About Me

Two-Children-are-Threatened-by-a-Nightingale-Max-Ernst-1924

Marty:

I am 62 now, my lifelong worries have never materialized but my belief in them has stolen many years of my life.

My abuse occurred in childhood, every minute of a controlled violent existence of a kid raised by a  crazy narcissist. Who knew this was not normal and everyone was not raised like this.

I call for daily practice and a tip of the spear like approach toward healing.  Healing can be compressed in time with a concerted effort, along with aerobic exercise to focus on a complete body approach.

Now, this blog has a history of viewers taking action and improving or healing.  Most PTSD blogs have great discussions, comparisons, stories of great perseverance but healing only happens with action not reading or discussing.  Action and effort everyday is what we do here and it has led to healing.

This blog is designed for daily support of complex PTSD.  Our attitudes and daily effort will determine our misery or happiness going forward.  Healing is possible and likely if you do the work.  You have to believe you can heal and practice that belief daily.  Daily short posts, ideas, facts and inspiration are the goals I strive to bring forward.  Tidbits of energy, practical tools and exercise combine all of our skills being brought to bear on our complex PTSD.

My experience healing with a severe case of childhood complex PTSD, along with reading over 100 books on this subject help me share my experiences.  This blog can shorten the time needed to heal by directing attention and combining all effort in a concerted way.  My path could have been cut in half with the experience I now have.  That is what I try to share on this blog.

I am not a therapist, cannot heal you or try to.  My work is to give direction and inspiration so you can heal yourself.  You will heal yourself from within.  I can help you see the landscape better and shorten your time healing.

A short disclaimer, I bring up old posts to highlight ideas, so different dates will appear on the front page at times.

Please feel free to participate.

117 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks You for providing such a well organized, gracefull, visually please and informative blog – I love the warmth and care in which the topics are presented and the simple yet profound expressions and observations – I look forward to becoming a more frequent viewer and will not hesite to comment or share an ideas that arise – GREAT JOB / THANK YOU !!

  2. I have really enjoyed your blog and was looking for a way to contact you. Do you know anything about PTSD and fires? I have been reading up on the correlation and I am looking for thoughts about it.

  3. .I do not know specifically about fires and PTSD howwever you’re calling would amplify fire trauma. This fear ranges for most of us like flying does for some. When I had my triple rollover, the first thing that crossed my mind when I survived the crash was being upside down and burning alive. People lifting cars under duress are very reasonable to assume as scared as I was.

    You deal with the effects and aftermath of the trauma. Fire is one of those things that has saved and comforted lives and also been extremely violent towards humans at times.

    I would be interested in what you are reading and its implications with PTSD

  4. ok, I checked out your blog. Sorry for your loss.We feel like we are in control of our lives. Well most of it and we can wing the rest. When something happens like this, it can not be described or felt unless you have been there.

    Yes trauma and devastating. Your sense of security would be an issue I would presume.

    Remember you survived the fire and it is over. The thoughts feel as powerful as the actual event but that is delusion. The more time you can stop thinking about the fire and its affects the better. What fires together wires together and if you spend time thinking about how devastating or whatever emotion, now, then it will live in you. It is hard and challenging but the best you can do is heal first then get with other survivors.

    Reliving the details without your therapist will give your thoughts about this trauma duration of time, energy, power and momentum.
    Starve it and integrate it then get together so you can support from a healed space.

    This is difficult to leave alone and trust to let it be. I know but it is the way out.

  5. Thank you for checking out my blog. It has taken me a while to find the little resources I have found about fires and PTSD. Some people have posted on health message boards, but I haven’t found too much support beyond that.

    I am sorry to hear about your devastation. It doesn’t matter what you have been through to cause the trauma, just that you have it and are trying to recover from it. I need to find a therapist that deals with trauma in my area. I am hearing a lot from people that this will really help. Do you have any advice on finding services or seeking support?

  6. Yes I do and thank you for receiving my advice with an open mind. You have some space, now that let’s you be here and not react. The therapist I would look for would be one who uses ACT or DBT which uses mindfulness. Acceptance therapy is what I know and recommend.
    This blog is the realization of living that therapy daily with a bunch of Zen influence for graduate work. Just kidding. The best you can do now until you find a therapist is to be present and leave thoughts alone. There is a post on how to select and interview a therapist.

    You are interviewing a therapist as she is assessing you. The first thing for most women would be gender. If your trauma was related to a sexual assault a woman might be the way to go. next, do you relate with this person. Are they competent, flexible and capable of helping you. This will become clearer as sessions occur.

    I always say evaluate and change if you need a change. leave your feeling out of it. We need to heal and our therapist needs to be trusted and competent. realize this person will give you advice and direct you not heal you. You will heal between sessions while sitting, exercising or practicing any of your tools.

    Take a tape recorder and pen and pencil. ask for homework and ways to work on being aware and dealing with thoughts. raise the expectations of youre therapy by your involvement. This therapist is there to support you so use this time well. Be prepared and think about what you want to accom,ish. A good therapist using acceptance therapy should follow your lead and what is a trigger of yours not a choreographed rigid sessions.

    good luck. This is greatbthat you are aware and are making great decisions towards healing. thanks for sharing.

