Posts Tagged ‘ACCEPTANCE’

Things I own, permanent things

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On my arduous journey with childhood trauma, I have found a few constants, things that are permanent, only a few.

Life is complex, things we thought vital in our youth, fade in importance as we age.

Things I coveted have changed in value, possessions get damaged, stolen or worn out. Status, beauty, and health all deteriorate with time. My trophies took enormous effort, grueling competitiveness to attain, now they collect dust out of sight.

What seemed to hold ultimate happiness, disappoints quickly, then fades to the next challenge.

How many times have we chased things, college, career, status, fame etc. searching for happiness, only to find nothing behind it.

The band that dreams of a miracle hit, expecting lasting happiness, finds intense pressure in a cutthroat business to write more hits quickly, instead.

The greatest, most expensive meal in the world, turns to hunger in six hours.

Fulfilling desire does not quench the beast, it feeds it.

What endures.

For me, two things off the top of my head, giving and gratitude are constants for me. My emotions peak and valley like a big rollercoaster, but I am a giver and appreciate what I have.

Giving without regard for reward is called loving kindness by the Buddhists, a tenet of wellbeing.

Giving has always been a part of my life, being able to run a blog that helps others improve, is precious in my life.

The bond I share with a few on this healing path endures and matures.

I always count my blessings and know others have it much tougher than me.

My meditation practice is permanent, a daily companion who asks no toll for soothing my being.

My permanent things have an abstract quality to them, unlike possesssions we protect from thieves.

You can not steal my kindness, gratitude, or meditation practice. They cost nothing but are more valuable than all my possesssions.

The few things that I will leave this earth with.

How about you, what is permanent in your life?

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How To Explore Your Inner-self

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From HUMAN PERFORMANCE PSYCHOLOGY Blog

“The actual psychological personality of a person is referred to as the ‘self’ of a person. 

Each one of us has a hidden self within us, but we are not aware of it. A human being thinks that it is his consciousness that lead his actions. 

Actually, our inner self guides our behavior in our day-to-day life. This self is constructed and undergoes transformation with the passage of time as we experience new things.

Ego also forms a part of our inner self. It makes us fight for our own identity in the world. It stresses on an individual existence of a human being separated from others. 

This will make an individual proud and selfish. He will neglect certain facts, which will be an obstacle in his self-awareness and thereby degrading his self-development. 

Thus for the development of the inner-self, the foremost step is self-introspection. 

This means that an individual should look within himself and analyze his own personality. 

This way he will be able to make out his own strengths and weaknesses. 

After this, it will be easy for him to take on to the methods that add on to his strengths and subtract his weaknesses. 

A person will then become more attracted towards the positive ways of life. This can be selfless service towards humanity and moving away from the negative thoughts of life such as jealousy and frustration. This will lead to the healing of the inner-self.

Another way of self-healing is to take on an optimistic attitude towards life. Many of us are prone to pessimistic thinking, which is the reason why they fail to realize the possibility of a solution to the problem. Taking on a positive and constructive attitude will give an individual the strength to face the problems of life and seek a solution to the same.

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Meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue

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from “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma”

“Meditation enhances functioning in the hippocampus, a crucial structure for quieting agitations and consolidating memory.

As you meditate, you also repair the brain connections that trauma has ruptured and rebuild brain tissue that has been damaged and destroy.

In recent years, researchers such as Harvard Sarah Lazaro and Brittany Holzel have repeatedly shown that meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue in areas of the frontal cortex that trauma often damages, areas responsible for self awareness, thoughtful judgment, and compassion.”

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My two cents: I healed the first time in small increments from multiple skills and practices.

Having a skill that can grow new brain tissue in trauma damaged areas, along with better self-regulation, enhanced memory, clearer thinking, greater ability to deal with life’s stresses, seems quite valuable.

What therapy or healing skill has more impact than this?

Meditating was my anchor, my greatest healing asset.

Meditating brought me a peace of mind, I never experienced before, a calm knowing.

I strive to regain that calm.

New Years resolution coming. Have you ever changed a habit?

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PTSD, Chronic Pain and Aging complicates things

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My daughter has a psychology degree, a great resource. She notices the change in me lately and has recommended going to a psychologist, checking my dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels.

I agree. My chronic pain has escalated the last two years and other systems may not be producing enough neurotransmitters.

Clinical depression does not fit me well.

So being stuck, I am researching ways to break free..

Three important Neurotransmitters

Dopamine

Dopamine (DA) is often referred to as the “pleasure chemical” because it is released when mammals receive a reward in response to their behavior; that reward could be food, drugs, or sex. It is one of the most extensively studied neurochemicals, mainly because it plays such diverse roles in human behavior and cognition.

