Posts Tagged ‘MEDITATION’

Our PTSD has Patterns

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A couple days ago my PTSD reacted to external stimulus, one of those invalidating discussions with a friend.

No, my fight or flight did not erupt, my nervous system revs up some, nothing scary or intimidating.

The irrational thinking part of PTSD takes over. This is my main culprit.

This is my pattern.

A battle between letting the crap go versus engaging the trauma begins.

We have to find reality in the midst of all the PTSD symptoms.

For me, I play defense, refuse to make decisions, discount the anger and unworthiness that PTSD offers.

When intrusive thoughts flow, anxiety arrives and cognitive functions become confusing.

We get lost and suffer.

What is real life and what is trauma? Takes time and practice to decipher this riddle.

In a couple of days the horizon clears back to our PTSD normal.

I always come back, never get lost for long now.

For me, this is most freedom available, being able to navigate PTSD when it erupts.

I have lost my guilt around my abuse, this is a soothing accomplishment.

I take daily action, try to heal a little each day.

Never give up, never give in, this is our challenge.

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I am an ACE kid: Adverse Childhood Experiences (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html)

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/13581236366457321/

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I am in the midst of new understandings about my inner world.

Yesterday at the podiatrist my blood pressure was somewhat high.

My reaction brought a shift. I always thought any physical flaws or body disabilities were a weakness, my failure.

For the first time, I felt no guilt since childhood.

My father’s demand for perfection, subconsciously manifested in feeling guilt with any flaws.

So much of my angst and anxiety emanated from these subconscious judgments.

My mother was strict catholic, guilt was her weapon of choice, my atheist father wanted a superstar, he used criticism and violence to enforce his demands.

It sounds embarrassing for a grown man to say, for the first time I have no guilt for having high blood pressure.

Funny, I had some resistance writing that from inside, a queasiness of sorts.

Remember, let the narrative go, feel the body sensations, be present, let go.

What a journey lately a for this old man.

Any thoughts?

All of you out there have subconscious judgments that influence present behavior.

For me, I am an Ace kid, Adverse Childhood Experiences (https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html).

Severely abused as a kid, my body has contracted chronic fatigue and guillian beret, two viral, immune deficient diseases.

So we get sick more, suffer more and die younger.

That’s what childhood abuse does to us.

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I always thought my inner child was the weakest most damaged part of me

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Childhood trauma has this extra dimension, an inner child who had to navigate abuse while the brain was not developed. We can integrate all the trauma we experienced and still our hardwiring is unchanged.

I saw my abused inner child, as vulnerable and weak, the origin of all the PTSD. My thought was it needed fixing, repaired, made over.

Shifting my focus away from trauma and triggers into functioning in this moment, has brought a massive change in how I see my inner child.

Without knowing it, in a response I wrote to the last post, my inner child became the strongest, bravest part of me.

My inner child had the fewest tools, was the most vulnerable part of my life but he survived the greatest abuse, childhood.

Instead of a meek coward, he navigated his way into adulthood with great strength. As an adult I see he survived where mature Marty would of failed.

Is this thinking outside the box or just Awareness being a reward for my inner exploration?

That inner child had strengths others did not have. He could endure intense pain and still take action.

My inner child developed incredible willpower and never gave up in the face of hardship.

What a paradigm shift from victim to my leading freedom fighter.

Now my challenge is to soothe that inner child in current situations, reparent in a way.

Again, this approach is trying to not handle my trauma, it is about functioning now, in this situation, this moment.

I have danced around the inner child numerous times and have written posts in the past, but something was different this time.

I never thought my inner child was the bravest part of my life.

My perceived weakness might be my biggest strength in reality.

How about you?

Your inner child helped you survive also.

He/She maybe your ultimate strength, not the damaged mess we perceive.

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How to Do Inner-Child Work for Healing Trauma and Self-Acceptance by Sheleana Aiyana

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By connecting with our inner-child, we gain access to new information about our unhealed wounds, and the needs that may not have been met when we were actually children.

Then, “reparenting” becomes the process of meeting those needs and practicing self-care so we can operate in the world as happy, functional adults.

Susan Anderson, the author of the Journey from Abandonment to Healing explains the layers of inner-child work in 3 parts – the Inner-Child, the Outer-Child and the Adult Self. Her explanation is really helpful when we seek to understand our own coping mechanisms and behavior patterns on a deeper level. My descriptions for the inner and outer child are adapted from her work.

Below, I cover how to identify your inner and outer child, the wounded inner child and the integrated adult. Then, we move onto how to reconnect, nurture and heal the inner-child.

….Inner-Child

The “little you” – tender, emotional. Your inner-child is the innocent part of you – all about feelings and your primal needs.

Vulnerable and innocent

Deep feeling and sensitivity

Curious, creative and playful

Craves love, recognition, and validation

Desires connection and safety

Open-minded

Total in expression – be it anger, sadness, joy

….Outer-Child

Responsible for self-defeating behaviors, self-sabotage. The outer child responds to the inner-child and can over-protect by acting out.

