychotherapy for PTSD

Psychotherapy, or counseling, involves meeting with a therapist. There are different types of psychotherapy:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for PTSD.  There are different types of CBT. such as cognitive therapy and exposure therapy.
    • One type is Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings.
    • Another type is Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. You also go to places that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they are related to the trauma.
  • A similar kind of therapy is called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This therapy involves focusing on sounds or hand movements while you talk about the trauma.
  • Medications for PTSD

    Medications can be effective too. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD. Another medication called Prazosin has been found to be helpful in decreasing nightmares related to the trauma.

    IMPORTANT: Benzodiazepines and atypical antipsychotics should generally be avoided for PTSD treatment because they do not treat the core PTSD symptoms.

Where to Get Help for PTSD

 Are you are in crisis? You have options:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest Emergency Room
  • Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
  • Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 (text 838255) or Confidential Veterans Chat with a counselor   To have a private chat with a veterans counselor who has experience with PTSD go to the link below.

http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ChatTermsOfService.aspx?account=Veterans%20Chat/

  • National Institute of Mental Health’s Anxiety HOTLINE 1-888-826-9438
  •  Online support forum:    http://www.findthelight.net/forum/login.asp 
  •   National Center for PTSD – The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) conduct cutting edge research and apply resultant findings to: “Advance the Science and Promote Understanding of Traumatic Stress.” Fact sheets, videos, and more about trauma to help answer your questions about PTSD and related issues.
    www.ncptsd.va.gov
  • National Resource Directory – The National Resource Directory (NRD) provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline – The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day by trained counselors who can provide crisis assistance and information about shelters, legal advocacy, health care centers and counseling. There is also a toll-free number for the hearing impaired, 1-800-787-3224
    www.thehotline.org
    1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
    www.rainn.org
    1-800-656-HOPE This number will direct callers to a local rape crisis center
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hotline
    www.ncadd.com
    1-800-622-2255
  • SAMHSA – works to improve the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, alcohol and drug addiction treatment, and mental health services.
    www.samhsa.gov
    1-800-662-HELP (4357)

I’ve tried not only to include the numbers and websites for help for PTSD but for those disorders that might be the ROOT cause of why we suffer from it.  I only wish ALL of you well.  I know how important it is to have resources and many people don’t know where to go or look for links or numbers so I hope that I’ve helped some of you out.  If you need ANYTHING, please don’t hesitate to email me at lori@loris-song.com and put PTSD in the subject line.  I will help you in any way I can within my capabilities.  GOD BLESS YOU ALL! Thanks for reading, Lori