Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

My traits from childhood abuse

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Traits from my Childhood abuse (Complex PTSD):

Fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, lack of trust, heightened sense of danger (hypervigilance), the anticipation of significant loss or worry, and a strong drive to avoid or isolate.

As everyone describes the benefits of community, of healthy attachment, we feel the opposite and take action to avoid people and organizations.

We have an issue with our safety, as a child, we never felt safe.

I think this fear drives us to isolate or avoid people.

It is hard to understand this cognitively, most feelings are subconscious, abstract, and confusing.

All of this is complicated by the way trauma is stored in a high-priority way and in a place we do not have conscious access.

PTSD has its own key to our defense mechanism, and our fear drugs (cortisol and adrenaline).

This feels like real power, real danger, and real harm.

Knowing these mechanisms of PTSD can help us navigate better.
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PTSD: trauma over time

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Childhood abuse impacts our life and does the most damage by repeatedly exploding month after month, year after year.

This strengthens the symptoms of PTSD and makes them almost a habit. We adjust our behavior, avoid triggers, while trying to limit the danger we feel.

Then, we start to anticipate danger, it feels like real fear.

It sure secretes our fear drugs (cortisol and adrenaline) numerous times a day.

We navigate life by avoiding triggers and danger subconsciously. It becomes a habit over time.

Hypervigilance becomes a way of keeping safe.

Avoiding calms our hypervigilance for a while but narrows life.

Hypervigilance happens quickly without thought, every time I go out, enter a building, or plan an outing.

I have never been able to stop my hypervigilance from happening but I can ignore the danger as not real at times.
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Inheriting Anxiety

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In a discussion with my daughter about my defense mechanism, she disagreed with me.

I judged my defense mechanism was broken, she said that judgment was erroneous.

My defense mechanism, my hypervigilance was very, very, very sensitive, she said, not broken.

In the right environment, a hyper-sensitive defense mechanism would keep me alive.

If spotting danger was an asset, I would thrive.

How do we navigate normal life with a nervous system like this?

I inherited anxiety.

Childhood abuse made the anxiety much worse.

Fear and intense anxiety are hard to differentiate.

How do you handle an active defense mechanism?
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My PTSD has exploded.

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My PTSD has exploded.

Somehow my body stays full of anxiety without any strong jolts from my fight or flight exploding.

My solar plexus and gut stay tense and agitated.

My mind is bombarded by negative traumatic thoughts.

PTSD dominates thought and emotion, I try to unplug this mechanism.

I fight to stay present.

My body feels paralyzed with abstract fear.

I fight to calm my anxiety, physically by hiking strenuously uphill and spiritually through meditation.
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PTSD: High Anxiety

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My body feels paralyzed from the level of anxiety and unrest in my solar plexus and gut regions.

At this intensity, my mind races, and it is hard to think level-headed.

It is almost overwhelming.

Funny, how we always try to escape intense anxiety.

I find myself pacing, trying to distance myself from anxiety.

Being on edge has always been close to me.

As a kid, my anxiety was so intense I would freeze up, finding it hard to speak.

My dad brutalized me, it made me an anxious mess, and I felt helpless to protect myself.

All this followed me into adulthood.

Hard for joy or happiness to exist inside intense anxiety and fear.

I fight for my security and sanity, happiness seems a pipe dream.
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The Laundry List – 14 Traits from a Dysfunctional Family or an Adult Child of an Alcoholic

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From https://adultchildren.org/literature/laundry-list/

  1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
  2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
  3. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
  4. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
  5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
  6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
  7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
  8. We became addicted to excitement.
  9. We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”
  10. We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).
  11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
  12. We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.
  13. Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
  14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

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Our small bodies are marinated in those chemicals.”

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This sentence about child abuse and kids of alcoholics shocks me, “As children, our small bodies are marinated in those chemicals.”

It explains more accurately how PTSD impacts my body and nervous system.

We carry these hypervigilant drugs at higher resting levels than normal people without realizing it.

That makes sense.

I can not remember a time when my body was calm.

Our brains developed while we were in these hypervigilant and survivor modes.

Our brains were wired under duress and abuse, in a state of fear.

This is why we focus on spotting danger, why we worry constantly.

We live with that tightness in our solar plexus, it feels like fear, and we read it as danger.

When you value safety over all other desires, life becomes more and more narrow.

We find it extremely difficult to trust.

It is all stored in our cells and brain, our own body and mind carry PTSD through life.

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Part 2: Dysfunctional Households or Adult Children of Alcoholics: The Inner Drugstore

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Inner drugstore:


“Or perhaps we were ignored or emotionally abandoned by our parents, creating anxiety and the general feeling of being alone and unsafe.

Our normal can become anxiety and fear.

And since it is perhaps all we have ever known, and since we may already have learned to shut down access to our feelings and our bodies, we may not even be aware of our anxiety.

Hypervigilance creates a stress response in the body, it even releases dopamine in our brains.

As children, our small bodies are marinated in those chemicals.

Even if we have never taken a drink of alcohol nor any drugs, we are all addicts.

We, as Adult Children, learn to be addicted to our own inner drug stores.

We can subconsciously seek out situations which recreate these feelings.”
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My two cents: Our small bodies were marinated in these chemicals because of abuse?

That is an ominous claim, makes my body twitch a bit reading it.

We were innocent kids.

This is another PTSD layer that needs healing.

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Childhood abuse: A Flawed self image

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My observations: In my opinion, the creation of a flawed self-image (Ego) is one of the strongest negative consequences of childhood abuse.

We never find our true self, we are lost, influenced by our past damage.

We lack the ability to love ourselves (self-love).

This is the foundation, the core we are missing.

We have no idea who we are supposed to be, trying to survive dominates our waking hours.

Trusting ourselves is rare, our flawed self-image brings many struggles.

Life never had easy-going moments, danger always stole the stage.

Yes, I have always felt extremely flawed, missing something other kids possessed.

My path did not include repairing these voids, I was lost inside PTSDs vortex of suffering.

It is a confusing life filled with turmoil and anxiety.

PTSD masks over desire, opportunity, and living fully.

I felt helpless and flawed as a kid, how was adulthood going to be any different?

PTSD becomes stronger over time, symptoms increase until we somehow improve or heal.

I question whether any severely abused kid heals or has a decent life.

The Ace study confirms our plight of suffering, mental disorders, addiction, disease, and early death.

https://traumainformedoregon.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Adverse-Childhood-Experiences-Impact-of-Childhood-Trauma-on-Adult-Wellbeing-TIO.pdf

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PTSD dropped away for a moment yesterday

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PTSD operates without any conscious input from me, he feels like an internal entity, an invisible demon.

Yesterday while skirmishing with intrusive thoughts and emotions, I felt everything drop away momentarily.

Instead of being in the middle of the triggers, I was at a distance, separate, observing PTSDs mechanism.

I could feel life without PTSDs distractions or influence.

That dark cloud dissipated for a moment. How strange a feeling.

My nervous system calmed, while my anxiety and fear took a short vacation.

Life felt entirely different with PTSD being suppressed like this.

My first thought was, how do I make this last, perpetuate a life without the constant drama, danger, and anxiety of PTSD?

Is this a breakthrough or a fleeting moment?

I felt life as a normal person for the first time, I think.

I dream of a calm mind, a normal brain with normal thoughts, and a life filled with desire.
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