Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

Meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue

https://pixabay.com/users/inspiredimages-57296/

.

.

from “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma”

“Meditation enhances functioning in the hippocampus, a crucial structure for quieting agitations and consolidating memory.

As you meditate, you also repair the brain connections that trauma has ruptured and rebuild brain tissue that has been damaged and destroy.

In recent years, researchers such as Harvard Sarah Lazaro and Brittany Holzel have repeatedly shown that meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue in areas of the frontal cortex that trauma often damages, areas responsible for self awareness, thoughtful judgment, and compassion.”

.

.

My two cents: I healed the first time in small increments from multiple skills and practices.

Having a skill that can grow new brain tissue in trauma damaged areas, along with better self-regulation, enhanced memory, clearer thinking, greater ability to deal with life’s stresses, seems quite valuable.

What therapy or healing skill has more impact than this?

Meditating was my anchor, my greatest healing asset.

Meditating brought me a peace of mind, I never experienced before, a calm knowing.

I strive to regain that calm.

New Years resolution coming. Have you ever changed a habit?

.

.

A crazy PTSD journey: a Rollercoaster ride for free

https://pixabay.com/users/openclipart-vectors-30363/

.

.

My childhood trauma broke loose in my mid 50’s with a vengeance, life changed drastically, my nervous system exploded.

Improving (healing) was slow, arduous and painful. Took five years of all out effort with the new tools and skills I acquired.

My spirit was triumphant, much much freer, calmer as life had real joy for the first time. That horrible haunting feeling stopped, that unworthy to the core feeling dissipated.

To my shock five months ago, another super charged, hidden trauma exploded. Determined to quickly integrate this new trauma, frustration ensued.

I would meditate, let it go, time after time. Two days later the intrusive thoughts returned.

Three times these thoughts ceased for a couple of days only to return in force.

From my perch: Reading many, many books, meditating five hours a day, actively participating in therapy and applying all the skills learned, I was not your normal PTSD client a therapist would see.

I was a great success healing the first time. My therapist and friends agreed.

Now, confused, these same skills, more mature and adept, fail to impact this new trauma.

I revisited the Internal Family System therapy, it seems betrayal is my kryptonite.

It is like my soul, my spirit, my core Or my ego fears anihilation from this event and will not let go.

Hell no, I do not understand it. I know rationally it is the distant past and no danger is present.

Knowing that, life is still a rollercoaster ride at times.

He is an irrational ghost with inside power, who holds me in this invisible prison.

This monster (PTSD) runs on its own, has enormous power at times, and robs us.

For me, I am engaged in the battle again, maybe lost but looking for the crack in its armor.

.

.

.

Survival Mode: “The Body Keeps the Score”

Pixabay: Comfreak

.

.

“In other words: If an organism is stuck in survival mode, its energies are focused on fighting off unseen enemies, which leaves no room for nurture, care, and love.

For us humans, it means that as long as the mind is defending itself against invisible assaults, our closest bonds are threatened, along with our ability to imagine, plan, play, learn, and pay attention to other people’s needs.

Darwin also wrote about body-brain connections that we are still exploring today.

Intense emotions involve not only the mind but also the gut and the heart: “Heart, guts, and brain communicate intimately via the ‘pneumogastric’ nerve, the critical nerve involved in the expression and management of emotions in both humans and animals.

When the mind is strongly excited, it instantly affects the state of the viscera; so that under excitement there will be much mutual action and reaction between these, the two most important organs of the body.”

The first time I encountered this passage, I reread it with growing excitement. Of course we experience our most devastating emotions as gut-wrenching feelings and heartbreak.

As long as we register emotions primarily in our heads, we can remain pretty much in control, but feeling as if our chest is caving in or we’ve been punched in the gut is unbearable.

Continue reading

A loyal follower responds

Pixabay: jLasWilson

.

.

