My two big traumas laid dormant for decades.

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I knew something was different about me, but had no idea why I did not feel worthy as others or could not trust.

Childhood trauma exploded first with a family crisis and my inability to help one of my kids.

My dominate trigger happened in restaurants with someone staring at me. A daily benign slice of normal life, anyone can do. I was ashamed of this limitation.

Always knew there was no danger but my fight or flight mechanism sensed imminent danger and would explode.

Two months ago my girlfriends gangraped surfaced, my second big trauma.

Finally I understood my trigger.

It was from college, the aftermath of the frat boys who assaulted her would stare at me, kind of celebrating their gangrape at my expense.

Public shaming and them bragging about pulling a train on Cheryl, made a permanent mark on my being.

Hard to believe college guys could be this barbaric and demean for no reason.

Lesson: Now that I understand the origin of my trigger, unplugging it should be easier.

This event needs to have all the stored danger and emotional damage exit my body.

The last two months have been hell as this trauma exploded inside me.

Hopefully the intrusive thoughts run their course and I can integrate what’s left.

I can not run from this or suffering will never end.

As I use to teach, trauma is up, active and available for integration.

Childhood trauma makes us vulnerable to being traumatized in the future, our brains did not wire like a normal brain, with some parts of our development damaged.

I had to learn survival skills, ways to endure physical and emotional abuse instead of developing social skills.

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Fear and Shame from “Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness”

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“But here are two factors that are immediately relevant to trauma-sensitive mindfulness.

The first is fear.

Trauma can make us terrified of our internal experience.

Traumatic events persist inside survivors in the form of petrifying sensations and emotions.

Understandably, survivors become afraid to feel these again. Van der Kolk described it this way:

Traumatized people . . . do not feel safe inside—their own bodies have become booby-trapped.

As a result, it is not OK to feel what you feel and know what you know, because your body has become the container of dread and horror.

The enemy who started on the outside is transformed into an inner torment. (Emerson & Hopper, 2011,)

A second barrier to integrating trauma is shame.

Connected to humiliation, demoralization, and remorse, shame is a complex, debilitating emotion that often arrives with traumatic stress.

A person who was sexually abused may berate themselves for not having fought back—even though they may know it would have made matters worse.

A soldier who freezes under fire during combat is demeaned by others, and comes to feel fundamentally flawed.

Someone who is discriminated against can internalize the form of oppression being directed at them and begin to feel defective and unworthy.

Shame is a powerful, paralyzing force.”

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Public, Sexual Humiliation and the male ego

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Trauma has narrowed my life, helped develop these intense fears of ever being vulnerable again.

I lacked any healthy attachment to either parent, instead I received criticism and coldness.

My dominant emotion besides fear, was hating my dad with a passion while he terrorized me.

In college, my girlfriend snuck away with a guy and ended up gangraped at a frat house. It was betrayal then a horrendous assault on a young, innocent 19 year old.

We were humiliated publicly, they bragged about pulling a train on her.

This event changed me, brought nightmares, suicidal thoughts and despair. I wanted to leave college that day, run away.

The rest of college was a battle zone. Animosity boiled over, Fights became part of college for me. I hated those bastards. Still do to this day.

I would rather die than experience this again.

I saw her young life destroyed and that traumatized me more. She ate and went to class in same room with them until she transferred.

She never felt safe again, never would be that innocent, free spirit.

The opportunity of college turned into a scary nightmare she would carry the rest of her life.

Sex was an act now, only a cold act, the gal I loved was assaulted by 10 guys and demeaned publicly. Sex changed, it never had emotion attached to it again.

I could never endure being vulnerable to a woman ever again.

I broke.

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Healing: The need to find others who share your experience

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Benne Brown documents the need to find others who have experienced what happened to you.

• “I understand—I’ve been there.”

• “That’s happened to me too.”

• “It’s OK, you’re normal.”

• “I understand what that’s like.”

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My two cents: Yesterday’s post was my way of trying to connect with any guy who has experienced their girlfriend being gangraped.

I am searching for someone who can say “That’s happened to me too.”

Male shame is a taboo subject with male on male rape the only subject addressed.

We men do not talk about shame, bury our shame as deep as possible.

If it is done publicity in front of your peers, it changes life.

I can not find evidence others have experienced this, and more importantly how did they survive.

I guess I am unique , a guy sharing the most humiliating event in his life, honestly.

This is different for me, instead of being the authority and helping others, I am asking for help.

It’s been a long journey to find this trauma hidden underneath a whole childhood of abuse. It feels overwhelming when combined with my childhood.

Is there a guy who has experienced my trauma, please comfort me a little?

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Ptsd on Campus: Rape and Gangrape

Pixabay: geralt

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PTSD by definition is irrational.

It is a survival reaction when no real danger exists.

Life is irrational inside my trauma, experiencing the event.

My girlfriend was gangraped at a frat house.

