Posts Tagged ‘ACCEPTANCE’

My two big traumas laid dormant for decades.

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I knew something was different about me, but had no idea why I did not feel worthy as others or could not trust.

Childhood trauma exploded first with a family crisis and my inability to help one of my kids.

My dominate trigger happened in restaurants with someone staring at me. A daily benign slice of normal life, anyone can do. I was ashamed of this limitation.

Always knew there was no danger but my fight or flight mechanism sensed imminent danger and would explode.

Two months ago my girlfriends gangraped surfaced, my second big trauma.

Finally I understood my trigger.

It was from college, the aftermath of the frat boys who assaulted her would stare at me, kind of celebrating their gangrape at my expense.

Public shaming and them bragging about pulling a train on Cheryl, made a permanent mark on my being.

Hard to believe college guys could be this barbaric and demean for no reason.

Lesson: Now that I understand the origin of my trigger, unplugging it should be easier.

This event needs to have all the stored danger and emotional damage exit my body.

The last two months have been hell as this trauma exploded inside me.

Hopefully the intrusive thoughts run their course and I can integrate what’s left.

I can not run from this or suffering will never end.

As I use to teach, trauma is up, active and available for integration.

Childhood trauma makes us vulnerable to being traumatized in the future, our brains did not wire like a normal brain, with some parts of our development damaged.

I had to learn survival skills, ways to endure physical and emotional abuse instead of developing social skills.

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Fear and Shame from “Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness”

Pixabay: lechenie-narkomanii

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“But here are two factors that are immediately relevant to trauma-sensitive mindfulness.

The first is fear.

Trauma can make us terrified of our internal experience.

Traumatic events persist inside survivors in the form of petrifying sensations and emotions.

Understandably, survivors become afraid to feel these again. Van der Kolk described it this way:

Traumatized people . . . do not feel safe inside—their own bodies have become booby-trapped.

As a result, it is not OK to feel what you feel and know what you know, because your body has become the container of dread and horror.

The enemy who started on the outside is transformed into an inner torment. (Emerson & Hopper, 2011,)

A second barrier to integrating trauma is shame.

Connected to humiliation, demoralization, and remorse, shame is a complex, debilitating emotion that often arrives with traumatic stress.

A person who was sexually abused may berate themselves for not having fought back—even though they may know it would have made matters worse.

A soldier who freezes under fire during combat is demeaned by others, and comes to feel fundamentally flawed.

Someone who is discriminated against can internalize the form of oppression being directed at them and begin to feel defective and unworthy.

Shame is a powerful, paralyzing force.”

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PTSD is a bluff, the real danger is over. Sometimes for decades

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In my life two big traumas dominate all others, childhood and a horrific assault in college.

Neither one caused PTSD until decades later, childhood trauma erupted after a family crisis triggered my panic, the latter exploded during this pandemic and quarantine.

I thought healing was complete as my childhood trauma integrated. Then isolated with this quarantine, an old horrific event surfaced with enormous energy (fear, humiliation, shame and unworthiness).

In the beginning trauma becomes real for us, I was transported back to the event with all the highly charged fight or flight drugs being dumped into my blood stream.

The neurotransmitters are real, the emotions are the same, saved then stored at the time it happened.

For me, a short emotionally charged movie plays, whenever and wherever it decides.

Remember, we can not reach our trauma consciously, it has full autonomy to come and go anytime.

If I interact with these images and judgments, my trauma grows and gets worse.

Staying present, observing this movie is the best I can do.

We all try to manipulate and change the outcome of the event, but the danger is over and the event is now implicit memory.

No real danger exists now, PTSD is a bluff, an over compensation of our defense mechanism to protect from future trauma.

If I try to influence these judgments or the movie it grows. Avoiding, denying and dissociating are jet fuel for PTSD.

Pulling back, focused on my breath, watching the judgments and movie leave my consciousness, is my goal.

I do not control how many times I need accomplish this task for healing to be complete.

Our journey has more well being when we stay in the present moment, whether we be a normal person or a sufferer of complex PTSD.

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Tazzie responds to a post on betrayal trauma

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I follow Tazzie’s blog and find her an inspiration. Oh she lives in Tasmania.

