Posts Tagged ‘Emotions’

PTSD is a bluff, the real danger is over. Sometimes for decades

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In my life two big traumas dominate all others, childhood and a horrific assault in college.

Neither one caused PTSD until decades later, childhood trauma erupted after a family crisis triggered my panic, the latter exploded during this pandemic and quarantine.

I thought healing was complete as my childhood trauma integrated. Then isolated with this quarantine, an old horrific event surfaced with enormous energy (fear, humiliation, shame and unworthiness).

In the beginning trauma becomes real for us, I was transported back to the event with all the highly charged fight or flight drugs being dumped into my blood stream.

The neurotransmitters are real, the emotions are the same, saved then stored at the time it happened.

For me, a short emotionally charged movie plays, whenever and wherever it decides.

Remember, we can not reach our trauma consciously, it has full autonomy to come and go anytime.

If I interact with these images and judgments, my trauma grows and gets worse.

Staying present, observing this movie is the best I can do.

We all try to manipulate and change the outcome of the event, but the danger is over and the event is now implicit memory.

No real danger exists now, PTSD is a bluff, an over compensation of our defense mechanism to protect from future trauma.

If I try to influence these judgments or the movie it grows. Avoiding, denying and dissociating are jet fuel for PTSD.

Pulling back, focused on my breath, watching the judgments and movie leave my consciousness, is my goal.

I do not control how many times I need accomplish this task for healing to be complete.

Our journey has more well being when we stay in the present moment, whether we be a normal person or a sufferer of complex PTSD.

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Tazzie responds to a post on betrayal trauma

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I follow Tazzie’s blog and find her an inspiration. Oh she lives in Tasmania.

https://echidna.home.blog

“What incredible research and statistics. My partner and I tried to be as honest and open in all areas of our relationship. Yet I feel as being his third long term partner, and one after a relationship with a woman who treated him terribly our honesty and respect unconditional love and not fearing how our words would be taken wrongly allowed us to have a very deep level of love. My partner had had prostate cancer and this impacted his ability at times, he was deeply ashamed of this. Worried how I would react. We were totally open about it. things improved greatly and he shared that with me he never felt in adequate or a need to perform.

I feel so little real information is shared honestly and openly about sex. The crap that is written in magazines and tv movies. Expectations and that it will be wonderful. The shame of body image. Aging, odours, natural odours that have the pheremones being sanatised and destroyed by chemicals.

The pornogrpahy industry showing ridiculous situations fantasies, and all that goes with it. Fictional and not reality but often the only way many see the sexual act displayed. Sigh.

Sex and sexuality, expectation and reality. Not being honest, not communicating about what you like, and how before you marry or commit to a relationship with someone who may not really be on the same page or need as you are in the sex department.

I know that my partner and I were very very lucky but we did work very hard at communicating and not judging. When he became ill with his cancer, he told me it would be OK if I had sex with someone else I told him how touched and appreciated I was by his very kind words. I told him it meant a lot to me but he meant more and I knew at this point in his life if I did that even with his blessing it would hurt him. I also told him that I was quite happy if I needed to to masturbate, something he quite enjoyed being present for. lol he found it fascinating.

I feel sex is one thing but a sexual relationship and a commitment to being a couple goes deeper than sex. Many women find masturbation satisfies them better than sex with their partner. Have they shared it with their partner maybe not.

I am a very open and willing person in relationships within reason and my being in charge of my situation(not sure that makes sense) So if any person I was in a relationship with say went off and had sex with say a paid sex worker or an affair. I would much prefer that it was a safe hygiene where the sex worker was not taken advantage off, but a ‘professional’ than if the person had an affair. Firstly I would want to know why my partner had done this, and what I was not willing to do to satisfythe need. If I was nt willing but the person told me and still needed that to help then it would be to me no different to other therapies that help people cope. It is a business transaction, not emotional. If it was an affair, why? would I want the person still to be in my life if they did not want to be with me, I dont think so. As I age Sex is important but it is such a transient thing dependent on so many things. Both parties feeling like it at the same moment, weariness, children, stress, work, finances, body image, making noise and disturbing neighbours, having different desires (consenting adults ones) comfort levels, education regarding sex. some people seeing it as a necessity but not enjoyable, other loving it. Not feeling satisfied by it. feeling inadequate.

