Posts Tagged ‘Dissociation’

My mind has patterns, some good, some harmful!

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My mind has patterns, some good, some harmful!

From the earliest memory, my mind and nervous system would lock on to my dad’s behavior, that’s where imminent danger lived for me.

My nervous system was always alert, ready to go to Defcon five in seconds.

This was reinforced every day I lived in that house.

To this day, my mind will lock onto imminent danger, (perceived imminent danger) my mood races to extremes, reacting subconsciously to its perceptions.

My mind, my stored implicit memory, thinks I could be gravely hurt by the current stimulus.

It’s called PTSD and our mind and nervous system are wired differently, hard-wired in extreme survival mode.

My childhood was 17 plus years of daily criticism, physical and emotional abuse.

My brain subconsciously scans the horizon, spotting danger, navigating around people.

My attachments have always been shallow, I always depended on myself, made my own decisions.

My PTSD brain is rigid, anxious, and aggressive, that is a male trait I believe.

I do not understand how people can trust, risk betrayal, or worse.

It is beyond avoidance for me, I do not trust or have a desire to trust.

There is nothing in my memory bank that reinforces attaching to strangers or anyone else.

Emotional safety is the foremost consideration before I leave this house for anything.

I hate it.

I could take anyone afraid of heights up to the top of the Empire State Building.

All the focus and breathing and thinking will not shut that fear down.

You will not be able to calmly analyze anything, think about a dinner engagement, or have a happy-go-lucky experience.

You will be tense, muscles, tendons, nervous system scared to death. You are frozen, parts of the cognitive thinking are offline, rational thought is impossible.

Think you could do some algebra or thread a needle?

Is happiness a choice right now?

How long will a mind be upset from a near-death experience? Hours, days, weeks?

That’s what an intense trigger felt like for me.

That’s PTSD.

My mind is the Issue……..he runs on his own at times

https://pixabay.com/users/jarmoluk-143740/

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Mood swings, intense emotions, and social anxiety are how PTSD manifests itself.

Depression has extinguished desire, or desire has extinguished depression.

Apathy has resulted in a lack of self-care.

I do not recognize myself.

My daughter says the force of nature she has known me to be is gone.

I hate the mood swings, but my mind continues to switch, dramatically at times.

It takes energy and time to unplug these disruptive moods.

Is your mind out of control at times?

These mood swings and thoughts come out from either of the minds, 60,000 thoughts a day neuroscientists tell us to cross our path.

That’s what a normal mind endures, a mind abused in childhood is dominated by intense, dangerous thoughts.

Most people do not connect the consequences on our life.

Most of our time is spent handling trauma, mood swings, avoiding, navigating around triggers, or keeping busy with distractions.

Social anxiety is an acute form of avoidance, add quarantine, masks, and six-foot distance required and I am a mess.

My inability to feel safe around people or trust them explains how my childhood abuse manifests itself.

I fight to stay present, absent of any mood, letting go of any trauma-related behavior.

PTSD runs without my input, intrusive thoughts arrive, rapid-fire like a Gatling gun taking aim.

It’s like our mind has something sinister running it.

Others do not have this burden to carry.

It’s not cancer, or blindness, etc. it’s invisible to everyone.

A dilemma for us.

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PTSD: Beyond Symptoms

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Most of my harsh PTSD physical symptoms have faded or been reduced to a low level through my healing efforts.

Hypervigilance, triggers firing, high anxiety and raging fear have subsided.

Besides depression and low-level anxiety, PTSD’s impact shows up in avoidance, isolation, the lack of desire to trust or bond with people.

What relationships I have left on this planet are shallow except for my kids and grandkids.

You will not find me on Facebook claiming 100’s of friends in a relaxed setting.

I do not have family pictures on my walls, or self-portraits, my ego was obliterated by my father’s abuse.

My life does not contain what normal people crave. I am ok with that.

My daughter tells me Facebook is for connecting to all your friends and family, keeping them apprised of our life.

