Archive for the ‘Assorted’ Category

Going back to basics

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Over the last couple of months, the online Kundalini group has been processing grief.

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Handling grief every day has riled my PTSD, I know this reaction means grief needs more work.

I have taken a break, reverting back to my well-established meditation practice.

No talking, chants, or hand positions, just me, eyes closed, totally focused on the breath, sounds, and opening my heart.

Simple, me alone with my mind, like old times.

The quiet has calmed my intrusive thoughts momentarily, I fully resist thinking anything is permanent.

As they say, back to basics when things fall apart.

If you follow this blog, PTSD and depression is kind of a rollercoaster ride.

One where we can have long, calm, slow, straightaways, flanked by the high crests and terrifying fast descents always lurking in the distance.

Go farther down the wormhole and there are giant loops of intolerable confusion and anxiety.

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I have a momentary pause, a peaceful calm that only visits for short periods, lately.

As always, when the pain and suffering seem unbearable, that is when we never give in, never give up.

Some days my job is to endure ptsd and depression until it lifts a little.

We will always have issues, hopefully, we will take action appropriately.
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Do we ever break free of childhood abuse and habits?

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I find the isolation and lack of autonomy the most damaging scars from my childhood.

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My father was a puppetmaster, he told me who I would be, what I would believe in, and who I could be or could not be friends with.

He controlled the depth of all friendships, and others he did not like.

All the stats say community, having support is excellent for healing.

I have no history of community except for team sports and I guess work.

My dad isolated me for greater control, whether it damaged me or not, a narcissist does not give a shit.

I could not function inside my house, how would I survive the outside world.

My dad assumed part of my being, autonomy was too risky for him.

No way he would even let a thought of going against his will survive.

His hair-trigger volatility and penchant for violence against me were always loaded.

To this day I struggle to know who I am or repair my damaged ego.

Abused kids are rarely trusting or open to others, many warm feelings are unknown to us.

What a dilemma!

As an old retired guy, reaching out has become much harder, my trauma erupting has brought suffering and fear.
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Writing a blog brings many emotions for me.

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Reading some of my latest posts, I am embarrassed, shocked at how hopeless my words convey.

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Deep depression does not look good in person or on paper.

Dealing with my childhood abuse, I have done a great job of calming my nervous system and integrating significant parts of my trauma.

I guess I handle anxiety, the firing of my fight or flight mechanism, the symptoms of hypervigilance, fear, and avoidance better than depression.

Ptsd brought desperation but it was for short periods, it was a battle with Ptsd.

My strength is handling the physical challenges, the pain, the injuries, my vulnerability is the emotional betrayals and losses.

In my 60’s, Guilian Beret left me paralyzed from the neck down, ICU for two months, followed by another two months in rehab.

Doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists all said I would be in a wheelchair for a minimum of a year and possibly two.

Ten days later I got up from that wheelchair and took three very shaky steps.

The doctors and nurses were stunned, I was a devoted meditator and a former pro athlete, this was my element.

As accomplished at physical challenges as I am, it highlights my weakness with emotional betrayal and depression.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and then we have our blind spots.

Betrayal and depression are my vulnerabilities.

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For abused kids: Why are we on this Planet?

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I have questions that will never be answered, so many of us out there.

Why am I on this planet? Am I paying for a bad past life? Abused kids do not understand why we were born into violence and abuse?

Old age seems as unwelcoming as birth for this abused kid.

As my body deteriorates, my mind slows, becomes forgetful and weaker, my chronic pain increases.

My emotional and physical pain are out of control.

Childhood trauma has an encore for me, the most damaging experiences return with a vengeance.

I do not understand why I suffer, why my mind will not let go of its most painful event, why nothing helps.

Abuse has robbed my brain of wiring in a supportive and safe environment.

Life carries far less value for abused kids.

I do not feel good about life, what has happened to me, how I have been treated, how I have suffered because of others.

When we experience loss, our being is wounded, we sink, recoil, isolate and try to numb the pain.

We have difficulty enjoying life, trauma fills our being with danger and shame.

People have done things to me I will never forget, a mate shaming me publicly has left a permanent stain.

After a horrendous childhood, we are vulnerable to being used by people.

It happened to me in a way that brought suicidal thoughts, feelings of not wanting to be alive.

Who understands?

Why am I on this planet?

My hopelessness embarrasses me but I share anyway.

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I favor Ptsd over Depression

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PTSD has energy, cortisol and adrenaline, fear and danger, it’s much more exciting and enjoyable than deep depression.

