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Topics - Jazzy

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1
Suicide Ideation/Self Harm / [TW] Self Harm
« on: June 05, 2021, 12:07:33 AM »
[TW: Eating Disorder]

There's been some talk about self harm impulses here recently, so it's been on my mind. Most of my self harm is neglect, not so much abuse, and a big part of that is starvation. What's interesting to me, is that this is exactly how my M treated me. While she didn't teach me these behaviours verbally, she taught me them through action.

I don't want to push anyone to talk about things they're uncomfortable with, but I wonder if others find this to be true in their own lives. Do your self harm patterns reflect what your parental figures taught, or did, to you?

Thanks to anyone who shares, and it's perfectly understandable for those who are not ready to share at this time. :)

2
Recovery Journals / Jazzy's Journal: Omega
« on: June 02, 2021, 11:00:45 PM »
I've been at a new stage in my healing journey for a few months now, so I decided it was time for a new journal, in order to reflect that fact. I've named this journal Omega, which is the last letter in the Greek alphabet, to represent the fact that I am near the end of my journey. Perhaps the damage will never be fully undone, there will be setbacks, and there is still some processing left to do, but my life now is better than I ever reasonably expected it could get.

It also seems appropriate to me that my previous journal was named Round 3, as "Round 3" is the final round in a best 2 out of 3 competition. Round 3 is over, and I've won!  :cheer:  ... apparently I need to cry about that for a moment.  :'(  :)

--

My previous journals, for reference:
Jazzy's Journal
Jazzy's Journal - Phase 2
Jazzy's Journal - Round 3





3
Successes, Progress? / Published!
« on: May 23, 2021, 11:42:36 PM »
It's difficult for me to share my successes; I have healing to do still. However, this is a really big one for me, so I thought if anything was worth being shared, it was this.

For the first time in over 10 years, I published something relating to my career. It wasn't a big thing at all, but it was infinitely bigger than nothing. A couple hundred people have already subscribed to it in the past 3 days, and so far the ratings are 4/5 stars. I'm really feeling good about this. I think it marks a major milestone in my healing journey.

Of course, it would be nice to have 5/5 stars, but I don't think it's realistic to expect everyone to consider my work perfect, especially for my first publication in so long. I also wasn't given any feedback about what was less than perfect, so I'm not sure how I could improve it. I was only hoping for maybe 10-20 people to subscribe, so a couple hundred in a few days is just... almost unbelievable. It's pleasantly surprising for sure! It's also very encouraging, and really motivated me to do more.

4
One thing I've changed, which has really helped me (though it is only one piece of the puzzle) is how I identify myself. I'll explain in detail below for those who would like to read more about it, but the core concept is that Identifying myself as a problem was a problem! It was hurtful and unhealthy. So now, I try to identify myself, and others, primarily by name.

The core concept seems pretty fundamental to me, but unfortunately, I was taught by example that identifying myself as a problem was a good thing to do. I've noticed that society in general tends to use labels because it is easier than realizing a person is a complex living being with many factors. Not everything needs to be taken in to consideration every time, but I believe that when these labels start identifying people as problems, they become hurtful.

Even worse, I was taught that identifying myself as a problem was a good way to heal. In my experience, this is the complete opposite of the truth. One of the best things I've ever done for myself was to stop identifying as a problem, but as a person who had behaviour that could be improved. Making that distinction was an important first step towards changing the behaviours I didn't approve of.

Here's an example of something I used to say quite regularly:
"Hi, my name is Jazzy, and I'm an alcoholic."

This is so horrible! I'm not an alcoholic, I'm a wounded person who has learned that I can feel a little bit better (or at least less worse) by drinking alcohol. How was I supposed to stop drinking, while calling myself an alcoholic all the time? Judging myself like that was the opposite of what I needed to do, which was to find healthier ways to help me feel better, which I could then substitute for the alcohol. Yes, there's more to addiction than this, but this is a key point. Judging myself like that on a regular basis, especially with having other people respond positively to that judgment was completely disastrous for me.

A less extreme example like "I'm such an idiot.", follows the same general principle. Now, instead of getting upset because I didn't remember something, or didn't figure something out, I take a minute to try to understand why. Most of the time, it is because my mind isn't working optimally. Instead of getting upset and judging myself, I can look in to what the problem is, so that I do better in the future. When I kept telling myself I was an idiot all of the time, it was practically impossible for me to understand the underlying problem, then figure out a solution.

I'm much more than any one label, and everyone else is too! None of us are problems. If our behaviour causes problems, then that is something to be looked in to, but we are so much more than our behaviour. I am Jazzy. Jazzy is a great label, because it fits perfectly and without judgment, and is very compact considering how much it covers!