I have had no use for this platform at any time in my life.

This blog is my outreach. Trying to share and support other traumatized people is my Facebook, I guess.

I do not trust putting myself out there in a public forum.

My life deals with the danger and possible betrayal posed by people, not the joy of needing small talk with others to feel included.

How am I supposed to trust, be relaxed enough to risk being vulnerable, when I fear what people will do to me?

Am I supposed to care about attaching to others more than my safety?

What is the benefit for me? Does it overcome the risk of betrayal?

No!

We avoid, lack the composure to feel safe around people.

Being seriously abused as a kid has a lifetime of suffering and isolation waiting for you.

I may heal but I will never trust people.

I am ok with that.

I am not a victim, by necessity I have had to learn to need very little to navigate life.

I fear people way more than Ptsd. Trust was something that I used once, with one person, and that public betrayal changed my life forever.

Happiness and trust do not mix in my mind or life.

My happiness does not contain what others think happiness consists of.

That’s alright with me also.

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Real Fear versus PTSD Fear

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/1031042908411618836/

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This is what PTSD fear looks like to others watching us.

They see no danger, we feel like we are on a ledge 100 stories high, our fight or flight mechanism explodes.

My trauma drugs have stopped dumping into my nervous system, that part of my PTSD has gone dormant.

Focused breathing practice every day for months made the mechanism friendly.

Our defense mechanism, the fight or flight mechanism, called the adrenal stress response by the professionals, have no intention or emotional feelings.

When we face an imminent threat, our defense mechanism fires before thought, before any cognitive function, in fact, parts of the mind shut down to prioritize our best chance at surviving.

PTSD highjacks this mechanism, firing it erroneously at old non-lethal trauma thoughts.

PTSD has access to the on/off switch.

At my worst, my fight or flight mechanism was firing over 15 times a day.

The moral of this story eluded me, I was not damaged, imminent danger never showed up, in 15 minutes my nervous system was back to my normal.

Was I damaged? No! Why did I continue to fear I would be hurt?

I had no answer to that question.

I was deathly afraid of this mechanism firing, avoided every chance a trigger had at igniting.

No real danger exists inside this mechanism, know that the narrative of trauma drives our fears.

Our thoughts and emotions make the fight or flight scary.

I sat in the middle of my trigger firing, focused on my breath and the corresponding body sensations. I stayed present, focused which help integrate trauma to the present moment.

My fight or flight mechanism stopped firing for triggers in due time.

This is half the battle.

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“Coping with traumatic-related dissociation”: Core Beliefs

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Chronically traumatized people often suffer from persistent core beliefs.

These are deeply rooted convictions that typically involve all-or-nothing thinking without balance or nuance.

“Things never work out for me,” “People always try to hurt me,” I am completely stupid and unlovable,” or ” There is no safe place.”.

These beliefs often contain words like always, never, or none. Such thoughts and beliefs can profoundly influence, reinforce, and intensify negative emotions.

Negative core beliefs are reinforced over time by negative emotions, perception, and predictions, and by additional negative life experiences.

The same is true for positive core beliefs and attendant receptions, emotions, and experiences.

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My two cents: It Seems affirmations and mantras are good practices to combat these negative core beliefs.

Our biggest crime is leaving our minds unattended.

Rick Hanson in “Buddha’s Brain” details how negative thought is like Velcro while positive is like Teflon.

PTSD thoughts and emotions are Velcro on steroids.

Observing our mind in its minute-to-minute existence is crucial for our wellbeing.

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Mindfulness: the opposite of the Ego

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/512354895104988211/

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The ego grasps identity, selects strong emotions, needs approval, achievement, and a sense of superiority.

Mindfulness is about letting go, bringing perspective to desires.

The ego is rigid and narrow, mindful flexible, and expansive.

The ego is created, mindful just is.

The ego thrives in dissociation, mindful only knows this present moment.

The ego feels isolated, better or worse not equal, the mindful totally connected to one another and things.

The ego is like a prison, the mindful freedom, the universe.