Depression sucks the life out of you, for abused kids it is devastating.

My legs have stopped moving while hiking from depressive thoughts and emotions.

PTSD, I can engage and battle, calm my fight or flight mechanism while observing my trauma.

Depression, I have no answer for the shame it carries.

It is an awful mental disorder, it drained the little peace of mind my life enjoyed.

Seriously abused kids get crushed by betrayal.

We fear the outside world, when we get betrayed from inside our circle, life collapses.

We will never understand how a mate betrays us, a permanent scar will make trusting another impossible.

It’s such a narrow and risky existence, death does not scare me, being ridiculed or betrayed scares me.

Death before dishonor rings true in my world, my father drilled that into me.

I have experienced a betrayal that bad, publicly shamed for a mate’s actions.

What is your worst betrayal since childhood?

Is depression or PTSD harder for you?
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Our behavior and habits are linked to _____?

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Answer: PTSD!!!!!!

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Our habits and traits are linked to childhood abuse.

Many people have told me I never smile.

Abused kids never smile much, we are way too serious, we need to spot and be prepared for danger.

We carry fear from an early age, vulnerable fear, we are helpless as kids.

This unsettling way of being has always been with me, hard-wired as my brain developed. I know no different, there has never been a happy go lucky me.

I am skeptical and wary of everyone, hard to get close to me.

For me, I will never be in a cult, join any organization for any reason, or follow anyone anywhere no matter how magnetic of a personality.

That’s child abuse metastasizing into adult behavior.

I know normal people think healing is reachable for the most seriously abused kids.

I would ask them to explain the number of drug addicts, prostitutes, and criminals behind bars, they are not counting.

Oh, we could add numerous mental disorders, suicides, cancer, and domestic abuse as part of the damage.

I never felt at ease, safe to let go, around people, criticism was all I received from my caregiver.

I did not know what support or nurturing was, like many kids we lived inside our heads, the only safe place.

Conditioned love is what I was exposed to, the better I played the less I got beat and criticized.

Failure was worse than death, my father beat that into me.

Bosses have said what a grinder you are.

It is about keeping extremely busy, I was running from something unknown at the time, eventually, the demon had a name, Ptsd.

I thought I was so flawed, there was a need to far outwork everyone just to be equal.

Have you not felt broken at times?

We avoid people, stay around home, if we venture out we are looking for privacy, seclusion, the last thing we engage in is a crowd.

I have little need beyond a few valued attachments.

I have almost no need in expanding my tight circle.

I can see my childhood abuse in the way I live.

How about you?

Notice any behaviors different than normal adults.

How about your thought patterns, sense of safety, and danger?
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Depression for Dummies

. Smile, greet people with a little enthusiasm, say you feeling great, depression can hide in that smokescreen.

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Learn to sit in the middle of your depression, observe the feelings without assigning emotions.

Long-term Depression matures, it stabilizes, then builds resistance and strength with duration.

Realize PTSD and depression are two separate animals.

PTSD brings fear, intense anxiety from stored abuse, it is a highly active disorder with volatile energy.

Depression is the opposite, it rarely brings high energy or fires our fight it flight mechanism.

It lacks energy and drive, depression sucks the life out of us while PTSD scares the shit out of us.

Ptsd is comorbid with depression, they go hand and hand, but are completely different disorders.

It’s like a game of ping pong when both are active.

I would much rather deal with Ptsd symptoms than depression.

If you watch older soldiers or homicide detectives, many have an event, a crime scene they will never forget.

It is emblazoned in their psychic, the best efforts to bury this trauma fail hopelessly.

You can not unring a bell. How many hours have been spent trying to change an event, change our behavior, our response, our thought process?

I have an event in my life long-buried, that has surfaced.

It is emblazoned inside, carries intense shame, as it runs like a movie on its own.

I feel trapped, unable to escape, my PTSD skills do little to heal it.

Ten years of therapy, meditation, and daily practice have improved my PTSD, my depression resists.

It is tied to an event that haunts me, mine is different than a sadistic murder or the savagery of war, but it carries the same fear and damage.

Ptsd brings such intense energy, fight or flight mechanism firing, high levels of anxiety.

Depression sucks the energy out of us.

Depression can save lots of money, we do not want to do anything or go anywhere.

I hide whether it is ptsd or depression.

One you avoid at all, costs, the other you seem to lose the ability to resist. . .

How much shame can a person endure?

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How……… DEEP…….does depression sink for a seriously abused kid, who reaches 70, weakened from chronic pain and PTSD, damaged to his core?

