Posts Tagged ‘AWARENESS’

Fear of PTSD regaining power

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In my mid 50’s PTSD ignited my fight or flight mechanism 15 times a day.

Those years were horrible, avoidance turned into agoraphobia, and I did not leave the house.

Normal life stopped completely, I became a recluse.

Intense therapy and meditation calmed my nervous system and gave me some relief for a couple of years.

Then three things happened, covid quarantine, a prescribed medicine launched my nervous system and an old hidden trauma erupted into my consciousness.

I do not fear my anxiety, but I do avoid triggers, people and situations.

Fear of PTSD regaining power haunts me and scares me.

I handled and calmed my fight or flight mechanism, but it is the symptoms and triggers that do the damage.

PTSD is like living in the middle of a crisis.

Trusting the world or people has never been easy.

Any thoughts?
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Implicit memories bring intrusive thoughts

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How do we define PTSD fear?

Our fight or flight mechanism firing is what we think of normal fear.

Cortisol, adrenaline gets dumped into our bloodstream along with bp, heart rate, and respiration increasing.

That deep thud in our solar plexus freezes us temporarily.

Some of PTSD fear uses the same mechanism when a trigger fires.

Other PTSD fears are more abstract, they are connected to past violent trauma

I think these are implicit memories, subconscious and abstract.

“Implicit memory relies on structures in our brain that are fully developed before we are born. Because it’s an unconscious, bodily memory, when it gets triggered in the present, it does not seem like it’s coming from the past.

Instead, it feels like it’s happening now.

Thus, we react as if we are back in the original situation.”

From These Invisible Memories Shape Our Lives
Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

This is why PTSD feels so alive, so ever-present.
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My history with triggers

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In the beginning, I learned to avoid my triggers, yearned to keep my fight or flight mechanism from firing, and yearned to let go of all the intrusive thoughts.

Using meditation, I learned to focus and stay present when amid a trigger firing. This was the first step in trying to neutralize the impact of my adrenal stress response.

My nervous system settled, limiting both the intensity and frequency of triggers firing.

The next step was searching out trigger situations, then sitting in the middle of them until they calmed.

This part of healing was gratifying and freeing.

Then covid quarantine uncovered more trauma and all hell broke loose again.

My triggers do not fire violently anymore but my system still fills with anxiety and negative emotions.

After all this healing and hard work, avoiding and isolating are still coping strategies.

Some of the deep, dark vulnerabilities are hard-wired from my childhood.

How normal people socialize so freely and without fear or anxiety puzzles me.

Looking back, I can see high levels of anxiety and fear were always present in my life.

From childhood on these high levels were normal for me.
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Healing spiritually

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A decade of therapy helped me but did not stop the demon from doing damage. My spiritual healing offers me hope, calming what therapy could not.


The online kundalini group is doing a 40-day meditation on positivity (love).

Ten minutes of breath work: Inhaling for five seconds, a short pause, exhaling for five seconds followed by a 15 second pause, then repeat.

Thoughts subside with intense focus on the breath like this.

Next, we chant for ten minutes. Chanting is new for me.

We rarely chanted at the zen center, silence was cherished.

We finish with ten minutes of deep breathing.

Instructions are to think of ourselves in the most positive, healthy, and happy way.

This is a task for us. No negativity, no gossiping all day.

I am working on opening my heart and trying to heal more spiritually.

Our job is to continually find new ways to improve, then take action.

The act of trying, and never giving up sustains us during the rough times.
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Achievement equaled my self worth

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My healing journey uncovered many of the reasons that make me who I am.

In my father’s eyes, I needed to outperform others to have value.

I had no intrinsic value besides my ability to achieve for him.

The constant criticism and violence lay waste to my ego and self-worth.

Now, I realize this has always been with me.

My life is filled with achievements.

I learned to persevere, focus and exert all-out effort over long periods.

Piece of mind, self-worth, or happiness was never connected to any of these achievements.

Achievement brought distraction and momentary joy, then the next test was upon me.

Achievement does not last long, my trophies collect dust.

The fear of loss always came back after any achievement.

I have always searched for self-worth, a calm peace of mind.

Do we ever get there?
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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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Things to repeat for us and others

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May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you be at ease
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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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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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