Posts Tagged ‘C-PTSD’

15 percent of female undergraduates at UT have been raped, survey says

The University of Texas at Austin campus (2016 File Photo/The New York Times)

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AUSTIN — Fifteen percent of undergraduate female students surveyed at the University of Texas at Austin said they’ve been raped, according to a statewide study that the UT system will soon release.

“The first injustice committed in every assault or inappropriate behavior is the act itself, but the second injustice is often the silence of the community surrounding the survivor,” UT-Austin President Gregory L. Fenves told The Dallas Morning News. “We must not be silent anymore, and we must not be afraid to face the very real problems that exist at our university and in society in general.”

Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, broke the news of the forthcoming survey Thursday morning when she mentioned the 15 percent figure during debate on a bill she has written to penalize college staff and some students who fail to report incidents of sexual assault on campus. The bill — along with four other campus rape bills debated this week — was filed after years of scandals at Baylor University.

“Fifteen percent of women who go to their university are raped. Raped. That’s unacceptable,” Huffman said. “It’s beyond troubling. It’s shocking.

“It’s unacceptable and it has to stop.”

Multiple bills to fight campus rape have been filed by Republicans and Democrats as lawmakers acknowledge that the state needs to address scandals like the one at Baylor University.

The UT system is expected to release the survey’s results in the coming weeks, UT-Austin officials confirmed.

The study was comprehensive, surveying 28,000 students during the 2015 academic year at 13 UT academic and health campuses. A project of the School of Social Work’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, this survey is just the first round. A second one will be repeated in two years, the system said when it announced in 2015 that it would be undertaking “the nation’s most comprehensive study on sexual assaults ever conducted in higher education.”

System officials did not release more comprehensive data that would help to put the figure Huffman cited into context. That information will be released when the entire systemwide study comes out within the next 10 days, they said.

But UT-Austin officials confirmed the veracity of the number, saying 15 percent of the female undergraduate students they surveyed said they were “raped, either through force, threat of force, incapacitation or other forms of coercion such as lies and verbal pressure.”

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My Rule for Childhood PTSD

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Never compare, never rank, never feel sorry for yourself.

Dissociation is my Achilles heel. I bargain, deny, and wander into the “What if’s” of my trauma.

If I ruminate suffering ensues.

It is simple, if I stay present life is good, if I ruminate life sucks.

A layman’s response to PTSD.

If you do one thing, stay present.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My year on Ptsd discussion board

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Success will take many trials with loss before we succeed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

I do not get rape, gangrape as a male.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The process like meditation is repetitive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

No real danger existed in any of my triggers.

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

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

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

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A closed circuit showing of a past horrific event.

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

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

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

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Looking back, assessing the arduous journey

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For some of us abuse started around five, way before a little mind had developed. I did not have the skills to even discern it was abuse. Criticism replaced encouragement, achievement was expected not rewarded.

I thought everyone was raised like me. Perfection was demanded of all kids and met with harsh physical punishment when it was not attained.

Fear, anxiety and a stomach that ached and was prone to vomiting often followed me. Never figured out, it was my abuse that was the culprit. My nervous system was in survival mode quite often.

Everyday life had real danger, verbal threats, physical harm and suffering.

I was shocked to find other kids had a much different experience.

They could not relate to me and I sure as hell had no idea what love, support and kindness looked like. I did not fit in at home or school.

Looking back, it seemed I needed to suffer a tremendous amount in my life before death would grace my door.

One of the biggest joys of my life was healing (improving) the first time.

For two years life was free of intense anxiety and suffering.

At 68, I see I fought a lifetime to earn two short years. But those two years meant everything to me, a magnificent triumph.

Now another trauma has returned and upset the delicate balance between suffering and being free.

In spite of my plight, I meditate and practice as hard as ever.

For my life, I had to find some peace of mind, some happiness in my ability to endure my suffering and not slack off my effort.

That was happiness for me.

Happiness is much different for me than normal kids.

I have gratitude because I know other kids had it much worse than me.

Self pity is something I loathe and rarely practice.

This recent trauma has clarified why I am like I am.

It was not easy to sit and accept everything about myself.

How about your journey and challenges?

Never give up, never give in.

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The Ego versus Self

 

Pixabay: Janbaby

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From Meditation for the Love of It:

 

“One way you know you are experiencing the ego and not the Self is that the ego (ahamkara in Sanskrit) always experiences itself in comparison to others.

 

The ego never feels fully equal to others: it sees others as higher or lower, as better or worse, as friendly or potentially hostile.

 

The Self, on the other hand, just is. 

 

The Self sees everything and everyone as equal to itself.

 

The ego bears the same relationship to the Self as does a lightbulb to the electrical current coursing through it.

 

The bulb looks as if it gives light independently, but in fact it doesn’t.

 

It is just a container.

 

The true source of illumination is the electrical current that runs through the bulb.”

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It takes a while for us to understand PTSD is the enemy and there is an all out war to be waged.

