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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Depew

Our lane, child trauma and seeing red.

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

We as a species have instincts about what might be a danger to us or our families. Those instincts can help protect us and also may lead us to fear the wrong things while ignoring larger dangers.

*This post goes around the world, across time and space, and covers many difficult topics - the take home point - this website is a template, a site for ideas, a site to inspire action to help our planet and possibly our own health in the process. Income inequality and our environment are linked and both may have negative effects on children.

Various links are included in the post to a lot more information, and in honor of the International Day of the Girl and children, and to save time for a busy reader I am highlighting these two sites that offer free webinars and toolkits regarding the risks of Childhood Domestic Violence (13, 14):

Increased risks for Children Living in Violent Homes.

Seeing red is an instinct for humans around the world, and other species.

The color red is an instinctual warning that likely has to do with the color of blood, and not wanting to see our own blood or others. Animals will also react against a red spot and as a group may attack a member of their own species that looks different because of a red birthmark. Sharks may start a feeding frenzy when there is blood in the water. (3, 4-7.7-7.7.3)

The fertility and miracle of life was revered in early stages of human history. Matriarchal societies were more common among early hunter-gatherer societies. Centuries of drought led to the Fertile Crescent aspect of early Africa to become less hospitable to easy living. Warring tribes led to more peaceful ones having to fight back or be killed. Women and children might have been taken into the warring tribe along with other resources and the territory taken over. Harsher child rearing practices may have gradually been developed in the transition to more brutal times. Complete obedience by children and bride-price control of women may have been instilled along with a shift to patriarchal property ownership around this time of drought and hardship. In the book Saharasia, James deMeo shares his theory about the early history of human civilization's transition from matriarchal peace to patriarchal war, misogyny and child abuse, in images from early cave paintings and stone carvings to later more elaborate ancient artifacts. (1)

Modern times have even more people, fewer resources to share, and increasing drought. We also have technology and skills. We still have child abuse and misogyny - discrimination of women. Patriarchy has property, names, and power pass through the males in a family, while matriarchy retains the mother's family name and power may have been the wise woman of the group who knew about healing herbs and how to help sick or wounded family members. Birth would have been dangerous and herbs were known that helped delay fertility until a girl was old enough to have less risk from a pregnancy. Total numbers of pregnancies could also be limited. The women kept the knowledge of the herbs to themselves and the specific knowledge has been lost to written history. Mother figure stone carvings were very common during these early times, possibly a good luck figurine or goddess figure that many people had carved for themselves or family. (1)

With the transition to warring tribes and property rights and agrarian farming instead of nomadic hunting and gathering there was a transition to having many children - more future warriors or workers. Child rearing techniques among some groups became extremely brutal and disfiguring strategies were used by a few that may have been for marking them as different and fierce. Female menstruation became more of a taboo and a control of women and their fertility. (1)

Modern times have retained warring, and child abuse, and control of women. Equality for women and safety for children has been a battle that is not over, while some improvements have occurred far too much abuse and danger still exists. The stereotypes of patriarchal gender roles is also damaging for men. "Don't cry like a girl, be tough, be a man." Growing a baby, giving birth to a baby, raising a baby is tough work and painful - be a woman, it isn't easy either. Earlier societies may have had some division of labor with men doing more hunting over a larger territory while women gathered edible foods in a smaller area while also caring for children too small to keep up with a hunting group.

Biologically women and men are very similar but also have some differences on average. Women tend to be more aware of caregiving and communication needs and also may be more skilled at repetitive fine motion skills - like gathering berries. Men may have more skill at working in a coordinated group and may have a tendency to follow the lead of a dominant male. Women may be more likely to coordinate as a group, but also tend to follow the lead of a dominant male. Biologically that is fairly common among animal species where there is a size difference on average between the genders. (5- & 11.3) Averages are just an average and don't represent anyone individual and in matriarchal societies power may have been shared - male lead of a hunting party and female lead of a base camp.