  7. Posted by brandy on June 29, 2011 at 7:25 am

    My fiance has recently been diagnosed with PTSD and he’s really been trying hard to recover but it seems as if noone understands PTSD and just writes it off as just a “mental disorder”. Day after day all he hears from his so called “support” system is get out of the house and go back to work and it just lead to an arguement everyday. It seems as if we live in an “devastation state” everyday and therefore it seems to have put a hault to his recovery. Since he has been sick it really has been one tragedy after another, for example…his daughter totalted our car and thankfully she wasn’t hurt. Next…we’ve owned a business for 9 yrs & we just recently found out that we lost all of our customers so we’ve had to shut the business down. Also…everyone we’ve turned to for help has turned their backs and worst of all…I, his fiance, had my kids taken away from my exhusband (I did finally get them back) and I share joint custody with him. He’s been in and out of hospitals trying to determine what was going on with him physically due to his decline in health since March and finally good news I think…He was diagnosed with Adrenal Gland Malfunction and Pituitary Tumor and were still waiting on the test results to come to see if he has Kidney failure and heart disease. Now that has been diagnosed with something physically wrong with him our support system is finally reaching out to us, I guess its better late than never!!
    Anyways…It’s been a long road in just a short amount of time, I, his fiance, am trying to adjust to being second to PTSD and trying to cope with what his done to change the man I once knew though he still a wonderful man he no longer is an affectionate man, I sometimes can’t help but to wonder if his love for me is still in there somewhere. I know its bad timing for me to start feeling insecure now but is that normal? Shouldn’t I still long for the man I once knew and will he ever be that man again? Either way…I love this man just as much if not more!
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience and if you have input please share.

  8. You are a very brave and loving woman and he is lucky to have your support. He does not show affection because her has to deal with constant terror from cortisol dumping into his system all the time.

    The real issues of car wrecks and sickness have to be addressed. The PTSD can be improved but he needs to get some help. Do you have a way to get to a qualified therapist? Are there any PTSD groups available for him to join. First you have to see what resources are available for him.
    Does he realize what PTSD doea and how to go about improving his situation.

    Does he read or will he try new things to improve. Is he open to wanting to get better? Your support and understanding are important to him. He is not doing anything intentionally to hurt you. He is trying to navigate an area that over whelms all of us until we understand how to grab our lives back.

    I can recommned books and tools and technics to start a daily practice. Please share more about his trauma, personality and what you have tried so far to heal?

  9. Thanks again. The Zen part made me laugh because I used to be all into that, saying mantras and researching religions.

  10. The Zen part polished my mindfulness with a precision focus. I learned to have no goals and sit in support of others. It solidified and has taken me past healed to more compassionate.
    Now my complex PTSD which I thought a terrible curse is my inspiration now. This blog is a celebration of my journey and healing.
    It has opened up my life and let me meet and know others with courage and great life force. We are special because we have to earn our peace of mind. We know terror and worry however this peace that I have found is happiness.
    I really thank everyone who views and travels this path with me as company and support.

    So let us take your meditation practice and focus it in a concerted way for you. Now you can chip away and slowly integrate your trauma. If you do the work you will heal. Then your life and freedom will be better than before. Trust me.

