Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

Early shame experiences stored as Trauma?

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From Benne Brown:

“After studying Dr. Uram’s work, I believe it’s possible that many of our early shame experiences, especially with parents and caregivers, were stored in our brains as traumas.

This is why we often have such painful bodily reactions when we feel criticized, ridiculed, rejected and shamed.

Dr. Uram explains that the brain does not differentiate between overt or big trauma and covert or small, quiet trauma—it just registers the event as “a threat that we can’t control.”

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My two cents: I believe some emotions especially shame, enlarge our Trauma, our PTSD symptoms and the duration of our suffering.

My childhood trauma is the bed all other traumas in my life lay in.

My childhood trauma in fact, made me much more vulnerable for other traumas to happen.

Childhood trauma has crippled my resilience to handle betrayal.

Even now, if someone betrays me, they are done for life.

I have healed a couple of times but many behaviors and fears still operate.

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Benne Brown: It’s everything you have to deal with the rest of your life.

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“Experience: When I think of shame I think of being sexually abused when I was growing up.

I think about what that’s done to my life and how it’s changed everything.

It’s not just the abuse itself.

It’s everything you have to deal with the rest of your life.

It’s like you feel different from anyone else; nothing is ever normal for you.

Everything is about that.

I’m not allowed just to have a regular life.

That is the thing that made me who I am and so everything is stained by that.

That’s what shame is for me.

Emotions: Feeling labeled, dismissed, misunderstood and reduced.

Emotions might include grief, loss, frustration and anger.

Dig Deep: Have you ever been defined by an experience? Found yourself unable to get out from under a reputation or “an incident”?

Have you ever been unfairly labeled?

Have you ever had people attribute your behaviors to an identity you don’t deserve?

Have you ever fought to overcome something, only to find others less than willing to move past it?”

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It’s a practice of being with yourself just as you are.

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From Living with your Heart Wide Open:

“All of us sometimes act unskillfully and make poor choices that hurt others, and we are all sometimes hurt by the actions of others.

Rather than pushing thoughts and feelings about these things away, and rather than trying to correct anything or anyone, simply be with the thoughts and feelings that come up for you with curiosity and awareness.

As you practice self-compassion meditation, the intention is to be open to all of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations, to let all the streams of perception flow through you unfettered.

It’s a practice of being with yourself just as you are.”

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My two cents: Learning to observe means using curiosity and awareness instead of judgment.

Tenzin Palmo, a nun in the Tibetan tradition wrote:

“There is the thought, and then there is the knowing of the thought. 

And the difference between being aware of the thought and just thinking is immense.”

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Inquiring and Knowing: Shaila Catherine

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“If you keep examining—not until you find something,

but until you realize seeing without grasping,

inquiring without fixating,

exploring without expecting,

knowing without controlling,

living without suffering—you will discover a purity of happiness that is unbounded.”

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What I like best……

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“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,”

and then he had to stop and think.

Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do,

there was a moment just before you

began to eat it which was better than when you were,

but he didn’t know what it was called.

~A.A. Milne~

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My two cents: A study was performed on people preparing for an extended vacation.

It was found the anticipation before the vacation started was filled with more satisfaction than the actual vacation.

Pooh stumbles on this mindset called anticipation, a perfectly orchestrated vacation, not yet fulfilled.

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Healing the Shame of Childhood Abuse Through Self-Compassion (excerpt). Psychology Today

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If you were a victim of childhood abuse or neglect, you know about shame.

You have likely been plagued by it all your life without identifying it as shame. You may feel shame because you blame yourself for the abuse itself (“My father wouldn’t have hit me if I had minded him”) or because you felt such humiliation at having been abused (“I feel like such a wimp for not defending myself”).

While those who were sexually abused tend to suffer from the most shame, those who suffered from physical, verbal, or emotional abuse blame themselves as well.

In the case of child sexual abuse, no matter how many times you’ve heard the words “It’s not your fault,” the chances are high that you still blame yourself in some way—for being submissive, for not telling someone and having the abuse continue, for “enticing” the abuser with your behavior or dress, or because you felt some physical pleasure.