The ego always needs, unfettered desire, the mindful, fulfilled with life exactly like it is.

The ego judges, the mindful accepts, observes.

The ego avoids, the mindful stays even when vulnerable.

The ego has goals, the mindful a journey.

The ego restricts growth, the mindful unlimited opportunity.

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The ego feels unworthy, the mindful complete.

The ego races, the mindful enjoys, slows.

The ego affiliates with anger, hate, resentment, the mindful has perspective and balance when expressing emotions.

The ego is lonely, the mindful at peace.

The ego is sad, the mindful happy.

The ego never feels equal to another, the mindful lives in harmony.

The ego immerses itself in drama, the mindful stays calm.

The ego suffers, the mindful endure pain without suffering.

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The invisible Monster: PTSD

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/532550724677841406/

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Yesterday, frustrations boiled over, something invisible, abstract, was dominating my life.

It’s called PTSD, not a birth defect or physical issue, more an invisible vapor that confuses us.

My current real-life is high jacked by trauma memories.

As I share my narrative with a therapist, friend, or in a group, I realize how humiliating living this way has become.

Who wants to be this vulnerable and detached.

Living in survival mode, worry, doubt, and spotting danger replaced feeling safe and attached.

I can not will this mess away.

In my pursuit of a cure, I can observe Ptsd from a distance, operating without my input. He sort of takes over my mind, my thought patterns, and nervous system, sometimes in a split second without warning.

I know these damn memories are 50 and 60 plus years old!

It makes no logical sense. Our defense mechanism has a flaw, it’s called PTSD.

Our defense mechanism, our right amygdala has stored trauma memories from the past.

These stored memories, put away under imminent danger have never gone away.

One trauma event can last the rest of our life.

Certain traumas have ruined lives, they never recover, death would be a better outcome.

That statement is my own, bias as hell but I have witnessed what PTSD has done to people.

In a way, I see our defense mechanism is broken.

Tasked with protecting us, our defense mechanism now torments us.

Look how the apparatus designed to protect us, haunts us.

I am in the middle of climbing out of this hole, it’s scary, depressive, filled with mental and emotional detours.

What lies between us and well-being?

Nothing solid, only some defense drugs and outrageous thoughts.

Somehow, I am going to escape this invisible prison.

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Sex and gender differences in post-traumatic stress disorder:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/372672937885609980/

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Full article here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5632782/

“Prevalence and type of trauma: The lifetime prevalence of PTSD is about 10–12% in women and 5–6% in men.

There are similar differences between the sexes for (comorbid) disorders such as major depression and anxiety disorders.

PTSD subcluster scores have been found to be increased in women, e.g. for re-experiencing and anxious arousal (Charak et al., 2014).

Men and women experience different types of trauma, both in private life and at work (e.g. police officers, Van der Meer et al., 2017), with women being exposed to more high-impact trauma (e.g. sexual trauma) than men, and at a younger age.

Trauma early in life has more impact, especially when it involves type II trauma interfering with neurobiological development and personality.

Traumatic stress affects different areas of the brains of boys and girls at different ages.

“Acute phase, stress-coping and psychotherapy: In the acute phase, women generally score higher than men on acute subjective responses, e.g. threat perception, peritraumatic dissociation and known predictors of PTSD.

Women handle stressful situations differently and have evolved differentially to support these different behaviours. For instance, women in stressful situations may use a tend-and-befriend response rather than the fight-or-flight response that is often assumed.

Emotion-focused, defensive and palliative coping are more prevalent in women, while problem-focused coping is higher in men.

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Women seek more social support, the lack of it being the most consistent predictor of negative outcome of trauma.

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Women have been shown to benefit more from psychotherapy then men in the reduction of PTSD symptoms.

Psychobiological reactions and effects of oxytocin: Although only 2% of psychobiological research has been conducted in females (mainly rats), sex differences have been shown.

Women appear to have a more sensitized hypothalamus–pituitary–axis than men, while men appear to have a sensitized physiological hyperarousal system.”

