Historical Event of the 9/11 Holocaust that Be-fell America

I am a free lance writer, a mental health professional, and (among other things) an old history buff from way back.  It has been while researching my own genealogical roots that certain gnawing questions have occurred to me.  It is also because of that fact that I have arrived at the decision to compose this article. 

I have been fortunate enough to have descended from ancestors on both my paternal and maternal sides who’ve authored and published books about their heritage and their lives back in the 1800’s and before.  I also consider myself very fortunate in having been bestowed with an abundance of the persistence and perseverance required to diligently pursue my long term goal of locating this invaluable information about not only those from whence I came, but about who I am, today.  (However, that’s an entire ‘nother topic about which another published article will follow this one in the very near future, I can assure you!) 

By the same token, in order to be completely forthright with you, I must divulge the fact that it was while pursuing my genealogical endeavors that more than one important, gnawing question I mentioned earlier, seemed to linger within my thoughts.  It was in the midst of my research, that I realized that there’d been certain important, world changing historical events which had occurred during the lives of my ancestors. Historical events about which they neglected to write their families’ experiences in their documented family histories and memoirs.  For example, where were my ancestors during those pronounced historical events and what were their personal experiences with, during and resulting from those events? 

 Possessing the incurably, inquisitive mind that I do, as I longed to have known far more than I was able to find documented, I found myself pondering the possibility that my own future family generations may experience some of the same curiosities and longings to which I seem to have fallen victim; longings to know more and more about myself and my family, i.e. their ancestors!  It is, thus, primarily because of my desire for the benefit of the coming generations of my own family that I’ve undertaken this particular authoring endeavor. Hopefully, just as certain ancient publications have miraculously fallen into my hands, perhaps this publication will one day, too, fall into theirs.

Now, if you will, permit me to proceed into my own family’s 2009 recollection of that horrific day, September 11, 2001 (otherwise known as “9/11.”)

It was approximately 9:20 A.M. (Central Standard Time) on a weekday.  I’d opted to use a vacation day from work at my office and was at home here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was straightening my living room when the phone rang.  I raised the receiver of the telephone to my ear to hear a tone in my young adult, daughter’s voice I’d never previously experienced.  Her voice tone was one of unmistakable urgency, (bordering on sheer panic) as she instructed me to quickly turn-on my television set.  As I reached for the “on – off” button on my TV, I thought I heard my daughter say something about something horrible having just taken place that was being broadcast “live.”

Much to my shock, horror and disbelief, there was a news announcer speaking as I watched a huge jet passenger aircraft smash, nose, first, into one of the Twin Towers in Manhattan, New York.  Surely this could not really be happening, I’d thought to myself.  I don’t know that there has been any time in my life during which I’ve experienced such massive confusion.  My thoughts seemed to argue with themselves, “But no!  This is AMERICA!  Attacks don’t happen here in AMERICA!”  Then, again, “But look at the television screen!  Could this be some kind of sick trick the media would play?  No, I don’t think so.”  Judging from the undertone of despair in the news announcer’s voice, this was no trick!  I recall stating to my daughter, “Oh my God, Honey!  This is going to mean war!

 My daughter and I spoke for only a few minutes on the telephone.  I told her that I was going to pack a few items and drive over to her house.  We said “Good-bye” and I hung-up the phone. 

 As I rushed around to grab various items to pack inside my bag, my mind swam in a flurry of thoughts.  Thoughts like, “What will we do?   How could this happen?  What does this mean?  Who would do something so terrible?  Why?  What’s going to happen next?  Are we going to be safe where we live?”  It seemed as though the thoughts wouldn’t stop.  Struggle though I did, I could find no answers to my own questions.  Would there be anyone who could answer them?

I grabbed everything I thought I might need while asking myself, “But if I don’t take everything, will I ever see any of it again?”

 The next few days were dark days for all of us here in the United States of America.  My daughter and son-in-law and I struggled to make sure that my two (then toddler) grandchildren learned nothing of what was happening.  So many questions . . . so many fears . . . what to do . . . what to do?