In the case of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse, you may blame yourself for “not listening” and thus making your parent or caretaker so angry that he or she yelled at you or hit you.

Children tend to blame the neglect and abuse they experience on themselves, in essence saying to themselves, “My mother is treating me like this because I’ve been bad” or “I am being neglected because I am unlovable.”

As an adult, you may have continued this kind of rationalization, putting up with poor treatment by others because you believe you brought it on yourself.

Conversely, when good things happen to you, you may actually become uncomfortable, because you feel so unworthy.

Complete article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/201501/healing-the-shame-childhood-abuse-through-self-compassion

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My year on Ptsd discussion board

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Early on when PTSD was new, I joined Daily Strength, the biggest mental health discussion board in the U.S.

 

I spent a year on the PTSD discussion board and what I found shocked me.

 

90% of the discussion board were women who had been sexually assaulted by their fathers, brothers or uncles as little girls.

 

Most never got over their rapes, lived a victims existence, reliving their rapes everyday On that board. I witnessed them suffer as they went around in circles of thought causing them constant suffering and victimhood.


I did not see anyone get better. I was attacked for saying we can heal.

 

Victims can not stand someone saying we can heal, it is threatening to their storyline.

 

In truth the discussion board was an open house for Dissociation (leaving this moment to enter the past).

 

Ever hear of a therapist recommending his clients share their symptoms in the waiting room. That’s what the discussion board did everyday, shared symptoms and complained.

 

Our goal is hard to accomplish, do not touch or talk about your trauma with anyone except your therapist.

 

Next, refrain from entertaining these thoughts in your own mind unless you can integrate what you are fueling.

 

Prepare, have a plan when intrusive thoughts enter your consciousness.

 

Success will take many trials with loss before we succeed.

 

People I have witnessed who heal, have an internal fortitude.

 

It took me many, many, many, many, many tries to accomplish my healing goals.

 

Many, many, many failures, do not deter those that press on and heal.

 

Healing from PTSD for me, required daily work without any improvements for long periods of time.


Whatever that trait is, hope, faith, never give up attitude, it is needed for this journey.

 

It is more than courage, courage does not fuel daily work, that comes from deep down.

 

Discussion board: I am shocked so many fathers, brothers and uncles rape little girls.

 

I do not get rape, gangrape as a male.

 

This is such a cowardly and violent act that ruins lives.

 

America does not test rape kits unless it is part of a murder.

 

Does that say we do not value women’s safety?
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Peeling the Onion: A meditative journey

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Think about the traumas in your life, it maybe one horrific accident or a complete childhood, as an onion, each one different than the next in size, taste, color and texture.

Our Onion grew as we aged, more layers added over the years.

Think of some of our awkward or embarrassing moments in life as smaller onions or scallions, much less formidable or detrimental than our big trauma Onion.

PTSD and our onion open up the same way, peeeling back the outer layers, exposing deeper trauma (Layers).

Meditation helped me first become aware of the subtleties of each layer, then helped me peel back the outer layer.

The process like meditation is repetitive.

I meditated everyday, observing my traumas storyline from a distance, becoming familiar with my fight or flight mechanism.

Our trauma Onion is extremely strong, capable of making us cry and suffer if not handled properly.

If we assume healing is the peeling away of all the layers until we hit our core, meditation was the scalpel that made the cuts.

We peel the onion by surrendering to the fear it lays at our doorstep. The deeper layers cause us to stop peeling, the fear is more formidable at these inner layers.

I have healed by sitting prone, focused, while surrendering to my fears, being vulnerable in the face of perceived danger.

Conclusion: That trauma Onion is a mirage, a past traumatic event, stored as an implicit memory with all the fear and emotion of that moment.

No real danger existed in any of my triggers.

The same external triggers exist, however my same mind does not react to them now.

I figured out organically, sitting quietly observing my trauma it was benign.

PTSD is the rerun of a traumatic event that we watch on our personal trauma T.V.

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A closed circuit showing of a past horrific event.

