Welcome to Pavlov’s House,

In the midst of the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II, the Russian soldier Sgt. Yakov Pavlov was given orders to hold a four story apartment building along the Volga River.  The building was of great strategic importance, as it overlooked a large open square which dominated a large portion of the city.  Sgt. Pavlov was the acting commander of an understrength 25 man platoon.  On the 27th of September, 1942 Pavlov was ordered to fortify the building, and hold it to the last man and the last bullet.

Nicknamed “Pavlov’s House”, Sgt. Pavlov had double lines of barbed wire and trenches constructed around the building.  Every window was outfitted with a machine gun and PTSR-41 Anti-Tank rifles were placed on the roof.  Several times a day for the next two months the Germans would attack Pavlov’s house while the Soviets fired from the windows, basement and roof.  Hundreds upon hundreds of German soldiers were mowed down.  The anti-tank rifles were useless against the German tanks head on, however Pavlov and his men found that if they let the tanks come to within 25 meters, from the 4th floor the rifles could get a shot at the tanks thin top armor.  After several days of constant siege, Pavlov and his men found that they would have to take time during lulls of the battle, they would have to clean up the square, as the Germans would use blown up tanks and piles of bodies for cover.

Day after day the Germans attacked, and day after day Pavlov and his men held out.  They even survived artillery bombardments and air strikes.  At one point, the Germans even managed to enter the building, with both sides fighting over levels of the building and even individual rooms over several days.  Regardless, Pavlov and his men held.

By the time Pavlov and his men were relieved on the 25th of November, Pavlov’s house was nothing more than a smoking ruin and Pavlov’s platoon was reduced to only 12 men.  Pavlov himself was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, and Two Orders of the Red Star.  Pavlov’s house came to came to symbolize the overall resistance of the Soviet people, who continued to fight no matter how bad things got, and who would take a hard punch only to return with an even harder blow.  Welcome to Pavlov’s house, and fuck you.

itsomgitsgreenblogging  asked:

I would love to see you break down Shin-ah's personal trauma. I was rereading through chapter 49, and yeah. To me Shin-ah seems to be showing the signs of PTSD, but idk, I'm not claiming anything beyond a plebeian knowledge of psychology. I would love to see your take on it. :)

I have thought about it, but Shinah is really, really difficult. Neglect does some of the cruelest things to the developing brain. The closest RL case I can think of is of a young woman called Genie. She was so severely neglected as a child that by the age of 13 she hadn’t developed spoken language (hence why I thought of Shinah). However, in her case she is mentally retarded. Now the big question that no one can answer: was she MR because she was severely neglected, or was she severely neglected because she was MR? 

So if Shinah walked into a counseling session, the first thing I would want to assess was his cognitive developmental level. The most likely scenarios for his lack of language are 1. developmental delay, 2. severe anxiety, 3. severe autism, 4.something else. 

So this is somewhat where I get stopped with Shinah. Personally, I work with sex trafficking survivors, so traumatic experiences and complex trauma I have the background knowledge for, but I’ve not studied much on working with MR clients or the Autism Spectrum. But, if it’s a developmental delay then there’s two options I’d want to pursue: is he delayed because he is MR, or is he delayed because of a lack of social learning? Understanding Shinah would really depend on the answer to that question.

Autism is also not my area, so I’d need to a lot more research.

Now if it’s severe anxiety I could speak a little more to it. 

A brain that develops under trauma (both Shinah and Jaeha) actually develops differently than an average brain. People develop an unbalanced reward/punishment system. So someone in a healthy home, like baby Femme knew that if she did the thing her parents asked, she would be rewarded with positive social contact (ie, “good job Femme, we’re so proud of you!”) which created the reward system that pleasing people will cause the people to reward Femme and make her also feel pleased. In an abusive system, that connection is never established, so baby Shinah may have done something to please a villager and received a negative social contact (ie, avoidance of physical/eye contact, rude names, fear) so his brain would never connect pleasing people to a reward. So, baby Shinah then has to find other things to fill that reward need. Western people typically fill that with drugs and/or alcohol. Shinah is maybe more along the lines of feeding his reward system by seeking to appease his community (avoiding the villagers, feeding squirrel Ao, bringing Kija the fish).  

Childhood abuse also stops the brain from developing the ability to take something from your context, and use it to formulate a future plan. Basically, abuse can stop you from understanding the long term consequences of your actions. You typically see lots of impulsive decisions, often with negative consequences (think jumping in a cold mountain river to catch a fish, while still wearing all your clothes, or jumping out of a building to catch your friend who can fly). 

So that’s more the consequences of abuse (and there are a whole lot more). The anxiety (which would include PTSD/PTSR symptoms) is going to have more individual of a manifestation. I don’t have a whole lot more time today, but it is something I’d like to look into for his character, and I think this current statue arch may reveal more things about it. 

The other place I’d look for Shinah is to compare him to the profile of a Child Soldier. Shinah enjoying murdering people (Ch 51) is a huge deal. Typically, in child soldiers we see an inability to integrate into society as well as them not being accepted by their community. We see difficulty with person to person interaction and building relationships. We also see a lack of certain kinds of empathy. We see enjoyment of harming other people. All of that seems to fit Shinah. 

Well, I’m going to create a draft about Shinah. It may take me a few weeks to finish it (RL is about to get pretty busy), but it’s started. This post was really more of my rambling and initial thoughts/reactions to Shinah. 

I will say, that even though Papa Ao was not the most stable of care takers, he probably saved Shinah’s life. Severely neglected infants often die before childhood. In addition, that is where Shinah would develop the resilience to survive the rest of his traumatic childhood.