Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Changing my life’s narrative again

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I improved a great deal from my childhood abuse, seemed stable, well adjusted grading on a PTSD curve.

Then a couple months ago, a hidden public betrayal has changed everything, my narrative of life was false.

My childhood abuse was always the solid foundation of my suffering but an event in college changed me drastically.

Now, I see why trust is to dangerous to employ.

Yes, I do not trust anyone except my daughter and three grandkids, they will never betray me.

I have a few close friends but would never engage anyone in an intimate relationship.

Everything my initial healing taught me was flawed, my college betrayal was the event that killed trust, set me on a path of isolation, and grew my childhood unworthiness into a monster.

At 69, this is quite a conundrum for a guy, who thought he faced all his trauma and healed.

I have tried to rearrange memories, change my flawed beliefs and gain some perspective, my reality.

Well, I am lost in the middle of this upheaval.

Childhood abuse lasts forever, at least til 70 for me, that’s a long time to carry someone else’s evil behavior.

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The 3 stages of C-PTSD recovery

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From Suzanne Jessee, M.A.

Stage I: Establishing Safety

“The initial phase of treatment focuses on establishing a sense of stability and safety and forming an alliance with the therapist. The therapist will teach the client about the elements of trauma and how people respond to trauma as a foundation upon which to teach the recovery skills.

The client will learn how to self-nurture and self-soothe, as well as how to modulate emotions.

The therapist will teach the client how to better manage the symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks or nightmares, in addition to teaching how to set healthy boundaries, assertiveness training, and stress reduction techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness exercises.

In addition, the client will benefit from antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.

Stage II: Remembrance and Mourning for What Was Lost

The middle phase of treatment begins after the client has successfully integrated the stabilization skills taught in Stage I.

During the middle phase those stabilization skills will be needed, as the client revisits and processes the traumatic events and experiences intense emotional response to the memories.

Also, the middle phase involves the task of exploring and mourning what has been lost as related to the trauma, and to grieve the loss. As with PTSD treatment, prolonged or graduated exposure therapy is often utilized.

Other therapies that are effective during this phase include cognitive processing therapy, narrative exposure, EMDR, cognitive restructuring, and reprocessing.

Stage III: Reconnecting with Community and Society (the hard part of healing)

The final phase of treatment involves creating a new sense of self and setting sights on a new future. (This is a monumental chore for abused kids)

During this last stage of recovery, the client accepts the trauma as just a part of their life story, but no longer allows it to define who they are or what they can become.

This phase develops a sense of personal empowerment and a feeling of control over their future. ( empowerment, that’s such a stretch for seriously abused kids, our brains hard wired under duress, extreme fear. For me I feel no control, never have since I was a kid)

Self-identity is newly defined, and new interpersonal skills are developed. ( redefining my whole childhood was a monumental chore, my father told me my identity, then beat me every time I tried to be me)

The client will review the people in their life and decide whether to retain those relationships in light of new insights and boundaries. ( I guess in this stage, trust was never rekindled for anyone in my life. My whole life, trust was rationed, only went to a shallow level, improving did not change my trust issues, it always sounds so easy on paper)

For some, taking on a mission to help others, or a survivor mission, following the end of treatment is a constructive way to help others and continue to heal and grow.” ( my mission was this blog and a real mindfulness group. It helps but nothing has fixed the betrayals from loved ones. Got one right.)

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How do abused kids ever trust again?

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Even if my healing is miraculous, I will never trust, never risk being betrayed at all costs.

The damage betrayal did to me was profound and immediate, my male ego never quite recovered from the lies, manipulation and coldness.

Of course my abusive childhood, made me extremely vulnerable to be used and impossible for me to endure.

All of my abuse that haunts me now happened before I was 20, starting at age five, when I was helpless and ending in such a horrific public betrayal in college.

In my head, I do not want to be the betrayed or ridiculed , ever, ever, ever, ever again.

In fact, I do not want to be me.

It has changed my whole outlook and value, or should I say life has lost its value for me.

How do you replace value and worth when it is destroyed.

How do you make it ok for me to Trust?

I have went to a decade of therapy, practiced on my own, meditated for at least 10,000 hours, read everything on trauma, neuroscience, ptsd, therapy and war I could devour.

For five years I spent 8 to 10 hours a day devoted to healing.

I trust less now after facing my fears and improving.

Yea, I know, just distract myself or let the past go.

Really!

Can we ever rewire what was hard wired as abuse in childhood.

I do not think so.

I think psychology tries to act like they have answers for serious abused kids, cures.

I think they have hard enough issues trying to help those heal with regular PTSD.

How do look at therapy and healing?

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Ways that a Narcissistic Parent controls his or her young children

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From https://bandbacktogether.com/master-resource-links-2/mental-illness-resources/adult-children-of-narcissistic-parents/


“There are a few ways that a Narcissistic Parent controls his or her young children. These control mechanisms include:

1) Codependent Control: “I need you. I can’t live without you.” This prevents children of Narcissistic Parents from having any autonomy, from living their own lives.

