Monday, April 20, 2020

Martha Gellhorn,“The Face of War” an inspirational story for all of us!

More than a footnote

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 20, 2020

My buddy Gunny likes to try to top me on discovering things I did not know. Well, he succeeded this morning. He told me about Martha Gellhorn. Funny thing is, he stumbled on her looking for something else.

As I listened to him tell me a little bit about her, I thought it would be a very inspirational story to share, especially while most of the country is under shelter at home restrictions. We all need something to inspire us, and yes, that includes me too.

It is very hard to even attempt to find something inspirational to share, when you do not even want to get out of PJs. Lately either I have been on Facebook sharing videos on cats, dogs or other animals from my sweet friends...or really sick jokes I am usually embarrassed by how hard I am laughing.

Anyway, before I get too carried away with that, back to Martha. She was married to Ernest Hemingway. Noteworthy as it is, they met while she was a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. She was on the beach on D-Day after being a stowaway and got her hands on a nurses uniform. The list of accomplishments in her life goes on and on, but the thing that got me was, for all she accomplished, she still felt like a footnote in Hemingway's life.

That is exactly how my buddy Gunny found her story...as a footnote.


Martha Gellhorn, Daring Writer, Dies at 89
Obituary
New York Times
By Rick Lyman
Feb. 17, 1998
Martha Ellis Gellhorn, who as one of the first female war correspondents covered a dozen major conflicts in a writing career spanning more than six decades, died on Sunday at her home in London. She was 89.

Ms. Gellhorn was a cocky, raspy-voiced maverick who saw herself as a champion of ordinary people trapped in conflicts created by the rich and powerful. That she was known to many largely because of her marriage to Ernest Hemingway, from 1940 to 1945, caused her unending irritation, especially when critics tried to find parallels between her lean writing style and that of her more celebrated husband.

''Why should I be a footnote to somebody else's life?'' she bitterly asked in an interview, pointing out that she had written two novels before meeting Hemingway and continued writing for almost a half-century after leaving him.


As a journalist, Ms. Gellhorn had no use for the notion of objectivity. The chief point of going to cover anything, she felt, was so you could tell what you saw, contradict the lies and let the bad guys have it.
"Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival."Martha Gellhorn
Right now, it is hard to get through all of this but that quote is something we should hang onto. "Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival." No matter how bad it is right now, when you think about all the things this woman went through, she survived all of it and lived to a good old age.

If it sucks for you right now...like it does for most of us, try to think back about other times when it sucked. When you didn't know how you would get passed it and then suddenly you did. We will get passed this too and there will be joy again. We will see our family and friends again. We'll be able to hug our kids and grandkids. We will get through this because right now there are angels moving all around us to make this world a better place in whatever way they can.

Enjoy the following about Martha and trust me, you jaw will go back into place when you are done with this.


A Memorial for the Remarkable Martha Gellhorn
The New Yorker
By Sam Knight
September 18, 2019
The writer Martha Gellhorn, who reported on the Spanish Civil War for The New Yorker, and from the beaches of D Day in a nurse’s uniform. Photograph from AP / Shutterstock
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Gellhorn was born in St. Louis, in 1908. She moved to Paris when she was twenty-one, to write novels, and found her journalist’s voice during the Depression, while reporting on the lives of textile workers for the Federal Emergency Relief Association. She became friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, who invited her to live at the White House for a while.
******* 
Her first war was the Spanish Civil War, which she went to cover in 1937. “I was always afraid,” she wrote, “that I would forget the exact sound, smell, words, gestures which were special to this moment and this place.” Gellhorn’s writing was percussive and intimate. She was an exceptional witness. In an early piece, for The New Yorker, a convoy of tanks in the dark outside Madrid looked “as if six boats, with only their harbor lights showing, were tied together, riding a gentle sea.” She married Ernest Hemingway, in 1940; they divorced five years later.
******* 
On D Day, Gellhorn stowed away on a hospital ship and reported from the beaches in a nurse’s uniform. Her stories of war were populated by anonymous stretcher bearers, exhausted truck drivers, German prisoners of war, Vietnamese mothers, female prisoners in El Salvador. “I always liked Tolstoi’s crusty remark that ‘governments are a collection of men who do violence to the rest of us,’ ” Gellhorn wrote in the 1986 introduction to “The Face of War,” a collection of her reporting. “But now I think the old Russian was a prophet.”
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Twenty years after her death, Gellhorn’s young chaps remain protective of her achievements. Since 1999, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism has been awarded for work that exposes what Gellhorn called “official drivel.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Are you struggling with getting through pandemic crisis?