DA is involved with motivation, decision-making, movement, reward processing, attention, working memory, and learning. But it isn’t just a pleasure chemical. New work suggests DA also plays an important role in Parkinson’s disease, addiction, schizophrenia, and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Serotonin

Serotonin (5HT), sometimes called the “calming chemical,” is best known for its mood modulating effects. A lack of 5HT has been linked to depression and related neuropsychiatric disorders. But 5HT is farther reaching, and has also been implicated in helping to manage appetite, sleep, memory, and, most recently, decision-making behaviors.

Norepinephrine

Norepinephrine (NE) is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. Some refer to it as noradrenalin. It has been linked to mood, arousal, vigilance, memory, and stress. Newer research has focused on its role in both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Parkinson’s disease.

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Holidays do not mix with ptsd very well

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If we do not have these warm feelings, these deep attachments, or dreams of people being trustworthy, what do we do?

I think my default stage around the holidays is a hybrid survival mode.

All those childhood memories, beatings, etc., visiting our consciousness, are upsetting.

Will there be a time, when this horrible shit will stay away?

Why does the worst stuff last forever, run on its own, have incredible power, while the good events fade helplessly.

The holidays bring that unknown, haunting feeling to me, like something is going to happen.

Kids of narcissists often spot danger, learn to be sensitive to future threats. We spend time and energy making sure we do not get ambushed.

It all goes back to our narcissistic parent, our habits formed to survive their abuse.

I was in danger when my dad was home, both physically and emotionally.

That fear has never left that little boys soul.

Now, it takes energy to unplug all this crap 💩.

To be normal, I have to meditate, focus and let all this crap go.

It seems we always need to do incredible work before we get to enjoy life.

At least we have a chance.

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The Holidays and PTSD

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The holidays highlight how many ways attachments are different for abused children. The dysfunctional family protects the abuser at all costs, the perfect family myth must live on.

We hear how the family is everything, most important thing in a persons life.

How do we handle that loss? Family contains our abuse, our abuser and a few enablers.

I made a new family.

I moved from San Diego to Eugene to help my daughter and three grandkids.

Now, I live in their midst, as grandpa.

For the first time, I witness a parent, my daughter, love, support and attach to each kid in the kindest way.

Strange to see kindness from a parent at my age.

Yes, I wonder how much better my life would of been, if someone would of just hugged me once in a kind way as a kid.

Those thoughts must be left alone or we suffer.

For me, my purpose is to stop the generational abuse and stabilize my grandkids.

I am the male caregiver, not father, who is consistent, there everyday and supportive.

My daughter has taught me through example what being a great parent looks like.

I am Amazed.

We can make a new family out of close friends if needed.

We have options and a path to being and feeling better.

Takes action in the face of trauma.

How do you navigate the Holidays.

Happy Holidays!

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Chronic Pain: action is needed to cope well

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A triple rollover in a company car changed a healthy productive man into a 100% disabled mess. After multiple fusions, nerve killings and years of physical therapy, I ended up in a 15 person chronic pain group.

My peers had damaged spines, chronic pain and not much of a life. It was depressing to listen to them describe their suffering. They had given up, this was foreign to a former pro jock.

Everyone in group used Benzodiazepines for anxiety and opioids for pain. Out of 15 of us, most were taking between 20 and 40 pills a day, plus an implanted stem or morphine pump.

You can not chase something chronic with a short term pill. Opioids or Benzodiazepines last a few hours at best and then lose strength with repeated use.

Opioids or Benzodiazepines will not solve our pain or anxiety issues, in fact it will complicate them and do damage in the long run.

Hell, I lost my willpower, they had me so sedated.

Something in me, would not let me sit back and be a victim. One day I flushed all my pills down the commode and started hiking. Chronic Pain would be my combative enemy.

I named my pain Mr. P., like Mr C. On Happy Days. Pain is like the wind, invisible but powerful, so I gave my pain physical qualities.

So mid morning, I would battle Mr. P., tell myself he was trying to stop my legs from moving. I would cuss and taunt my pain and laugh at his feeble attempt to stop me from hiking.

I had brought my pain to a platform where I could use my greatest strength, my willpower, the battle for control was engaged.

I wish I could do this with my complex PTSD.

My pain exploded, intensity spiked, I kept moving my legs.

I was not going to live like a zombie on all those meds. Each week I saw others suffering without the will to resist or take action.

I would rather die fighting chronic pain than live a victims existence. So motive was clear and I would give all out effort.

In three weeks of daily hiking, each day my pain became more familiar, less scary, less painful.

In my misguided way, I was going right at my pain, bringing him out to compete, the others showed fear and avoided their pain.

Which way do you think leads to relief?

It never leaves completely, it just takes a seat way in the back of the auditorium.

Overcoming chronic pain was training for the trauma that would explode a little later in life.

Rick, a group member followed me out, started exercising and got off 80% of his opioids.

The difference of those who improve and those who suffer greatly is the ability of some to take action.

Action heals.

