Posts Tagged ‘Dissociation’

. The irrational seems rational, feels real,



The irrational seems rational, feels real, it’s called childhood PTSD, developmental trauma to be more exact.

I understand the mechanics of PTSD very well, I have no idea why my mind makes old trauma so important, so alive, so persistent, so damaging.

Irrational, I know that but knowing has not healed it.

My mind is mush, confused, anxious, worn out, in and out of survivor mode.

My mind is alert for danger, emotional danger at all times again.

This has a big impact, it isolates me and takes enjoyment out of life.

Emotional fear is so abstract when attached to violent trauma.

Its like an evil ghost haunting me.

Irrational but automatic, it happens without my input, it is exhausting and painful.

Working on forgiveness has just stirred up the shit even more.

I could scream, this is so frustrating, I have done the hard work for over a decade.



A conversation with my therapist



My relationship with my therapist is unique, very open, and I sense a true concern for my healing. He recognizes my knowledge of PTSD and effort trying to heal.

Serious trauma before the brain develops has so many more tentacles hidden inside. Survival mode shuts down many needed brain developmental functions. Building attachments, social skills, feeling safe and trust suffer in survival mode.

He said some childhood trauma gets hard wired inside brain development, unplugging this will be arduous if possible.

My mind learned to lock on to my fathers mood at all times. My therapist said this was real, abuse happened every week, and I lived in survival mode. A mind does not develop correctly while in survival mode.

PTSD being a choice: He laughed and said very few people understand serious childhood trauma. What people say can do damage, it’s like others trying to place blame or guilt on us for our PTSD.

A response yesterday: “Try focusing on something else besides all your traumas. Design & build something with your hands. Incorporate your grandkids into new projects.”

A normal brain can not fathom intrusive thoughts. That is your mind running full speed on its own, bombarding us with zillions of trauma dangers. Building things is a distraction, a good action but does nothing to heal trauma or stop the intrusive thoughts.

Subconsciously our minds search for danger in every situation without thought. This is survival mode or the hybrid that still lives inside me.

Loss is big for serious abused kids.

At 69 I still fear being a failure. I had to search deep while meditating to uncover these subconscious worries.

My actions mirror this behavior but consciously I did not have those thoughts.

I see now that I have always lived in some semblance of survival mode.

That’s all I knew as a kid. It is hard wired. I hit overload if you put me in a crowd.

It is not enjoyable. How do you fix not trusting on top of all the other PTSD symptoms?



The Frozen Mind of PTSD



My first surge of PTSD happened over a decade ago. My therapist was flexible and had many therapies we worked through.

She encouraged me to look outside the box, to search holistic and intuitive healers.

Here are some of the therapies I tried: Emotional Freedom Technique, TFT, EMDR, hypnosis, cranial sacral, acupuncture, CBT, Acceptance and Committment Therapy, EDIT, bio feedback, holistic, two intuitives and a daily meditation practice.

Some gave me incremental improvement, some did nothing. That’s fairly normal I would guess.

I gave all out effort with everyone of these healing paths.

Now, another trauma has exploded and my skills have not worked. Going back to therapy only helped for a few days.

My daily meditation practice gives me some quiet for short periods but the thoughts run full blast for days.

My brain is overloaded, stressed, confused and partly frozen.

It feels hopeless at times.

In the midst of this, I still try to improve. I have learned to never give up along time ago.

I meditate, let thoughts go, try all I can to distract my mind and exercise till near exhaustion some days.

The battle continues, living like this is painful, happiness is never glimpsed from this cavern.

Giving up would be disastrous, I can not change that fact.



Is PTSD a choice?



A friend told me, PTSD or not, we all have a choice. That hit a nerve, do I really have a choice?

Can I decide not to have PTSD?

I sure wasted a decade of therapy and practice, if it’s true.

I have never read PTSD is a choice or heard a therapist describe PTSD this way.

Therapy would be quick and simple.

One or two sessions would heal us.

Do you think you can choose not to have PTSD?

Seems others think I am weak minded, flawed, incapable of choosing.

Friends can do more damage with their words.

Not safe to share our trauma with others.

One more time, it is not safe to trust others.





The Dark Side of Childhood abuse



PTSD has a physical side, the firing of our fight or flight mechanism, tunnel vision, higher bp, respiration and heart rate along with loss of fine motor skills.

PTSD also has a cognitive side filled with intrusive thoughts, coupled with scary and violent emotions.

Trust disappears in childhood, fear is our dominate emotion, survival mode is how we live.

This is a barren landscape for any child, few attachments develop and our self image is seriously flawed, incomplete.

Some of these traits are hard wired and will haunt us for life.

Improvement is possible however our demons will always be near and explode from time to time.

As an old guy now, I see the suffering of a lifetime because of my first caregivers abuse.

Why are some of us doomed from birth to a life of suffering?

Friends with decent childhoods tell me I should just get over it, we all have a choice.

PTSD has never been a choice for me. How do you trust friends who say things like that?

With the exception of this blog, no one I know has a clue what impact PTSD has in my life.

Some think it is weakness to let PTSD dominate me like it does at times.

You lose so called friends and it is not a nice break up.

Seems not trusting others has a purpose.

My mind has never lived a day without trauma from my earliest memory.

What does a life feel like with a decent childhood?



What’s the real story on serious Childhood trauma (abuse)



I realize therapy and healing are subjective, kind of abstract science.

Hard facts, like who heals, how long does it usually take, percentages or even what therapies work the best do not exist.

Wouldn’t you like to know how many complex PTSD sufferers improve, heal and how many fail.

I would love to see some evidence if we do the work, healing will arrive.

Therapy has helped me, however my life is full of suffering again.