( I had no clue how to live my childhood or life. Little kids are brainwashed by their narcissistic parent using emotional and physical torture.)

2) Guilt-Driven Control: “I’ve given my life for you. I’ve sacrificed it all.” This method of control creates a feeling of obligation in children; that they “owe” their Narcissistic Parents and must behave in a certain way to make their parents happy.

(My mother told me, every breath my father took was for me)

3) Love Withdrawal Control: “You’re worthy of my love ONLY BECAUSE you behave the way I expect you to.” So long as their children are behaving properly, a Narcissistic Parent will be loving. That love disappears the moment a child doesn’t meet expectations.

( My father threatened abandonment. I did not attach to something that threatened to leave me exposed, vulnerable)

4) Goal-Oriented Control: “We have to work together to achieve a goal.” These goals are generally the goals, dreams, and fantasies of a Narcissistic Parent. A Narcissistic Parent lives vicariously through his or her children.

(My father stole my childhood as his way of gaining status in his life, self worth at my expense.)

5) Explicit Control: “Obey me or I’ll punish you.” Children of Narcissistic Parents must do as they’re told or risk shame, guilt, anger, or even physical abuse.

( My beatings were frequent and severe, delivered coldly without concern for my wellbeing. My dad meant to hurt me and scare the shit out of me. Control would be absolute.)

6) Emotional Incest Control: “You’re my one true love, The One, the most important person to me.” An opposite-sex parent makes his or her child fulfill the unmet needs of the Narcissistic Parent.

( My mom was the enabler, her life was better when dad focused on me instead of her)
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This Will Change Your Mind About Psychedelic Drugs

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Excerpt from https://time.com/5278036/michael-pollan-psychedelic-drugs/

“For years, the field of mental health has been largely barren of meaningful treatment advances. But now, scientists have new hope in the least likely of places: psychedelic drugs. Recent research suggests that certain psychedelic substances can help relieve anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and the fear surrounding a terminal diagnosis.

“The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” says Michael Pollan, author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”

What do psychedelics do to the human mind?

The honest answer: nobody quite understands. We’re really just at the beginning of exploring that frontier. But psychedelics appear to diminish activity in one very important brain network called the default mode network. That network is very involved with operations having to do with our sense of self: how we integrate what’s happening to us in any given moment, with our abiding sense of who we are.

The interesting thing about psychedelics, both LSD and psilocybin — the ingredient in magic mushrooms — is that they take this network offline. When that happens, you have this sensation of ego-dissolution: that your self is evaporating or dissolving. And that seems to lead to new connections in the brain temporarily forming.

Your emotion center starts talking directly to your visual cortex, let’s say, and you see things that you’re hoping or fearing. New connections are made that could produce new insights, new perspectives, new ways of looking at the world.

Your book talks a lot about the scientific approach to psychedelics. What do scientists believe that psychedelics can offer people?

The feeling among the scientists is that these chemicals allow us to essentially reboot the brain. If the brain is stuck in these narrow grooves of thought — whether it’s an obsession or a fear or the story you tell yourself — all those deep grooves that lock us into patterns of both thought and behavior are dissolved and temporarily suspended in a way that allows us to break those patterns.

What psychedelics do you think show some therapeutic potential?

There are two drugs that show the most potential and will probably be legalized for medical use soon. One is a drug that isn’t always considered a psychedelic: MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly, which has been shown to be incredibly useful in the treatment of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers or in rape victims. A study recently came out that showed great effectiveness at treating those problems. That’s very encouraging, and that may be the first of these drugs to get approved.

The second is psilocybin. It appears to be very useful in the treatment of anxiety, depression and addiction in both smoking and alcohol.”

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My two cents: Psilocybin has been legalized in Oregon. Everything I have read always said a magic pill is a fantasy, but rebooting the brain along with our practice has me interested.

I know a life is not supposed to be lived like this

Pixabay: wgbieber

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Thanksgiving has sent my mind racing, searching for explanations why others seek family get togethers.

Wellbeing (happiness) has all these great trusting relationships and deep family connections.

My life is void of that, I am connected to a daughter and three grandkids.

I feel safe loving my grandkids, they will never betray me. I do not love anything else.

That hits me as extremely sad as I write it, but it is my reality.

I am a loner who is not lonely.

Betrayal is far worse than not having any deep attachments in my life.

Criticism cuts deep into our soul, betrayal rips our hearts out.

Unless you have been severely abused as a kid, my feelings make no sense to you.

That use to bother me, now I could care less if anyone understands me.

Luckily I have shed my guilt for believing I was unworthy, or at fault for my abuse.

Adult children of narcissist are haunted, not attached in healthy relationships, then confused at feeling like an outcast.

