Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

Images we create in childhood

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From the book “Mastery of Love”

We are afraid to be punished, but later we are also afraid of not getting the reward, of not being good enough for Mom or Dad, sibling or teacher.

The need to be accepted is born.

Before that, we don’t care whether we are accepted or not. People’s opinions are not important. They are not important because we just want to play and we live in the present.

The fear of not getting the reward becomes the fear of rejection. The fear of not being good enough for someone else is what makes us try to change, what makes us create an image.

Then we try to project that image according to what they want us to be, just to be accepted, just to have the reward.

We learn to pretend to be what we are not, and we practice trying to be someone else, just to be good enough for Mom, for Dad, for the teacher, for our religion, for whatever.

We practice and practice, and we master how to be what we are not. Soon we forget who we really are, and we start to live our images.

We create not just one image, but many different images according to the different groups of people we associate with.

We create an image at home, an image at school, and when we grow up we create even more images.

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PTSD: Awareness of my masculinity was the problem

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My therapists have helped me improve, cared about me getting better, but PTSD still persisted, life was a mine field.

This week my spiritual teacher, at no cost, uncovered a crucial factor impacting my life.

Underlying all my trauma was this identity my father pounded into me, being a man. How to act, how to always be strong, how to never show weakness, was the alpha male model I developed.

This rigid male character looked powerful on the surface, underneath was a cauldron of fear and panic. How I was taught to interact with other men was the problem.

Over a decade of therapy and no mention of toxic masculinity, as I suffered, defending that image of manhood.

As stated in the last post, my gloom and doom disappeared, the unexpected consequence was my current dealings with living.

A neighbors questionable action upset my household this week. My first response, my old masculinity wanted to confront this neighbor with force.

That kind of response was so natural, I did not even think about it, almost reflexive.

That light bulb went off again, a response was not warranted, I finally needed to prove nothing. As I realized this fact, all the conflict and anxiety dropped away.

I wanted to heal from old trauma, never thought about how that would change today’s interactions.

All that therapy and the important issue of toxic masculinity never surfaced.

I thought my healing journey was exhaustive, reading and devouring everything about childhood PTSD.

How did I miss this integral part?

I worked on “Ego”, recreating and affirming a worthy new one.

My own flawed masculinity always was in control, stealthily but firmly in charge.

So many of my issues have softened with this big shift away from being some crazy alpha male stud.

My main two therapist have helped me on my journey and I am grateful.

Blaming others was part of my toxic masculinity.

It is the fear of our “Ego” being annihilated.

That can not happen but I feared the hell out of it.

I could not let this demon go, until my spiritual teacher pointed it out.

Awareness was the gift she bestowed on me and I am grateful.

Never give up, never give in, always take action in the face of fear.

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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 male Ego and Trauma

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My insecurities living up to the male ego my father demanded, caused so much anxiety and fear.

Being a man meant never showing weakness, hiding emotions and being prepared to respond to any threat with force.

I was not the man of my father wishes, I was far from the alpha male, superstar he envisioned.

Navigating life was difficult, failure lurked around every corner. Worry and fear of failure entered my mind at every turn.

I could not be seen as weak, never could back down, and my nervous system and stomach bore the brunt of living like this.

All that fear of failure made an anxious, scared boy.

My spiritual teacher pointed out this toxic masculinity, said it was a prison of my own construct.

I see that finally. My dad was not a brave man, never went to bars or fought another man, he was a giant beating my ass half to death.

He wanted me to be the man he never was. That is extremely sad, his weaknesses caused my trauma.

All that suffering, and most of my trauma happened to that toxic “Ego”, the man I was supposed to be.

I find that it is easy for me to let that toxic “Ego” go, release it and all trauma it collected.

It is like a big weight has lifted for a couple of days.

Moral of story: I have been suffering lately and it has felt helpless, but we never give up, this is part of our journey, our challenge.

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. The irrational seems rational, feels real,

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The irrational seems rational, feels real, it’s called childhood PTSD, developmental trauma to be more exact.

I understand the mechanics of PTSD very well, I have no idea why my mind makes old trauma so important, so alive, so persistent, so damaging.

Irrational, I know that but knowing has not healed it.

My mind is mush, confused, anxious, worn out, in and out of survivor mode.

My mind is alert for danger, emotional danger at all times again.

This has a big impact, it isolates me and takes enjoyment out of life.

Emotional fear is so abstract when attached to violent trauma.

Its like an evil ghost haunting me.

Irrational but automatic, it happens without my input, it is exhausting and painful.

Working on forgiveness has just stirred up the shit even more.

I could scream, this is so frustrating, I have done the hard work for over a decade.

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A conversation with my therapist

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My relationship with my therapist is unique, very open, and I sense a true concern for my healing. He recognizes my knowledge of PTSD and effort trying to heal.

Serious trauma before the brain develops has so many more tentacles hidden inside. Survival mode shuts down many needed brain developmental functions. Building attachments, social skills, feeling safe and trust suffer in survival mode.

He said some childhood trauma gets hard wired inside brain development, unplugging this will be arduous if possible.

