Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

Understanding why I have been a loner

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Trying to heal has given me insight into the causes of my suffering. In childhood my naricsstic father tried to control every attachment.

Actually, he controlled every aspect of my life, trying to fulfill his desire of me playing professional baseball.

Any friend or acquaintance had to meet his standards, then their influence over me would be limited or cut off by good old dad.

Assessment: This week it dawned on me that I did not attach to either parent or anyone else beyond a shallow friendship.

My father would severe any relationship that he thought diluted his control. The natural desire to connect with others was cut off for me many times.

After you tell a couple of guys you can not be their friend anymore, word gets around. Oh, having a girlfriend was out of the question around my father, he owned me.

This means my social network lacked connections and attachment was unfamiliar to me. Social emotions lacked experience in my consciousness while athletic willpower and strength dominated my development.

When my first real attachment in college betrayed me, I had no one to confide in.

This week is the first time I became aware of this. I guess it was normal facing life alone for me.

I did not feel loss, I never experienced love, or kindness in my childhood. Criticism and fear dominated my existence.

Trusting someone was a foreign emotion for me.

Being a loner was so natural for me, in fact I never felt safe around people.

I did not know why, now I do.

It will be a massive undertaking rewiring 69 years of life.

With meditation and years of healing, my empathy center is open, I am a giver at my core.

For a loner, I ran a mindfulness group. Somehow that was a safe space while around people.

A triumph in my life, I have helped others heal in spite of my suffering and fears.

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“All human experiences are suffering”. Is this actually true?

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Rick Hanson from “Neurodharma”

“There are times when the mind is filled with physical pain, grief, fear, outrage, depression, or other overwhelming kinds of suffering.

I’ve had those times myself, and and it feels like suffering is all there is. There are also countless people who each day must bear pain, illness, loss, disability, poverty, or injustice.

And in a blink of an eye something might happen–perhaps a car on the highway swerving into you, or a shocking betrayal by someone you’ve trusted– that changed the rest of your life.

Suffering is certainly around us, and often if not always inside us. And still– are all of our experiences suffering?

Suffering matters because it is a particularly kind of experience–one that is unpleasant— so there must be other kinds of experiences.

The pleasure in eating a juicy peach is not itself suffering. Nor is virtue, wisdom, or concentration. Awareness itself is not suffering.

Human experience certainly contains fear and grief, but that’s not all it contains.

Further, any experience, even a painful one, is highly pixelated, with many elements like the individual brushstrokes of a painting.

Most of those elements are not themselves suffering. The redness of red, the knowledge that a ball is round…none of these is itself suffering.

These points may seem merely technical, but if we overlook what is not suffering, then we won’t truly understand what is suffering.

And we will miss out on experiences and resources that we could use both for increasing health and and well-being and for reducing suffering.

Recognizing suffering in yourself and others opens the heart and motivates practice. But these good ends are not served by exaggerating it.”

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How I calmed my fight or flight mechanism

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https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response

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Acceptance and Committment therapy introduced me to meditation.

At first meditation seemed abstract, simple and benign.

Took me awhile to see its enormous power and healing properties.

My triggers exploded violently, solar plexus jolted with fear, actually a big dose adrenaline and cortisol is dumped into our blood stream.

Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration increase, we lose fine motor skills, get tunnel vision along with cognitive functions becoming cloudy and limited, we are ready for imminent danger.

Until I calmed this mechanism, PTSD kicked my Ass, badly.

I built my focus, meditated everyday, learned to stay present when my fight or flight mechanism fired.

Every time it exploded, I watched intently, became familiar with all the body sensations and the attached emotions.

Then in ten minutes or so, the drugs were absorbed, my system returned to normal.

No damage, just my defense mechanism firing erroneously from PTSD.

In time, after many tries or failures, I succeeded.

My fight or flight mechanism calmed, stopped firing for traumas triggers.

Life changed that day.

The storyline was left unprotected and vulnerable to be integrated.

Pick one thing to work on at a time.

I chose to limit my Dissociation while I unplugged my fight or flight mechanism.

