Posts Tagged ‘AWARENESS’

Jousting with Forgiveness

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Healing is unpacking old habits, then repeatedly and persistently inserting new healthy habits.

Like staying present instead of dissociating or letting go of thought instead of ruminating or following body sensations instead of the emotion.

Not forgiving is a huge impediment to my healing.

I replace it first with my mantra, “Forgivness is for me”.

Slowly as I delve deeper into finding ways to forgive, resistance is stiff at times, but other times the path is open.

One big change, I have decided to forgive, I will find a way.

My inner critic has received the message and recognizes I am dead serious.

Know thy enemy.

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Healing is counterintuitive,

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Healing is counterintuitive, fighting PTSD is not what you think.

Instead of battling trauma, we accept, surrender and hopefully forgive to wage our war.

Being humble then vulnerable is needed to improve or heal.

That’s not the gung-ho battle charge we see in the movies.

The war with trauma is internal, intuitive and irrational.

Forgiving frees me, forgiveness is for me.

I am praying for the strength to forgive.

Funny to ask, do I have the courage to forgive?

Never thought of it like that, it takes so much courage to forgive, far more than resist and hate.

I have faced so many demons, why is forgiveness the hardest?

Many others were cortisol filled with a perceived threat but forgiveness is a different foe.

Hard to attack forgiveness like intrusive thoughts.

We want to annihilate intrusive thoughts, shut down our fight or flight mechanism, calm our nervous system, mindfully follow our body sensation, but what the hell do we do with forgiveness.

I wanted to get rid of all of those things, but forgiving I avoided, it scared and enraged me.

Forgiving exposes us to what we fear about the abuse (abuser), frozen from the shame, we avoid forgiving out of survival, we think.

The battle with forgiveness has begun for me.

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A Canary in a Cage,,,,,,,,,,,Awareness

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This idea is from “Forgive what you can not forget”, we need an awareness as keen as a canary in a cage as we go down into the coal mine, to the depths of our abuse.

I take everything way to personally, never forget the damage inflicted by others and look to discredit or do damage back.

That canary would be in the emergency room headed for ICU without some awareness.

Looks like I steered a decade of in depth meditation around forgiveness. Five hours a day for five years and forgiveness was coated with Teflon.

If I were Superman this is my kyrtonite, my blind spot, my habit of blaming others, being extremely rigid and shallow.

Whew that’s a harsh assessment, truly expected from my inner critic. My inner critic is viscous.

He is an expert at criticism, a failure at approval, acceptance, wellbeing.

It’s a pessimistic attitude, when I take a step back. That brings a sadness to my soul.

Hard to be reasonable when I am outraged, projecting dads constant criticism to present life.

Man, blinds spots are so obvious to others.

With all my reading, therapy and meditation how did this giant stay hidden.

My therapists never pointed this out.

Or did I never hear them?

This is all good, discovery is awesome, maybe painful but it is the path.

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PTSD: Love is a thing of depth.


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From “Forgive What you can not forget”


“Love is a thing of depth.

When forced to stay on the surface, it flounders about like a fish out of water.

A fish can’t live on the surface, because it can’t breathe. It breathes oxygen but not from the surface air.

Fish pull water through their gills, which dissolve the oxygen from the water and dispense it into their bodies.

If they don’t get below the surface, they will be starved of what gives them life.

Love is a bit like that.

Love needs depth to live.

Love needs honesty to grow.

Love needs trust to survive.
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My two cents: What do abused kids know about love?

Love was no part of my childhood experience, violence, abuse and turmoil filled my youth.

Now I see my father never forgave, never felt remorse, I did not understand how a narcissist thought or behaved.

I have no idea what love is or how to forgive.

Awareness of our flaws always starts the process of change.

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The Healer of our Pain

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From “Forgive What you can not forget“

That person who hurt me may be the cause of the pain. But they are not capable of being the healer of my pain. Or the restorer of my life.”

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My two cents: In some way we all want our abusers to pay, want them to acknowledge their offense and show contrition or some remorse.

