Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

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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Do not focus on limitations, find a small specific goal to relentlessly pursue.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/846958273680956350/

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PTSD confuses the mind it inhabits with symptoms that prepare him/her for an imminent threat. This scenario is part of survival mode, a highly charged emotional state of danger, followed by an avoidance, a denial, or a numbing freeze state of existence.

All this is complex and overpowering for any mind to handle.

Those who strive to improve know the limitations childhood abuse places on their lives.

Out of this complex crisis, we need to find simple, bulletproof ways to battle trauma.

Our rules to improve: Forget about limitations, forget about judgments, forget about healing, focus on one small specific goal at a time.

My goal is to sense and move my PTSD energy around and out of my body.

Healing is not my goal, that is way too abstract and complex.

Our goal should be within reach, practical and specific.

Obtain a goal then move to the next challenge.

Never try to address more than one symptom at a time.

We are using a laser, pinpointing a small specific goal, not a shotgun approach.

Let go of all those judgments and predictions, stay focused in the moment with our goal as our bellwether.

Questions we search for: What is PTSD’s favorite emotion?

What is his favorite narrative?

What are his patterns?

Feel its energy flowing inside, sense its purpose, and roadmap.

Know thy enemy intimately, knowledge is power in this battle.

Know your PTSD micro-energy movements and behavior.

I have a one-word chant, a mantra to open my heart, solar plexus for me, a release word to say when trauma energy is present.

It is Yam, pronounced Yaam, a simple vibration to focus on opening and releasing my PTSD energy.

If nothing else it is something to focus on instead of the narrative.

Simple execution, practice the mantra during the day, then apply anytime we sense PTSD energy flowing.

Simplify the goal, use intense focus and awareness, practice daily with intent.

In my mind I relentlessly pursue my small, specific goal daily.

We need to see ourselves as warriors not victims, not helpless.

Good hunting!

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We are the Shepard, the Ego is the sheep.

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Theranos CEO Elisabeth Holmes, Our example of an Ego gone crazy.

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We are the Shepard, the Ego is the sheep.

The sheep do not make judgments for the Shepard.

The Ego is just a creation of the mind without origin or power source.

Egos give massive power to accomplishment, status, looks, smarts, and wins.

None of that matters when we die and leave this planet.

I think most have heard of the Theranos gal, Elisabeth Holmes, who claimed to invent a world-changing blood test.

https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/the-inventor-out-for-blood-in-silicon-valley

This documentary details how an out-of-control Ego is never, ever satisfied.

My Ego judged her Ego as narcissistic or deranged, someone who claimed to be greater than Thomas Edison and named her fake machine, “The Edison”.

These are grandiose Egos, abused kids marvel at how people like this can claim such importance.

She feels power and confidence in the middle of this scam’s meltdown.

An Ego like this will never admit wrongdoing or failure.

Some Egos will never admit loss, defeat, ever.

Our PTSD Ego acts differently.

We avoid, we feel danger, fear, and mistrust groups of people. We would never be outbragging in the face of a scam like this.

With my skill set, I could have coached so many kids in baseball.

With my abuse, the parents keep me away, I do not need any more drama or criticism.

I would coach the kids without the parents and enjoy it.

PTSD limits life without us understanding the reason.

I need to expand my boundaries, I need too badly but I lack the desire to be around people.

It is sad, I guess, I have never trusted people so it is familiar and safe for me.

Happiness is never experienced around people for me.

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Rudid96 asks is the Ego bad? ………….No!

From guidedmindclearance.com

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Rudid96:

“Is the Ego all ‘bad’? Is it the repository of false thoughts, feelings, & actions? Or, does it hold some value? I was wondering if all those thoughts were a form of energy gone awry? In the grand scheme of life, even coach roaches hold some value.”

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My two cents: The Ego is created to separate us or identify us from others. I am Marty, you are Rudid96, my rewards and punishments can be properly distributed from society.

One more time Rudid96, my meditation practice, or my ability to focus intently on my breath, allows me to take a step back and observe my Ego.

We are not obligated to ever listen to our Ego.

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Let the Ego identity us, then let loose of those voids, the need for constant approval, the curse of worrying, doubting, and separating.

Stay present, observe what the senses bring to you, refrain from judgment.

In this space, the ego has faded from consciousness, reality is available for us.

Dissociation, thinking about things in the past or future is the highway for the “Ego” to gain control of us.