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Complex PTSD a subtype of PTSD

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“Complex PTSD is a subtype of PTSD with complex symptomatology in response to chronic trauma (Herman, 1992).

Usually, the patient has an extensive history of childhood abuse where the patient can’t remember a time when they weren’t being abused.

Another example of chronic trauma includes victims of long-term intimate partner violence.

In comparison with textbook patients with PTSD, who have a distinct life before and after their traumatic experience, patients with complex PTSD are only familiar with the traumatic experience.

Patients with complex PTSD have issues with emotional regulation, and can range from rageful to regretful in a single session, much like patients with borderline personality disorder.

Patients with complex PTSD often get caught up in cycles of re-enactment where they act out in their personal relationships, and even in their therapeutic relationships, in ways that mimic the trauma that they’ve felt.

In Dr. Jain’s experience, although patients with complex PTSD exhibit emotional lability, just like borderline personality disorder, she would think a diagnosis would lean more towards borderline personality disorder if the classic symptoms (such as identity issues, self-injury, chronic suicidality and attachment issues) were present (APA 2013).”

From: https://www.psychiatrypodcast.com/psychiatry-psychotherapy-podcast/2019/6/12/the-unspeakable-mind-stories-of-trauma-and-healing-from-the-frontline-of-ptsd-science

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Inquiring and Knowing: Shaila Catherine

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“If you keep examining—not until you find something,

but until you realize seeing without grasping,

inquiring without fixating,

exploring without expecting,

knowing without controlling,

living without suffering—you will discover a purity of happiness that is unbounded.”

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Self-Authorship part 1: “Living with your Heart Wide Open”

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The stories you repeat make up your personal history and identity.

They include the place and time you were born, the way it was in your family, the things that happened to you, the things you did, the things others did, your first love, and your first betrayal.

It goes on and on—as long as you repeat it.

When you really look at your self-stories, you may discover that they’re repetitive and even arbitrary, depending on your mood.

It’s likely that the details don’t even match up with those in the stories of your parents or closest siblings.

A good question is “Who would you be without your story?”

Seeing yourself without your story is an excellent way to let go of taking things personally (which can be very helpful with shame and inadequacy).

Self-authorship begins very early in life in our responses to our caregivers.

If we are raised in a safe and secure environment in which we feel accepted and validated, we tend to have more self-compassion and less self-criticism (Neff and McGehee 2008).

But if our caregivers are more critical or aggressive or we feel unsafe with them for any reason, we tend to become more self-critical and insecure as we grow older (Gilbert and Proctor 2006).

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The Self: Living with your Heart wide open 

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The self is conditioned primarily in early interpersonal relationships, and we then tend to see only those things that confirm who we think we are, and we screen out everything to the contrary.

This is what it means to self-seal: closing off possibilities for yourself and sealing your identity, and your fate, within whatever self-construct was created when you were quite young.

This self becomes a prison of beliefs that color and distort your experience of who you are.

Margaret Wheatley’s quote offers insight into how we can free ourselves from this prison of funhouse mirrors with distorted reflections that we mistake for reality.

If you can experience yourself from the immediacy of here-and-now awareness rather than through the narrowed perceptions of a self created long before this moment, you can find another way of being in the world.

How do you develop this here-and-now awareness?

Mindfulness is the key, and as you work your way through this book, we’ll offer many practices that will help you develop this perspective.

Because it’s important to understand where you’re starting from, in this chapter we’ll explore how an identity of deficiency is constructed and persists from a Western psychological perspective as well as from the point of view of Buddhist psychology.

As you learn to bring mindful awareness and inquiry into these self-limiting constructions, you’re likely to discover possibilities for greater freedom and peace.

It’s like the Zen cartoon that shows an anguished prisoner clinging to the bars of his cell while a small door in a dark corner of his cell is clearly open.

Until you let go of the bars of your prison of self and begin to explore the dark and unlit places within yourself, you can’t find the door to freedom.

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“Living with your heart wide open”: Self Authorship

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“Author and organizational consultant Margaret Wheatley describes this dynamic well: “We notice what we notice because of who we are.