Self-defeating behaviors

Loss of control over behavior and reactions

Uncalibrated in the expression of anger

Impatient and impulsive

Self-centered and focused on having needs met

Sabotages your inner-growth and fights change

Over-protects inner-child by pushing love away

…..Wounded Inner-Child

Response to emotional or psychological neglect.

A deep-seated belief that you are broken.

Fear of abandonment and loss of love.

Insecure and low-self esteem.

Loss of self in an attempt to gain approval from others.

Fearful of setting boundaries or saying “no”.

Seeking instant-gratification through substances, shopping, distraction, and procrastination.

https://risingwoman.com/inner-child-work-healing-trauma-self-acceptance/

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Non-profit Mission 22 donates high-tech stress prevention systems to vets with PTSD

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By Morgan Phillips

Mission 22, a non-profit organization that provides treatment programs for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and suicide awareness and prevention, has partnered with Solace Lifesciences, to donate its 100th pack of NuCalm, a high-tech stress relief technology to veterans in need. 

NuCalm is a neuroscience technology that aims to relieve stress through a disc that is placed on the inside of the left wrist on the Pericardium 6 acupressure point. The disc reportedly sends signals to activate the brain’s natural relaxation system by interrupting your adrenaline response.

Solace Lifesciences has donated almost $500,000 worth of NuCalm to Mission 22 to distribute to veteran.

Mission 22 partners with numerous organizations across the U. S. to raise awareness on veterans issues, bring veterans into its treatment programs, and create resources in their communities.

 “For many vets, PTS  doesn’t go away over time; it can disrupt their lives for years, decades, their lifetime,” founder and former Green Beret Magnus Johnson said in a statement.

A pack of 20 NuCalm discs retails for $80, and a pack of 60 retails for $240. 

“Once the brain is traumatized, physiological and biochemical changes occur that keep the person in a constant state of “fight-or-flight” and hypervigilance. It is impossible to heal and recover in this state, which makes NuCalm’s ability to create deep relaxation, cellular restoration, and recovery so important for the healing process,” Jim Poole, President and CEO of Solace Lifesciences, said in a statement.

“Within minutes NuCalm puts the brakes on the stress response, with ease, without drugs, and on-demand.”

 The Department of Veterans Affairs began actively tracking the number of veteran suicides per year in 2005. While the numbers for 2019 and 2020 have not yet been finalized, the 2005-2018 total stands at over 80,000.

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My two cents: Meditation, focus on the breath does the same thing , along with many other benefits.

Meditation is free, needs no batteries and is always with us.

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PTSD: Extinguished triggers are not dead, dormant maybe

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We have tendencies, sensitivities, and habits that are directly connected to our PTSD. For many decades, my PTSD lay dormant and hidden, these tendencies still remained active, influential.

I integrated much of my childhood abuse over an extended period. My triggers lost power and I could go out publicly with an ease never before experienced.

My triggers were connected to things that were related to my trauma, mundane, they happened in public and were accompanied by my fight or flight mechanism not firing, exploding.

The mind can take a saltine cracker, connect it with violent trauma from our past, and make saltine crackers something we avoid out of intense fear.

Our mind could intensely fire our fight or flight mechanism everytime we came into contact with a cracker. We would avoid at all costs if it gets bad enough.

Think someone without PTSD would believe that?

Some of healing is understanding how our mind works, PTSD is inside us not out there, in our mind, heart and body.

Some of my old triggers have regained power, impacting my behavior and quality of life.

How can something I extinguished thoroughly come back to life?

PTSD never leaves us completely, that is my experience.

Think what this looks and sounds like to someone who has never experienced serious PTSD symptoms.

Meditating, focusing on my breath, has let me watch my mind from a distance.

If our mind is a complete stranger we will suffer.

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PTSD: Navigating normal people

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Outsiders see simple solutions to complex trauma, a normal mind can not fathom a severely traumatized brain.

A non traumatized brain has no serious implicit memories, no paralyzing fear, no symptoms of hypervigilance, flashbacks, or avoidance at all costs.

It is similar to life or death when triggers explode. Explain that to someone who has never experienced it.

From the outside it looks like we have big mood swings, but actually it is trauma being triggered followed by PTSD symptoms.

My nervous system felt like it turned upside down, it was out of my control, I suffered while trying to calm it down.

Remember the trigger may be neutral with no danger from the outside as a normal person looks at our behavior.

I have been laughed at when triggered in public by a friend.

That did not end well.

I could take a step back while meditating and observe my nervous system. I felt like a spectator as my adrenal stress response would fire violently without cognitive input from me.

It had a mind of its own and an endless power source.

How could they possibly understand an event decades old feeling like it is not only alive, but maybe lethal to our existence.

I would challenge anyone to live a week with your fight or flight mechanism firing 15 times a day, then tell me how easy it is to heal.

