|menu/||THE TREATMENT OF TRAUMA|
change the world
the promise + the challenge
By Ed Schmookler, Ph.D.
Healing the vital force damaged by trauma is a critical challenge most homeopaths face. Most of our clients have experienced some trauma, many of them severely, some of them catastrophically. As homeopaths we can play a key role in the healing of trauma, because we can stimulate healing of the vital force, which receives much of the impact of trauma. Psychotherapists can help clients face the emotions that surface when long buried trauma emerges and can help the person forge a new life. But homeopaths can bring relief to a vital force misshapen by trauma. Trauma can bruise, oppress, beat, puncture, fragment, shatter, and even destroy the vital energy that shapes our lives.
Homeopathy is an especially good modality of healing the kind of damage that trauma causes. Trauma freezes people in time. Years after a trauma is over, people are still living it: the Vietnam vet still looks for cover when a helicopter flies overhead, the rape survivor still fears the shadows in the alleyway, the incest victim still fears intimacy, and the man beaten in infancy still wishes to die.
Trauma locks people into the past. Homeopathy unlocks frozen functioning: Sulphur releases rage pent up in depression, Sepia moves a woman out of post-partum immobility, Nat Mur moves old salted away grief into tears again. Successful homeopathic treatment allows immobilized life to flow again.
the disturbing terrain of trauma
Treating trauma requires the best that is in us. Traumatized people can be the most rewarding people to treat, because the possibilities for recovery can be miraculous, but treating them may require us to face parts of life and of ourselves that most of us would rather avoid.
Treating trauma is an intense confrontation with life and with oneself. Many of us prefer to surround ourselves with comfortable pictures of reality in which we can live our lives without excessive disturbance. Listening to the traumatic life stories of others can severely disrupt these pictures.
Even if we have grown up with trauma, hearing about the violation and violence inflicted on our clients can be a violation in itself of how we would prefer to experience our world. Our first obstacle in dealing with the reality of our clients' experience can therefore be our own denial.
About 25 years ago, a woman came into my office and announced that her father had been having intercourse with her, and that, as a result of his remorse and fear of discovery, he had committed suicide. I told her that I thought she believed what she was saying, implying, of course, that I did not. She had the wisdom not to return. This was denial in its most blatant form: I had no conscious context in which to believe what she told me. At that time, almost no one talked about incest or other forms of abuse.
Since then, thanks to the women's movement and the recovery movement, the truth about life in many homes has emerged. Even now, people refuse to believe in the reality of more horrific forms of abuse such as ritual abuse, because the horror is too great for most people to tolerate.
Our first major challenge in treating trauma is to remain open and be willing to hear people's stories, even when they violate what we like to hear. Even if we cannot believe what we hear, it is important to keep our doubt to ourselves and to consult with others outside the treatment session. Once we let the truth of others' experience in, we are confronted by another major challenge: the intense states and emotions of trauma.
If we as homeopaths are to treat effectively, we must understand the basic state our clients are in, and this may require a willingness to experience within ourselves the experience of our clients. As Rajan Sankaran says: "Each remedy has a peculiar state of mind which is characteristic to it. Each remedy produces a state.
Each patient has a state of mind. If you compare symptoms, you will be lost in the jungle. If you understand the state, you will find that there is only one remedy which produces the state. Aphorism 211 says, 'The state of disposition being characteristic, which can least of all remain hidden from the accurately observing physician.' You have to look, you have to see, you have to understand and you have to feel the state. You have to experience the experience of the patient. This is the art of case taking."
It is not enough to list symptoms mechanically; we must understand from within where our clients are stuck, and with trauma this can be especially challenging, because the states are so intense.
The world of trauma is a strange and tortured landscape. It is made up of volcanoes of rage, sagging mountains of sadness and despair, frozen seas of horror, streams of fear running throughout, pits of depression, black holes of frozen terror, blasted fields of shock and devastation, and oceans of grief. This is where our clients are stuck and what we can release them from with our remedies.
But to choose the right remedy may require us to be willing to feel, at least briefly, these deep and intense feelings. Trauma is perhaps as universal as the miasms and as devastating in its impact. Homeopathy is a great tool in returning to people what trauma has taken away. To connect with our clients and to find the right remedy, we need to do our best in being open, vulnerable and authentic.