  11. Posted by brandy on July 1, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Technically he hasn’t gone for therapy in awhile, been kind of consumed by his physical health. I do have a therapist on standby for him that I have spoken to several times but he hasn’t gone to meet with her yet, always seems like something is standing in the way. His family thinks I’m not strong enough to I guess take care of him as in make him go to therapy, make him get out of the house, make him get off the computer which by the way…he is addicted to the computer now. I feel that he is in his right state of mind to make his own decisions, I may make a suggestion but its his final decision but maybe I’m wrong, I’m just following my heart and have put my faith in God to guide us in the direction we’re suppose to go in. This road we’re on has been and still is a scary road and at times I have looked to God and asked why this road but I know that God has a reason for everything and I also know that God hasn’t let me down before and he’s not about to let me down now. As I’m typing this blog I still at times just can’t help to wonder why…why him? Why me? Why us? The funny thing about all this is I’ve even had a close family member ask me “Do u ever ask you’re self what in our lives have we done or are we doing to deserve this?” I mean did someone just throw a rock at my glass house while their sitting in their glass house? Why is it when you’re down there’s no one there to help you up? I’m not a strong person, God to make me to be a rock, my fiance is my rock and right now he needs me to be his rock! Enough about me! You wanted to know more about Chris, my fiance …it all started…please keep an open mind…Jan 30, 2011, his ex wife whom lost custody and visitation of his two teenage girls due to neglect, physical abuse and her alcohol addiction, was at one of his girls cheer leading practices which was planned and anyways she showed up intoxicated and to make a long story short she ended up getting a DWI at the end of our driveway which was her 4th DWI and she had no license and charged with an open container. March 3, 2011 his ex-wife had been drinking and decided to go for a drive and she ended up in a head on collision with a tractor trailer. Surprisingly she survived but was charged with another DWI amongst other charges and along time of healing time. These incidents with his children’s mother had completely took a tole on his children once again and he basically was so overwhelmed by how he was going to pick up the pieces with his kids (teenagers) whom they have already lived a lifetime of hell. That day was the beginning of many mountains to climb for Chris and our family. I had to take Chris to a mental health facility on March 14, 2011 and at the time I thought that was the hardest thing to go through. At the time he was admitted he was taking prescribed a medication to treat opiate dependency, he had been on that medication for 9 months and lets just say 1 mg of that medication is equal to 50 mg of morphine and he was only on opiates for less than a mth. The psychiatrist that was treating him did not give him the prescribed medication and he withdrew from it “cold turkey” and March 20 he had a “hypertension crisis” 193/178 and “adrenaline rush”. It was only about 3 weeks to a mth when I started noticing a huge change in Chris, he would just sit there in a daze, he wouldn’t get up to even eat, take a shower or even use the restroom until I asked him. Also he showed 1 emotion…pure anger, resentment, hatred and talked over and over again about everything bad that had ever happened to him and I mean ever. Day by Day the symptoms just started piling on! He became lethargic, loss of memory, loss of vision, extreme headaches, loss of the ability to walk and so our first visit of many to a different hospital stated that he had “neurotransmitter deficiency”. Well…to say the least I could keep you busy reading all night so I’m going to jump ahead several months to the present day.
    Five hospital visits later and we started getting answers and thank goodness cause I don’t know how many more tragedies he can stand. All this had really taken a toll on him, going from hospital to hospital and being sent away with high blood pressure and I mean dangerously high (205/156) insomnia that finally lead to sleep deprevation (17 days of no sleep was the longest stretch of no sleep). To get him to leave the house takes me all day and thats starting at 9 am and getting out the door at 7pm for example so he was getting discouraged each time we would get no answers. No family support and had to shut down our business.
    Finally, this past Saturday, on the day of his mothers wedding day his health which was already heading south took a tole for the worst and I we went straight to the VA hospital where we shouldve been going all along, I forgot to mention he was in the Army for 8 years but he has been inactive since 1997. He was already diagnosed with PTSD previously but this time the hospital put a name to the physical side, Adrenal Gland Malfunction, tumor of his Pituitary Gland and possible kidney failure.
    To date he stopped having adrenaline rushes (too numerous to keep up with), about 7 days ago and that seemed to ease his panic attacks but that also was a double bladed sword cause instead of his body having too much cortisole now his body does’nt make any. The dangers are…kidney failure, heart disease, weaking of the immune system, cateracts which he has in both eyes now, fluid retention which he has gained 15 lb of fluid, hypertension which around 156/125 to date and and and! He is taking Hydrocortisone 10 mg and he feels worse than ever and did I mention his heart rate this entire time has been extremly high and to date runs 130 bpm.
    Any advice and just a lending ear is and will be very helpful, Thank you for listening and for everyone who has sent replies to my exhausting comments.

  12. You have done nothing to make this happen. Many of us have childhood trauma and we did nothing either. Life is difficult and things happen. Let us say that your focus has to be in the correct direction if your fiancée is going to improve.

    I would buy and place the book Buddha’s Brain in the house. Read it and highlight the parts pertaining to PTSD and recovery. Next, start sharing your plan to help him improve. Approach him from loving compassionate supporting way and get him with you to a therapist. Bring a tape recorder and have questions prepared. If you have to start the session sharing the situation with the therapist then you are prepared.
    Get homework as how to stay present and handle triggers. He needs to take action and maybe start walking. Movement will help him and flush the poisons out of his system.

    He needs to get into the action of trying and moving forward. Action is critical and his body will move when his mind is frozen.

    You will have to be understanding and know this is not easy for him. Your understanding is key. He will do things you do not understand but it will be critical to him. He has trauma internalized. It is as if the PTSD is hiding the real him.

    Consciously the issues will not change from talking about them. He needs to learn to use mindfulness everyday and heal a little each day.

    Now you need to get him to a stage of calm so he can heal himself with your support. Things will not change quickly or easily but they will change. It is great you are seeking support for him.

    He has you and you have to keep yourself above the turmoil. It is not personal or aimed at you.

    Good luck and you will have questions so feel free to ask. This is not an easy or normal road to travel. He is very lucky to have you.

  13. Yes, healing comes in its own time, in doses. The heart welcomes it as a long lost friend. Be well, friend.

  14. Posted by soul_sista_nyc on January 3, 2012 at 3:34 am

    hello and thank you for your blog! i just found it a few minutes ago…

    i, too, have recently found mindfulness, meditation and zen/buddhism to be a fascinating and helpful facet of my recovery.

    i gave up on recovery 20 years ago when a well meaning therapist told me it would take me 20 years in therapy to heal, because of the abuse i suffered. so, because of the mental, emotional and physical pain i drank myself into oblivion…which could have killed me.

    but, i survived and ended up in a halfway house in NYC, where i was born and raised and came back here to try to start my life over. way to start it over!

    i have to go to AA (hate it) and an outpatient program i find 80% useless…but the 20% will help me get to my next step. SMART recovery helps me tremendously. and i go to dharma talks/sittings a much as i can.

    thanks again and i’ll tune in every day :)

    soul sista nyc

  15. Marty, I would like to invite you to join others in the Blog for Mental, 2012 project. I have placed a link to your site on my post. I hope many will discover your writing and benefit from your blog. You may read about the guidelines for the project at the end of my post. Thanks for your voice in the blogging community!

    http://growthlines.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/blogging-for-mental-health-2012/

  16. Posted by shellybeachonline on March 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Hi, Marty. It’s so good to find your site. I’m the close friend of someone who’s struggled with PTSD, and I also have family who’ve battled with symptoms after abuse and other forms of trauma. After decades of suffering and treatment for the symptoms of PTSD, my friend and I found a clinic that provide an effective intensive outpatient approach. After living on the brink of despair for most of her life, my friend came home after just ten days of treatment, free from nightmares, flashbacks, and with a toolkit of approaches that have dramatically changed her life. Many people who have suffered only one form or fewer instances of trauma undergo a five day treatment program. Our desire is to draw people to hope and healing and to create a community of support and concern.

