Daily Journal – As outspoken as I am why is it so hard to just say NO

3/12/2013 7:00 am

Again, I haven’t journaled since Saturday morning but I’ve learned two valuable lessons.  First I’m realizing there is only a short window of time where I am able to capture what is going on with me otherwise it would just feel like a book report.

Secondly I am becoming increasingly aware of just how strong that caretaker within me is.  I know this started as a child because my brother is 5 years younger than me but I was also aware early on that I would be a voice for the voiceless.  Even in elementary school  I had no problem raising my hand if I did not understand something but I also would do then even when I did understand IF I looked around and saw puzzled faces and no hands raised.   This morning when I logged into the computer I was surprised to see I still had my FB up and saw a message from one of my favorite sites requesting prayers for he and his family and that quick I could feel this knee jerk reaction of wanting to go into fix it mode or oh let and me go see what I can do.

I have always been a very “visual person” but since I’ve been working on trying to develop my emotional intelligence I am noticing that I really have a strong desire to connect things about my past or my recovery with pictures.  I’ve gotten lost sometimes trying to create digital images from a hodgepodge of other images and I’m thinking I should really explore learning to sketch.  I have tried to paint but unfortunately while the exercise does fulfill some need the end result is not at all what is in my head.  I would not qualify it as a failure but rather it doesn’t release to see what I NEED TO SEE in the form of an image.

1:30 pm Ughh not sure when I got sidetracked but I DID and this was the result of it.

sign on door

I’m realizing that trying to disengage the caretaker is equally as hard as quieting the voice of that inner critic.  I swear if I don’t soon learn how to say that tiny little word NO …. How hard can it be to say a tiny little word with only 2 letters? … N O, but if I don’t soon learn I swear I’m going to run away from home♥ Just kidding, and YES there is always an element of honesty behind JK, but it sure felt good to say it and as soon as I figure out my official “healing hours” I’m going to hang a sign around my neck

As I was thinking about my need to see things visually it reminded of what I read recently while trying to identify all the “ego states” that live within me.

The below is a result of Sigmund Freud’s work –

The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state anxiety or tension.  According to Freud, the id tries to resolve the tension created by the pleasure principle through the primary process, which involves forming a mental image of the desired object as a way of satisfying the need.  This image can take the form of a dream, hallucination, fantasy, or delusion.  However, problems also result from using the primary process to dissipate the energy of the id. The primary process has no way to distinguish between the fantasy image and reality. So while the primary process can be used to temporarily reduce tension, it is only effective in the short-term. Your mental image of the food you are craving will only satisfy you for so long. Eventually, the tension will return when needs go unfulfilled.

The ego operates based on the reality principle, which strives to satisfy the id’s desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways.  The ego also discharges tension created by unmet impulses through the secondary process, in which the ego tries to find an object in the real world that matches the mental image created by the id’s primary process.

4:37 pm … Sidetracked again??? Lol  I really need to work on how I am going to slice out MY TIME  and keep it as exactly as that …. MY TIME.

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My Daily Journal – 3/9/13 My Healing Journey is like a Board Game

3/09/2013 9:00 a.m. My Healing Journey is like a Board Game – I’m now back at START after rolling the dice and being sent to the DARK DUNGEON for three days.

I haven’t journaled since Tuesday morning but then I haven’t done much of anything since Tuesday.  I feel so lost.  In many ways I feel like I’ve been “gone” for more than 4 days.  Trying get back into some sort of pattern and can’t even recall the first thing from my Daily Maintenance List and as I look at it now it looks foreign as though I have not seen it in a long while.

Sometimes this healing journey feels like a huge board game.  We do have much control in our own lives but on any given day something unexpected lands in your lap and the “roll of the dice” sends you to a dark dungeon for 4 days and then back to START.  I am familiar to this process and no longer feel as though I somehow failed although my reactions can be improved for certain events.