5
Music / [TW] Song about damaging relationships
« on: May 16, 2021, 02:29:32 PM »
This is a song (not mine) that I connect with in a powerful way, so I thought I would share it, as others may appreciate it too. Although, I think it best to mark it as a TW. It certainly brings up a lot of emotions in me.

The lyrics talk about how it is like an addiction to have hurtful people in our life. While I think the singer primarily is referring to a tendency to get stuck in a cycle of damaging romantic relationships, I believe it applies to parent/child and friendly relationships as well. Perhaps that cycle of damaging romantic relationships is based on being treated so badly in childhood.

I really like how powerful the message is, especially in the video [TW: Death]. The visuals help show just how damaging these relationships are. The singer also does a great job at expressing a lot of emotion and power in her voice as well, which helps highlight how important this topic is.

The song is primarily focused on the vocals, sung by a talented female singer. However, this is some electric guitar that comes in around the 2:30 mark. There is also an acoustic version available for those who do not appreciate the electronics.


Official Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHZKPYQnsmc)
Acoustic Live (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSuHPBq-XGU)
Lyrics: (http://www.songlyrics.com/halestorm/familiar-taste-of-poison-lyrics/)

6
Ideas/Tools for Recovery / 1, 2, 3!
« on: May 11, 2021, 01:23:53 AM »
One thing that has been in my mind a lot lately, is the idea that how much, or little, we value ourselves is a crucial part of managing CPTSD, or at least the symptoms of relational trauma.

My first thought was about the "3 good things a day" threads. Those are really great! It is important to make time to reflect on the good and not get overwhelmed by the bad. While that is absolutely helpful, trauma goes deeper than learning to look at the good. So then I thought about how that idea could be tailored to be more trauma informed. So here is what I've come up with... and now that I've read the pinned topics on this sub-forum I see most of them are already listed, but maybe it would still be good to have 3 major ones in a single thread for the sake of convenience.

1,2,3!

Appreciation:
What is a positive character trait that I have, or a good thing I've done today? It's okay to re-use the same one, especially at first.

Emotion:
What did I feel today, and optionally, why? Numbness (or depression) counts too!

Accomplishment:
 What did I accomplish today? This can be anything, no matter how small. "I got out of bed." is a totally valid accomplishment sometimes.


I always like to hear feedback that others are willing to share. This is just my ideas from my experience, and I'm sure everyone has their opinion on what works best for them.

7
Mother's/Father's Day / Happy Mother's Day!
« on: May 09, 2021, 11:59:10 AM »
So, yikes, it's mother's (trigger) day... this is a tough one for me... but, I really want to find some positive in it, and keep it from being totally negative!

I know that some people here are mothers, and I'm sure you're all doing much better than my mother, not to mention your own (for those with NPD type mothers)!

So, happy mother's day to you! You've put in a lot of work to breaking the cycle of trauma and abuse, and I really respect that. Congratulations!  :cheer:

8
Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Learning our value...
« on: May 08, 2021, 03:41:33 PM »
So, I've encountered some (mostly subconscious) resistance to writing this post. I don't know why, but just a word of warning that it may not turn out as well as I hope.



I've realized that an underlying theme to every relational trauma I've been through is that I've been treated in a way that makes me feel like I'm worthless. Based on what I've read from other people here, it sounds like that's a common theme to relational trauma in general.

Even though a lot of times my NPD M said nice things about me ("I love you", "you're so special"), her actions showed the opposite. There's a saying "a picture is worth 1,000 words".... well, I say that "an action is worth (at least) 1,000 words". It's not just about what somebody says (though, that is important too!), it's about their actions as well. I don't really know the "proper words" to describe this difference, but it's been really key to me.

A crucial part of my healing journey has been to learn my value, and put a stop to people treating me like I'm worthless... not just other people, but primarily myself. "Learning" in the intellectual sense was only the first step (the words part). I needed to change my actions (towards myself) before I really started to improve. I think this is why therapy has limited success in some cases with CPTSD. Talk therapy only covers the "word" part, which is a great start, but the "action" part is critically important. Hopefully a TI therapist (which I've never had) is aware of this, and will have more success than what I experienced in therapy.

It's hard to act like I'm worthwhile when I didn't believe it, so starting with someone else was a good first step for me. I make a point to tell people how important they are to me, and when they do things well. I found it even easier to start with pets than humans. Be cautious with this though, because someone who is not in a good place mentally themselves, may not react well, which in turn may lead to you feeling negative about trying to heal. However, I've found that people in a good place mentally will really appreciate the positivity, and often times even return it.

