Posts Tagged ‘AWARENESS’

PTSD fears: avoid or face?

27 Deep Dark Fears That Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Animator Fran Krause

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We can not be afraid of our pain, of our triggers, of our thoughts, unless we can still take action and face them.

In the beginning I was petrified of triggers firing violently, albeit I was frozen, paralyzed with the biggest jolt of cortisol ever experienced.

Showing very little courage describes the first couple of months when trauma exploded. Hell, I did not understand anything about PTSD or how it worked.

It took time to face my fears, but my meditation practice headed directly at the center of my abuse. My meditation practice worked like a big auger, whatever sludge trapped inside was going to come up in due time.

Exposure therapy became one of the bravest things I repeatedly practiced every week.

Real courage is taking action in the face of our PTSD fears. Have you ever faced your PTSD fears?

I was scared to death, the monster inside is powerful and invisible to others, so my words fall on ears that do not understand.

You have to face these PTSD fears to get better.

No pill is going to do it.

I would run into a person suffering from PTSD who was desperate.

They had hit bottom, the decision to take action had been made.

Their current life was unacceptable, all they needed were tools and direction.

Please be desperate, everyday PTSD rules your life, it grows more powerful.

You can take action in the face of your fears.

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A technique using a large Circle, a big Zero 0

https://pixabay.com/users/analogicus-8164369/

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Find a quiet spot, focus on the breath intently, slow way down, calm your being.

After the body calms, Visualize an enormous circle in front of you.

Bring all awareness to your body sensations, be extremely sensitive, explore the inner world.

Now let your trauma thoughts and feelings have an audience.

We are just observing them from a short distance. Next start filling the big circle, that zero with your trauma.

Every exhale, shovel some more inside the ⭕️ circle, all the worry, doubt, humiliation, loss and unworthiness we carry like an anchor.

When you have shoveled all you can, every exhale moves the circle farther away as it begins to shrink.

In a couple of minutes the circle is so far away, it looks like a period.

Do you notice any change?

We are trying to build some space, some distance between us and our trauma, between stimulus and response in waking life.

Remember, it takes repetition to handle trauma, to enjoy wellbeing.

My Wednesday meditation group leader, Cam, introduced this technique today.

I adapted it to trauma, fill that ⭕️ circle, it is like a door, an opening to jettison our PTSD.

Being able to focus on the breath and visualize things has helped me get better.

As usual, new things are awkward and we are not very good at it in the beginning.

You can do all this in private, avoidance is a big symptom.

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An abused childhood brain

Pixabay: Anemone123

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There are events that change a life forever, the winner of the harmful events, trauma.

Can you think of the time before your trauma? How did your mind function? You have experienced the mind without trauma, remember back and mimic that experience.

You have a much better chance at healing than a kid abused throughout childhood.

For childhood trauma, many never knew a time without abuse, their minds were always in some form of survival mode.

We have to watch healthy people live or read books about what a mind without serious abuse feels like.

My childhood PTSD did not explode until my mid fifties, but I always had symptoms.

I was puking by the time high school arrived, my stomach and nervous system had PTSD symptoms. There was no safe place for me at school and especially at home.

Of course I hid any weakness from my father, I was terrified by that monster.

My anxiety levels were off the chart, there was no escape.

I have no idea what a mind without serious childhood abuse feels like. My mind never fully relaxes, ever, he is always on guard, always somewhat hyper vigilant.

Trust is something I tried once, it turned out to be the worst event of my life. We are terrible at picking a mate that is trustworthy.

I have read that we are incapable of having a healthy relationship, I finally agree. It is a consequence beyond our control, we did not ask to be abused as children.

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Navigating life with PTSD active

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My PTSD has come alive again with a repressed memory. How do I navigate life until this new trauma is integrated?

For most of us, PTSD either survives our healing efforts or there is much more trauma below the surface.

How do we live life until we heal? How do we respond to our trauma, do we avoid going near anything that feels dangerous?

I sure did for a long time. PTSD got much worse avoiding.

At my worst, agoraphobic for six months, I started a weekly exposure therapy. I would pick one day a week and go out and face my triggers.

The emotionally tainted fear was palpable, my resistance acute, it felt extremely dangerous. Part of PTSD’s irrational nature, it is an invisible battle inside our body and mind.

What is real and what is trauma? I do not have an answer for that, I am way to close.

