Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

Right Hemisphere is where I healed

Pixabay: geralt
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My healing after exhausting many therapies, stagnated helplessly as my cortisol levels reached dangerous levels.

Intrusive thoughts accompanied every trigger, haunting me for days.

Trying to figure out the meaning of the trigger first, then how to think my way out took over my existence.

After a while, I feared what my mind would do after a trigger, more than the trigger itself.

Relief came when a mindfully based therapy, Accecptance and Committment Therapy appeared.

Meditation was the only practice or therapy that made significant improvement for me.

I learned to focus intently, to let thoughts fade, to be the observer of my body sensations.

This skill transported me to my right hemisphere.

It is a place where PTSD can not exist.

Our right hemisphere has no intrusive thoughts, in fact, it has no thought, judgment, right or wrong and it knows no past or future.

PTSD dies in this space.

PTSD heals in this space.

Trauma memories can be integrated to present moment.

Our left prefrontal cortex is repaired from traumas damage.

It is the fastest way to improve, heal.

During meditation, I will take my breath to my right hemisphere, silently observing that space.

Thoughts signal I have lost my focus.
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Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.” (PTSD)

Pixabay: www_slon_pics

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“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. . . .

Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.”

—Bessel van der Kolk

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My two cents: Let the storyline fade away, take the breath to the middle of the unrest, the body sensations.

Know where trauma manifests in your body.

Know where fear and anger reside, become familiar with the body sensations.

Does anger and fear manifest in the same spot?

We spend so much time worrying, doubting and fearing, why not connect these emotions with body sensations.

Mine manifest in my solar plexus.

That big cortisol jolt, paralyzes the center of my chest, violently.

My fight or flight roares with a vengeance when triggered.

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PTSD’s schedule

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PTSD has its own schedule, seemingly its own power source and strong stress hormones.

A trigger can explode at any time releasing cortisol, adrenaline and Norepinephrine into our blood stream.

High anxiety ensues.

The breath has great influence on our nervous system.

Until we learn to dissipate a trigger firing, we are at PTSD’s mercy.

I use ten, slow, focused breaths to accomplish this task.

Let the storyline fade, feel where your triggers manifest in the body.

Take your breath into the middle of your body sensation.

Know your fears physical manifestations.

Mine always jolts my solar plexus.

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Demystifying Meditation for Depression and PTSD

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Take the robes, lineage and all the rules out of your meditation practice. Our goal is not enlightenment, it is improving, healing or wellbeing.

I may meditate for 30 minutes but my goal is to focus on ten breaths with very specific intention. How, you may ask?

We use a combination of our senses. Thought is the enemy, thinking is the opposite of meditating. Actually these two actions happen in different hémisphères of the brain.

So let’s start: Visually; I use a model a continuum so getting lost in the pauses becomes much harder. There are visual models, the boxed breath and my breathing track. I also monitor what my eyes see with eyelids closed.

Auditory: A plethora of stimulus here. Pick out the quietest sound in the room, then go beneath it. Listen for the sound of your inhales and exhales. For me, I hear my inhales and exhales, as my focus stays inside my nostrils. For those experienced, a symphony plays inside our head, listen inside your ears.

Tactile: During the pauses, internal noise stops, it is a special opportunity to search for agitation, tightness, fear in the body. Focus on your inner world, intently. I , also focus on my third eye, or my upper lip close to my nostrils, feeling the cool inhales pass followed by the warmer exhale.

Smell: At the zen center form was important, incense and repeating phrases were staples. Incense can tell the brain it is time to meditate.

Mindset: No goals. We influence nothing, try to exert no energy, we observe and focus. We always set for others first.

Again, we are the ultimate observer, detached from thought and judgment, existing totally in this moment, unencumbered by the past.

We let thought clear, and hold an empty, focused space so our mind and body can repair as neuroscience tells us.

Know that ten focused breaths can deliver us to a no thought space, and active meditation. Once we are there time stops and the body repairs itself.

Question?

Inhale starts at bottom right corner traveling up and to the left.

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Stored Trauma: Implicit Memory

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From Mindfulness Skills workbook for clients and clinicians”. Debra Burdick,

“What is implicit memory?

• Encoded throughout our lives. 

• Probably the only type of memory infants have. 

• Allows us to remember how to do something without being conscious of how to do it, such as riding a bicycle, walking—anything procedural.

• Gets stored without our conscious awareness.

• Gets retrieved without our awareness—“I don’t know I’m having a memory.”

• Past memories come flooding in without knowing they’re from the past; it feels like it is all coming from the present.

• Drives behavior without our awareness—often negatively.

• Primes us to respond in a certain fashion.

• Readies us for the future.

• Designed to protect us.

Can create here and now perceptions and beliefs that are actually from the past.

• Can show up as a physical feeling in our body, an emotional reaction, a behavioral pattern, or a bias.

• The amygdala is responsible for implicit memory as it scans earlier memories of danger.

• Procedural memory is a subset (how to do things).”

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My two cents: Trauma, implicit memory is stored in the right amygdala.

We can not reach this right side consciously, so trauma has a ghostly quality for us.

This is why talking to PTSD consciously or thinking our way out is impossible.