My mind learned to lock on to my fathers mood at all times. My therapist said this was real, abuse happened every week, and I lived in survival mode. A mind does not develop correctly while in survival mode.

PTSD being a choice: He laughed and said very few people understand serious childhood trauma. What people say can do damage, it’s like others trying to place blame or guilt on us for our PTSD.

A response yesterday: “Try focusing on something else besides all your traumas. Design & build something with your hands. Incorporate your grandkids into new projects.”

A normal brain can not fathom intrusive thoughts. That is your mind running full speed on its own, bombarding us with zillions of trauma dangers. Building things is a distraction, a good action but does nothing to heal trauma or stop the intrusive thoughts.

Subconsciously our minds search for danger in every situation without thought. This is survival mode or the hybrid that still lives inside me.

Loss is big for serious abused kids.

At 69 I still fear being a failure. I had to search deep while meditating to uncover these subconscious worries.

My actions mirror this behavior but consciously I did not have those thoughts.

I see now that I have always lived in some semblance of survival mode.

That’s all I knew as a kid. It is hard wired. I hit overload if you put me in a crowd.

It is not enjoyable. How do you fix not trusting on top of all the other PTSD symptoms?

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The Dark Side of Childhood abuse

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PTSD has a physical side, the firing of our fight or flight mechanism, tunnel vision, higher bp, respiration and heart rate along with loss of fine motor skills.

PTSD also has a cognitive side filled with intrusive thoughts, coupled with scary and violent emotions.

Trust disappears in childhood, fear is our dominate emotion, survival mode is how we live.

This is a barren landscape for any child, few attachments develop and our self image is seriously flawed, incomplete.

Some of these traits are hard wired and will haunt us for life.

Improvement is possible however our demons will always be near and explode from time to time.

As an old guy now, I see the suffering of a lifetime because of my first caregivers abuse.

Why are some of us doomed from birth to a life of suffering?

Friends with decent childhoods tell me I should just get over it, we all have a choice.

PTSD has never been a choice for me. How do you trust friends who say things like that?

With the exception of this blog, no one I know has a clue what impact PTSD has in my life.

Some think it is weakness to let PTSD dominate me like it does at times.

You lose so called friends and it is not a nice break up.

Seems not trusting others has a purpose.

My mind has never lived a day without trauma from my earliest memory.

What does a life feel like with a decent childhood?

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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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Our mind does not work the same when PTSD is active.

https://themighty.com/u/mrpositive/

I was force fed Lima beans once a week, I puked them, then got beat with a big paddle he drilled holes in to hurt me more.

Never have touched a Lima bean since childhood.

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Our mind does not work the same when PTSD is active.

Anxiety and fear switch the minds mode of operation.

A calm, safe environment has our mind relaxed, open and maybe looking for opportunity, we can think quickly and clearly.

A PTSD mind can spot imminent danger in a second, activating our defense mechanism.

A PTSD sufferer has practiced over and over his/her reaction to trauma, paved a highway to survival mode, becoming best friends with avoidance.

Our mind becomes confused, pressured by anxiety drugs as fear spikes, trying to escape at all costs.

Our mind panics, cognitive functions almost stop, fine motor skills are gone, tunnel vision ensues.

Severe cases mimic near death experiences.

PTSD fear is the worst fear we can imagine, it has the ability to fire our fight or flight mechanism 15 times a day.

The drugs are real, the PTSD is abstract and subjective to us and lives only inside our mind.

The drugs stopped secreting the first time I healed.

Now instead of my fight or flight exploding, my mood changes, spotted and pointed out by those close to me.

My abuse, now at 69, still impacts my daily existence.

It is humbling, frustrating and full of guilt when my PTSD upsets those closest to me.

Hard to not hold anger at our abusers.

There is no wand or pill or quick solution for violent childhood abuse.

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PTSD was a Submarine, out of site, stealthy

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PTSD was a submarine for me until my mid 50’s, stealthy, out of sight, right below the surface of consciousness.

There were no flashbacks, triggers firing, or any visible confirmation I was suffering from PTSD.

Oh a trained therapist would have spotted my PTSD easily!

The sad thing about my trauma being hidden, it grew in power, unnoticed as it impacted critical parts of my wellbeing.

Vital parts of my wellbeing were severely damaged and not working for decades.

One of my major deficiencies was my ability to trust and feel good enough, worthy.

In childhood, my narcissistic father tried to take over my being, live through me, since I came into his life unexpectedly when he was 16.

I took his childhood so he repaid the favor, he never said a kind word to me, never letting me feel comfortable was his goal.

He thought it would make me a better baseball player, his ultimate goal.

So that narcissist owned me, treated me as an it, I was his pit bull he took in a cage to the fight.

My value was totally contained in my performance, showing his peers his coaching talent.

Some would call this conditioned love, that is a misnomer, there was no love, only a narcissist cold ownership of his first male child.

How do you explain love to an abused child like this?

Love is something I do not pine for, being able to trust would be nice.

I wonder if my father has any remorse being dead now, looking down or up at me.

Lots of thoughts haunt us, what is real and what is trauma?

Is there love, trust and loyalty out there?

I was birthed into violent abuse and criticism.

Love and trust are strangers to me.

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