Is it working still? our survival instincts? Can civilized people learn about instinctual behavior and develop strategies that work with our strengths and accommodate the weaknesses? Our instincts about seeing red can lead to attack of the weak or those with a visible birthmark. Tribalism instincts include wearing the group's identifying color or in the ancient times the group's visible deformity instilled during infancy. Conehead shapes were purposefully done to children by binding their heads tightly throughout infancy and it would have painful. Binding of girls feet was done for many centuries in China as a mark of more elite women and would also have been painful and disabling. Now in 'modern' times we have braces for teeth that can leave lasting damage to a growing jaw and other plastic surgery techniques for making a person fit cultural norms of beauty more closely. Are we civilized yet? Warring nations or military actions are even more destructive to environment and civilian and soldier than in times of horse drawn chariots with armored wheels.

We don't seem to be civilized yet. Civilizations collapse, historically, on average, for a few reasons - population expands too much to keep up with sewage waste and fresh water becomes contaminated and food supplies and other resources run out; war; natural disaster. Are we civilized yet? Or are we a civilization in the trifecta of collapse - we are polluting our water, not distributing food supplies and other resources equitably, military actions are common in many areas or outright war, and we are all facing natural disaster more often due to extreme weather, wildfire and the larger risk of climate change.

The planet will survive humans - the question is whether humans will survive human 'civilization'.

"Stay in your lane," - a modern world concept of knowledge or business boundaries - this is my specialty, you don't belong in this field because you don't know as much as the specialists. The value of a diverse team is that the specialists may not know as much about other things and may be too focused, too blind, to other ways of looking at a problem and may miss an obvious solution because the complex one is part of their specialty - or their specialty thinks it is an unsolvable problem perhaps. Problems are solvable and often have many solutions, the question is which solution is practical, affordable, and able to be put in place quickly enough to help with the problem.

Dithering, hand-wringing, worrying - doesn't solve problems it just wastes time that might be better spent figuring out something to try. Solutions ideally are tested on a small area and modified as needed until effective and practical. It takes practice to refine a solution and it takes testing to see if it will help enough to be worth the bother while also not causing other larger problems. "First, do no harm," is a concept from the early era of healthcare attributed to the Hippocratic oath which includes a longer statement: "I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgement, and I will do no harm or injustice to them." (2)

Dietary regimens are needed for our planet's health. Early societies lived in harmony with nature and harvested or hunted in a way that would leave enough of the species to propagate for the next season's gathering or hunting. To consume all of a living renewable resource would mean that it would not renew, would not be there for the next year's hunger. Population growth led to too many hungry mouths, too much strain on a plant or animal species - or drought led to there being too little water for plants and too few plants to feed the animals - and hunger for humans who could travel farther in hopes of finding a more fertile area - which led to more clashes between groups of humans, and theoretically patriarchy, child abuse, domination of women, and more frequent fighting among groups of humans to control territory and limited resources. (1)

Stay in our lane - dietary health is my lane, oxygen is a nutrient that we need from fresh air. The ocean microbes and green plants on the land produce the oxygen we breathe. The planet's health is my lane - and your lane, and all of our lanes. Collectively we need to embrace the wonder of our planet and protect its renewable resources for next year's hungry mouths - to eat nutritious food, and to breathe oxygen rich fresh air.

In considering what is 'my lane' to stay in - this website seems most critically important. Individual health and nutrition and human policy are the focus of several of my other sites while this one focuses on ocean health and how technology may be able to help our planet. Quantum physics and ether theory are also topics as well as quantum biology which are topics that may help individual and environmental health if we learned more about them. The focus of quantum physics in the past has been on astrophysics, outerspace, cold and empty, based on Einstein's theories however ether theory would suggest not void, a diffuse flowing ether may be present throughout outer space and all around us, and in us. Science is curious, science is exciting, science is full of the joy of exploration and discovery. How can any scientist not be thrilled to consider new ideas? or old ideas from a new perspective? How can anyone in our modern world not be thrilled to learn that energy may be all around us and part of our health?

I am fascinated and share resources and ideas in the hope that others may take the baton and keep it moving forward in the race of life - the stakes are high - survival of human species and other oxygen breathing species. The planet will survive, the question is which species will survive. Low oxygen zones or oxygen free zones surround coastal regions of the ocean and have been found to be expanding in deeper ocean waters. The oldest long term human habited region surrounding the Baltic Sea has led to oxygen free zones at its depths which now have non-oxygen producing microbes. Problems escalate typically, rather than just getting better on their own.