Rudid96 responds to a post “PTSD has a counterintuitive dimension”

“I’m finding that if you survive the abuse, it’s residue is far worse than the event(s). You see, that had a beginning & end. However, my mind seldom allows me freedom. My thoughts run amuck. As 2020 draws to a close, there’s much talk of goal setting, fresh starts, new interests. Try as I might, It’s so disappointing to feel that I’m floating through the days aimlessly; purpose, goals, & dreams elude me.

That’s the real devastation of physical abuse & emotional neglect: to live with the emptiness of soul, the inability to trust, the inability to connect. Will 2021 be different? One can only hope?”

.
.
My two cents: For an event to be stored as implicit memory (PTSD), we must be terrified, in a perceived or real imminent danger event.

Our adrenal stress response fires violently, bp, heart rate and pulse spike, cortisol and adrenaline are dumped, while pain killers and coagulants secrete. Our mind , is literally out of our mind, survival becomes the sole purpose of life.

We freeze or maybe black out and the ending of our trauma is not finished inside our brains.

Healing or improving, that is integrating our trauma to present moment completes the storyline. That is why we lack an ending.

For me, I have to focus on specific actions.

My awareness becomes omnipotent. I try to let go of any trauma thought immediately.

Rudid96: “It’s so disappointing to feel that I’m floating through the days aimlessly; purpose, goals, & dreams elude me.”

My purpose is simple, intense daily action, not an abstract goal like healing.

I find that my dreams suck, my purpose eludes me, life is a big quandary. Accomplishing goals has never calmed my PTSD, achievement has not lead to healing.

I am best, when focused in this moment, mind clear of thoughts, in observer mode.

I have no purpose, no goals, no judgment, and life has calm and some freedom.

That’s what I know, it’s only this moment that I can impact.
.
.

The Holidays and PTSD

https://pixabay.com/users/bob_dmyt-8820017/

.

.

The holidays highlight how many ways attachments are different for abused children. The dysfunctional family protects the abuser at all costs, the perfect family myth must live on.

We hear how the family is everything, most important thing in a persons life.

How do we handle that loss? Family contains our abuse, our abuser and a few enablers.

I made a new family.

I moved from San Diego to Eugene to help my daughter and three grandkids.

Now, I live in their midst, as grandpa.

For the first time, I witness a parent, my daughter, love, support and attach to each kid in the kindest way.

Strange to see kindness from a parent at my age.

Yes, I wonder how much better my life would of been, if someone would of just hugged me once in a kind way as a kid.

Those thoughts must be left alone or we suffer.

For me, my purpose is to stop the generational abuse and stabilize my grandkids.

I am the male caregiver, not father, who is consistent, there everyday and supportive.

My daughter has taught me through example what being a great parent looks like.

I am Amazed.

We can make a new family out of close friends if needed.

We have options and a path to being and feeling better.

Takes action in the face of trauma.

How do you navigate the Holidays.

Happy Holidays!

.

.

PTSD has a counterintuitive dimension

Pixabay: johnhain
.
.

Trauma, abuse, PTSD has an ironic, counterintuitive dimension for me.

The most influential people in my early life, task with loving and supporting me, did the opposite.

My defense mechanism tasked with protecting me from imminent danger, is now highjacked by trauma and fires whenever it damn well pleases.

The abuse and mechanism of PTSD attacks us inside our supposed safe zone.

Our greatest asset, our mind becomes our greatest enemy.

My mind, the implicit memory part (stored trauma) overrides all other functions when active.

I have learned some hard lessons for myself on this healing journey.

Certain events in my life will never go away and will haunt me in some form until I die.

Full recovery is a pipe dream, life is not even close to that miracle.

I am not pessimistic, more realistic, I continue to fight as hard as ever.

Expecting full recovery makes me suffer more thinking if only I could do this or that, life would be totally free.

I fight for small periods of freedom, letting go as many intrusive thoughts as possible.

When PTSD activates life is different, I go into survival mode, like childhood, it is my most practiced habit.

Wish I could say trusting and loving others is my most practiced habit.

Survival mode has no kindness, love, creativity, safety, socializing or calm.