I saw what it did to her, I experienced the assault through the damage it did to her.

They bragged about what they did on that small campus, gangrape was not enough to fulfill their brutal lust, public ridicule and humiliation was added.

Now, this event and the terror and humiliation I felt are alive like it was yesterday.

That is irrational but the drugs and movie that plays brings enormous sadness.

One gals dreams ended that night.

I witnessed a kind 19 year old girl be destroyed emotionally.

She was never the same.

Life’s value took a big hit for me. Nothing I could accomplish could fix or change what happened to her.

Life is so cruel at times.

Life would never be same for her or me.

Rationally I know this has no power in this moment but it brings a deep deep sadness to my soul.

No,wonder I buried this.

Comments or opinions are welcomed.

How does It make you feel?

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PTSD is a bluff, the real danger is over. Sometimes for decades

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In my life two big traumas dominate all others, childhood and a horrific assault in college.

Neither one caused PTSD until decades later, childhood trauma erupted after a family crisis triggered my panic, the latter exploded during this pandemic and quarantine.

I thought healing was complete as my childhood trauma integrated. Then isolated with this quarantine, an old horrific event surfaced with enormous energy (fear, humiliation, shame and unworthiness).

In the beginning trauma becomes real for us, I was transported back to the event with all the highly charged fight or flight drugs being dumped into my blood stream.

The neurotransmitters are real, the emotions are the same, saved then stored at the time it happened.

For me, a short emotionally charged movie plays, whenever and wherever it decides.

Remember, we can not reach our trauma consciously, it has full autonomy to come and go anytime.

If I interact with these images and judgments, my trauma grows and gets worse.

Staying present, observing this movie is the best I can do.

We all try to manipulate and change the outcome of the event, but the danger is over and the event is now implicit memory.

No real danger exists now, PTSD is a bluff, an over compensation of our defense mechanism to protect from future trauma.

If I try to influence these judgments or the movie it grows. Avoiding, denying and dissociating are jet fuel for PTSD.

Pulling back, focused on my breath, watching the judgments and movie leave my consciousness, is my goal.

I do not control how many times I need accomplish this task for healing to be complete.

Our journey has more well being when we stay in the present moment, whether we be a normal person or a sufferer of complex PTSD.

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Tazzie responds to a post on betrayal trauma

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I follow Tazzie’s blog and find her an inspiration. Oh she lives in Tasmania.

https://echidna.home.blog

“What incredible research and statistics. My partner and I tried to be as honest and open in all areas of our relationship. Yet I feel as being his third long term partner, and one after a relationship with a woman who treated him terribly our honesty and respect unconditional love and not fearing how our words would be taken wrongly allowed us to have a very deep level of love. My partner had had prostate cancer and this impacted his ability at times, he was deeply ashamed of this. Worried how I would react. We were totally open about it. things improved greatly and he shared that with me he never felt in adequate or a need to perform.

I feel so little real information is shared honestly and openly about sex. The crap that is written in magazines and tv movies. Expectations and that it will be wonderful. The shame of body image. Aging, odours, natural odours that have the pheremones being sanatised and destroyed by chemicals.

The pornogrpahy industry showing ridiculous situations fantasies, and all that goes with it. Fictional and not reality but often the only way many see the sexual act displayed. Sigh.

Sex and sexuality, expectation and reality. Not being honest, not communicating about what you like, and how before you marry or commit to a relationship with someone who may not really be on the same page or need as you are in the sex department.

I know that my partner and I were very very lucky but we did work very hard at communicating and not judging. When he became ill with his cancer, he told me it would be OK if I had sex with someone else I told him how touched and appreciated I was by his very kind words. I told him it meant a lot to me but he meant more and I knew at this point in his life if I did that even with his blessing it would hurt him. I also told him that I was quite happy if I needed to to masturbate, something he quite enjoyed being present for. lol he found it fascinating.

I feel sex is one thing but a sexual relationship and a commitment to being a couple goes deeper than sex. Many women find masturbation satisfies them better than sex with their partner. Have they shared it with their partner maybe not.

I am a very open and willing person in relationships within reason and my being in charge of my situation(not sure that makes sense) So if any person I was in a relationship with say went off and had sex with say a paid sex worker or an affair. I would much prefer that it was a safe hygiene where the sex worker was not taken advantage off, but a ‘professional’ than if the person had an affair. Firstly I would want to know why my partner had done this, and what I was not willing to do to satisfythe need. If I was nt willing but the person told me and still needed that to help then it would be to me no different to other therapies that help people cope. It is a business transaction, not emotional. If it was an affair, why? would I want the person still to be in my life if they did not want to be with me, I dont think so. As I age Sex is important but it is such a transient thing dependent on so many things. Both parties feeling like it at the same moment, weariness, children, stress, work, finances, body image, making noise and disturbing neighbours, having different desires (consenting adults ones) comfort levels, education regarding sex. some people seeing it as a necessity but not enjoyable, other loving it. Not feeling satisfied by it. feeling inadequate.