    Thank you for the hope, community, and resources you offer here. Blessings to you.
    Shelly
    http://www.ptsdtraumahopehealing.com
    On Facebook: PTSD Trauma Hope and Healing

  17. positive ideas, thoughts and actions and a five day clinic for PTSD a kne time trauma or a trauma that was not perpetrated for years can heal quicker with professional help.

    can I ask,you about the five day program.

    It sounds like so intensive specific work being done in that time frame.

    I have found the mind heals from complex childhood PTSD from daily practice.

    The daily practice is simple, specific, concrete and needs full effort.

    To many PTSD sufferers get confused with so many therapies, symptoms along with having the symptoms, anxiety and fear. We are trying to alter habits, coping mechanisms and behavior so igrained and hidden because we had not developed as kids.

    We were at the mercy of our caregivers and had no way of handling our trauma as children.

    We do not know what a normal loving childhood looks like. Some of our coping mechanisms that feed our trauma seem normal to us. trauma and development are intertwined and take much more daily work to first separate, isolate then integrate.

    Oh poetry this early in the morning.

    Please share what you have found works and any tips.

    I focus on dissociation, self talk, how to handle thoughts, affirmation to feel the crater left from quitting negative self talk and ideas, and a hybrid of Mindfullness the breathing track.

    Instead of passive healing or slow as you go, we build our focus skills and go to the triggers, not avoid. When thoughts arrive we use our breathing track to observe without identifying then observe it fade.

    I have found that trauma feeds when we dissociate to the last or worry about the future. It does not live in this moment and it fuels when we engage in its story.

    Trauma gets time, duration by us leaving now and thinking, manipulating, trying to figure a way out, being in denial or trying to distract yourself.

    marty

  18. Marty:
    Thanks for your support on my blog. Let’s talk about a way to work together. I also am involved in a website that offers confidential computer therapy for PTSD with no registration. http://www.ptsdstress.com.
    You can reach me at jeffeastman@ptsdstress.com.
    Jeff Eastman

  19. excellent, we are open to anything new that works.

  20. Hi Marty,

    I wrote the guest blog post and was wondering the best way to contact you so I could send you the post to proof. Please e-mail me so we can discuss. Thanks.

  21. on its way. Thanks for sharing, sometimes it is exactly what someone else needs to hear. We never know how far our good deeds or effort extends. We just do our best and then relax, enjoy us.

    We need get to know us, because we would relish sitting quietly together at times.

    how are things going?

    What has your search uncovered?

  22. Posted by Michael on March 8, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Hi Marty, I love to share this “Sunshine Award” with you. I sincerely wish you will accept this. The details are in my latest post. But, no pressure okay, Marty? Meanwhile, Congratulations, Good Health and God Bless.

  23. Thanks Michael, your blog is a positive and soothing blog to visit.

    Marty

  24. Posted by BedroomDoor on April 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    What an amazing blog, i really hope this helps people, i have a link to a piece written for my college i hope you could get the time to look at it, keep up the great writing :)

    http://bedroomdoor.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/raped-for-a-living/

    JMK

  25. Thank you and I have responded to your blog post.

    many suffer mental anguish until they die. it takes action and determination to heal.

  26. Posted by Teresa on April 4, 2012 at 4:52 am

    I appreciate all your hard work and your taking the time to share it! I am going to look around here in hopes of possibly learning how to make my own light up breathing track for me and my family. Thank you for being you.

  27. Thank you and hope you find something to use everyday as you heal.

  28. Thank you for subscribing to my blog and I’m so glad to have met you because I know someone who was just diagnosed PTSD. He also had a violent childhood and I always thought that’s what it was coming from. I also think he may suffer from bi-polar and borderline issues. Many blessings to you and I look forward to learning alot from you.

  29. Posted by droidx16 on April 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Marty, thank you for this blog. Your daily affirmations/posts give me a reasons to “get through” another day.

  30. And thank you for taking the time to write, It means so much to get feedback and support on this end also. Thank you for your kindness and letting me know that my effort is worthwhile.

  31. Posted by sfb on May 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Lovely Marty + all, thank you for going this path + sharing, I feel + appreciate it. I plan to try out your breathing track again + again! Intriguing. (I’ve learned from Hakomi, Gestalt, NICABM, others—I’m a NYC therapist + fellow path-participator—that curiosity + a mood of being intrigued help to forward us into more generous, helpful brain locales, along with your sage advice).

    Can also recommend VibesUP.com and The Healing Codes with Dr Alex Loyd; Jo Dunning, Ann Taylor, Grant Connolly’s ZPoint for Peace…+++

    For me personally as well as some others, having a conceptual understanding of what is going + can go on, really helps add/create/invite something benevolent and stronger to accompany wild emotion+biochemistry!

