Posts Tagged ‘AWARENESS’

Childhood trauma alters our brain, our behavior, our relationship with trust

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Childhood abuse changes the development of the young mind.

Instead of normal caregiver attachments and supportive growth, an abused child has to focus on survival.

My adolescent brain feared my father, dominated my thoughts exclusively. Every action or situation throughout my childhood, I tried to not piss off my father.

While regular life was a blur, my mind focused entirely on the lethal threat my dad posed for my young, damaged ego.

When PTSD erupted at 55, my mind gave all focus to these intrusive thoughts. PTSD was more 24/7 than a trigger here and another tomorrow.

I guess it became a habit from my earliest memories.

Life seems to stop for me, trauma takes over, having only trauma thoughts in my consciousness, minute by minute.

How does PTSD enter your consciousness?

Is it there in the background, is it dormant then explodes or does it dominate your existence? Please share.

I know my friends think my total absorption into trauma is not normal.

People who have not suffered serious PTSD have no clue what terror this mental disorder causes.

How does PTSD impact your thoughts and minute by minute existence?

My childhood trauma dominated thought before it was integrated.

I knew my father well, had a whole childhood to understand his methods.

After my childhood was integrated, I thought healing was complete.

Last week a new trauma appeared hidden by my childhood trauma.

This new trauma did not involve my father and happened when I was 19.

This trauma is different than my dads abuse, involves a woman, betrayal and public humiliation in front of my peers.

Our childhood abuse renders us vulnerable to others abuse.

We have a difficult time with trust, relationships and have no idea how to pick a mate we can trust.

Love is a word we have no concept what it is.

When we are betrayed, it reinforces our childhood abuse, our perceived unworthiness. Betrayal arrives like emotional death, it destroys what little trust we could muster.

Our mates have no idea the extreme damage their behavior can cause us. Some do not care and for us a tragic selection we will pay a heavy toll.

My friends see my life and behavior through their normal childhood eyes.

They have no clue the atrocities I have endured and the fear that I live with or they would never talk or act like they do.

I have lost friends because of the harshness and insensitivity of their words. That is not past tense, I lost a dear friend this week because of their actions towards me.

They will never know how deeply they harm us.

At 68 my abuse still takes a toll.

They do damage as they condescend and belittle my PTSD.

Have you ever caused someone to get PTSD, or traumatized a mate.

Better check your behavior to your PTSD friends if you care for them.

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Traumatic Stress Disorder Fact Sheet

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From Sidran Institute: Traumatic Stress Education and Advocacy

Facts at a Glance

▪ An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

▪ An estimated 5 percent of Americans—more than 13 million people—have PTSD at any given time.

▪ Approximately 8.7 percent of all adults—1 of 13 people in this country—will develop PTSD during their lifetime.

▪ About 3.6% of adults in the United States suffer from PTSD during the course of a year.

▪ An estimated 1 out of 9 women will get PTSD at some time in their lives. Women are about twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.

Extreme Trauma and PTSD

▪ PTSD may develop following exposure to extreme trauma.

▪ Extreme trauma is a terrifying event or ordeal that includes actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence

▪ Exposure includes directly experienced or witnessing the trauma, learning about a close family or friend experiencing a violent or accidental event, or has experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of a traumatic event

The stress caused by trauma can affect all aspects of a person’s life including mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

My two cents: The other kind of PTSD not listed, is Complex PTSD.

Complex PTSD develops because of repeated traumas over a long period of time.

An entire childhood of abuse is more complex then a simple event.

For added harm, the mind is not develop when the abuse takes place.

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PTSD Distorts time

Harrison Ford may have gotten on the marquee ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ but the snake wranglers helped get him in and out of the Well of Souls safely. (Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM)

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People do not understand the mechanism of trauma, it’s abilty to bring a PTSD implicit memory back to life.

Sometimes a decades old memory can explode.

It feels like it just happened, strong emotions flow from our bodies.

Our fight or flight mechanism is likely activated.

Cortisol and adrenaline are secreted, bp, respiration and heart rate spike. Blood coagulants and opioids enter our system, preparing us for a lethal threat.

