Posts Tagged ‘criticism’

PTSD’s voice: what does he say?



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.



The other side of Criticism

Pixabay: geralt



Are you a critical person?

Do you criticize your spouse?

Do you criticize your kids.

Do you realize the impact on them?

Do you realize the impact on you?

Do you know there is another choice?


I believe we have a responsibility to be kind, gracious, and helpful to others.

What is the inner critic saying, feeling when you criticize?

Why do you need to criticize?

Does your “Ego” need to feel superior at all costs?

Impossible to be happy with a heart who needs to be mean to others.

The “Ego” brings forth many destructive thoughts to our doorstep.

Are you aware of the destructive (negative) thoughts the “Ego” generates.

Free yourself from thought, give up criticizing.

Criticizing others damages us.

Gratitude, giving and kindness are alternative ways to live and be happy.



Criticism been very very bad for me

Pixabay: pixel2013



I bristle at criticism, always have. Something deep inside, something from childhood, awakens when I am criticized.

Past scenarios where someone has criticized me, are stored with more emotion and unrest.

It has taken considerable work to soften those memories.

I understand the origins of my childhood abuse and it’s impact on my self image and personality.

Fortunately, it was not a life sentence.

I am much happier now, have a greater feeling of freedom and peace of mind.

Life is not easy at times, but who said it was supposed to be.

Learning to accept the times that are anxious, sad and awkward, instead of trying to escape them has been a process.

At times criticism dies a quick death, other times we wrestle for a while.

Sitting quietly, focusing intently on the breath, I observe my emotions, anxiety and fear without judgment.

No effort to escape or avoid was taken.

Running, avoiding, powers our fears, gives them that unknown quality, a confusing terror.

Make friends with your nervous system and inner critic. Observe.

How do you handle criticism?



From the book Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists by Kathy Steele and Onno van der Hart

painting by Scott Musgrove


“People with complex dissociative disorder were often confronted as children with situations that evoke extreme and overwhelming emotions. Generally younger children learn from their caregivers how to understand and regulate emotions.  People with dissociative disorder often grew up in families in which it was not acceptable to show or discuss certain emotions.

In some cases it was actually dangerous to express feelings, resulting in punishment, ridicule or complete disregard.  Parents or caregivers of people with complex dissociative disorder typically had a problem with emotions themselves and were thus unable to teach children adaptive and healthy skills to deal with emotions.  These children learn to avoid or disregard their own feelings.  They also have difficulty reflecting, that is, accurate reading other people’s emotions and intentions in the present, generally assuming something negative rather than positive.”




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