    Thank you so much for listening + caring!

  32. Thank you for your words and for trying the breathing track. Clients can see and hold this simple specific model and trace the breath with eyes open first. Please let me know how it goes.

    I have found the mind likes this simple model. After practicing for a while, I would think about riding the breathing track while exercising and my breath would already be on the track. It likes small specific laser like skills.

    This model also is a continuum which means the place to get lost in thought are gone for the most part. The Buddhist model does not even have transitions just count the breath.

    Now we have a visual which balances the breath which solidifies the mind/body connection. I also find my meditation has some much more awareness being on this model. Thank you for the recommendations.

    I would recommend a book by Shaila Catherine called Focused and Fearless.

    She has set about eight years accumulative in silent retreat around the world. She taught me about how emotions can flow through us without engaging them. She recommends working with pleasant/unpleasant/neutral emotions first. Emotions change and fade when we let go.

    Your clients will be able to start accepting and then eventually surrender to the story of trauma. my path is different than most therapies in that I boiled it down to three basics, affirmations, glowing self talk and mindfulness with acceptance.

    The other determination that is totally different, we are headed for the triggers with the breathing track. trauma is at its strongest and weakest when our triggers explode. learn to focus and stay present and all else hypervigilance, anxiety, avoidance etc will fade.

    No need to fear or worry when you stay present with the triggers. Avoid and leave this moment to think and you fuel trauma. Stay present and observe the thoughts and the true self grows. We hook up to our emotional regulation center and our self worth intuitively becomes known.

    Good luck and thank you for your support.

    Marty

  33. Posted by Jo on June 22, 2012 at 2:13 am

    Marty,
    You’ve put together a nice collection of topics, responses and posts from others. I have attempted various support services and sadly, they haven’t helped much. Wondering what part of the country you’re in in efforts to get different resources that may be in my neck of the woods as I’m in the midwest. I’m willing to travel, but I’m tired of hearing that things are good and the two I have tried haven’t been such a hot experience.
    Thank you for your time. Again,

  34. I am in north San Diego. Sorry about your experiences.

    I am not a therapist or will one heal you either! let us back up and save you some travel and money and get you to buy into some daily practice skills.

    it takes mental effort and maybe the distant travel might be saved.

    if you are willing to let go of judgment and thought for a while and take action daily you can heal.

    taking action seems to be what holds so many back, so I frame this response as you will heal you from the inside. in a month of daily work the improvement may surprise you.

    no smoke and mirrors but I have simplified this journey but it takes dedication and effort, daily.

    I am here for support

    Marty

  35. Hi Marty. I saw this image of the bridge and noticed there was a water mark in it Can you please tell me whose picture this is? Ketter? Where didyou get it? thanks And I too was abused as a child by my pedeophile grandfather and have had to go round the whoel issue to get back to myself and realize I did nothing wrong. I deserve to be loved. Its very cool the image. I wrote a song called love will lead about a woman namae dBridgett who was trying to find her way off an island. good work. and Thanks

  36. Welcome Mary

    Exactly what pic are you speaking of with the water mark? Thank you for the compliment.

    Marty

  37. Wow Marty! Thank you so much for letting me know about your blog! I so NEEDED this today!!! Absolutely inspirational :-)

  38. Welcome and please share and participate. This an action blog, people actual improve and heal and share. We all are on this journey together, we leave as we arrived with the same possessions.

    Let go and check out the breathing track. A simple easy way to deal with thoughts.

    Marty

  39. Hi Marty,
    Want to play a game of ‘tag’?

    http://horrifiedinhiding.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/tag/

  40. Wow my old brain has to peruse all this for a moment
    LOL

  41. Posted by Joanna on July 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I feel so confused and scared, some days the posts here help when I read them in my email, other days they confuse me or frighten me more because I don’t know if feelings and the stories in my mind and the terror I am in are real for today or if they’re from the past. There’s me then there is something inside who hears the other stories and I don’t know are they now or were they the past because I am sure it’s now as well and all the past is being made to happen all over again, why I don’t know or understand except that it must be a punishment. but because it happened in the past and now the things are so similar people can tell me its from the past while similar things happen now. I am scared that actually the things are very real and that I don’t have PTSD because I can feel it all happening around me and I am terrified. I don’t know what to do to make it better.

    Thank you for writing the posts and for making this Blog. I would like to keep getting the emails but also I don’t seem to get all of them, I just looked through the calender here and I only get some and idk why that happens either. Everything in my life is weird and frightening lately.

  42. Posted by Joanna on July 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    …… I am sorry to post all of that here too, I didn’t know where else I could anywhere here.

  43. No worries Joanna,

    it is confusing and with triggers exploding we get lost and anxious. It is ok posts have a different affect on you. Let thinking go, let worry go, let questioning yourself go. You will never heal reacting like this.

    Start with tracing the breathing track following your breath. every time a trigger thought arrives, go to the breath and body sensations. let the thought be and watch it arrive, stay a minute or less and leave.

    You have survived every trigger so far so it will not kill you. Naïf you think about them they grow, so we are hitting trauma at a critical lace where it fuels. Stop thinking and start healing.

