Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a constellation of thoughts, feelings and behaviors caused, among other things, by inescapable repetition of toxic stimuli.  Soldiers suffer from it, as do hostages, kids bullied by other kids, children in abusive families and anyone trapped in cruel or violent circumstances from which they cannot escape.  I've seen dogs in even the best shelters who flinch at the slightest movement.  

When I learned that Discovery Communications (parent company of Animal Planet, The Discovery Channel and TLC)  had acquired global rights to S---H P---N'S ALASKA, I felt a far-too familiar jolt.  I knew her history in Alaska, offering $150. bounties for the severed limbs of dead wolves, fighting against increased protection for struggling Cook Inlet beluga whales AND America's only population of polar bears.  I knew the jolt of raw fear in my heart was the kind of repeated shock that can result in PTSD.  I knew, too, that if I didn't take action, I'd be inflicting inescapable toxicity on myself.  I don't need any more PTSD than I already carry.

I posted a link to a Defenders of Wildlife petition on my Facebook page.  As I write, DOW is 17,000 signatures away from their goal of 100,000.  You can go here:  to sign the petition.  Be forewarned.  There is a photo of a dead wolf hanging from a plane, blood dripping from its body.  Or don't be forewarned. Look at the photo.  Look hard.  Take the image into your animal heart.

I'll get back to writing about addiction.  I promise.  But, somehow this post may have as much to do with the kind of trauma that contributes to addiction as anything I have written---or will write.  And the presence of S---h P---n in the newspapers and on the internet has begun to feel like an inescapable bludgeoning.

Note:  I write S---h P---n because I know the power of repetition of words. I refuse to contribute to the free publicity this canny and cruelly witless woman gathers to herself.

About the Author

Mary Sojourner

Mary Sojourner, M.A., is the author of She Bets Her Life: A True Story of Gambling Addiction (Seal Press/ April 2010) and Going Through Ghosts (U.Nevada Press, 2010).

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