Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

People tell me PTSD is a choice


Friends tell me PTSD is a choice, choose not to think about PTSD and it will disappear.

Pixabay ArtsyBee

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I am lost I guess, after a decade of work, PTSD being a choice is the farthest from the truth in my trauma world.

I get frustrated with the simplistic solutions that do not work for me.

My PTSD runs on its own without any help from me. I have been asked if I really want to heal or do I want to suffer with PTSD.

How do you answer such an uniformed insult?

We are supposed to ignore our trauma, our triggers and assume a normal posture, a normal life.

At my worst, my fight or flight firing 15 times a day, my body filled with cortisol and adrenaline, agoraphobia took root.

Somehow, someway, my desires should go back to normal.

My desires have never been normal, my life has never been normal, abuse always nullified desire for me.

I tried to not think about PTSD yesterday.

Is there something I am missing like this is a cure.

Nothing changed.

People do not understand violent childhood abuse.

This isolates me more, my tendency is to pull away from these voices.

My life, my PTSD, frustrates people, there is always an answer, always a cure, always a happy ending.

Damn what a life this is.

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Quieting the Inner Critic in Complex PTSD

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FEBRUARY 14, 2019 TRACI POWELL

Complex PTSD involves a strong inner critic that presents a great challenge to recovery. Learn to manage PTSD’s inner critic to decrease emotional flashbacks at HealthyPlace.

One of the greatest challenges of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is quieting the inner critic. The critic develops as a result of a neglectful or abusive home in which caregivers do not provide a sense of safe attachment in the child. Many children in this situation will enact perfectionist mode, believing if they could just be good enough or do things well enough, they can prove their worth and earn parental love. However, over time, as perfectionism fails to create the bond the child so desperately needs, anxiety and sadness build in the child.

As anxiety grows due to failed attempts at perfection, the inner critic finds its voice. The child begins to search for all of the ways he or she is flawed, becomes hyper self-critical and takes on the blame of the parent’s lack of affection. The critic can become even worse when the abusive environment includes constant berating about the child’s stupidity or worthlessness.

Eventually, the child believes emphatically that he or she is inherently faulty. Still needing parental love, a cycle begins of perfectionism to win over the parents followed by severe self-criticism. As perfection continues to fail, over time, perceived imperfection becomes deeply attached to fear and shame.

How the Inner Critic of Complex PTSD Causes Emotional Flashbacks

My childhood was filled with people who were wounded people themselves and therefore completely unable to provide me with a sense of safety and love. I took the perfectionist route, which not only didn’t make my family treat me better but instead resulted in ridicule or physical harm. Eventually, I connected doing good with being very bad, but I just continued to work harder at perfection to prove my worth.

Now, I have a very present inner critic. For a long time, I shamed myself for every little or big mistake, which would result in me making choices that were not healthy because I was angry at myself for what I felt was me not being good enough. I still struggle to ignore my inner critic at times. It loves to tell me how worthless and imperfect I am, which leads to me emotionally flashing back to the days when I felt that way all of the time. Once my inner critic takes charge of my thinking, I can spiral quickly into depression and anxiety.

Silence Your Inner Critic to Manage Complex PTSD

Because your inner critic is so closely tied to the feelings of worthlessness you had as a child, it’s important to stop it as soon as possible. One of the best defenses against the inner critic is to fight back with positive thoughts. If you can move quickly to identify the inner critic thought and replace it with a new positive one, you can head off a spiral down into an emotional flashback.

Take note of situations in which your inner critic most often comes out. For me, it almost always happens if I’m taking a class because school was where I always tried the hardest to prove my worth. Even if I were to receive 99 percent on a paper, I would instantly start beating myself up over the missed point that kept me from receiving a perfect score. That little one point has caused my inner critic to lead me down into emotional flashbacks so badly that I quit a class, believing I had no right to participate.

Now, whether it’s a class or anything else in life, I do my best to fight the critic and give myself credit for the part that I did right. This helps the abused little girl in me to feel it’s ok to not be perfect.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to find anything positive when the inner critic has already sent you into a flashback. To be prepared for such situations, take time to create a list of some of your positive qualities and accomplishments, no matter how small. This list can act as a constant reminder to the adult you that you are a worthy individual, helping you battle the emotional flashback. As you learn to interrupt your inner critic, you’ll begin to be on your own side and teach the child within you to know that he or she has value.

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My two cents: This is a huge issue for me, my inner voice fuels unworthiness.

My new focus is to damper this demon.

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A rerun: 5 Ways Anger is Not Like Other Emotions By Jonice Webb

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/21462535715145928/

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Anger is not just any old emotion. It’s special.

In fact, it’s so special that a 2017 survey by the Mental Health Foundation of 2000 people found that 28% are sometimes worried about the level of anger that they feel.