It is really a tragedy that so much is put upon sex in a realtionship. If you are really having such incredible issues in regard to your partners sexual needs (as long as they are in regard to consensual adults) than perhaps love is not what you have but a dream of what you thought it would be.

I believe you have to be honest before committing to live with someone. Be honest with yourself too. If you can not communicate about sex, openly with the person that might be a red flag.

I have never been married as I see it as a institution by the religious organisations to keep woman powerless and certainly in our history as chattels and owned by their spouses. Even now many religious services continue to have obey for the woman to say to the man but not the other way.

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Early shame experiences stored as Trauma?

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From Benne Brown:

“After studying Dr. Uram’s work, I believe it’s possible that many of our early shame experiences, especially with parents and caregivers, were stored in our brains as traumas.

This is why we often have such painful bodily reactions when we feel criticized, ridiculed, rejected and shamed.

Dr. Uram explains that the brain does not differentiate between overt or big trauma and covert or small, quiet trauma—it just registers the event as “a threat that we can’t control.”

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My two cents: I believe some emotions especially shame, enlarge our Trauma, our PTSD symptoms and the duration of our suffering.

My childhood trauma is the bed all other traumas in my life lay in.

My childhood trauma in fact, made me much more vulnerable for other traumas to happen.

Childhood trauma has crippled my resilience to handle betrayal.

Even now, if someone betrays me, they are done for life.

I have healed a couple of times but many behaviors and fears still operate.

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Benne Brown: It’s everything you have to deal with the rest of your life.

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“Experience: When I think of shame I think of being sexually abused when I was growing up.

I think about what that’s done to my life and how it’s changed everything.

It’s not just the abuse itself.

It’s everything you have to deal with the rest of your life.

It’s like you feel different from anyone else; nothing is ever normal for you.

Everything is about that.

I’m not allowed just to have a regular life.

That is the thing that made me who I am and so everything is stained by that.

That’s what shame is for me.

Emotions: Feeling labeled, dismissed, misunderstood and reduced.

Emotions might include grief, loss, frustration and anger.

Dig Deep: Have you ever been defined by an experience? Found yourself unable to get out from under a reputation or “an incident”?

Have you ever been unfairly labeled?

Have you ever had people attribute your behaviors to an identity you don’t deserve?

Have you ever fought to overcome something, only to find others less than willing to move past it?”

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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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Do thoughts sabotage your meditation practice?

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I went to zen center for five years. We would meditate for a half hour, then do a three minute walking meditation, followed by another half hour of meditation.

Most of us fought for an hour for a few seconds of an empty, focused mind. Counting my breaths did not work for me or anyone but the Zen monk.

Being a visual person, I created a breathing model. It resembled an upright infinity symbol with four distinct parts.

Inhale, pause, exhale, pause. The pauses were the weak link, a sort of door for thoughts to proliferate.

First, I performed exercises highlighting my pauses.

I would take a deep inhale, then pause, a long, concerted pause where no exhaust leaks out. As I resisted the pressure in my lungs, I intently scanned my internal organs for agitation or energy.

Feel your whole chest cavity, give these pauses a purpose, an activity to accomplish.

Our pauses are the doors to our inner world. The pauses are as important as the inhales and exhales, treat them that way.

The mind and body work together like our inhales and exhales work with the pauses.

The breath does not flow without pauses, music is noise without pauses between notes.

The second pause is different from the initial pause.

The first pause is like a balloon we just inflated, the air inside creates pressure looking to be released.

It takes force to hold the first pause.

The pause after the exhale has no pressure to resist.

Our body is truly at a suspended animation, an opportunity to know our inner world.

Know where fear manifests in your body, where anger raises its powerful head, where trauma resides, and where contentment and joy spring forth.

The breath is the tool I used to explore my inner world, the tool used to release body trauma and the tool I used to integrate my PTSD.

Until I gave my pauses the attention they needed my meditation practice languished.

I always broke things down to smaller pieces, then worked on those pieces.

I worked on my pauses exclusively for a while, then went back to meditating with increased focus.

Where do thoughts enter your mind when meditating?

Inhales starts bottom right moving upward. The pauses are the short arches.

Inhale, pause, exhale, pause, one breath cycle

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Thoughts can be our Prison: add intent listening and feeling to your meditation practice

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I spent six months isolated in my garage huddled in fear, agorophic from avoiding my trauma.