Looking back, it took enormous courage to face mundane, neutral situations other people take for granted.

Where others see opportunity for attachment, we see danger.

How do we act like normal people who feel no danger, no anxiety? I have never pulled it off when my PTSD was active.

Even if I had the courage to practice exposure therapy, I was a mess, anxious and guarded the whole time.

My mind could hardly think, it was scouting for imminent danger instead, confused and nervous.

A few minutes felt like an hour, I was heading right at my trauma fears, the opposite of avoidance.

All of this is invisible to everyone around us. It is a lonely journey until we improve.

Afterward, I was euphoric, in the face of PTSD fear, I had triumphed. A small victory, but a vital one.

For me and for you, we must find the courage to face our trauma fears or we will suffer.

I focus on improving, healing is to large a concept for us.

Work to improve a little each day, healing is so much bigger an animal. Keep it simple.

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Looking back on the Week

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Description of this week: There is an internal war going on, battles are intermittent but intense.

My moods can switch instantly, the morose part brings many emotions, seemingly before thought even starts. Remember the defense mechanism fires immediately, the cognitive side is 5 seconds delayed.

PTSD triggers fire our defense mechanism, called our fight or flight mechanism. This is part of the mechanical, physical side of trauma. Think of that, a trigger fires before directed thought even knows what the hell just happened.

I have eliminated this repressed trauma three times, gaining some freedom for a few days, then it appears again. With my childhood trauma, once a piece was integrated, my improvement lasted.

So part of my day is good, part horrible and then the rest spent distracting my mind.

I have to play solitaire while I watch 📺 tv, it takes two things like this to prevent my mind from ruminating. Having chronic pain and being 69, I do not have the energy to go back to my workaholic distraction.

Much of my adult life, I see now, was spent working or being busy, overloaded to outrun what was chasing me. Spending time alone with my mind was avoided at all costs. Sound familiar?

Fear is not a big part of my PTSD lately, humiliation and shame are far more dangerous and debilitating.

Humiliation and shame have a huge impact on unworthiness.

Childhood abuse brings anxiety, fear and unworthiness at its core. Unworthiness and abandonment were my big fears as a child.

I was going to get beat severely no matter what.

I feared, but never cried, giving that son of a bitch (dad) any satisfaction.

Even as a little kid, there was a apart of me that would not let him think he could hurt me.

That’s hilarious now as he has stolen most of my adult life. I was using my only strength against him, sadly it was not enough.

It was the emotional crap that carried on inside. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

I can endure pain, unworthiness and shame are my weaknesses. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

For me going after the physical part of PTSD first, was using my strengths. I needed to take as much power away from PTSD before I attacked my weaknesses.

Common sense for me, comes from pro ball, how to improve and fill in your weaknesses.

It’s called the off season.

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Be a Thought Detective

https://pixabay.com/users/graphicmama-team-2641041/

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Can you follow your awareness back to its origin? How big is your awareness?

Can you visualize yourself sitting on a couch watching TV? Can you add a rerun of yourself from last week as the show playing?

Observing the thinker, with practice you can see you sitting on the couch.

Can you watch your mind, be aware of your thoughts. Who is the person that is aware of those thoughts? Not the thinker, we are observing him/her over there.

There is a separation between me and the thinker, we are not the same.

Is that guy in the rerun real? Some people on that television have been dead for decades. Does that TV bring them back to life?

Bringing awareness to our thoughts, uncovers the raging river, rapidly flowing through our consciousness.

60,000 thoughts everyday, one every waking second, how and why do we choose the scary ones, the negative ones, or the ones that are unworthy over the happy, kind ones?

We only choose a small percentage each day.

Experienced monks have trained their minds to let all those thoughts pass on by.

Emotions rarely uncenter them. They exist with their minds living in the current moment, void of random thought. For the most part they direct thinking when they need to, otherwise they are in observer mode.

Thoughts and emotions are partners, they choose which emotions stay and which ones go by by. Without random thoughts to latch onto, negative emotions learn to stay dormant.

Think what that must feel like for us.

Awareness uses all our senses plus intuition in one dimension, then past awareness of danger is prioritized.

Be a detective, awareness is your vehicle.

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Somedays the shit (trauma) is just alive

https://pixabay.com/users/kolibri5-240538/

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Somedays the shit (trauma) is just alive, intrusive thoughts never stop, enough fear drugs flow to start the snowball rolling down that old hill.