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Self image: An Affirmation can help

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In this moment, right now, I feel my body overflowing with kindness and approval a warm, protective barrier that soothes my soul. I am safe, secure and at peace.

Record it five times and replay it during the day, often.

My healing happened from practicing certain skills, repetitively.

I used to get a chair and sit in front of the bathroom mirror, repeating a positive affirmation.

It was extremely awkward, I felt like I was lying, my self did not believe the affirmation.

It took a month before change subtlety unfolded.

Healing for me always entailed repetitive daily action.

Learning to let go of thought, still takes practice and vigilance.

Healing does not happen with a pill or a miraculous event, it happens in small increments.

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I am two different people

Credit…The Mankato Free Press/Associated Press

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Complex PTSD can cause some to dissociate severely. It is called dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities or DID).

They have a host, themselves and numerous alters or other people inside their head. Some have 16 alters or other people sharing their headspace.

It is like the internal family therapy system but their inside family is real and have names. These alters can be any sex and age, some dominant, some submissive, some angry and a few frightened to death.

Severe sexual abuse endured as a child usually is the cause.

These alters are real inside their heads. DID sufferers have come to my in person mindfulness group .

If you discount their reality, they will never open up to you. The movie Sybil was about a multiple personality. A few DID people actually follow my blog.

The vast majority of abused kids do not have multiple personalities however we have a big dissociation problem.

PTSD has given me a split personality, a hybrid alter, a guy my regular everyday self does not recognize.

My true self was suppressed during my childhood abuse.

My true nature is a easy going extrovert. At work and on athletic fields I have been charismatic, a leader, a prankster and successful.

My PTSD self, is a depressive introvert. Somewhat hypervigilance and uncomfortable around strangers.

This Marty has parts of his personality stuck in childhood. Anger for example was never used by me. My dad would of hurt me more if I showed him anger.

He has low self worth, worries incessantly and spends enormous energy trying to protect Marty from danger (triggers firing).

Trust and love are strangers, unknown to him, awkward feelings for this Marty.

The extrovert Marty wants social contact, lively discussions and inclusion.

The introverted Marty, avoids people, adopts rigid black and white thinking, and starts to isolate from society.

Safety is such a hidden issue for us. I never understood why certain situations felt dangerous at times.

It’s like looking down an alley sensing danger.

Is it real?

PTSD is the unknown in our life.

Some people have physical issues, cancer, etc.,others are born into a narcissist lair.

We all have challenges, life is harsh.

How many different people do you have inside.

Is your PTSD self the same as the regular you?

I would ask which one of these guys is the real me, or am I both.

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Awareness: know your trauma Patterns

An example of what a functional MRI scan looks like. Brain activation is averaged across 20 PTSD patients compared to healthy controls in an emotion regulation task.

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Yes, I am drawing a pattern out of only two episodes of trauma in my life.

Here are a few patterns I notice.

The obvious, my trauma buries itself quite deeply for decades.

This pattern allows trauma to have subconscious impact without anytime spent trying to heal.

My childhood abuse did not erupt until I was in my fifties.

Secondly, the first couple of months are extremely intense.

My nervous system is agitated and intrusive thoughts seem to come at a rate of a Gatling gun firing.

I see that my whole personality changes.

One of my symptoms brings the feeling of imminent danger to my being.

It is irrational and very confusing.

Imminent danger for me is not physical, I fear the annihilating of my ego, emotional death in a sense.

I am intense, consumed and out of my gourd for a couple months.

You have witnessed this in my recent posts.

I sound and act like a victim, hopeless, helpless, it is embarrassing but sharing will help others push through their humiliating thoughts.

At my lowest, agoraphobic, hiding in my dark garage during the day, I thought something was going to come through the tile roof and do something worse than death.

Look how abstract that fear is. I have no idea what is coming through the roof, man, animal or alien.

My danger does not need a gender or even an origin but it is what I fear most, the unknown.

PTSD has that unknown quality about it.

The tragic memory is incomplete at the time trauma happens.

If it happened in childhood, the brain has not fully developed, storing an incomplete, distorted memory.

Somewhere in our background we need that skill that does not give up when all Common sense says it is the prudent choice.

At my lowest, Agoraphobic, contemplating suicide, a moment of clarity and strength surfaced for me.

From somewhere deep inside my head, the words, my abuser, my dad wins if I give up.

That may seem a feeble judgment by some, but every fiber in my body would not allow him to win.

In a crazy moment of crisis, I accepted my suffering, decided I would rather sit and suffer than let my dad win.

I did not realize this was a pivotal moment on my healing journey, inside my ego, that inner voice knew I would never give up.

Healing from PTSD is a war zone, expect the turmoil as part of the journey.

Ironically, surviving my fathers abuse developed the traits that helped me heal.

We have to fight for our wellbeing, fight the demons our childhoods created.

Thoughts?

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