    Thoughts are air without action. Thoughts are just the ego bringing up memories to guide or being. We want to guide our being and it is to this moment, no where else.

    Good luck and do not stop because a post bothers you, it is the post you need to focus on because it has emotion you need to integrate to this moment.

    Practice everyday without goals to heal and with every thought that arrives to lure us away.

    Marty

  44. Posted by Joanna on July 31, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Marty,

    Thank you for your kind reply. Everything seems to trigger me at the moment everywhere I go, it’s a really hard time.Songs, articles, conversations, everywhere everything is like from some other time. I use the breathing track through the day and am trying not to think, but even without thoughts it’s as though I am physically scared. I don’t know what comes first the physical feelings of fear or the thoughts. I don’t know if it’s the thoughts which make my body scared or my bodies fear which makes the thoughts because those feel real as if from another time happening alongside this one.

    It’s true what you say though so many triggers yet I am still here and like you said about all of your fears which have never actually materialised. When I get caught up in the ‘stories’ I try to rememeber that too, that so often my fears haven’t materialised yet I have been certain of each fear to be true, it’s hard to fight the power of the reaction thoughts/sensations. I am mostly struggling with the same repetative fear thought, which is that somehow I have already died somewhere in the other time happening alongside this one, it frightens me a lot.

    I will keep practising as you do though & thank you for your encouragment and the daily posts you write here.

    Joanna

  45. Posted by Joanna on July 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    thank you also for your comments on the mindfulness post, i tried to reply there also but it seems to have been removed?

  46. No worries and thank you for sharing. viewership goes up when someone is brave enough to share. We PTSDers are weird when our fears and triggers are active.

    Here is a line you wrote.

    it’s hard to fight the power of the reaction thoughts/sensations. I am mostly struggling with the same repetative fear thought, which is that somehow I have already died somewhere in the other time happening alongside this one, it frightens me




    We can not fight and win.

    We accept and then surrender, do not even tense up. Ok. You can not think your way through this. If you could trust me for two weeks, you will see how much less reactive yournervoussystem has become. Cortisol levels will be much lower and practicing the breathing track will get easier.

    This is simple, not easy at all.

    Even wondering which comes first ignites more cortisol. You body mechanism is real but the thoughts have no power. The ego tries to convince us of that.

    All my fears and triggers are real.

    I was agoraphobic for six months, my wife of 17 years told me last Tuesday our marriage was done if I went to help my daughter, I am in a bed and breakfast at 60 and present. The thoughts, resentment and fear I have sat with.

    I realized I am perfect and can be without a mate and deal with fear or loneliness fine.

    All my healing came from practicing to focus and let go of my thoughts, emotions and fear, just like you.

    I sit everyday and apply my focus and grow more and more.

    We all have unlimited potential with our minds, we are connected electrically and share this journey together. This blog brings me happiness.

    The gift, the blog, the giver me and the receivers you guys and gals, we all get the same benefit from our interaction. I give this support in a loving kindness way.

    I seek nothing whatsoever from this. it is howI sit everyday and have healed. Maymy path light the way for as many as possible.

    Marty

  47. Posted by Joanna on July 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Dear Marty,

    I’m so sorry to hear your situation and ending of your marriage after so long, yet you sound calm and say it’s ok you are able to be without a partner and be alone. What is aloneless, it seems such a complex place to be, sometimes I can feel at my most alone and then somehow more solid and whole, like pieces of me have all rejoined. Other times like I’m merely pieces floating through space and incomplete, shattered and smashed. Those words that all triggers are very real, why are triggers so horrifically painful, as if from childhood and also now reinacted and happening all over again, the same pain, the same patterns and struggling to keep an adult self to feel competent. The now with far more weight, not only one time already passed horrific enough but an actual time happening now as awful and terrifying. Why do the worlds even have to be reflected in our souls like this, it breaks my heart so much.

    Fears and triggers now being real is the worst part, how can these things keep happening.

    But I hear you, there are really two choices for us all, to be in the terror or accept and heal, I just don’t know how to deal with my own death, I find it difficult to even comprehend how this is possible. Did the abuse kill me as a child and now somewhere else too I have somehow died, this trigger feels devastatingly real. Is this what happens to people? I’m unsure of if this is what CPTSD is for everyone. Is this the process for us all? a kind of death that happens?
    I will commit to the practise for 2 weeks Marty and give this the best go I can, I’m despairing and feel completly consummed. Your posts trigger but also keep me going and remind me everyday to practise.

    My thoughts are with you while you heal your current situation.

    Joanna

  48. Thoughts are horrible because we dwell on the thoughts and never verify that any real danger exists. Avoidance makes the cortisol jolt double scary when we run.

    We repeat the same triggers over and over because we never see what is behind the curtain. What harm has really happened to us. Our own.

    Good. Here is the scoreboard, minutes lost in random thought versus minutes spent here empty of thought.

    I m fine, I have wasted enough breaths on things long over.

    I am so alive and life is vibrant because of the drastic change.

    I am open to life and whatever it brings. I try not to doubt and do not worry, life is excitingng and I have let go.

    It is being free and open. I have worked hard everyday on this skill.

  49. Death will happen on its own, how will. Any of us know before hand. We will die trust me.

    Our challenge is to live not die well. We have been taught about life all wrong.