Tunnel vision, loss of fine motor skills and the inability to think clearly increase our fear and anxiety.

Fight, flight or freeze are the usual choices we face in the present moment. The cortisol and adrenaline are secreted and felt in present time.

For our adrenal stress mechanism to fire, we sense imminent danger.

I have had friends laugh at me when a trigger exploded. We do not control what our PTSD erupts over.

It happens without our permission, when it decides and where.

If they only knew, how pissed off that made me.

I digress.

Cognitively, I understood my triggers were not dangerous however my nervous system thought it spotted a lethal threat.

I thought the threat was about my ego being extinguished.

Our PTSD fear resembles the scariest thing we dread. “In Raiders of the Lost Ark” it was a floor full of snakes.

Expect people to say ignorant, hurtful things at times to you. They can not fathom the degree of suffering and terror that is involved.

My sister told me to just get over it. My other brothers and sisters deny my reality entirely. Lots of dysfunctional things happening within an abusive family.

The healing path can be lonely at times with us being criticized by family and friends.

These are challenges that few realize or talk about.

On my path, I had to ignore the noise of others on top of dealing with the constant intrusive thoughts.

No way I could explain the fear and anxiety, PTSD brings to our being.

Words are useless, experiencing a nervous system turned upside down, erupting 15 times a day, can not be known with a description.

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Personal stuff about my abuse and the impact

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Throughout our childhood we had to deal with abuse along with being crammed into dense crowds called schools for years.

Life always seemed to be going so fast, everything I did, was calculated on how my dad would react. No matter if it was unpopular with my peers, pleasing my father was the most important thing in the world.

My life depended on it. He would beat me until he got to tired wielding that specially made paddle. I feared he would kill me one day.

My childhood is a blur to me, but one image explains the situation. Once a week we would have Lima beans for dinner. I could not eat them, every Thursday I puked those Lima beans, then my dad beat me.

I think this was to let me know, he did not need a reason to hurt me.

My dad’s desires became my desires as a survival strategy. Both my parents told me what I was going to be, a professional baseball player.

Being the first born, that violent, alcohic narcissist could concentrate all his focus on me. He was 17 when I was born, ending his high school career. My mom was younger.

You could ask me at 68, what I wanted to be and no answer arrives.

My father occupied my life, took over as much as he could control.

My attachments to caregivers was abusive and dysfunctional.

Next, College was overwhelming, I did not know how to live without that tyrant in the house. Unfortunately, his abused lived inside me for decades.

I was like an animal held in a cage for years, then liberated from the physical containment but haunted by the emotional prison.

My first attachment to a girl, ended with her drunk one night, used by a group at a fraternity house.

At 19, naive, confused and vulnerable, this event changed my life. It became a public event when the guys were bragging about this on that tiny campus.

Trust never again would be unconditional.

The rest of my life, when a girlfriend or a wife would go out at night, my nervous system would fire and that hopeless, helpless feeling would bring suffering.

The need to protect myself prevented me from trust at a certain level.

Love is something I felt once, in college until it was destroyed in a humiliating way.

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Stuck Parts: Parts that Imitate who hurt you

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From Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation:

Usually their are parts of the personality that hold anger and rage that are unacceptable or very frightening to other parts.

Some may resemble people from the past who were abusing.

These parts shame, threaten, or punish other parts inside, or they may direct their anger to other people in the outside world.

Although the behavior of these parts can be quite frightening or shameful, as well as unacceptable, it is important for you to understand that these parts have good reason to exist and are representations, and thus not the same as the people who hurt you.

They originally developed to protect you by containing many distressful experiences of anger, helplessness, and sometimes guilt or shame.

Furthermore, their function often is to prevent other parts behaving in a way that, in the past, evoked fear or shame.

Over time it is important to appreciate why they exist, even though their “methods: that is, their behavior and attitudes, may not be acceptable.

Your fear and shame about me parts must be overcome in order for you to heal.

These parts like all parts of yourself, need to become part of an internal “team” that collaborate and represent you as the whole person and your own history.

And once they do so, you will be surprised at what tremendous help they will be to you.