That same morning, not long after the first, the second twin tower was also bombarded by a huge jet passenger airliner.  Could things possibly grow any worse?  Yes, oh yes.  Within minutes, both towers crumbled, stack-by-stack, to the ground.  “Oh dear God!  No!

 There was nothing anyone could do.  No answers to be found.  Three of the longest days of my life were to follow.  Those were the three days during which we heard no word of any kind from the President of the United States of America.  I’d always looked to him for answers in any kind of country-related crisis.  Where was he?  Why won’t he tell us what is happening here?

 On the third day after those atrocities, President Bush came on television and gave a speech.  Today, I do not recall his speech, only his parting words, which were, “God bless America.”  Those words passing between his lips were like a salve to my soul.  At last, I felt able to climb from a pit of despair to once again being able to experience at least a small ray of hope.  However, there was absolutely no denying the fact that our world, as we’d known it, had been completely shattered . . . never to be the same again.  Not next year, not in five years, not ever.

 There were countless stories of heart-breaking, family tragedies that followed over the next several months.  Those were dark days, indeed.  Thankfully, there has been no reoccurrence of 9/11 or of anything like it here in the United States.  Not yet.  Hopefully, not ever again.

 As I prepare to bring this article to a close, I cannot help wondering whether or not my ancestors intentionally neglected to include stories of the historical events that changed their world.  I only know that while writing this article, I’ve found myself neglecting to include details of other’s horrific experiencesand stories of that day when that unspeakable holocaust hit the Twin Towers in Manhattan, New York. 

I find myself wondering whether or not the generations of my family to come, will really want to know after all.

 

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Is Life Merely Time in a Speck-Filled World?

While sitting at a friend’s funeral today, my thoughts visited a thousand different places. Obviously, mortality was one of them. I’ve noticed myself thinking about things like mortality a lot more since my sixtieth birthday.

How well I remember being young and thinking that nothing on earth could ever get the best of me. I was invincible, or so I thought. I’d look at people who were many years my elder, convinced that wrinkles and old age would never happen to me. Ah, the sweet beauty of being young and naïve.

Then, of course, real life began happening. Things like work, children, financial pressures, health issues. Somewhere along the way in all of this, I seemed to have lost track of the importance of invincibility. Somehow, somewhere, my invincibility seemed to have escaped me. I was too busy doing other, more important things. Time passed by while I was busy doing other things.

Now my children are grown, the bills have been paid and things seem so different. I no longer feel invincible. My strong sense of invincibility has been replaced with a deep sense of vulnerability. I gaze at the hills, the mountains and the trees and I realize that long after I’m gone, those same hills, mountains and trees will still be here. They’ll be no different than they are today, as I stand here enjoying their beauty. The only thing that will be different is that I won’t be here. The harsh reality of my insignificance seems nearly overwhelming as I realize what a tiny speck I am on this big planet earth.

I ask myself questions like, one hundred years from now, will anyone remember my name? Will anyone know that today I stood on this very spot enjoying the beauty around me? Will anyone know how important my everyday tasks, my job, my family are to me? Will anyone care about the sacrifices I’ve made? Will anyone even know my name? I suspect that no one will.

Realizing one’s own mortality can be a painful, even earth shattering process. Have I accomplished anything of any lasting importance? Have I made my mark on this earth? Or have I simply been just one more speck that quickly passes through it’s lifespan and will then go, “poof” and disappear forever? So what really is the meaning of life? I mean, within the context of everything else that exists on this earth, what really has been my purpose here? When this speck goes “poof,” will I be missed? Will I be remembered? Will my memory be cherished? Perhaps for a time, by those who’ve known me.

In reality, I wonder though, if I’m not really just another speck who will make way for many other specks to come after me. Just as I came after the specks that came before me!

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 2008 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Good Byes are Never Easy

Good Byes are Never Easy

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Three Crucial Steps to Prevent Relapse into Addiction

When I began working in the field of chemical dependency thirty years ago, there were some common beliefs of treatment professionals with which I strongly disagreed.  One of those beliefs was that if an individual underwent treatment for addiction and then drank or used illicit drugs again , he’d never really wanted to be sober at all.  (In my opinion, it was the old proverbial “throw the baby out with  the bathwater” philosophy.) 

