Posts Tagged ‘Judgment’

3 tools for calming the nervous system



I know of three ways of depleting cortisol and adrenaline.

First is our diet, what we eat and how much body fat around our belly is influenced by our cortisol levels. Certain foods help deplete cortisol.

Second tool is Slowing the breath, focusing intently, activates our parasympathetic nervous system, applies the brakes.

This calms us, settles us down and lowers cortisol and adrenaline. It’s called meditation, it has many variations.

The third way is purely physical, aerobic exercise works like a charm.

Aerobic exercise to near failure works like a miracle. Start slow and adapt, then build up so you can exert maximum energy.

We have to want to heal more than any desire we entertain. I have never read that in any psychology book.

Therapy and my two therapists, one in San Diego then another in Eugene , helped me on my journey. I was encouraged to explore and try new things outside therapy.

Aerobic exercise and meditation were my two most valuable skills. Being a former pro jock, aerobic exercise was easy for me.

All my friends doubted I could ever meditate, I was always amped up, excitable and kind of high strung.

Do not let other people’s judgments rule our behavior. We get lost and run over by others because we are different, stay strong and try like hell in the face of worry and doubt.

I laughed at my friends, you think focusing on the spin of a baseball while hitting with 25,000 screaming fans can not be turned internally.

For a jock, being told we can not do something, is not something you want to bet against.

When my mind was frozen from trauma, my legs could still move and my willpower drove me to exhaustion.

Mechanically I can calm my body completely down.

We can not separate our mind from our body, they work as one.

There are many skills or tools we can learn to improve.

Yesterday, I started hiking to exhaustion again.

It’s half mental and half physical. It builds willpower.

How bad do you want to heal?

What is your level of commitment, are you in a little, a medium involvement or are you all in.

Intensity is a necessity for optimum results.



PTSD: a mental illness?

This Pinterest poster made me uncomfortable, so I used it.


“Trauma disorders are mental illnesses that are caused by traumatic experiences or significant stress.”



My two cents: I believe serious childhood abuse is a significant mental illness.

Many harsh connotations for people with mental illnesses.

Hell, I have always been different than all the rest, why change now.

There is an internal war going on, battles are intermittent but intense.

Hard to ignore triggers firing, hypervigilance and intrusive thoughts.

It’s like warring with yourself, any wound harms both participants.

See how irrational PTSD can be.

Does admitting we have a mental illness, help us?



PTSD waves



I have learned to never draw long term judgments, good or bad.

Yesterday this new trauma receded back into the ocean of childhood abuse.

It feels like it crashed hard onto shore, creating havoc with its destructive power, but like all waves, it recedes quietly into the vast ocean.

My two episodes of PTSD exploding followed this path.

Enormous power and anxiety until we learn to quiet the war inside.

It is just one day but a signal of progress.

A current wave always seems the most dangerous, but in reality not near the threat we have already weathered.

We have surfed far more dangerous waters as kids and survived.

This current breath is not controlled by my trauma.

One free breath can grow into more.

If you need guarantees, you will never heal, true story.

It takes monumental courage and willpower to not quit.

We have to take action when fear is at its peak.

Not everyone can answer that bell.

5% heal(greatly improve), in my opinion.

What percentage do you think heals from PTSD?

From serious childhood PTSD?



The first two skills needed to Heal

We are victims for a while, that has to change first.

Victimhood disappears with our initial action to heal.

A needed first step, simply the hardest for most PTSD sufferers.

In my opinion 5% take daily action and face their PTSD.

There are many choices after we decide to take action.

The next skill and most important for me was and is currently never giving up.

There will be helpless and hopeless moments that an inner strength is needed to continue.

If we never give up, we will stumble into a therapy that helps sooner or later.

It is my mindset that has saved my ass a couple of times in my darkest moments with suffering.

The first two basic skills are not cognitive and definitely not complex.

Very simple to take daily action until trauma symptoms arrive.