So, how do we change our actions to help us feel worthwhile? I expect we all connect with some ideas better than others, but here's some of the things I found helpful:
  • Affirmations: regularly telling myself (out loud) that I am worthwhile, important, a good person etc.
  • Appreciating Positivity: It's so easy to overlook the good things, and focus on the bad. Taking time to appreciate the positives (especially in myself, or things I do) has been really helpful.
  • Understanding/Forgiveness: When I can't do something (especially self care), I don't judge myself and feel guilty, but understand there is something blocking me, and working to resolve that blockage.
  • Boundaries: Minimize contact with people who don't treat me like I'm worthwhile, and focus my time on those who do.
  • Focus: It's important to set good boundaries, but always thinking about them can have negative affects too. I needed to focus on improving myself, not just keeping toxic people away. They need to be "away" in my mind, not just in my physical life.
  • Environment: Prettying up and improving my environment (house) with more colour and decorations (flowers, posters etc.)
  • Physical Self Care: Especially hair (pets: fur) brushing! There's something special about the physical contact.
  • Habits/Lifestyle: Slowly reducing habits I didn't like, and increasing habits I did like helped me feel better about myself.
  • Eating: I know this is a difficult one, but improving what I ate was a tremendous help to me.

That's all that comes to mind for me right now. What does everyone else think about this topic? I'd like to see some more examples of what people find helpful, if anyone is willing to share.

9
Eating Issues / [TW?] My thoughts on over-eating/weight management
« on: May 08, 2021, 01:59:18 PM »
Preface: I don't struggle with over-eating; I actually have the opposite problem. However, I've been thinking about it a lot recently based on what the people in my life have told me, and some things that have been posted on this forum. So, I wanted to share my thoughts in hopes that it helps someone. If I'm totally off the mark, then I apologize.



As a lot of people know, learning about nutrition and healthy eating choices is often not enough to enable us to manage our weight as we would like. Of course, we need to apply that knowledge to see the changes we are looking for. Applying that knowledge is difficult to do, even in the best situation. Trauma really interferes with the way our mind works, and is certainly not the best situation, making it even harder, perhaps impossible, for us to apply that knowledge on a consistent basis.

I've been trying to find a way to overcome that difficulty, and something Kizzie said really stood out to me. Kizzie said that over eating is a way of comforting ourselves, and that in order to stop over eating, we need to find a different way to fulfill that need for comfort.

I think that need for comfort is really important, and a good, healthy function of the mind. It's a form of self-care. People suffering from trauma really need to be comforted. So, we shouldn't disregard it, but we should find more, alternative ways to fulfill it. That's pretty difficult to do too, and I think it may be unique to all of us. This led me to the thought: "overeating is a dysregulated form of self comfort" ... and, as far as I know dysregulated self comfort is a complex term for the word addiction.

Now, addiction is something I have struggled with. I can really relate and speak from experience on that topic. In my experience, society has an extremely poor understanding of what addiction really is, and as a result fails to handle it well. Please be careful if you look in to addiction treatment, I found a lot of it to be more harmful than helpful.
 
However, I found this video, which Kizzie linked a while ago, to be extremely helpful. By making changes in my life, based on the information of this video, I've been able to break all of the addictions that I struggled with for so long.
Click Here for the video (YouTube).

So, hopefully this is helpful for someone! I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks on this topic.

10
The Cafe / [TW: Food] Dinner tonight!
« on: April 29, 2021, 12:01:20 AM »
I realize a lot of people have difficulty with eating in a healthy way, so I hope this doesn't bother anyone. I'm still trying to eat better myself, but I've made massive improvements so far, and I'm still working on it!

Cooking is actually an extremely positive thing for me now. I've always starved myself, because that's what M taught me :pissed: ... but now I try my best to make healthy meals, and use cooking and food as a form of self care. My body needs the right nutrients to work well, and that includes my mind.

I've invited my siblings to come over for dinner a few times, but they never have. It's really discouraging that I can't share my cooking with anyone. Hopefully things will get better in the future, with more time and after the plague is under control. Maybe somebody here can at least understand how I'm feeling.

With all that said, here's what I made tonight: glazed meatloaf with dill Parmesan potatoes and steamed vegetables. It could still be healthier, but it's infinitely better than the frozen foods I used to eat every night.


Click for bigger picture!

11
Checking Out / I'll be back later!
« on: April 07, 2021, 12:05:50 PM »
I realize it's been about a week since I posted here, so I just wanted to leave a note about that.

I'm doing well, but I've been very busy lately. I'm spending a lot of time working on and cleaning the house. I have over 5 years of neglect to make up for, which is a very big job. On top of that, when I do sit down to work on myself and mental health topics, I'm prioritizing communicating with my ex-wife, so that we can both find some closure, and understanding of the things that happened between us. Both of these things are difficult, but very rewarding.