Maybe we entertain scenarios of revenge in our fantasies, rewriting past wrongs.

I know my actions have giving life, power to my abusers.

Forgiveness is the key to freedom, wellbeing.

This is my new goal, forgive my abusers.
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PTSD’s voice: what does he say?

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This is my PTSD’s voice, maybe part inner critic, part judging mechanism, he is my flawed narrative (Ego). When PTSD is active my ego feels like this guy.

I am a lost soul, wandering through life, the demons of childhood haunt me, companions for life.

Life from my earliest memories was always coming way too fast for an abused kid to handle.

I had the burden of navigating physical and emotional abuse, a task like surviving in a war zone, my dad, on top of living and functioning at school.

Criticism is a major flaw for me. I know we should not take criticism personally, ever.

My issue stems from never having an early memory without criticism.

Violent criticism was my father’s way of raising me, an everyday regiment of abuse.

Oh, I have struggled with the inner critic my whole existence.

I avoid places that remind me of past criticism or future risk.

That avoidance is seamless, almost involuntary with little thought, my nervous system alerts me.

I force myself, overriding PTSD’s symptoms, to engage in some activities amid these perceived dangers.

We have to balance the risk versus reward in our life.

We want to participate more but we do not want to suffer more.

How do we navigate life like this?

That is our daily dilemma.

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Coping better is my Goal

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I do not think there is a cure for childhood abuse (C-PTSD), do not think there is a space where we say, I am healed.

It is possible to learn coping skills, navigate life, and find some wellbeing.

Childhood trauma is hard wired while the brain developed, so it is never going to disappear.

There is a huge difference between actively coping with PTSD and being a victim.

Knowing I will never heal is not an opportunity to give up, the journey is the same, the results maybe different than total healing, that’s all.

I am not healed but my life has both wellbeing and suffering.

Coping is using my trauma skills to minimize PTSD’s impact when activated.

When PTSD is dormant, I Strengthen my mindfulness skills, always preparing for the next battle.

It is a precarious existence, often an internal war being waged inside the mind.

Remember our hippocampus is smaller while our amygdala is larger, combined with the left Prefrontal cortex being compromised.

Trauma will explode from time to time as we navigate life.

Our goal is to live and risk in the midst of PTSD terror and enjoy our trauma free Periods fully.

Our challenges come when intrusive thoughts bombard us at a rapid pace, then our fight or flight mechanism fires, how we handle this perceived threat determines life.

Be prepared, develop as many coping skills as possible and practice daily.

There are no guarantees with childhood trauma, life will suck at times, unworthiness and fear will prevail at times.

We do have a choice, resist or give up, deciding not to have PTSD is not an option I am aware of.

We have to be determined, courageous and have the ability to take action in the face of fear and anxiety.

I have learned not to resent my place on this earth, that is a victims stance.

Life Axiom: Sedentary is closer to death, action closer to life.

Healing takes daily action, suffering arrives without effort.

The Dance between PTSD and our Thoughts

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Taking a step back, perusing life around me, then exploring my mind, ideas percolate.

So much of well-being depends on our thoughts, abstract inventions filled with bias and emotion.

Expressed by wrote or speech, certain thoughts are damaging if we adopt them.

Remember 60,000 thoughts cross our consciousness daily.

Why do trauma thoughts dominate the 60,000, take up all the oxygen in the room?

Who do PTSD emotionally charged thoughts have so much power?

Why do some never go away, not present all the time but visit each new day.

Thoughts can shape our narrative, identity who we think we are, waste huge amounts of time pursuing that image.

Implicit memory (stored trauma) brings the scariest thoughts, lethal threat memories of abuse or trauma.

On the PTSD discussion boards, childhood abuse and rape were constant companions for so many.

Stuck in the violence of childhood like an invisible prison, suffering is the dish served over and over.

Recovery seemed impossible from my observation point.

For me, healing has taken power from these memories, granted me periods of well-being.

