Navigating life with PTSD

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PTSD tries to warn us, so we never experience another trauma similar to a past one.

It is a haywire defense mechanism that causes more trouble in the current culture.

When we were hunter-gatherers we needed to avoid predators at all costs.

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https://pixabay.com/users/merio-1480566/

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Now our traumas are more societal and not life or death.

Our triggers are ghosts of past abuse or crisis, none of my triggers are dangerous, or pose any physical threat to my wellbeing.

Why do they hold such power then?

That’s how PTSD works.

Childhood abuse wires the brain differently, so spotting danger is the dominant skill used first in every new situation.

Think about that. Everytime you enter a room, a store, an auditorium, first thing is to check for danger.

We scan for anything that may ignite a trigger first, then we remain on guard instead of relaxing.

Hard to find an opportunity when we are trying to protect ourselves from harm, perceived harm.

We tiptoe into a room, trying to sense danger or safety while normal people saunter in calmly, confidently.

You can see how much our thoughts differ.

Spotting danger shuts down many attachment scenarios.

We are rigid, closed off, and afraid of what might happen.

We think and try to avoid, then navigate back to safety, while normal people talk, relax, enjoy, attach.

How do you navigate people, life?
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3 responses to this post.

  1. It is hard to share some of these things it embarrassed me writing down my fears and distrust if people

    My ability to distract myself and be productive has waned at 70

    All of life comes back to you whether you like it or not

    Maybe one day they can erase our memory

    I would give all mine up to erase my childhood and college

    Fear and shame have been part of my life since childhood

    I know no different

    How do I explain my thoughts and life to a normal person

    How could they ever understand?

  2. Posted by rudid96 on March 26, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    This is the point, one cannot explain the deep trauma. The indelible pain, reflective anxiety, shame, and unworthiness have marbled into the soul. Intellectually it may be grasped but NEVER is it felt. I truly believe, trauma long-haulers must rely upon and regularly practice a wide variety of skills. Whether it’s anxiety, explosive anger, depression, or all of the above, healing is only as far as the practice.

    Speaking of which, Mindful Marty, you shared the words for self-affirmation in your mirror. Could you repost that? I cannot look in the mirror and say that BUT I CAN use them while tapping. – Thank you

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