Posts Tagged ‘MINDFULNESS’

Part 2: Dysfunctional Households or Adult Children of Alcoholics: The Inner Drugstore

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Inner drugstore:


“Or perhaps we were ignored or emotionally abandoned by our parents, creating anxiety and the general feeling of being alone and unsafe.

Our normal can become anxiety and fear.

And since it is perhaps all we have ever known, and since we may already have learned to shut down access to our feelings and our bodies, we may not even be aware of our anxiety.

Hypervigilance creates a stress response in the body, it even releases dopamine in our brains.

As children, our small bodies are marinated in those chemicals.

Even if we have never taken a drink of alcohol nor any drugs, we are all addicts.

We, as Adult Children, learn to be addicted to our own inner drug stores.

We can subconsciously seek out situations which recreate these feelings.”
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My two cents: Our small bodies were marinated in these chemicals because of abuse?

That is an ominous claim, makes my body twitch a bit reading it.

We were innocent kids.

This is another PTSD layer that needs healing.

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Part 1: Dysfunctional Households or Adult Children of Alcoholics: The Inner Drugstore

https://unsplash.com/@girlwithredhat


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Inner Drug Store:

“For every emotion we feel, a corresponding biochemical substance is automatically released in our bodies.

Think about how the felt sense of anger is different from the felt sense of calm or amusement.

Especially for those of us who have trouble connecting with our bodies or our emotions, these chemical changes may happen below our level of awareness.

But they still happen.

The inner drug store is not all bad.

There are bottles of joy, peacefulness, and spirituality to name a few.

But we Adult Children often gravitate toward the drugs of negative excitement.

Growing up in dysfunctional households, our everyday state can become one of hypervigilance.

Am I safe?

What mood is Mom in?

We walk on eggshells trying to be invisible.

Dad’s car just pulled in the driveway, is he drunk?

We scan the house for things that might anger him and quickly try to neutralize them.”
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My two cents: My life has an abundance of hypervigilance like other abused kids, we grew up living in fear.

Yes, my fight or flight fired violently in the beginning but calmed with practice.

Meditation practice tells us to notice where emotions manifest inside our bodies.

Mine are located in my solar plexus or gut area for the most part.

I yearn for calm, for the constant feeling of upset to disappear.

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A blanket of Darkness

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PTSD feels like a heavy weight, a dark blanket of sadness.

A force applying pressure downward numbing my being.

When my symptoms momentarily subside, I feel lightness return.

I notice the difference, the feeling, the emotional freedom.

I have worked hard to heal, and to be aware of my symptoms traits, strengths, and weaknesses.

When PTSD and depression are active, my waking hours are filled with turmoil, anxiety, and danger.

Desire and opportunity disappear from consciousness, we return to some form of survivor mode.

Survivor mode shuts down parts of the brain, some executive functions while activating our defense mechanism.

Survival replaces desire. Or maybe our greatest desire is to survive above all other desires.

Desire needs a safe place to exist.

PTSD never feels safe to us.

After childhood, we do not trust the world, we fear what may happen to us next.

Maybe this is why we lack direction, confidence, and self-worth.

Survival mode has no direction, it is best used sparingly for a crisis.

Daily use is terrible for our health and emotional sanity.
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PTSD: Changes are happening

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My PTSD symptoms have spiked, and an intense change has happened in the last 10 days.

My stomach and solar plexus remain tight and agitated.

My sense of danger and fear is palpable.

It’s like looking down a dark alley sensing danger, nothing is concrete or visible, it is more intuitive, more abstract.

Two times now, PTSD has receded momentarily during this turmoil.

My symptoms stop, I felt desire arise and life opened up for a minute.

Most of the time it seems something worse than death is coming.

Now that’s contrast.

That’s how PTSD works, it creates disastrous scenarios of failure.

Am I in the middle of a breakthrough or am I going in the opposite direction?

Hard to tell inside this tsunami.
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Childhood abuse: A Flawed self image

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My observations: In my opinion, the creation of a flawed self-image (Ego) is one of the strongest negative consequences of childhood abuse.

We never find our true self, we are lost, influenced by our past damage.