The rewards can be not only healing for our clients but for ourselves as well.
the three levels of trauma
Trauma can impact different levels of the organism, and it is helpful to be clear at what level one is working when working with survivors of trauma. The three levels of trauma are: Basic Trauma, Interpersonal Trauma, and Developmental Trauma. We shall examine each in turn.
level one: basic trauma
This level is common to all trauma, from car accidents to ritual abuse. No matter what the trauma, all trauma shares some features in common. This has been a surprise to me. I worked for many years with Vietnam vets.
Many of them shared features in common: a broiling, brooding rage, a sense of injustice, shock, an inability to move out of the past, mistrust, and difficulty maintaining relationships.
My surprise came when a man who had an auto accident, a woman robbed at gunpoint, and a man raped as a child all looked like Vietnam vets! Their suffering was similar and so was their way of being in the world.
EXAMPLES of purely Basic Trauma are accidents of all kinds (car, sports, industrial) and natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, fires).
the features of basic trauma
The primary feature of all trauma is overwhelm. Trauma by its very nature presents the organism with more than it is accustomed to handle. By definition, trauma takes us beyond our ordinary capacity for coping.
I am accustomed to going down an elevator at normal speeds. I may be a bit pushed to be crowded in with far too many people; I would be very stressed to be stuck in an elevator all day caught between floors in the dark. But I am entirely unprepared for it to descend suddenly four stories without brakes. That would be traumatic. But in going beyond what we are used to coping with, trauma does not catch our system entirely by surprise, for we have survival mechanisms built in to deal with overwhelming experience.
The two major responses that arise in response to sudden and extreme danger are hyper-reactivity and shutdown. The hyper-reactive response is the primary defense/attack mode of fight or flight. People become hypervigilant, startle easily, and are ready to run or attack at the slightest stimuli. They also have repeated flashbacks and nightmares relating to the trauma.
picture of hyper-reactivity
You come out to the waiting room to meet your client, and he looks up in surprise. He looks you intently in the eye, and pulls his hand away quickly when you shake his hand.
"I'm not myself," he says, when you settle down in the office. "I'm jumpy, and I can't sleep. Ever since the accident, my mind isn't working right. I keep going over and over what happened. I can't seem to make it stop. And then," he says, starting to get agitated, "every time I go out, I react in ways I shouldn't. I don't understand what's happening with me. Sometimes, I think I'm going crazy. When people are walking on the sidewalk towards me, I feel like they are coming right at me. I get mad. I get mad real easily these days. The other day, at a fast food place, I almost got in a fight with this kid that bumped into me. People just piss me off. I didn't use to be this way."
The other pole in traumatic response is shutdown. When an organism becomes overwhelmed, it has built-in responses to protect it from too much reaction. Physiological shutdown is shock. The periphery closes so that the vital functions within the core of the organism can be preserved.
Shock has a quality that is unmistakable once you become familiar with it. It is a combination of frozenness, pallor, and brittleness. This can be lodged in the system and emerge many years after the trauma, when the trauma is accessed.
Psychological shutdown in trauma is emotional numbing and avoidance of stimuli that remind people of the trauma. People become detached, unemotional, and unable to have normal feelings. They avoid situations, such as public places or open spaces or closed in spaces or crowed places which remind them of where they were hurt; or they may avoid people who remind them of people who hurt them.
The deepest level of shutdown is depression, which often accompanies Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
picture of shutdown
She sits on the chair facing you. She looks stunned. You ask her questions, and there is a short pause before she answers. She sometimes draws a blank. Her face looks blank, staring straight ahead. She slumps back in her chair.
"What are you feeling these days?" you ask.
"I don't know. Not much." She sits and waits.
You ask for more.
"I stay home and watch TV a lot. I just sit in the house. I don't really want to do anything. My boyfriend comes over, but it isn't the same anymore. I really don't care if he comes over or not. It bothers me that I feel that way. I know I should feel different. Ever since I got hit by the car, I don't really have interests in anything." Long silence. Her eyes look sunken in.
Most trauma survivors have both the activation and the shutdown going on simultaneously: they are driving full speed ahead with the brakes on. One reason that trauma has such devastating effects on the economy of the organism is that it is a real burnout.
Hyper-reactivity combined with shutdown can overload and consequently exhaust the nervous system, the immune system, and the neuro-endrocrinological system .