  50. I am new to this blog. I have been suffering for a very long time. I find it difficult to find a therapist. Any suggestions on what to look for?

  51. I know that I can no longer continue the pretense of existing, confined by the shackles of chemical restraints, antidepressants. My symptoms, The PTSD, the extreme grief, the feelings of emptiness,hopelessness, the cloying darkness of severe depression do not abate with medications. I am unable to shed the feeling, that I have lost many little pieces my soul. The symptoms of feeling dissociated from a fully engaged life; suffocating on toxic emotional shock, caused by trauma, circumstances, loss. These symptoms cannot be healed by traditional medicine, counseling or a multi-purpose pill. I must begin the process of recovering and re-integrating lost parts of my soul. To call back every shard and sliver of my soul, every part that ever was and still is, “me”. It is time to become whole, to obtain greater clarity and facilitate my own emotional healing. The hard part is letting go of my emotionally entrenched ego.

  52. You’re response reminds me of reaching a point of no return.  urgency and action are the only remedy.

    *
    Some of your ideas about being whole and parts stuck are right on.  Now, if you use your energy with a concrete simple practice model, life can start to change.  much of what you described face PTSD sufferers daily.
    *
    The complexity of therapy, once a week visits, confusion, pills, triggers exploding, fear and anxiety make healing almost impossible. Please dedicate one month of your effort to the breathing track!  This model will make it possible to let go of that entrenched ego.  It takes daily work and persistence.
    *
    This daily practice tool is concrete, simple and stands up to anxiety, fear and trauma easily.  I have eliminated all of the abstract confusing parts.  it does not take large amounts of time however ,more effort heals quicker.
    *
    Print out a breathing track and trace your breath with eyes open at first.  No goals, no pressure, just you, the track and the breath.  good luck, I am here to support, answer questions or describe the landscape ahead.</div

  53. I look forward to reading your blog. I have no doubt that you can help many people help themselves. I am a licensed therapist, but learned more from my own self-study and experiences than I did from school. I agree with so much of what you have said about healing.

  54. Hi, its great to find a blog like this, I am new to the world of PTSD (and blogging about it) so I am hoping that by following your blog I will be a little more enlightened on the subject. B x

  55. Posted by Claire on March 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

    hi marty, what do you mean about cortisol being dumped in the system?

  56. Posted by Ram Meyyappan on April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Marty,

    I came across your site doing a google search and it seems to be a useful resource for those with PTSD. I was wondering if I could potentially contribute by writing a guest post for your site’s blog on the process of applying for Social Security Disability with PTSD?

    I manage a site called Social Security Disability Help (www.disability-benefits-help.org), which contains information on how to apply for disability with over 300 conditions.

    Please send me an email at ram@ssd-help.org if this is something that you are interested in.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,

    Ram Meyyappan
    Social Security Disability Help

  57. I like your thoughts on shortening the healing time and healing from within. It resonates with my own intentions. I have become my own healer and share my own story to leave a traill for others.
    Blessinss to you. I look forward to reading more.

  58. Thank you and please comment or share ideas. We have different strengths, different childhoods, different nervous systems but we heal the same from the inside and we heal ourselves.

    Therapists give direction and tools but they can not heal you, a pill will not heal you, it may allow you to calm enough to do the daily work but never heal you.

    Good luck and welcome

  59. I can relate to wanting to cut the recovery time. It took me 20 years to heal myself from anorexia (and I still work on the underlying healing). I also try to share what I know as a regular person to maybe shorten someone’s path (the struggling part anyway)
    Your words are inspiring and I love the feel of your blog.
    Many blessings-
    Laurie

  60. Thank you for the kind words. This blog is an action blog, we must move even when fear and doubt seize us.

    My path could have been cut by half maybe two thirds using the tools I developed.

    Happy healing

  61. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly
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  62. Yep, I am infamous or something, no I am just a lay person with a unique skill set and experience.

  63. Posted by Lori on October 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Marty, enjoying reading this morning. I had several traumas in my childhood and early twenties. It feels as though they are all connected, when even a small new one hits it makes them all vibrate as though connected on a chord. The principal of these was my father being murdered. I did lots of work many years ago to be able to move on, but then a few years ago I was provided new information about what happened…that the story that had been told was not entirely true, that justice had not been served…about the same time my husband had an accident and a brain injury, and it sent me into a tailspin. Three years of being stuck at my desk, working compulsively, not moving. Sedentary and agoraphobic I read here? I can relate to that. Three months ago I found a way to start moving again. I hired a personal trainer. It is amazing, it has turned my life back on, I am not obsessing about what has happened anymore. I am much more present focused. I am still having issues with spacing out, not hearing people, not being able to focus, leaving my body at times. I have been thinking lately that I like this…it has become a place of comfort to me, maybe not very functional, but comforting. Any thoughts on that?

  64. The traumas current have revived the original trauma you thought was healed. It is understandable why you would feel like this. Healing remains the same and you can heal and be better than before. My opinion and experience tells me so.

    You are half way there. Exercise is great, add aerobic exercise a couple a days a week and push last tired to get more depletion of cortisol.

    So if you are ok spacing out or resting in this space, start a focus practice on the breath to move the rest of the way through integration and healing.

