Social Media Political Hate Postings Traumatize Senior Citizens… Please be considerate…

Steve Sparks US Navy, Pearl Harbor, c1964. Promoted to 3rd Class Radioman.




Allow me to share what happened to me last week right after the strike that killed the deserving Iranian general who finally got his due. This is real stuff…

As a note of context, social media is a very critical part of my volunteer and professional work in my local community; and as as an author, blogger and mental health advocate. And, full disclosure…as a senior I struggle big time with mental health problems and trigger easily with panic attacks. Does anyone else relate to this kind of painful emotional reality for some of us? So, I was immediately struck by a cartoon posting in the Facebook page ‘headlines’ in your face presentation at the top of the page.

At the exact moment of the news about the Iranian strike, I was looking with horror at a political cartoon of Senator Schumer and House Speaker Pelosi, who both I admire and respect along with many political leaders from both parties past and present. Imagine this… Chuck with a middle eastern men’s head dress, and Nancy with the women’s version. Both were made to look like evil muslims as a joke. Faces with darker makeup and really ugly looking hateful disturbing evil faces. If it weren’t so obviously hateful and disturbing to me and probably many of my neighbors, colleagues, and friends, I would have dismissed it immediately. They both looked no where near the highly recognizable political leaders we see everyday fighting for us in Washington. I see no intrinsic value in this kind of joke anytime but especially now as America is on a war footing.

This kind of hate is worse than “blackfacing” in my view. We white priviledged kids from the 50s & 60s made fun of everybody, everything and anything that appeared to be different than our frame of reference. It was ugly, stupid and wrong! This was terribly triggering for me growing up in the 50s and 60s, and as adults in the professional world we boomers started calling out hate and social injustice. Making all this even worse, we boomers didn’t have to deal with the more recent popularized use of the word “scum.” Scum definition  – extraneous matter or impurities risen to or formed on the surface of a liquid often as a foul filmy covering. Why would anyone with any sense of decency use a word like this? I remember when the use of the word “cunt” became off limits in my generation. Why can’t we make scum off limits like that?

Where are my boomer senior friends and colleagues now to call this out? What do they say? Some of us are more sensitive than others as well, like me… To further inflame and hurt us in our land of…”it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” we now see the word ‘scum’ popularlized to refer to politicians, or anyone of us, who do not side with the current WH. I’m totally okay with healthy debate but not HATE, please.

I know there are many others in my community who are hurt and triggered by social media hate when it gets through. The crazy political season is upon us now, and it will be ugly, probably 1968 Democratic Convention all over again. Does anyone remember? Click here… All I ask is for my many friends and colleagues in Lincoln County and elsewhere to call this hate speak out when we see it. I will by deleting, muting and unfriending anytime it appears in the headlines of my Facebook page. Will you all join me? As a great reference and resource check out Trauma Informed Oregon, click here.

Are we good on this friends and neighbors? Please join me in this campaign. Thank you!

Steve Sparks, Member, Lincoln County Oregon Mental Health Advisory Committee (MHAC), and Local Alcohol & Drug Abuse Planning Committee (APARC)

April is the month of the military child… Remember the sacrifice of the children of warriors who served too!

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

Month of the military child…  click on this link…

Meet Skyler, a military child…click on video clip here…

Army wife resource of the week…click on video clip here…

Published on Mar 27, 2014

” A Backpack Journalist ™ helps youth find their “VOICE” Building Resiliency through Creative Expression! Creating the Citizen Journalist of the future! This is a fabulous resource for our military kids and teens!”

Month of the military child post from 2013… by Steve Sparks

Military Children often live and cope with PTSD.  April is the month of the military child…

Celebrate the Month of the Military Child at MilitaryKidsConnect.org
MilitaryKidsConnect.org invites all military parents to spend quality time with their children this month at MilitaryKidsConnect.org, the only Department of Defense web site dedicated to the psychological health of military kids.

http://www.monthofthemilitarychild.com/

Anonymous said…  “I just came across this site..  I’m only 16 but my mom has suffered from PTSD my entire life. I had to “be the  parent” at 7, and am constantly switching roles between the child and the adult.  There should be more sites like this that offer support, but I can”t seem to  find any.”

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In this link, Military Kids with PTSD, I posted about my own observations and experience as a military child growing up with parents who suffered severely from the symptoms of PTSD.  As a military parent please take extra time to focus on your children.  Use not only this month of April…http://www.monthofthemilitarychild.com/, but take your awareness forward and help your kids understand how war affects families of combat veterans, especially children.  Use the resources to educate your kids with love and kindness.  Do not allow them to grow up feeling isolated and alone with the memories that are often painful and misunderstood.  As a parent or teacher you can make a huge difference in the lives of your kids on this critical issue.  We owe it to our children to give them the opportunity to grow up to live a healthy, happy, and productive life…

Steve10

Reflections of Post WWII Military Family Life…Steve Sparks 1956, age 10…

Mother always told Dad we were bad while he was away at sea.

We were safe and free when Dad sailed away.

Fear and beatings made us cry you see…

Mother seemed happier when Dad was away at sea.

With love, joy, and play,

Dreams of family all together forever.

The fear and beatings came again anyway…

By Steve Sparks 

Copyright  Protected 2013 by Steve Sparks.  All rights reserved… Children and Families in Life after Trauma… www.survivethriveptsd.com and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

 

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