People with disorders of these systems often have trauma in their background. Trauma thus becomes fertile ground for homeopathic treatment.
prototypical case example
Here is a prototypical example of Basic Trauma, which combines a number of different stories of actual clients.
A man working on the job falls from a considerable height. He loses consciousness in the fall and has injuries to his back. Since that time, in addition to pain in his back, he has flashbacks of the accident, he feels severely withdrawn, he cannot go back to work, because he feels panicky at the thought, he feels irritable, he is jumpy and hypervigilant, and he has nightmares several times per week.
Even though it is eight months after the accident, and his physical injuries have stabilized, he feels he is not himself. When asked to visualize the accident, he gets disoriented, dizzy, and frightened and does not want to go on with the visualization.
He uses drugs occasionally to numb out and "feel better." Here are examples of some rubrics one might use in such cases.
- Fear that something terrible will happen;
- Sensitivity (oversensitivity);
- Feeling disturbed;
- Sleeplessness, and/or
- Easily frightened.
EXAMPLES OF REMEDIES one might consider would be:
Aconite is perhaps our best first aid in trauma, along with Arnica. For the shock stage of trauma. Shock becomes embedded in the energy structure and does not necessarily pass after trauma is over. It can remain in the system for decades, emerging only as the trauma is uncovered again.
Aconite can be used many, many years after traumas of all kinds to help remove shock from the system. The best picture of Aconite is to my mind in Gibson's Studies of Homeopathic Remedies, where he describes the nature of the poisoning by this plant. It is a state of freezing anoxia.
The feeling state associated with Aconite is, "It happened too suddenly for me to accommodate, so I'm stopping and going inside to preserve myself."
The primary remedy for treating physical injuries, including physical abuse. Again, even years after the trauma, Arnica can be successfully used to bring about healing of trauma. A key aspect of this remedy is that the person does not wish to be approached for fear of being hurt again.
Its feeling state is "I need to stay still and go inside to heal. Don't come near or draw me out."
level two - interpersonal trauma
A car accident, an industrial accident, an earthquake, or a fire can leave people suffering from PTSD. But when the injury is at the hands of another person, when it comes from intentional violation, new features enter in.
Even though all trauma has impact on a person's relationships, interpersonal violence is more devastating.
People lose their trust and their sense of personal power more deeply. Thus, what you are treating is different and in a sense deeper than when treating Basic Trauma alone.
EXAMPLES of Interpersonal Trauma are war, rape, and armed robbery. Murder is another example which can impact others related to the victim.
Another kind of Interpersonal Trauma is loss of a loved one, especially sudden loss.
the features of interpersonal trauma
The two kinds of Interpersonal we encounter most frequently are interpersonal violence and loss. Interpersonal Violence When one person commits violence upon another, all of the responses of Basic Trauma are activated - hyper-reactivity and shutdown.
But in addition to this, deeper levels of the self are violated, and different responses occur. This occurs at two levels: one is in the relationship to others, and the other in relationship to oneself. When people have been violated they not only fear and avoid the perpetrator; they also tend to generalize and mistrust all other people as well.
Basic Trauma breaks the bubble of invulnerability people carry around themselves. We generally go around assuming ourselves safe, even though we may know that things can happen to us. When we are traumatized this illusion of safety is broken.
Energetically, the aura around a person which serves as a cushion against intrusive stimulation collapses, and the person feels exposed to danger. But, in addition, when people have been violated by others, the native trust that people feel toward others is fractured, and they live in mistrust. They also often feel abandoned.
This is universally true in abused children, but it often happens with adults who were raped or who were harmed by war. Where was the protection? Why did this happen to me?
Interpersonal violence also disrupts the sense of self. Through violation, people experience helplessness and powerlessness. The usual impact of Interpersonal Trauma is a lowering of self-confidence and self-value. People feel bad about themselves. Very often this is experienced as shame.
Being beaten or raped by another is a deeply shaming experience.
In addition, people feel immense rage at being violated. The sense of self is marred and the relationship to others disturbed. Because trust, empowerment, and value have been so violated in Interpersonal Trauma, it is important for us as practitioners to treat such clients in a way that builds trust and supports empowerment.
Even when the treatment is not psychotherapy, the relationship is essential in the healing process. Trust is supported by empathy, authenticity, and mirroring.