Running a mindfulness group in person for 8 years confirmed what I believed.

A few healed while the rest did not even try.

My words were the same, some improved and the vast majority listened, nodded and remained stagnant.

What is the difference?

Inner drive and desire to heal that turns into action is the difference.

Ability to take action when we are frozen with a trigger firing.

We must face our fear and take action. It is the only path.

I would sit and surrender to my fears, opening my heart like a butterfly net, catching what I feared most.

Now that took courage. Something inside decided if I gave up, my abuser, my dad, would win. You need to find a purpose like this to drive you.

Taking daily action to heal has dominated my last decade of life.

Instead of complaining, I constantly apply my skills to improve.

It has become habit to continue even when things feel helpless.

I been at helpless a few times and I still continue.

How about you?

More Suffering (PTSD style)

Pixabay: kalhh



We not only avoid triggers, people and situations, but suffering.

There are many kinds of suffering, many different intensities and durations involved.

In a normal life situation, avoiding suffering is a basic skill.

We do not put our hand in the flame on the gas stove or jump off a roof.

PTSD bring a longer, more insidious kind of suffering.

PTSD suffering is repetitive, pain is mixed with emotionally charged fear and trauma.

PTSD uses our defense mechanism to scare us, firing our fight or flight mechanism, turning our nervous system into our personal terrorist.

This suffering is not physical as a broken leg, and does not heal anything like a broken bone.

PTSD has a big physical dimension using strong fear drugs and bodily functions to prepare us for a lethal threat.

We can see that PTSD suffering has the ability to last a lifetime.

I have had many, many injuries playing professional sports, they pail in comparison to childhood PTSD.

So how do we handle the suffering PTSD brings us?

Our first reaction is to avoid suffering at all costs.

With PTSD it does not work.

It’s similar to chasing pleasure, which seems like a good strategy until it ends in addiction.

Trying to avoid suffering, being afraid to experience my suffering made it worse.

How do we change human nature and accept our suffering.

For me this idea came forward.

If We have to suffer, we will suffer trying to heal.

In that sentence there is no avoidance or fear dealing with my suffering.

If you try to heal, your suffering will increase before it will release.

The old adage, no pain no gain seems to fit perfectly here.

If you fear your suffering PTSD will get much worse.


PTSD and Suffering

Public domain



A friend asked me, what do you gain from your suffering?

I have a hard time applying that to PTSD suffering.

Whether we are a victim or actively trying to heal, suffering is part of our life.

In my opinion, childhood abuse was a sentence of future suffering.

No matter what I did, suffering and loss would be my companions.

My damage and weaknesses were glaring for me.

The best I can do is, try to heal in spite of my suffering.

Feeling I gain something from suffering, brings strong guilt feelings.

I must be doing something wrong to prolong PTSD and my suffering.

Seems to me, having courage and taking action to heal is trying to stop suffering.

An idea arrives. I can offer my suffering up to help Others heal.



PTSD: what’s it feel like inside?

Pixabay: ninita_7
I have learned to watch my mind and body. 

At times I can take a step back, be observer, kind of narrating what my being is doing.

It feels like a big fight has happened this week inside my head and heart.

Like always, the details are cloudy, confusing and abstract.

Exactly how our trauma was stored.

My read is accurate, childhood abuse haunts us like a ghost.

I have watched my mind try to convince me unworthiness lives at my core.

A humiliating event is the storyline trauma runs on the projector.

My complex PTSD thinks my soul is stained, damaged, faulty.

Being able to take a step back, gives me a chance to know it,then attack it in due time.

This is a battle people, PTSD wins at times.

That thought of feeling sorry for myself broke my consciousness.

I know life is not fair and others have it harder than me.

We regroup, retool and attack it.

If I have to suffer, I will suffer trying to heal.

It is not easy at times like this.

Childhood abuse: Formation of our Ego

Dr. Anne Brown



Our Ego should be carefully created like a resume. A lively rejoice of our great qualities.