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The Truth about Us All

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From Bite Sized Happiness

“We should all walk around with a sign posted on our foreheads that reads:

“Please don’t take anything I say or do personally.

I’m as self-oriented as you are.

Everything I say and do is consciously or unconsciously aimed at pleasing me, even when it seems like I’m trying to please you.”

Refreshing.

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My two cents: My daughter believes altruism does not exist in humans.

We always have our selfish motives.

For me, loving kindness exists to alleviate the suffering of others.

I do agree humans are not very altruistic as a whole.

Any thoughts?

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Stuck parts from childhood trauma

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From Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation:

People with dissociative disorder often have related problems of time distortions.

They experience time passing by much too slow or fast; perhaps more time has passed than they thought, or an hour seems like an entire day.

Some parts of the personality are often quite confused about where they are in space and time, believing they are still in the past.

When people with a dissociative disorder are alienated from their body, they may be insensitive to physical pain or lack sensation in parts of their body.

Some people report that they do not always always properly register heat and cold, cannot feel whether they are hungry or tired, or feel numb in their body.

Again, it is typically the case other parts of the self do feel the physical pain., the hunger, or other bodily sensations.

There are many different symptoms of depersonalization, but in every case it seems to be a way of avoidance or attempting to regulate overwhelming feelings or experiences.

Depersonalization symptoms may be temporary or chronic.

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My two cents: If you suffer from childhood abuse, stuck parts complicate recovery.

For me, anger was stuck in my childhood.

Having a violent narcissist as a father, prohibited me from ever expressing anger in his presence.

Do you have stuck parts?

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I have absorbed the body trauma meditating yesterday

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Yesterday, I meditated five hours total in one hour increments. A past Trauma popped up with all its emotional terror, being trapped inside my body.

Trauma is stored at the time it occurs and with the ability at that age. My 19 year old self is much different than this 68 year old self.

The power, the intensity, the sheer anger and hurt shocked me.

All my skills had not stopped this trauma from taking over for a week.

Yesterday during my meditative sets, I brought the event to the surface, then observed all the fear, shame, anger and confusion without reaction.

I learned this as titration, you bring your trauma up for a couple minutes of thought, then meditate. The goal is to settle the nervous system back to normal.

Yes, I triggered myself, so I could integrate the fear. It is the road less travelled for sure.

That’s how healing happened originally. Triggers always caused me to avoid until I realized healing goes directly through the center of our fear (trauma).

The goal is not to squash the danger, it is to do nothing, accept and surrender from a distance.

This process integrates the stored trauma from the body and amygdala.

It is a very simple process, however it takes a strong ability to focus and courage to face our fears.

As long as our trauma has these strong negative emotions to reinforce its storyline, we lose.

For a couple of days, I was a victim, experiencing the tragedy in its full power.

It takes me a while for the mind to grapple with the demon.

Today, my system has absorbed most of the stored trauma, settled closer to my normal existence. I have separation of my 19 year old ego and my 68 year old ego again.

I forgot the intensity, the confusion and the outright terror PTSD wields when aroused. It’s been five years since anything like this has happened.

What seemed overwhelming last week, has shrunk to very unpleasant.

Settling the nervous system makes PTSD much easier to handle.

Thoughts?

Writing a few post with me suffering with PTSD, was difficult sharing the last couple of days. I knew everyone would be watching to see how I would handle it.

Do I just talk the talk or walk the walk. I have an added responsibility to not feel sorry for myself or be a victim. That actually adds to my motivation to never give in, never give up.

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True Love from Bite Sized Happiness

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A little girl was suffering from a serious disease.

Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 7 year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had the antibodies to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother and asked him if he’d be willing to give his blood to his sister.

He hesitated for only a moment, took a deep breath and said, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.”

As the transfusion progressed, lying next to his sister, he smiled as he saw the color returning to her cheeks.

Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “

Will I start to die right away?”

True love.

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” The Real You” from Bite Size Happiness

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“When you’re talking to yourself, have you ever wondered which voice is the real you: the one talking or the one listening?

Pay attention, the real you is compassionate and inclusive.

The false one compares, criticizes and complains.

Listen to the real one. It’s the voice of love. “

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