Thursday, April 16, 2015. For those of you who can access Facebook here is a video that will steal the heart. It is of a tribe of elephants crossing a river with a little one who gets trapped in the current, unable to reach shore. The tender concern of the adults for this small one’s distress motivates them to take ACTION to help it. I don’t think I could ever tire of watching elephants if I had the chance! They are an epitome of love!
I thought of my post yesterday about our primary survival emotions as we make our way through life: +CIRCLES AND CYCLES OF OUR “CALM-STRESS” RESPONSE SYSTEM
The little elephant, was it feeling terrified? The adults. Did they feel that powerful “anger” energy as they rescued that baby? Did they feel fear when more members of their tribe had to be called to assist? Did they simply KNOW that help would come and all would be well?
Certainly when all is said and done, as they amble off, they appear to be most calm, most peaceful.
I was reminded of something that happened the summer of 1969 just after I graduated from high school (I could not think of leaving home until I turned 18 the last day of that summer’s August). Our family was living on our Alaskan mountain homestead. I had gone into the town of Anchorage with my father.
As we returned home driving down the valley’s Jeep road through the long shadows of an Alaskan late evening, and came to the shallow small pond (really) homesteaders referred to as Mud Lake, we were stopped by a very newly born brilliant cinnamon moose calf standing alone on the road beside the edge of the water. Just into the muddy and bloody lake itself lay the remains of its mother’s carcass.
Mud Lake seemed to be a favored dining spot for moose that lived on the other side of the river’s fork. Often late in summer afternoons numbers of them would be standing around in murky water below their knees. As cars approached they would raise their majestic heads, chewing some tasty weed they dredged from the muddy lake bottom, drooling water as their soft eyes gazed at humans as if we were the odd entrants to this valley that had always been their home.
And then there were the poachers.
And then there was this most gorgeous delicate creature who, as soon as Father stopped our Jeep, raced across the road in front of us as it tried to scramble up a very steep slope of the mountain that ran right down to Mud Lake.
Father, in that quiet matter-of-fact way of his, told me to get out to “watch” the baby while he drove as fast as he could (on that narrow, rutted primitive road) to the nearest homesteader’s house to get a rope.
I got out.
He drove off as he edged close to the lake shoulder side of the road around the calf as it scrambled and fell again and again to it small knees and skidded down through the loose gravel of that rocky hill.
Watching this elephant video. The dangers of river currents. Adult animals with no way to grab a baby in its mouth, no way to pick it up in arms. Illegally killed mother moose unable to do anything then for her baby.
And me. Now, thinking about the post I wrote yesterday I can understand that PERHAPS if I had NOT MYSELF have been such an extremely traumatized person from the time I was born and for the next 18 years that I had no inward ability to FEEL ANGER and I had no ability to FIGHT for myself whatsoever — maybe I could have done the RIGHT thing.
If I had ever shown anger Mother could see, if I had EVER tried to fight her back, she would have killed me. I knew that. I have always known that.
Now, the way those mother moose crossed that powerful current of that glacial cold dark aqua river water was to step in with her baby stepping in at her side so the current pressed the little one against her flank as they safely crossed together.
That’s how it’s done for moose.
That’s the way it HAS to be done to protect the babies in the world, the same way this video shows how elephants have to help their young.
And there I was. Victimized survivor beyond belief. There was the baby and I know now I was POWERLESS to help it! I was so FROZEN inside of myself! I could not run and yell and wave my arms in the air to keep from happening what happened next.
The little wilderness creature, the most beautiful I have ever seen, finally skidded on its knees one last frantic panic time, turned toward Mud Lake and ran at full speed across the road, crashing around the lake’s marshy shore straight at – and into — the river. I didn’t SEE the little one hit the water. I HEARD it.
I didn’t SEE the little one drown.
But I have always known, all these 46 years since I stood helplessly (as I had ALWAYS been), that there was no possible way that baby survived that swim without the wisdom and help of its mother.
I don’t BLAME myself for the death of the calf. But of course now I wonder if I could have kept it alive until Father returned with his rope if I had been able to ACT with that kind of ANGER power and energy I tried to describe in yesterday’s post.
As it was, Father made that trip to the neighbor’s for nothing. But at least once he saw the calf was gone, understood immediately what that meant, turned the Jeep around and stopped for me to get back inside, he said nothing.
That, in my childhood, was the best I could hope for.
Here is our first book out in ebook format. Click here to view or purchase –
Story Without Words: How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?
It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.
NOTE: I am still stuck with this new version of the blog’s posting page that I do not like and cannot get out of. It has refused to post or include my chosen tags:
adult attachment disorders, adult reactive attachment disorder, anxiety disorders,borderline mother, borderline personality disorder, brain development, child abuse,depression,derealization, disorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorder, empathy, infant abuse, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factors, PTSD, resiliency, resiliency factors, risk factors, shame