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“What incredible research and statistics. My partner and I tried to be as honest and open in all areas of our relationship. Yet I feel as being his third long term partner, and one after a relationship with a woman who treated him terribly our honesty and respect unconditional love and not fearing how our words would be taken wrongly allowed us to have a very deep level of love. My partner had had prostate cancer and this impacted his ability at times, he was deeply ashamed of this. Worried how I would react. We were totally open about it. things improved greatly and he shared that with me he never felt in adequate or a need to perform.

I feel so little real information is shared honestly and openly about sex. The crap that is written in magazines and tv movies. Expectations and that it will be wonderful. The shame of body image. Aging, odours, natural odours that have the pheremones being sanatised and destroyed by chemicals.

The pornogrpahy industry showing ridiculous situations fantasies, and all that goes with it. Fictional and not reality but often the only way many see the sexual act displayed. Sigh.

Sex and sexuality, expectation and reality. Not being honest, not communicating about what you like, and how before you marry or commit to a relationship with someone who may not really be on the same page or need as you are in the sex department.

I know that my partner and I were very very lucky but we did work very hard at communicating and not judging. When he became ill with his cancer, he told me it would be OK if I had sex with someone else I told him how touched and appreciated I was by his very kind words. I told him it meant a lot to me but he meant more and I knew at this point in his life if I did that even with his blessing it would hurt him. I also told him that I was quite happy if I needed to to masturbate, something he quite enjoyed being present for. lol he found it fascinating.

I feel sex is one thing but a sexual relationship and a commitment to being a couple goes deeper than sex. Many women find masturbation satisfies them better than sex with their partner. Have they shared it with their partner maybe not.

I am a very open and willing person in relationships within reason and my being in charge of my situation(not sure that makes sense) So if any person I was in a relationship with say went off and had sex with say a paid sex worker or an affair. I would much prefer that it was a safe hygiene where the sex worker was not taken advantage off, but a ‘professional’ than if the person had an affair. Firstly I would want to know why my partner had done this, and what I was not willing to do to satisfythe need. If I was nt willing but the person told me and still needed that to help then it would be to me no different to other therapies that help people cope. It is a business transaction, not emotional. If it was an affair, why? would I want the person still to be in my life if they did not want to be with me, I dont think so. As I age Sex is important but it is such a transient thing dependent on so many things. Both parties feeling like it at the same moment, weariness, children, stress, work, finances, body image, making noise and disturbing neighbours, having different desires (consenting adults ones) comfort levels, education regarding sex. some people seeing it as a necessity but not enjoyable, other loving it. Not feeling satisfied by it. feeling inadequate.

It is really a tragedy that so much is put upon sex in a realtionship. If you are really having such incredible issues in regard to your partners sexual needs (as long as they are in regard to consensual adults) than perhaps love is not what you have but a dream of what you thought it would be.

I believe you have to be honest before committing to live with someone. Be honest with yourself too. If you can not communicate about sex, openly with the person that might be a red flag.

I have never been married as I see it as a institution by the religious organisations to keep woman powerless and certainly in our history as chattels and owned by their spouses. Even now many religious services continue to have obey for the woman to say to the man but not the other way.

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Self Talk and how it works

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Psychologist, anxiety treatment specialist and author, Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D, defines Self Talk and how it works:

“It is so automatic and subtle you don’t notice it or the effect it has on your moods and feelings.

It appears in telegraphic form- one short word or image (”Oh no!) contains a whole series of thoughts, memories, or associations.

Anxious self-talk is typically irrational but almost always sounds like the truth.

Negative self-talk perpetuates avoidance.

Self-talk can initiate or aggravate a panic attack.

Negative self-talk is a series of negative bad habits.

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My two cents: I believe this self talk reflects our self image. A happy person will have a positive self image and self talk.

A depressed person with complex PTSD will have an unworthy self image and Négative self talk.

We can change self image and self talk, but not easily.

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Focus has helped me heal the most

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Think of things in your life that demand focus.

How would you describe your ability to focus?

For me, hitting a baseball at a professional level with 25,000 screaming fans tops my list.

This skill lay dormant for decades until PTSD erupted.

When therapy after therapy had little impact, a hybrid therapy, Acceptance and Commitment using meditation entered my life.

Now that external focus I had built, the ability to hit a round object with a round bat in milliseconds, needed to be turned inward.