Advice getting through another crisis


PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
April 8, 2020

"So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life"
Disturbed - Hold on to Memories
I am going to start this the way I usually end a video...with what you are empowered to do. "...go do the best things in life...make the most of the rest of your life."


Right now the world is living through global pandemic trauma. Life as they knew it ended. As of yesterday "There are at least 387,547 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 12,291 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases." according to a CNN running update. That means at least that many have experienced the trauma of fighting for their lives. Even more have experienced the trauma of it coming into their families and the fear of it happening to those who have thus far escaped it.

While some people take a callous attitude to take advantage of the trauma, many more are going out to make sure others stay alive, even if it means they are subjecting themselves to more trauma.

Aside from hurricanes and this pandemic, I survived life altering trauma 10 times. I know what it can do to lives, but the key is, only if we allow it to gain control.

This is from ABC News

Calls to US helpline jump 891%, as White House is warned of mental health crisis

Last month the “Disaster Distress Helpline” at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) saw an 891% increase in call volume compared with March 2019, according to a spokesman for the agency, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In fact, this March – ending little more than a week ago – saw 338% more calls to the helpline than in the month before, when the deadly virus began to take hold inside the U.S. homeland, and government officials began taking more extreme measures to stop its spread.
There are 57.8 million Americans currently living with mental or substance use disorders, according to SAMHSA.
Two ways to look at the report are, it is terrible that many are in crisis, or, there are many more fighting for their lives and acknowledging they need help. Please take that as a sign it is OK to ask for help if you need it too.

But what else can we do against something we have no control over? Look at what we can control. We can control how we act and react.

We control what we do if we are healthy enough to help others.

We control if we act out of kindness and patience, or react with selfishness.

We control if we show that we are suffering too and are afraid to comfort someone else, or react with judgement unwilling to show we are not super-human.

I controlled what I did with my life the second I went from victim to survivor. So can you. We can be defined by what we do with our lives from this second onward.

One more thought is that if you have PTSD, these days are harder on you but now most Americans are sadly experiencing what you have been trying to explain to them for a long time. Use the opportunity to share it with them so that they finally understand and then, heal together.

One of my favorite groups is Disturbed. One of their songs, "Hold Onto The Memories" is a good way to look at life the way we know it now.


www.youtube.com
Lyrics
Listen, everyone
The time will come when all of us say goodbye
Feel that aching in your heart
Leaving you broken inside
But we're never really gone
As long as there's a memory in you mind
So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life
Make a ride of this world while you can
Take the ones you love
And hold them close because there is little time
And don't let it break your heart
I know it feels hopeless sometimes
But they're never really gone
As long as there's a memory in you mind
So now go do the best things in life
Take a bite of this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life
Make a ride of this world while you can
And hold on to memories
Hold on to every moment
To keep them alive
The world's greatest tragedy
Souls who are not remembered
Cannot survive
So now go do the best things in life
Bring the fight to this world while you can
Make the most of the rest of your life
Shine your light on this world while you can
And hold on to memories
Hold on to every moment
To keep them alive
The world's greatest tragedy
Souls who are not remembered
Cannot survive
And hold on to memories (Hold on)
Hold on to every moment To keep them alive (Keep them alive)
The world's greatest tragedy (Hold on)
Souls who are not remembered
Cannot survive
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Dan Donegan / David Draiman / Kevin Churko / Mike Wengren
Hold On to Memories lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.


Easter is a season of redemption! Many are struggling with the fact that they cannot go to church to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Think of it this way. We can go to church and thank Jesus for the resurrection of humanity when this is all over.

We see miracles happen when a long list of fellow citizens knowing risk their lives to help others. None of us could make it without these heroes. They leave their own families and friends so they can take care of us.

They are doing it without the equipment they need to do it as safely as possible, endless stress piled onto all the other days they have been facing traumatic situations flooding in. Yet still, they show up and do it all over again.

Sunday morning empowerment zone talk about the power of forgiveness. When you address the mental health part of PTSD, the healing begins. It gets better when you add in doing things for your body. But what about your soul? That is where PTSD lives. When you begin to heal that, you begin to see miracles in your own life!

"Can you imagine how I feel today?"

PTSD Patrol Kathie Costos June 15, 2021 "Can you imagine how I feel today?" is a question no one would have to ask if they talk...

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