Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

If our Ego disappeared would we have PTSD?

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We create this character for identity, adopting the name our parents gave us. So my “Ego” is named Marty.

Marty never feels equal to another “Ego”, always better or worse. If we walk into a room of people sitting around a big table, our “Ego” judges others and assesses our rank, our status in the group.

We decide by things we hold important. A group of athletes would give me a high ranking, while entering a group of knitters would send me to the basement.

How we rate ourselves within our peer group and how the opposite sex sees us are two important areas.

Our “Ego” is in charge when strong emotions are present. Our “Ego” feels the outrage not our observer (true self, soul).

If someone cuts me off on the freeway, it is my “Ego” that is pissed, feels disrespected or threatened.

If I take a breath, focus, and let go, the anger dissipates. That anger needs my “Egos” energy to stay alive.

PTSD goes away when I focus, let my mind empty of thought, and observe life in this present moment.

It’s like seeing everything in my landscape without judgment (observer mode).

My “Ego” takes a place in the back, in the far reaches of my mind for a minute.

I asked my therapists one day, Doc, if I can be free of trauma for five minutes while meditating, then I can increase that time more and more with practice?

She said of course.

I have learned to meditate, a space where I travel to the right hemisphere of my brain, it is “Egoless” over there.

No words, sentences, right or wrong, good or bad.

Words are pixels on this side.

Think of the “Ego” as a ventriloquist dummy on our lap.

He/She is kind of us, but can say things we never would think of.

Just think of how common sense disappears when we get really pissed.

Look at that dummy on your lap, and say Hello to your “Ego”.

We need less “Ego” and more Observer for balance and wellbeing.

Next time you get pissed, follow the “Ego” back to its source.

Trick question. Who knows the answer?

Our true self (soul) can exist without the “Ego”, the “Ego” can not be exist without our true self.

Out deep in the woods, our “Ego” loses his/her powers.

The answer: The “Ego” has no source to find, it is made up without a center.

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Things I own, permanent things

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On my arduous journey with childhood trauma, I have found a few constants, things that are permanent, 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 for 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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How To Explore Your Inner-self

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From HUMAN PERFORMANCE PSYCHOLOGY Blog

“The actual psychological personality of a person is referred to as the ‘self’ of a person. 

Each one of us has a hidden self within us, but we are not aware of it. A human being thinks that it is his consciousness that lead his actions. 

Actually, our inner self guides our behavior in our day-to-day life. This self is constructed and undergoes transformation with the passage of time as we experience new things.

Ego also forms a part of our inner self. It makes us fight for our own identity in the world. It stresses on an individual existence of a human being separated from others. 

This will make an individual proud and selfish. He will neglect certain facts, which will be an obstacle in his self-awareness and thereby degrading his self-development. 

Thus for the development of the inner-self, the foremost step is self-introspection. 

This means that an individual should look within himself and analyze his own personality. 

This way he will be able to make out his own strengths and weaknesses. 

After this, it will be easy for him to take on to the methods that add on to his strengths and subtract his weaknesses. 

A person will then become more attracted towards the positive ways of life. This can be selfless service towards humanity and moving away from the negative thoughts of life such as jealousy and frustration. This will lead to the healing of the inner-self.

Another way of self-healing is to take on an optimistic attitude towards life. Many of us are prone to pessimistic thinking, which is the reason why they fail to realize the possibility of a solution to the problem. Taking on a positive and constructive attitude will give an individual the strength to face the problems of life and seek a solution to the same.

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Meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue

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from “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma”

“Meditation enhances functioning in the hippocampus, a crucial structure for quieting agitations and consolidating memory.

As you meditate, you also repair the brain connections that trauma has ruptured and rebuild brain tissue that has been damaged and destroy.

In recent years, researchers such as Harvard Sarah Lazaro and Brittany Holzel have repeatedly shown that meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue in areas of the frontal cortex that trauma often damages, areas responsible for self awareness, thoughtful judgment, and compassion.”

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My two cents: I healed the first time in small increments from multiple skills and practices.

Having a skill that can grow new brain tissue in trauma damaged areas, along with better self-regulation, enhanced memory, clearer thinking, greater ability to deal with life’s stresses, seems quite valuable.

What therapy or healing skill has more impact than this?

Meditating was my anchor, my greatest healing asset.

Meditating brought me a peace of mind, I never experienced before, a calm knowing.

I strive to regain that calm.

New Years resolution coming. Have you ever changed a habit?

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A crazy PTSD journey: a Rollercoaster ride for free

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My childhood trauma broke loose in my mid 50’s with a vengeance, life changed drastically, my nervous system exploded.