We create ourselves by what we choose to notice. Once this work of self-authorship has begun, we inhabit the world we have created.

We self-seal.

We don’t notice anything except those things that confirm what we already think about who we already are…

When we succeed in moving outside of our normal processes of self-reference and can look upon ourselves with self-awareness, then we have a chance at changing.

We break the seal. We notice something new”.

This is a powerful insight into not only how the concept of self is perpetuated by habits of mind and perception, but also how you can free yourself and discover a much larger experience of who you are.

Perhaps none of us discovers who we really are until we free ourselves from concepts of who we are and are not.

Therefore we begin this book by exploring how the fiction of self is created and maintained.

The sense of self is formed in early childhood and gradually hardens into self-concepts and beliefs, creating a personal identity that can define and restrict you for the rest of your life.”

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Healing the Shame of Childhood Abuse Through Self-Compassion (excerpt). Psychology Today

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If you were a victim of childhood abuse or neglect, you know about shame.

You have likely been plagued by it all your life without identifying it as shame. You may feel shame because you blame yourself for the abuse itself (“My father wouldn’t have hit me if I had minded him”) or because you felt such humiliation at having been abused (“I feel like such a wimp for not defending myself”).

While those who were sexually abused tend to suffer from the most shame, those who suffered from physical, verbal, or emotional abuse blame themselves as well.

In the case of child sexual abuse, no matter how many times you’ve heard the words “It’s not your fault,” the chances are high that you still blame yourself in some way—for being submissive, for not telling someone and having the abuse continue, for “enticing” the abuser with your behavior or dress, or because you felt some physical pleasure.

In the case of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, you may blame yourself for “not listening” and thus making your parent or caretaker so angry that he or she yelled at you or hit you.

Children tend to blame the neglect and abuse they experience on themselves, in essence saying to themselves, “My mother is treating me like this because I’ve been bad” or “I am being neglected because I am unlovable.”

As an adult, you may have continued this kind of rationalization, putting up with poor treatment by others because you believe you brought it on yourself.

Conversely, when good things happen to you, you may actually become uncomfortable, because you feel so unworthy.

Complete article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/201501/healing-the-shame-childhood-abuse-through-self-compassion

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My year on Ptsd discussion board

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Early on when PTSD was new, I joined Daily Strength, the biggest mental health discussion board in the U.S.

 

I spent a year on the PTSD discussion board and what I found shocked me.

 

90% of the discussion board were women who had been sexually assaulted by their fathers, brothers or uncles as little girls.

 

Most never got over their rapes, lived a victims existence, reliving their rapes everyday On that board. I witnessed them suffer as they went around in circles of thought causing them constant suffering and victimhood.


I did not see anyone get better. I was attacked for saying we can heal.

 

Victims can not stand someone saying we can heal, it is threatening to their storyline.

 

In truth the discussion board was an open house for Dissociation (leaving this moment to enter the past).

 

Ever hear of a therapist recommending his clients share their symptoms in the waiting room. That’s what the discussion board did everyday, shared symptoms and complained.

 

Our goal is hard to accomplish, do not touch or talk about your trauma with anyone except your therapist.

 

Next, refrain from entertaining these thoughts in your own mind unless you can integrate what you are fueling.

 

Prepare, have a plan when intrusive thoughts enter your consciousness.

 

Success will take many trials with loss before we succeed.

 

People I have witnessed who heal, have an internal fortitude.

 

It took me many, many, many, many, many tries to accomplish my healing goals.

 

Many, many, many failures, do not deter those that press on and heal.

 

Healing from PTSD for me, required daily work without any improvements for long periods of time.


Whatever that trait is, hope, faith, never give up attitude, it is needed for this journey.

 

It is more than courage, courage does not fuel daily work, that comes from deep down.

 

Discussion board: I am shocked so many fathers, brothers and uncles rape little girls.

 

I do not get rape, gangrape as a male.

 

This is such a cowardly and violent act that ruins lives.

 

America does not test rape kits unless it is part of a murder.

 

Does that say we do not value women’s safety?
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