My crime was trying to think my way out of PTSD, cognitively outsmart it.

Thinking (dissociating) fueled my trauma, symptoms intensified, my nervous system sensed imminent danger constantly.

Solution: I learned a specific way of focusing my mind, using hearing, the breath, somatic feeling (sensing my heart) and a visual model as a useful guide.

The visual guide is a continuum, a sort of upright infinity symbol. We see the breath has four distinct parts each as valuable as the other, it can flow like a sheet of music some days.

Then I am inside my nostrils when inhaling and exhaling. The cool air is the inhale, the exhale the warmer exhaust.

The pauses, for me, were the spaces where thoughts entered my consciousness.

My solution was to prioritize these pauses with present moment sensing. Pauses are like suspended animation, the body is as still is it will ever be.

The body makes noises inhaling and exhaling, expanding the lungs then contracting them.

So I used a somatic present moment sensing and intense hearing for my focus objects.

At my pauses I spend time sensing my chest cavity and heart, getting to know my inner world at this most frozen of times.

I may enter my heart and feel it slowing, then listen for its silent beat.

I use hearing as much as focus on the breath along with feeling my internal

machinations.

Be like a Geiger counter sensing agitation, tightness, pain, anxiety, calm, contentment or unrest during a pause.

Now my pauses had purpose, I would switch from being inside my nostrils for inhales and exhales, to listening and sensing at the pauses.

Thoughts had a much harder time entering my space.

Nothing is full proof and meditating is easier some days then others but even the bad days heal.

Remember, Meditation is not about influencing anything, achieving or overcoming anything, it is not an attack, it is learning to surrender.

Our first goal in meditation is build our focus to the point where thoughts clear and the mind is empty.

The body and mind start repairing and healing around this no thought space.

No cancer will not be cured but optimum mental health can be attained on this journey.

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Meditation is an Auger, headed directly for our trauma

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Therapists use the word integration to describe bringing a past trauma into the present moment.

How do we accomplish this task?

Meditation helped me stay present when my triggers exploded, avoidance and hypervigilance lost power.

PTSD causes many to avoid their triggers, Isolate from the perception of imminent danger.

Meditation takes a different direction.

Meditation is an auger, whatever we have stored containing fear, anxiety, abuse or betrayal is coming up.

Instead of avoiding, we sit alone, quietly focusing on the breath, observing every small sensation intently.

Meditation is an inner exploration, an auger headed directly at our PTSD, those deep dark areas in the mind we fear.

If you do not want to face your fears, give up meditating or do not start.

For me, Meditation was extremely violent at times.

Trauma left in a rage, emotional unrest and anger jolted my being.

Then it was over the next day.

After the first couple of times I relaxed and enjoyed Traumas drama leaving.

Celebrate when you kick traumas ass.

It is a good day.

People I have mentored have some common traits.

They are sincere, able to take action, resilient and even the gals, remind me of warriors. If they ever feel sorry for themselves, it is a brief moment that fades quickly.

I have witnessed people facing enormous suffering and still take action.

Takes courage and daily action.

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Who am I?……Who are You?

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A month ago an old trauma entered my consciousness stealthily, quietly, but once detected it had enormous power and fear.

I went from believing I was an expert on handling PTSD, to acting like a novice without direction or skills.

Knowing better than to handle my trauma, I dissociated for hours trying to change the outcome, save my Ego from being humiliated.

For a month, all my skills bounced off this new trauma.

Hard lesson: No matter how powerful I develop my skills, identifying with my Ego and entertaining trauma thoughts always wins easily.

My skills were worthless when I refused to let go.

We need to carve out a small space where we are present, empty of thought.

I had to change the narrative that was stored with this last trauma. It was distorted by my Ego.

Once my Ego let go of betrayal, the movie playing in my head over and over stopped.

My male ego felt invisible, I surmised my Egos desire were those belonging to my core, my soul.

In fact it was an image created for identity (Ego), that took control of my being through PTSD’s mechanisms.

When I dropped the concept of betrayal, my male Ego emerged as the main culprit in my suffering.

Awareness has uncovered others ways my male Ego deals with life.

He has become more rigid and stealthy as he has aged.

Remember our Ego feels like the real Marty, Sandy, Mike etc.

Ask someone who they are?

Watch how the Ego describes itself, what does it value most?

I need to explore the influence my Ego has in my life after this last episode.

Who are you?

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