I have been there and it fired like that for over a year.

One of my biggest frustrations is navigating friends.

Some of my friends became so frustrated with me, they started criticizing me for not being strong enough to let go.

Sadly all this leads to more isolation.

For most of us, we are ashamed of our PTSD around others.

We are afraid we will be triggered around them in public.

Hard to function in a group when Trauma is highly active.

How do we navigate and heal in this environment?

I do not have an easy answer for these questions.

Please share your experiences and successes.

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The mind switches gears

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How do you change a child’s mind that scoured every situation searching for danger, a chance of failure, possibly being humiliated or the annihilation of the “Ego”.

The original abuse caused this reaction: it’s called adrenal stress response, fight or flight mechanism or pure fear.

The mind switches gears, secretes opioids, coagulants, cortisol, and adrenaline. The executive functioning left prefrontal cortex fades, we experience tunnel vision, lose fine motor skills, along with the fear of death or serious injury, making this an anxious, confusing experience.

This is Survival mode.

This is how we react to the original abuse. Then PTSD brings emotional danger via our triggers to mirror the original traumatic experience. It’s abstract and irrational but we avoid and run like hell at first.

All this happens before thought, it is a right brain mechanism, that springs from the amygdala, our defense organ of the brain.

If someone placed an empty box over our head, then suddenly removed it, a funny thing happens.

Our right amygdala engages immediately, our defense mechanism overrides the normal function of the mind. It takes five seconds for the left hemisphere, our cognitive side to engage.

That’s five seconds of my mind searching for danger before I am even aware of it. That’s if I react immediately.

I am much better at this now, but it remains a problem area for me.

This is a balancing act for us when PTSD is active. I have a small social life but avoid crowds and situations that are sensitive to my triggers.

I went through the early phase of healing where I went to every scary place. It started out as Exposure Therapy, then developed into integration.

As a kid I was an expert at sensing danger, then added 50 more years of practice, the result is a habit that seems natural and useful.

Man, look what just came out of my mouth. Natural and useful.

I have my doubts if therapy can rewire serious childhood abuse.

Improvement is possible, a wide range, rewarding, total healing, I would love to read and witness that feat.

This is our journey, knowing what we face has helped me improve.

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A Childs mind exposed to trauma never feels normal

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My mind was hard wired in a different way due to childhood trauma.

Healing happens when I can integrate old trauma and habits to this present moment.

Underlying all of this, below consciousness, my mind automatically scours every situation for danger, then focuses on the danger intently, almost exclusively.

Regular feelings and concerns disappear when a threat enters my consciousness.

Redid96 asks, “Do people with C-PTSD ever become like ‘normal’ folk; social engagement is spontaneous, tools for self-regulation are held lightly, without the life or death grip.”

We never become like normal folk. We can be the best version of ourselves, that’s all!

I can discount the danger my mind always searches out but stopping it from searching not so much. My mind has searched before I can catch it most days.

It has taken a decade of peeling the onion to find this intense concern for future danger hiding deep below everything.

I was never aware this part of my mind even existed, from my earliest memories I always felt like this.

I had a period of a couple years where my mind felt safer, it took many years of therapy and daily meditation.

My successes have a time period to enjoy, then the next piece of trauma appears.

For me, this is the core, the foundation of my childhood trauma manifested around intense fear.

My mind thinks it’s still in an emotional war deep in its basement. Each day brings another battle it has identified.

My mind is not the eternal optimist, he feels wounded, vulnerable and unworthy at his core.

I can not disown his wayward ideas, trade this mind for a healthy one, the only escape is healing.

My goal is to unplug all this emotional fear.

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My hybrid survival mode existence

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Hiding deep under all conscious thought or memory, I have discovered hard wired core beliefs.

In childhood, functioning in survivor mode, fear of loss and failure was a constant threat from my father.

Now, I find my nervous system occupied with perceived threats, every situation seems to contain a chance of failure. This feeling of danger has stealthily impacted my nervous system and existence.

My fight or flight mechanism does not fire full throttle but the worry of impending failure lives on.

My nervous system never relaxes in a crowd, never feels safe and secure, always wants to escape perceived danger.

All of these worries happen quickly without thought. It precedes thought, I have discovered.

Danielle Young, LPC, NCC writes:

“The thinking brain begins to dim, similar to that of a light switch, and instead our trauma brain or survival brain, begins to brighten. When that light dims, we loose the ability to use these skills effectively. Our survival brain reacts impulsivity in order to maintain self-preservation; it’s tells us that using the executive functioning skills will take too much time to process the information and that safety cannot be guaranteed. The survival brain is trying to keep us alive, but it can make everything feel much more difficult.”

A hybrid survival mode brain has thrived under my normal functioning thinking brain.

All the chances of wellbeing are lost in survival mode.

It has taken years of inner exploration, meditating, to uncover this dysfunctional mode of living.

I think this is the final peeling of the onion, my PTSD core strength is hidden in survival mode.

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