Posts Tagged ‘ACCEPTANCE’

A Crooked Path

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For a decade, in therapy, working to heal from childhood therapy, I improved, however PTSD still thrived.

On my own, I meditated, worked diligently to let go and create a healthy, worthy “Ego”.

I got stuck when a terrible betrayal resurfaced. That me felt shamed and worthless.

My spiritual teacher addressed this issue for me. She pointed out being raised in toxic masculinity, being a real man (Ego) defined me.

We are never responsible for others behavior, but toxic masculinity gives us rigid guidelines of behavior.

Instead of creating a new “Ego”, which never worked for me, she told me to just throw this old one away.

Know that young Marty assumed a flawed mask of strength and power, which brought weakness and fear.

Your suffering is tied to this rigid “Ego”.

Throwing away an “Ego” that existed from my earliest memories is so soothing for my being.

This small adjustment feels like freedom, a huge burden has melted away.

How can such a small shift make this big of an impact?

We never know what will make a difference. Hopeless and helpless have disappeared

Now, let’s see if this lasts and another impediment is removed.

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The Mask You Live In

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A documentary about male toxic masculinity.

http://therepresentationproject.org/film/the-mask-you-live-in-film/

This is eye opening for me. What I have always taken for granted, what I believed a man was supposed to be, has been the cause of many, many issues.

Factor in my father’s special sauce, I needed to be twice as good as all other male ego’s on a field of competition.

To be that dominate Ego, all social interaction at school had to be consistent.

My mask was contrary to my personality. I just wanted to fit in, to have friends, to be secure and accepted.

Baseball was a hybrid battle for my dad with tactics and psychological warfare.

No crying in baseball, you never show weakness, always play hurt, and never back down. You win and dominate.

With a healthy male ego, my college betrayal would not be about me or my masculinity.

Wow, that seems ground breaking.

I wanted to share this as I dig deeper into this subject.

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My Spiritual Teacher poses questions for me

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My spiritual teacher says, my “Ego” did his job extremely well and helped me survive childhood. Wow.

Thank him and soothe him, do not battle and interrogate him.

She talks about our divine masculine and feminine sides.

Funny, she says my feminine side is active, look at my empathy not repeating what my dad did to me. Interesting concept.

Had to digest those words for a while.

Maybe having the abuse I endured through childhood, gave me a better life than being in another environment. Her words bring ideas I have never imagined.

I realize all my PTSD symptoms are directly related to my “Ego”.

If I meditate, focus intently, my PTSD goes away, along with my “Ego” for a while.

My era is filled with toxic masculinity, a denial of emotions being thought of as strength.

That adds up to a flawed “Ego”, an intolerant, angry, anxious guy.

I need to filter my “Ego” through my heart. Cleanse it of the damage it accumulated navigating through childhood trauma.

Rarely, if at all, has therapy addressed my heart.

When the heart is in observer role, we are at a deeper, spiritual level.

This all resonates with me.

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Stored trauma has an irrational voice

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Feeling like I had improved, my symptoms were calmer, my days freer, life was pleasant for a two year period.

This improvement came after 8 years of daily work and practice.

Now a long hidden trauma exploded into my consciousness.

This stored trauma has changed the narrative of my life.

This single event changed my life, the narrative my trauma shouts at me.

My Intrusive trauma thoughts are irrational, incomplete and violent. I know this is not close to reality, highly biased and distorted.

In reality, it destroyed trust, the rest of my life continued.

PTSD is all powerful when we feed it, he can consume all of me.

I have tools that limit the impact of PTSD, also a safe space while meditating, anywhere, anytime.

Expecting my life to be free of Ptsd or easy brings only loss and misery.

Accepting what our life is, all of it, good and bad, is the road less traveled.

Other roads are just dead ends or detours to being stuck.

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A follower Rudid96 asks about the See-Saw quality of PTSD

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The see-saw quality of PTSD: Traumas ability to enter our consciousness when he/she feels like it.

PTSD demonstrates separate qualities, a stand alone power source and a tight relationship with our negative emotions.

My image of PTSD is a roller coaster, a big, tall monster of a ride.

In real life my lows are much deeper than the highs.

https://pixabay.com/users/openclipart-vectors-30363/

The highs are always guarded, not trusting what the world has in store next.

Explanation: In childhood I had no control, no impact on what would happen to me.

Life since childhood carries that harmful unknown, out there, just beyond my visual reach.