We search for peace of mind, to feel complete, at ease, not needing to accomplish anything, like we are ok for the first time in our life.

I worked incessantly to be the professional baseball player my dad demanded, thinking this would change me.

After reaching that goal, I found my wellbeing was not connected to achievement.

I have been lost and searching ever since.

How about you?
.
.

Awareness: know your trauma Patterns

An example of what a functional MRI scan looks like. Brain activation is averaged across 20 PTSD patients compared to healthy controls in an emotion regulation task.

.

.

Yes, I am drawing a pattern out of only two episodes of trauma in my life.

Here are a few patterns I notice.

The obvious, my trauma buries itself quite deeply for decades.

This pattern allows trauma to have subconscious impact without anytime spent trying to heal.

My childhood abuse did not erupt until I was in my fifties.

Secondly, the first couple of months are extremely intense.

My nervous system is agitated and intrusive thoughts seem to come at a rate of a Gatling gun firing.

I see that my whole personality changes.

One of my symptoms brings the feeling of imminent danger to my being.

It is irrational and very confusing.

Imminent danger for me is not physical, I fear the annihilating of my ego, emotional death in a sense.

I am intense, consumed and out of my gourd for a couple months.

You have witnessed this in my recent posts.

I sound and act like a victim, hopeless, helpless, it is embarrassing but sharing will help others push through their humiliating thoughts.

At my lowest, agoraphobic, hiding in my dark garage during the day, I thought something was going to come through the tile roof and do something worse than death.

Look how abstract that fear is. I have no idea what is coming through the roof, man, animal or alien.

My danger does not need a gender or even an origin but it is what I fear most, the unknown.

PTSD has that unknown quality about it.

The tragic memory is incomplete at the time trauma happens.

If it happened in childhood, the brain has not fully developed, storing an incomplete, distorted memory.

Somewhere in our background we need that skill that does not give up when all Common sense says it is the prudent choice.

At my lowest, Agoraphobic, contemplating suicide, a moment of clarity and strength surfaced for me.

From somewhere deep inside my head, the words, my abuser, my dad wins if I give up.

That may seem a feeble judgment by some, but every fiber in my body would not allow him to win.

In a crazy moment of crisis, I accepted my suffering, decided I would rather sit and suffer than let my dad win.

I did not realize this was a pivotal moment on my healing journey, inside my ego, that inner voice knew I would never give up.

Healing from PTSD is a war zone, expect the turmoil as part of the journey.

Ironically, surviving my fathers abuse developed the traits that helped me heal.

We have to fight for our wellbeing, fight the demons our childhoods created.

Thoughts?

.

.

Ways that a Narcissistic Parent controls his or her young children

https://pixabay.com/users/byrev-23277/
.
.

From https://bandbacktogether.com/master-resource-links-2/mental-illness-resources/adult-children-of-narcissistic-parents/


“There are a few ways that a Narcissistic Parent controls his or her young children. These control mechanisms include:

1) Codependent Control: “I need you. I can’t live without you.” This prevents children of Narcissistic Parents from having any autonomy, from living their own lives.

( I had no clue how to live my childhood or life. Little kids are brainwashed by their narcissistic parent using emotional and physical torture.)

2) Guilt-Driven Control: “I’ve given my life for you. I’ve sacrificed it all.” This method of control creates a feeling of obligation in children; that they “owe” their Narcissistic Parents and must behave in a certain way to make their parents happy.

(My mother told me, every breath my father took was for me)

3) Love Withdrawal Control: “You’re worthy of my love ONLY BECAUSE you behave the way I expect you to.” So long as their children are behaving properly, a Narcissistic Parent will be loving. That love disappears the moment a child doesn’t meet expectations.

( My father threatened abandonment. I did not attach to something that threatened to leave me exposed, vulnerable)

4) Goal-Oriented Control: “We have to work together to achieve a goal.” These goals are generally the goals, dreams, and fantasies of a Narcissistic Parent. A Narcissistic Parent lives vicariously through his or her children.