We lack the ability to love ourselves (self-love).

This is the foundation, the core we are missing.

We have no idea who we are supposed to be, trying to survive dominates our waking hours.

Trusting ourselves is rare, our flawed self-image brings many struggles.

Life never had easy-going moments, danger always stole the stage.

Yes, I have always felt extremely flawed, missing something other kids possessed.

My path did not include repairing these voids, I was lost inside PTSDs vortex of suffering.

It is a confusing life filled with turmoil and anxiety.

PTSD masks over desire, opportunity, and living fully.

I felt helpless and flawed as a kid, how was adulthood going to be any different?

PTSD becomes stronger over time, symptoms increase until we somehow improve or heal.

I question whether any severely abused kid heals or has a decent life.

The Ace study confirms our plight of suffering, mental disorders, addiction, disease, and early death.

https://traumainformedoregon.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Adverse-Childhood-Experiences-Impact-of-Childhood-Trauma-on-Adult-Wellbeing-TIO.pdf

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PTSD dropped away for a moment yesterday

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PTSD operates without any conscious input from me, he feels like an internal entity, an invisible demon.

Yesterday while skirmishing with intrusive thoughts and emotions, I felt everything drop away momentarily.

Instead of being in the middle of the triggers, I was at a distance, separate, observing PTSDs mechanism.

I could feel life without PTSDs distractions or influence.

That dark cloud dissipated for a moment. How strange a feeling.

My nervous system calmed, while my anxiety and fear took a short vacation.

Life felt entirely different with PTSD being suppressed like this.

My first thought was, how do I make this last, perpetuate a life without the constant drama, danger, and anxiety of PTSD?

Is this a breakthrough or a fleeting moment?

I felt life as a normal person for the first time, I think.

I dream of a calm mind, a normal brain with normal thoughts, and a life filled with desire.
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Who do you believe you are?

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This was a response to a question in another post, We work on becoming the person we believe we are or want to be.

A normal person sees a positive, productive, happy you, I think.

What about an adult who was abused as a kid, who does he/she see themselves as?

For me, I have no clue who I am supposed to be.

When does this happen, in childhood?

Who do you believe you are?
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A PTSD Ego

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As my Ego formed in childhood, strong feelings of helplessness and weakness dominated my brain.

Childhood was a violent prison for some of us.

As that small child endured constant criticism and violence, his self-image was damaged.

It happens when a caregiver threatens your safety.

Old trauma, childhood trauma is confusing and out of sequence, highly charged, and extremely powerful inside our brain.

As my body deteriorates with age, I am starting to feel vulnerable and weak again.

PTSD wreaks havoc on me at 70.

There is a void inside me, we are hollow in certain areas.

It always involves trust.

So much worry, so many doubts. This is the internal dialogue that runs inside our heads.

We have a hard time trusting ourselves.

Trusting others is difficult when we do not trust ourselves.
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PTSD: Early mornings

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Early morning darkness has a profound silence, a haunting time to peruse the events of the coming day.

I lay in bed perfectly still, my mind always churning, searching for answers, for solutions.

Listening intently, PTSDs sirens break this stillness.

Questions pierce my consciousness, and judgments follow soon afterward.

Where has desire gone?

Since PTSD exploded a decade ago, I avoided from day one.

Desires dwindle when we avoid.

PTSD changes desires slowly as we avoid people and situations over time.

It’s like a teeter-totter, more desire less avoidance, or more avoidance less desire.

At its core is a lack of trust.
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PTSD: Avoidance is my issue

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After a decade of therapy and meditation, I was able to use exposure and flooding therapy to navigate socially.

I visited my trigger situations until my nervous system calmed down.

This was a monumental success for me, I was agoraphobic for six months.

Two PTSD Symptoms persist, dissociation, ruminating in the past and avoidance

I can navigate socially, it can be awkward, triggering or tolerable.

Why do I stay in my room then?

I rarely make plans, the desire to go out has no energy, no purpose for me.

The one exception, I engage the world if it involves my grandkids.

Absent my grandkids, I end up in my room.

That’s the reality of my PTSDs damage.

Look what I have become.

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