We stick out, we see danger when others feel secure, we see betrayal where others see opportunity, we isolate out of fear while normal people attach, enjoy, even trust.

We are shocked others can trust and feel safe.

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Childhood abuse, do we ever trust

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Awareness preempts any change in my humble opinion.

Many habits and patterns go unnoticed right below the surface of consciousness.

Recently, I realized how sensitive or paranoid my behavior has developed.

At all times, in any situation, I am aware of everything around me.

I have always been like this, always knowing where my father was, what mood, what danger existed.

It is second nature to me, my peripheral vision is excellent, I even know what is behind me.

Now I see this as a defense mechanism (PTSD symptoms), where real danger rarely exists.

My behavior has developed from a violent, abusive childhood.

My Survival mode is always activated in some form no matter where I am or what I am doing.

I am not physically afraid, in fact quite the opposite, however emotionally, imminent danger has always been close.

My complete childhood was spent more or less in survival mode.

Spotting imminent danger overwhelmed all other circuits.

Part of it is hereditary, I inherited my mothers nervous system, high strung and anxiety ridden.

When my fight or flight mechanism would fire, it was violent and intense, numbing, almost paralyzing.

Meditation has calmed my nervous system.

Unfortunately now I see my Nervous system does not fire violently, however he is on high alert constantly, spotting danger.

It has been mostly subconscious, nothing overt or any conscious effort.

All this happens automatically without thought or input.

Being able to trust is so important.

How do we trust with only betrayal in our past?

Trust is just something I know nothing about.

How do you start trusting at age 69?

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Childhood abuse destroys a kids ability to trust others or himself/herself

Pixabay: GregMontani

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How do you trust when one parent is your violent abuser and the other is his enabler?

Conditioned love from your caregivers, places all self-worth and value as a person, on performance (approval) for the dominant abuser. 

I was conditioned to have no intrinsic value except for the achievements my narcissistic parent picked out as valuable.

My narcissistic father demanded I would be twice as good (at baseball) as any other kid in my hometown.

At five I was informed I would be a great professional baseball player or else.

How does a little boy handle such as outrageous demand. Oh yea, I played six years for the Baltimore Orioles.

Now, is my self worth dependent on being twice as Good? 

You better damn well believe it did in that household.

Sad as a little boy, that’s exactly how my father valued me or I was beat violently and portrayed verbally as worthless.

He did not care about anything else, cold, calculated and extremely violent was his demeanor.

Now, at 69, weakened by chronic pain, spinal fusions, and complex PTSD, my abuse overwhelms me.

Once a strong advocate for fighting for every breath, now my spirit is tired of the humiliation I have endured.

My strength is gone, endurance crippled by a serious car wreck, and my chronic pain grows as I age.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have read enough, meditated enough and healed enough to understand the mountain I faced from birth.

With ten years of intensive healing under my belt, the mountain of trauma inside my brain keeps pouring out.

My expectations: I thought all my effort would heal me.

I did not expect trauma would never stop haunting me, or would be endless until I die.

For me, life has been filled with abuse, betrayal and suffering.

I think I have fought the good fight, my reward is always more trauma to endure.

I am lost in the middle of this recent eruption of old trauma.

It feels like trauma has consumed my existence, stole my life.

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Trust, is it possible for seriously abused kids.

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I am just realizing some of my habits were created from childhood trauma.

My Childhood was void of trust, it was a violent struggle for a little boy to survive. No attachments were created with my parents, I hated my father, my abuser.

After leaving the household for college, the first person I trusted betrayed me in a horrendous way.

Consequences: Life was much better not trusting people, being dependent on myself, especially when a crisis occurred.

How do you trust after a childhood where I was brutalized emotionally and physically until I left that house?

Childhood did not turn out ok, I was severely damaged and isolated from healthy connections to my peers. I was not allowed to dilute my father’s control with having close friends and a girlfriend was forbidden.

My brain lacked social skills to trust and bond with the group.

Do I cry about lacking, become a victim or do I learn to live without people’s help. That answer is quite obvious.

PTSD is an irrational disorder, we make decisions in survival mode that do not work in normal life. Things are extremely distorted inside our damaged brains.

How does a person like me get to therapy and then trust a therapist?

Trust is a shallow connection to another for me. I just realized how sad this is.

How do we trust on a deep level?

My only touch I received in childhood was getting beat. That does not promote trust or closeness.

Who do you call?

69 years of not trusting is a big mountain!

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What’s Your ACE Score? Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study)

Three Types of ACEs

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There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. So a person who’s been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three.

There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — racism, bullying, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, involvement with the foster care system, involvement with the juvenile justice system, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.

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ACEs Increase Health Risks

According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for various health problems later.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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Prior to your 18th birthday:

Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Were your parents ever separated or divorced?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Was your mother or stepmother:

Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did a household member go to prison?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score

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