First, let’s outline what makes anger different from other emotions, and then we’ll talk about how you can use this information to become happier and healthier in your life.

* It’s Motivating: Anger’s purpose is to push you to protect yourself. Anger gives you energy. It’s activating, and it drives you to engage, not withdraw, as most other emotions do.

* It Never Stands Alone: Anger is always a result of feeling something else. You feel hurt, marginalized, overlooked, targeted, mistreated or vulnerable. Anger isn’t just an emotion, it’s a constellation of emotions. There are always layers of feelings underneath it, feeding it.

* It Seeks a Target: Other emotions can simply be. Anger cannot. Like an arrow shot from the bow, it looks for a target. This is what makes anger so easy to misdirect. It may erupt at the wrong person, in the wrong way and at the wrong time so very easily.

* It Can Be Turned Inward or Outward: Sometimes directing our anger at its true target can be acutely uncomfortable, and sometimes we aren’t aware of the true target. This is when we are at risk for turning our anger inward, directing it at ourselves.

* It’s Capable of Damaging Your Health: Research has shown that anger prone individuals and people who express their anger as rage are more at risk for heart attacks and cancer.

Anger is a powerful, protective, complex emotion.

Yes, it has potential to do great damage.

But used properly, it also has potential to help you mightily.“

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My two cents: My PTSD emotions have changed while trying to heal.

At first fear and anxiety ruled my life, erupting triggers overpowered any cognitive defense.

Anger was rarely used until I calmed my triggers exploding, not until the fear subsided did my resentment and anger surface.

When I am suffering, resentment and anger want a prominent place in my thoughts.

It is the daily ongoing battle of PTSD , the war that I have been waging since childhood.

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PTSD is in Flux: Yeah?

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/32369691061507877/

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A couple of things happened recently, an on-line session with my therapist and my kundalini teacher exposing me to ideas outside the my narrative.

I always thought my childhood was a curse, Jennifer offered the idea that having my father may of saved my life.

Now that concept was way out of the box. Never had I envisioned my childhood being a positive.

Then I saw my trauma, trying to heal trauma, clouded my whole existence.

Working on integrating my childhood, my triggers, my PTSD, neglected my inner child, my self worth and my functioning in the world right now.

Childhood PTSD is extremely complex, we get lost in that abuse forest at times.

PTSD is irrational, illogical, confusing and frightening.

We need to continually assess our path and focus.

My days are spent working on this moment, not past trauma anymore.

The change in itself feels like a breath of fresh air.

My intrusive thoughts have calmed.

I have always faced my challenges with resistance, force, not responding with strength would show weakness.

That’s my Unworthiness manifesting in blind action.

Finally I see a space, an opportunity to change.

Inner work is finally paying off.

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Zen Things also trauma healing things

https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/477874210435372390/

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Live simply, focus and make awareness a strong habit.

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https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/154037249732823989/

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Both posters are about living in the moment, letting the past go and making the mundane important.

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https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/293648838193682323/

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Nature knows the way.

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I always thought my inner child was the weakest most damaged part of me

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/4574037110564549/

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Childhood trauma has this extra dimension, an inner child who had to navigate abuse while the brain was not developed. We can integrate all the trauma we experienced and still our hardwiring is unchanged.

I saw my abused inner child, as vulnerable and weak, the origin of all the PTSD. My thought was it needed fixing, repaired, made over.

Shifting my focus away from trauma and triggers into functioning in this moment, has brought a massive change in how I see my inner child.

Without knowing it, in a response I wrote to the last post, my inner child became the strongest, bravest part of me.

My inner child had the fewest tools, was the most vulnerable part of my life but he survived the greatest abuse, childhood.

Instead of a meek coward, he navigated his way into adulthood with great strength. As an adult I see he survived where mature Marty would of failed.

Is this thinking outside the box or just Awareness being a reward for my inner exploration?

That inner child had strengths others did not have. He could endure intense pain and still take action.

My inner child developed incredible willpower and never gave up in the face of hardship.

What a paradigm shift from victim to my leading freedom fighter.

Now my challenge is to soothe that inner child in current situations, reparent in a way.

Again, this approach is trying to not handle my trauma, it is about functioning now, in this situation, this moment.

I have danced around the inner child numerous times and have written posts in the past, but something was different this time.

I never thought my inner child was the bravest part of my life.

My perceived weakness might be my biggest strength in reality.

How about you?

Your inner child helped you survive also.

He/She maybe your ultimate strength, not the damaged mess we perceive.

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Changing focus

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/505529126901549155/

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Working on trauma, worrying about PTSD symptoms, has become counter productive.

I have integrated most of my core abuse over a decade of therapy.

My issues are related to the development of my brain. The fear from childhood imprinted on my defense mechanism.

I realize that my mind spots danger at a prolific rate, my challenge is to calm my reaction.