All my friends laughed, a Type a driver, an anxious, hyped up jock was going to sit quiet and meditate.

Yes, it was awkward for a while, then my focus got stronger, thoughts faded and life changed.

Our ability to focus when our trauma thoughts and emotions visit us is key to surviving.

I could not let go, release my fears and abuse without the ability to focus and stay present.

It is the core of integrating trauma, healing for me.

It is the safe haven I can visit anytime, anywhere.

It seems mundane and powerless.

I have found the opposite.

When I can focus, nature comes alive, I see beauty and perfection and opportunity.

We know all to well how to feel abuse, anxiety, fear and panic.

How do you handle your intrusive thoughts and emotions?

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An important relationship that stays hidden!

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Many things we experience daily are overlooked, almost invisible in plain sight.

If I were to ask you to describe everything in a room, the two most dominant things would be overlooked.

Similar to this, we hardly ever consider the relationship with our mind even exists.

As a somewhat seasoned meditator, an old guy, I never knew the importance of my relationship with my own mind.

Being severely abused as a child, my mind did not wire properly from the start.

An abused child needs much more work to have a healthy relationship with their mind.

Worry, doubt, fear, shame, joy, happiness and anger spring forth from our minds.

Suffering and happiness are the extremes.

Meditation has taught me to let thoughts go, to resist the invisible prison negative thoughts and emotions surround us with.

The more I can stay present, focused, empty of negative influence, the greater chance for wellbeing and happiness.

Answer: The two dominant things in the room are light and the spaces between furniture and things.

Without light the room appears empty, without the spaces between objects it would be a storage unit.

We focus on all the chairs, tables, floor, and accessories, the two dominant things are invisible to us.

Think about your relationship with your mind.

Do you avoid and deny when trauma or emotionally awkward situations occur?

My mind needs more resilience, more self-compassion and more equanimity.

How about your mind?

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80% of Women do not like what they see in the Mirror

That’s Life by Mike Twohy

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“Among women over eighteen looking at themselves in the mirror, research indicates that at least eighty percent are unhappy with what they see.

Many will not even be seeing an accurate reflection.

Most of us have heard that people with anorexia see themselves as larger than they really are, but some recent research indicates that this kind of distorted body image is by no means confined to those suffering from eating disorders—in some studies up to eighty percent of women overestimated their size.

Increasing numbers of women with no weight problems or clinical psychological disorders look at themselves in the mirror and see ugliness and fat.

• According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, since 1997, there has been a 465 percent increase in the total number of cosmetic procedures.

• Women had nearly 10.7 million cosmetic procedures, ninety percent of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for women has increased forty-nine percent since 2003.

• The top five surgical procedures for women were: liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, tummy tuck and facelift.

Americans spent just under $12.5 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2004. Who benefits from the appearance expectations?

• The $38 billion hair industry.

• The $33 billion diet industry.

• The $24 billion skincare industry.

• The $18 billion makeup industry.

• The $15 billion perfume industry.

• The $13 billion cosmetic surgery industry.”

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Early shame experiences stored as Trauma?

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From Benne Brown:

“After studying Dr. Uram’s work, I believe it’s possible that many of our early shame experiences, especially with parents and caregivers, were stored in our brains as traumas.

This is why we often have such painful bodily reactions when we feel criticized, ridiculed, rejected and shamed.

Dr. Uram explains that the brain does not differentiate between overt or big trauma and covert or small, quiet trauma—it just registers the event as “a threat that we can’t control.”

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My two cents: I believe some emotions especially shame, enlarge our Trauma, our PTSD symptoms and the duration of our suffering.

My childhood trauma is the bed all other traumas in my life lay in.

My childhood trauma in fact, made me much more vulnerable for other traumas to happen.

Childhood trauma has crippled my resilience to handle betrayal.

Even now, if someone betrays me, they are done for life.

I have healed a couple of times but many behaviors and fears still operate.

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the need to know that we are not alone.

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Benne Brown:

“Empathy seeking is driven by the need to know that we are not alone.

We need to know that other people have experienced similar feelings and that our experiences don’t keep us from being accepted and affirmed.

Empathy helps us move away from shame toward resilience.

Sympathy, on the other hand, can actually exacerbate shame.”

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