Interactions with my daughters for an example.     Communications and harmony can be very hard when you have two people who suffer from mental condition(s).  I now use these times when I fall again into that same black hole to reflect and see what can be done different.  I have personal boundaries but they aren’t really common knowledge so I’ve decided to come up with reminders/tips that I’m going to put on index cards and give to those I struggle with and I will suggest that they do the same.  I will be working on these and give my daughter hers.  Some of them are reminders about me, for example “I am very aware that almost everything is related to my PTSD there I don’t need to be reminded by you.  Any comments or opinions have already gone thru the process of trying to access any dramatization as a result of my PTSD”.  An example for her “When it comes to your daughter and I make a comment or offer an opinion please know that it is with an end goal of improved health or esteem for her and therefore also you.  Of course these comments may cause you to feel bad but that is not my goal and most of the things I am bringing up you are already aware of and have not forgiven yourself for” (she was in a very destruction relationship which is what caused me to take custody of the little one from Sept 2010 thru Dec 2011.  The little one is talking a lot about this and is obviously trying to process).  I’m finding much peace in knowing that “play therapy” will start next week.

At any rate as the fog from the last 4 days begins to lift I’m trying to bring some normalcy, routine back into my life.  Especially days like today where I wake up and start to wander aimlessly around thinking of what to do next giving me a sense of order, consistency, and what comes next.  It helps remove some of the chaos from a body stuck in “flight, fight, or freeze” mode.

I recently added the columns “describe” and “what did it feel like” as I saw it in my binder from one of the intensive outpatient programs I attended.  I love this idea as it will help me continue to know where to “tweak” my daily living plan.   I have already made adjustments.  I moved “journaling” up close to the top because it seems it is when I awake that I have all these thoughts ready to come out.  I also moved h “Support – Connect with others, FB Pages” farther down as it is a catch 22.  I so desperately need to connect with someone in the morning but too often I am triggered by something in a negative way.

I am also very aware that I need to be making deposits to me more than once a day and am looking for things to add to wellness toolbox that are both good for me but also things I enjoy.  I am so anxious for spring so I can get out there and play in the dirt.  I think today is to be sunny and 50 so as I was there sitting I was feeling joy just thinking about it doing.

So here I go.  Time to dig in and make it the best day I can.

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My Daily Journal – There are no Coincidences, Everything Happens for a Reason

3/05/2013 4:18 am So MUCH INNER TURMOIL

(interesting … just fyi I did manage to journal yesterday early before I had to leave to accompany my daughter to a support hearing in Delaware and it was titled “Dysfunction breeds Dysfunction”.  Initially I was upset at myself for saving TODAY on top of that but if you are someone who believes that everything happens for a reason  like I do, I feel as though it is more reaffirmation of where I am headed.. )

My anticipated projection of a situation is usually much worse but not today.  My daughter was 45 min late getting here which of course meant we arrived at the court house in Delaware at 9:15 am and her hearing was at 8:30 am.  Having lived there for several years we did have someone arranged to watch my 4 yr old granddaughter but she is a good friend of my youngest daughter (not the mother of granddaughter) and she was willing to call out of work but I didn’t want her to do that because I honestly did not know how the court would respond to the late arrival.  She did call Family Court and they told her to come in which left me and my granddaughter riding the escalators up and down 2 flights for 1 -1/2 hrs which honestly delighted her to no end and therefore me as well.  In the end the Father did not show, nor did she need to show, but we were got there and that part is over.

Somewhat of a challenge because of how depleted I was but I kept reminding myself it was only for a day.  She is such a delight, she makes it easy to stay in today and appreciate the smallest of things.  All children have this capability, it is just who they are.  Having missed some of this because of my horrible childhood allows me to do this for the first time.  From the little one’s behavior, I can tell that her emotional problems are worsening and this has been apparent since early summer.   While overall things are much better with my Daughter, they are still not where they need to be for the sake of the little one.  Also, my daughter has only had primary physical custody for a little over a year (I had primary physical custody and we had shared legal custody since Sept 2010, when my granddaughter was 20 mos old, to Sept 2011.  They both lived with me from Sept 2011 thru Dec 2011).

