DL Fowler's Blog

Lincoln’s Blackouts

Lincoln’s law partner, Herndon, described episodes when he’d find Lincoln sitting in a catatonic state from which he couldn’t be aroused. Often there’d be a book of poetry in his lap.

No one has any idea of what went on in Lincoln’s head during those episodes. He never talked about them.

One possibility is that were flashbacks of an earlier trauma that his body was defending himself against. That happens to people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Lincoln suffered several traumatic moments early on. At 7 he almost drowned, at 9 he suffered a life-threatening head injury, and months later helped bury his mother, at 10 his father left him and his sister to weather a brutal winter unattended and on the brink of starvation, as a teenager his father beat him often and when he was just past 20 his first love died. Lincoln’s emotional responses to these and other events are explored in Lincoln Raw-a biographical novel.

Maybe his psyche just went into overload from processing flashbacks of too many traumas at once.

Would we let someone with that much emotional baggage be President today?

Hating Teresa Armato

Posted in Abuse, Psychology, Psychopaths, PTSD, Victimization by DLFowler on July 2, 2015

Why do women prefer to hate Teresa Armato, rather than face the fact that she needs help?

Is it that they don’t want to admit that women like Armato exist? Is it that she doesn’t fit a stereotype? Are they afraid of her?

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Building Blocks of Abraham Lincoln’s Personality

 During a decade of research into the life of Abraham Lincoln, I’ve become convinced that history is not about events. It’s about people. People cause the events that we call history. They are its roots. As such, we must study people to understand our past and learn the lessons they can teach.

I’ve captured my understanding of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Raw—a biographical novel. It’s a journey into his heart and mind, beginning with his boyhood, based on stories told by his contemporaries as well as stories he told about himself.

Following is an outline of my discoveries about Abraham Lincoln and how his personality emerged and the force of his character impacted history. It addresses four areas of inquiry that are essential to understanding one of the most pivotal personalities to set foot on the world stage:

  • What was Lincoln like out of the womb?
  • What preferences grew out of Lincoln’s innate personality?
  • How did Lincoln’s early life influence to his personality development?
  • How did Lincoln’s personality influence his values?

I hope you find the information enlightening, and welcome any contributions or questions you might want to add.

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Lincoln suffered from PTSD?

Abe Lincoln was anything but normal in many ways, including behavior that demonstrated hyper-vigilance, suicidal thoughts, exposing himself to mortal dangers, extreme emotional swings, unexpected eruptions, etc.

After almost drowning in a creek at 7 years old, his mother died when he was 9. He sat on her grave during a storm to be sure her body didn’t float up out of the ground. He had a similar reaction a dozen years later when Ann Hathaway, his first (maybe only) true love died.

During the Civil War he sometimes ventured to the front lines and was nearly wounded. Once he stood on the ramparts of a fort, wearing a top hat, giving Rebel soldiers a 7 foot target to shoot at. He even talked about suicide during Cabinet meetings.

Twice as a young man he was on suicide watch. Once he subjected himself to torturous medical treatments that were the equivalent of self mutilation.

All of these behaviors could be symptomatic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Lincoln Raw-a biographical novel explores the possibility. Read it and decide for yourself.

Lincoln Scholarship – an evolution

Writing about Lincoln is tricky, in part because today’s author must reconcile three distinct periods of Lincoln scholarship that take different slants on who he was and what he believed.

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The Hunger Games & PTSD

I just finished reading Mockingjay the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I could say something about how Suzanne Collins kept the story moving at breakneck speed, or how immediate a story can be when told in first person (even better in present tense). I could even complain about the graphic violence, but that complaint is only valid when it’s gratuitous. Here it wasn’t. It was just the unvarnished truth about human beings. But, I digress…

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Lincoln’s Tragedies

I promised to post this a long time ago. Now the wait is over. Lincoln was no failure (see The Myth of Lincoln’s Failures). But he did …

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The Myth of Lincoln’s Failures

Posted in failures, Inspiration, Lincoln, Lincoln Raw, Lincoln's Psychology, Psychology, PTSD, Themes by DLFowler on April 13, 2013

There’s a common myth that Abraham Lincoln experienced a lot of failures before he was elected president.

Truth is …

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Was Lincoln an ‘S’ or ‘N’ on Myers-Briggs?

Here’s a revealing insight from William Herndon, Lincoln’s law partner who was possibly his closest personal relationship between 1844-1860. It gives us a peek into the way Lincoln processed information in making decisions.

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Lincoln’s ‘fatal 1st of Jan’ry’

Posted in Lincoln Raw, Lincoln's Psychology, Psychology, Research by DLFowler on January 1, 2013

Lincoln called New Year’s Day 1841 that ‘fatal 1st.’ He had just dishonored himself by breaking his engagement (a legal contract) with Mary Todd a few weeks before New Years Day when on that holiday his closest friend announced his intention to propose to Matilda Edwards (on whom Lincoln had a crush – an over whom he’d acted foolishly. On top of that, Jan 1, 1841 was the day the State of Illinois defaulted on a large debt Lincoln had led the legislature in approving. He believed his political career was finished.

I guess it’s never over ’till it’s over.