Letting your clients know that you understand something of how they feel, being yourself, and telling them what you understand about how they experience their lives will help them feel "met" by you. Being open and being yourself will help people feel safe.
Expressing doubt about their experience, minimizing its impact, or being cold or arrogant will reduce trust. It may take a long time for a trauma client to come to trust you.
You can help your clients feel empowered by including them in your understanding of the healing process and allowing them as much choice as makes sense. Make sure that informed consent is complete, let them know what can happen from the remedies, and let them make choices about when and how they are to be treated.
For example, some clients who have been abused by oral sex may prefer to take the remedy themselves rather than have the remedy put under the tongue by the practitioner.
the picture of interpersonal violence
She sits, crying. "Ever since the rape, I'm not the same. I used to enjoy life. I'd go out and have a good time. I loved my boyfriend. I guess I still love him, but we're not getting along any more, at least not like we used to. We fight, about nothing really. I just don't trust him. He wants to have sex all the time, and I don't like it as much as I used to. To tell you the truth, I'd just as soon he'd leave me alone. I tell him I don't want to, but then I feel bad about myself. Sometimes I feel like I'm just no good. Then other times, I think it's him."
prototypical case example
Here is a prototypical example of such a case, combining several actual cases. A woman comes in who was a victim of a robbery two years ago. Since that time, in addition to the standard symptoms of Basic Trauma, she has also had a severe disturbance in her relationships.
She has difficulty in trusting anyone. She feels she was "shafted" by her employer, whom she warned about the possible dangers of robbery. She is angry at the employer and at its representative, the insurance company who is paying for her treatment. She also has trouble trusting her own judgment, since she feels she should have left her employment after they failed to heed her warning.
She is depressed, her relationship with her partner has deteriorated, and she doesn't like herself much, because she is ashamed of her distrust and even dislike of other people that has come about since the robbery.
Rubrics one might use could include:
- Suspicious (mistrustful);
- Lack of confidence;
- Rage (fury);
- Aversion (to being approached);
- Aversion (to all persons);
- Feeling forsaken;
- Ailments (illnesses) as a result of mortification.
REMEDIES that one might use might be:
When a man sexually abuses his daughter, he feels shame, and often he will project this shame into her: look what you made me do, you are so bad.
In addition, sexual abuse, because it is so secret and because it arouses feelings of pleasure at the same time as it violates, is deeply shaming. This shame does not go away.
Staphysagria is one of our best shame remedies (ailments from mortification; suppressed mortification), and it is one of our best remedies for sequelae of sexual abuse. It is good for the suppressed rage that arises in abuse.
A child often cannot afford to express the rage she or he feels against the perpetrator; it would make the situation even more dangerous. Staphysagria can bring rage back to the forefront and return shame to its rightful owner, the perpetrator. Staph is also, incidentally, almost a specific for trauma involving cuts.
Its feeling state is, "There is something rotten in me; I dare not fight back."
Ignatia is a prominent remedy for sudden loss or the loss of relationships that don't go too deep. It is also good for people who get stuck in a "black hole," one of the common subjective phenomena that accompanies trauma.
In trauma, including sudden loss, feelings often get stuck, unable to release. Ignatia can sometimes be of use here. Like Nux-vomica, Ignatia has strychnine as one of its constituents, and so like Nux-v it has the spastic working-against-itself quality. So it has somatizing and tensing shared by Nux-v and Rhus-tox.
I think Ignatia is primarily tensing against the expression of grief and rage. A client obsessing about a boyfriend, calling him and going to his house at all hours and raging at him, collapsing in constant grief, unable to move on, came out of it after a dose of Ignatia.
The feeling state of Ignatia is, "I am tightly immersed in grief."
level three - developmental trauma
When Interpersonal Trauma (or severe Basic Trauma) impacts early during childhood, then it has the deepest impact of all. It is while the tree is still growing, that the limbs can become most easily deformed.
People with Developmental Trauma suffer from more than PTSD; their personality structures have become altered - it is more than a condition, it becomes part of the being.
As one of my clients put it, "Recovery from incest is like trying to remove egg from the batter after the cake is baked." Thus, the tasks of healing are more complex than with Basic Trauma or Interpersonal adult trauma. You must help the person heal from Basic Trauma, Interpersonal Trauma, and the impact on the whole personality structure.