PTSD symptoms some conscious, many hard wired and subconscious haunt my life.

I have worked diligently on forgiveness, acceptance and surrender, I have sat quietly and faced my demons, worked hard in therapy but life remains painful.

I have over a decade of hard work trying to heal, I suffer as much now as in the beginning.

All my improvements have not stopped my suffering.

I wonder the percentage of damaged kids that never heal.

Am I a failure or just a part of the unluckiest group of kids?

Healing (improving) is not guaranteed.



The Relationship between Ego and PTSD



One Ego is never equal to another Ego, here in lies the rub of life.

Sit down at a table of ten people and our Ego will rank where we fit in, before we can even think.

The Ego is our ultimate comparing machine. He/She is the one who gets pissed, angry, upset, jealous and resentful.

Not knowing and not caring about our wellbeing is another trait of our created identity figure, our Ego.

Inside our brain (mind) trauma (PTSD) wants top billing, wants all the oxygen in the room. He gets that and more at times.

Our Ego’s Goal is always to dominate our life with tons of thought. Ego’s want total control of our mind.

PTSD gives our Ego total control of our being at times.

My Ego wants to convince me, my trauma is worse than others PTSD.

Suffering more helps my Ego stay in power.

Our Ego distorts the damage past trauma has done.

Take a step back and observe how your Ego impacts PTSD.

It takes a lot of inward exploration to solve the riddle of our created Ego!



I have read that trauma (PTSD, C-PTSD) is an unfinished play



I have read that trauma (PTSD, C-PTSD) is an unfinished play, it has a beginning and a middle but lacks an ending, closure.

Maybe this is why some horrific events never die inside us.

Cognitively we search to understand why, sometimes how, and always look to escape the unescapable, our past.

Similar to our childhoods, escape was impossible, mine was a prison without bars.

From my earliest childhood I have never felt calm, safe or worthy.

I was very accomplished and physically powerful, all that was a facade.

In my mind, I thought certain accomplishments could bring me joy, wellbeing.

Chasing anything external will not lesson PTSD’s impact.

The demon lives inside us, no one else has access.

Others can help but our path to improve is inward, and intuitive.

I have helped a few improve from PTSD, my involvement was technique, experience, tools, direction and enthusiasm, they did the work on their own.

In times like this, when nothing seems to work, when the mind churns up the thought, this is hopeless, we need to keep our activity and determination filled with energy and action.

I have felt hopeless, helpless many times on my journey, this is the time we find out if we do have courage.

As long as we do not quit in our lowest moments, do not give up, we will survive.

The world will never see what trauma has done to our minds.



More Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD



“When trauma emanates from within the family, children experience a crisis of loyalty and organize their behavior to survive within their families. Being prevented from articulating what they observe and experience, traumatized children will organize their behavior around keeping the secret, deal with their helplessness with compliance or defiance, and acclimate in any way they can to entrapment in abusive or neglectful situations.

Being left to their own devices leaves chronically traumatized children with deficits in emotional self-regulation. This results in problems with self-definition as reflected by a lack of a continuous sense of self, poorly modulated affect and impulse control, including aggression against self and others, and uncertainty about the reliability and predictability of others, expressed as distrust, suspiciousness, and problems with intimacy, resulting in social isolation.

Chronically traumatized children tend to suffer from distinct alterations in states of consciousness, including amnesia, hypermnesia, dissociation, depersonalization and derealization, flashbacks and nightmares of specific events, school problems, difficulties in attention regulation, disorientation in time and space, and sensorimotor developmental disorders. The children often are literally are “out of touch” with their feelings, and often have no language to describe internal states.

When a child lacks a sense of predictability, he or she may experience difficulty developing of object constancy and inner representations of their own inner world or their surroundings. As a result, they lack a good sense of cause and effect and of their own contributions to what happens to them.

Without internal maps to guide them, they act, instead of plan, and show their wishes in their behaviors, rather than discussing what they want. Unable to appreciate clearly who they or others are, they have problems enlisting other people as allies on their behalf. Other people are sources of terror or pleasure but are rarely fellow human beings with their own sets of needs and desires.

These children also have difficulty appreciating novelty. Without a map to compare and contrast, anything new is potentially threatening. What is familiar tends to be experienced as safer, even if it is a predictable source of terror.

Traumatized children rarely discuss their fears and traumas spontaneously. They also have little insight into the relationship between what they do, what they feel, and what has happened to them. They tend to communicate the nature of their traumatic past by repeating it in the form of interpersonal en- actments, both in their play and in their fantasy lives.



Developmental Trauma Disorder A new, rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories.



This is an interesting read by the guy who wrote “The Body Keeps the Score”

Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD


“Chronic trauma interferes with neuro-biological development (Ford, see page xxx) and the capacity to integrate sensory, emotional and cognitive information into a cohesive whole. Developmental trauma sets the stage for unfocused responses to subsequent stress, leading to dramatic increases in the use of medical, correctional, social and mental health services.

People with childhood histories of trauma, abuse and neglect make up almost the entire criminal justice population in the US.

Physical abuse and neglect are associated with very high rates of arrest for violent offenses.

In one prospective study of victims of abuse and neglect, almost half were arrested for nontraffic-related offenses by age 32.

Seventy-five percent of perpetrators of child sexual abuse report to have themselves been sexually abused during childhood.

These data suggest that most interpersonal trauma on children is perpetuated by victims who grow up to become perpetrators or repeat victims of violence. This tendency to repeat represents an integral aspect of the cycle of violence in our society.



My two cents: We never turn out neutral, we either repeat the abuse or we do the opposite.

I can hardly stand to see others suffer.

For us this must be a triumph not to abuse others reading these patterns of behavior.


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