Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

If our Ego disappeared would we have PTSD?

http://m.deveoh.com/old-ventriloquist-dummies?page=4

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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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Meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue

https://pixabay.com/users/inspiredimages-57296/

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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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Holidays do not mix with ptsd very well

https://pixabay.com/users/richardsdrawings-858383/

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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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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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This Will Change Your Mind About Psychedelic Drugs

https://pixabay.com/users/therapeuticshroom-16662245/

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Excerpt from https://time.com/5278036/michael-pollan-psychedelic-drugs/

“For years, the field of mental health has been largely barren of meaningful treatment advances. But now, scientists have new hope in the least likely of places: psychedelic drugs. Recent research suggests that certain psychedelic substances can help relieve anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction and the fear surrounding a terminal diagnosis.

“The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” says Michael Pollan, author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”

What do psychedelics do to the human mind?

The honest answer: nobody quite understands. We’re really just at the beginning of exploring that frontier. But psychedelics appear to diminish activity in one very important brain network called the default mode network. That network is very involved with operations having to do with our sense of self: how we integrate what’s happening to us in any given moment, with our abiding sense of who we are.

The interesting thing about psychedelics, both LSD and psilocybin — the ingredient in magic mushrooms — is that they take this network offline. When that happens, you have this sensation of ego-dissolution: that your self is evaporating or dissolving. And that seems to lead to new connections in the brain temporarily forming.

Your emotion center starts talking directly to your visual cortex, let’s say, and you see things that you’re hoping or fearing. New connections are made that could produce new insights, new perspectives, new ways of looking at the world.

Your book talks a lot about the scientific approach to psychedelics. What do scientists believe that psychedelics can offer people?

The feeling among the scientists is that these chemicals allow us to essentially reboot the brain. If the brain is stuck in these narrow grooves of thought — whether it’s an obsession or a fear or the story you tell yourself — all those deep grooves that lock us into patterns of both thought and behavior are dissolved and temporarily suspended in a way that allows us to break those patterns.

What psychedelics do you think show some therapeutic potential?

There are two drugs that show the most potential and will probably be legalized for medical use soon. One is a drug that isn’t always considered a psychedelic: MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly, which has been shown to be incredibly useful in the treatment of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers or in rape victims. A study recently came out that showed great effectiveness at treating those problems. That’s very encouraging, and that may be the first of these drugs to get approved.

The second is psilocybin. It appears to be very useful in the treatment of anxiety, depression and addiction in both smoking and alcohol.”

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My two cents: Psilocybin has been legalized in Oregon. Everything I have read always said a magic pill is a fantasy, but rebooting the brain along with our practice has me interested.

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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Tips for navigating the mechanical side of PTSD

https://www.turningwithin.org/fight-or-flight

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Serious PTSD sufferers live with an elevated nervous system, some underlying agitation is always present.

For me, the fight or flight exploding was like getting shot in the solar plexus, intense, an electrifying jolt.

Those are the easy times to know the condition of our nervous system.

Bringing more awareness to my inner world, I have noticed a few things.

First, my baseline activation is higher, my nervous system has more agitation at rest than a normal person.

I have learned my nervous system, or anxiety level can be raised to an excited level without me recognizing it consciously.

When intrusive thoughts are active, then I notice my agitation consciously. I guess it needs to reach a certain intensity before I become aware of it.

Being sensitive to smaller levels of activation helps us navigate PTSD much better.

An elevated nervous system depletes our energy, wears on our emotional stability.

This is the mechanical, the physical part of PTSD that we can learn to calm.

They teach Navy Seals to handle fear (high anxiety), their fight or flight mechanism, using their breath, focusing on elongating the exhales.

Yes, slow focused breathing can dissipate adrenaline and cortisol while activating our parasympathetic nervous system, the breaks, bringing calm.

I have learned that fear, it’s physical embodiment, our adrenal stress response (fight or flight mechanism), contains no fear.