Humans need to take note that making a mess leads to a bigger mess. It would be simple to use current technology to pump condensed oxygen rich air into the coastal low oxygen zones and might take a little more innovation to create floating style oxygenators for the deep sections. We can do this, it just takes money. Incorporating aquaculture farms or plastic collecting, wind or solar or ether energy generating devices might help power or fund the reoxygenation machines. We could also just budget for the repair without trying to profit - sustainable industry needs a sustainable income and power stream though so working on a solution that paid for wage and supplies would be a long term goal. Short term startup funding might help get things started towards a oxygen rich ocean and a future with plenty of oxygen to breathe.

Child abuse can lead to adult revictimization - normal was pain.

Red flags for emotional abuse or manipulation include someone being very friendly and questioning, seemingly interested in everything about you - but never seeming to provide much information about themselves. The information you provide them may then be used to provide some answers that make the person seem compatible and just like you in your interests, or flattering about your interests. (6)

I was a child in an emotionally and physically painful home at times. There was also fun and love and learning so I had it good compared to many children in more difficult trauma homes. As a trauma survivor I've learned enough to know not to believe the lies of a narcissist - they believe their own lies - something to watch for and watch out for. When someone believes their own lies, they are irrational and could probably pass a lie detector test. Narcissism may grow from their own difficult childhood and a fake persona is created to feel better about themselves, that doesn't make them safe or trustworthy though, just helps to understand we are all people with a childhood. (7)

Healing childhood trauma can take time and learning self love and even reconnecting to life. Dissociation is a groundless lack of self. The child may have been allowed no power of their own. Control from external caregivers and invalidating messages about feelings can leave a disconnect from feeling those feelings. Reconnecting to life can start slow and simply touching polished stones in your pocket may help, or a soft fabric, or smelling a nice scent like vanilla, which can be physically calming. Walking barefoot on forest soil on a sunny day may also help reconnect to the physical world. Drawing or writing or singing your own tune may also help reconnect to your feelings. Reconnecting with our inner child is a topic of a video by Lisa Romani: Healing Emotional Childhood Neglect and Learning to Integrate with Your Inner Child. (12)

Child abuse, and harm from growing up around domestic violence.

Child abuse is still prevalent in modern society and domestic violence in the home setting can also increase emotional and physical problems later in life, even if physical harm is not inflicted on the child. Childhood Domestic Violence - or growing up in a violent or emotionally manipulative home can leave lasting changes in physical health, risk for problems in adult relationships or risk for being revictimized or becoming a bully or a more severe narcissist. Educational resources about the risks of Childhood Domestic Violence are available for free online and donations are appreciated to help provide physical copies to those in need. (13, 14)

If all we learn is a life hidden from truth it may become harder to recognize truth or even to be comfortable with what might seem normal to others - it may seem suspicious to a person who has never experienced normal.

Narcissism is more common in our Social Media and Capitalist Society

Capitalism, advertising, and social media have increased narcissistic values throughout society - buy this to look better, feel better about yourself, post a better selfie of yourself to get more Likes on social media - it is addictive and causes a dopamine rush like any other addictive behavior. We need to promote litter picking up contests or walks, not just protests about the need for someone else, for government to do something about the planet's health. Politics has gotten in the way of environmental action and big money is in the way of politics.

Anyone and everyone who cares about our planet need to start working together to take action. We are at or past a tipping point. The worsening weather events and wildfires, and infectious epidemic are all likely to continue to be more common and likely to continue to increase in severity. That is the bad news. The good news is that social media and the connectedness of the virtual world means that organizing action and educating about effective strategies is easier than ever before. The Covid-19 epidemic has shown us that many things can be done online and traveling to meetings or even to work is less important than it used to be - though still helpful.

Income inequality, climate change, and Covid-19 response are topics that His Holiness Pope Francis brought up in a recent address to the United Nations. (10) Equitable distribution of resources needs to consider equitable across time also - planning ahead now for a more gradual use of our limited resources and more focus on using renewable resources such as geothermal and water, wind and solar energy.

Let's face it. ...The only position of long-term strength is interdependence: win/win. - Greg Anderson

Win/Win Solutions - finding a positive for everyone, not just a compromise.