The “Ego” is a positive creation for normal kids and a damaged one for abused kids.

Our childhood abuse helped create an unworthy Ego filled with shame, failure, and unworthiness.

The next issue to maneuver stems from the Ego never feeling equal to another equal.

That can lead to drama, turmoil, and harsh emotions without proper perspective.

We can change the Ego, alter some of the abusive thoughts into more positive feelings.

Our goal is to keep the Ego’s desires in perspective.

In common man terms, the Ego is the cognitive invention, he/she compares everything and everyone it encounters, then adds strong emotions to gain power.

The true self is the heartfelt intuition that arrives from deep inside.

Our intuition is the opposite of thought, it is our true compass.

The Ego is clueless for direction and impact on our life.

The Ego’s behavior is harmful at times, we need to know when he/she goes astray.

Long-time meditating monks navigate life with so much less ego than us.

Does that explain why they enjoy such a euphoric existence?

YES!

I think wonderment happens when we are not involved in thought.

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Thought is not the greatest power of our mind, in fact it is a small part of our capability.

You can not find the Ego without connection to thought.

We should try to think as little as possible. Limit dissociation and suffering, direct thought, never wander into memory.

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Rudid96 asks about self and feelings

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Self: Each of us has a true self, he/she is the same every day, perfect and permanent. We create this other-self, for identity, a guy called Marty. Marty is my “Ego”.

Know this: No Ego ever feels equal to another Ego. Is this the reason our Ego is the ultimate judging machine? Walk into a room with ten people around a table, our Ego has automatically ranked us compared to everyone else. The Ego feels superior to some and inferior to others, here in lies the issue with navigating “Ego’s”.

Resentment, jealousy, anger, and other negative emotions are attached to trauma thoughts.

Realize that emotions are transparent, ephemeral, and fleeting, they arrive, stay a while then change to another emotion.

Rudid96, we place way too much importance on emotions, on thoughts, and judgments.

The Ego is a creation of the left hemisphere, a cognitive judgment of our place on this planet. This judgment takes into account how others treat us, how our first caregivers raised us, and how we value ourselves, all wrapped together in a package we call “Ego”.

The true self does not get involved in fleeting impermanent emotions, he/she observes life in the present moment free of thought.

Remember the right hemisphere of our brain has no words, thoughts, there are no judgments, no right or wrong, no good or bad on this side.

As Rick Hanson has explained in “Buddhas Brain”, you can not find an emotional center of the brain without thoughts being attached. Thoughts attach to emotions, trauma thoughts attach to violent emotions.

Marty, a left-brain invention, is flawed, I know he is in control when strong emotions arise. I have told people that they have pissed my Ego off, luckily I paid no attention.

My true self is not engaged in this worthless endeavor. My true self is not pissed, not engaged in Ptsd thoughts, not thinking in fact. No strong emotions are present, calm, and easiness takes over.

When strong emotions are present, our Ego is in control or dominating by atrocious thoughts.

My true self does not have Ptsd, the other guy, the guy who judges and thinks has PTSD. If no thought exists on the right side of my brain, no PTSD exists either.

Know we have created this Ego, and we can alter him/her with work.

Thoughts?

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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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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/467530005046215647/.

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Mayo Clinic: Ptsd

Symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks.

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:

  • Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play
  • Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event

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Childhood PTSD is like herding cats

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/566046246891715375/

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At my worst, my fight or flight exploded 15 times a day, things were out of control.

At one point, my mind and nervous system were not under my control, I was numb, frozen, shaken, and terrified.

Being overwhelmed, terrified, anxious, furiously trying to avoid further suffering, I would risk my life to escape that hell.

It’s easy to see how addiction and suicide are the solutions too many choose to stop the pain.

Ptsd was like herding cats, wholly irrational to try and corral trauma or felines, thoughts would escape from the pack.

Without notice intense emotional terror would arrive in an instant, my fight or flight would violently fire, I was in survival mode, sometimes in public, frozen, unable to speak.

I never wanted to be vulnerable around people.

Childhood taught me being powerless will get you abused.

It is almost impossible to not think, to try and stop thoughts.

Try to stop thoughts and they will proliferate like rabbits.

Focusing on the breath intently, letting thoughts fade on their own, can be accomplished.

https://www.beabetterhitter.com/baseball-bat-sweet-spot/

When I played pro baseball, intense concentration was a skill all hitters possessed.