Fear is added by our thoughts. I choose to focus on the body sensations, taking my breath into the middle of the agitation or unrest.

While hiking with my chronic pain, I would summon my fight or flight mechanism to fire, then use the Adrenaline and Cortisol for my workout energy.

While handling my fight or flight mechanism everyday hiking, I became more familiar, more comfortable with that intense feeling.

The more we know about our nervous system the better.

Now I do not fear my chronic pain or my fight or flight mechanism firing.

If you weather the storm sitting quietly, motionless, focused on your breath, your confidence and power will grow.

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Childhood abuse destroys a kids ability to trust others or himself/herself

Pixabay: GregMontani

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How do you trust when one parent is your violent abuser and the other is his enabler?

Conditioned love from your caregivers, places all self-worth and value as a person, on performance (approval) for the dominant abuser. 

I was conditioned to have no intrinsic value except for the achievements my narcissistic parent picked out as valuable.

My narcissistic father demanded I would be twice as good (at baseball) as any other kid in my hometown.

At five I was informed I would be a great professional baseball player or else.

How does a little boy handle such as outrageous demand. Oh yea, I played six years for the Baltimore Orioles.

Now, is my self worth dependent on being twice as Good? 

You better damn well believe it did in that household.

Sad as a little boy, that’s exactly how my father valued me or I was beat violently and portrayed verbally as worthless.

He did not care about anything else, cold, calculated and extremely violent was his demeanor.

Now, at 69, weakened by chronic pain, spinal fusions, and complex PTSD, my abuse overwhelms me.

Once a strong advocate for fighting for every breath, now my spirit is tired of the humiliation I have endured.

My strength is gone, endurance crippled by a serious car wreck, and my chronic pain grows as I age.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I have read enough, meditated enough and healed enough to understand the mountain I faced from birth.

With ten years of intensive healing under my belt, the mountain of trauma inside my brain keeps pouring out.

My expectations: I thought all my effort would heal me.

I did not expect trauma would never stop haunting me, or would be endless until I die.

For me, life has been filled with abuse, betrayal and suffering.

I think I have fought the good fight, my reward is always more trauma to endure.

I am lost in the middle of this recent eruption of old trauma.

It feels like trauma has consumed my existence, stole my life.

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I have two significant traumas in my life: a pattern has emerged

https://pixabay.com/users/quincecreative-1031690/

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My traumas waited many decades to explode, coming alive in my consciousness. Usually a crisis, death, cancer, another trauma, etc. activates our stored trauma.

For me, this has happened twice, a decade apart, one with my whole childhood, second a horrible public betrayal in college.

During childhood, my brain wired under duress, fear and survival shut down many normal developmental circuits.

As a child, my complete focus centered around my father (my abuser).

Instead of developing healthy attachments, social skills, all my focus was spent on my fathers mood.

When a caregiver places you in imminent danger, even digestion is interrupted.

So the pattern of being consumed by trauma thoughts is a habit practiced from such an early age.

Now, a second trauma, not childhood but a college tragedy erupted a couple months ago.

Now my mind haunts me night and day playing a short video of the trauma.

My inner world tries to change the outcome. The wounded me in college, does not want to endure this a second longer.

I never felt this humiliated and worthless in my life. We feel the emotions at the time of the event, like reliving a real horror movie.

Of course my trauma from childhood made this new trauma far more damaging.

Abused kids lack emotional regulation skills and healthy coping mechanisms , making us vulnerable the rest of our lives.

Realize, if you have Complex PTSD from childhood, a new trauma will be far more damaging to us than a normal person.

I am finding that two big traumas like this can be overwhelming, so much more power in combination.

Yes, frustration and resentment share my mind with fear and humiliation in the midst of this past trauma.

You can see the rollercoasre ride our traumatized mind takes us through.

This is not an easy life. We isolate to protect our damaged souls.

Not everyday is jubilant on this journey.

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