The different kinds of abuse are physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, and ritual. We'll talk on a different day about the different features of each kind of abuse and what remedies can be helpful. As we go through the layers, from Basic, to Interpersonal, to Developmental, we are, generally speaking, moving from acute to chronic.
People usually recover faster and more easily from an earthquake than from a rape and from an adult experience of rape than from childhood sexual abuse. Therefore, the choice of remedies will sometimes reflect the depth of the trauma.
Generally, in treating Basic Trauma we will be thinking of acute remedies; in treating Interpersonal Trauma, we'll be using remedies that work at an intermediate depth; and in treating Developmental Trauma, we will work with remedies that reach much deeper into the organism, even down to the miasmatic level.
Developmental Trauma shares all the features of Basic and Interpersonal Trauma, but it has the added dimension of impact on personality and character structure. When we treat Developmental Trauma, our work tends to be more complex, deeper, and slower than when working with purely Basic Trauma or adult Interpersonal Trauma. Most trauma cases I see are Developmental Trauma cases.
Even in situations where there has been an accident or a rape or war experience, very often there is also a background of childhood trauma.
This results in a more prolonged recovery. If you are treating someone for a recent trauma and recovery is slower than seems reasonable, it may be that there is additional trauma in the background, which can sometimes be discovered through inquiry.
kinds of abuse
Knowing about the different kinds of abuse you might encounter may help you avoid going into shock and getting vicarious PTSD, when you hear peoples' stories.
Many, many children are hit. There is controversy about whether this is at all necessary. Alice Miller, in For Your Own Good, describes the consequences of what she calls "poisonous pedagogy" of the past few centuries, in which parents have justified serious aggression against their children by claiming it is in the child's best interests.
Most of the physical abuse I have seen as a clinician, however, comes in the form of severe beatings, usually unpredictable. It is therefore usually not a form of discipline.
The movie A Boy's Story, depicts physical abuse and its frightening and degrading impact. Physical abuse frightens people and damages their self-esteem.
picture of physical abuse
"It would happen when he'd been drinking. When he was sober, my father was actually easy to get along with. I loved him. But then at night, I'd listen for the door, and when it would slam, I'd know he was drunk. My whole body would freeze, and I'd sit in my room and wait. Sometimes I'd hear him and my mom yelling. Then after awhile I'd hear them fighting. One time he pushed her down the stairs. I felt so terrible. I hated him. But I also feel so ashamed that I didn't do anything about it."
"Could you have done something?"
"I don't know. I was seven." Long pause. "Other times, he'd come into my room, with that terrible look in his eyes. It was like he didn't even see me. He'd pull me off my bed and start whaling on me. One time, he threw me across the room into a wall. I hate him. Maybe it's because of him that I can't get too close to anybody."
Sometimes this is more painful than physical abuse, because its impact is closer to the core.
Parents who belittle, threaten, harass, criticize, intimidate, and rage at their children can leave deep, traumatic scars that seriously warp their development.
I think that most people have some degree of emotional abuse in growing up. The manifestations probably cover most remedies, depending upon severity and kind of abuse. I think it would be too hard to do a group anamnesis, because the kinds of abuse and responses vary too much.
Whether by a stranger or by a family member, sexual abuse seems generally more devastating in its impact than physical abuse.
While physical abuse will usually leave its victim with a deep sense of shame, because they have usually been told that the beatings are their own fault, sexual abuse leaves a deeper level of shame. It is almost always a secret, with severe threats for telling.
Therefore, remembering is often difficult and telling is frightening.
When clients tell you about their abuse history, support for their truth is important in order not to retraumatize them.
picture of sexual abuse
"I can't stand how I feel these days. When the memories first came, I felt so relieved. All the sadness I had always felt just suddenly was explained and now I don't feel that vague horrible depression anymore. But I can't stand being touched right now, even by my husband. He doesn't understand, and I can't get him to understand. I feel so horrible. The other day, my girlfriend and I were talking. The same thing happened to her when she was a little girl. She says all men are like our fathers. I don't like to think that way, but sometimes I think it's true. When my father used to do those things to me, I hated him. But I also loved him. It was confusing. I wanted him to love me. But not that way. He made me feel real bad about myself. Sometimes my husband does too. Especially when he gets mad at me when I don't want to have sex. Sometimes I wish I was dead."
