Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

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

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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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Meditation is an Auger, headed directly for our trauma

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Therapists use the word integration to describe bringing a past trauma into the present moment.

How do we accomplish this task?

Meditation helped me stay present when my triggers exploded, avoidance and hypervigilance lost power.

PTSD causes many to avoid their triggers, Isolate from the perception of imminent danger.

Meditation takes a different direction.

Meditation is an auger, whatever we have stored containing fear, anxiety, abuse or betrayal is coming up.

Instead of avoiding, we sit alone, quietly focusing on the breath, observing every small sensation intently.

Meditation is an inner exploration, an auger headed directly at our PTSD, those deep dark areas in the mind we fear.

If you do not want to face your fears, give up meditating or do not start.

For me, Meditation was extremely violent at times.

Trauma left in a rage, emotional unrest and anger jolted my being.

Then it was over the next day.

After the first couple of times I relaxed and enjoyed Traumas drama leaving.

Celebrate when you kick traumas ass.

It is a good day.

People I have mentored have some common traits.

They are sincere, able to take action, resilient and even the gals, remind me of warriors. If they ever feel sorry for themselves, it is a brief moment that fades quickly.

I have witnessed people facing enormous suffering and still take action.

Takes courage and daily action.

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Who am I?……Who are You?

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A month ago an old trauma entered my consciousness stealthily, quietly, but once detected it had enormous power and fear.

I went from believing I was an expert on handling PTSD, to acting like a novice without direction or skills.

Knowing better than to handle my trauma, I dissociated for hours trying to change the outcome, save my Ego from being humiliated.

For a month, all my skills bounced off this new trauma.

Hard lesson: No matter how powerful I develop my skills, identifying with my Ego and entertaining trauma thoughts always wins easily.

My skills were worthless when I refused to let go.

We need to carve out a small space where we are present, empty of thought.

I had to change the narrative that was stored with this last trauma. It was distorted by my Ego.

Once my Ego let go of betrayal, the movie playing in my head over and over stopped.

My male ego felt invisible, I surmised my Egos desire were those belonging to my core, my soul.

In fact it was an image created for identity (Ego), that took control of my being through PTSD’s mechanisms.

When I dropped the concept of betrayal, my male Ego emerged as the main culprit in my suffering.

Awareness has uncovered others ways my male Ego deals with life.

He has become more rigid and stealthy as he has aged.

Remember our Ego feels like the real Marty, Sandy, Mike etc.

Ask someone who they are?

Watch how the Ego describes itself, what does it value most?

I need to explore the influence my Ego has in my life after this last episode.

Who are you?

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A member of my mindfulness group schools me on my male Ego

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One of the female members of my mindfulness group, schooled me on my male Ego’s bias.

A pointed text, asks me why I was reacting so deeply, feeling betrayed, because of something that happened to another person (girlfriend). Never thought of this event in that way.

She said I was only going to heal by taking ownership over my own reactions, taking responsibility for letting the past impact today. Wow, that should of been my line.

As a male at 20, I did not realize how my judgments probably damaged my girlfriend more.

I partially blamed her for being gangraped. My hurt blinded me, seems a lame excuse for a seasoned meditator looking back, now.

We as males were indoctrinated that our significant others behavior is a reflection on ourselves, something we need to control.

I grew up without a functional attachment to either parent, this void placed enormous weight on my first girlfriends role, unbelievable unfair, I see now.

It is the opposite of everything meditation/mindfulness taught me.

The external can not touch or harm our core. Who am I can not be deminished by anything external. I lost sight of this.

We all have blind spots, this was mine.

Feeling betrayed was my mistake. I teach non judgment, feeling betrayed is a huge, inaccurate judgment.

I paid a heavy price for adopting this victim role.

For me, a students wisdom has shined a light forward.

I have always found, healing happens in a state of humility and vulnerability.

Thank you Marisia.

Please share your insight on the male Ego and women?

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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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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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Updated: PTSD: Can we ever be happy?

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Being abused in childhood, impacted my mind permanently. I am not saying this abuse rules my mind but it will at least lay dormant until I die.

 

Happiness was impossible, imminent danger lived inside my home and I was his only target.

 

Survival and shame dominated my thoughts, helped formulate my unworthy self image and destroyed my nervous system.

 

I always knew something was wrong, like I was flawed, unworthy, not like other people.

 

Then one day in my 50’s a family crisis ignited my childhood trauma. It was alive, bringing that terrifying jolt to my solar plexus, cortisol and adrenaline, PTSD’s scare drugs.

 

Took me 6 years to heal or improve, for the suffering to curtail and life to have a little lightness, some contentment.

 

When I improved or healed, the suffering dissipated, the intrusive thoughts lost power without attention.

 

For 60 years I enjoyed momentary joy from accomplishments, however happiness was a stranger.

 

To heal or improve, I had dedicated five hours a day to meditating and healing.

 

On this journey, while entering into mundane tasks, (a mindful practice) I found happy moments.

 

Moments free of any deadline or time apparatus, where thought had curtailed, where things unfolded naturally.

 

These moments calmed my being beyond any prior feeling.

 

Looking at nature one day, I saw perfection, was it out of body or was I just one with it?

 

I believe if I can find some happiness, then you can also.

 

It is not easy, it takes courage and daily action.

 

Thoughts?

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