So why did ptsd live after my abuser, my father, died?

The memory does not need him being alive to exist. The onion has grown and now has a life of its own, inside our head unfortunately.

I have never seen an Onion peel itself or PTSD to heal with time.

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Do thoughts sabotage your meditation practice?

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I went to zen center for five years. We would meditate for a half hour, then do a three minute walking meditation, followed by another half hour of meditation.

Most of us fought for an hour for a few seconds of an empty, focused mind. Counting my breaths did not work for me or anyone but the Zen monk.

Being a visual person, I created a breathing model. It resembled an upright infinity symbol with four distinct parts.

Inhale, pause, exhale, pause. The pauses were the weak link, a sort of door for thoughts to proliferate.

First, I performed exercises highlighting my pauses.

I would take a deep inhale, then pause, a long, concerted pause where no exhaust leaks out. As I resisted the pressure in my lungs, I intently scanned my internal organs for agitation or energy.

Feel your whole chest cavity, give these pauses a purpose, an activity to accomplish.

Our pauses are the doors to our inner world. The pauses are as important as the inhales and exhales, treat them that way.

The mind and body work together like our inhales and exhales work with the pauses.

The breath does not flow without pauses, music is noise without pauses between notes.

The second pause is different from the initial pause.

The first pause is like a balloon we just inflated, the air inside creates pressure looking to be released.

It takes force to hold the first pause.

The pause after the exhale has no pressure to resist.

Our body is truly at a suspended animation, an opportunity to know our inner world.

Know where fear manifests in your body, where anger raises its powerful head, where trauma resides, and where contentment and joy spring forth.

The breath is the tool I used to explore my inner world, the tool used to release body trauma and the tool I used to integrate my PTSD.

Until I gave my pauses the attention they needed my meditation practice languished.

I always broke things down to smaller pieces, then worked on those pieces.

I worked on my pauses exclusively for a while, then went back to meditating with increased focus.

Where do thoughts enter your mind when meditating?

Inhales starts bottom right moving upward. The pauses are the short arches.

Inhale, pause, exhale, pause, one breath cycle

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Thoughts can be our Prison: add intent listening and feeling to your meditation practice

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I spent six months isolated in my garage huddled in fear, agorophic from avoiding my trauma.

My crime was trying to think my way out of PTSD, cognitively outsmart it.

Thinking (dissociating) fueled my trauma, symptoms intensified, my nervous system sensed imminent danger constantly.

Solution: I learned a specific way of focusing my mind, using hearing, the breath, somatic feeling (sensing my heart) and a visual model as a useful guide.

The visual guide is a continuum, a sort of upright infinity symbol. We see the breath has four distinct parts each as valuable as the other, it can flow like a sheet of music some days.

Then I am inside my nostrils when inhaling and exhaling. The cool air is the inhale, the exhale the warmer exhaust.

The pauses, for me, were the spaces where thoughts entered my consciousness.

My solution was to prioritize these pauses with present moment sensing. Pauses are like suspended animation, the body is as still is it will ever be.

The body makes noises inhaling and exhaling, expanding the lungs then contracting them.

So I used a somatic present moment sensing and intense hearing for my focus objects.

At my pauses I spend time sensing my chest cavity and heart, getting to know my inner world at this most frozen of times.

I may enter my heart and feel it slowing, then listen for its silent beat.

I use hearing as much as focus on the breath along with feeling my internal

machinations.

Be like a Geiger counter sensing agitation, tightness, pain, anxiety, calm, contentment or unrest during a pause.

Now my pauses had purpose, I would switch from being inside my nostrils for inhales and exhales, to listening and sensing at the pauses.

Thoughts had a much harder time entering my space.

Nothing is full proof and meditating is easier some days then others but even the bad days heal.

Remember, Meditation is not about influencing anything, achieving or overcoming anything, it is not an attack, it is learning to surrender.

Our first goal in meditation is build our focus to the point where thoughts clear and the mind is empty.

The body and mind start repairing and healing around this no thought space.

No cancer will not be cured but optimum mental health can be attained on this journey.

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