Improving (healing) was slow, arduous and painful. Took five years of all out effort with the new tools and skills I acquired.

My spirit was triumphant, much much freer, calmer as life had real joy for the first time. That horrible haunting feeling stopped, that unworthy to the core feeling dissipated.

To my shock five months ago, another super charged, hidden trauma exploded. Determined to quickly integrate this new trauma, frustration ensued.

I would meditate, let it go, time after time. Two days later the intrusive thoughts returned.

Three times these thoughts ceased for a couple of days only to return in force.

From my perch: Reading many, many books, meditating five hours a day, actively participating in therapy and applying all the skills learned, I was not your normal PTSD client a therapist would see.

I was a great success healing the first time. My therapist and friends agreed.

Now, confused, these same skills, more mature and adept, fail to impact this new trauma.

I revisited the Internal Family System therapy, it seems betrayal is my kryptonite.

It is like my soul, my spirit, my core Or my ego fears anihilation from this event and will not let go.

Hell no, I do not understand it. I know rationally it is the distant past and no danger is present.

Knowing that, life is still a rollercoaster ride at times.

He is an irrational ghost with inside power, who holds me in this invisible prison.

This monster (PTSD) runs on its own, has enormous power at times, and robs us.

For me, I am engaged in the battle again, maybe lost but looking for the crack in its armor.

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Survival Mode: “The Body Keeps the Score”

Pixabay: Comfreak

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“In other words: If an organism is stuck in survival mode, its energies are focused on fighting off unseen enemies, which leaves no room for nurture, care, and love.

For us humans, it means that as long as the mind is defending itself against invisible assaults, our closest bonds are threatened, along with our ability to imagine, plan, play, learn, and pay attention to other people’s needs.

Darwin also wrote about body-brain connections that we are still exploring today.

Intense emotions involve not only the mind but also the gut and the heart: “Heart, guts, and brain communicate intimately via the ‘pneumogastric’ nerve, the critical nerve involved in the expression and management of emotions in both humans and animals.

When the mind is strongly excited, it instantly affects the state of the viscera; so that under excitement there will be much mutual action and reaction between these, the two most important organs of the body.”

The first time I encountered this passage, I reread it with growing excitement. Of course we experience our most devastating emotions as gut-wrenching feelings and heartbreak.

As long as we register emotions primarily in our heads, we can remain pretty much in control, but feeling as if our chest is caving in or we’ve been punched in the gut is unbearable.

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The Holidays and PTSD

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The holidays highlight how many ways attachments are different for abused children. The dysfunctional family protects the abuser at all costs, the perfect family myth must live on.

We hear how the family is everything, most important thing in a persons life.

How do we handle that loss? Family contains our abuse, our abuser and a few enablers.

I made a new family.

I moved from San Diego to Eugene to help my daughter and three grandkids.

Now, I live in their midst, as grandpa.

For the first time, I witness a parent, my daughter, love, support and attach to each kid in the kindest way.

Strange to see kindness from a parent at my age.

Yes, I wonder how much better my life would of been, if someone would of just hugged me once in a kind way as a kid.

Those thoughts must be left alone or we suffer.

For me, my purpose is to stop the generational abuse and stabilize my grandkids.

I am the male caregiver, not father, who is consistent, there everyday and supportive.

My daughter has taught me through example what being a great parent looks like.

I am Amazed.

We can make a new family out of close friends if needed.

We have options and a path to being and feeling better.

Takes action in the face of trauma.

How do you navigate the Holidays.

Happy Holidays!

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PTSD has a counterintuitive dimension

Pixabay: johnhain
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Trauma, abuse, PTSD has an ironic, counterintuitive dimension for me.

The most influential people in my early life, task with loving and supporting me, did the opposite.

My defense mechanism tasked with protecting me from imminent danger, is now highjacked by trauma and fires whenever it damn well pleases.

The abuse and mechanism of PTSD attacks us inside our supposed safe zone.

Our greatest asset, our mind becomes our greatest enemy.

My mind, the implicit memory part (stored trauma) overrides all other functions when active.

I have learned some hard lessons for myself on this healing journey.

Certain events in my life will never go away and will haunt me in some form until I die.

Full recovery is a pipe dream, life is not even close to that miracle.

I am not pessimistic, more realistic, I continue to fight as hard as ever.

Expecting full recovery makes me suffer more thinking if only I could do this or that, life would be totally free.

I fight for small periods of freedom, letting go as many intrusive thoughts as possible.

When PTSD activates life is different, I go into survival mode, like childhood, it is my most practiced habit.

Wish I could say trusting and loving others is my most practiced habit.