Bedtime is when her “chitter chatter” begins.  It is so heartbreaking for me.   As of right now, my daughter is in no relationship, but the damages from all the very destructive (and at times violent relationships) are still taking their toll on my little granddaughter.  At this point I’ve been telling my Daughter that the little one needs therapy and it is closely coming to the point where I will just arrange it, as I did before.  I still have shared legal custody and have that right.  As the little one chitter chatters before going to sleep she talks of her loneliness in the morning because Mommy won’t get up with her.  I love my daughter to no end.  There is no love like a Mother’s love BUT I was always stay true to me, a very much a person of principle.  I am aware that because my Daughter has emotional and physical ailments and because of medications she is not able to get up, even when you try to get her up.  Although this problem has been there at least since she was in middle school.

Interesting, I was feeling very confused and caught in the middle, but as I type this the answer becomes clearer and clearer.  My daughter has filed a petition to regain full primary and legal custody of her daughter and I expect there to be a conference in April.  All I can do is stand up for what I believe and let the rest unfold as it should.  Of course I would love to be just a grandmother and of course I love my daughter and don’t want to do anything to hurt her  and those are all personal goals and values I have but at the deepest part of me is standing up for what I believe is right.

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My Daily Journal – Exhaustion and Lack of Sleep – From Dark to Darker

3/03/2013 8:46 Lack of Sleep & Exhaustion will Darken the Picture for even the healthy ones.

Horrible night, went to bed at 10 pm exhausted and heavy with depression but didn’t sleep well at all which was somewhat surprising since I was carrying the weight of those feelings of just wanting to crawl under the covers all day.  In fact I didn’t have any nightmares or flashbacks because I was awake every 2 hours and sometimes had to get up.

As soon as I woke up I was thinking about our Veterans, how sad I feel that they are the ones, along with their families, who put it all on the line for us.  I did manage to turn the radio on, made coffee, and got outside for some air.  I’m immediately aware that I’m not being very “mindful” because these moments are usually somewhat “grounding” for me that I’m still very much here, part of the universe, and not just a person confined to her home because of this illness.  I usually enjoy the air and take time to do some deep breathing with fresh air and notice my surrounding and listening and observing.  I even saw a tiny bird perched on the step in front of me, again I would usually enjoy this but instead my mind was still racing with all these thoughts and ideas I was having as a result of my ongoing  sadness and frustration that there MUST BE SOMETHING I CAN DO for them,  our suffering veterans.  I came in and immediately delved into writing a letter to them.  So here I am an hour and half later realizing that this it is not an emergency;   that I really need to follow on with my daily plan, especially since this is pretty normal for me.  I suppose because of this constant state of hyper vigilance, I have a thought or idea and will go off on a tangent only to realize days later that it was not realistic.  I need to start just jotting these ideas down, which I did on a separate page, let some time pass and if it hangs true for some time then act on it.

So even now another reason to be following a “Daily Maintenance List”.  So I checked my list and went in to brush my teeth and was my face.  Horrible experience, especially in the morning when I look in the mirror and see how worn, rugged, and exhausted I look pretty matching what I feel on this inside.  feeling like a failure, I know these are those damn negative voices … inner critic, outer critic … whoever they are.  I’m doing the BEST I can.  Those dang voices and how HARD I WORK to “replace the tapes” also have led me to wanting to heal from my past and remove them along with toxic shame.  Since doing the self-guided program to help develop my emotional awareness and intelligence I am becoming very aware of all the feelings that I experience as a result of my childhood past.  At first it didn’t seem like much at all; for example, one of the two bulbs went out in the kitchen and because of that program it caused me to stop and pause at the uncomfortableness I was feeling at the time.  As I sat with the feeling I realized it had to do with coming home from school every day.  Afraid to turn the door handle and not knowing what was behind the door and if I entered and it was dark inside that was a red flag that my Mother was not in a good state of mind.  Not too long ago I would have felt that uncomfortableness and immediately reacted and replaced the bulb even if it meant taking it from another room.  The feelings are become much more intense now and I am KEENLY AWARE of how often that feeling of abandonment is triggered.  Many times I see “fear of abandonment” and maybe it is … the bottom line I was emotionally deprived as a small child, all alone and abandoned.  Now everything seems to cause that feeling …. In fact I now want to immediately log into the computer and go find someone somewhere to connect with but unfortunately first thing in the morning is also when I am at my worst and I am often triggered negatively by a post or news on the internet.   I would love to do a “crash heeling from my past” but I am smart enough to know it doesn’t work that way.  I need to find a way to slow this journey down a bit so that I can still find and enjoy some moments in each day, one of which could be my last?  (just  to clarify as a result of “life” and nothing that I would do)

On to my next thing.  Practicing gratitude thru the book “The Magic” and Light Therapy.

 

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My Daily Journal – It’s been a very dark couple of days

3/02/2013 7:31 a.m. It has been a very dark couple of days … I did write something on Thursday.

I’ve been in a dark empty place … horrible feeling and so alone. For me loneliness is about not feeling connected.

The last time I felt like this is with my most recent “ex” 7 yrs ago and I just looked at him and thought “Who the hell are you?” and he hadn’t even relapsed yet but I’ve learned since that the relapse happens long before they pick up

As I’m doing “inner child” work trying to let that little girl know it is safe to come out now because NOBODY is going to hurt you ever again … of course I expect to be pain and THERE IS but hearing others describe it … keep what you want and discard the rest??? I thought it would happen a little more smoothly. It doesn’t feel that way It feels that freaking scary to me that if I could I would craw out of my skin and just be an observer of this how healing process and then out of know where I thought “Crap … what if I don’t like this person? The real me.”

I totally know what it feels like to not be comfortable in my own skin but it has always been because of something really negative. I don’t have really any negative thoughts just thoughts of “Who the hell are you”. Amnesia where I remember everybody and everything except myself. Scary place

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I’m still in a very dark empty space and there is only one thing to do is push forward …..

It absolutely makes sense that “walking thru pain” is going to hurt but knowing that doesn’t seem to help to know what to do.  It is easy to journal but I get tired of writing the same old crap everyday … somehow putting it on paper makes it more real.  Maybe I need to… hmm think about that one, a change may be needed to what I journal about when I am in such a dark space for days in a row.

Also very aware that I need to be using my daily plan …. HOW HARD CAN THAT BE????  DUH.  I didn’t even have the radio on for 3 days?  Music helps me more than anything … it helps to increase mood to desired and I have this innate need to connect music or something to what I am feeling before I can release it …. ((sigh)) my life is so exhausting right now.  Push forward and just do it. 

So I’ve spent some time today “tweaking” my daily plan and will keep doing so until I am comfortable with it.  It just makes sense to me on so many levels.

 

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  • It’s not just child who need consistency and what to expect but also me.
  • Because I am not working it helps me to establish a routine and “sense of order”
  • Forces me to do the things and a reminder of what I need to do.
  • Lack of chaos

I also started reading the book “The Magic” after sitting on it for a couple of weeks.

So I stayed out of bed and did some good things but very ready to settle in and crawl under the covers.  The weight of this depression is so heavy.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still in a very dark empty space and there is only one thing to do is push forward …..

It absolutely makes sense that “walking thru pain” is going to hurt but knowing that doesn’t seem to help to know what to do.  It is easy to journal but I get tired of writing the same old crap everyday … somehow putting it on paper makes it more real.  Maybe I need to… hmm think about that one, a change may be needed to what I journal about when I am in such a dark space for days in a row.

Also very aware that I need to be using my daily plan …. HOW HARD CAN THAT BE????  DUH.  I didn’t even have the radio on for 3 days?  Music helps me more than anything … it helps to increase mood to desired and I have this innate need to connect music or something to what I am feeling before I can release it …. ((sigh)) my life is so exhausting right now.  Push forward and just do it. 

So I’ve spent some time today “tweaking” my daily plan and will keep doing so until I am comfortable with it.  It just makes sense to me on so many levels.

·         It’s not just child who need consistency and what to expect but also me.

·         Because I am not working it helps me to establish a routine and “sense of order”

·         Forces me to do the things and a reminder of what I need to do.

·         Lack of chaos

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Why I choose to heal my inner child and ego state therapy …

 

I believe we all come into this world the same way … these miraculous little beings of pure goodness with our own id’s … people we were intended to be … but then for many something horrible happens and our inner being is masked to be someone else.  I always knew my childhood was messed up but somehow thought I escaped any long-term damage.  I was always aware of this deep black hole at the core of my soul but I didn’t really know what it was.  When I was in my 30’s while in marriage counseling I started to learn that I really didn’t escape but it was still just learning and changing to health habits and patterns.  Then when I was 40, after over a year of trying to cope with the worse anxiety, I hooked up with a psychiatrist who told me I had just blown a lid to a major depression that was masked entirely as anxiety.  I got off the wrong meds and on the right ones but also spent 3-1/2 weeks attending an intensive outpatient program.  Best and worst 3-1/2 weeks of my life but it was when I was formally introduced to my inner child … that deep black hole at the core of my soul.  I continued some recovery work, what I could while trying to juggle a demanding job, a family, a husband but then when I turned 50 the demons of all – Complex PTSD arrived.

My focus so far this year has been around developing emotional intelligence and awareness. Thanks to the free self guided program from HelpGuide.org.

I’m using some other tools to help get to know my inner child better and nurtured in the way that God intended her to be nurtured in the first place.

I am also interested in Ego State Therapy as I believe that as I get to know my inner child and also continue to try to push that nasty inner critic out of my life this approach in therapy will help bring all my “beings” into the person I was meant to be in the first place.

 

20130216POP

I’m in love ♥ I want this ♥ I continue to aimlessly wander around looking for something but I don’t know what it is until I find it. Ever experience that? When you find it you somehow just know … THIS IS FOR ME ♥ I can feel it deep in my gut and guess what … ALL of my “ego states” are in agreement ♥

Still doing some research but I love how Jean explains it ,,,

My Experience With Ego State Therapy

Each person is unique, and as such, each person’s process in therapy is unique. I am a writer, and my natural inclination has been to write my way through the process of ego state therapy. From what I’ve learned, however, most people don’t do their therapy this way. They go through the process in the company of their therapist in the therapist’s offce.

Put simply, the goal of this modality is to work toward some degree of integration of the “parts” inside the person who is in therapy. As the person gets to know her psyche’s “parts,” then she can get them to work together by creating an inner dialogue that eventually brings about peace. Some “parts” may merge or partially merge, some parts may fade away, and some may remain separate but be more open to communicating with the other parts.

This modality is a metaphor of sorts for what actually happens when the mind and the brain work together to bring about healing of trauma damage. In a sense, the person manages to undo some or most of the damage wrought by the original trauma. In my case, I’m just grateful that I can reduce the PTSD symptoms so they don’t make my life so miserable. However, I can sense more than that happening, but I’m not able yet to determine exactly what that “more” is. Whatever is happening beyond reducing the PTSD symptoms is a bonus, as far as I’m concerned.

http://www.jfairgrieve.com/theapyehlpsundothedamage.html

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Daily Journal – Never Underestimate the Power of Faith

Daily Journal 5:45 am It’s morning, so depleted from reliving these events over and over again. At least last night as I watched myself in bed as young girl I am reminded of my faith as I watch myself prayer every night ….

6:50 am I’ve just been sitting here in a zone but it’s been all good. Just resting in hour of gratitude towards God. Most of the time with the nightmares and the flashbacks I am IN the action of the event but last night it was real, it was definitely a flashback …. I know enough now to know the difference but I was both part of the action but also observing.

Never underestimate the power of faith and this is how I truly prayed, shaking and shivering in fear. Times when my Mother was on a real rampage and I was so absolutely certain that this was definitely the night she was going to do what she continued to threaten me with …. that I was going to die.20130227I pray
The first person I would think of was my brother …. who was going to keep my little brother safe from this vicious monster, my Mother. Now here I am alive at 55 and she is dead, from suicide in 2004. RIP Mom.

I must have been asked over hundred times by now … how did you do that? How did you do so well in school and be consumed with getting home to your little brother? How did you come out of this in tact … go on and work, have a family? How? The answer is easy.

GOD.

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My Daily Journal – Prayers for Tianna, Hoping for the Best, Preparing for the Worst

2/26/2013 6:15 a.m.

My heart, body, mind, and soul are filled with my 4 yr old granddaughter this morning.  This morning I go with my daughter to take her to see the hematologist about her high blood platelet count.  I’ve been praying and hoping for the best but today is the day that I bear down and prepare for the worst.  Very tense, I can feel  something wanting to come out, some of that is normal just because I will be leaving my home but I am very aware of something my body is holding back on, all the tension in my back.

It is while I continue to believe that, for me anyway, there is something deeper going on than suppressing emotions or what all “experts” have told me is that I “shut down.

For some reason my heart is heavy with all the children out there right now suffering as a result of some form of child abuse

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Who am I? As I relate to “Emotional Neglect and Complex PTSD” by Pete Walker

My notes from reading the below article –

Emotional Neglect and Complex PTSD by Pete Walker  emotionalNeglectComplexPTSD

This article highlights the prodigious role that emotional neglect plays in childhood trauma, and how it alone can create Complex PTSD.

Growing up emotionally neglected is like nearly dying of thirst just outside the fenced off fountain of a parent’s kindness and interest. Emotional neglect makes children feel worthless, unlovable and excruciatingly empty, with a hunger that gnaws deeply at the center of their being, leaving them starving for appetite for substances and/or addictive processes.

Emotional Neglect: The Core Wound in Complex PTSD

Minimization about the debilitating consequences of a childhood rife with emotional neglect is at the core of the PTSD denial onion. Our recovery efforts are impeded until we understand how much of our suffering constellates around early emotional abandonment – around the great emptiness that springs from the dearth of parental loving interest and engagement, and around the harrowing experience of being small and powerless while growing up in a world where there is no-one who’s got your back

Traumatic emotional neglect occurs when a child does not have a single parent or caretaker to whom she can turn in times of need or danger, and when she does not have anyone for an extended period of time who is a relatively consistent source of comfort and protection.

Continuous emotional neglect turns the child’s psyche into a quagmire of emptiness, fear and shame – a quagmire that she will, as an adult, frequently flashback into until she understands and works through the wretchedness of her childhood. Without such understanding, her crucial, unmet needs for safe and comforting, human connection will continue to cause her an enormous amount of unnecessary suffering

What it does

Verbal and Emotional Abuse

  • is often lost for many childhood trauma victims. Many never learn to validate its crippling effects.
  • can be much more injurious than physical abuse. Being ongoingly assaulted with critical words systematically destroys innate self – esteem and replaces it with a prevailing consciousness of toxic self-criticism.
  • even worse, words that are emotionally poisoned with contempt [a deadly cocktail of intimidation and disgust] infuse the child with fear and toxic shame respectively.S

Fear and Shame

  • condition him to refrain from asking for attention,
  • from expressing himself in ways that draw attention,
  • from seeking any kind of help or connection at all.
  • unrelenting criticism, especially when it is ground in with parental rage and scorn, is so injurious that it changes the structure of the child’s brain.

As it Relates to Who I am

The verbal and emotional layer of the abuse onion has myriad sub-layers of minimization which must be confronted in the long difficult disengagement of one’s identity from the toxic critic. I have heard clients jokingly repeat numerous versions of this over and over: “I know I’m hard on myself, but if I don’t constantly kick my own ass, I’ll be more of a loser than I already am.” (note:  I never felt like a loser)

The child projects his hope for being accepted onto inner demands of self-perfection. By the time the child is becoming self-reflective,cognitions start to arise that sound like this: “I’m so despicable, worthless, unlovable, and ugly; maybe my parents would love me if I could make myself like those perfect kids I see on TV.”  (note:  I identify with the first sentence ONLY)

Emotional neglect, alone, causes children to abandon themselves, and to give up on the formation of a self. They do so to preserve an illusion of connection with the parent and to protect themselves from the danger of losing that tenuous connection. This typically requires a great deal of self-abdication, i.e., the forfeiture of self-esteem, self-confidence, self-care, self-interest, self-protection. .”  (note:  need to think about this)

A childhood rife with verbal and emotional abuse often creates an identification with the critic that is so pervasive, that it is as if the critic is the whole identity. Disidentification from the critic is the fight of a lifetime, and for a long time there is a great pull to collapse back into the old habit of self-blame. Ironically this self-hate can constellate around the self-judgment that one is especially defective because she cannot simply banish the critic (note:  self-hate is a big leap, for me anyway)

Abandonment Stultifies Emotional and Relational Intelligence

Emotional intelligence and its cohort, relational intelligence, never get to develop, and children never learn that a relationship with a healthy person can become an irreplaceable source of comfort and enrichment. Moreover, the appropriate management of the normal emotions that recurrently arise in significant relationships is never modeled for them. Emotional intelligence about the healthy and functional aspects of anger, sadness, and fear lies fallow. Moreover the receptor sites for receiving love and caring from others often lay dormant and undeveloped [.Emotionally abandoned children often devolve into experiencing all people as dangerous, no matter how benign or generous they may in fact be. Anyone can automatically trigger the grown-up child into the deeply grooved patterns of perfectionism and endangerment engendered by their parents. Love coming their way reverberates threateningly on a subliminal level. If, from their perspective, they momentarily “trick” someone into seeing them as loveable, they fear that this forbidden prize will surely be taken away the minute their social perfectionism fails and unmasks some normal flaw or foible. .”] (note: I don’t identify with the part in brackets and as for the part highlighted perhaps I never suppressed or shut down? You can’t suppress something that is not there)

For Recovery

Recovery from PTSD correlates with an individual’s ability to understand on deep impactful levels how derelict her parents’ were in their duty to nurture and protect her. The individual needs to get that emotional flashbacks are direct messages from her child-self about how seriously her parents hurt and injured her. As denial is significantly deconstructed, the recoveree feels genuine compassion for the child she was. This in turn motivates her to engage the healing process of identifying and addressing the specific wounds of her childhood. Over time she becomes aware of her specific abandonment picture and the pattern of physical, spiritual, verbal and emotional abuse and/or neglect that she experienced.

 Denial and minimization.

There is also growing evidence that recovery from Complex PTSD is reflected in the narrative a person tells about her life. The degree of recovery matches the degree to which a survivor’s story is complete, coherent, emotionally congruent and told from a self-sympathetic perspective. In my experience, deep level recovery is often reflected in a narrative that places emotional neglect at the core of the understanding of what one has suffered and what one continues to deal with. It is a very empowering accomplishment to really get the profound significance of childhood emotional neglect – to realize in the moment how a flashback into bewilderment, panic, toxic shame, helplessness, and hopelessness is an emotional reliving of the dominant emotional tone of one’s childhood reality. Like nothing else, this can generate self-compassion for one’s child-self and one’s present-time self, kick-starting the process of resolving any given flashback.

It is important to note the limitations of the analogy of the onion. Effective recovery does typically involve working at various levels at the same time. De-minimization is a lifetime process, and remembering a crucial instance of being abused or neglected may occasionally impact us even more deeply on subsequent remembering as we more fully apprehend the hurt of particularly destructive parental betrayals.

The Neuroplasticity of the Brain

I am so heartened to know about all the new neuroscience research that proves the neuroplasticity of the brain, i.e., that the brain can grow and change throughout our life: old self-destructive neural pathways can be diminished and new healthier ones grown. [A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis inspiringly explicates this fact]. The critic can indeed literally be shrunk via long-term, frequent and dedicated use of the thought-stopping, thought-substitution and thought-correction practices I describe in my articles on the critic.

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My Daily Journal – Nobody knows me better than I do

2/24/2013 8:35 a.m.

Well I’m up and moving.   I know I had at least 2 flashbacks but snapped out of it quickly so I don’t remember.  That doesn’t happen often.  Maybe it’s become I’m in a rage right now.  My hands are shaking and my entire body is stiff … like when I was 21 and in an auto accident.  It has taken me almost a week to get through 11 pages of Pete Walker’s “Emotional Neglect and Complex PTSD” and I’m so angry right now at many people but especially the “experts” all the Psychiatrists and Therapists out there that think they just know everything.   Right now I want to walk up the street and punch my doctor in the face and demand a refund for all the sessions where he would try to insist that I was “this or that”.  I thank my Father, whether genetic or learned, for always being able to think out of the square, not thinking in black and white terms, for being able to differentiate between facts and opinions, for being so honest and forthright and being able to stand up and speak my mind and not let anyone talk me into anything that is not true or there is no evidence that it is true.

Even Sigmund Freud, whose work I admire and respect tremendously, is still limited to his knowledge and experiences, and NO ONE is exactly like me, we are all unique as individuals and with what we’ve been through.

The one aspect that seems to set me apart from what the “experts” seem to think I am is that

–   I became a caretaker at age 5, when my brother was born and also because of requests from my Father.  At such a young age this feels as though it is part of the “innate me”.  Even now after years and years of therapy and reading I still have to fight off what feels to be a reflex to look after others first.

–   As I work thru my trauma and start to try to connect with these emotions that came flooding in with the Complex PTSD I’m always looking to identify when “I shut down” and maybe I never “shut down”?  You can’t shut down what was there is the first place.

As described in Pete Walker’s writing about “Emotional Neglect and Complex PTSD”

Abandonment Stultifies Emotional and Relational Intelligence

I relate to this completely Emotional intelligence and its cohort, relational intelligence, never get to develop, and children never learn that a relationship with a healthy person can become an irreplaceable source of comfort and enrichment. Moreover, the appropriate management of the normal emotions that recurrently arise in significant relationships is never modeled for them. Emotional intelligence about the healthy and functional aspects of anger, sadness, and fear lies fallow. Moreover the receptor sites for receiving love and caring from others often lay dormant and undeveloped. I cannot relate to this at all Emotionally abandoned children often devolve into experiencing all people as dangerous, no matter how benign or generous they may in fact be. Anyone can automatically trigger the grown-up child into the deeply grooved patterns of perfectionism and endangerment engendered by their parents. Love coming their way reverberates threateningly on a subliminal level. If, from their perspective, they momentarily “trick” someone into seeing them as loveable, they fear that this forbidden prize will surely be taken away the minute their social perfectionism fails and unmasks some normal flaw or foible.

This last part whether it was because I became a caretaker so young or maybe I got “enough of what a child needs” from my Father or others?  I just know it does not fit.

The other thing that is becoming increasingly more aware is that I need a schedule and need to try to follow and tweak it.  Recalling what I know of what the schedule brings for a child by offering consistency and what to expect next … also I can’t just float thru the day, I get sidetracked.  I’m glad that journaling is done first.  It is when I am most upset and tuned into what is going on with me.

 

 

 

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