I took issue with this belief because I happen to know both from professional and personal experience that it takes a good deal of determination and hard work to maintain early sobriety.  (Whether the individual maintains sobriety for a long or for a short period of time is not the point.)  I believed that for as long as professionals continued to focus on that which was beside the point, no progress could be made in solving the problem at hand.  (In it’s infancy, the chemical dependency treatment world was a punitive one.  The problem with that was that someone who is already beating himself up, certainly doesn’t need others to add to his already deep, emotional sense of shame.)

 I firmly believed that when an individual went to all of the work it takes to develop new sobriety and then ended up using, there had to be other issues involved that were interfering with his goal of continuous sobriety.

I began to ask some very probing questions of these clients.  Questions about how they’d been feeling emotionally, how they’d been sleeping, eating, etc.  What I learned was that people who relapsed after working hard to get sober, were definitely struggling with other issues besides their addiction.  I began referring clients who were having problems with cravings and with relapse for a thorough psychological assessment.  Making sure that they were referred to an office that housed both a psychologist and psychiatrist was critical.  It was critical because if the psychological testing revealed the need for a mood-stabilizing medication, the psychologist who customarily performs testing, can consult without delay with the psychiatrist in the office for appropriate prescription medication.

In countless numbers of cases, what was discovered through psychological testing was that the individual was suffering from depression and/or anxiety issues.  But there were other problems that I encountered.  The addiction community at that time frowned upon the use of medication for mood changing purposes.  My relief was monumental when the term mood-stabilizing became better known among professionals in the field.  That was because there is a tremendous amount of difference between mood-altering and mood-stabilizing medication.

 ood-altering medication either raises or lowers the mood away from that which is considered a general sense of well-being (either high or low.)  Mood-stabilizing medication on the other hand, moves the individual’s mood back into the general vicinity of a general sense of well being (i.e. a stable mood.)

To help understand the differences in psychotropic medications is crucial.  Unless one possesses this knowledge, it is impossible to know which medications are hazardous to chemically dependent clients and which ones are safe.  For example, if a medication contains a minor tranquilizer, it is a highly addictive medication.  That makes it off-limits to anyone who is chemically dependent person who does not want to place his sobriety in jeopardy.  Narcotics, opiates, sedatives and many others are also highly addictive.  Consequently it is imperative when choosing a psychologist/psychiatrist office, that one finds out whether or not these professionals are well-trained in chemical dependency.  One issue with which I’ve watched numerous chemically dependent individuals struggle, is failing to be their own advocate when it comes to their medical and/or psychological health.  Many relapses occur because a client failed to inform their doctor or psychiatrist of their addictive personality.  The tendency seems to be to then blame the professional for prescribing a drug to which they became addicted.  The burden of responsibility here clearly does not fall on the shoulders of the professional involved.

 Part of addictive behavior is the habit of ingesting whatever drug/alcohol and then letting life happen without being a responsible participant.  Learning to take full responsibility for themselves, for their lives, for their debts and for their health can be extremely challenging to most.  It is simply behavior with which they are basically unfamiliar.

 When clients are new to recovery in treatment, I repeatedly remind them that changing our thinking is crucial to recovery!  After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!  Neither is stable, positive, healthy recovery!

So, you see, while it is absolutely true that the most important things to do repeatedly in early sobriety is:

1)     Don’t use,

2)     Go to meetings,

3)     Stay away from using places and using acquaintances!  (I tend not to refer to using buddies as “friends” because  although it is always shocking to the         newly recovering individual just how quickly these people vanish from their social calendars once they realize that the individual is serious about  no longer choosing to use alcohol or other  drugs, it is true, nonetheless.)     

Never underestimate the negative power of exposing oneself to using people and situations!  Countless recovering individuals manage to expose themselves to these dangers for quite some time before they unwittingly begin to slowly, but surely, wear down.  Addiction is all powerful and extremely insidious.  Make no mistake about it.  Unless you are vigilant and willing to do anything you have to do to maintain recovery, it can and will sneak-up on you like the thief in the night that it IS! 

Come check-out my website: http://www.yoursobersolutions.com!

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 2009 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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