Sometimes, 30,000 screaming fans, along with the pressure of performing, the real danger from getting hit, possibly failing, creep into our minds.

If I could not block out everything else except that baseball, failure was assured.

You learn to spot spin, seeing the seams of the ball rotate quickly, knowing a breaking ball is coming.

If your thinking you fail. Thought is way too slow.

It sounds easy but you only have .4 seconds to locate the pitch, recognize it’s not coming towards your head, then have the hand-eye coordination to hit a round ball with a round bat.

On top of that, the sweet spot of the bat we need to hit the ball is about 8 inches long and maybe an inch wide at the barrel of the bat.

I had a head start on being able to meditate and did not know it.

Now instead of a ball, I focus on my breath, looking inward. All the while whether it is a ball or my breath, cognition has stopped.

Victory is unattainable, we fight for this moment, then the next, this simple, small, mundane existence, it is our life.

The ultimate goal is not healing, it is never giving up.

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Permanent things, an old post

https://pixabay.com/users/prettysleepy-2973588/

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On my arduous journey with childhood trauma, I have found a few constants, permanent things, only a few.

Life is complex, things we thought vital in our youth, fade in importance as we age.

Things I coveted have changed in value, possessions get damaged, stolen, or worn out. Status, beauty, and health all deteriorate with time. My trophies took enormous effort, grueling competitiveness to attain, now they collect dust out of sight.

What seemed to hold ultimate happiness, disappoints quickly, then fades to the next challenge.

How many times have we chased things, college, career, status, fame, etc. searching for happiness, only to find nothing behind it.

The band that dreams of a miracle hit, expecting lasting happiness, finds intense pressure in a cutthroat business to write more hits quickly, instead.

The greatest, most expensive meal in the world, turns to hunger in six hours.

Fulfilling desire does not quench the beast, it feeds it.

What endures.

For me, two things off the top of my head, giving and gratitude are constants me. My emotions peak and valley like a big rollercoaster, but I am a giver and appreciate what I have.

Giving without regard for reward is called loving-kindness by the Buddhists, a tenet of wellbeing.

Giving has always been a part of my life, being able to run a blog that helps others improve, is precious in my life.

The bond I share with a few on this healing path endures and matures.

I always count my blessings and know others have it much tougher than me.

My meditation practice is permanent, a daily companion who asks no toll for soothing my being.

My permanent things have an abstract quality to them, unlike possesssions, we protect from thieves.

You can not steal my kindness, gratitude, or meditation practice. They cost nothing but are more valuable than all my possesssions.

The few things that I will leave this earth with.

How about you, what is permanent in your life?

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The Creature we invent

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/14566398786347483/

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Rick Hanson gave us this gem, “Consider renouncing specialness—including being important and admired”.

The person we create, “Our Ego”, for identity, morphs into the biggest barrier to wellbeing.

Our “Ego” is the invention that craves importance, approval and constantly compares us to them.

He/She wants to be special.

On the flip side, an unworthy “Ego” stains our being, sentencing us to suffer.

He/She judges everything, adding strong emotion, never feeling equal to another “Ego”.

Our restlessness and unworthiness spring from this polluted well.

A mythical figure (Ego) used to separate us from them, battles us for power and control.

My “Ego” is the one who gets upset, pissed, jealous, resentful, ungrateful, anxious, and depressed.

The Ego” is the culprit, not feeling important enough, valued enough.

All these judgments are abstract and damaging.

Look at all the turmoil we escape when our “Ego” operates in perspective.

The less I judge others, the better my chance at wellbeing.

All my anger travels through my “Egos” comparison machine, deciding if I am above or below them.

If our “Ego” is in charge, we are self-centered, desires turn into needs quickly, drama and turmoil are not far behind.

While meditating, I go below my “Ego”, below my PTSD.

I am happiest in the present moment with my identity at rest, my senses dominate, not the cognitive giant.

We get into trouble letting our minds wander, our awareness needs to be intense.

Directed thought or being in the moment are the two safe places, spaces.

Yes, he/she is the one who holds grudges.

How can we be as kind as we want when we judge others harshly?

Take inventory. Find any judgment that you can release, let go?

They are similar to a ball and chain.

We can always make a judgment when a scenario arrives.

We have so much bandwidth in our brain, why fill up with judgments and negative feelings.

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