Posts Tagged ‘Emotions’

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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Holidays do not mix with ptsd very well

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If we do not have these warm feelings, these deep attachments, or dreams of people being trustworthy, what do we do?

I think my default stage around the holidays is a hybrid survival mode.

All those childhood memories, beatings, etc., visiting our consciousness, are upsetting.

Will there be a time, when this horrible shit will stay away?

Why does the worst stuff last forever, run on its own, have incredible power, while the good events fade helplessly.

The holidays bring that unknown, haunting feeling to me, like something is going to happen.

Kids of narcissists often spot danger, learn to be sensitive to future threats. We spend time and energy making sure we do not get ambushed.

It all goes back to our narcissistic parent, our habits formed to survive their abuse.

I was in danger when my dad was home, both physically and emotionally.

That fear has never left that little boys soul.

Now, it takes energy to unplug all this crap 💩.

To be normal, I have to meditate, focus and let all this crap go.

It seems we always need to do incredible work before we get to enjoy life.

At least we have a chance.

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A loyal follower responds

Pixabay: jLasWilson

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Rudid96 responds to a post “PTSD has a counterintuitive dimension”

“I’m finding that if you survive the abuse, it’s residue is far worse than the event(s). You see, that had a beginning & end. However, my mind seldom allows me freedom. My thoughts run amuck. As 2020 draws to a close, there’s much talk of goal setting, fresh starts, new interests. Try as I might, It’s so disappointing to feel that I’m floating through the days aimlessly; purpose, goals, & dreams elude me.

That’s the real devastation of physical abuse & emotional neglect: to live with the emptiness of soul, the inability to trust, the inability to connect. Will 2021 be different? One can only hope?”

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My two cents: For an event to be stored as implicit memory (PTSD), we must be terrified, in a perceived or real imminent danger event.

Our adrenal stress response fires violently, bp, heart rate and pulse spike, cortisol and adrenaline are dumped, while pain killers and coagulants secrete. Our mind , is literally out of our mind, survival becomes the sole purpose of life.

We freeze or maybe black out and the ending of our trauma is not finished inside our brains.

Healing or improving, that is integrating our trauma to present moment completes the storyline. That is why we lack an ending.

For me, I have to focus on specific actions.

My awareness becomes omnipotent. I try to let go of any trauma thought immediately.

Rudid96: “It’s so disappointing to feel that I’m floating through the days aimlessly; purpose, goals, & dreams elude me.”

My purpose is simple, intense daily action, not an abstract goal like healing.

I find that my dreams suck, my purpose eludes me, life is a big quandary. Accomplishing goals has never calmed my PTSD, achievement has not lead to healing.

I am best, when focused in this moment, mind clear of thoughts, in observer mode.

I have no purpose, no goals, no judgment, and life has calm and some freedom.

That’s what I know, it’s only this moment that I can impact.
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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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What abused children Become

Pixabay: Soledadsnp

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From Dr. Nicholas Jenner on his onlinetherapist.blog

“I am convinced that codependents come into adulthood seeking the basic connection with others that they failed to find with their parents.

In a process of compulsion repetition, they engage in relationships with people similar to their caregivers, trying to solve the original problem.

In the specific case of codependency, this means controlling the environment and the people in it to gain reassurance and emotional security, mirroring childhood.

As we know, this means sacrifice, martyrdom, victimhood and the main principles of the drama triangle, fixing, anger and self loathing.

Codependents feel they need to be in a relationship to feel secure and once they are, will do all they can to stay in it.

Our logical mind often tells us that we need to make changes in our lives.

This is often overwhelmed by the emotional part of our thinking that holds fear, shame and reminds us how difficult change might be.

This protective thinking is the main reason we become stuck when deciding what to do.

It protects us from our primary fears, not good enough, abandonment, fear of commitment, rejection.

The thinking we listen wants us to stay exactly where we are so we don’t face these fears.”

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My two cents: In early adulthood I was extremely vulnerable.

I stayed after a public betrayal by my first love, first girlfriend in college.

Staying was humiliating publicly and extremely damaging but I was paralyzed like this article says.

Sad, abused kids need to suffer more in adulthood without knowing why or how to fix it.

Oh yes. We have enormous rage and resentment for all abusers in our life.

We battle an invisible monster, a caregivers treachery, for life.

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Childhood abuse, do we ever trust

Pixabay: Myriams-Fotos

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Awareness preempts any change in my humble opinion.

Many habits and patterns go unnoticed right below the surface of consciousness.

Recently, I realized how sensitive or paranoid my behavior has developed.

At all times, in any situation, I am aware of everything around me.

I have always been like this, always knowing where my father was, what mood, what danger existed.

It is second nature to me, my peripheral vision is excellent, I even know what is behind me.

Now I see this as a defense mechanism (PTSD symptoms), where real danger rarely exists.

My behavior has developed from a violent, abusive childhood.

My Survival mode is always activated in some form no matter where I am or what I am doing.

I am not physically afraid, in fact quite the opposite, however emotionally, imminent danger has always been close.

My complete childhood was spent more or less in survival mode.

Spotting imminent danger overwhelmed all other circuits.

Part of it is hereditary, I inherited my mothers nervous system, high strung and anxiety ridden.

When my fight or flight mechanism would fire, it was violent and intense, numbing, almost paralyzing.

Meditation has calmed my nervous system.

Unfortunately now I see my Nervous system does not fire violently, however he is on high alert constantly, spotting danger.

It has been mostly subconscious, nothing overt or any conscious effort.

All this happens automatically without thought or input.

Being able to trust is so important.

How do we trust with only betrayal in our past?

Trust is just something I know nothing about.

How do you start trusting at age 69?

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