Our traumatized mind scours the future incessantly looking to avoid more damage.

Such a waste of time, it happens automatically without directed thought from me.

My behavior has never caused my trauma, so I had no control over the outcome of my PTSD.

My personality was hard wired feeling like this..

When Trauma erupts, ignoring it is quite impossible, so we either avoid it or work to improve it.

This dominates life, I avoided, hiding in my dark garage, the only flaw was bringing my traumatized 🧠 brain with me.

I isolated physically for six months, my trauma filled brain (mind) still dominated life, if I was alone or amongst 30,000.

Back to basics, accept and try to release, exercise to deplete the cortisol or meditate.

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I have read that trauma (PTSD, C-PTSD) is an unfinished play

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I have read that trauma (PTSD, C-PTSD) is an unfinished play, it has a beginning and a middle but lacks an ending, closure.

Maybe this is why some horrific events never die inside us.

Cognitively we search to understand why, sometimes how, and always look to escape the unescapable, our past.

Similar to our childhoods, escape was impossible, mine was a prison without bars.

From my earliest childhood I have never felt calm, safe or worthy.

I was very accomplished and physically powerful, all that was a facade.

In my mind, I thought certain accomplishments could bring me joy, wellbeing.

Chasing anything external will not lesson PTSD’s impact.

The demon lives inside us, no one else has access.

Others can help but our path to improve is inward, and intuitive.

I have helped a few improve from PTSD, my involvement was technique, experience, tools, direction and enthusiasm, they did the work on their own.

In times like this, when nothing seems to work, when the mind churns up the thought, this is hopeless, we need to keep our activity and determination filled with energy and action.

I have felt hopeless, helpless many times on my journey, this is the time we find out if we do have courage.

As long as we do not quit in our lowest moments, do not give up, we will survive.

The world will never see what trauma has done to our minds.

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Part two: What is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Pixabay: sahinsezerdincer

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Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is a developmental trauma disorder (DTD) which is wildly different than post-traumatic stress disorder that normally, but not always, forms in adulthood.

The trauma model states that children who experience chronic sexual, psychological, physical abuse and neglect develop CPTSD.

However, it also forms in kids who suffer slavery, human trafficking, working in sweatshops, war or survivors of concentration camp environments and cults.

The trauma which causes this disorder may also include having experienced betrayal, defeat, and shame.

The reason children are vulnerable to forming CPTSD is that children do not have the cognitive or emotional skills to understand what is happening to them.

Since the abuse and neglect, they are experiencing is normally perpetrated by people they know and trust, to admit to themselves that these same people want to hurt them is akin to emotional suicide so they use other means to manage the trauma.

The psychological implications are enormous leaving the child with a complex mess of their core beliefs about who they are what they are.

This tangled mess becomes even more complicated by flashbacks, nightmares and other symptoms that are worse in adulthood.

Often, children experiencing interpersonal traumatic events experience a conundrum in their minds and some choose to dissociate the events away.

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Reflections

Pixabay: sasint

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My daughter says I try to do things heroically at times.

That stung!

Instead of just healing, I ran a mindfulness group and a blog. Does she have a point, some truth in her statement.

I am guilty, oh my.

In the chronic pain group of 15, I threw my pills away and started hiking uphill strenuously. My therapist thought that was dramatic.

Maybe so, but it worked and I helped one other quit most of his meds, the rest suffered miserably.

Wow am I a drama king?

I do not apologize for my actions there. How many chronic pain patients quit their pain killers on their own?

Not many.

When I was paralyzed from guillian beret, in pain, in rehab, I refused to pace myself. They always preached, do not overtrain.

I said no, you have no idea where overtraining was at.

Arrogant as hell, I said I am an ex pro athlete and a meditator, I am different.

That embarrasses me, such arrogance, it is how athletes compete beyond their abilities.

I did their routine and then put my legs under the biggest load they could handle.

From being told I would be paralyzed, in that wheelchair a minimum of one, maybe two years, needing special chairs and nurses, ten days later I took three steps.

They were surprised. I told them if my upper legs fired, the rest of my body would follow. It happened.

To me this was not heroic. They put me in a gym, called it physical therapy, with an important goal, my life, and nothing else to occupy my mind.

Many of my peers, pro athletes could have done the same thing. We are trained to handle a load like this.

I am excellent at physical challenges, PTSD is my kryptonite.

Our greatest challenges come from our weaknesses people.