Survival mode has no kindness, love, creativity, safety, socializing or calm.

We search for peace of mind, to feel complete, at ease, not needing to accomplish anything, like we are ok for the first time in our life.

I worked incessantly to be the professional baseball player my dad demanded, thinking this would change me.

After reaching that goal, I found my wellbeing was not connected to achievement.

I have been lost and searching ever since.

How about you?
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Awareness: know your trauma Patterns

An example of what a functional MRI scan looks like. Brain activation is averaged across 20 PTSD patients compared to healthy controls in an emotion regulation task.

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Yes, I am drawing a pattern out of only two episodes of trauma in my life.

Here are a few patterns I notice.

The obvious, my trauma buries itself quite deeply for decades.

This pattern allows trauma to have subconscious impact without anytime spent trying to heal.

My childhood abuse did not erupt until I was in my fifties.

Secondly, the first couple of months are extremely intense.

My nervous system is agitated and intrusive thoughts seem to come at a rate of a Gatling gun firing.

I see that my whole personality changes.

One of my symptoms brings the feeling of imminent danger to my being.

It is irrational and very confusing.

Imminent danger for me is not physical, I fear the annihilating of my ego, emotional death in a sense.

I am intense, consumed and out of my gourd for a couple months.

You have witnessed this in my recent posts.

I sound and act like a victim, hopeless, helpless, it is embarrassing but sharing will help others push through their humiliating thoughts.

At my lowest, agoraphobic, hiding in my dark garage during the day, I thought something was going to come through the tile roof and do something worse than death.

Look how abstract that fear is. I have no idea what is coming through the roof, man, animal or alien.

My danger does not need a gender or even an origin but it is what I fear most, the unknown.

PTSD has that unknown quality about it.

The tragic memory is incomplete at the time trauma happens.

If it happened in childhood, the brain has not fully developed, storing an incomplete, distorted memory.

Somewhere in our background we need that skill that does not give up when all Common sense says it is the prudent choice.

At my lowest, Agoraphobic, contemplating suicide, a moment of clarity and strength surfaced for me.

From somewhere deep inside my head, the words, my abuser, my dad wins if I give up.

That may seem a feeble judgment by some, but every fiber in my body would not allow him to win.

In a crazy moment of crisis, I accepted my suffering, decided I would rather sit and suffer than let my dad win.

I did not realize this was a pivotal moment on my healing journey, inside my ego, that inner voice knew I would never give up.

Healing from PTSD is a war zone, expect the turmoil as part of the journey.

Ironically, surviving my fathers abuse developed the traits that helped me heal.

We have to fight for our wellbeing, fight the demons our childhoods created.

Thoughts?

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Ways that a Narcissistic Parent controls his or her young children

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From https://bandbacktogether.com/master-resource-links-2/mental-illness-resources/adult-children-of-narcissistic-parents/


“There are a few ways that a Narcissistic Parent controls his or her young children. These control mechanisms include:

1) Codependent Control: “I need you. I can’t live without you.” This prevents children of Narcissistic Parents from having any autonomy, from living their own lives.

( I had no clue how to live my childhood or life. Little kids are brainwashed by their narcissistic parent using emotional and physical torture.)

2) Guilt-Driven Control: “I’ve given my life for you. I’ve sacrificed it all.” This method of control creates a feeling of obligation in children; that they “owe” their Narcissistic Parents and must behave in a certain way to make their parents happy.

(My mother told me, every breath my father took was for me)

3) Love Withdrawal Control: “You’re worthy of my love ONLY BECAUSE you behave the way I expect you to.” So long as their children are behaving properly, a Narcissistic Parent will be loving. That love disappears the moment a child doesn’t meet expectations.

( My father threatened abandonment. I did not attach to something that threatened to leave me exposed, vulnerable)

4) Goal-Oriented Control: “We have to work together to achieve a goal.” These goals are generally the goals, dreams, and fantasies of a Narcissistic Parent. A Narcissistic Parent lives vicariously through his or her children.

(My father stole my childhood as his way of gaining status in his life, self worth at my expense.)

5) Explicit Control: “Obey me or I’ll punish you.” Children of Narcissistic Parents must do as they’re told or risk shame, guilt, anger, or even physical abuse.

( My beatings were frequent and severe, delivered coldly without concern for my wellbeing. My dad meant to hurt me and scare the shit out of me. Control would be absolute.)

6) Emotional Incest Control: “You’re my one true love, The One, the most important person to me.” An opposite-sex parent makes his or her child fulfill the unmet needs of the Narcissistic Parent.

( My mom was the enabler, her life was better when dad focused on me instead of her)
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