It is really a tragedy that so much is put upon sex in a realtionship. If you are really having such incredible issues in regard to your partners sexual needs (as long as they are in regard to consensual adults) than perhaps love is not what you have but a dream of what you thought it would be.

I believe you have to be honest before committing to live with someone. Be honest with yourself too. If you can not communicate about sex, openly with the person that might be a red flag.

I have never been married as I see it as a institution by the religious organisations to keep woman powerless and certainly in our history as chattels and owned by their spouses. Even now many religious services continue to have obey for the woman to say to the man but not the other way.

Continue reading

PTSD is not a normal memory, it is stored as imminent danger

Pixabay: jarmoluk

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PTSD stores trauma in a special place, different than normal memories.

Regular Memories are easily accessible for viewing, trauma memories are not.

Trauma memories can bring the past back in vivid color with all the emotions, even terror like it just happened.

Normal memories never elicit the fear and terror that implicit memories bring to our nervous system.

Of special note, Trauma activates our fight or flight mechanism, brings a slew of symptoms from avoidance to dissociation to hyper vigilance.

Normal memories can be joyful, pleasant and calming, trauma memories bring imminent danger.

PTSD makes us relive our past abuse until we integrate that trauma memory (implicit memory).

This implicit memory is stored in our right hemisphere, unaccessible consciously.

This is why talking has no impact on healing Implicit memory or PTSD.

PTSD is a dilemma, it does not improve with time, actually PTSD gets worse as time passes.

PTSD is complex, healing very simple, no not easy.

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The human experience

Pixabay: quicksandala

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“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”

Unknown

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How Betrayal Trauma Manifests Itself

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Excerpt from Dr. Kevin Skinner, Clinical Director, LMFT, CSAT-S • Jul 19, 2018

In 2005, I wrote an assessment. This was one of the first assessments, if not the very first, that looked at trauma that stemmed from a spouse’s sexual behaviors. Since that time 10 years ago, thousands of people have completed our assessment.

The results have been stunning—and alarming. After poring through the data, it has become clear to me that thousands of women and men are suffering deeply due to their partner’s sexual behaviors outside of their relationship. Here are some categories, questions and results from our research:

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Fear and Questions of Safety

I feel violated due to my partner’s sexual behaviors.

  • Never (2.87%)
  • Occasionally/rarely (9.86%)
  • About half the time (9.65%)
  • More often than not (25.05%)
  • Always (52.57%

Relive the Event/Experience

When my partner tries to get close to me or we are sexually intimate, I cannot help but question whether my partner is thinking about me or things he/she has done.

  • Never (2.66%)
  • Occasionally/rarely (11.53%)
  • About half the time (15.96%)
  • More often than not (27.05%)
  • Always (42.79%)

Avoidance

I avoid sexual contact with my partner since discovering his/her behavior.

  • Never (11.66%)
  • Occasionally/rarely (24.89%)
  • About half the time (23.32%)
  • More often than not (23.77%)
  • Always (16.37%)

Negative Self Evaluation and Mood

I feel like my partner acts out because I am not good enough.

  • Never (9.89%)
  • Occasionally/rarely (21.61%)
  • About half the time (23.22%)
  • More often than not (23.22%)
  • Always (22.07%)

Emotional Arousal (e.g. Anger, Irritability)

After discovering my partner’s sexual behaviors, I find that I am increasingly angry in response to my partner.

  • Never (2.10%)
  • Occasionally/rarely (17.06%)
  • About half the time (23.13%)
  • More often than not (34.58%)
  • Always (23.13%)

Duration of the Disturbance

How long have you been experiencing the symptoms described in this assessment (e.g. recurrent thoughts, feeling anxious, being afraid)?

  • Less than one month (3.77%)
  • 2-3 months (4.95%)
  • 4-6 months (5.42%)
  • 7-12 months (10.85%)
  • More than one year but less than two (16.51%)
  • More than two years but less than five (25.47%)
  • More than five years (33.02%)

Distress or Impairment in Social, Occupational, or Other Important Areas of Functioning)

It has become difficult for me to fulfill important roles (that of employee, parent, etc.) since discovering my partner’s sexual behaviors.

  • Never (11.53%)
  • Occasionally/rarely (26.82%)
  • About half the time (30.35%)
  • More often than not (21.88%)
  • Always (9.41%)

In reviewing the data above with many other responses, it became clear to me that the PTSD criteria model was a legitimate way to look at responses to infidelity and other sexual behaviors outside the marital bond. Betrayal trauma due to a partner’s sexual behaviors is common, and the symptoms are real. And, If left untreated, this condition can trigger additional mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Full article here

https://www.addorecovery.com/betrayal-trauma/how-betrayal-trauma-manifests-itself

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