(My father stole my childhood as his way of gaining status in his life, self worth at my expense.)

5) Explicit Control: “Obey me or I’ll punish you.” Children of Narcissistic Parents must do as they’re told or risk shame, guilt, anger, or even physical abuse.

( My beatings were frequent and severe, delivered coldly without concern for my wellbeing. My dad meant to hurt me and scare the shit out of me. Control would be absolute.)

6) Emotional Incest Control: “You’re my one true love, The One, the most important person to me.” An opposite-sex parent makes his or her child fulfill the unmet needs of the Narcissistic Parent.

( My mom was the enabler, her life was better when dad focused on me instead of her)
.

.

Tips for navigating the mechanical side of PTSD

https://www.turningwithin.org/fight-or-flight

.

.

Serious PTSD sufferers live with an elevated nervous system, some underlying agitation is always present.

For me, the fight or flight exploding was like getting shot in the solar plexus, intense, an electrifying jolt.

Those are the easy times to know the condition of our nervous system.

Bringing more awareness to my inner world, I have noticed a few things.

First, my baseline activation is higher, my nervous system has more agitation at rest than a normal person.

I have learned my nervous system, or anxiety level can be raised to an excited level without me recognizing it consciously.

When intrusive thoughts are active, then I notice my agitation consciously. I guess it needs to reach a certain intensity before I become aware of it.

Being sensitive to smaller levels of activation helps us navigate PTSD much better.

An elevated nervous system depletes our energy, wears on our emotional stability.

This is the mechanical, the physical part of PTSD that we can learn to calm.

They teach Navy Seals to handle fear (high anxiety), their fight or flight mechanism, using their breath, focusing on elongating the exhales.

Yes, slow focused breathing can dissipate adrenaline and cortisol while activating our parasympathetic nervous system, the breaks, bringing calm.

I have learned that fear, it’s physical embodiment, our adrenal stress response (fight or flight mechanism), contains no fear.

Fear is added by our thoughts. I choose to focus on the body sensations, taking my breath into the middle of the agitation or unrest.

While hiking with my chronic pain, I would summon my fight or flight mechanism to fire, then use the Adrenaline and Cortisol for my workout energy.

While handling my fight or flight mechanism everyday hiking, I became more familiar, more comfortable with that intense feeling.

The more we know about our nervous system the better.

Now I do not fear my chronic pain or my fight or flight mechanism firing.

If you weather the storm sitting quietly, motionless, focused on your breath, your confidence and power will grow.

.

.

Childhood abuse, do we ever trust

Pixabay: Myriams-Fotos

.

.

Awareness preempts any change in my humble opinion.

Many habits and patterns go unnoticed right below the surface of consciousness.

Recently, I realized how sensitive or paranoid my behavior has developed.

At all times, in any situation, I am aware of everything around me.

I have always been like this, always knowing where my father was, what mood, what danger existed.

It is second nature to me, my peripheral vision is excellent, I even know what is behind me.

Now I see this as a defense mechanism (PTSD symptoms), where real danger rarely exists.

My behavior has developed from a violent, abusive childhood.

My Survival mode is always activated in some form no matter where I am or what I am doing.

I am not physically afraid, in fact quite the opposite, however emotionally, imminent danger has always been close.

My complete childhood was spent more or less in survival mode.

Spotting imminent danger overwhelmed all other circuits.

Part of it is hereditary, I inherited my mothers nervous system, high strung and anxiety ridden.

When my fight or flight mechanism would fire, it was violent and intense, numbing, almost paralyzing.

Meditation has calmed my nervous system.

Unfortunately now I see my Nervous system does not fire violently, however he is on high alert constantly, spotting danger.

It has been mostly subconscious, nothing overt or any conscious effort.

All this happens automatically without thought or input.

Being able to trust is so important.

How do we trust with only betrayal in our past?

Trust is just something I know nothing about.

How do you start trusting at age 69?

.

.

%d bloggers like this: