Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

My “Ego” is Stealthy, Adolescent and Manipulative!

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Awareness brings my manipulative “Ego” into focus. I believe some of this is hard-wired from my abusive, critical, and violent childhood. My “Ego” has never felt equal to another “Ego” (yours either).

 

The need for approval, for being appreciated, runs deep in my unworthy inner child. That critic, that resentful little voice, tears at my wellbeing.

 

Take this blog,:  I have to admit, I want relevance, approval for my knowledge, my blog.   Yes, having a 100,000 avid followers would stroke my “ego” and brings a feeling of relevance.   I see this as shallow and impermanent but it has power at times.

 

 

Does having more followers equal happiness?   Ask yourself if 90,000 left one day, how would that feel?  The crowd is very fickle and can turn against you.

 

This attachment makes me vulnerable to external forces, a path to suffering and anxiety.

 

Following this unworthy dialogue backwards, it is a perceived need that leads me to suffer. My “Ego” has felt unworthy, not good enough, almost shameful when PTSD is active. My “Ego” feels threatened as an adolescent at times.


When I meditate and examine this dilemma, approval or criticism is external. Also criticism or approval can change outside my influence. My life suffers when I buy into this belief. It is a mirage!


I am aware when my “Ego” feels insulted or damaged. He wants to retaliate against a perceived threat. He thinks retaliation can change my unworthiness.

 

It is such a subconscious, complex mechanism from childhood abuse. Life activates this difficulty from time to time.


I thought healing, emptying my amygdala of all the stored trauma would last forever. Now I know somethings will always be below the surface, capable of bringing that hell back into my life.

 

Knowing approval, respect or criticism has nothing to do with my wellbeing does not quell its massive need to protect itself.


I have learned to be intensely aware of my “Egos” need to be resentful, childish, reactive and destructive.

 

For some of us, a constant vigil of awareness is needed.
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Fear of failure or the thrill of Victory

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Having grown up with a narcissistic caregiver, the fear of failure motivated me.
Actually the fear of failing my father’s demands would be more accurate.

 

Many of the greatest athletes ever were driven by fear of failure.
Success and stardom never diminished that insecurity.

 

Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are perfect examples. One was bombastic, gregarious and happy-go-lucky. The other was shy, boring and very quiet.


One demanded the limelight, lived an excessive life of pleasure with food, alcohol and women.


 

The other had no apparent excess or vices,  playing like a man with average talent. Gehrig was called the iron horse, playing in over 2,000 straight games.  An incredible record that was finally broken by Cal Ripken.

 

One was incorrigible, his parents dropped the Babe off at a catholic orphanage. The other graduated from Columbia university.

 


Babe Ruth was questioned about making more money than the president. He commented he had a better year than the president. Lou Gehrig was a superstar but never felt worthy of that title.

 

A mindful athlete enjoys being in the moment, knowing his self-worth is not connected to external wins and losses.  Not an easy path for most mortals.
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Fear part two: our perception

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The mechanism of fear (fight or flight mechanism) contains no fear inside itself. It is just our defense mechanism, preparing us for a perceived lethal threat.

 

PTSD has temporary access to the switch activating our adrenal stress response (fight or flight). Real danger is never present when my childhood PTSD activates now.

 

Think about that! No real danger can exist when my abuser is dead. He can not hurt me now.

 

The fear created comes from the storyline I add.

 

With my focused breath, I can dissipate the Tunnel Vision, the Auditory Exclusion, the Loss of fine motor skills, the Tai-chi-Psyche, and the increased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

What is left?

 

Our trauma thoughts and emotions standing by themselves.

So much easier to live with and heal when our fight or flight mechanism does not scare us.

 

Our defense mechanism is there to help save our life, not make it a living hell.
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A two part post on Fear, the mechanism first!

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Fight or flight mechanism (Adrenal Stress Response)

Freedom From Fear” by Peyton Quinn.

1. “Tunnel Vision: One’s field of vision narrows and tunnels into the perceived threat.

 

2. Auditory Exclusion: The hearing tends to shut off.

 

3. Loss of fine motor skills: Often only gross motor functions are possible under the adrenal state.

 

4. Tai-chi-Psyche: Everything seems to move in slow motion.

 

5. Increased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.”
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PTSD picks the very, very brave soldiers, also

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“Hacksaw Ridge”

“The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was drafted and ostracized by fellow soldiers for his pacifist stance but went on to earn respect and adoration for his bravery, selflessness and compassion after he risked his life — without firing a shot — in the Battle of Okinawa.”

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Over a 12 hour period, demonstrating superhuman strength and courage, he lowered 75 wounded comrades to safety. Two days later he returned to that Ridge and was wounded.

 


The movie ends with this euphoric life of grandeur, Desmond lauded and decorated with fame and glory. The real story was he suffered from crippling PTSD the rest of his life. He lived as an invalid for years, depending on his wife to take care of him. Nightmares haunted him until death.

 

 

The idea that weak soldiers get PTSD and strong ones do not, is almost abusive in nature.

 

 

This statement pisses me off and violates everything my blog and volunteering stands for.

 

There is a small percentage of people who are resistant to PTSD but that is under 5%. The rest of us are vulnerable. In battle placing a soldier at the front for extended periods increases PTSD significantly. Redeployments have also added to this epidemic of not only PTSD but suicides.

 


Soldiers with PTSD will not seek help if you strengthen that stigma of being weak causes PTSD.   This statement could not be more ignorant or uninformed.

 

Being vulnerable, accepting our weakness are part of the healing journey.
22 suicides a day is the opposite.
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Triggers part two,,2,,

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Let’s be realistic about our expectations. Our healing path will have set backs, frustrating results, intense anxiety mixed with fear.

 

Our trauma (PTSD) has access to our fight or flight mechanism. A trigger thought, a sound or smell ignites our fight or flight mechanism. We are preparing for a lethal threat from the past, but none currently exists.

 

PTSD is a mirage, a stored implicit memory of trauma. The physical changes and drugs our body secretes are real.

 

There is no real danger, just our own defense mechanism. Hopefully, this wisdom helps us resist avoiding, ruminating or freezing (shutting down).

 

In my mindfulness group, if someone is triggered, I trace five slow, intense breaths with them. Eyes open, I sit across from them, tracing the breathing track together.

 

I reassure them of their safety, using slow breaths to dissipate the cortisol and adrenaline. They are instructed to let go of the storyline and absorb the cortisol with their slow exhales.

 

It may take five or more breaths. They realize you can impact PTSD fear and anxiety.

 

It surprises them when things calm a bit. The intense fear and anxiety can be influenced.

 

PTSD loses some power each time we focus, let go and breathe deeply.

 

Our fearful thoughts and judgments soften and fade.


Each time we let the storyline go, we inch closer to wellbeing.

 


This is when PTSD is at its strongest, triggering the fight or flight mechanism. We fear triggers so much we avoid people and situations that ignite our trauma.

 


This is also the time when PTSD is at its most vulnerable.

 

If you can entertain the thought that PTSD is a bluff, that no real power or danger is present, healing is possible.

 


If we can stay present, focused, PTSD loses power.

 

 

You will discover no real danger exists inside our defense mechanism.

 

 

With practice we can learn to accept the anxious, scary mechanism as normal.

 

 

My fight or flight mechanism does not fire around my triggers anymore.

 


You can also integrate your trauma and calm your nervous system!

Continue reading

My “Ego” is UPSET WITH YOU !!!!!!!

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This is part of the journey, exploring our inner world. We sit quietly, focusing on the breath, letting thoughts fade.

 

 

The “Ego” fades as our cognitive hemisphere (left side) quiets, then we enter our creative (egoless) right hemisphere.

 

 

We can observe our “Ego” from a distance, see it’s desire for approval, feel its anxiety dealing with criticism from another “Ego”.

 

 


After a while we can separate our “Ego” while we are cognitively engaged. We observe the one who thinks and judges.

 


The other day someone criticized a comment I made online about trauma. How dare them, this voice shouted from inside.

 

 

My “Ego” was insulted, angry, pissed as hell, fuming.

 

 


I took a few breaths and let go.

 


Observing from a distance, I discovered my “Ego” felt wounded and wanted revenge.

 

 

A choice had arrived. Do I follow my “Ego” and attack or do I go below the “Ego” and observe.

 

 


I smiled then laughed out loud, my “Ego” was more an appendage, like an arm or leg, not a vital organ.

 

 

Who cares if my “Ego” is pissed, not me.

 

 


I was not angry but amused, clear-headed and relaxed.

 

 


I had become familiar with my “Ego’s” patterns, desires and needs.

 

 

This male “Ego” was highly competitive, prone to action when criticized. He acted like an adolescent boy when perturbed.

 

 

Know your “Ego’s” desires, ambitions, weaknesses, and manipulative ways
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