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Topics - wingnut

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I'm working with my therapist on some severe anxiety issues that I had as a child. It was part of my trauma and given the unhealthy homestead, was never a topic of discussion except for shameful and embarrassing ones.

 My sister is 10 years older and I am tempted to email her for some insight as to what she observed. My parents have died so she's my only historic info source, but due to 1400 miles between us and some recent disagreements, we aren't so close any more. This is tough because no one has ever talked to me about it and it feels like I'm breaking the dysfunctional code by bringing it up. Also, she can get preachy and judgmental which also scares me. Follow up questions from her when I do share feel gossipy versus compassionate. I'm not sure I'll get support but rather more negativity so I was thinking of prefacing it with the fact that I'm in therapy, not looking for advice, just observations. (Eek! Vulnerability! ) When mentioned previously that I was going back to therapy I got a "been there done that" response but she has much more unresolved crap to deal with (she can truly fall into "woe was me and I had it worse than anyone" mode when we talk childhood) so I hesitate to tell her but I think she could learn a lot about PTSD and how it has impacted her. While we did grow up with the same parents, things had degraded quite a bit by the time I came along. She does carry a lot of the same goo.

 She wants to be closer but her attitude keeps me at bay. Pouring all of this out could give her more insight to me - or totally piss me off!! She  has no clue of the things that happened to me because she was gone by the time I was 8.

My primary goal is to get to the anxiety issues and what was going on in the adult side of the house. Ultimately the answer is that my parents never did anything because my problems were caused by them and they wouldn't want to admit that. I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for. It could simply be to bring the topic into the open and quit tiptoeing around the topic. But is there anything to gain 45 years later? It's my issue not hers and she probably never thinks about it.

I would appreciate thoughts on what folks believe is the best approach here - raise it or let it lie. Thank you!

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General Discussion / then and now
« on: April 26, 2015, 04:35:41 AM »
Over the last few years,  I have managed to share almost all of my trauma in therapy. Sometimes I buried hard stuff in a listing of things to deflect the importance or mention it in passing in a scenario such as, "oh I was in a car wreck, burned my arm, was criticized, date raped and called to dinner late." Like maybe she wouldn't notice. HA. But regardless o f the delivery, I got it out there. Now many of the things we did not dwell on I just feel better knowing she knows.

I plan on bringing this up at my next session but my question is the focus on the now vs the past. Granted they may be intertwined to different extents but I am curious what the collective here believes: do we want to or can we gain from walking away from the pain and shifting focus entirely on the present and changing current patterns. In other words, are we remaining in victim mode when we continuously don waders and muck around in bad memories?

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So, I have come to a lull in my therapy, I think, where the boss lady was pushing me a bit today to come up with a way to challenge myself, to define a goal that I could work on and push myself. I've worked a lot with social anxiety in the past, and have made great strides there, I think. I still have my weaknesses there, like everyone does - fear of speaking in front of a group, etc.

I believe my next big hurdle is TRUST. I have posted previously about my spouse and best friend both telling me they would like me to share more. I know this is a trust issue. I keep people at arm's length. I want to work on this, but how does one make definable goals? Perhaps this is something to discuss with my T, but I am interested to know if anyone has or is working on TRUST, successfully, and how they are doing it?

I think that my mistrust manifests itself by me keeping myself very guarded. I believe I have residual fears of being teased, criticized, judged, and so on. On the other hand, I can't see myself walking up to my friends and blurting out all of the wicked things that have happened in my past.

I know when making new friends, you share a bit, then share a bit more then more, but I am talking about intimacy, the kind where you can be who you really are without having it thrown back at you.

It's a tough subject linked arm and arm with vulnerability.


 

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General Discussion / how to get closer?
« on: April 15, 2015, 07:23:22 AM »
I have been in a committed relationship for 20 years with my spouse and occasionally I hear about their want for me to 'open my heart'. This confuses me as I do tell her everything. Thoughts feelings ideas etc.

Then last week I got an email from a good friend I've known for 10 years telling me she would like me to share more. I am flattered and touched that she cared enough to write this. She has been through a lot over the years and I have always been there for her.

Now I work hard to keep my life on a steady keel without a lot of drama. My T says I do this on purpose due to my past. I don't gossip or have any big emotions to share. So basically I want to know: what do these people want from me?? I feel I am missing the intimacy boat here somewhere.

I think I share almost everything with my partner and I'm not interested in dragging my friends into my childhood traumas or therapy. I know I am guarded but I'm at a loss here.

Perhaps I'm overanalyzing. My friend may be concerned with oversharing. 

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Web Sites, Support Groups & Organizations / trauma site
« on: February 26, 2015, 02:37:44 AM »
Found this tonight,  not sure if anyone has mentioned it.

www.trauma-pages.com

looks like a treasure trove of resources

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General Discussion / Tasks of Healing by Jasmin Lee Cori
« on: February 24, 2015, 04:18:20 PM »
I am currently reading "Healing from Trauma" by Jasmin Lee Cori, wrapping up the 'symptoms' in the first half and heading into the 'healing' half. It's a very good book, I've read several books on trauma and would put this one near the top. I like the fact that she poses several questions and exercises along the way. Last night, I read this section on "The Tasks of Healing". She said it's not exhaustive, but put forth ten 'common' ones. TEN! Well, I am focusing on, like, two, in the last few years. I suppose that is the more manageable thing to do, and I must give myself credit for having already tackled some of them. This certainly gave me a lot to think about. She suggests writing these down and ranking yourself from 1 (not started) -10 (done) and pick one or more that feel most current and create an action plan to further support this aspect of your healing.

I want to sit and think on this a while. I plan on toting this list in to therapy. It's sounds like an excellent way to kind of create a recovery inventory to me.

I'm copying very briefly each of the tasks, but I hope this is helpful to some of you if you are like me, as sometimes I find myself wondering where I am going on this journey - lost my map!

1. Resetting your nervous system: trauma alters your physiology, a full recovery requires resetting the nervous system
2. Freeing your body of the impacts and holding patterns that have derived from the trauma. Beyond the nervous system, memories in tissues, the defensive contractions, aches and pains
3. Expanding your capacity to stay present. Dissociation and freezing - practice grounding, defuse triggers, learn to recognize dissociation right away, etc.
4. Mastering your trauma symptoms. "Can be a big task". SO she says! Some symptoms go away, some remain and we must skillfully manage those that remain.
5. Being able to feel a full range of emotions without being controlled by any of them. Numbing, avoidance, dissociations limit this.
6. Managing and coming to peace with your memories (or lack of them).
7. Coming to terms with what happened. How it has shaped your life and what it means within your larger life narrative.
8. Making up for what you missed. More relevant to those who suffer trauma early in life, making up for developmental needs that didn't get met - form close trusting bonds, develop self-confidence, etc.
9. Integrating - when we heal, what was shattered becomes whole again. A new identity grows out of the process.
10. Giving back. Developmental needs correspond with different life stages, there is a need to give something back and can see it as an outgrowth of our healing.

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General Discussion / dissociation and what is behind it
« on: January 25, 2015, 03:04:12 PM »
So I have decided 2015 is my year to blow up, destroy and dismantle my dissociation.
I have been going to therapy and getting nowhere because a big OFF switch gets thrown and I'm sick of it.
I'm trying to get out of my head and check in on the body several times a day.
I have a little piece of paper with a list of gauges (per Babette Rotschild) such as Body sensations, Thoughts, Feelings, etc. and check that list to see what is going on at random moments but sometimes simply feeling the paper in my hand helps to ground me. Especially at stop lights where I catch myself 100000 miles away.

My point is as I peel back this defense, there seems to be a lot of fear behind it. It is a big surprise to me since I can be pretty fearless and I am sure it's been there for decades. What a big reveal though to learn the off button was protection against being overwhelmed by it. I am curious about what is next and looking forward to therapy this week.

I welcome your feedback.

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Therapy / EMDR and dissociation
« on: January 11, 2015, 03:15:26 PM »
I have read the other threads about EMDR and am curious if anyone has used it specifically for dissociation?

I have a big speed bump in therapy where when it's time to delve into feelings a switch is thrown and I numb out. Its the biggest issue I have to confront right now as I can't cry or grow as long as I hit this wall.
 
I went to a new T on Friday for a "second opinion" to get a different voice than my usual T.
We discussed my history in therapy and to be brief she basically said that more talk therapy probably
wouldn't help me and recommended an EMDR therapist (and told me to let her know if I'd like to come back and keep working with her - uh what???)

Anyway I thought EMDR was for resolving specific memories but she said no it can be used for issues. Now I may try it so I can move forward with my regular trauma therapist(not accepting talk t wont help...I thought that was a bold statement after a 40 min chat). I'm curious about memories too as I seem to be memoried out.

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Web Sites, Support Groups & Organizations / Website re Dissociation
« on: January 02, 2015, 03:02:29 PM »
One of my biggest hurdles in healing is dissociation. I numb out when it comes to feeling anything past mad, sad or glad. I believe that I cannot progress until I learn how to deal with this. Found an interesting website if anyone else is interested in learning a bit more about it.

http://www.isst-d.org/default.asp?contentID=1

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