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I woke up about an hour ago from what my sister and I call a tornado dream ... today is the anniversary of our surviving a tornado as children.
The dreams don't plague me now the way they used to.
I found this article written in 1982, two days after the tornado: Oklahomans Try to Pick Up Lives After Tornadoes Strike ow.ly/GpYE30o3nzh
*^ "On closer inspection, however, the cheery scene grows macabre. The "confetti" becomes bits of bright yellow and pink clothing, rose and gold building insulation, and shiny scrap metal twisted around limbs and wires."

This scene shaped who I am.
Today, March 15th - the Ides of March - is the anniversary of my family surviving a catastrophic tornado. I was 9. We lost everything but each other, and my stuffed dinosaur Dino.
I'm creating this thread to talk about what happened to me, what I survived, but also to talk about social justice, disasters, and disabilities. There are many resources on these topics at #SoJustDisasters and #SoJustAble
Red Cross volunteers and my Gramps found my sister and I in a field far away from where we were picked up by the tornado. A man in a nearby town found my father's high school diploma in his yard after the storm.
Here's a picture of where our home was, now a pile of debris in the pic. A few hours before the tornado, I walked home from the bus thinking what a beautiful day it was.
We didn't get counseling ... we had very little physician follow up even, though our injuries were severe. We almost died. My sister, 4 at the time, had and depressed skull fracture. I had a huge gash on my side and many broken ribs and other injuries.
We had an amazing support network formed by local churches+businesses; my parents and others began honoring our survival right away, and it shaped my valuing survival so much. We didn't realize we needed to grieve or that there were psychological injuries still to be discovered.
I wasn't diagnosed with #ptsd until my late 20s when my coping mechanisms were imploding, and life was aggravating and intensifying my ptsd without my even realizing what was going on with me. My sis didn't discover the impact of her traumatic brian injury for another decade.
As I began to learn more about the sociology of natural disasters and the dramatically different impact of them on various groups in society, I began to realize the way our family's poverty negatively affected our recovery from then tornado.
As I began to learn more about social justice and ableism, I began to realize more about the the ways those with disabilities are marginalized, compounding all other forms of oppression that intersect their ... our ... lives.
Here's a post written partially about what happened to us ... it's nice I was interviewed about this, but it really minimizes what my sister and I have lived with, suffered through, since then as a result of the physical and psychological injustices: weathergalval.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/two…
I want to share some resources about natural disasters and social justice - pls read and share - there's more at #SoJustDisasters
After a Traumatic Event, Consider Psychological First Aid ow.ly/diZT30nqYWJ #SoJustDisasters
Disaster might not discriminate, but recovery does | Southern Poverty Law Center ow.ly/TjWJ30o3p1S
Natural Disasters Are on the Rise. Maybe the Government Should Actually Study Them. ow.ly/fJyO30o3Zmw #SoJustDisasters
The Trauma That Arises from Natural Disasters | Psychology Today ow.ly/SJNb30o3Zyi #SoJustDisasters
Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America - Ted Steinberg - Oxford University Press ow.ly/naKO30o3ZGG #SoJustDisasters #SoJustBooks
Each of the #SaturdaySchool #SoJustHashtags has its own Pinterest board for resources - here’s #SoJustDisasters -> pin.it/awmaqniktszuyr
I'm glad I survived, not just that storm, but all the others too. The storms have passed. I am still here.

I've learned to honor my survival. I've learned to honor yours too.
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