Posts Tagged ‘Dissociation’

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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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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“The Long and Winding Road”

https://pixabay.com/users/free-photos-242387/

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My “Ego”, influenced by PTSD, can be described as dramatic, his goal to elevate his suffering as extreme, pleading for sympathy or empathy, the center of immense importance.

That’s bullshit. Lord my Ego is a drama queen!

How does your trauma Ego behave, are you submissive, passive, pissed, aggressive or frozen?

Can you have everything firing, triggers exploding, then bring your focus back to your breath.

We need not succeed at first but our focus can shut down our defense mechanism.

Daily practice can build your focus to disarm triggers.

It is simple, not easy but mastered with diligent practice.

If you are going to improve, you better have willpower and courage, or give up.

Childhood PTSD’s song would be “The Long and Winding Road”.

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A loved child versus an abused one, the differences

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Abused children overdevelop the defense mechanism while revving up their nervous system. Being anxious, hypervigilant becomes second nature to us, it is how we navigate the world.

The abused child thoughts and emotions with be totally different. The abused child will be more detached, prone to large segments of time dissociating (ruminating on Trauma thoughts and emotions).

One is in survival mode, the other calm, present and looking to take risks. The abused child grows up to fear loss, public loss even more.

Unbelievable, is it not?

A loved child feels secure, supported which forms a strong attachment to their first caregivers. The opposite happened to the abused child.

The abused child grows up not trusting, being guarded, skeptical, the loved child already has strong attachments which built a foundation of trust.

Loved kids grow up to be trusting adults.

Being loved as a child does not exclude anyone from experiencing trauma later in life but that foundation of love gives them a great chance of healing.

One child feels confident, secure, the other searches for any self worth or kindness. It is a life time of searching, trying to fix what was missing in our childhood.

One craves approval, runs from criticism, feels unworthy, while the other has confidence and autonomy, lives with a sense of worthiness.

Growing up, the abused one, becomes hypervigilance and paranoid around others, seeking a safe place above all else. Risk is way to risky for us.

The loved one feels safe in a group and builds attachments with ease. He/She has way more perspective and resilience if a crisis arrives.

The abused adult will have to battle his brain for the rest of his life. If he/she has the courage to fight it, all that time invested in healing, is time not enjoying life.

I am aware of how much time, childhood abuse has stolen.

Any differences you are aware of?

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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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Dissociation again

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“The Body Keeps the Score”:

The overwhelming experience is split off and fragmented, so that the emotions, sounds, images, thoughts, and physical sensations related to the trauma take on a life of their own.

The sensory fragments of memory intrude into the present, where they are literally relived.

As long as the trauma is not resolved, the stress hormones that the body secretes to protect itself keep circulating, and the defensive movements and emotional responses keep getting replayed.

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My two cents: Dissociation is the king of all PTSD symptoms, it is where trauma fuels itself and takes over large pieces of time.

Conversely, PTSD has a difficult time functioning in this present moment, when we are focused.

It is simple, not easy, in fact our biggest challenge Childhood abuse brings to our doorstep.

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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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This is how a narcissistic parent operates.

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Understanding our weaknesses is the first step in filling the gaps.

Realize we were like an it, a thing, an inanimate object to our narcissistic abuser.

Narcissist empathy centers are not functioning correctly.

My dad was incapable of seeing me as a person needing support or love.

Why should I be pissed at that. Brain damage or mental illness is just that.

Expecting him to repair his empathy center is beyond foolish.

Right now, it does not matter, what he felt or thought.

Healing is the responsibility of the guy who looks back at me in the bathroom mirror.

If I believe I am at the center of my happiness, this moment is the most important moment in life, then we move onto the next moment, free of any baggage.

I have carried my trauma baggage long enough.

Healing also happens in this present moment.

I can not go back in the past and alter my abuse or go into the future looking for happiness.

All we have is this mundane moment, that’s it.

Nothing I accomplish in the future can bring happiness or fix my abuse.

If we can not find a way to be happy right now, we will never be happy.

Happiness lives in one time zone, now.

This is our invisible war, no one else knows or sees happening.

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One-pointedness

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I focus on one spot when meditating, right below my nostrils, above my upper lip. I feel the cool inhales flow slowly in, then the warm air exiting a little slower.

I extend my exhales in the beginning.

Know the breath is a continuum of four parts, inhale, pause, exhale, pause.

The pauses are the 🚪 doors to the other side of our brain.

Focus on the pauses, kind of a suspended animation space. Our body expands or contracts while inhaling and exhaling, making noises as the body moves.

The pauses have the body at complete rest, silent, still.

I know if the pauses are free of thought, my meditation will be deep and restorative.

Nothing else exists for me, while inhaling I prepare to intently focus on the coming pause, then move to the exhale while anticipating a pause at total rest.

We improve by practicing things like this, they lead to healing.

We need skills to be able to stay present when triggers fire, an ability to deplete cortisol and adrenaline plus a bulletproof way of letting thoughts go.

All my therapy work and healing are channeled through me meditating.

What my therapists have told me, I executed by applying during meditation.

Meditation was a safe exposure therapy for me.

I healed inside triggers then went and confronted the actual real life triggers.

If you want to heal, change is necessary.

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