Meditation transports us to this right hemisphere.

I did most of my healing exploring this right hemisphere safely, while meditating.

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Discovering PTSD’s hidden components

Pixabay: ugglemamma
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PTSD has a hidden component, Childhood trauma (C-PTSD) is much stealthier because our brain was still developing.

For abused kids, our biggest hidden component is an unworthy, a damaged “Ego”.

At 69, finally, my unworthy “Ego” has been exposed.

We have to explore our inner world, discovering what is hidden, then determine its influence in our life.

We create this person for identity “Ego”.

Heavy influencers are initial caregivers, peers, friends and enemies.

We create Marty at his core from my attachment or lack of it in childhood with my initial caregivers.

Next we evaluate how the world treats us, peers, friends and enemies, then we add how we see ourself into the mix.

Then we create our identity based on these life experiences.

Wow!

Look at how much of our self image, self worth is based on external factors.

We all need to work on changing self image, it’s kind of our “Ego”.

Our wellbeing depends on a healthy “Ego”.

Our “Ego”, the thinker is the one who has PTSD.

PTSD dies when I meditate, when I reach a focused no thought space.

Words, judgment, right or wrong, good or bad do not exist in this space.

Our right hemisphere, the expansive side of the Brain, does not know the past or future even exists.

PTSD lives, thrives in the past and future.

It’s called Dissociation, the lynchpin, the power of PTSD.

PTSD proliferates inside thought, the longer the duration the more fuel.

My healing is a moment to moment awareness or lack of it.

That building block determines my wellbeing.
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PTSD (trauma), Memory and Our “Ego”

Pixabay: trilemedia
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Normal kids have good memories, solid attachments, support.

Abused kids have nightmares for memories. When we close our eyes, we see a real boogie man, our abuser

Even now, at 69, letting my mind wander into memory has awful consequences.

Life is a battle, constantly letting go of bad memories, coming back to this minute.

I can win that battle if my PTSD is inside my window of tolerance.

Twice in my life, when an old trauma exploded, my window of tolerance disappeared. Intrusive thoughts overwhelmed my being for a couple of months.

Memories can trigger our nervous system or support other triggers firing.

Remember, while meditating, we hook up to our divine self, our core, our true self, our soul.

It is the shining light of power for our being.

It is perfect, everyday since birth.

Abused kids, it is our “Ego” that is severely flawed not our true self, our soul.

With my old trauma exploding recently, I see how damaged my “Ego” is.

Subconsciously, he has always felt so unworthy, a failure, unredeemable, to his core.

Much of this is below consciousness and remains there without inner exploration.

I have been unaware of many habits, carrying a damaged “Ego” is my greatest failure.

That is shame!

Since we create our “Ego” my plight is not permanent.

We can change our “Ego”
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Do we get a Reward from Trauma?

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A friend asked me about my old trauma, what reward, what benefit did I receive from having it in my daily life?

What a quandary? My being resisted the thought, enjoyment, hell all I felt was shame and suffering.

I guess Preventing a future betrayal or somehow calming my internal fears could be the answer. Has to be something stronger to endure suffering.

Is it subconscious?

Do we receive a benefit from old trauma?

If so, my search has commenced.

Many behaviors are influenced or indirectly dominated by subconscious traumatic memories.

My trust issues were driven by a repressed betrayal in college.

How do we fix what we can not see or feel consciously?

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Fear causes many behaviors for us Humans

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We all know conscious fear.

Spotting a shark while swimming, losing an engine on a commercial flight, or being caught in a high rise fire, are obvious events producing intense fear.

My less obvious fears hide inside my past, especially my trauma

They manifest in my consciousness as anxiety, unworthiness, humiliation (shame).

So if an event is in the past, this fear is irrational, but it holds current power inside my being.

Perception becomes reality again. I feel the fear, but discount it’s reality.

I have been exploring the fear, humiliation has brought me.

Why does old shame have such power over us?

Why does an old event live on inside, just out of reach?

Yes, I know it is PTSD, stored implicit memory, but it has a conscious component to it.

What big fear has me grasping decades old humiliation?

Inside our minds, we know there is no real danger, no real fear.

Is some unknown need being met by carrying this anchor around like a medal.

What reward do we receive from honoring old fears?

Awareness of there existence is the first step towards ultimate release, in my opinion.

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“The Heart of Meditation” by Swami Durgananda (Sally Kemptom)

My first Meditation book

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Meditation is the basis for all inner work.

We might struggle consciously to change our limiting qualities; we might saturate ourselves with instructions and help, both concrete and subtle.

Yet in the end, it is our direct, naked encounter with our own Awareness that shifts our understanding of who we are and gives us the power to stand firmly in the center of our being.

No one else can do this for us.

Only meditation unlocks those doors.

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My two cents: I have meditated enough to spend a little time in the center of my being. On our creative side (right hemisphere), thought does not exist, judgment dies and we experience only this current second.

In this space there is no past or future. Think about that, no PTSD, judgment, words, good or bad, right or wrong.

Meditation has strengthened my focus, allowed me to let thoughts fade, and jettisoned me to a place where the “Ego” has completely faded.

Neuroscience has proved our mind and body repairs itself in this space.

It is free.

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