Hopefully things will calm down in the near future though, and I can get back to spending more time here. I hope everyone does as well as they can in my absence. I'm proud of all of you. Keep up the good work on improving yourselves! :)

12
With where I am in my recovery journey right now, it has really made an impact on me of how important it has been to develop a respect and love for myself. I think it is critical for everyone to have that. I am a very different (much improved) person now that I have more love for myself.

Of course, it's not easy. I can't just tell someone "love yourself", and they say "okay, done, what next?" It was a really long and difficult process for me. Maybe it will be easier for some (or harder), but I think it's a journey that everyone needs to travel themselves. At least, for me, the real healing was found along the way.

I was thinking about what some of the difficulties are, and what might hinder other people from being able to complete, or maybe even start, this journey. The thing that was most obvious to me, is that maybe, like me, people might not really know what love is actually like. My parents certainly didn't show me love. My grandparents were a little bit better, but not much. So, what I learned about love was all wrong.

I thought we could share what we have found proper love to really be like, especially self-love.

--

Here are some of the key points for me.

Love is forgiving and understanding, and patient. We all make mistakes, and I make a lot of big mistakes. Everything isn't magically better when I apologize, and I need to review and learn and grow when I make a mistake, so I don't keep doing wrong. That growth is what love focuses on. Sometimes it takes me multiple mistakes to learn a lesson, but by loving myself, I keep myself in a state where I can grow when I learn what I did wrong, instead of being overwhelmed by NSC. Focusing on that opportunity to grow helps me stay positive, which leads to self-respect instead of shame.

Love is respectful. It treats me well, no matter what. Even when ICr is rampaging out of control and I think that I don't deserve it, I still do. Loving and respectful actions towards myself helps me fight IC and get back (or maintain if IC is not too bad) a healthier mindset / mental state so that I be positive, and full of good, which I can then share with others.

Love is considerate. It knows everything I've been through, and it understands why my thoughts/feelings/reactions are the way that they are. Instead of judging myself and demanding I be perfect, it is important to have reasonable expectations, and remember that "Rome wasn't built in a day". Repeating this to myself helps me realize I don't need to be perfect right now. When I'm considerate of myself, then I can begin to work on proper, healthy relationships with others, where all parties are considerate of each other, and treat each other well, resulting in a positive impact on each other's lives. Eventually, this comes full circle, and that external positive impact will help me when I am struggling.

--

There is a lot more, but this post is already very long, so I'll wrap it up here. I'm really looking forward to what other's have to say on the topic. :)

13
Introductory Post / Dear Guest
« on: March 13, 2021, 03:25:41 AM »
Dear Guest,

I don't know who you are, or what you've been through. I don't know how you're doing, or what you're facing. However, given that you are here, I expect it has been difficult, so I want to offer you some encouragement.

You are worth being cared for and loved, both by yourself and others. You deserve to heal and live a happy, full life. I wish you all the best, and peace from the storm.

Jazzy

--

It amazes me that every day I am here, I see 50+ guests online at the same time as me. There are so many people that come here, and I just want to acknowledge them in a positive way.

14
Recovery Journals / Jazzy's Journal - Round 3
« on: March 11, 2021, 03:26:14 AM »
Here we go again. I keep failing at this. I guess that's okay though, as long as I keep trying. I think I need a new word for "fail". "Fail" sounds so final, and that's not really accurate. For as long as you have an opportunity to try again, it's not final.

There's a few things I want to write about, but I likely won't get to them right now. I've had a rough night last night. On top of (or maybe because of) all the emotions I've been dealing with after losing my friend, I've been struggling to sleep properly. Last night I didn't fall asleep until after 3am. At around 5:30am the CO alarm went off, which put me straight in to a panic attack / EF. Every time I tried to go back to bed, I just started having a panic attack... so I stayed up for a while. Finally, I started to relax again, and then shortly after the EBS (emergency broadcast system) on my phone went off, throwing me right back in to panic again. I did eventually get a few hours of sleep, but I'm tired, emotional, frustrated, and doubting myself a lot.

15
Poetry & Creative Writing / You
« on: March 10, 2021, 06:24:43 AM »
You are deserving of being heard
You are deserving of being cared for
You are deserving of respect
You are deserving of appreciation
You are deserving of compassion
You are deserving of understanding
You are deserving of respect
You are deserving of time
You are deserving of love

You are worth listening to yourself
You are worth caring for yourself
You are worth respecting yourself
You are worth appreciating yourself
You are worth being compassionate to yourself
You are worth understanding yourself
You are worth respecting yourself
You are worth using your time for yourself
You are worth loving yourself

I hear you
I care for you
I respect you
I appreciate you
I understand you
I respect you
I use my time for you
I love you  :hug:

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