I realize some thoughts become weaponized with emotions, seeming enormously powerful, it is all hot air.

PTSD is a bully, know thine own trauma well.

Matthew Ricard describes thought as ephemeral, fleeting and hollow.

Our thoughts on self (self-worth) are extremely important.

These thoughts influence the Ego’s (identity) creation.

Our Ego has been severely compromised during childhood, we need to reparent and be aware of how the mind works.

Therapy and meditation have been my reparenting effort.

The mind is extremely complex but is programmed by simple repetitive actions.

For me that action was found in meditating, learning to focus intensely.

Calming my nervous system and being able to let negative thoughts go, remain my most powerful tools.

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Lessons I have learned

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After a long energetic effort with therapy and practice to heal, my life was still a damn mess.

In my old wisdom, if that is a real thing, learning to function in the midst of PTSD is the new gold on my healing path.

Listen, my childhood abuse, wiring of my brain in survival mode, is never going away.

My ability to function, discount the noise and take action is a part of my happiness in life, the oasis in this PTSD desert.

It is not about winning, it is how we fight, how much energy we exert, how much adversity can we respond to.

How resilient can we be along this path, how many times can we get back up.

This is not the road of an easy life, many succumb without much resistance.

My purpose is to live as freely as possible despite PTSD and inspire you to never give up.

We rarely take big risks.

We face adversity and the collapse of our boundaries.

Adversity is not a punishment, some think opportunity lies within adversity.

Adversity is ever present in our lives, attitude and effort are the tools needed to resist and continue living.

Effort has always been easy for me, attitude is difficult when unworthiness and depression try to consume me.

Another lesson I use is the knowledge that PTSD is cyclical, it explodes with cortisol and adrenaline, fills us with anxiety and fear, then recedes in time back to our normal.

Know the pattern of trauma firing up, staying a while then returning back to normal.

Some Wisdom: I have survived my worst flare ups already, with PTSD active and powered up, so my fear level has dropped.

PTSD can do nothing new to me that I have not already endured or survived.

So PTSD has thrown its biggest punches and I am still standing, so are you, maybe you have not realized the accomplishment yet.

Realize that therapy even once a week is only 4 hours a month, our time alone accounts for 720 hours. 720 hours versus 4 hours.

Where do you think healing will happen?

Mine happened on my own time, sometimes directed by my therapists input, most of the time while meditating using my tools.

Next, Find a mentor.

Books were my first mentor, books on neuroscience, PTSD therapies, war, meditation and holistic cures.

PTSD discussion boards were next, a negative place filled with victims acting out, taught me what not to do.

Lessons are hidden everywhere.

Now, I follow blogs that inspire me as part of my daily routine.

Please share one of your tools that has made a difference.

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My take on childhood abuse’s impact on the mind and body

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Childhood abuse results in a smaller hippocampus, larger amygdala and the quarterback (left prefrontal cortex) of our mind confused and ineffective.

Our minds wired around abuse, in survival mode, so the organs responsible for regulation and safety developed differently.

So memory, emotional regulation, safety and common sense have been compromised.

If we understand these shortcomings, we can grade our thoughts on this trauma curve.

Discount everything we feel and think around our PTSD. I do not believe my PTSD thoughts.

They are inaccurate, damaging and a distant memory.

That question of why we just can not let go, is answered in the damage to these three brain organs.

If we look at the Kaiser Adverse Childhood study, cancer, disease, addiction and early death come with childhood abuse, also.

It’s just not the mind, it is the body that suffers.

So let me rejoice at my advanced age to have survived and never given up.

Few will understand how we feel, now we know our brains have physical deficiencies.

This is not to use as an excuse but wisdom to live life as fully as possible in the face of our challenges.

There will be low times of hopelessness and depression, that’s why we never give up, never give in.

I have waited out serious bouts of PTSD with triggers firing, anxiety filling my body, and fear consuming me.

These spells will break, subside and life goes back to our normal.

I still hope, but hope only has a chance with daily work and courage to risk.

We journey together on this path not on competition.

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