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My two cents: “Women seek more social support, the lack of it being the most consistent predictor of negative outcome of trauma.”

We men isolate, I do not trust men or women. My childhood had serious type two violence over 18 years.

Childhood abuse destroys trust, emotionally separates us men, our felt unworthiness reinforces the isolation.

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Unused Emotions: Warning; sarcasm and gallows humor ahead!!

You Can Stop Apologizing for Your Sick Sense of Humor!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/498281146262541482/

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My PTSD symptoms have developed into habits, some emotions have been tamped down, almost buried.

I feel the void watching others interact, watching such trusting and kind emotions surface.

Defenses are down, they display warmth, I am envious, a coldness engulfs me.

I do not feel what they feel? Why is what they do worthless to me?

People laugh out loud, hug each other, seem to absorb great emotional rewards, valuable property. They smile and I guess life is good.

This sharing and community must be happiness. What do they feel?

Memories and terror are absent from their demeanors, their behavior. I do not feel safe, free, exuberant emotions, not in private, not in public.

I have no idea what this abstract thing they enjoy, it seems to fulfill them. Makes me uncomfortable.

They have some special connection, attachment, some secret communication of knowing, trusting. I think they developed this in childhood, the security they feel is also foreign to me.

I have not and do not feel these emotions and never would I trust people like this.

Why have certain emotions been absent from my life? When others have warm inclusive feelings, mine are cold, watching for danger.

Have they not been betrayed, publically humiliated, beaten half to death as a kid?

Oh, I love gallows humor, you have to laugh at what we were born into.

If you do not believe in reincarnation, childhood abuse sucks.

If I ignored my PTSD, did nothing to heal, I would expect to suffer.

Why does my PTSD haunt me after a decade-plus of intense effort?

I navigate life in a narrow alley of confusion, anxiety, and terror, finally absent of guilt.

Words can not explain the emotion of unworthiness at my core.

How could my friends understand my feelings, understand my words, or what my life is like?

How should I look at my life at 70, hope for healing by 80?

Sarcasm and gallows humor. Depression is so serious.

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Why are intrusive thoughts (trauma memories) so destructive?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/19632948360919124/

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Childhood abuse (PTSD) changes life, memories are abnormal.

Our memories are experienced (felt) through the emotional prism of worthlessness, damage, failure, or abuse.

Abused kids feel worthless, flawed, or just too damaged for anyone to love or respect.

My intrusive thoughts carry these sentiments, it makes them powerful and scary. As innocent children, we never understood being beaten, raped or emotionally terrorized.

They are not normal memories, highly charged as Stephen Cope describes, “Sometimes we encounter experiences that so violate our sense of safety, order, predictability, and right, that we feel utterly overwhelmed—unable to integrate, and simply unable to go on as before.”

My whole childhood violated my sense of safety, emotionally which has left an indelible mark.

How are we ever supposed to feel safe, normal? We carry a form of terror that changed the size of certain brain organs and functions.

Our nervous systems do not resemble a regular person’s nervous system.

They do not experience the terror, the hyper-vigilance, the flashbacks, the adrenal stress response firing repeatedly, the intrusive thoughts, the emotional deregulation, the avoidance, and the loneliness of complex PTSD.

Intrusive thoughts have the emotional content we felt when abused, they transport us back in time or bring the past to life.

My intrusive thoughts become a rapid, non-stop assault on my wellbeing. It is part of the vapor my brain brings every day, part of the 60,000 thoughts that cross my consciousness daily.

They never stop or slow down when triggered.

Unfortunately, we carry this abuse with us, whether we improve or falter, childhood trauma will always be with us.

I did not have a choice at birth, I did not have any skills as a child to defend myself.

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I have always been afraid of what will happen next, even on my best day.

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When I look back on my life, my memories carry extreme humiliation and worthlessness, they will haunt me till I die.

We can improve, have brief moments of calm but we will never heal, never be free from PTSD exploding.

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