Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

The Chains of Judgment (Thought)

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My fathers narcissistic mind believed criticism was the way to build the best baseball player. He envisioned a professional baseball player (son) would bring him notoriety and status.

How could I not have a critical judgment about myself, my unworthiness. Like other abused kids, we believed we were damaged at our core. I believed I was not worthy to live during my darkest PTSD days.

Now, all those judgments have been let go, I may be flawed but unworthy has left the building.

My “Ego” felt unworthy, damaged, shamed from its earliest memory. My only touch as a child was pain and violence.

All that has changed, healing uncovered my worthiness.

We all are perfect as our true self, our bodies and “Ego” are flawed. We all age, whither and die.

I have found we all share this journey together, not in competition.

I believe abused kids grow up to repeat their abuse or be the opposite of their abuser.

We are not happy go lucky, feeling things will work out, they did not work out in our childhood.

I am the opposite of my father by choice.

Life is a journey, I now enjoy my days.

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Being our own Detective

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My healing contained a plethora of detective work.

Triggers can manifest in the most harmless places but the core of our issues are much deeper under the surface.

It takes detective skills to pick up the mind and body subtleties.

We must notice what causes our fears to improve.

We must sense if our healing effort is working. Are we improving?

We must discover our nervous system, our body sensations, and our fears intimately, organically, not cognitively.

We search our inner world, the place where healing takes place and happiness originates.

We become aware of our body sensations, our reactions to thought and emotion, noticing where they are stored inside our body.

Listen intently, sense intimately even the smallest of body sensations. Calm yourself and feel!

Discover the internal you and let the external stimulii lose power for a while.

Can you tolerate being curious when Worry, stress or fear arrives?

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Caring for someone with PTSD can sometimes lead to secondary trauma.

 

Photo by Grace Ciszkowski

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National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine

Caring for someone with PTSD can sometimes lead to secondary trauma.

And researchers at the University of Utah wondered just how bad that secondary trauma could be.

While completing her graduate studies, Catherine Caska Wallace, PhD and her research team studied two groups of male veterans, along with their female partners. In 32 couples, the veterans suffered from PTSD, and in the control group of 33 couples, PTSD wasn’t a factor.

The veterans in both groups had been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan at least once in the past decade.

After the researchers interviewed the couples to measure PTSD, depression, marital satisfaction, and areas of disagreement, they asked the couples to undergo a brief experiment.

Researchers asked each couple to have a conversation about a current issue on which they strongly disagreed.

Before and after the conversation, researchers took physiological measurements from both partners, including blood pressure and heart rate.

Some of their findings probably weren’t surprising. Both veterans and partners in the PTSD group reported significantly higher emotional stress, measured through disaffection and disharmony. They also reported problems with frequent and intense emotional conflict.

But when they looked at the physiological measurements, researchers found something particularly interesting.

While the couples in the PTSD group showed elevated blood pressure during the conversation relative to controls, the partners of the veterans in particular showed the highest blood pressure – even compared to the veterans themselves.

It’s important to note that this study didn’t use random assignment when selecting its sample, so there’s a limit to how much we can generalize its results.

Although preliminary, this research suggests that PTSD can have far reaching and significant physiological impact even among people who don’t suffer from it.

Of course, the blood pressure finding stood alone in this study. I’d like to see more research that examines other physiological and mental factors with the partners of post-traumatic stress sufferers.

If PTSD really carries significant health risks for the partners of veterans, more attention should be paid to them in future research.”

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When things flare up, focus and awareness are key

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We must limit the depth we fall when PTSD, anxiety or depression grabs us.

Sometimes we need to play defense, using focus and awareness.

I refuse to make any decisions when PTSD flares. My thoughts can be irrational, highly emotional and extremely negative.

A good amount of my time is spent letting go of the negative thoughts.

Awareness helps us steer attention away from thought and to the present moment.

Another helpful activity is exercise, strenuous if you are capable.

Keep yourself busy and focused for a day or two until things settle down.