    Try to not grasp or think about thoughts or dissociating from this moment. Continue to stay present until it becomes habit and you live normally letting thoughts fade.

    Good luck hope that I answers part of your wuestion

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  74. I’m so happy I found this blog. It’s straight forward and really well put together. I wish I had found it sooner. I’m in the early stages of diagnosis / help. Physical symptoms were the beginning but a great gastroenterologist recognised quite early what I didn’t and guided me down the psychological route. How do you keep going? How have you survived? I don’t see an end just yet. Don’t feel it. And sometimes feel it all too much. Anyway. Thanks for puttin this together. I will explore. And will be checking in. Thank you.

  75. How do I. Keep going?

    I have learned to let go, to know that thoughts, feelings, emotions, and the ego are tiny, transient and not that important.
    Another awareness of now noticed happiness was connected to giving without want for reward, to be below thought and present to give.

    How have I survived. Mi have found a way to be here and it has opened up life, expanded opportunity and brought joy and happiness from time to time.

    Be ok with hard, tough times has released me to let go and experience life fully right now.

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  77. Posted by Mandy on January 7, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Glad I discovered your blog. I relate to so very many things you are writing about. I just started a blog in hopes of finding a voice, to overcome the shame that comes with secret keeping of a childhood filled with sexual abuse. Thanks.

  78. I Have learned shame, guilt etc are impermanent, constantly changing, in our consciousness for a while, vibrant, powerful, scary then it is gone followed by this emotion, then the next.

    If we would plot our minute to minute emotions in a day, it would amaze you.

    Your feelings are past tense, shame, guilt are judgments of past events, memories. Metheny do not exist anywhere except in your mind. Powerless unless you give them attention

    Good luck happy blogging

  79. Posted by Mandy on January 24, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Marty, I’d be interested, since you have dealt with agoraphobia–and I’m not sure if you have posts dealing with it; if you work on facing the ptsd, etc, do you feel the agoraphobia will take take care of itself naturally? That is a problem I’ve had with hiding from the shame of the abuse, the ptsd has prevented me from going out lest I be triggered. But I AM facing my problems now and that’s wonderful, but I want to GET OUT THERE so I can be involved in groups involved in abuse. I just want to know I will be able to leave my house eventually without fear.

  80. Let me say that if you do the work, much much more then being able to leave your house awaits you. I desired a miracle, I thought, to be able to leave my house, exist even if it was painful. It seemed impossible at that time.

    Some of the systems like avoidance could not happen without dissociation, if we are avoiding we are in the past or future worry.

    .
    I would wake up for a while totally triggered, sweating, well soaking wet, terrified, thinking the dream, so real I would inquire if things has transpired. I knew it impossible to enter my sleep and heal.

    As I worked on mindfulness, sitting everyday, then giving all energy to staying present. My resilience was building and every trigger presented a trial of trying to stay present, trying to not react, trying to observe from a distance.

    Each effort paid dividends and more and more of the so called shame, shame we create, you and me, we judge something as shameful.

    There is no real shame and that highly damaging thought, belief, creates an unworthy, damaged irreparably self image, ego.

    Know all that has been created, some used to survive in childhood but worthless now. Integration, healing is bring all that stuff to present moment with all the assists and abilities we have now.

    No guarantees in life but the act of trying to live fully is tremendous in itself.

    We have only one alternative with a zillion variations of life, keep avoiding and suffer, be unworthy, shamed, or take daily action and bring awareness to a moment to moment habit for the rest of life.

    It is a game or contest to stay present or dissociate into the past.

    All this shame, fear, unworthiness is transparent, not real, solid, it is in our mind, reinforced by fight or flight drugs which are real, physical, that is all.

    Your childhood has left trauma memories in the amygdala, which has the switch for now.

    Keep up your effort, drop any goals for now, release the judging, comparing anything for a while, vacate any judgment you find is already made. This will grow awareness and in due time home habit.

    This is not a fad diet, it is a way of living till we pass this earth. MIT is the road way less traveled or ever discovered, inhabited by happiness along the journey.

    Hope that helps.

  81. Posted by Mandy on January 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Yes, it makes a whole lot of sense, Marty. It’s a lot to take in but I think well worth the effort. I appreciate your crusade in helping others. A lot. Thanks.

  82. I have answers and you do not have to understand to heal just do the work, sit, focus on the breath and apply it to stay focused.

    Practice not judging on food, meals

    Practice slowing the breath and noticing life around you, nature.

    When you feel stress, emotional confusion, let go and view without judging.

    Place all energy in this. Most people think you read complex books and employ multifaceted healing strategies.

    Maybe for some but a laser like strike at the epicenter of fear a trigger firing, punctures PTSD, deflates the power, healed me much quicker.

    No goals. Just more effort and a goal of practicing everyday rain or shine

    The mind responds to concrete, immediate, simple tasks especially if we are trying to change habit reinforced from childhood, let me see how many years is that.
    Wow

  83. Posted by Mandy on January 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    :-) so you’re telling me you CAN teach an old dog new tricks? Haha. Good, then there’s hope for me!

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  96. It gets better, you will see this crap fade more, for me looking back it is like having a shovel and we are digging the abuse and our judgments out, it that empty space is where life will burst alive, vivid.

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  99. Posted by futurism on May 27, 2014 at 2:05 am

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