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This is my mindset, I see some things in black and white, different than others. Not right or wrong just different.

Chronic pain and especially childhood PTSD were my enemy.

In my chronic pain group of 15, I was the only one who did not fear his pain. My dad had beat me daily for a whole childhood, pain was a constant companion.

Chronic pain was different from the acute pain he so regularly delivered. Being familiar with pain lessens it’s sting.

With PTSD the fear is reinforced with cortisol and adrenaline, giving the trauma memory real time power, so it seems.

Trauma is stored in a life threatening environment with parts of our mind shut down. The memory is never clear and our triggers manifest in the strangest ways.

PTSD stole my life, naturally I knew this mental disorder was my enemy.

As with sports, I learned everything about him. What powered him, symptoms, what lessens his power and I searched for his weakness.

That is how an athlete competes, I used my strengths, brought chronic pain out to battle. Hiking was the battlefield I chose to attack my chronic pain on.

With PTSD it was the firing of my fight or flight mechanism, that became the battlefield.

Exploring my triggers everyday, I found its weakness.

When our fight or flight mechanism fires, PTSD is at its apex of power.

Ironically PTSD was at its most vulnerable.

This was the battle field I chose.

Withstanding my adrenal stress mechanism firing, staying present, drained PTSD of its power.

Understand depression, chronic pain or PTSD is the enemy, meeting on the battlefield of your choice is how we improve.

Healing is not pleasant or anxiety free.

My healing was emotionally violent inside as evil left my organism.

This is ugly business but it is the path out of suffering.

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Trauma froze my mind at times

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When my mind was frozen from multiple eruptions of my fight or flight mechanism, life seemed out of control, suffering was a daily companion.

An enormous pull, one reinforced by the sensing of imminent danger, powered by secretions of cortisol and adrenaline, supported by a biased storyline, draws us toward avoiding.

At first as a new chronic pain sufferer and when PTSD erupted at 55, I isolated from the crowd and felt damaged.

It takes a while for us to understand the enemy (challenge) and there is an all out war to be waged.

I love that image of waging war with Trauma. It sure felt like a war, I sure as hell felt mortally wounded mentally.

Waging war with trauma meant surrendering to its power while sitting quietly, focused while observing all the body sensations.

A different war, where we lay prone, vulnerable, exploring our traumas without judgment.

The road less traveled of course.

Part of our battle plan: Always incorporate your strengths in every endeavor you undertake. I was a former pro athlete, a typical gym rat, an athletic grinder.

My ability to make my body take action in the face of danger or pain was a great asset, a vehicle used to accelerate healing.

The ability to hike uphill to exhaustion, showered me with enormous reward. Even though my mind had betrayed me, frozen and terrified, I could push my body through pain and fear like a locomotive.

What a contrast to shaking uncontrollably, filled with cortisol, avoiding triggers, suffering, compared to exhilaration and accomplishment.

Whether it was the prison of chronic pain or Complex PTSD’s stress hormones (cortisol, Norepinephrine and adrenaline) the skill to take action, especially strenuous aerobic exercise was invaluable.

You do not have to be coordinated or athletic, all you need is the will to push your body strenuously.

Chronic pain and PTSD are usually isolating and depressing ways of life.

Adopt a sedentary lifestyle and you will suffer.

The ability to take daily action is the one trait I see shared by those who improve that I mentor.

Incorporate Strenuous aerobic exercise three times a week.

Our toxins and poisons are flushed from our system during strenuous aerobic exercise.

Cortisol is dissipated calming our nervous system. We are mechanically eating up cortisol, giving us a much needed break.

We need wins over PTSD when it is at its apex of power.

Use your body to energize your mind.

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Buddhism has no word for emotion

Pixabay: Hassanassi

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Matthew Ricard: excerpt from “Happiness”

 


Despite their rich terminology for describing a wide range of mental events, the traditional languages of Buddhism have no word for emotion as such.

 


That may be because according to Buddhism all types of mental activity, including rational thought, are associated with some kind of feeling, be it one of pleasure, pain, or indifference.

 

And most affective states, such as love and hatred, arise together with discursive thought.

 

Rather than distinguishing between emotions and thoughts, Buddhism is more concerned with understanding which types of mental activity are conducive to one’s own and others’ well-being, and which are harmful, especially in the long run.

 

 


This is actually quite consistent with what cognitive science tells us about the brain and emotion.

 

 

Every region in the brain that has been identified with some aspect of emotion has also been identified with aspects of cognition.

 

 


There are no “emotion centers” in the brain.

 

 


The neuronal circuits that support emotions are completely intertwined with those that support cognition.

 


This anatomical arrangement is consistent with the Buddhist view that these processes cannot be separated: emotions appear in a context of action and thought, and almost never in isolation from the other aspects of our experience.

 

 

It should be noted that this runs counter to Freudian theory, which holds that powerful feelings of anger or jealousy, for instance, can arise without any particular cognitive or conceptual content.”

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