Win/win solutions in the business world on in personal life are not just about seeking a compromise where both parties feel disappointed. Ideally discussion and understanding each others needs occurs until a point is reached where a solution that neither may have thought of on their own may be reached - a win/win. Both are getting their needs met in a way that isn't harming the other. (9) Currently the planet and other species on it are not getting their needs met and in the process we humans are also harming our own present and future economic and individual health.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert Heinlein (Science Fiction author) (11)

Income inequality and specialization are more common in our modern patriarchal society and both may be adding to an unsustainable present and future. I am not sure what conn a ship even means, but might be able to try most of the rest of Robert Heinlein's list in the above quote.

Sacrificing the little guy and saving the elite is more common historically in societies with a greater division between rich and poor. Currently the difference in the US range of incomes is similar to the time of the Egyptian pyramids and the 1920's prior to the Great Depression which followed the stock market crash and run on banks. Sacrificing people, or more likely in modern times - not hiring people because they made a mistake is not utilizing all of our diversity and various skills. It is a time to have all hands on deck - in sailing lingo.

In a sustainable world we need to return to some more traditional and labor intensive methods and learn to rely less on gasoline powered machinery - while figuring out how to build machines that do not rely on fossil fuels. We have been living the easy life for the last couple centuries by living off the ancient remains of the dinosaur age. Fossil fuels are also used to make products so saving some of the remaining supply for future centuries would be generous, and help the current climate issues.

We can't unbake a loaf of bread, unboil an egg, or very easily unpollute the atmosphere, ocean or soil. Let's not sacrifice all of us, or any of us. It probably isn't what the US Marines would do, if they had a choice in the decision - leave no one behind, bring everyone home. Teamwork, we all have a part to play in helping heal our planet.

*to conn a ship - stand on an elevated platform (conning tower) and give communication directions to the ship's engineer, and sail lines, rudder and ground tackle. (Wikipedia)

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Reference List

  1. James deMeo, Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World. (

  2. Translated by Michael North, Greek Medicine: The Hippocratic Oath, National Library of Medicine, 2002.

  3. J. Depew, Persuasion, instincts, and the color red. Jan 29, 2016,,

  4. J. Depew, 7.7-7.7.3 Our instincts may be based in actions learned by more distant relatives.,,

  5. J. Depew, “Hunters” and “Gatherers” were Gender-Based Roles. and 11.3: Sex-based Discrimination may also be seen in differences in pay & leadership roles.,

  6. Medically reviewed by R. Brock, A Short Emotional Abuse “Checklist”: 20 Red Flags In Your Relationship What You Can Do. Updated August 03, 2020,,

  7. Katherine Fabrizio, Why A Narcissist Lies And What It Says About Them. Last updated: 18 Aug 2019,, *this site seems to be about support for daughters of narcissistic mothers - fathers can be the narcissist and in a traditional more patriarchal relationship, society may expect a woman to be secondary to the man's interests and preferences which is not a partnership, it is a cheerleader and a team captain. That is the type of childhood I experienced, two very talented parents yet the husband's skills and interests were always primary. It is difficult to learn anything about normal communication and a balanced relationship when it is not present. Love and fun were present, but getting the good grade in school and doing everything practically perfectly was simply expected, and drilled for many things.

  8. Greg Anderson, "Let's face it..." Famous quotes about cooperation,, * "Let's face it. In most of life we really are interdependent. We need each other. Staunch independence is an illusion, but heavy dependence isn't healthy, either. The only position of long-term strength is interdependence: win/win."

  9. Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,, * "Habit 4: Think win/win." "In the long run, if it isn't a win for both of us, we both lose. That's why win-win is the only real alternative in interdependent realities."

  10. His Holiness Pope Francis, Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Seventy-fifth Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations. 25 September 2020,

  11. Robert Heinlein quotations,

  12. Lisa Romani, Healing Emotional Childhood Neglect and Learning to Integrate with Your Inner Child. July 25, 2018,,

  13. What is Childhood Domestic Violence: The Impact,,

  14. Domestically Violent Homes - Threats of Harm for Children,, - webinars and resources include the graphic below:

Increased Risks for Children Living in Violent Homes

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