Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

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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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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Waking up in the Morning with PTSD

I wish it would stay dark, morning would not arrive, prolonging my avoidance of the world


Laying in bed early in the morning, a new day greets me with Ptsd symptoms, anxiety, depression, fear, worry, and a foreboding sense of shame.

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Danger, violence, and betrayal surround me, knowing it is irrational does not stop that snowball from rolling down that hill.

The symptoms and damage are real. The thoughts are irrational and biased, called implicit memory (stored trauma).

Abused kids’ brains are wired differently, altered to survive childhood, sensitive to danger, and proficient at surviving and avoiding.

Life is reactionary and premeditated, we feel vulnerable around people, taking risks is dangerous.

My symptoms and thoughts tell one side of the story, the way I live my life shines a light on the damage done.

I avoid people when possible, limit my contact and chances for betrayal.

Ptsd brings enough fear that it destroys desire, it diminishes the little pleasure I enjoy.

Ptsd has made me a loner of the highest degree.

I would be content if my suffering and isolation would calm.

My PTSD has exploded again, trying to stop the pain has become a mission.

My mind has become the enemy, abuse has overwhelmed my sense of value.

Weakening as I age has made my PTSD more powerful.

It is not the explosion of my fight or flight mechanism, the dumping of cortisol and adrenaline anymore, it is a deep depression, worthlessness, and harsh betrayal that haunts my waking thoughts.

Pain and suffering are daily companions, feeling worthy, feeling attached and calm are foreign emotions.

I can not find the door out this time.

The escape route is hidden in the confusion of latent trauma.

My life is highly irrational, I search for the key to enter a calmer existence.

Will I ever trust or feel a little contentment?
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What are the social-community expectations of appearance?

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“First, what are the social-community expectations of appearance?


Brene Brown:

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From a societal level, appearance includes everything from hair, skin, makeup, weight, clothing, shoes and nails to attitude, confidence, age and wealth.

If you pile on community-specific expectations, you might have to add things like hair texture, hair length, skin color, face and body hair, teeth, looking “done-up,” not looking “done-up,” clothing and jewelry.

Why do appearance expectations exist?

I would say they exist to keep us spending our valuable resources—money, time and energy—on trying to meet some ideal that is not achievable.

Think about this: Americans spend more each year on beauty than we do on education.

How does it work? I think the expectations are both obvious and subtle—they are everything we see and everything we don’t see.

If you read fashion magazines or watch TV, you know what you are “supposed to” look like and how you are “supposed to” dress and act.

If you look hard enough, you also see everything that’s missing—the images of real people.

If you combine what’s there and what’s missing, you quickly come to believe that if you don’t look a certain way, you become invisible; you don’t matter.

What is the impact of these expectations? Well, let’s see. . . .

• About eighty million Americans are obese.

• Approximately seven million girls and women suffer from an eating disorder.

• Up to nineteen percent of college-aged women are bulimic.

• Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness among females.

• The latest surveys show very young girls are going on diets because they think they are fat and unattractive. In one American survey, eighty-one percent of ten-year-old girls had already dieted at least once.

• A research survey found that the single largest group of high-school students considering or attempting suicide are girls who feel they are overweight.

• Twenty-five years ago, top models and beauty queens weighed only eight percent less than the average woman; now they weigh twenty-three percent less.

The current media ideal for women is achievable by less than five percent of the female population—and that’s just in terms of weight and size.

• 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.”
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Ho Ho Ho: Christmas brings unresolved shame,

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Holidays bring depression and reminders of unresolved shame for me.

My trauma memories cancel this false celebration of family, Christmas.

I would rather not be involved in Christmas, in the celebration of how great family is supposed to be.

To the outside world, I smile and play the shallow role of a normal person.

On the inside, I resent what people have done to me!

I was born into the prison of a violent abusive narcissist.

There was no escape, no way to survive the damage, emotional and physical.

Fear, anxiety, and shame were my dominant emotions.

Critical violence was my father’s favorite game with me.

Life always came at me too fast, I was fighting a separate battle of abuse besides trying to be a kid.

I worried so much I puked often.

My nervous system was always on high alert, that little boy feared for his life.

I did not attach to another human being, my dad isolated me for total control.

Now, I am the consummate loner, I avoid people, contact except for necessities.

I lost the ability to trust, to desire attachment, to be vulnerable to betrayal.

It pains me to see the damage.

Feeling worthy is something I will never experience.

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PTSD: Things normal people do not know

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Childhood for all abused kids: We experience the coldness, the cruelty, and violent dysfunction of life immediately.

It is all we know, a loving touch becomes the sting of a paddle or belt, the emotional connection becomes abusive language and criticism.

When both caregivers participate, the child’s life will be riddled with turmoil, suffering, more loss, and abuse.

I was shamed physically and emotionally by my father on a weekly basis.

This is where future drug addicts, prostitutes, alcoholics, criminals, and highly dysfunctional adults are created.

We fix very few of these kids, in my opinion.

Look at our jails, our opioid crisis, our divorce and rape rates.

Hell, we shoot each other over masks, politics and some of these people had normal childhoods?

I did not form an attachment as a kid to either parent, kids like me have never felt normal emotions of love, kindness, safety, or calm.

We do not know what a loving relationship looks like, our role models abused us.

My ego has never felt safe or worthy. I know this after a decade of therapy and intense meditation.

All those accomplishments, all those trophies did nothing for my soul.

Some of us have never loved or felt like someone loved us.

Betrayal collapses our world, we retreat, hide, hibernate and try to unplug from all people.

Was there to much damage to us that we can not feel safe enough to try and see the good.

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Ptsd, our emotional pain and shame

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I handle my chronic pain with a jocks attitude, one person out of my chronic pain group followed me and regained his life.

Childhood abuse is different, betrayal in college altered ever trusting a human again.

I should have left this planet back then, the rest of my life would be filled with suffering.

My suffering is not greater than other abused kids, I am not special.

My childhood abuse and betrayal in college devastated my spirit.

My attitude, I was scared to death, anxious and humiliated, criticism and violence would be my daily companions.

Physical pain did not dent my armor, emotional abuse rocked my very core.

It’s hard to write in words the impact violent abuse has on a child’s brain.

It’s impossible to describe in words what a caregiver’s shaming does to a kid.

I hate what some people have done to me.

I will never understand how or why I was abused so severely.

Now, my life is lived in my room, it is one of the only safe places.

Is complex PTSD isolating?

I do not know, but I have lost the desire for being around people altogether.

You will never find me in a crowd or rarely out in public.

My thoughts are the terrible invisible prison I occupy every morning.

Since college, I have tried to isolate myself as much as I could.

I do not feel safe around people, I fear betrayal.

I have found no silver lining, no gift from my childhood, nothing positive out of betrayal.

Life is more painful than it is worth.

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