This one is kicking my ass lately.

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PTSD: Things that are automatic; Worry

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Pinterest: Zachary Phillips

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Worry.

Worry starts way before thought for me. I know the reasons, know that severe trauma in childhood impacts our genes and undeveloped brain.

My mind worries subconsciously. I have observed it, felt how even in happy times, I never felt safe or free.

I guess it stems from the inevitability of being a prisoner, I could not escape my father, I was trapped, isolated, helpless.

My father told me athletically I needed to be twice as good as everyone else, so no one would question him as coach.

With his constant criticism, this mantra evolved into I need to be twice as good as others just to be normal. Adding to this, school brought ridicule from having a big nose.

Nowhere was safe and free in childhood.

I tried to be perfect everyday. It was the only way I could survive.

That is immense pressure on an extremely unworthy kid.

Worry was always close, always percolating, always with a level of hypervigilance, on guard, life was never safe.

In childhood my worries were accurate, and every week there would be violent beatings and criticism.

When my PTSD is active, danger is alive, close and worry becomes acute.

My work, my goal is twofold. First unplug worry when it surfaces, second change the subconscious patterns.

Exploring my inner world has revealed a mind that is partially hijacked from PTSD.

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Can Trauma Be Passed Down From One Generation to the Next? There’s some pretty strong evidence that parental trauma, like extreme stress (we’re looking right at you coronavirus) can alter how genes are passed down.

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Karina Margit Erdelyi:

We are living in strange times, with much of the world under quarantine for the novel coronavirus—and that’s precisely the kind of stress that may impact future offspring according to some scientists.A growing body of research suggests that trauma (like from extreme stress or starvation among many other things) can be passed from one generation to the next.

Here’s how: Trauma can leave a chemical mark on a person’s genes, which can then be passed down to future generations. This mark doesn’t cause a genetic mutation, but it does alter the mechanism by which the gene is expressed. This alteration is not genetic, but epigenetic. 

We spoke with Dr. Chris Mason, Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, with appointments at the Tri-Institutional Program in Computational Biology and Medicine between Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University, and Director of the Mason Lab. He shared that epigenetics, in simplified terms, is the study of the biological control mechanisms of DNA—the light switches that turn genes on or off. What does that mean? In essence: epigenetics control how or why your genes are expressed.”

What would have seemed preposterous 20 years ago has become a fast-emerging field of study. Today the idea that a person’s experience could alter their biology, and behavior of their children and grandchildren has gained serious traction. Animal and some smaller human studies have shown that exposure to stressors like immense stress or cold can trigger metabolic changes in subsequent generations—and we may just be living in such a time as we grapple with the mounting COVID-19 crisis.

So, What Exactly Are These Epigenetic Studies?

Differences among groups who had gone through extreme physical and psychological stress, like Holocaust survivors, those who were born to parents who lived through “The Dutch Hunger Winter,” and sons of Confederate prisoner-of-war soldiers in the American Civil War, all make the case the most clearly, but they’re not the whole picture. There has also been a lot of work in the lab focused on this phenomenon, and that work really accelerated after The Human Genome Project (HGP) was completed in 2003. Here’s a look at what scientists have learned from both case studies and experiments.

How Extreme Situations Have Impacted Offspring

Mason shared that the field of epigenetics gained real traction about a decade ago, when scientists published seminal research on the Dutch Hunger Winter, an extended period of famine that took place towards the end of World War II when the Nazis blocked food supplies in October 1944, thrusting much of the Netherlands into famine. When the Dutch were liberated in May 1945, more than 20,000 had died of starvation. Pregnant women were particularly vulnerable; and the famine impacted the unborn children for the rest of their lives.

Scientists found that those who had been in utero during the famine were a few pounds heavier than average. (The thinking goes that the mothers, because they were starving, automatically quieted a gene in their unborn children involved in burning the body’s fuel.) When the children reached middle age, they had higher LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They also suffered higher rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and schizophrenia. When scientists looked into why, they found that these children carried a specific chemical mark—an epigenetic signature—on one of their genes.

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Dr. Rachel Yehuda, Director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, conducted a 2015 study on the children of 40 Holocaust survivors.  She found that they had epigenetic changes to a gene linked to their levels of cortisol, a hormone involved in the stress response. She also found a distinctive pattern of DNA methylation, another epigenetic marker. The study concluded that both parents and unborn children were affected on a genetic level.

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