Two different reactions surface, a freeze response or aggression.

Look how black and white my response, I am hardwired to spot danger in mundane situations, then react.

Guilt, shame and unworthiness are part of the dysfunctional thoughts that come with my reaction.

When avoiding fear runs subconsciously like this, life narrows and taking risks becomes harder.

The other dysfunctional trait finds my mind getting totally consumed with negative thoughts.

This fear has given my PTSD great power.

Now with this awareness, I have found what needs repaired.

Please share your journey with childhood abuse.

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PTSD: life is out of balance

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/628744797980522203/

Maybe we should buy this pin for $3.99 to wear. Just kidding.

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Feedback: My daughter has a wider picture than most, she wonders where the overachiever, the guy with drive, passion and purpose went. Her frustration boils over, PTSD robs many lives. This brings a sorrow I do not know how to fix.

PTSD and trying to heal from PTSD has consumed a decade. For the first five years I spent eight to ten hours a day trying to heal, meditating, reading and applying therapy.

It’s time spent dealing with past trauma, in a way it’s own dissociative trap. We become self centered, not like a narcissist looking for adulation, but a person looking for relief.

I focused intently, maybe even maniacally on healing.

The rest of life was put on hold when PTSD exploded, childhood trauma took my life over, revved my nervous system to high alert, and fear did the rest.

At my worst, life was not worth living. Improvement was necessary to Function first, then survive.

I improved and integrated trauma with regularity, the problem, there was always more behind it.

For someone with a whole childhood of abuse, where is the balance in this?

Trying to heal keeps me engaged with my past trauma.

If I refrain from trying to heal, PTSD does not go away but gets worse.

That’s lose lose.

I can not imagine what my behavior looks like to family and friends.

My complex PTSD has totally consumed my life for a decade now.

Where is the path for me, the balance in life I dearly miss?

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The mind switches gears

https://pixabay.com/users/mohamed_hassan-5229782/

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How do you change a child’s mind that scoured every situation searching for danger, a chance of failure, possibly being humiliated or the annihilation of the “Ego”.

The original abuse caused this reaction: it’s called adrenal stress response, fight or flight mechanism or pure fear.

The mind switches gears, secretes opioids, coagulants, cortisol, and adrenaline. The executive functioning left prefrontal cortex fades, we experience tunnel vision, lose fine motor skills, along with the fear of death or serious injury, making this an anxious, confusing experience.

This is Survival mode.

This is how we react to the original abuse. Then PTSD brings emotional danger via our triggers to mirror the original traumatic experience. It’s abstract and irrational but we avoid and run like hell at first.

All this happens before thought, it is a right brain mechanism, that springs from the amygdala, our defense organ of the brain.

If someone placed an empty box over our head, then suddenly removed it, a funny thing happens.

Our right amygdala engages immediately, our defense mechanism overrides the normal function of the mind. It takes five seconds for the left hemisphere, our cognitive side to engage.

That’s five seconds of my mind searching for danger before I am even aware of it. That’s if I react immediately.

I am much better at this now, but it remains a problem area for me.

This is a balancing act for us when PTSD is active. I have a small social life but avoid crowds and situations that are sensitive to my triggers.

I went through the early phase of healing where I went to every scary place. It started out as Exposure Therapy, then developed into integration.

As a kid I was an expert at sensing danger, then added 50 more years of practice, the result is a habit that seems natural and useful.

Man, look what just came out of my mouth. Natural and useful.

I have my doubts if therapy can rewire serious childhood abuse.

Improvement is possible, a wide range, rewarding, total healing, I would love to read and witness that feat.

This is our journey, knowing what we face has helped me improve.

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I was a thing to my Narcissist dad

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/2111131067243853/

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I often wonder why my PTSD has been so destructive.

My dad exerted so much energy, a 24/7 constant obsession of grooming me for baseball stardom. I was more of an it to him, a thing, not a separate life, not an autonomous person with desires and needs.

That’s how a narcissist owns things, uses things (people) for their pleasure. Their empathy centers do not work correctly.

Whether at school, home or on a field of competition, he controlled my every move, reviewed every play of every game and performance at school, then punished any actions that deviated from his master plan.

I guess it was to replace his lost childhood from early pregnancy at 16 and subsequent end of his high school career.

He wanted to control every part of my life, even micromanage my thoughts. He stole my childhood, my life for his own sick narcissistic pleasure.

There was no opportunity for me to be me, in fact being me would get beat for insolence.

There was no deviation in what he decided I would be, just an emphasis on being much better than everyone else.

It was lonely, isolating and highly abusive.

Instead of me forming my ego, he told me what my ego should look like and act like.

I see why I am so messed up, always searching for the real me.

We do not pick our parents, so this is my challenge, I can accept it and take action or be a victim.

I fight on.

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267190190381444390/

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