As difficult as it is to accept, there are organized groups of people, pederasts and sadists, who prey upon small children and others.
Many people from all over the world are survivors of abuse by Satanic cults.
Some of them have been born into transgenerational families who have practiced ritualized, sexual sadism. These clients all share similar stories of ritual murder and worse. The abuse is usually prolonged and repetitive and has understandably catastrophic impact on development.
Similar, less horrific abuse appears in other cult and religious settings. It usually involves the deepest level of attempted destruction, the spiritual level, and aims to destroy or otherwise impact the soul.
I have too little experience treating ritual abuse homeopathically. I work a great deal as a therapist in this domain, but it does not lend itself well to combining with homeopathy, because the transference is so deeply complex and difficult in these cases, that taking on another role is too demanding and seems generally inappropriate.
In addition, people who have been ritually abused have usually been drugged by their perpetrators, which generates an additional, complex factor that requires special handling.
If you find yourself treating a client with ritual abuse, I strongly suggest getting consultation from a psychotherapist experienced in treating such trauma, so that you understand more about what you are dealing with.
prototypical case example
Here is an example of a typical case of Developmental Trauma, drawn from numerous cases. A woman comes in with a history of depression, disturbed relationships, and chronic low self-esteem.
As her history unfolds, you discover that she grew up in a family with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father. The mother was emotionally absent. The father was severely narcissistic, and he took advantage of the daughter's vulnerability to develop and perpetuate an incestuous relationship.
She had forgotten about the incest until recently, when the memories began to emerge. Since then, her life has fallen apart. She has difficulty sleeping, her relationship with her partner and friends has disintegrated, and she has difficulty on her job.
She has always been a "caretaker," first of her younger siblings, then later of her friends and her alcoholic partner. She has little sense of her own worth, indeed she never did.
She has a history of sexual promiscuity alternating with sexual aversion. She feels suicidal a lot and has always felt that way. She feels a great deal of despair and anguish underneath. She feels no one has ever been there for her, and in fact, no one has. She has little sense of any possible positive future for herself.
EXAMPLES of rubrics one might use could include:
- Lack of confidence;
- Fear (of others);
- Fear (of being hurt);
- Fear (of being injured)
- Fear (of misfortune);
- Ailments (from anger);
- Ailments (from anxiety);
- Worry, and/ or
REMEDIES one might consider:
One of the fundamental loves, which is the love of living, of self protection is perverted and he longs to dieÖ" (Kent) One of the most profound depression remedies.
When trauma has hit hard and hit long, people often simply do not want to go on.
Trauma crushes the will to live, and one of the few remaining powers people have is to leave. In addition, trauma, because it feels like it contaminates one's very inside, makes people feel that they and their lives are worthless. It is then time to leave.
Its feeling state is "I am crushed and life is too painful to endure."
I think the miasm driving abusive families, when there is violence and/or alcohol is the most destructive and desperate miasm, the Syphilitic.
Syphilinum is the pure homeopathic for this family miasm.
See the movie, Once Were Warriors to observe and feel this miasm at its horrific work. Sankaran describes the miasm as so unable to cope with the situation that it is desperately driven either to kill or to die.
After years of psychotherapy and homeopathic treatment, one client no longer needed therapy after Syph CM.
The inner desperation that came from a childhood of abandonment and physical abuse was healed by this remedy.
The feeling state of Syphilinum is, " There is black rage; this must be over and done!"
Many of the cases a homeopath sees have trauma as part of the picture. Awareness of trauma and its impact may help you to understand the case and select the right remedy.
As usual, careful selection of a remedy that covers the whole case will be the key to your success. With cases with significant trauma, it is helpful to have your client see a psychotherapist adjunctively to help manage the overwhelming feelings that can emerge in the healing process.
For dosing, it is best to start low and to go slow. If you would like to read about the homeopathic treatment of trauma in greater depth, go to:
I could not shake my brother from my thoughts. It can be said that deeply traumatized children grow to be adults who live in the minefield of their own extreme emotions. Plus ca change. During his childhood, I often visited Amedeo in hospital (if my mother's explanations to the clinicians were to be believed, my brother was incorrigibly clumsy). He was, as ever, in traction.
Predators invariably attack those whose behaviour is conspicuous, and my brother had never been a compliant youth or man.
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