Wow, I wish with all my heart.

Resumes do not have any negative words, admission of loss or highlighted weaknesses.

Abused kids create an Ego that is flawed, it has elements of unworthiness, as it creates not only a damaged Ego but a dangerous world.

Our created Ego has never known a time without abuse, he/she never has experienced what normal people think or feel.

Attachments are dysfunctional and abusive in our childhoods.

My low was not thinking I had a right to be alive. True story.

It is insidious as a disease the way it impacts our mind and heart.

I have worked many hours recreating a normal Ego, but stress or crisis brings PTSD and the old Ego thrives.

Our self image was distorted by abuse and criticism, we never felt good enough, this feeling seems to be there from birth for us.

It is haunting not to have a memory where we felt ok, normal, deserving.

Creating a new Ego, working feverishly to heal, has only garnered short periods of freedom from my abused Ego.

He feels so hard wired, I have no remembrance of feeling ok, ever.

How are we supposed to feel? What do kids not abused feel like?

My abuse plays everyday, on its own, it brings not good enough trauma, it brings shame.

Every day I try to distract my mind, try to let the shame go, try to stay present.

I am exhausted and worn down from the constant onslaught of intrusive thoughts.

My mind is attacking my sanity.

It does not care that it harms the host.

That is childhood abuse matured into adult Complex PTSD.



PTSD uses thought and emotion to gain control



PTSD uses certain emotions to gain control, yes it’s part of the Thinker, our Ego.

Our Ego wants total control, even in a person with no history of abuse. We are easy targets when the Ego has PTSD as a weapon or when PTSD has the Ego to dominate. Pick your poison.

PTSD brings guilt to our core. Why should we ever feel guilty for being abused, yes it’s all irrational.

PTSD distorts time, memory and our sanity.

Fear of the unknown, what’s going to happen, when is the next tragedy for us, reverberates within traumas thoughts. We are always on guard, danger is close, we sense.

Trauma, PTSD, has created an alternate world that has no safety or wellbeing for us. We live in a world influenced by things out of our consciousness, PTSD.

We can get trapped inside our thoughts and feelings without realizing it. No one is going to understand.

That’s the other sad part about childhood abuse, none of your friends or enemies will ever know the hell we endure. They will feel helpless not being able to stop our suffering.

Then, there is the fear, the doom, the knowing that things have never turned out ok for us.

Our memories are like Swiss cheese. A child without abuse has a vivid memory of childhood.

We have spotty, violent nightmares, emotionally devastating snippets of abuse called memory.

Good memories are not accessible for me, my memories are of abusé, loss and betrayal. If I have good memories, I am not aware of them.

That’s sad, as I read it.

So looking back has nothing but suffering for me and probably you.

We carry all the fear and ways to escape our abuser into adulthood subconsciously.

Anyone who slightly resembles my fathers behavior, jolts my nervous system.

What do you carry with you?



When PTSD is percolating: What’s it like?




What is a day like when PTSD is active, alive and percolating.

In as little as five seconds it has grasped our consciousness with an old, traumatic, intrusive thought.

My head drops, the strong emotions churn my stomach, somehow they are alive and intense.

Some days this happens multiple times each hour, others days it can run constantly without any input from me.

No way to unring that trauma 🛎 bell.

Best I can do is limit its duration.

When active these thoughts, fear and humiliation haunt my consciousness.

My damn mind, in an insidious way, is enthralled with my worst trauma.

I beat it back, let it go, focus and meditate but he is always right under the surface.

Maybe in due time, I will Succeed but for now life has suffering.

I have come to the point where I accept my suffering.

Running from it or denying it exists, brings more grief.

Accepting my suffering, let’s me not give up. I do not not have to run, get upset or react.

Or make it any bigger.

Each day I meditate with all my intensity, taking physical actions to heal.

That is the utmost of importance.

We do not control results.

We control effort and attitude. That’s it.



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