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I find myself beyond shame at times, beyond any familiar place, desires have no oxygen, life has become a wasteland.

Things are broken internally, worry, fear, and worthlessness haunt me.

I celebrate when darkness comes, in bed alone, all covered up, feeling safe that another day has been navigated.

It’s all inside my damaged brain.

I am broken.

Ptsd brought fear and intense anxiety, much different than depression, which links with my shame to power my destructive behaviors.

It’s like a deep well, a claustrophobic narrowness with no bottom, no light and little hope.

I have no explanation for the cruelty of birth and people.

Some of us abused kids have suffered a lifetime from the damage done.

We live a life of avoidance, non attachment, danger is a constant companion.

My life is entirely irrational, my mind has been fighting a war inside my head.

The physical damage has faded, the betayals never leave.

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Emotional Regulation: Yikes!!!!!!

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Excerpt: From Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD

“The Body Keeps the Score”

“When trauma emanates from within the family, children experience a crisis of loyalty and organize their behavior to survive within their families. Being prevented from articulating what they observe and experience, traumatized children will organize their behavior around keeping the secret, deal with their helplessness with compliance or defiance, and acclimate in any way they can to entrapment in abusive or neglectful situations.

Being left to their own devices leaves chronically traumatized children with deficits in emotional self-regulation. This results in problems with self-definition as reflected by a lack of a continuous sense of self, poorly modulated affect and impulse control, including aggression against self and others, and uncertainty about the reliability and predictability of others, expressed as distrust, suspiciousness, and problems with intimacy, resulting in social isolation.

Chronically traumatized children tend to suffer from distinct alterations in states of consciousness, including amnesia, hypermnesia, dissociation, depersonalization and derealization, flashbacks and nightmares of specific events, school problems, difficulties in attention regulation, disorientation in time and space, and sensorimotor developmental disorders. The children often are literally are “out of touch” with their feelings, and often have no language to describe internal states.

When a child lacks a sense of predictability, he or she may experience difficulty developing of object constancy and inner representations of their own inner world or their surroundings. As a result, they lack a good sense of cause and effect and of their own contributions to what happens to them.

Without internal maps to guide them, they act, instead of plan, and show their wishes in their behaviors, rather than discussing what they want. Unable to appreciate clearly who they or others are, they have problems enlisting other people as allies on their behalf. Other people are sources of terror or pleasure but are rarely fellow human beings with their own sets of needs and desires.

These children also have difficulty appreciating novelty. Without a map to compare and contrast, anything new is potentially threatening. What is familiar tends to be experienced as safer, even if it is a predictable source of terror.

Traumatized children rarely discuss their fears and traumas spontaneously. They also have little insight into the relationship between what they do, what they feel, and what has happened to them. They tend to communicate the nature of their traumatic past by repeating it in the form of interpersonal en- actments, both in their play and in their fantasy lives.

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PTSD has a physical part and an emotional part

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When my childhood trauma ignited in my mid 50’s, the physical side of PTSD exploded along with these nasty intrusive thoughts.

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The physical, my fight or flight mechanism erupted 10 to 15 times a day. Our nervous system has another controller, another entity that can take over the operation now.

He/She is called PTSD.

My first goal focused on calming the fight or flight mechanism, trying to shut down the PTSD explosions.

We need our fight or flight mechanism for normal danger, for defense and protection, not for the abstract danger of PTSD.

After we have calmed this adrenal stress response, what remains are the symptoms, dissociation, hypervigilance, avoidance, flashbacks, emotional deregulation, startle response, difficulty concentrating, sleep issues, distortion of time, and unlimited intrusive thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts remind me of a Gatlin gun firing, they are much faster and much more numerous than normal.

Time spent ruminating in the past or trying to predict the future fuels PTSD. It is similar to pouring jet fuel onto a fire.

Dissociation is the kingpin of all these symptoms.

PTSD thrives when we leave the present moment, grasping intrusive thoughts in the past leads to suffering.

PTSD is confusing, time is distorted, usually, we have a beginning and a middle for our trauma narrative, the lack of an ending is the issue.

Healing is not a cognitive journey. Words will not heal us.

Our trauma is stored on the side of the brain that contains no words, no good or bad, no right or wrong.

Trauma is stored at the time it occurs with our abilities at that age.

Childhood trauma is stored at a young age without the brain being developed, so our abilities are limited.

Certain parts of the brain needed to heal are not yet online and functioning.

Our goal is to bring all old trauma into the present moment, so we can integrate it.
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