Know that the crisis will pass and things will return to what your normal has been.

If we can let go of our thoughts, we limit the depth of depression, anxiety and PTSD.

Healing is cultivated better when we keep our minds calm and focused.

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Updated: Visualize your “Ego” as a ventriloquist Dummy

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Think of how our mind is constructed. One of the most complex organs ever found, capable of tremendous achievement or extreme suffering.

 

One of the parts we invent has no origin or real existence. Yes, it is the “Ego”. Search every part of your mind and an ego can not be found.

 

Yes, we invent this “Ego” for identity, I, me, mine! Identity is its purpose. Nothing more.

 

Think of your “Ego” as a ventriloquist dummy. We give that damn puppet power and life, not command of our being.

 

That dummy runs a good part of our life unfortunately.

 

The Dummy is the one who feels resentment, judges constantly, and feels unworthy. The “Ego” is never equal to another “Ego”. He/She judges itself superior or inferior to all “Ego’s” it encounters.

 

Here in lies the rub, we never feel complete when the “Ego” is in control.

 

That means happiness is impossible.

 

One day I was having a conversation with a friend and he said something upsetting. My response to him was, my “Ego” is pissed at you.

 

Finally I had isolated my “Ego’s” needs and emotion in a real encounter. I could see “I” disagreed with my “Ego”. I had a choice for the first time.

 

Just because my “Ego” was pissed meant nothing unless I agreed.

 

Our “Ego” covets total control. This leads to suffering and loss.

 

Is your dummy controlling your life?

 

The “Ego” is dormant during meditation, also the time when our happy emotions, contained in the left prefrontal cortex light up.
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Surrender: a great tool for healing, wellbeing (Happiness)

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Healing was incremental for me, each plateau reached through concerted action over months. Nothing came easy or quick.


Complex PTSD from a childhood does not heal miraculously, quickly or easily. The mind was not fully developed when trauma entered its world. Hard to tell what is normal and what is the aftermath of abuse.


Aerobic exercise, therapy, reading, meditating, practicing acceptance, applying mindfulness and persistence each brought benefits for me. Sometimes all hope seemed lost but something inside refused to give up.


This trait is very important. Lots of setbacks, even perceived losses on this journey. That inner guide can be our savior in our low moments.


Meditating and mindfulness carved out a small secure space for me to survive. This space grew incrementally as I healed.


It was like climbing a ladder, each successive rung revealed more of the horizon, more of the path.


Acceptance was difficult, releasing the shame and guilt reached a sticking point. My fear, worry and confusion kept me paralyzed for months.


I still had resistance, actually I was terrified, enforced with cortisol by my fight or flight mechanism exploding. The drugs are real, the storyline is the mirage.


Being vulnerable, that is surrendering completely in the face of my trauma, broke the traffic jam. It was scary not to resist, to be so vulnerable, so defenseless.


With arms outstretched, totally open, I pictured my heart as a butterfly net.


I had found the next step, being vulnerable, surrendering to my fears.

 

This exposed my fears so I could observe them.


Try surrendering the next time you meditate.
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Another look at Worry


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Worry seems to have its own engine, a way of entering our consciousness without an invitation. It seems to be one of the function of our mind, everyone has worried, some incessantly.


When we worry the mind is engaged cognitively in the past and future, it’s speed increases. Awareness of reality, of this present moment, disappears when the mind speeds up.


Fear enters our consciousness with the possible consequences of our worry. Mental confusion makes it difficult to move, to take action, to let go of this created problem (Worry).

 

Worry seems to be a battle between the what if’s in life and living freely.  Worry in a way is a prediction of future doom created inside our doubts and fears.

 

So for me, my first task when confronting worry, is to slow my mind. I slow my breath, try to slow my heart and focus intently below the thoughts and emotions.

 

I know when my mind is racing, trouble is coming.


We always have our practice to slow us down and bring us back to now.


Worry does not exist with a mind that is present, empty and focused on the senses.

 

Worry will still visit but the stay will be shorter.
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