I have learned to live with, how do you describe, some pain, how do you quantify that in words, without getting upset.

Yes, being abused as a kid has given me a sick sense of gallows humor. We were the opposite of spoiled.

The things I write.

Life is far more serious for us kids. At school I was different. They were calmer, freer, not anxious, not apprehensive, not afraid, some were confidant.

How? I always knew I had to go back home, how could you not be anxious, afraid, sick to your stomach.

As a kid, I knew something was wrong with my dad.

I know pain has been and will be part of my life, why get upset unless it doubles.

Striving to heal is totally different than the reality of being in emotional pain.

I would describe my PTSD pain as emotional (abstract).

The physical abuse I have endured was easier to move on from, the emotional crap left deep scars.

I felt special the first time I healed. PTSD exploded again, then the Second PTSD War started.

Special left my vocabulary.

If we were honest, we would see PTSD takes over for a while, until we center ourself.

I get lost but I find my way back.

It is not the life I chose, but is the one I live and accept today.

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Bad days look like this now

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/types-of-anxiety/ptsd

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How do we describe something no one else can feel or see? It is PTSD of course.

Yesterday my nervous system ramped up enough to make me uncomfortable.

I felt something bad was going to happen, it is a theme that has played since my earliest childhood memories.

It is subconscious and insidious. Certain feeling predate my brain developing, so it feels ghostly to me.

Life became guarded, like someone with a gun was going to ambush me. Abstract and unknown.

PTSD does not explode with triggers anymore, it manifests like this now.

Unworthiness and shame have replaced triggers firing violently. It is a vast improvement but PTSD survives.

Damn, I have worked hard and long to kill all my trauma but some always survives.

I play defense until it breaks.

It is a day of letting go and distracting myself with chores, tasks, meditating and exercise.

It is a time to let thoughts about depression and unworthiness flow on through.

It is a time when PTSD steals my opportunity to feel normal, happy.

It unplugs all my healing as PTSD raises its ugly head again in my life.

I have to control my anger at my abusers and betrayers.

PTSD has become much more stealthy and subtle, not the triggers exploding mess it once was.

People without childhood abuse have no idea, no clue what life is like for us.

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Some feelings from childhood never left

https://pixabay.com/users/ambermb-3121132/

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On my journey much of my trauma has been integrated, great improvement has been achieved. How much more remains, I have no clue.

I lived a complete childhood fearing what was going to happen, and terrible things happened every week.

Now it is the unknown, out there. With our trust issues we believe harm is close.

How do you change that kind of fear, that feeling something bad is going to happen. I have always lived with that feeling deep inside.

I would ask others, what it is like not to feel this way? I guess this is why autonomy and worthiness are strangers to us.

I do not remember a time, when I felt confident life was safe. I have been happy at times but that never eliminated that doom was near. So any happiness was rigid and contained, able to be destroyed in a second.

Failure, loss, ridicule and suffering happened multiple times every week.

How do you change a nervous system trained to fire at imminent danger every week as a kid.

My nervous system never knew a safe space, never felt safe.

I always had to go back home as a child.

When your trapped for 16 years like this, our nervous systems will never resemble a normal persons.

Realizing this fact, let’s me set expectations that are realistic.

If I think happiness is being like a normal person, that is never going to happen.

We can achieve happiness but it will be entirely different.

I do not expect to trust others but I do expect to be happy.

I know others have their subconscious fears of the unknown.

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do you take daily action to improve?

https://pixabay.com/users/ras-design-2574573/

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I have had success helping some improve from their PTSD.

They hear the same words as everyone else, why do they take action, while the rest never quite get it together.

There is a drive, an energy, a purpose in the few that have the ability to take risks, facing what scares them.

I have been able to mentor them, it is satisfying, I value what we share as special.

I have no clue how to inspire the other 95%.

My words fall harmlessly around them without influence.

The best are those who are desperate, at the end of their rope.

They have decided to make a change, they just need a direction and tools.

I light up when someone like this approaches me.

There is an energy and bond we share, I can even trust this relationship.

To witness someone sit quietly and face a sexual assault that has terrified them for years, is almost spiritual.

To witness the courage and healing that ensues is magical.

You can almost see that burden, that heavy weight drop away.

I would encourage everyone to take some kind of action everyday to heal.

Eat the elephant one meal at a time

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